DC:gastriques, tomatoes and summer thunderstorms

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Wendyhustonwehaveasolution and I were in the nation’s capital last week supporting one of our biggest clients.  Of course, really tasty sustenance is a MUST anywhere we go, especially for our group of foodies.  Luckily, the location of our hotel was excellent – just a few short steps from the vibrant Chinatown neighborhood.  With many restaurants, a couple shopping options and so many people despite the heat and humidity, it was the perfect place to check out after our long days of work.  We didn’t make any stops at the favored burger joint, Five Guys (sorry Seattle, but there is something inherently better about the locations in the DC area), or the build-it-yourself-place, Fuddruckers.  But we did get our fair share of fabulous grub. 

PS 7’s.

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Image courtesy of PS 7’s

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Long on our recommended list to clients, we ended up checking it out on our first night in town.  Despite a nearly empty house, our ebullient waiter, Gustavo, easily made up for the quiet atmosphere.  With a namesake drink special – the “Lady Gustavo” – we knew he had to be great.  Great service and some tasty drinks in hand, it was the combination of items that graced our tables that really made this place stand out:

 tuna sliders

Homemade sesame-seed buns, a bit of sriracha in the aioli and the perfect fall-apart-after-you-take-a-bite experience. 

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Photo courtesy of The Washingtonian

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 for wendy: buttermilk gnocchi

 Gnocchi: yum!  Gnocchi with goodies like cooked carrots, snap peas and white balsamic foam*?  Yes please!

 

for meggo: sirloin

 Melt in your mouth atop cooked, yet crisp beans.  Savory pine nut custard – a new try, but a good try!

 

the yes please: banana eskimo pops

 

We debated taking a photo.  We definitely should have: banana ice cream covered in dark chocolate, then rolled in rice krispies, then set top down in pecan caramel.  Oh, and they were on a stick. Easily one of our favorite out-to-dinner desserts.  Ever.  That’s saying a lot for girls who have distinctive dessert palettes :).

 * With such menu items as “strawberry gastrique” “lobster vanilla air” and “white balsamic foam”, we had to have Gustavo give us a primer in the latest culinary lingo. For a bit of fun, check this out, too. Schnizzle?

matchbox Chinatown

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Image courtesy of matchbox dc

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Scene: an old Chinese grocery store, turned into a dim, brick-filled space with urban clientele.  And quite crowded for a weekday evening, but with icy gold-medal beers in hand, it was well worth the wait. 

 Side note: Not joking about the gold medal here. The Delerium Tremens won top honors at the World Beer Championships.  Now I just have to figure out if and where I can buy a case of this (STAT!) in the Pacific Northwest.

With a plus one to our duo, we were seated on the second floor of this matchbox-shaped building.  The combination of make-your-cheeks-hurt laughter, good company, a warm and energetic atmosphere and tasty food made the entire experience quite great.  Now, I should point out that this place is marketed as a vintage pizza bistro.  Did we order pizza?  Nope.  Was it still great?  Oh yes!

 to share:

The crab & avocado salad.  Two of my favorite foods, plus some roasted corn.  Pretty much any kind of aioli is a winner in my book, but this tarragon aioli was the perfect addition. 

And check out the photo – see?  Told you it was dark in there! 

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Photo courtesy of Wendy’s smartphone 🙂

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for wendy & th:

The special of the evening – the ribeye steak complimented by cheesy potatoes and asparagus with the option of a delicious and refreshing side salad.

 

for meggo:

the grilled ahi tuna set atop crawfish succotash, okra and fingerling potatoes. 

Any place that serves like okra, grits, crawfish succotash and fried green tomatoes is good in my book. 

 

And, of course, a good night’s eat wouldn’t be complete without a jaunt “home” in the rain.  Pouring down rain, with lightning and thunder, that is.  Hello DC summertime! 

Clyde’s.

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Image courtesy of Clyde’s

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 I should mention that I lived in the DC area twice when I was growing up.  I should also mention that Clyde’s has been a family favorite for quite a long time now, so my suggestion to go to this place was (at least in my humble opinion) well-founded.  However, the decision that put me over the top was a glance at the menu online.  Good thing the entire experience lived up to my memory, and the menu was just as fantastic when plated and in front of us!

 the yes please:

not dessert this time, but exactly what we needed: Kir royales

 

to share

Tomato salad.  We love us some tomatoes – which comes in handy here.  Atop two kinds of tomatoes, this simple herb, feta and olive oil topping was perfectly light & refreshing.

 

for wendy:

Fettuccine with Sun Gold Tomatoes, add chicken.  Brilliant idea to add the protein – and extra tasty too.  And tomatoes again!  Yum!

 

for meggo:

Seafood linguine fra diavolo.  This was the dish on the menu that influenced my decision, I’ll be honest.  And boy was it good.  Spicy and quite void of the fishy taste that this dish can sometimes have.  Plus, tomatoes!  We certainly had our fair share of lycopene in one sitting.

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Photo courtesy of flickr.  My dish almost looked like this!

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Followed by small scoops of Haagen Dazs ice cream and another nighttime summer thunderstorm, it was another fabulous dining experience.

Chinatown is holding its own as a food destination, and there will undoubtedly be more places to try next time we’re in town.  And there will definitely be a next time!

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2 Responses to “DC:gastriques, tomatoes and summer thunderstorms”

  1. wendyhustonwehaveasolution Says:

    Well Meggo, I must correct one small item from above. I did partake in Five Guys on Wednesday evening. After a long week of amazing dinners, I was craving some real comfort food, so I headed out for a quick and yummy bite that completely hit the spot!

    PS – Five Guys in PDX = good. Five Guys in DC = FANTASTIC!!

  2. meganlinkster Says:

    Yum! I’m jealous of the delicious food you guys enjoyed while you were away – a nice reward for the hard work and dodging of thunderstorms.

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