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Sietsema Enjoys Crostini, Negronis at The Red Hen

Tom Sietsema swings by Bloomingdale's latest, The Red Hen, and discovers that everything there is smoky.

I'm recalling the Red Hen's twist on a negroni, made with smoldering mezcal, and also its ricotta slathered on crostini. The cheese takes on a smoky perfume from time spent on a lip of the large hearth in Red Hen's open kitchen.

Crostini, beef tongue and rigatoni all make a fine first impression, though he's not sold on the sweetbreads. Also overkill — all the hens featured in the decor. [WaPo]

The $20 Diner column hits up a new kid on the block: Mothership. Tim Carman finds unique dishes such as Louisiana sheephead and "spice route" chicken noodle soup.

Maybe it's the 3 Stars Brewing Co.'s Peppercorn Saison talking — I admit that I sucked down several of these citrusy, slightly spicy farmhouse ales — but already I can't imagine the Park View neighborhood without Mothership, as if Boillon's restaurant actually were a docking station where locals could seek refuge and refueling. Come to think of it, maybe the 87-seat Mothership is the gastronomic equivalent of the P-Funk Mothership, bringing a funky collision of ingredients to the people instead of a throbbing bassline and glitter costumes. [WaPo]

Todd Kliman adds Wiseguy Pizza to his list of places where he's eating right now, and says the Mount Vernon Triangle restaurant has totally nailed the smell of a real New York pizzeria.

This is a by-the-slice operation, for the most part, and the slices are mostly rewarding (the fewer the toppings, the better), with excellent thin crusts that crisp up nicely with a few minutes in the brick oven after you place your order. The best of the bunch is the Margherita, a loaded-up alternative to the spare Neapolitan version and a pie that belongs in the conversation of best in the city. [Washingtonian]

Don Rockwell visits Indian restaurant Masala Art and recommends the lunch buffet.

Rara Gosht was the star of the entire buffet, a steam tray filled up with succulent, well-seasoned chopped lamb that tasted like ? lamb, really *good* lamb. In this dish, you'd find the occasional quartered kokam as well (or at least I think it was kokam). ...This was great lamb meat, having that strong, gamey taste that I *love* in lamb, and was worth the $9.50 price of the buffet all by itself. [DR]

THE BLOGS: DMV Dining tries coffee-spiked venison at Cedar...Capital Cooking wants to try more Rakia at Ambar...Bitches Who Brunch give an A+ to Le Grenier's brunch.

Cedar

822 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20004 202 637 0012

Le Grenier

502 H Street Northeast, , DC 20002 (202) 544-4999 Visit Website

Masala Art

1101 4th Street Southwest, , DC 20024 (202) 554-1101 Visit Website

The Red Hen

1822 1st Street Northwest, , DC 20001 (202) 525-3021 Visit Website

Ambar

523 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

The Red Hen

1822 1st St. NW Washington, DC

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