Washington, D.C. – 11/13/16 – Momofuku CCDC & the Dabney

Momofuku CCDC
Much of the improvement in the DC dining scene can be attributed to the opening of branches of restaurants from elsewhere.  And while I try to avoid places that I can find at home, in this case having a Momofuku only a short walk from the convention center was pretty fantastic.

Brisket buns

Momo bap

The Dabney
Once again Bon Appetit’s best new restaurants list has not lead me astray.  The influence of Chef Langhorne’s time at McCrady’s is definitely apparent.  Such a cozy vibe just perfect for a place with only a wood fire.  Everything was wonderful and a repeat visit will certainly be made my next time in DC.

18 month broadbent’s country ham, biscuit & house condiments

Pork rillette, grilled ciabatta, mustard seed, ramps, fennel & herbs

Maryland blue crab, sunchokes, bearnaise & aleppo

Winter squash cooked in the fire, goat feta, walnuts, mustard greens & fresh horseradish

Confit potato salad, broadbent’s bacon, parsley, pickled mustard seed & cured egg yolk

Whistle pig farm pork cabbage wraps – pork loin and shoulder, roasted cauliflower, fermented chili, apple, peanuts, pickles, herbs

Fruit crumble

Pittsburgh – 10/14/16 – Morcilla

We loved everything about Morcilla except the noise level.  The lighting was not conducive to photography but these dishes were far far better than they may look here.  I thought that we would be taking much of the “All of the Meats,” and enormous platter of charcuterie, with us but we finished it all.  Absolutely fantastic. As were the gin & tonics. Working my way through the Bon Appetit best new restaurant’s list never disappoints.

Sardinas Picantonas – preserved sardines in hot sauce

Who Cooks for You Farm “Rocky Balboa” Salad – smoked goat cheese, asian pear, toasted pistachio, concord grape vinaigrette

All of the Meats

Churro de Calabaza – roasted pumpkin churro, tomato membrillo, manchego, vadouvan curry

Cordero En Morena – Jamison farm spiced lamb meatballs, sumac yogurt, golden raisin and leek escabeche

San Francisco – 9/4/16 – Kin Khao and the Progress

Kin Khao
Months later I wish I could rewind and do over this day.  I love everything about Kin Khao and would be quite happy to eat here on every single trip to San Francisco.  There are few places where I eat past the point of being full because I literally cannot stop.

Pak Pow – lager, appleton reserve rum, allspice dram, ginger, lemon, nutmeg

Nam Tok Beans – ayocote morado beans tossed isaan-style with lime, chili, rice powder, light soy, shallots, scallions, mint, cilantro

Som Tum Papaya Salad – spicy chili lime fish sauce dressing, green beans, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimp, peanuts

Pad Kee Mao – spicy stir-fried drunken noodles with ground pork, rice noodles, garlic, birds eye chili, onions, bell peppers, holy basil

Khao Mun Gai – chicken fat rice, ginger-poached chicken, served with pim’s secret sauce and a cup of chicken broth

The Progress
It took me far too long to get to the Progress.  As I knew I would, I loved everything about it.  The space is gorgeous, service is fantastic, and all of the food as excellent as expected.  But now I a torn and I see Progress/State Bird double dinners in my future.
(Apologies for the caption-less photos which is what happens when it takes me too long to update this blog.)

melon with sesame & dukkah, zucchini bread with pickled carrot creme fraiche, fried pickles with buttermilk & smoked hot sauce, claim cocktail with avocado & seven pepper cracker

pig’s head charcuterie, korean melon, fish sauce & chiles

hog island sweetwaters, yuzu pickled local nori

Washington, DC – 9/30/15 – Masseria & Thip Khao

Despite the protestations of two dear friends, there are great cocktails to be found in DC, but perhaps just not at the places you would expect.  We stopped at Masseria only for a pre-dinner drink but ended up having a second round and a few snacks.  Such a fantastic space that feels like you are anywhere but DC…perhaps SoCal….maybe Austin. I’m definitely looking forward to returning for dinner!

Thip Khao
Unfortunately we ordered so much, and debated dishes for so long, that two months later I have no idea what anything was.  Suffice it to say it was all fantastic.  My only complaint is that it was so loud that conversation was actually impossible.


Seattle – 12/13/14 – Sitka & Spruce and Westward

Sitka & Spruce
On a surprisingly warm and beautiful December day Sitka & Spruce was a lovely walk from my hotel. It makes up one part of a large space which houses several other concepts and for a moment it was a bit difficult to tell where exactly it was. The room is bright and perfect for brunch which is when I happened to visit. While my salad perhaps wasn’t the most exciting, it was well made and the fantastic soft scrambled eggs have me hooked to return for dinner.

A salad of young lettuces, ash roasted shallot and hazelnut

Seared halloumi, soft scrambled eggs, brussles & chili vinegar


My photos do not even begin to do justice to the incredible diorama that makes up the back of the bar. Unfortunately by sunset the day became a bit to chilly to sit outside although they do have blankets. But it seems that Westward may be Seattle’s even better version of my Chicago favorite Big Star, i.e. Perfect for Sunday Funday (and really any other day). I’m happy to say that this year’s Bon Appetit best new restaurants list hasn’t let me down yet! The gigantes beans are amazing and lamb with tzatziki may be my last meal so this dish was perfect.

Jar of house pickled fruits & vegetables

Wood baked gigantes beans, tomato, feta, marjoram

Braised Anderson Ranch Lamb Shoulder, herb & onion salad, pomegranate, tzatziki, pita

House made sorbet