Tom Sietsema's First Bite of steakhouse STK is less than flattering. He says the place feels like it should be in Vegas. "Men, many in suits, file in after the Barbie dolls and survey the space with expressions of appreciation. Their look is the sort one generally sees outside gentlemen's clubs and inside bachelor parties."
Service is overly attentive, says the critic. As for the food, skip the sides and the "Shrimp Rice Krispies." But the steak is fine .[WaPo]
In lieu of a traditional review, Tom Sietsema takes a dinner cruise on Nina's Dandy in the Magazine this week. Order the prime rib, and be prepared for mediocre wine, Manhattans in a champagne flute and almost-absent appetizers.
The portions are titanic. Shrimp stuffed with crab are draped in a creamy hollandaise that could use more lemon. The entree comes with green beans whose limpness suggest they originated from a freezer bag. Chicken breast with a veneer of Parmesan comes with a pleasant-enough cream sauce, as does the poached salmon surrounded by thick, crinkle-cut carrots and monster broccoli florets. [WaPo]
The $20 Diner has a rough time at Season Seafood Buffet. Quite a few items are fishy.
The sushi bar's diminishing returns reflects my experience with Season as a whole: With each passing day, the place feels as if it's doggedly sniffing out corners, which it immediately cuts. Lately, I've seen decrepit iceberg lettuce that looks as if it were rescued from the dumpster, not to mention hacked-up pieces of yellow corn that were drained of color as if they had seen a ghost. And here's a professional tip: If you select anything fried, whether frog legs or General Tso's chicken, make sure it's nominally warm and crisp before noshing. [WaPo]
Roll Call checks out the new Barrel, which is doing quite well on Capitol Hill, Warren Rojas reports. "[Chef Garret] Fleming gets his Lowcountry on via selections like slaw-topped, pulled-pork-stuffed sticky buns (zesty swine, chewy dough) and a mouth-watering fried chicken-led ensemble featuring crunchy bird, lusty sausage gravy and tangy orange jam. A trio of Andouille "corn dogs" could double as a meal. The gourmet twist on county fair food wraps savory Cajun sausage and creamy kin to gouda in a soft and sweet cocoon." [RC]
DCDining steps into Virtue Food & Grain to see what it's like post-Cathal Armstrong. "My bartender was as nice as could be, and this is still a lovely restaurant, but you can tell it's just not the same." [DR]