A Cut Above

Eatonville: Southern Comfort

Brought to the U street area in 2009 by Busboys and Poets’ Andy Shallal, southern comfort eatery Eatonville brings far more to the neighborhood than it’s far oversized dining room might indicate.  Receiving a big thumbs up from Michelle Obama in the form of two visits in less than half a year, Eatonville really is worth trying out.

Before getting into the menu itself, some aspects of my eating experience at Eatonville really stand out.  The oversized dining room, while a bit daunting, is nicely decorated, well lit and allows the establishment to host interesting events like their ‘Food &Folklore’ series.  

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A Cut Above

Ardeo Bardeo: Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

We return again to Cleveland Park for another really great dining experience.  Ardeo Bardeo is an American bistro with a sleek interior and a varied and exciting menu.  Featuring a large central bar, a rooftop and a 14 person communal table, Ardeo Bardeo smartly bills itself as a social destination, a place for classy hangouts and some high end snacking.  This is not the restaurant’s only focus though, there is also a devotion to the fine dining experience as evidenced by the detailed artistry of the dishes and the attentive and thoughtful service of the staff.

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A Cut Above

Bistro Bohem

Courtesy of yelp.com

When you think of European food, you probably think of Italy and France, or maybe Spanish tapas and British pub food.  Odds are you haven’t thought much, if at all, of the Czech Republic, a country not exactly known in America for its food.  But Bistro Bohem, which opened in March in Shaw, is quickly trying to change some attitudes in DC.  Bistro Bohem’s delicious take on Central/Eastern European food, based on the owner’s Czechoslovakian heritage, might just convince Washingtonians to turn their attention just a bit further east.

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A Cut Above

Pasta Mia

I’ve lived in DC now for about six years. In that time there have been a lot of good restaurants. I’ve discovered a few gems and eaten at some of the classics. But I have not eaten at ALL of the best restaurants in the city. As a college student for four of those years, that was a practical impossibility. But there have always been a few restaurants that have been on peoples’ must try list. Most of those I have crossed off. You have read about many of them here. But one that had eluded me, until today, was Adams Morgan’s Pasta Mia.

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A Cut Above

Pulpo: Tentacular

We talk about Cleveland Park a lot here at Eat The District.  Maybe too much.  But the commercial stretch of Connecticut Avenue betwixt Porter and Macomb is truly a culinary gold mine.  Establishments such as Ardeo-Bardeo, Ripple, Medium Rare, and Palena would deter some restaurateurs from jumping into this packed culinary environment.  But just a few weeks ago, owner Dino Tapper (also of Logan Circle’s Floriana)  brought his newest creation, Pulpo, into the mix. I am happy to report that this Cephalopod focused Tapas spot does not disappoint.

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A Cut Above

Drink the District: Church and State

Last week I wrote about The Liberty Tree, my favorite place on H Street to sit back, eat some fries, and drink a beer.  Today, it’s time to share my favorite place to go right after.  Almost every time I’ve eaten at The Liberty Tree, the night has continued a couple of blocks away at the speakeasy-style bar Church and State.  Located up a flight of stairs (directly above the bar formerly known as Fruit Bat, which will reopen soon in an undisclosed new format), Church and State mixes prohibition style drinks with flair.

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A Cut Above

The Liberty Tree

There are some restaurants you go to in order to be surprised, to taste exotic dishes or strange combinations or old favorites re-imagined in ways you never thought possible.  And then there are restaurants you go to when you want to feel at home, to sit in a comfortable setting and eat the foods you’re accustomed to, maybe with a slight change or a bit of flair, but never straying too far from the original.  The Liberty Tree is decidedly the latter and all the better for it.

A small restaurant on H Street NE, you could easily walk right by if you weren’t looking for it.  

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A Cut Above

Bandolero

One of the young women at the table next to us had gotten up to go to the bathroom, and the other was focused on her phone, carefully Instagram-ing pictures of what she’d eaten. Our friend Amanda gently leaned over and said softly, “You might want to look up.” She lifted her head to find Top Chef celebrity and Bandolero head chef Mike Isabella sitting across from her, calmly pretending to play with her friend’s phone. Rendered near speechless, she stammered a few words of small talk with Chef Isabella before he got up and moved on; she immediately turned to us and said, “Oh my god, I felt like a 13-year old girl!”

Bandolero’s first night was filled with a lot of little moments like this one, moments that made the evening feel like a combination of restaurant opening and movie premiere.

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A Cut Above

Chef Geoff’s (Tysons Corner)

This past weekend we welcomed GW’s class of 2012 (and Georgetown’s) to the ranks of the college graduates. With this time comes the traditional celebratory dinner. I was honored to attend the dinner of known eater Sarah Orton. The restaurant of choice, Chef Geoff’s in Tyson’s Corner. With outposts in Friendship Heights and downtown DC, the Tysons Corner location is a more subdued affair (though not in our room, things were certainly rowdy). The menu was hand selected by the graduate herself and boy did she make some good choices (all on the actual menu, so you too can recreate this meal).

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A Cut Above

Al Dente (formerly La Forchetta)

Al Dente, formerly known as La Forchetta, changed its name due to similarities with other restaurants both in DC and worldwide. Still the same menu, still the same chef, still the same review!

As an Italian, it’s a bit difficult to review an Italian restaurant. So many of my perceptions and opinions surrounding Italian food are inevitably wrapped up in memory and nostalgia, not driven by taste alone. No pizza will ever be better than Emilio’s around the corner; no spaghetti and meatballs will ever be better than my Dad’s on a Sunday.

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