Tom Sietsema dines at Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan for his full review in the Washington Post. He awards two and a half stars to the restaurant by Komi alums chef Jon Sybert, Jill Tyler, and Bill Jensen. Starting with some appetizers and a shrub, he then moves on to the restaurant’s quirky bread course. He writes:
"Sybert and crew bake up to 30 loaves a day, all of them distinctive and delicious. A thick slice of seaweed sourdough becomes a cushion for peppery mashed pork festooned with pickled celery, the fat and the tang duking it out for your favor. Chocolate-rye bread with salt-crusted sardines? Inspired. Brown rice bread slathered with Greek yogurt and decked out with sliced radishes... is tasty, too..."
He likes follow-up dishes like the potato salad, pastas, lamb ribs, and a whole porgy, but says there are better versions of the pork and polenta in town. [WaPo]
Sietsema also reveals the first restaurant in his spring dining guide in the Washington Post. First up is Hank’s Pasta bar in Alexandria, a new Italian restaurant by chef Jamie Leeds. It comes in at number 10. He writes:
"The signature draws come in a dozen or so shapes and some pleasing flavors. Among the successes are delicate plin filled with beets and goat cheese, and ripply malfalde served with fennel sausage and brandy cream sauce. The housemade pastas keep good company; their equals on the menu include plump lamb chops and whole grilled dorade." [WaPo]
For his $20 Diner column in the Washington Post, Tim Carman has compiled a ranking of his favorite taquerias and Mexican restaurants in the area. He declares El Sol by Alfred Solis number one. He writes:
"El Sol combines the technical obsessiveness of a chef-driven restaurant like Oyamel in the District with the intimate, unadorned charms of a family-run taqueria in Riverdale Park. The menu is deep and wide, and it compromises on nothing. The ingredients match the quality you'll find in restaurants with much higher prices, and Solis, along with sister and chef Jessica Solis, have developed dishes that search for new methods to make the traditional flavors of Mexico come alive." [WaPo]
Other restaurants that makes the list: Taqueria Habanero on 14th St. NW, Taqueria Tres Reyes in Manassas, La Jarochita No. 2 in Arlington, and Tacos el Costalilla in Alexandria.
Stephanie Gans files a review of Sense of Thai St. in Ashburn for Northern Virginia Magazine. Owner Porntipa "Pat" Pattanamekar recruited Jeremy Ross, formerly of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, as general manager and beverage director. Gans says not all of the Thai dishes are successful (like overcooked duck in a hallowed out pineapple), but the great drinks can help with that. One of her favorites is an Aperol-tinged Manhattan decorated with star anise. She writes:
"It was pretty perfect and somehow found a way to pair with the rest of my meal: a grilled yellowtail jaw, aggressively charred and tenderly juicy; a spicy, pungent salad of minced chicken with red onion, cilantro and lime; and a showstopper of a noodle dish. Crispy noodles combine with soft egg noodles for a dish that is vibrant with tang and spice and what I can only imagine is the chaotic allure of eating on the city streets of Bangkok." [NoVa]
Also this week, a new edition of Tyler Cowen’s dining guide it out. There's an emphasis on suburban ethnic eats but features a few trendier spots like The Partisan and Rose’s Luxury. [TC]