Archive for June 12, 2011

Review: Lincoln Restaurant (Thomas Circle)

Open since April, Lincoln offers locally-sourced small plates as well as an interesting array of specialty cocktails and spirits, including my favorite — white whiskey.  Lincoln shares their corporate executive chef, Demetrio Zavala, with DC’s Hudson Restaurant.  (Whatever Chef Zavala is doing differently here than at Hudson, he should definitely keep it up . . . Seriously.)  He’s joined by Lincoln’s executive chef, Karen Nicolas whose impressive culinary credentials include stints at two Charlie Palmer restaurants (Aureole and Dry Creek Kitchen) and New York’s Gramercy Tavern.

I have now been to Lincoln several times and have enjoyed the somewhat whimsical decor — a penny-covered floor, a fun-house type, white leather couch with a super high back, and the hot pink colored women’s bathroom.  Dudes, what does your bathroom look like?!

On to the food.  Looking over the menu, I can see the subtle influences of Zavala’s Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, and Mexican roots.  After sampling an array of dishes, I was able to understand why some have criticized the portion sizes.  When I say “some have criticized,” I really mean one person.  He’s a good friend and I respect his opinions on food and drink.  (I can’t vouch for his opinions on other topics, though….just kidding!)  Anyway, my friend complained that, after his first visit to Lincoln, he walked away hungry and in dire need of a burger.  I’ll admit the portions at Lincoln are smaller than the portions that other local restaurants offer in terms of small plates in the same price range ($7-$15).  Now, I was not as offended by the portion size as my friend was, but, had I been hungrier when I dined at Lincoln, I may have shared my friend’s frustration and desire for a second dinner.  So there.  You’ve been warned.

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Review: Jack Rose

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Jack Roseis a new bar in Adams Morgan that opened Memorial Day weekend.  So far, only its rooftop bar is open to the public and it is unclear when the ground floor bar and dining room will open.  As I peered through the ground floor windows, I was excited to see a long bar that runs the length of the right side of the room and more excited to see the long shelves running along the wall behind the bar that are currently being stocked with what must be hundreds of bottles of scotches, bourbons and other spirits.  Jack Rose’s website claims the bar will offer “over 1400 bottles of hand-selected scotches, bourbons & spirits, uniquely hand-crafted cocktails, wines from around the world, and over 20 beers on draft.”  Sign me up, baby!The website also mentions a “Prohibition” bar that I’m guessing is reminiscent of a “speakeasy.”  Interesting.I’ve now been to Jack Rose’s rooftop deck about three times since it opened.

Yeah, I guess that’s a lot since it’s been open less than a month.  My impression so far is that this place has a lot of potential.  It’s not fully open and I’m sure they’re still working out some kinks.  That said, I am eager to see how it evolves in the coming weeks and months.

Restaurant review: Al Tiramisu — an oldie but a goodie!

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So far I’ve written about new places, or at least places that are “new” to me.  Al Tiramisu is different.  It’s been around for 15 years (for good reason) and I’ve been there many times before.  The first few years I lived in DC, I often dined at Al Tiramisu.  Suddenly, I just stopped going.  Come to think of it, I began avoiding all Italian eateries period.  I’m really not sure why, but I think the timing may have coincided with following a low-carb diet.  (Darn you South Beach and Adkins!)  Last night, I became re-acquainted with Al Tiramisu after a long sabbatical thanks to my friend who chose it as the venue for her birthday dinner.For those that have yet to try it, you really should.  Italians seem to like this place, which is always a good sign.

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The Sweet, Succulent Honey Pig

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Why have I once again ventured into the ‘burbs? Why else? Food. This time it’s lunch at the Honey Pig in Annandale, VA.  (By the way, good luck understanding the website.)

I’ve heard people rave about this place including the chefs at BLT Steak. So my friend and I (you may know him as “Fancy Pants” from my Volt review a few months ago) braved today’s brutal heat to see if this place lived up to the hype.  First, a warning.  Don’t be discouraged by the no frills decor or service.  To those that might get nervous about eating at places that look “divey,” I offer this friendly piece of advice:  Get over it!  Some of the tastiest food I’ve eaten has come in a no-frills package.  The Honey Pig is no exception.   After receiving some recommendations from our waitress, we settle on the spicy pork belly and the beef bulgogi.

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