Beer


I don’t know why, but the Beacon is always viewed as a good place for HH (happy hour) and food.  Personally, I disagree.  Instead, I prefer to tell people about Nage.

  • Food:While their menu can seem somewhat limited (it’s seasonal), their chalkboard offers another 10 various options — and from that menu, you can have a pre-fixe meal (3 courses for $35).  I’ve been a few times and have had some good meals.  The mac and cheese is more creamy than cheesy, so it’s definitely not 15ria.  Their Chesapeake oysters with spinach, fennel, mushrooms, and Asiago cheese are good.  Most recently, I ordered the Prime Rib burger which was cooked perfectly, though I didn’t care for their fries (they were a mixture of potatoes — including a few sweet potatoes, but not worth the calories since they weren’t crispy…you know how I love my fries crispy!).  As far as dessert, their best offering is the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding.  I’m not a huge bread pudding fan, but this was insanely good! 
  • Service: They’ve always been courteous and efficient without being annoying.  In other words, good service.
  • Atmosphere: Strange as it might sound, this restaurant is in the Marriott Courtyard, down the block from Beacon.  But don’t let that scare you away!  They offer way better options for wine and beer and much better food.  Their restaurant is small and only has about 20 tables with a few bar tables and seats.  They also have a flat screen TV which always runs various sports games.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$ if you order off their bistro menu; $$$ if you order an app and main entree
  • Overall:  Next time you want to go to Beacon, try out Nage instead.  As a friend said when she went, “It’s not the best meal ever, but it’s pretty good.  I mean, it’s better than Beacon.”  Although the $$$ may make you pause from making it your new weekly hangout.   But their apps are reasonably priced so you could definitely go after work without spending an arm and a leg.

Happy Hour: I’ll have to let you know — I forgot to take a look but I know they have 1/2 priced wine (I think it’s on Mondays).

Details:

  • Reservations are suggested, but to be honest, I’ve never needed them.
  • Hours: Breakfast Daily 7-10:30 am; Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30 pm; Daily Dinner 5 pm – 9:30 pm
  • Address:1600 Rhodes Island Avenue, NW; Washington, D.C. 20036
  • Ph:  (202) 448-8005
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I love my friends for many reasons.  But the main reason is because they’re incredibly smart — they are well-read, highly educated (whether through formal education or on their own), etc.  And most of them have also traveled extensively (funny because I really haven’t, but it’s something I’d love to do!) . 

It’s this last reason that I went to the Islander.  One of my friends has traveled more than anyone else I know, so when she said that this was one of the best Trinidadian restaurants she’s ever been to — I knew I had to go. 

  • Food: My friend made a lot of recommendations, but she said her favorite was the potato and chana roti (note that this isn’t the photo of what we got, but it was a great description and photo of the food!).  It comes with a side of this hot sauce which consists of mustard, hot peppers (she said it’s the size of black peppercorns but with the heat of a habanero), vinegar, salt, and a couple of other ingredients.  Before I had a chance to dump the hot sauce all over my roti, my friend warned me that it was insanely hot and to use a little bit.  Thank God she said that because it was fiercely hot.  I love hot food, but holy cow was this spicy!  The roti was fantastic and the hot sauce was a perfect addition.  We also ordered fried plantains, which might be the best in the city — except there was no creme fraiche or any other side to dip them in.  Regardless, they were really good.
  • Service:They were polite and kept calling everyone “honey.”  I felt like I was in someone’s house and not a restaurant.  
  • Atmosphere: What it lacks on the interior, it makes up for in the food.  If you’re looking for an upscale experience, this isn’t it.  But if you’re looking for authentic Caribbean food, this is the place for you.
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: I’m looking forward to going back and trying some of their other dishes like their Calypso Chicken and brown stew chicken.  But really, I’m looking forward to that hot sauce.  Wow!  On Saturday nights between 8-midnight, they offer live jazz and Wednesdays from 7:30 PM-11:30 PM is karaoke.  For the list of events, please click here.

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted.
  • Hours: Mon closed; Tues-Wed 12 PM-10 PM; Thur 12 PM-11 PM; Fri-Sat 12 PM-12 AM; Sun 1 PM-11 PM
  • Address: 1201 U Street NW; Washington, DC
  • Ph: 202-234-4871

One of my friends at work felt like pizza.  I felt like walking a little (not a lot) so we thought we’d try Alberto’s Pizza.  I of course, forgot I had already been there.  Anyway, we couldn’t find the restaurant, but realized that Pizza Paradiso was across the street. 

