Maura Judkis files a review of Due South for the Washington Post. She awards the Navy Yard restaurant two stars. Although chef Rusty Holman is from North Carolina, the dishes hail from all over the South. Judkis writes:
"Maybe you’ll start in Charleston with some shrimp and grits, and work your way through the low country for some citrusy pickled shrimp. In Georgia, you’ll slurp Brunswick stew, the tomato, corn, okra and bean soup that gets its smoky flavor from bits of brisket and pulled pork. There’s Alabama white barbecue sauce for the wings, and Mississippi comeback sauce... for the french fries."
She doesn’t find many problems with the execution (although a Cobb salad is drenched in dressing and a burger was overcooked). Ultimately, though, the Navy Yard location and modern decor makes all the Southern charm seem forced. [WaPo]
Tim Carman reviews Northwest Chinese Food in College Park for his $20 Diner column in the Washington Post. There are still some kinks to work out— like the existence of signage from the previous tenant. But Carman remains intrigued by owner Hua Wang's food. He writes:
"Wang hails from Shenyang in Liaoning Province, a region known for flavors as bold and exaggerated as a certain presidential candidate. Her dishes, heavy on noodles, are a frontal assault of garlic, chili oil and aged Shaanxi vinegar, a smoky, woody, inky liquid made from sorghum, barley and peas. You’ll be wiping both your hands and your nose when dining here."
He recommends trying the handmade liang pi noodles, spicy potato noodles, Northwest peanuts, cumin lamb burger, and tomato-and-egg noodles. [WaPo]
Tyler Cowen also goes to Northwest Chinese Food this week and calls it "delightful" even though he finds a few missteps. Then he tries Mr. Tofu House & BBQ in Annandale and writes:
"There’s nothing especially innovative about this place, but it does a lot of the standard Korean dishes better than its competitors. Right now this is my favorite Bul-gogi in the area, for instance. Their kimchee soups are also at the top of the distribution." [TC]
Washingtonian magazine has two reviews this week. Ann Limpert dines at Italian prix-fixe restaurant Masseria near Union Market. She swoons over chef Nick Stefanelli's tripe and lobster dish and flavorful foie gras, but his pastas are the true highlights. She writes:
"If there’s an area of the menu not to skip, it’s the pastas. There’s tender linguine with a terrific garlicky riff on Chinese XO sauce; beautifully chewy penne enlivened with golden raisins, anchovies, and cauliflower; and agnolotti bursting with a pecorino filling and crowned with a rich, runny egg..."
The meal is mostly a hit, but there are a few disappointments. She calls the maccheroni with squash "bland" and the desserts apparently look better than they taste. [Washingtonian]
Todd Kliman travels to Gaithersburg to sample Inferno Pizzeria for Washingtonian. Although pizzas are the focus, the critic particularly loves the salads. He writes:
"Take that sunchoke salad, in which the main ingredient is roasted until it loses its bitterness and takes on the soft meatiness of creamy baked potatoes. You could easily see a chef with a farm-to-table aesthetic sending it out, unadorned, as a small plate demonstrating the deliciousness of a simple thing cooked exactly right, but Conte embellishes this taste with a subtle Parmesan sauce and a scattering of smoked hazelnuts, creating a dish of varying textures and effects."
The pizzas are also good and getting better as chef and owner Tony Conte gets more familiar with his particular wood-fired oven. Kliman recommends trying the pie with heirloom tomatoes, ricotta, arugula, garlic, and chili or baked egg, fontina, and black truffles.
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