Piccolina

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8/4/2019

Piccolina is casual sibling to Amy Brandwein’s Centrolina restaurant. We stopped here on their first week of opening. The three dishes we tried ranged from OK to pretty good. Service was lacking. Our empty dishes sat in front of us and we were eating at the kitchen counter!


Peach Panzanella
Every time I see a peach dish on the menu, I can’t resist. First off, there was no sign of peach! There were a few slices of unripe nectarines. I kept saying that my peaches from Whole Foods are much better!

Eggplant Parmesan
I love eggplant parmesan and I make a pretty good one myself. This was very good. The only problem was the sauce was a little too salty.

Braised Meatballs
It tasted good but it was a little dense and the sauce as the previous dish was salty.

The Dabney

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7/27/2019

Our second time dining at The Dabney. My husband never forgot the delicious foie gras we had more than a year ago. I originally picked a different restaurant for my birthday dinner, but because of the record heat, I canceled and switched to The Dabney. We were seated in the back corner with a dim lighting. I was worried that my pictures were going to be ruined!! It took 30 minutes for bread to arrive! Service was good otherwise. The dishes we tried were all good but the portions were tiny for the price.


Practice What you Peach el velo blanco tequila, grilled peach, lime, & basil
It tasted good but at $14, it was mostly ice.

Yellowfin Tuna keepwell soy, ginger, benne, nasturtium, & VA peanut
It looked interesting and was very good. Fresh tuna with crunch from peanuts.

Maryland Blue Crab roma beans, tomatoes, onion, garlic, & fried okra
It was a flavorful dish. Very good fresh lump blue crab. We wanted more.

Heart Roasted Spring Vegetables heirloom grain salad, ricotta, & lemon
It was very good char veggies but not much for $16.

Fluke fried oyster, English peas, corn, gooseberries & tarragon velouté
We asked our waitress which one of the three fish dishes should we get? She told us to get the fluke. It was two thin slices of fluke cooked right with corn and peas. The highlight was the tarragon velouté. Gooseberries were the welcome addition.

Ice Cream
It was a nice gesture but it was too sweet.

Citrus Herb Sundae lemon balm ice cream, yogurt mousse, & grilled peach
It was light, herbal and refreshing.

Moby Dick House of Kabob

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7/20/2019

I think I have been to the original location of Moby Dick House of Kabob in Georgetown over twenty years ago. Now there is a location in every corner of the DMV area. We were out on a record heat all day trying to fix a problem with my laptop. It was late and since we were near the Moby Dick’s Fairfax location, we decided to give the place a try. Big mistake!


Kubideh Kabob with Salad
I asked them to cook it medium since almost all the Persian restaurants overcook their kabobs. The result was not what I expected. It looked pale and it was dense. The salad was OK. Who uses iceberg lettuce anymore?

Kubideh Kabob
My husband could not stop complaining about his Kabob. I told him, sometimes you eat, just so you fill up your stomach! That did not stop him! Bad bad dense kabob.

Clarity

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7/9 and 7/17/2019

I had two lunches at the Clarity. Once with my mom and once with my husband on my birthday. The food was good both times but the value price ratio was off in two dishes. Service was always friendly. Our waiter, the second time, went beyond norm to make my birthday a special day. He even treated us to two glasses of sparkling wine. Something that you rarely see nowadays.


Shrimp Bisque
It was lighter than usual and my mom found it a little salty. She asked if it could be split in half and her wish came true! There were plenty of shrimps.

Veal Flank Steak
I can’t say I have ever had veal flank from France before. It was pretty good. The greens and the madeira reduction were very good also.

Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Salad braised fennel, shaved cantaloupe, cilantro, leeks
This dish was a disappointment. The portion was so tiny, we each got one small bite.

Earth and Eats Farm Heirloom tomato Salad stracciatella di buffala, basil pesto, baby arugula, rapini vinaigrette
This was not what I expected specially when I had a beautiful tomato and stone fruit salad a few days prior. Four slices of red tomatoes, one tablespoon of stracciatella!! The irony was the two salads were both priced at $12. Very poor value.

