Saturday, May 28, 2011

El Centro-DF

El Centro DF...Distrito Federal...or Federal District for those of you who don't have any Spanglish. I only had one meal here, and I was in a hurry, but it was tasty. What you see here is the beef tongue taco combo with pureed black beans and rice on the side. Very nice.

When you walk in you only see the front few tables, but there is an upstairs and a's very bohemian, but the chef knows what he's doing. This is a Sandoval restaurant and few do Mexican food as well as he does.

This is the kitchen you walk through to get to the rest of the restaurant. Very high-tech.

If you stop in be sure to try some of their ultra-high-end tequilas...they looked good but I was working and generally don't booze it up on Wendesday afternoon.....


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Newton's Table (or Dennis' Dream)

Meet Dennis Friedman. He's a Potomac hometown-boy. He spent a few years at Bezu at the corner of River and Falls Rds., at the spot formerly held by Fritz Sigfried at Cafe Mozart.
After several years of working at Bezu he decided to try his own thing. Welcome to his restaurant. Newton's Table.

The first thing you'll notice, after the friendly, knowledgeable servers, is that Dennis is an artist.Not only does the food look good, it actually tastes good too! This is seared tuna appetizer. The sauce was almost buttery.A little amuse bouche from Dennis. Nice Gougeres. This is the tuna wrap. Nicely seasoned with some good texture from the lettuce and cabbage inside. The tuna was warm, but not hot enough to wilt everything.

The bleu cheese was chunky and the burger was cooked perfectly and well seasoned. Presentation is obviously important to Dennis.

I'm looking forward to having dinner there with some of my partners-in-crime in July. I'm sure they'll all enjoy it.

If you stop in, tell Dennis that I said hello.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Home Cookin'....Softshells Provencal

Some folks don't like 'em. My wife doesn't like them. She'll pick regular crabs, but can't bring herself to eat them shell and all. I like them deep fried on a roll, or Provencal style. I remember the recipe from my days at Legal Seafood, back when I was working saute. So you start out with crabs from a reputable source. Don't buy them just anywhere. You want them to be alive when you get them.Dice a couple of tomatoes, quarter some mushrooms, juice a lemon, chop some parsley....

I dredge the crabs in a some flour/salt/pepper, then saute in grapeseed oil and butter. 3 minutes per side, shell side down first. When they are finished, put them on a pan in a warm oven to keep them hot.

Add a little more butter, then some minced garlic. Give that a minute or two, then put the mushrooms in the pan. Give them a minute or two, then toss in the tomatoes. after about 30 seconds put in a splash of white wine. Let that simmer for a sec then deglaze with some fresh lemon juice. Remove the pan from the heat, swirl in a tablespoon of chilled butter, salt/pepper to taste.

Put the veggies center plate, then put the crabs on top. Spoon the sauce over, add a little parsley and lemon et voila!

Give 'em a shot!

Thanks for reading.