Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema says “good Southern cooking” was underrepresented in Washington — until now, that is, thanks to the arrival of Top Chef alum Edward Lee’s new restaurant in Penn Quarter. Knead Hospitality + Design transformed the aging space “into a thing of beauty” with Mexican mahogany trimming the walls, mosaic tiles on the floor, and distressed columns supporting the mezzanine. Sietsema’s meal kicks off with smoked chicken wings with white barbecue sauce, and “sassy” pork ribs with pickled peppers and fried black-eyed peas. For lunch at the downstairs bar, he goes with the Cobb salad dressed with “clever” corn bread croutons. And dinner (or “supper”) in a comfortable leather booth under a chandelier calls for blue catfish fried to a golden crisp, “enlivened with a mint-jalapeño aioli” and collard greens feature aged country ham and kimchi. He appreciates the hot towels that arrive between courses, and the generous hummingbird cake is a fine end to the feast.
Ray’s Hell Burger
DC Dining’s Don Rockwell visits the City Vista location of the cult burger stand, and he’s happy to report that “these burgers seem to be as good as ever.” The flavor combinations in the Funky President’s work well thanks to aged Vermont cheddar and a slice of tomato. Meanwhile, the fresh fries were compatible to steak fries. His only “beef” with the burgers is their presentation: arriving in a recycled-cardboard oyster-shell that shows off some unappealing grease. His analysis: this was a “terrific burger-and-fries meal.”
Fall Dining Guide
Sietsema teases out the first half of his fall dining guide this week in the Washington Post. The list includes: the Salt Line for its “sparkling seafood” (No. 9); the “delectable mash-up of Chinese and Korean flavors” at Chiko (No. 8); Tiger Fork’s “inspired cocktails” that “lead to sensational food” (No. 7); Bad Saint for its “tastes and hospitality you’ll savor” (No. 6); and Métier (No. 5) for chef Eric Ziebold’s sublime cooking.