Tom Sietsema checks out two tasting menu experiences this week and finds them both terrifc. He tries out the family-style dinner at G and the omakase menu at Zentan. He calls the former "an Italian spread that rivals what some of the expense-account establishments are serving." Meanwhile, he writes of Zentan, "The few details I'd change would include the schedule and the size of the party. Zentan's $65, many-coursed omakase, which doesn't allow for substitutions, is offered only on Thursday to no more than five diners at a single seating. Food that borders on the glorious deserves a wider audience." [WaPo]
Sietsema finds decent pizza and sandwiches at the new, casual Campono from Bob Kinkead.
A torpedo of tender beef, the sandwich packs in provolone cheese and a slaw that gets its bite from lime juice and jalapeño. Diners need to open wide for Campono's winning egg salad sandwich, too. Its recipe, Kinkead says, was "stolen from Mark Furstenberg," the Washington baker soon to roll out Bread Furst in Upper Northwest. The filling is chunky rather than creamy, and interspersed with diced green bell pepper. [WaPo]
Stefanie Gans reviews At Kaiser's, offering Austrian in Ashburn.
Served in a squat, swivel-closure glass jar, a light beef broth shows off its oniony side and in lieu of noodles, offers strips of herby pancake. Somehow, the slivers achieved stasis: They do not swell from the broth or dissolve into mush, but stay doughy. The wienerschitzel is less surprising, but still good, as pork, pounded to the height of a piece of paper, gains its taste from a heavy breading and frying and a dab of lingonberry jam. [NoVa Mag]
David Hagedorn appreciates the new Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab in DC Magazine this week. "The restaurant fits so seamlessly into DC's clubby scene that its competitors should worry this summer. Joe's may very well claw its way to the top." [DCM]
Warren Rojas takes a walk back in time to visit The Monocle. The menu is hit or miss, but there's a good burger. "The menu remains married to the concept of meat and potatoes. Some of the priciest entrees are a 20-ounce rib-eye ($42) adorned with Toyos' custom maître 'd butter (spiked with jalapenos), a 14-ounce sirloin ($38) typically escorted by scalloped potatoes and steamed vegetables, and grilled lamb chops ($34) accented with balsamic vinegar. Seafood selections run the gamut (smoked salmon carpaccio, roast branzino bathed in champagne sauce), though not all turn out as swimmingly as others." [RC]
Tyler Cowen reviews two places, Kabob House and Yayla Bistro. Of the latter, he says, "Suddenly we have a new Turkish restaurant, and it is one of the best around, definitely worth a visit. More going for the business and yuppie lunch trade than a mom and pop, but not outrageously priced." [TC]
THE BLOGS: The Pasta Man goes to Keren...Bitches Who Brunch give a B- to the Carving Room.