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Tom Sietsema Is Less Starry-Eyed About Mirabelle These Days

What the critics are saying this week

The dining room at Mirabelle
The main dining room at Mirabelle.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.


Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema is second-guessing his initial perception of James Beard Award-winning chef Frank Ruta’s latest contribution to the local dining scene. Tagged as the best new restaurant in his spring dining guide, Siestema says Mirabelle seemed to be on a four-star trajectory — until the inconsistent meals started piling up. While it’s a still “wondrous beauty watched over by a solicitous bunch,” Ruta’s food “needs to soar higher” to justify its high prices (dinner entrees average $43). Since going back a few times, he’s encountered some puzzling productions. A strip loin and vegetable “crepe” fell flat, while four thin slices of lamb would have been more palatable as an appetizer rather than a $27 entree. Fish and seafood are his go-to orders, but Sietsema also enjoyed the beef tri-tip braised in syrah. Meanwhile, pastry chef Aggie Chin’s many-layered crepe cake and elegant fruit tarts are hits, but her deconstructed Black Forest cake would have been best left as a classic. Service, “at least for the time being,” remains a standout.


Washington Post reporter Maura Judkis ventures over to the recently reincarnated Addie’s in Potomac, Maryland. While she admits she never went to the first, Judkis likes what she sees. Rolls served at the “handsome space” with high windows and a large patio are “like clouds made of butter.” The main draw, she says, is a seafood tower that’s “like an oceanic choose-your-own ad­ven­ture.” Hers was filled with butter-poached lobster, a pesto blue-crab salad, broiled octopus, boquerones, and soft-shell crab in a “spicy, mayonnaisey bang bang sauce” (her favorite pick). There’s also no-filler crab cakes and a standout vegan miso mushroom soup (a nod to Black’s vegan son), while entrees like Allen Brothers rib-eye steak are more conventional. A dessert highlight: the salted caramel-banana cream pie.

Silk Road

Ethnic Dining Guide’s Tyler Cowen heads to Silk Road in Falls Church, Virginia, for a taste of Uyghur cuisine. Cowen says it could be “the most authentic” Uyghur spot in the area. His recommendations: the chopped noodle and chili pepper chicken. Other quirky go-to dishes include lamb hoof and shredded tripe; he notes there’s also “normal” Chinese-American offerings.

Macon Bistro and Larder

This three-year-old Chevy Chase restaurant nabbed chef Tyler Stout last fall, and he’s a “mighty good reason” to visit says Bethesda Magazine restaurant critic David Hagedorn. The French-Southern American restaurant is “everything a neighborhood eatery should be” with its charm, taste, affordability, friendliness, and service (his waiter knows the menu inside and out, he notes). Snacks like fried okra with a zesty rémoulade, and creamy deviled eggs topped with ground bacon and sweet pickle relish pair well with the violet-flavored Night Flights cocktail. Other recommendations include the “sublime” pappardelle pasta, lobster and grits, and Amish chicken breast with a “velvety” mushroom sauce featuring foie gras.

FROM THE BLOGS: Brightest Young Things gives BLT Steak a taste test, and Been There Eaten That weighs in on Addie’s.


11120 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852 (301) 881-0081


900 16th Street Northwest, , DC 20006 (202) 506-3833 Visit Website

Macon Bistro & Larder

5520 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, , DC 20015 (202) 248-7807 Visit Website