On Friday evening we joined some new friends for Seasonal Pantry. It was, simply put, excellent. It made me want to learn how to cook fancy things and then throw real dinner parties, where I serve something other than tacos. And learn how to make long, skinny breadsticks because they’re fun to eat. Oh, and handwritten menus with beautiful lettering. That part I could probably handle.
Jill and I had the most amazing dinner last night. It was even pleasant enough to dine outdoors! we sat and ate and ate and ate, for 3 whole hours, and yes, we consumed all of this. Aren’t these dishes beautiful?! Artwork almost too perfect to eat… Having a pastry chef sibling is just about the best thing ever. Nom nom nom.
Besides all the wine and the food and the people watching and meeting Jill’s coworkers and chefs and the outdoor air, we also got to watch a squirrel bury a nut pretty close by to us. Like a foot away in the flower bed we were sitting next to. Perhaps we showed our total unsophistication by laughing and squealing as this process was going on. But if you’ve never seen a squirrel with a nut in it’s mouth scampering through a flower bed, digging a hole, burying a nut, and then fluffing the flowers back around it to hide its treasure… I can assure you this has to be the most comical thing in nature.
Last night Jill and I checked out Thai X-Ing, an early birthday present to celebrate her 25th! I’ve heard from friends and even random people that this place is their favorite restaurant in DC. If you check out the description on their website, you can see why — it’s a truly home-style experience (you feel like you are eating in someone’s living room, and, you essentially are) – “Chef Taw Vigsittaboot serves traditional thai recipes learned from his mother, aunt, and grandmother.” There are no menus, you eat whatever is being served that day, and you have to bring your own drinks.
Jill and I were in heaven with all the richly spiced dishes, and they just seemed to keep on coming out. Highlights included the cucumber soup, pumpkin curry, and sweet rice with mango for dessert. If you are looking for a unique dining experience, call ahead, this place is delicious!
Last night I helped my friend Lindsey cross an item off her 28th Year Bucket List by having a drink at The W Hotel POV Roof Terrace Bar. This roof has one of the best views of the city from the 11th floor at 15th St and Pennsylvania Avenue — you can see the Washington Monument, White House, The Lincoln Memorial, Air Force Memorial in the way distance — basically the whole skyline of monumental DC — and watch all the planes coming in and out of Reagan National Airport. It was really quite a nice view up there. We enjoyed our seat at the edge of the railing and made sure to keep our eyes peeled for celebrities or Redskins, but didn’t spot anyone of major importance (that we knew of anyway). I hope I am invited to help tackle the rest of her bucket list agenda!
Sushi Go Round (and round and round)
January 21st, 2010
A few weekends ago we stopped in to try Sushi Go Round at Gallery Place in Chinatown. The concept is pretty simple – you sit at a counter and sushi goes traveling right under your nose on a conveyor belt. You can grab whatever looks delicious or interesting to you, and you pay at the end based on a color-coded system for which plates you chose. You are also free to order off the regular menu. Genius! It’s like the conveyor belt joints on TV — hot dog eating champ, Takeru Kobayashi, uses them as part of his strict competitive eating regiment. If the champ does it, you know it has to be good.
The sushi was sufficient (not the best I’ve ever had, but certainly not the worst either), but it especially works if you’re in a hurry as we were, about to go see Avatar in 3D. I guess the best part is that it allows you to be a little adventurous with picking something based on the sight of it, whereas if you read it on a normal menu you might not be tempted to order it. This was okay for us, but if you are more of a “I like to know what sort of raw animal I’m going to ingest” sort of person you can just order from the menu. That really negates the whole point of eating sushi from a conveyor belt, though. As we were newbies to the Sushi-Go-Round experience, we did not pick the optimal spot at the bar to get first picks on the freshly prepared pieces. We would watch the chefs place new plates on the belt, then carefully keep track of our new plate as it made its way around the horseshoe belt, all the while giving the “stink eye” to any of the other diners who appeared to be interested in our coveted plate. If you go, take note of the direction the sushi belt is moving and get the seat closest to the chefs. It is all about strategy at Sushi-Go-Round.
Last weekend when Ty and Val were visiting, we checked out the chocolate and coffee shop ACKC on 14th Street. We’d walked by there many a time, but never poked our heads in. As it turns out, it’s a cute little place owned by Rob Kingsbury (the chocolatier) and Eric Nelson (the artist). When you walk in, you are bombarded with bright colors from the artwork on the walls and tons of tiny little morsels to make you drool. The photo above is a closeup of one of the many custom tabletops painted by Eric, which are pretty much awesome.
This photo goes to show that, in these times, you just never know who is creeping around and taking pictures of you. Whether this guy is prepping food or just cleaning up, at least he doesn’t appear to be picking his nose, talking on his cell phone, or anything else that would get him into hot water with his supervisor. Unless he is the supervisor.
I love the colors of this photo, a blue square hovering in a field of orange — It’s the entrance to Iron Gate Restaurant at 1734 N Street. Looks a little European, don’t you think? Though the food reviews on Yelp aren’t that promising, it still looks like a good spot to sit and have a drink. We’ll have to follow-up that idea at some point… hurry up warmer weather!
Um, so… this may look like the setting for a murder mystery, but it’s actually just the side-alley entrance to one of our favorite bagel/coffee joints, Jolt N Bolt on 18th St NW. Usually we are there on Sunday mornings, enjoying the delicious breakfast options (especially the smoothies) and then sitting awhile to enjoy this cozy nook.
And yet in this photo, it looks like it’s taken on its Mr. Hyde personality… with the pumpkin lights and nobody there… and the door is mysteriously open = CREEPY!!
What is everyone dressing up as tomorrow? Also, send me your pumpkin and jack-o-lantern pictures to lori (at) juxtaexposed.com. The winner will be posted tomorrow!