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In my previous post, I pretty much wrote about how I wasn’t doing much cooking. Well, let me assure you - it doesn’t mean I haven’t been eating! More cooking and recipes will follow, but here are some fabulous restaurants I’ve tried lately!
Jose Andre’s latest installation to open in the district, it serves tapas-style Mexican and Latin food. Paul and I went with another couple and ordered a plethora of amazing dishes. Overall, we were very impressed with the fresh tasting food and unique and modern take on classics like tacos or enchiladas. We really loved the chicken and chorizo taco, a slow roasted pork taco, guacamole (with goat cheese), braised short ribs, salmon and passion fruit ceviche and some pretty decent margaritas. I wouldn’t say the best Mexican food I’ve ever had, but definitely a cool atmosphere and great place to meet for drinks and snacks that are really inventive. 401 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004; (703) 413-8181
These are pretty much the ideal thing to stuff in your mouth at midnight after a few too many drinks. These empanadas are baked, not fried, so while they are rich and tasty, there isn’t so much to feel guilty about. My favorites are the Jamaican, stuffed with ground beef, curry and diced potatoes with an ever-so-slightly sweet yellow cornmeal crust and the Chorizo empanada stuffed with spicy chorizo, rice and black beans. Both are pretty spicy and so very, very good. At about $3 per hefty empanada, they are probably also the cheapest take-out near
Paul and I have discovered this brewery has a Shirlington location with happy hour every day from 4-7 pm with $3 beers and half price appetizers. I enjoy their Irish Red Ale and Capitol Kolsch, but all of their beers are on happy hour special. With plenty of outdoor seating, I envision us spending many warm evenings there after work. Their menu is predictable brewery fare and nothing to rave about, but the place is always packed. 2700 S. Quincy St. Arlington, VA
I've mentioned this restaurant before because of their amazing Moscow Mule cocktail. Even though we intended on sitting at the bar, our party of 4 couldn't find seating, so we put our name in at the restaurant. We figured we could still select from the menu of small plates regularly offered at the bar, however, we were told that the Eat Bar is now completely separate from Tallula (despite sharing the space) and that we couldn't even order the cocktails offered at the bar, unless is was a "classic." We were crushed at the thought of going without our Moscow Mules, which was pretty much the reason we went there in the first place, so we practically begged our waiter to ask, even though he assured us they couldn't do it. Well, of course, he came back and said, yes, indeed, they would be happy to meet our request. So, that was a rocky start, but we actually had a fabulous evening. They offer an amuse-yourself menu of about 10 small plates on the dinner menu, in addition to appetizers, salads and main courses, so we ordered a huge platter of those since we were in the mood for snacking. I had an amazing crab stuffed wonton, mini barbecued pork sandwich, fried cheesy risotto fritter, and crostini with goat cheese. They also offer more whimsical plates like the mini-chorizo-corndog and baby burger. Overall, there is a really nice mix of upscale entrees and down to earth classics. Just go to the Eat Bar for snacks (like charcuterie and cheese boards, bacon wrapped figs and fresh oysters) and amazing cocktails, but don't overlook Tallula for a great dinner.
Tallula is owned by the same group as Evening Star Cafe, Rustico and Vermillion in Alexandria. I've been to all of them except Vermillion and highly recommend them. The wonderful thing about these restaurants is that they limit the mark up on wine to about $10 per bottle, meaning that if they sell the wine at their store, Planet Wine, for $15, you won't pay more than $25 for it in the restaurant. This is a rare and beautiful thing, especially in DC, where with all the steakhouses and power-dining, one rarely sees anything on wine lists under $40. Tallula/EatBar 2761 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-338-5051.
I'm off to devour another dinner of Tyler's Green Chili Enchiladas. Happy Cooking!