Tag Archive for Zaytinya

Restaurant Review: America Eats Tavern – Best for a cocktail, some learning, and supporting the National Archives

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I’m a fan of Jaleo and Zaytinya and of José Andrés generally.  So it hurts a little to say this, but I don’t know what to make of America Eats Tavern, the newest José Andrés restaurant to join Penn Andrés Quarter.  Wait, I take that back.  I think America Eats is a good way to support the National Archives and learn a little about our country’s culinary history while enjoying a cocktail.  I guess my dilemma is that America Eats seems to pale in comparison to Andrés’ other restaurants.  The food is just “okay,” relatively speaking.  One of Andrés’ many skills is his ability to create a menu with a variety of small plates that can be mixed and matched easily to form a complete meal.  You’ll understand, then, why I was surprised to find myself asking how am I supposed to make a meal out of these dishes?  Now, I know that America Eats is not a tapas-style restaurant.  Yet, it seems to be having some sort of identity crisis, hovering somewhere between a tapas-style restaurant and the rest, but missing key components of each.   I’ll explain more.  Keep reading!

Restaurant review: Isabella’s Graffiato is pretty damn good

Damn you, Isabella.  Damn you.  I hate to say it, but nice job with Graffiato (6th & G NW).

Why do I hate to say it? I’m conflicted.  Like others, I thought you were too arrogant during your first season on Top Chef.  Then, you made me a fan when you returned to compete in Top Chef All-Stars.  It was clear to me that you had come back a much more focused and humbled chef than your previous Top Chef-self.  In other words, you kicked some Top Chef ass.  I followed pre-opening reports about your restaurant and asked myself: Would Graffiato be worth the hype?  Then, I got frustrated because I couldn’t get a reservation and I just resigned myself to answering “no” to that question.

Right.  So, where was I? Ah, yes.  Damn you, Isabella.  Damn you.  I’m no longer conflicted.  I can openly and confidently say: great job on the food and the ambiance.  I will be back.

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