World Dinner Club

World Dinner Club
World Dinner Club

Friday, April 29, 2011

Bubble and Squeak

S woke me up to watch the royal wedding. I think I missed half of it making coffee and checking my email.  Seemed very somber and dignified.  William got off easy!  No baraat.  No reciting sanskrit.  No buying back your shoes.  However, of note at William and Kate's Lunchtime Reception they had an extraordinary menu including the very British hash dish of Bubble and Squeak, which I think is a very fun, nifty addition.

Hill Country BBQ

Last weekend I finally made it to Hill Country BBQ.  The DC outpost of the New York restaurant that specializes in Texas-style barbecue.  The process at this place is a little out of control.  It's like a visit to Disney world.  The decor is a little in your face.  It's so overwrought that it reminds you of being in Austin as much as visit to Fado absurdly tries to make you imagine you are actually in Ireland. It's a bit of a farce.

There is a wait when you arrive and after a Shiner Bock out of a mason jar at the bar, you get to your long communal table where you can then order drinks, but virtually nothing else from your server.  In amusement park fashion, you are given a meal ticket and then you are off to the meat counter where you try and order ribs, brisket, chicken, etc. by the 1/4 pound, but really find that your can't get anything short of a 1/2 pound or more.  We unfortunately were told we couldn't get less than 1 1/4 of short ribs and that the game hens were sold out. We tried a few different meats and then got some corn pudding, slaw, plus mac and cheese.  You also get white bread, which apparently is still made these days!

It was quite good overall: juicy and scrumptious bbq chicken, tender smoked lamb, phenomenal jalepeno cheddar sausage but fatty pork ribs.  The sides were loaded with butter and delicious.  It's no Salt Lick (my point of reference from Austin), but respectable for the Northeast US.  I don't think I was hungry again for about a day. It was expensive for BBQ and especially considering the confusing and inefficient service model.  Again, the overkill with the decor was annoying and ultimately inauthentic. I'd go back with a large group, but will more likely steer towards Rocklands (my favorite) or even Capital Q for less of a headache getting my meal. 

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Friday, April 22, 2011

GBPC Global Oenology Club

It's Friday, Friday, Friday....

Thanks to Sam's organization, we have had a couple monthly gatherings in the office to learn about wines from around the world.

A couple months ago, I discussed Rioja.

Today, Justin provided a thorough discussion of pinot noir and a flight of Beaune Red Burgundy and Willamette Valley pinot noir called Argyle. It was interesting to compare the "barnyard" aftertaste of the Burgundy and the sweet cherry qualities of the Oregon wine that is grown in more of an old world style than over engineered California pinot noir.

Happy Easter!
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What to do with vegan bacon!

This was a funny scene from last night's Parks and Recreation in a Whole Foods' type of store.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Source by Wolfgang Puck

We had a wonderful dinner last night for S's birthday.  We went to The Source, Wolfgang Puck's stylish restaurant in the Newseum for a culinary tour of modern Asian cuisine.  As big fans of Asian fusion, this is one of the best new restaurants we've discovered in DC.  It's a more refined version of Zengo or Masa 14.  As a true DC power spot in the offing, we got at least one celebrity sighting: Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday who was at the table next to us.

Aperitif: Elderflower Manhattan and Cucumber Martini

Amuse bouche: Spicy Tuna Tartare, Sesame-Miso Cones, Shaved Bonito, Tobiko

7 Course Tasting Menu

1. Tandoori Arctic Char, Pickled Japanese Cucumbers, Cardamom Raita

2. Crispy Suckling Pig, Black Plum Puree, Cipollini, Sweet Bean Sauce

[Glass of Tempranillo and glass of Zinfandel]

3. Dim sum plate:
Crystal Garlic Chive Dumplings, King Crab, Kurobuta Pork, Chinese Mustard
Organic Chicken & Wild Field Mushroom Dumplings, Shishito Peppers
“Tiny Dumplings” Pork Belly, Black Vinegar, Chili Oil, Ginger, Cilantro Leaves
Scallop & Shrimp Sui Mai with Shanghai Curry Lobster-Uni Emulsion

4. Sautéed Turbot, Spicy Szechuan Garlic Sauce, Lobster XO Fried Rice

5. Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Coconut Peanut Sauce, Drunken Noodles

6.  Lacquered Chinese Duckling, Lo Mein Noodles, Wild Huckleberries

Palate cleanser: Lime Sorbet

7. Dessert Trio: Mini Blueberry Crumble, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Green Tea Chocolate Cake

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Thursday, April 7, 2011