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Weekend in DC: Dining report

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Weekend in DC: Dining report

HungryHoward | Sep 23, 2002 11:28 AM

Thanks to many of you, especially Pam, for providing feedback on my dining itinerary for my quick weekend in DC.

We had a great time in the district, though with the weather was a bit more tolerable than 88 degrees with rediculous humidity.

Anyway, here's a quick report:

Saturday

OLD EBBITT GRILL -- Just what we needed for lunch: a quick, easy, convenient destination for a couple sandwiches. The food wasn't spectacular, but we managed. I had a Reuben that was a bit light on the sauerkraut. My wife seemed to be pleased with her crabcake sandwich; I thought it had too much filler. Good fries and fruit (choice) accompanied the sandwiches. Service was good. One complaint is that the hostess neglected to ask for a smoking preference and I just forgot to ask. It was brought to my attention at the end of the meal when a neighboring diner started puffing smoke in our direction.

KINKAID's -- Overall, was very pleased with this popular DC seafood restaurant. Waited 5 minutes past our reservation time before being escorted upstairs. There, the hostess brought us to a table -- way in the back in a confined area near the restrooms. No ambience at all, with only two other tables in viwe. Hardly an area where one would want to be trapped for 2 hours. We sat there for 2 minutes before I went up and had the hostess move us to a table right off the food prep area. While it was a little loud (love to hear the chefs bark orders at the food preparers -- "What are you doing? Replate this cod now!"

Beyond that, they have a wonderful wine selection; the list even provides a scale for how light or full bodied the bottle is. Selected a nice Caymus Conundrum to compliment our entree selections.

As expected, the food was great, with quality ingredients prepared just right. Opened with a sampler of oyesters that were quite tasty. Wish my wife enjoyed clams as they looked pretty good and popular, too. For the entree, I had the scallops, which were five plump morsels accompanied with steamed spinach and a light white wine sauce with smoked bacon. The bacon was a bit overpowering but an enjoyable dish nonetheless. My wife was pleased with her hallibut, a nice-sized piece accompanied with the ubiquitous spinach. For a starch we shared the mashed potatoes.

After graciously perusing the dessert menu we decided to go elsewhere. Afterall, as we were only in town for one evening, why not take in another restaurant? (See below.)

If I have one complaint about Kinkead's it was undoubtedly the service. In a word, our server was indifferent. He didn't show much of a personality nor any interest in our being at the restaurant spending good money. He did two things well: write down our order and continue to fill our wine glasses throughout the evening. I expected more. Heck, maybe we would have had better service if we stayed at the table off the restroom...

BUTTERFIELD 9 -- After dinner, we wondered in the direction of the White House in seach of dessert. We first went to the Hotel Washington to check out the roof. Unreal. Too many people wearing shorts and fannypacks at 10:45 p.m. From there we went to the Occidental, but decided it wasn't what we wanted. We walked out the back door of the Willard, turned the corner onto 14th St. and entered Butterfield 9. Nice looking restaurant, though it seemed a bit slow for a Saturday. We grabbed seats at the bar and ordered a dessert sampler. As they were out of the Riesling my wife ordered she then asked for a glass of champagne, which was very nice. I settled for coffee. The dessert sampler was perfect: two bongo bongo cream puffs, miniture classic creme brulee, cherried jubilee, blueberry cheesecake, and orange chocolate ice cream in a pastry shell. Each was delightful and filling, too. We walked off our dinner in trekking back to our hotel.

MARTIN'S -- Thanks to the board, I spent some time last week looking for a brunch in Georgetown. All the time, my wife had a place in mind. We went to Martin's (one block north of M on Wisconsin), where she apparently frequented when she was in DC for school. They give you this giant brunch menu with six or so pages of items (eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, salads, etc.). We ended up with the breakfast sandwich (scrambled eggs, cheese and bacon [instead of sausage] on a croissant) and the corned beef hash. All in all it was pretty good and we'd go back again.

Thanks to those that provided direction/feedback in advance of our visit. Let me know if I can answer any questions about the above restaurants ... or any in Chicago.

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