Despite a very positive First Bite not long ago, Tom Sietsema comes away with a more mixed impression of Nopa Kitchen + Bar. He awards the restaurant from Ashok Bajaj just 1.5 stars.
I wish there were more "sex" to tell you about. Gnocchi with glazed mushrooms is not something the Italian at my table recognized; like her, I found the appetizer slick on the tongue and funky in fragrance. Fish entrees have been particularly disappointing. Skate on parsnip puree with pieces of rhubarb tastes like winter colliding with spring, a misguided notion made worse by oddly leathery fish. Silken-textured Chilean sea bass needs to lose its dessert-sweet baby eggplant, or at least the chef needs to dial back the sugar in the vegetable.
The fruit pies and the fried chicken receive more respect. [WaPo]
Meanwhile, MXDC from Todd English gets skewered in the First Bite column. "The only thing clear to me is the exit," says the chef, who is disappointed by crab guacamole, scallop seviche and duck tacos. "Yet another snack you don't have to try because I took one for the team: the pasty, open-face quesadilla decked out with goat cheese, arugula and smoked chili mayonnaise." [WaPo]
Northern Virginia Magazine's blog pays tribute to Weenie Beanie, Arlington's source for half smokes. "I am sated not only by the meaty treat, but content in knowing this off-the-beaten path locale still exists with no massive public relations campaign and no James Beard award winner behind the grill. It doesn't need to do more than serve its signature," writes Kate V. Comfort. [NoVa Mag]
THE BLOGS: Capital Cooking enjoys the service at The Grill Room...UrbanDaddy pays a visit to Bardo.
[Photo: R. Lopez]