Toro Toro — Lunch on 18 August 2014

2014 Summer Restaurant Week Extended, Day 1

DC Summer Restaurant Week officially ended last weekend, but many places have decided to prolong the celebration.  I took advantage of that by making my first visit to Richard Sandoval’s newest restaurant, Toro Toro.   Sandoval is known for his creative take on Pan-Latin cooking.  He was Bon Appétit’s “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2006, and competed on the fifth season of  Top Chef Masters.

Toro Toro

Toro Toro

Oh, was this a surprise–and a v happy one, at that.  Toro Toro has something called an “Exec Express Lunch”, which is a “…lavish lunch buffet [that] features signature Toro Toro dishes as well as a rotating Chef’s Selection of salads, ceviche and carved meats”, and that was their RW special.

Just look at this plate!

Toro Plate

Toro Toro Plate

Wow!   Just…Wow!

I’m going to be a regular here.

“I’m So Excited! I’m So Excited! I’m So…Scared”

For everyone who feared that it would be impossible to make a TV show that was even more idiotic and unnecessary than Saved by the Bell, it’s the Lifetime to the rescue.

The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story will debut on Lifetime on Labor Day, 1 September 2014.  This is what’s known as a Sharknado-level event.

They have to include a dramatization of SbtB‘s undisputed highpoint, the famed Jessie Spano Caffeine Freakout!

Table — Lunch on 15 August 2014

2014 Summer Restaurant Week, Day 5

Table

Table

This is quite a contrast w/yesterday’s lunch.  The Oval Room is an elegant restaurant near the center of political  power in Washington, between the White House and the K Street law firms and lobby shops.  Table is in the now-trendy Shaw, a neighborhood that’s undergoing rapid and massive construction and gentrification.

The Oval Room is sophisticated; Table is minimalist–it’s in a building that was once a garage.   The Oval Room is a DC classic; Table is new.

What they have in common is great food.  In 2013, the Washington City Paper named Table as Washington’s Best New Restaurant.

Table starter

Grilled Halloumi

Halloumi is a firm white cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk.  It’s the national cheese of Cyprus, and can be eaten fresh or grilled.

This grilled halloumi salad included watermelon, confit of cheery tomatoes, and a mint-lime dressing.

Table main

Braised Pork Belly

The main was braised pork belly with brown ale mustard sauce and what the menu called  “tomatogrette”.  (I don’t know–I should have asked.  It’s probably the spicy side dish of tiny little vegetables).

The small  golden square next to the pork bellies is a panisse–it’s made from chickpea flour, and it’s two bites of deliciousness.