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Tom Sietsema Can't Wait To Go Back to Maketto

Plus, reviews of Beefsteak's new sandwich, Brine and Full Kee.

R. Lopez

It's a big week for chef Erik Bruner-Yang's Maketto. Not only did it make Eater's list of Best New Restaurants in America, but Tom Sietsema also had some serious compliments for the food. In his full review for the Washington Post, Sietsema awards the new H Street restaurant two and a half stars.

Sietsema is most impressed by dishes that exhibit Taiwanese and Cambodian flavors, like the Khmer-style sausages and dip. He writes:

Braised beef tongue? Fried pig’s foot? Maketto encourages an open mind and rewards the adventuresome…On the relatively tame side is an omelet dotted with barely warm oysters and held together with sweet potato starch. The flavors and slimy texture — servers diplomatically bill it cheesy — whisk me to a night market in Taipei.

He actually thinks the dishes are good enough to merit three stars. Maketto's service, however, is still a little awkward because it has been open only since April; hence the slightly lower rating.

Also for the Washington PostMaura Judkis writes about Beefsteak's new sandwich. The fast-casual spot by José Andrés stays true to its emphasis on vegetables with a beefsteak tomato "burger." Judkis writes:

It's . . served on olive oil brioche slathered with a caper herb mayo. Sprouts add an earthy crunch; pickled onions give it some tang. Optional avocado makes it creamy and filling. Basically, think of the greatest BLTA, but with only the T and, well, um, A.

Although she calls it a "truly excellent" sandwich, Judkis still concedes it would be better with some bacon on it. [WaPo]

Don Rockwell writes a lengthy review of Brine and concludes the food is inconsistent. He’s blown away by his first meal there, which includes a radish salad, crispy kale salad and fish with preserved lemon aioli. He first urges readers:

Go *now*. Because it will never be any better than it is, and right now, the food is fabulous. And I mean effing fabulous! More later, but when (not if; *when*) you go, think "produce and fish."

Yet everything he tries during a follow-up visit is disappointing. [DR]

In contrast, he also visits Full Kee in Bailey's Crossroads four times and throughly enjoys every meal. He particularly loves the poultry dishes and calls it possibly the best Cantonese restaurant in Northern Virginia right now.

THE BLOGS: Bitches Who Brunch call Ankara lackluster...DC Wrapped Dates says Komi is still the best...AG Kitchen brings back memories of childhood for DMV Dining.