This week, Tom Sietsema files a review of Seasonal Pantry, the Shaw supper club whose owner Dan O'Brien has been in the news lately given his forthcoming Top Chef appearance and outspokenness on the subject of fried chicken and doughnuts. Sietsema very much liked the dinners he's had at Seasonal Pantry, awarding it 2.5 stars and writing that it "is my kind of dinner party. Good friends, free-flowing wine, a stellar dish or two ... add up to a night to remember." The critic recalls one night in particular:
A friend is midway into his story about the night he had dinner at Julia Child's home when a rival for the group's attention shows up. Foie gras has that kind of power on an assembly of food lovers. O'Brien makes a torchon from seasoned, poached duck liver, and the sliced indulgence is as good as any I've had in years.
Despite some undercooked potatoes accompanying the pork entree and policy that charges an extra $50 per course for substitutions, Sietsema seems pleased with his meal from start to finish — a hopes O'Brien overheard his table's "murmurs of pleasure." [WaPo]
Nevin Martell assesses just how New York the pizza at Clarendon's newly opened Bronx Pizza really is for the Washington Post this week: "The main attraction is the cheese pizza (jumbo slice, $2.75; 16-inch pie, $14.95; 20-inch, $17.95). Crackly at the edges, the crust is soft enough at the center that you can fold it in half for NYC-style consumption. Even better is the pepperoni (jumbo slice, $3.25; 16-inch, $17.95; 20-inch, $21.95), which has just the right ratio of sauce to cheese and meat and grease." [WaPo]
Caitlin Dewey files on the dive bar that is Red Derby for the City Paper, arguing that its Derby Burger is king on a menu that is everything one should expect from a dive bar: "Red Derby's one-page menu—dog-eared, grease-stained, and apparently unchanging—promises every drunk-food favorite except jumbo pizza. Grilled cheese? Check. Deep-fried shrimp? Half-price on Sundays. The servings are greasy and generous, served in red baskets like an old-school diner, and obviously intended for consumption with one of Red Derby's 50-plus canned beers." [WCP]
The Hill's Mike Laws believes Sixth Engine could one day "carry the banner" for its newly emerging neighborhood. The twists on traditional American dishes go over well for Laws, who writes: "The 'pork roll' — said on the menu, tantalizingly, to consist of 'belly, tenderloin, cauliflower slaw, baked beans and blueberry barbecue' — exceeded whatever expectations its ambiguous name pointed up (we thought we might get sushi or something), arriving at the table in a portion fit for a lumberjack, the tenderloin ensconced within the surrounding portion of belly." [The Hill]
THE BLOGS: DMV Dining declares that Roberto Donna is back with a review of Al Dente; DC-Wrapped Dates writes that Floriana is "a solid neighborhood spot"; Bitches Who Brunch like but are not terribly impressed by Zengo's bottomless brunch; We Love DC describes Elizabeth's Gone Raw as "art on a plate."
Seasonal Pantry [Photo: Facebook]