Category Archives: Uncategorized

Back in Two Weeks

I’m on a top-secret mission involving Russian assets, porn stars, election rigging, and corruption at high levels. I can’t say much about it, except that it’s so convoluted that it could take me as much as two whole weeks to resolve.

Postings will resume ~20 May.

Advertisements

“In Peak Bloom” — Sound and Light and Colour and Movement

ARTECHOUSE, one of my favourite hangouts in DC, launched a brilliant new immersive experience last week. It’s called “In Peak Bloom”, and it’s perfectly timed for the arrival of Spring in Washington. You can see a sample of the new show in the above video. The projected HD graphics respond to the movements and gestures of members of the audience, making them participants in this a highly interactive environment.

ARTECHOUSE has outdone Itself with this one.


A little added touch. At the Augmented Reality Cocktail Bar in ARTECHOUSE, the coasters at the bar let you compare the “normal” appearance of a drink, on the left, with the augmented version, on the right.

Even More Update

Home again, home again, again.

I’m back in DC after taking a mid-winter break in Charleston, South Carolina, because February in Washington is an excellent time to be elsewhere.

This wasn’t one of my usual museums/stately homes/galleries/palaces culture-vulture marathons. I went without a list of must-visit attractions. I just needed some time away from home, to clear my head and re-focus my life. The idea was simply to get out of my usual environment to breathe different air and to hear different voices.

To eat at different restaurants also may have been a factor.

Update

Back in a week or so. I’m off exploring.

This morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas….

Hurray for Captain Spaulding!

And Back to Vienna Again

After I took care of my personal business in Budapest, I took the train back to Vienna.

I’m going to greatly condense what I did in the days that followed, because I posted a pretty detailed write-up about Vienna after my last stay in the city.* This time around I revisited many of the same sites—Schönbrunn Palace, Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Belvedere—so I don’t feel the need to cover them again so soon. Also, I want to knock these trip notes out before the end of the year.

So what follows will be mainly about my continuing exploration of the historic coffee houses and restaurants of Vienna, and some miscellaneous comments.


*You can find my postings on that trip in the December 2014 section of my archives.

Lunch at Ambar — 23 August 2018

Ambar

Ambar

My last stop on Summer Binge 2018 was at Ambar Capitol Hill, near DC’s Eastern Market. In addition to the Capitol Hill location, Ambar has a branch in Clarendon, Virginia, and one in Belgrade, Serbia.

The food at Ambar has gotten a lot of online praise, and it’s well-deserved. What isn’t often noted is that the restaurant is one of the best bargains in Washington. It’s a small-plates restaurant, with about 50 offerings. The prix fixe menu at lunch includes an unlimited selection of those dishes for only $22. There are restaurants in DC—not many, fortunately, but some— that charge more than that for a  hamburger.

Here’s what I had:

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts, with lemon and garlic yogurt, dusted with bacon.

Grilled Calamari

Grilled Calamari

The calamari was grilled, and served with fennel and a tapenade. For some reason lost to history, I avoided olives for years, picking them out of salads and setting them aside. Now I’m making up for lost time and missed opportunities. I have yet to put a tapenade on a serving of ice cream, but at this point, I wouldn’t rule it out.

Sliders

On the right. a house-ground Lamb Slider with herb sour cream and pomegranate syrup. On the left, a Beef and Veal Slider with Boston lettuce, smoked mayonnaise, and tomato.

Ambar Fries

Ambar Fries

The fries were in a pool of aged kajmak, which is a Balkan cheese made from unpasteurized milk. This sounded more interesting than it turned out to be, probably because the fries were only slightly warm. This was the kitchen’s only real misstep during the meal.

Pork Tenderloin

Pork Tenderloin

Best dish of the day, by a mile. Peanut-crusted Pork Tenderloin on mashed potatoes and bacon, with a miso mustard sauce. If there weren’t so many other menu items to explore, I might have ordered seconds of this one.

Lamb & Veal Sausages

Lamb and Veal Sausages

Lamb and Veal Sausages, made with bell peppers, onions, garlic, chili flakes, and tomato.


Raspberry Sorbet

Raspberry Sorbet

Dessert was a light and simple Raspberry Sorbet…

♫ She wore a
Raspberry Sorbet
The kind you find in a second-hand store. ♫

…with some nice juicy strawberries.

♫ She wore a
Raspberry Toupée
The kind you find in a second-hand store. ♫

[Sorry, Prince. But I was dining like it’s 1999, and I got a little carried away.]


Update

The 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide for Washington was released a few weeks ago. Ambar is now recognized on the Guide’s Bib Gourmand list, as one of the DC restaurants “that offer excellent food at a reasonable price.”