Little Evil — Official Trailer

All I know—all I need to know—is that Little Evil was written and directed by Eli Craig, who wrote and directed the delightful 2010 horror comedy movie, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, which had great and gory fun tweaking the old “inbred backwoodsmen terrorize innocent young adults” trope. Looks like here he’s taking on The Omen’s Damien, and the countless other Spawn of Satan urchins who followed in his path.

Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly star.

It’s coming to Netflix on 1 September 2017.

It’s Dorothy Parker’s Birthday

Dorothy Parker (22 August 1893 – 7 June 1967)

It’s been 124 years since the birth of Dorothy Parker. Poet, critic, short story writer, political activist, and one of the greatest wits of the 20th century.


I do not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn’s recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I’m disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I’d be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men….
I’m due to fall in love again.

― Dorothy Parker

Charlie Palmer Steak — Lunch on 18 August 2017

2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day Five

Charlie Palmer Steak, a short walk from the Capitol, is made for power lunches. The number of fellow diners that you might recognize is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend watching C-Span.

The rooms are airy and beautiful. The food is first-rate.

Organic Pork and Beef Meatballs

Meatballs

A small serving of organic pork and beef meatballs, with house-made cavatelli pasta, roasted garlic marinara, pecorino, and oregano.

Beef Short Rib

Beef Short Rib

The beef short rib was glazed with smoked chili and citrus, and supported by olive oil crushed potatoes. I’d just had short rib at Honeysuckle a couple of days ago, and I was a little leery about ordering it again so soon. I’m glad I did. This combination really worked.

Dessert

Dessert

Lavender Pot De Creme, with a brown butter sable cookie. You could really taste the lavender.

All in all, a very good meal.

I’d planned on a visit to the nearby National Gallery after lunch, but the day was brutally hot, and I was full, so I made my way to the subway instead, went home, and took a long nap.


Inside Charlie Palmer Steak. Pictures from the Web.

Main Dining Room

Main Dining Room

Wine Racks over Interior Pond

Tadich Grill — Lunch on 17 August 2017

2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day Four

Tadich Grill, which traces its origins to the Gold Rush days of 1849, is a San Francisco institution. Just a few years ago, it opened its first offshoot, on Pennsylvania Avenue, here in Washington, DC. (In the above picture, the Brutalist building across the street from the restaurant is the FBI headquarters.)

OK, let’s get the quibbles out of the way first.

The salad was uninspired. It was a simple lettuce-tomato-cucumber combination that wouldn’t have been out of place in a college cafeteria. The dessert was a slim slice of carrot cake, not much thicker than a quarter. The service was friendly, but inattentive and glacial.

I didn’t much care. I was there for the Cioppino.

Cioppino

Cioppino

Cioppino is a classic, and Tadich Grill is famous for its execution.

This hot, spicy fish stew originated among Italian immigrant fishermen in San Francisco during the late 19th century. It’s the real San Francisco treat.

It contains pretty much everything:  Scallops, shrimp, crab, prawns, clams, and mussels. The sauce is made with tomatoes and wine.  It comes with two pieces of toasted garlic bread, which you can use to mop up the last few drops of the incredible sauce.

Tadich Grill’s Cioppino is about as close to perfect as a dish can be.

Honeysuckle — Lunch on 16 August 2017

2017 Summer Restaurant Weeks: Week Two, Day Three

After three French restaurants in a row, it was time for a change.

Honeysuckle is a New Southern restaurant a few blocks from home. It opened about a year ago on the site of Vidalia, another restaurant that was one of my long-time favourites. After some personnel changes, Vidalia declined during its last few years, and finally closed in 2016.

Now one of the chefs from Vidalia’s glory days has opened this new contender in the same location. This was my first visit.

Chesapeake Sugar Toads

Chesapeake Sugar Toads

Yep. They’re called “Chesapeake Sugar Toads,” but no toads (or sugar) were harmed in the making of this dish. First of all, “Sugar Toads” are not toads, they’re fish, blowfish to be specific.  The Chesapeake version is sometimes called the Northern Puffer. They’re small, not much bigger than jumbo shrimp. Honeysuckle served them with popcorn grits and pickled okra.

Sugar Toads have long been considered “trash fish,” but they’ve recently entered the mainstream, and I’m really sorry for that wordplay, but I’m leaving it in anyway.*

Tasting Sugar Toads for the first time was not a life-changing experience.The most I can say about this starter is that now I’ve tried it.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Braised Beef Short Ribs were the best part of the meal. Fork tender, they came with grits, smoked onion jam, and turnip greens.

“Peach Tart”

“Peach Tart”

The menu put “Peach Tart” in quotation marks, and the dessert itself was a deconstructed version of the traditional dish, composed of pecan shortbread, slow roasted peaches, peach ice cream, and rye whiskey caramel.

The verdict on Honeysuckle: Not as good as Vidalia. Nothing blew me away.

One of the differences between Southern cooking and New Southern cooking is that the new version shrinks portion size to a fraction of the old. I left hungry.


*Some other former “trash fish” that have become popular: Barramundi, Rockfish, Anchovies, Sardines, Arctic Char, and Monkfish.