Dry Aged Seven Hills Cheese Burger Australian lamb shoulder roulade, aged cheddar, mushroom aioli, rustic potatoes, greens
After two tiny salads, at least The burger did not disappoint. It was flavorful. The lamb was not gamey. The side salad was very fresh and had all kinds of greens. The potatoes were addicting.

Cast Iron Roasted Veal Sweetbreads roasted peppers, earth & eats corn, madeira reduction
The swwetbreads were cooked perfectly and went very well with the madeira sauce and corn.

Earth and Eats Blueberry Brioche Bread Pudding sugared pecan, confit blueberry glaze
The restaurant treated me to this bread pudding. It was pretty good.

Earth and Eats Raspberry Panna Cotta raspberry lola rosa sauce, almond shortbread
We ordered a dessert that was on their dinner dessert menu. Our kind waiter came back and told us that they were still working on that dessert, so we got the Panna Cotta. The funny thing is my husband who loves panna cotta did not like it that much. I liked it just fine. Maybe he was too full to enjoy it. The raspberry sorbet was so good, it reminded me of my favorite one from Grom.

Via Sophia

7/14/2019

Via Sophia is a new restaurant inside the Hamilton hotel. I came across Via Sophia a few times on Open Table, but the score was not high enough for me to make a reservation. Thankfully for them there was a great article on Eater with amazing pictures introducing the brunch menu. One of the pictures from Washington Post is responsible for pushing me to finally make a reservation.


Linguine alla Vongole Assorted Clams, Garlic, White Wine, Parsley
Tom Sietsema, the Washington Post food critic highly recommended this dish. When the manager stopped by, we asked him whether we should order that dish or a pizza? he responded pizza is a pizza! get the pasta. It was cooked al dente and it was pretty good.

Piadina Tapenade, Prosciutto, Bufala Mozzarella, Cherry Tomatoes,, Cress, Fried Shallots
Nice light dish and featured most of my favorite ingredients. It looked great also.

Stone-fruit Salad Yellow Peaches, Pluots, Heirloom Tomatoes, Almonds, Basil
Now the main reason we were here and thankfully it did not disappoint. At $12, a good deal and not only it was beautiful to look at but it was delicious also. Ripe stone fruits and flavorful heirloom tomatoes were sitting on a bed of basil oil and what I think was a whipped ricotta. We have to return soon before this dish goes away!

Brothers and Sisters

7/7/2019

I have been talking about Brothers and Sisters cakes to my family for a while now. So when I asked my mom who is on a strict low sugar diet whether she wanted ice cream or cake, she said cake, quickly. I think she was not letdown. Unfortunately we did not finish the cakes and when we attempted to eat the leftovers, due to the heat, it was all melted. What were we thinking? Not finishing the cakes. Blame the insanity on the heat!


chai Latte
At $6, it was low on the chai spice flavor. I make a much better version myself.

The Brooklyn cocoa / banana / coffee
On the sweet side with a strong coffee flavor. Get it if you have a sweet tooth and love bananas.

The Next Vacation
Second time having this cake. First time it had a layers of mascarpone with pistachios, sponge cake and jelly cherry and apricot. Second time it had cherries mixed with pistachios and mascarpone. The sweet cherries were the highlight. I could eat the mascarpone layer forever.

The Mykonos triple cheesecake
My family all liked this cake. A little sweet for me.

The Song Saa citrus / coconut / makrut lime
My favorite. A nice citrusy cake and perfect for a hot summer day.

CHIKO

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I Have been wanting to check out CHIKO for a while now but every time I read OK reviews and got a cold feet. They recently introduced some brunch dishes and we gave the place a try. It is a causal place and you order at the counter. Service was friendly.


Shrimp & Grits
This was a great deal. Small shrimps were cooked right and grits was flavorful and spicy.

Wagshal’s Chopped Brisket Soy brined soft egg, furkake butter, and rice
At $18, this dish was a total miss. Some brisket pieces were dry and the rice to meat ratio was way off. Where were the vegetables to make it a more balanced dish?