[Photo: R. Lopez]
Todd Kliman showers praise on Bloomingdale's Red Hen in his recent review, writing that the restaurant offers soulful, simple dishes — the kind diners could make at home, but Red Hen does it way better. Kliman calls the asparagus soup a knockout, the pasta effortless and delicate, and deems the pan-seared sweetbreads as the most comforting dinner ever. He writes:
No restaurant in recent memory has a better understanding of the gap between what we say we want and what we truly want than the Red Hen, which is why a quiet, leafy block of DC's Bloomingdale has been transformed six nights a week into a small traffic jam.
The lovefest continued today, with Kliman tweeting that he thinks it is the best new restaurant of the year. [Washingtonian]
Tom Sietsema sent a postcard from Richmond for his review this week, writing home about dishes like peach gazpacho at Dutch & Company, stroopwafel at Acacia, steamed Olde Salt clams at Rappahannock, and fried rice with kimchi at the The Roosevelt. [WaPo]
Sietsema also stopped in at the new Potomac branch of Baltimore institution Attman's Delicatessen for his First Bite column, and found himself disappointed by the dry corned beef. "'Melts in your mouth' teases the neon sign above the deli counter. Even when I ask for 'fatty' corned beef, the stack of sliced meat arrives lean," writes Sietsema. The deli's bright green half sour pickle and chocolate-top cookie scored high marks, though. [WaPo]
For his $20 Diner column, Tim Carmen states that Taqueria el Poblano isn't a run of the mill Tex-Mex joint. The evidence: they make their own mayonnaise. And they don't use lard either. The must-order items at Taqueria el Poblana's that Carmen suggests are the restaurant's L.A.-style crispy taco and rice-less stuffed burrito.