Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema files a review of New York City import Boqueria for this week's review, awarding the Dupont Circle restaurant 2.5 stars. And while Sietsema isn't ready yet to put DC's other tapas restaurants on warning, he kind of does anyway, writing:
"The city's best-known tapas destinations, Jaleo in Penn Quarter and Estadio in Logan Circle, needn't sweat the arrival of a like-minded competitor across town - yet. But they should know that the youthful Boqueria has some truly special dishes in its arsenal, and some enthusiastic soldiers gunning for the top."
That enthusiasm, he remarks comes from the servers who speak in exclamation points — and whose excitement is actually backed up by the quality of the dishes. Sure, there are misses, but Sietsema digs the baby squid with charred scallion, sauteed spinach and garlic and more. The critic notes that "[u]ntil Boqueria came along, chef Brian Murphy, formerly of Policy, hadn't cooked Spanish. Eating those specials, a diner is led to believe otherwise." [WaPo]
Ann Limpert visits the newly revamped 2941 out in Falls Church and offers it two stars for its turn from fine dining into something a little more accessible. Though the entrees are still praise-worthy, the Washingtonian critic is less crazy about the snacky portion of the menu, pulling out all kinds of synonyms for boring.
"I left my first two dinners at the revamped 2941, where both tabs for two ran more than $250, feeling like it was a restaurant caught in an identity crisis—a Zegna-suited businessman suddenly embracing casual Friday. But then I went for lunch, and one dish seemed the perfect symbol of what the place is trying to be. It was a burger with a patty fashioned from ground duck and foie gras."
That burger, she writes, "was exactly the right synthesis of high and low, ambitious and relaxed" — exactly what 2941 was going for with its revamp. [The Washingtonian]
Jess Voelker files on Haven Pizzeria Napoletana for this month's issue of The Washingtonian, concluding: "The clam pizza is the best thing on the menu, but the tomato pie (with or with-out mozzarella) and white Pie Bianco are straightforward and tasty. More complicated options are less rewarding: Bitter spinach beats out competing flavors on a white pizza with mushrooms." [The Washingtonian]
Because apparently it is Pizza Week everywhere, Going Out Guru Justin Rude revisits Del Ray Pizzeria under chef Eric Reid: "You won't go wrong eating the pies: The classic pizza selections are good, and some of the thin-crust ones are better. But if that's all you order, you're missing out on chef Eric Reid's talents. Try the Southern dishes and American comfort-food favorites that are his specialty, and you can dine very well indeed." [WaPo]
THE BLOGS: DMV Dining likes Boqueria, too, but determines that the sangria isn't strong enough; Bitches Who Brunch completely pan their brunch at TruOrleans, writing: "Barely edible, horrible service, and other ridiculous things such as required gratuity and the inability to scramble eggs. The only saving grace is it has a decent patio."