This week, Tom Sietsema explores a restaurant that he says is the "dream of every vegan who ever wished she could dine as stylishly as her meat-inclined brethren" — Elizabeth's Gone Raw. The restaurant (only open once a week) earns two stars from the Washington Post critic for its five-course vegan menu that (mostly) doesn't really seem vegan at all. A zucchini lasagna tastes of cheese and tomatoes even though it has neither. Flatbread is made out of hemp, flax and walnuts.
"This is food with abundant complexity and unexpected appeal. As with every dinner, a spoonful of sorbet marks the halfway point. Tonight, cool cantaloupe on a spoonful of basil oil serves as punctuation. Savory tartlets follow; spinach, fennel and balsamic sauce lend heft to the entree."
The only dish the critic says is noticeably lacking — the one that prompts his companion to notice he's eating vegan — is a strawberry shortcake on "almond shells that bear an unfortunate similarity to birdseed." But still, Sietsema clearly was pleased with his meal at Elizabeth's Gone Raw. Owner Elizabeth Petty, he says, is "serving food of — and with — consequence." [WaPo]
Todd Kliman definitely did not enjoy his first taste of Logan Circle's new taqueria, El Centro DF. High prices, weak drinks and an unpaced meal were among the critic's gripes, leading him to declare that El Centro "is such a presumptuous place it's hard to like even when you want to." By contrast, he also visited Taste in Olney, a mezze lounge that's "positively charming, with an insinuating warmth that animates every aspect of the experience." [Washingtonian]
THE BLOGS: DC-Wrapped Dates deems Grillfish "perfectly decent" but wouldn't recommend Urbana's brunch to anyone; We Love DC could rave about the oysters at Senart's Oyster and Chop House for hours and sees a lot of potential in Justin's Café near Nationals Park.