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Sietsema Loves Everything But the 40-Ounce Steak at Wolfgang Puck’s D.C. Steakhouse

What the critics are saying this week

Cut in the Rosewood Hotel.
Rosewood Hotel [official photo]

Cut by Wolfgang Puck

After three meals at Georgetown’s 6-week-old Cut by Wolfgang Puck, Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema is sold, awarding the glitzy steak-and-seafood spot 2.5 stars (“good/excellent”) in a review published this week. Sietsema writes that chef Andrew Skala — a Puck protege for 12 years — has “composed a menu for the times that’s well supplied with vegetables and seafood, occasionally in cunning guises.”

Leeks cooked over coals make for a “sumptuous salad” alongside toasted hazelnuts. The critic is also a fan of the creamy, fire-roasted eggplant. Its seafood bar, a rare feature across the Cut brand, produces raw fish dishes “that are as beautiful as they are refreshing.” Sietsema favors slices of rockfish in coconut milk and “lush” scallops with minced peaches. Silky pasta picks include a sage-scented tortelloni and a “simple and lovely” tagliatelle. Duck that makes its way into DIY tacos is well worth the 15-minute wait, he says. Sietsema gives Skala props for sourcing local products, including brown bread from Seylou Bakery at lunch and some steaks from Seven Hills Food in Virginia.

Seemingly the only thing that didn’t deliver was the $130, 40-ounce cut of tomahawk prime rib. While the requested temperature was right, it didn’t have the depth of flavor he’d expect from long-aged beef. As he’s wont to do, Sietsema also notes that the restaurant is very loud.

Thamee

Washingtonian critic Ann Limpert calls Thamee on H Street NE one of the more “personal” restaurants in town, rating the Burmese replacement to Sally’s Middle Name 2.5 stars (out of 4). “At Thamee, the tight menu is composed of mellow curries that conjure India, citrus-heavy salads, and Chinese-inflected noodle dishes,” she writes.

“There’s much to like on [co-owner Jocelyn] Law-Yone’s menu, but her early masterpiece is a tomato-based pork-belly stew that pings with mango three ways—cooked, raw, and marinated in oil and spices. Get a bowl of the turmeric-and-shallot-laden golden rice to go alongside it.”

“JoJo’s fish” — a slender branzino, stuffed with ginger spears — looks photoshoot ready, and though she found it a little undercooked, the flavors “were so vivid that, to my mind, other versions of the popular fish were rendered in sepia.” Limpert’s still dreaming about her prawn curry for dinner, but she found the ginger salad “oddly boring” and the catfish mohinga curry to be “too shy on flavor.”

FROM THE BLOGS: BYT dissects the art of the family meal at Mama Chang, and Bitches Who Brunch ranks the best brunches in Arlington.

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