So all was not lost!

  • Food:I ordered the Siciliana pizza with tomato, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, red onion, capers, garlic, oregano, mozzarella, and pecorino.  My friend ordered Atomica with tomato, salami, black olives, hot pepper flakes, and mozzarella.  There was a heaping amount and nice chunks of all the ingredients on the pie.  In addition, I didn’t think there was too much sauce (like some places). 

Pizza Paradiso Siciliana

 

  • Service: We ordered our pie to go, but they were nice. 
  • Atmosphere:Dupont is a small restaurant with only about 15 tables and about 5-7 chairs at their bar.  I can see how it’d get packed quickly!  My friend said that the Georgetown location is much bigger.  Georgetown has “Birreria Paradiso“in their basement which offers microbrews and handcrafted beers.  Their wine list is small, but all Italian (fun!). 
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall: It seems there’s a fight between 2Amys lovers and Pizza Paradiso on which place makes a better pie.  I think they’re both tasty.  I prefer thinner crust pizzas so I tilt towards 2Amys.  

Happy Hour: At their Dupont location, weeknights from 4:00 to 6:30 pm, they offer $4.25 of 1/2 of certain 8″ pizzas; three antipasto plates — $6.95 for small plates; $12.95 for large; $3.50 draft Rogue Dead Guy Ale; and $3 bottles of Flying Dog Tire Bite, Moretti Lager, Moretti La Rossa, and Amstel Light.  At their Georgetown location, Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, they offer the same food prices.  Georgetown has more draft beers available for $3.50. 

Details:

  • Reservations accepted.
  • Hours:Dupont Circle and Georgetown: Mon-Thurs: 11:30 am to 11:00 pm; Fri-Sat: 11:30 am to midnight; Sun: noon to 10:00 pm
  • Address: 2029 P Street NW and Georgetown 3282 M Street NW
  • Ph: 202.223.1245; Georgetown 202.337.1245   

Hi there, I’m P3 and am blogging today’s restaurant review.

My friend and I went to Central Michel Richard at 5:30, before theatre (even though they don’t really have a pre-theatre menu) and it was already starting to fill up fast.

  • Food:To start with, I ordered the iceberg and bleu cheese salad which had too much bleu cheese dressing and the lettuce was chopped (instead of the wedge).  Plus, it wasn’t icy cold.  I did like the nuts they added on top though.  My friend ordered the Caesar salad which he said was OK but was nothing out of the ordinary. It was served with a big crusty crouton.  Since Washingtonian had ranked it as one of the best, I ordered the cheeseburger. It came with fries, which were very good and crispy with a nice seasoning spice. The burger was just OK. Honestly, I think Columbia Station (the jazz place in Adams Morgan) has a better burger. But that might be because I like charbroiled burgers and this didn’t have it.  The burger came with crispy wafers of potato on top, which is interesting, but not enough to make me rave about it.  My friend ordered the mussels with white wine and garlic which was also just OK. Not a whole lot of flavor, but it was a very nice portion size. We got a side of creamed spinach which was bland. We kept tasting it and shaking our heads “No.”  
  • Service: When we arrived, I had to leave my car, with the keys, on the street with three other cars b/c the valets were so busy. (Very trusting of me, I know, but we were running late and fortunately nothing happened this time).  Our waiter was friendly, attentive and considerate of the fact that we mentioned we needed to leave in time for a 7:30 show. 
  • Atmosphere: The Web site says “playful, contemporary” — I guess I agree.
  • Attire: Business casual
  • Price: $$$
  • Overall: I’m afraid it was another one of those scenarios — heard tons about it, know it’s the “it” place to go, wanted to like it, but Central Michel Richard was mostly a disappointment.

[Ed. note I haven’t been, but Central apparently has great beer offerings.  They have Blusser (only available on tap in 4 places in the U.S. and DC has 2 of them), a German beer bottled exclusively for Richard.] 

Details:

  • Reservations recommended, though they say they accept walk-ins.
  • Hours: Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Dinner: Monday – Thursday, 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday Hours: Dinner 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Address: 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; Washington, DC 20004
  • Ph: 202-626-0015

You could easily walk past it and not even realize, but nestled in between a rib joint and a former Chinese restaurant, here’s another great find in the area.   

