Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema visits the new D.C. restaurant that sets “an inviting table for a Georgian feast.” He’s into the “handsome” tasting board starter packed with colorful beet and spinach pâtés, Georgian cheeses, and “glossy” eggplant with walnut paste. He’s all about bringing on more Georgian amber wine but was a little irked by the “constant interruptions” from servers asking about additional orders. Sietsema says he’s most likely to return for the kebabs, and he’s a fan of the pork ones bolstered with sweet-and-sour plum sauce, as well as the crisp breads (specifically, the plate-size round ones, stuffed with pork and beef) called kubdari. He’s also fully entertained by the papakhi woolly hats on display; worn in Georgia’s mountainous regions, they’re the “perfect antidote” to Washington’s current cold streak, he says.
Northern Virginia Magazine restaurant critic and dining editor Stefanie Gans heads to the months-old Falls Church restaurant, which boasts an Egyptian menu with Middle Eastern staples like flavorful grape leaves. A plate of rice mixed with little strings of vermicelli remains light, thanks to “tender, delicate” veal inside. She’s also keen on the “subtle standout” of a starter dubbed ful medames, available packaged in a trio for less than $10, featuring “heady, rich” fava beans.
Washington Post food writer Tim Carman checks out this 5,000-square-foot food hall, deciding that it’s a “daily party” in Annandale, Virginia. There he finds modern riffs on familiar offerings including Vietnamese banh mi, Thai noodle soups, Taiwanese shaved “snow” and quesadillas with wok-fried chicken. The industrial-chic space, heavy on hard communal tables, and very family friendly (grown ups can enjoy cocktails from the Block Bar, while kids line up for SnoCream) but it’s also very loud, he notes. “Collectively, the place merits two stars, though individually some components fall short of that rating.” He talks up Balo Kitchen and Roots, where he’s into the “delicious” pad Thai and its take on a traditional boat noodle soup.
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