London, Basement, Food

I’m sorry for the post anorexia lately.  Not much has really be happening as of late to our family unit.  Work…sleep…eat…pet charlie…repeat.

I did book my ticket to London yesterday which is o-so-exciting.  I’ve never been…Royce supposedly has been with ‘past girlfriend’ butwe won’t consider that as valid.  My friend Christine will be there for an extended period this summer so I’m paying her a visit (I do owe her as I never visited her in FL) over Memorial Day.  I’ve never really done a trip like this on my own…flying for 7+ hours with no Royce to pester will be daunting but I think I’ll do OK.  I get to fly Virgin Atlantic which I’m very curious about.  Tickets were the same price as British Airways but Virgin gives me 1 extra inch of legroom so I was sold!  One inch is HUGE when you are crammed in your seat for 7 hours.  I just hope my seat mate doesn’t smell…Royce can sometimes be smelly.

Next bit of news…the basement.  Had Conctrator Dave over (same guy who did our bathroom) on Saturday for a basement estimate.  When he did our bathroom he wasn’t interested in the job, but now that things have slowed down considerabily for him he was willing to take us up on our offer.  Dave thinks we can get our washing machine next to our dryer (currently they are separated…they don’t get along…tsk tsk) as long as the plumbing can be moved.  It will be a big project…breaking up the concrete foundation, but if it is possible it would allow us to have a nice cozy laundry facility AND expand the bathroom in the basement to our 3rd full bath.  Fancy huh?  

Lastly…Food.  It is Restaurant Week here again in DC.  I’ve posted about this before…it happens every January and August.  Tuesday we went with Dave to Zola.  Zola is way to trendy for this midwestern girl to try on any regular night but I had heard for restaurant week they offered their entire menu up for grabs so I was sold.  The food was delightful.  Royce had the Arctic Char and Dave had the Skate.  Both were really cooked well and had great flavor.  I stuck with the Wagyu Beef which was so-so…it wasn’t rare enough for me and was lacking in a sauce, but the polenta that came with it was really good.    Next up is Corduroy on Friday with some girls from work.  

A very fine evening indeed

Our anniversary dinner was nothing short of perfect.  We both got all hussied up…and hit the town smokin’ hot.  A big change from our 7 AM golf outing that same day.  

Central was more than I expected.  Fresh clean interior, simple yet creative menu.  To top it off we had a rockin’ table right next to the kitchen.  It was like I was in an episode of Top Chef or some other food related reality show.  It was very entertaining to watch the chefs prep and send happiness out to hungry tummies.   We were also in between two very lively tables that we actually interacted with.  Something of an oddity here in DC where people just tend to ignore the presence of others.  I think the kitchen entertainment helped… but also just the all out curiosity of “What did you get?  That looks amazing”.  It’s hard to not ask when something looks so yummy right?

After we filled our bellies with Fried chicken, hanger steak, steak fries, and the most decedent mashed potatoes I’ve ever tasted, we contemplated dessert.  By this time Royce had joined me on my side of the table so that he could take part in the kitchen show as well.  And then I noticed this jolly old man…yes…Chef Michel Richard himself was there…and took up the table right next to us.  It was amazing.  Diners came up to him the rest of the night, most spoke in French, and I’m sure were complementing his amazing work.  Royce even shook his hand and gave praise.  He laughed at us for sharing one crème brulee…stating “my wife and I could never share one”…and he joyfully patted his big round belly.  Hilarious!

A great unexpected night of good food and a little celebrity.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

David Craig

I was a bit leery of patronizing a restaurant named after the chef, David Craig, especially when it’s located in the fancy ‘hood of Bethesda (not quite as rough and tumble as Silver Spring).  I think its a bit…well…pompous to name your establishment after yourself…as if you can’t even dream of a name more exciting than your own.  yawn.  I was also intrepid because he used to be at Pesce…and Amanda gave a dismal review of that place this past winter.  Maybe he left before then.  Regardless, our dinner last night with Mike and Rachel was surprisingly divine.

First and foremost, unlike most Bethesda establishments the curb appeal of this place was tired at best. We actually walked by it once before realizing where we were. A nondescript sign through creaky doors lead us into the tiniest dining rooms I’ve seen since Paris. Our waitress led us back to another roomier dining room that was made to look bigger with a wall of antique mirrors. Still though, it was a small place with a window into the kitchen…intimate and light, but not dark and fancy.

We started off with the Heirloom Tomato Salad, although we were tempted by the Fried Green Tomatoes.  For dinner, Royce had the Lobster Risotto…a bit undercooked but had remarkable flavor.  I had the Grilled Pork Loin with House-made Sausage…that’s right folks…meat with a side of meat!  It was fabulous.  Our dinner companions had the Hand-cut Fettuccine with Meat and Wild-mushroom Ragu and the Squash Ravioli.  By far the best meal as Rachel’s Fettuccini…just the right amount of creamy with a great smoky ragu.  Yum.

Dessert was a circus.  We all ordered something and then once they arrived we all wanted a piece of everything so we passed the plates around the table in circle.  Royce won that contest by ordering the Chocolate Bread Pudding.  I went with the Beignets, and Mike and Rachel had the Grapefruit Sabayon and the Profiteroles.  

All and all it was a great night out…Mike and Rachel are fun to explore restaurants with as their level of pretension is low, and they love to share and try new things.  Next up is our favorite local Italian place…DaMarco’s.

I think this is a new RSVP record.

I got an RSVP yesterday for our wedding.  Yep, an RSVP for an event that occurred almost 3 months ago.  Amazing huh?  Makes you wonder why they even bothered to keep it around this long and what triggered them to finally send it.

It has been a fairly lazy week here.  Work is work and home is home.  Tonight is all about steak and The District Chophouse.  Can’t wait!  We have a big 3-day weekend ahead of us.  Saturday we will be going to Home Depot to make final decisions on the bath vanity and counter-top and place the order.  I also need to decide on a paint color for the dining room so that we can get rolling on that.  Sunday, I have my first cooking club meeting.  I’m very excited to meet all the girls involved and hope I can make some new friends out of this adventure.  Having good food around will also be a plus.  Later that night we have been invited over to our friends Karen and Dan’s house for some dinner and football.  So I get 2 dinners on Sunday, I guess I’ll have to fast on Monday then.

What I’m reading:  “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup.  Great book.  I can’t put it down.  It is taking all the discipline I have to keep me from shutting my office door right now and start reading it.  I guess if I left it at home I wouldn’t be so tempted.  I got into books with Indian protagonists after reading “The Namesake” and “The Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahari, both of which I highly recommend. 

Good Dinner

It is Restaurant Week again here in DC.  Last night I went to TenPenh with Amy, Amanda and Amanda’s hubby James.  This place is a great RW staple as they give up their entire menu to your choosing.  I stuck with my staple appetizer of Filipino Lumpia Study Pork Spring Rolls, but also shared with Amy, so I got to taste her Indonesian Chicken Stuffed Roti, which was also fabulous.  For dinner this time around I chose the Red Thai Curry Shrimp and it was all I remember it being from my brief taste I had from Amanda’s plate last year.  It was so divine…If only I could afford to eat out and burn 4000 calories a day I would have that each and every day for dinner. 

None-the-less, I’ll use the rest of the week looking forward to dinner on Friday at The District Chophouse…mmm…steak. 

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