Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman cops to being a "reverse food snob" in this week's review, awarding Rice Paper 2.5 stars despite initially suspecting it would rate lower given that it's an ethnic restaurant with sleek interiors as opposed to divey. Which is maybe just actual food snobbery? Anyway, Kliman reports that this Vietnamese restaurant is a solid addition to the Eden Center.
"By the third course--a plate of snails in a delicate coconut cream sauce tinted yellow from curry, I had a sense that Rice Paper might be not merely legit but in fact a find."
Kliman points out that the service is a little shaky given a young staff and that a few dishes are underwhelming, but mostly he just seems pleased that he gave Rice Paper a chance. Also, watch out for the testicles hidden in that duck dish. [Washingtonian]
Chris Shott visits Blue 44 in Chevy Chase for his Young & Hungry column this week, perhaps an opportunity to figure out why his readers elected it Best New Restaurant last week.
"Maybe the polling victory simply reflects the rarity of a place like Blue 44 within the city’s greater dining zeitgeist. In a year where the loyalties of the coveted young professional set may be split between a handful of trendy places, Blue 44 offers a single rallying point for the families and other outliers."
Then again, maybe it's the comfort food? Shott takes you through the menu, noting that he particularly likes the grilled cheese and the hanger steak, but overall deems it "so-so." [WCP]
Rice Paper [Photo: Holly L./Yelp]