Tag Archive for pierogi

Boundary Road: Cocktails & Appetizers

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Friends and I convened at Boundary Road last weekend for some drinks and appetizers.  My initial reaction: the drinks and few plates we sampled were fine, but what I liked best about the restaurant was its casual vibe.  Specifically, I appreciated the exposed brick, long wooden tables, open kitchen, and the extremely friendly and polite staff.  But don’t try asking the staff what the Obamas dined on during their visit to Boundary Road.  The staff’s lips are sealed.  I don’t really see the point, but that’s not the restaurant’s rule. The order came directly from the White House aides who organized the dinner at one of the newest places to join the ever-increasing ranks of Atlas District eateries. Come on, White House: foodies want to know!

I have to start my review with the much-discussed Foie Gras Torchon PBJ. Grilled country bread is topped with homemade peanut butter, peach vanilla jelly, and finished with a torchon of foie gras. Mixed greens accompany the dish. The flavor combination definitely works. The richness of the peanut butter pairs well with the rich, fatty foie gras.  However, I didn’t really taste the peach vanilla jelly and I’m not sure mixed greens is the best pairing for something that’s clearly meant to be a decadent, comfort food.  It’s also a rather small portion, which explains why it appears on the menu as an appetizer, but it doesn’t explain the steep price ($16).  All in all, I’m glad I tried it, but I’m not sure I’d order it for myself.  I think the best use for this dish is as a shared item. It’s so rich that I was fine with one or two bites.

Foie Gras Torchon PBJ

The pierogi were good, despite the fact that they were less pierogi and more ravioli.  For example, I recently tried Bistro Bohem’s pierogi (read review here), which were more in line with traditional pierogi — hearty, heavy, but also tender, and topped with grilled onions and a creamy sauce.  Boundary Road’s pierogi were very delicate, soft, and pillowy.  Both versions are good in their own ways, although one of my dining companions didn’t much care for Boundary Road’s version.  While I didn’t sample the razor clams rockefeller, two of my dining companions enjoyed theirs.

Razor clams rockefeller

I tried two of the cocktails – the Praha City and the Seelbach. Praha City was described to me as Boundary Road’s version of the Moscow Mule. It’s made with Becherovka (Czech herbal bitters), vodka, muddled rosemary, lime, and ginger beer. It was good, but too herbal for me. I liked the Seelbach less.  Made with bourbon, two types of bitters, Cointreau, and sparkling wine, the Seelbach is overwhelmed by the bitters. To try to solve for this problem, one of my dining companions (known to many as Triple X) ordered his without bitters.  It didn’t help. My other dining companion liked her drink – the obviously Italian-inspired “I’m Thinking About Getting A Vespa.” It’s made with Aperol, sparking wine, blood orange, and Cocchi Americano (an Italian aperitif). It sounds like something I’ll really enjoy during the summer.

I think I will return to sample a few more dishes and conduct a more thorough review.  Boundary Road’s proximity to my day job may “force” me to become a regular. Who knows. Maybe I can work with the bartenders to create a bourbon-based cocktail I will actually like.

Boundary Road
  414 H St. NE
  Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202) 450-3265
Hours: Open daily  5pm - 2am
       Tues-Fri:   11am-3pm (lunch)
       Sun-Thurs:  5:30-10:30pm (dinner)
       Fri-Sat:    5:30-11pm (dinner)

Boundary Road Restaurant on Urbanspoon

First Look at Bistro Bohem

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Bistro Bohem is a promising new addition to the Shaw area. The servers are friendly and upbeat and the vibe on a Saturday night was simultaneously energetic and low-key/casual. The restaurant makes the most of its tiny space by doing away with seating at the island/bar that sits in the middle of the restaurant. Similarly, some space at the main bar is standing only.

Bistro Bohem specializes in Czech cuisine. (The menu can be found here.) My friend and I selected a few of the more traditional Czech dishes for our first visit. We sampled the house-made pâté, potato pancakes, pierogi, and beef goulash. The pierogi and potato pancakes were fantastic. The potato-filled pierogi, topped with sautéed onions and a light cream sauce, were well-seasoned and hearty. The potato pancakes were served over field greens and topped with chunks of chicken breast mixed with a garlic aioli sauce. They were devilishly delicious. In comparison, the house-made pâté and goulash were quite flat. They were both in desperate need of seasoning. The one intriguing component of the goulash were the bread dumplings. They resembled something between bread and potato with a chewy consistency.  To my surprise, I liked them. They would have been the perfect foil to the goulash, had the goulash been seasoned properly. Maybe the inconsistency in flavor and seasoning are the result of new kitchen woes. The restaurant has only been fully operational for about a week.  I guess only time will tell.

Beef goulash

We also sampled one of the speciality cocktails — the Fernet martini. It’s made with ginger-infused vodka, Fernet Branca, and lime juice. I’d never had or heard of Fernet Branca before, but I liked the other ingredients and thought I’d give it a shot. For those that have never had it, Fernet Branca is an Italian liqueur/bitter. Its taste is sharp, bitter, and somewhat earthy. Some say it aids in digestion.  All I know for sure is that it is not for me. The overwhelming flavor of the Fernet and the ginger made it hard to drink the martini. Of course, I drank the whole thing. I am a big proponent of “the no drink left behind” way of life.  Next time, beer may be the better route.  The menu had an interesting selection of beers — many of which I don’t often see at other local bars.

As I said, Bistro Bohem shows promise. Their patio area will soon be open and I’d like to go back during the summer and after the restaurant has had a few months to settle in.  It would also be nice if they add some lighter fare for those sweltering DC summer days. Just the idea of eating pierogi and potato pancakes in 90-degree weather makes me sweat.

Bistro Bohem
   600 Florida Ave NW
   Washington, DC 20001
Tel: (202) 735-5895
Hours: Tue-Sun 5pm-12am
Closest metro: Shaw/Howard