Tom Sietsema finds highs and lows at the new Lupo Verde, which he previews in First Bite. A positive: the homemade pastas and cocktails. Less enticing: the stale bread and pizza. "This is not a menu where you can point your finger anywhere on it and pull up a winner. Lupo Verde requires you to make a few visits to find its charms, which, if not abundant, are present." [WaPo]
The critic awards two stars, however, to Le Vieux Logis, a Bethesda classic now under new ownership.
As a result of the change, clams casino, shrimp cocktail and a chef from El Salvador have left the building. New to the script: steak frites, duck confit and baked Alaska as an occasional dessert special. The cocktails at Le Vieux Logis remain the size of bird baths — a good thing, in this imbiber's estimation — while the dining room, its walls festooned with Renoir prints and china plates, continues to show every one of its 34 years.
Siestema likes dishes like duck confit, French onion soup and steak frites. [WaPo]
The $20 Diner finds plenty to like at Bob's Shanghai 66, one of the city's few options for soup dumplings. With a huge menu, though, there are misses as well.
To best appreciate Bob's Shanghai, you need to lock your preconceptions in a dark closet and scare them into submission (assuming you have any, of course). The spicy pig ears are offally good, these sporty strips of gelatinous meat and crisp cartilage, a textural marvel made more complex with a light slathering of house-made chili sauce and Chinese five spice. The cold eggplant may be the singularly most unappetizing dish I've ever seen — strips of the plant have been cooked down to something pale and sickly — but the soft flesh has surrendered itself fully to the salty, umami-rich garlic sauce in a way that compensates for all aesthetic deficiencies. [WaPo]
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