Early night at Room 11

It was unofficial baby night at Room 11 last night. We took the kid and met up with some friends who have a son in her daycare class. We went at 5, right when they opened, and sat outside on the porch. By the time we left around 7pm (The kid was well on her way to turning into a pumpkin), there were no less than a half dozen children under 2 on the porch. Most of the patrons, save one couple in the corner, found the children delightful. Our little monkey, for example, was making friends by pushing her chair around the porch after she finished eating. and flirting with the guys at the next table. I like Room 11. I should have written down what I drank. I had a Chilean carmenere that was really good. I had never heard of that grape before I tried the Montes Cab/Carmenere blend (A fantastic bottle, btw), then my mom bought me a bottle of Root: 1 (Another great bottle). And now it’s one of my favorite grapes. I also had a malbec that was good. They sell wine by the glass, starting at $6. Most of the glasses are $8-9. They have a very Belgian beer selection, which is not really my thing, but I think the beers are good for the many of you who do like Belgians. They had two beers on tap, also. I forget what they were, but I remember approving. We ate a meat plate and a cheese plate, both good, and the wife and I split a cheese panini which was pleasant. The service was good. Our waiter was friendly and easy-going and pretty attentive. He made some good suggestions on the meats and cheeses, since I’d never heard of most of it, and couldn’t pronounce any of it. The porch had a very “neighborhood” feel to it. A self-selected, limited slice of the neighborhood, but still a neighborhood. The couple we were with brought their dog, and he waited outside the fence until we finished. At least three or four people stopped to pet him as they walked down Lamont Street. It’s a pleasantly busy intersection – enough traffic to be interesting to watch, but not enough to disturb the atmosphere. So, go check it out. We’ll definitely be back.

Date Night – Half-Birthday Edition

On Monday, the wife took me to Perrys in Adams Morgan to celebrate my half-birthday.  Yes, neither Perrys nor Adams Morgan has an apostrophe, according to the web site.

Half-birthdays are a wonderful tradition that my mom did for us.  We got a little present and maybe a cupcake.  We being my brother and sister and I.  Anyway, because the wife is so great, she has continued this tradition for me.  In addition to dinner, she got me a t-shirt from Design by Humans and some bamboo boxer shorts from Shirts of Bamboo.

Anyway, Perrys.  We ate on the open-air roof overlooking the top of 18th Street.  It was great.  The weather was perfect for it.  And the food was great.  We started with some edamame, which had too much salt on it, but was otherwise good, and a bottle of French grenache-syrah, which was also good.  It was a screw cap bottle, which I’ve almost never seen outside of New Zealand wine.  But the screw caps are getting more popular, and I’ve heard from at least two people who should know that even a lot of wine snobs are okay with the screw caps.

Then we had assorted sushi, which was quite good.  The spicy tuna roll was great, and the fatty tuna nigiri just falls apart in your mouth.

Overall, it was a great restaurant experience, and I would definitely recommend it.

Date night

Last night, we did the second of our new monthly date nights. We went to a restaurant that I run past fairly regularly, and for some reason it’s always seemed intriguing.

We went to Napoleon Bistro on Columbia Road (Warning: Their website is a horrific flash piece of crap). We were thinking about eating outside, but it was a little muggy. And, it turns out we made the right choice, as a group who went outside to eat just after we arrived came back in shortly after, complaining of bugs.

Anyway, inside the restaurant is nice. They have a rather large bar area, which suggests they get a bar crowd that wasn’t there on a Sunday evening.

The food was good. I had flank steak with a shallot demi glace, whatever that means, and french fries. The wife had a crepe filled with something green and a salad. Crepes, apparently, are their specialty. We split a nice cabernet that I’d never heard of.

Dessert was great, too.  We had the “Femme Fatale”, which was a crepe filled with caramelized bananas and topped with ice cream.  It tasted a little pumpkiny and delicious.

We would definitely go back. In fact, we might even go back later this week when we have a friend in town who would love the food there.

Back to the website, though. I find that, more often than not, a restaurant website is awful. They usually use a lot of Flash, which is rarely a good idea. When I go to a restaurant website, I’d just like to see a menu, maybe a phone number. I don’t need to experience the ambiance of the place through some crappy Flash interface. I’m also surprised at how often I Google a restaurant and they don’t seem to have a website at all. I know I spend more time online than most people do, but it seems that the benefits of even just an HTML version of the menu and phone number being online would outweigh all the maintenance and hosting costs.

Anyway, I would recommend Napoleon Bistro. Just not their website.

Coppis on U Street

The wife and I had a little date night last night, having dinner at Coppi’s on U Street and then drinks at Saint Ex on 14th.

Coppi’s was courtesy of my occasionally blogging brother-in-law (As opposed to the others who don’t blog at all) and his girlfriend, who stayed with us a little while back, and were overly generous in expressing their gratitude.

In any event, Coppi’s was great. I beat the wife there by a bit, which meant I sat at the bar, chatted with a woman who was probably the manager, and drank an organic beer.

Then the wife arrived. We each had a salad and an entree, all delicious, and then shared a dessert. My salad was the Bietole al Forno, which was very good. For dinner I had a really nice lasagne. It was a bit more cream sauce than red sauce, which would not have been my first choice, but was very good anyway.

And then we shared the dessert. It’s not on their online menu, but it was recommended by the waiter. It was peaches with a wine and brown sugar sauce topped with ice cream, and it was quite good.

As for the restaurant itself, it was a great experience. The service was excellent, the place crowded but not uncomfortably so, and the music was eclectic and interesting.  I would highly recommend them for dinner.  Reservations are probably a good idea.

I’ve been to Saint Ex before.  It’s one of the wife’s favorite bars.  And it was, again, a nice place to hang out.

Best Indian food ever

Haandi Fine Indian Cuisine

Who knew the best Indian food I’ve ever had would be from a strip mall in Falls Church?  We took my grandmother last night as a Christmas present.  She’s very hard to shop for – she pretty much has everything she’ll ever need.  So we figured food and company would be better than things she doesn’t really have much use for.  And the food was worth the slight wrong turn I took in getting from her house to the restaurant.

Anyway, I highly recommend the place.  They have a location in Bethesda, too, though I’ve never been.

Dinner at Wasabi

Last night, the wife took me to a TasteDC event at Wasabi in DC.  It was a Christmas present, and I recommend the restaurant whole-heartedly.  It’s a kaiten-zushi restaurant, which means they have a conveyor belt coming from the kitchen, and you take what you want as it passes by.  This type of restaurant is very popular in Japan, and getting there in London, too.  This is DC’s first one.

The food was great.  And, because it was sponsored by TasteDC, they explained a little bit about the sake and the sushi that they served.  They also made it a little bit like a summer camp orientation day, but that was okay.

If you go there, try the green tea mousse.  I’ve had green tea ice cream before, and I don’t love it, but this was great.  All the sushi they served was great.  The wife especially liked the nigiri.

The owner of the restaurant looks like some minor movie or tv star that we can’t place, but that you’ll probably recognize.  I think he played a principal in some cheesy comedy (Like Saved by the Bell, but it wasn’t that guy).  I wish IMDB had a search by facial description.