Though Bethesda's Food Wine & Co. had a difficult opening—chef shuffles and a sad inherited kitchen—a new chef has saved the day, according to Tom Sietsema. The Washington Post critic awarded restaurateur Francis Namin's latest venture two stars this week in no small part due to a menu from chef Michael Harr.
Sietsema kicks off the review with Harr's whimsical bar snacks:
"...the opening munchies also include irresistible fried artichokes, piled on a puddle of emulsified olive oil, egg yolk and lemon juice, and a bowl of fried peanuts that take an Asian turn with crushed peppercorns and cinnamon in their seasoning and sesame seeds freckling their sticky-hot surface."
The critic finds a lot to love about the extensive wine list, theatrical red curry mussels and the rib-eye steak. The pizza, while good, doesn't meet DC's newly high bar on pies, he says—and same goes for the burgers, which are "nothing to Yelp about." [WaPo]
Todd Kliman visited the recently opened Fiola and makes the requisite comparisons between it and chef Fabio Trabocchi's previous stations at Maestro and Fiamma. The critic had plenty of praise for Trabocchi's dishes—the lasagna, the grilled black bass—but he reserved some especially kind words for pastry chef Jason Gehring: "His ricotta bombolini, his zuppa inglese with lemon granita and fresh mint, and his tiny tray of petit fours were all unimprovable — among the best, most rewarding desserts I've eaten this year." [Washingtonian]
THE BLOGS: Everybody (and by "everybody" we mean Penn Quarter Living, EatMore DrinkMore, the aforementioned Kliman and Sietsema in his First Bite) went to Fiola this week; DC-Wrapped Dates found Pizzeria Paradiso "adequate."
Food Wine & Co. [Photo: Yelp]