  • Food:  Their menu offers something for everyone.  While I’ve had their pizza, their 3.6.9 mini burgers and onion straws are my favorite.  Today though, I felt like expanding my horizons and instead, ordered their 3 mini tuna burger special.  As it was described, it was seared tuna on the toasted brioche bread.  While I know some restaurants claim their bread is toasted, Matchbox does a great job of actually doing it.  The bread was perfectly done, which means it was crunchy and soft.  Yum!  The mini-tuna burger offered a little bit of a kick and good seasonings.  They did go overboard with putting too much sauce (can’t remember what it was) on the mini-tuna burgers though.  The onion strings are my favorite, so thanks to my friend who ordered them — I was able to steal a few.  My other friend ordered the blackened chicken sandwich and said it was tasty.
  • Service: Our server was nice and gracious. 
  • Atmosphere: With 3 stories, there’s a good decent number of seats available.  However, I think there could be 6 stories and on the weekends, it’d still be packed.     
  • Attire: Casual
  • Price: $$
  • Overall:  They offer something that will appease everyone at a pretty good price.  They’ve also recently added brunch, beer, wine, and a late night menu.  I think it’s a fun place to go with good food.

Details:

  • Reservations not accepted.
  • Hours: Daily 11 AM-close; Fri & Sat serving late night menu until 1 AM
  • Address: 713 H Street NW; Washington, DC 20001
  • Ph: 202-289-4441

There’s an interesting AP story that was printed on Friday afternoon stating that there’s a shortage in hops, which could mean your beer may cost more — and change the flavor.

The reason for the shortage?  According to the story:

“A decade-long oversupply of hops that had forced farmers to abandon the crop is finally gone and harvests were down this year. In the United States, where one-fourth of the world’s hops are grown, acreage fell 30 percent between 1995 and 2006.

Australia endured its worst drought on record. Hail storms across Europe damaged crops. Extreme heat in the western United States hurt both yields and quality.”

I went to LIMA with a group of friends a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time. 

  • Food: I had seen some mixed reviews, but I still wanted to try this Latin-infused cuisine.  We had decided to order some mojitos (which were good) and some appetizers.  Up first was the Ceviche Mixto, which was mixed seafood with lime, hot chilies, onions, and cilantro.  The fish was flavorful, fresh, and had a little bit of a kick.  We also ordered their Taste of Spanish Cured Meats which were also tasty.I had ordered the Grilled Chilean Sea Bass, which was perfectly cooked.  From their menu, it says, “sautéed in cashew-cilantro crust wild mushrooms and roasted root vegetables.” It had a nice crisp exterior with a rich flavor.  It might even be the best Chilean Sea Bass I’ve tasted.  My 3 other dining companions got the same dish – the Cuban Dinner with Chicken.  The menu said it was a roasted half a chicken “‘encebollado’ with lime braised red onions steamed aged basmati rice, black beans, and fried green plantains.”  I thought the chicken was really good, moist with excellent flavor. Even my friend who had a rotisserie (will tell that story in a later post) said it was one of the best chickens she’s ever had.  The downside of the meal?  The fried green plantains.  We concurred it was the worst part of the meal. 

  • Service: We had a very nice server who was very nice and offered great suggestions.

  • Atmosphere:We sat upstairs and right by the kitchen door.  It was a bit strange to seat us there since there weren’t a lot of others in the dining room.  Regardless, it wasn’t a bad table. The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable upstairs

  • Attire: Business casual

  • Price: $$$

  • Overall: I’d definitely want to go back for dinner.  It seems like a place I’d want to avoid on weekends (unless you’re OK with standing in line to get into a bar).  I have a sense that the atmosphere on the weekends completely changes the audience/crowd too. 

It would be a great place to go for the first date.  In the summer, they have these huge sofas outside so it’s great to grab a drink before dinner.  They have a great wine and beverage list along with a beautiful upscale bar downstairs.                                                                               

The lounge has weekly DJs that play house and dance music.  Bottle service is also available.                            

Happy Hour: 5:00-7:00PM $5 Call Drinks; $4.50 House Wines; $4 Import Beers; $3 Domestic Beers; $4.50 Johnnie Walker Red, Absolut Vodka & Jack Daniels mix drinks; $5 Beef Empinadas

Details:

  • Reservations are accepted and recommended 

  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri & Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun restaurant is closed but Lounge open 9 pm-2 am.

  • Address: 1401 K Street NW; Washington, DC 20005

  • Ph: (202) 789-2800

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