Buzzy Bloomingdale restaurant The Red Hen got the full review treatment in The Washington Post this week. The result is 2.5 stars. The wine is great; the food is inconsistent, he says.
A restaurant called Red Hen ought to ace pouisson. Despite a marinade that includes lemon, garlic and some lyrics from Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair," the wood-grilled young chicken with roasted potatoes and mushrooms shoots blanks. Improved from my maiden trip are sweetbreads dressed up with a sunny egg, a ring of soft polenta and a pea shoot salad punched up with diced bacon. Pierce the egg, and it becomes a golden sauce for the puffy organ meat. "Breakfast for dinner," Friedman calls the rich and satisfying assembly.
Don't miss the housemade pasta, according to Tom Sietsema. [WaPo]
The $20 Diner heads to Russia by way of Arlington, visiting Ruz-Uz. Though less casual than many of the column's featured restaurant, the new place is affordable.
Rus-Uz freely mixes Russian and Uzbek dishes, a commingling that no doubt helps those unfamiliar with Uzbekistan cooking to ease into the experience. But even the familiar here can surprise you, such as the borscht, a maroon liquid that was more acidic than earthy, its vinegary preparation pairing well with the chunks of gamy lamb submerged in the soup. Likewise, the lamb samsa — think a baked puff-pastry turnover — resembled a samosa, but its buttery shell, minced lamb-and-onion filling and herbal notes were so much more refined than the starchy heat so often buried inside its fried cousin from India. [WaPo]
Sietsema's First Bite column focuses on Teddy & the Bully Bar, from the owners of Lincoln. The critic seems divided.
During his spiel, our waiter mentions that dishes are meant to be shared and that they come out of a "roving" kitchen as they're ready — a system that isn't all that appealing for customers when the portions are restrained, as they are here, and when an order of meatloaf comes before a salad. (Die, trend, die!) Buttermilk onion rings make a nice munch, but they're allocated like a garnish. Pickled shrimp with fennel and peppers is a cool start; fried chicken with pickled okra whispers with allspice. [WaPo]
There are new additions to Todd Kliman's roster of places he is dining now. Another nod for Ruz Uz, plus Wheaton's Mi La Cay and Frederick's Ayse. Of Ayse, he says, "The dining room, with its marble floors and white-and-blue color scheme, is cool and inviting on a hot summer day, and despite the almost exhaustive reach of the menu -- 87 items in all, not including specials -- the kitchen is surprisingly consistent." [Washingtonian]
Capitol File features Capella's Grill Room.
"Natural" is the theme of the moment at Capella Georgetown, the luxury hotel brand's first US property. Shouldering the picturesque C&O Canal, the outpost's 70-seat Grill Room specializes in sustainable and local meats grilled and served on the bone, a style that resonates with Esko's upbringing. "In Sweden, we definitely cooked everything on the bone. It just makes meats juicier." Think dry-aged Virginia beef in cuts like a rarely seen bone-in tenderloin, served with a black-truffle potato purée.