Tom Sietsema visits the Hilton brothers' U Street newcomer Brixton for this week's review, noting that it's "one of those rare places where a customer can find plenty to criticize but still look forward to visiting." The Washington Post critic awards the restaurant 1.5 stars, pointing to some of its merits (like that rooftop deck), but also missteps:
This kitchen should nail fish and chips, but we end up leaving most of the leathery battered cod on the plate. (The skinny french fries were quickly Hoovered.) Brixton's beef Wellington is a deconstructed version, a pallid slice of filet arranged with a greasy cap of mushroom-lined pastry. Gordon Ramsay would curse both classics.
But among the high points of the Brixton are the creative charcuterie plate, cocktails from stellar bartender Jack Caminos, a salad of heirloom tomatoes and cucumber, pork bangers and, oh yes, that rooftop. [WaPo]
Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman filed a duo of Mexican restaurant reviews in the magazine's September issue — not just that Bandolero slam, but also a two-star review of Jackie Greenbaum's El Chucho. While the tacos and the consistency of the kitchen are issues at El Chucho, the critic has praise for a menu of snacks from Jackie's chef Diana Davila-Boldin:
Many dishes look thrown together but taste like the product of the generations who refined them and handed them down. Grilled corn comes in the kind of plastic basket that usually holds hot dogs. Spritzed with lime and dusted with cheese, it's a minor masterpiece of sweetness, smoke, and richness.
Kliman also notes El Chucho's emphasis on cocktails — and just how busy the place is: "Within the hour, the space was jammed: All the porkpie-hatted denizens of the neighborhood seemed to have descended en masse." [Washingtonian]
Unum joins the three-stars club with a review from Jessica Voelker of the Washingtonian, who seems charmed by the small dining room as well as much of its small menu from starters and entrees to dessert and cocktails: "Herbs pop up everywhere. Meals begin with a bread basket accompanied by sage-studded butter and a cilantro-heavy chimichurri. Perfect pillows of gnocchi with basil, fried artichokes, mushrooms, peas, and asparagus come tossed in a knockout verbena-scented butter." [Washingtonian]
Ann Limpert also files for the Washingtonian, this time with a two-star review of Potomac's Tavern at River Falls. The popular restaurant would be even more so if it fixed its appetizers and desserts, Limpert writes, but she's a fan of the entrees: "Shrimp and grits was perfect, with big, beautifully seared Gulf shrimp over thick chipotle-Gouda grits. A rack of Berkshire pork, brined in honey, soy sauce, and herbs, was juicy and tender but not overbrined, as many are. And then there are those oversize Cadillac crabcakes—jumbo-lump meat bound the old-fashioned way, with eggs, mayo, Old Bay, and dry mustard. They rank in the area's top tier." [Washingtonian]
THE BLOGS: Eat the District finds a great bang for your buck at The Greek Spot; Bitches Who Brunch give Peacock Cafe a C- for mediocre food and service and an A to the "chill" Wonderland Ballroom; DMV Dining celebrates peaches at Blue Duck Tavern and digs brunch at Black Market Bistro.