Tag Archives: Shaw

Convivial — Lunch on 21 January 2020

Convivial

Convivial

Convivial has consistently found a place on The Washingtonian’s annual “Washington, DC’s 100 Very Best Restaurants” list since the year it opened, but I’d somehow never got around to visiting.  TripAdvisor lists 2,750 dining options in Washington, and with my limited daily food consumption—just the usual four meals a day, plus snacks, and an extra dessert now and then—it’s impossible to keep up.

So I was off on another trip to Shaw, to find out what I’d been missing. Turns out, I’d been missing quite a bit.

Onion Soup Gratinée

Onion Soup Gratinée

A week earlier, I’d had a stupendously bad lunch in a restaurant that had never been less than perfect in the past. (Let’s call it Restaurant X.  I may write about the experience in a later post.) My starter at Restaurant X was French Onion Soup, but the cheese, instead of being melted and stringy, was a big solid blob with the consistency of chewed and solidified bubble gum. Ever have to cut your soup with a knife?

The Onion Soup Gratinée at Convivial was the very model of what French Onion Soup should be. I relaxed; it was an excellent start.

Trout Amandine

Trout Amandine

Trout Amandine, my main course, was also a stunner. It was served with roasted almonds, haricots verts, lemon brown butter, and capers. I took a lot of time with this dish, savouring the taste and thinking about Julia Child and that famous Trout a la Meunière that changed her life.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

The only problem with my Key Lime Pie was that there wasn’t enough of it. I could have eagerly devoured three or four pieces.

Service was both friendly and efficient. Delightful place!

Supra — Lunch on 15 January 2020

Supra

Supra

This one was new to me.

Supra is a Georgian restaurant, and I knew nothing about Georgian cuisine. (For clarification, “Georgian” here refers to the country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, not the state between South Carolina and Florida. Although I did have peach sorbet for dessert, so there’s that.)

It came highly recommended by a friend who knows restaurants, and it’s one of the 44 Washington restaurants on Michelin’s 2020 Bib Gourmand list for D.C. The Bib Gourmand list certifies that the restaurants it includes deliver a “high-quality dining experience at a reasonable price”, which means, in Michelin terms, that the restaurant must offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.

Eggplant Nigvzit

Eggplant Nigvzit

Good starter. It was called Eggplant Nigvzit, and consisted of eggplant (duh) stuffed with a blend of walnuts, cilantro, and pomegranate.

Chkmeruli

Chkmeruli

This was a knockout. Half of a roasted chicken was cut up and served in an amazing creamy garlic sauce. And the bread that came with it! It’s called shoti bread, and eating it dipped in that garlic sauce was a wonderful meal in itself.

Sorbet

Sorbet

As mentioned, Peach Sorbet.


Supra is located in Shaw, which is one of Washington’s rapidly gentrifying neighbourhoods. Ten years ago, the area was, well, dicey. Today it’s full of renovated houses, upscale condos, and very good restaurants. There are still a few reminders of the bad old days—I saw a small local market with a sign denying admission to anyone “wearing a mask or a hoodie”—but Shaw is a prime example of the DC renaissance that began around the turn of the century.

Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Bar, Another “Miracle on Seventh Street”

Last December, I posted an item about the “Miracle on Seventh Street,” a pop-up bar that, uh, pops up in Washington between Thanksgiving and New Years. The highlight of the 2016 version was a tribute to Stranger Things, decorated with a Ouija board wall and hundreds of those erratically strung Christmas lights that played such a key part on the show. And the highpoint of the tribute was a shrine to “Barb,” the break-out character from the series.  (Barb deserved better.)


Scenes from Christmas in the Upside Down


And Now There’s This

According to the National Park Service, Washington’s famous cherry blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom between March 14 and 17, 2017, about three weeks earlier than usual.
So, as DCist put it:

“The Cherry Blossom PUB (pop up bar) will open March 1, taking over Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW) and the Mockingbird Hill space (1843 7th St. NW) in Shaw. It’s the latest project from Drink Company and owner Derek Brown, who struck bartending gold in 2015 with the sparkly and whimsical Miracle on 7th Street holiday bar. The seasonal hotspot opened again in 2016 with triple the space (and a Stranger Things addition). Lines stretched up the block for weeks.”

And here it is:


All photos found on the Net.

Christmas in the Upside Down

The Washingtonian calls it “DC’s most popular pop-up.” On the day after Thanksgiving, owner Derek Brown converts his three adjoining bars-with-light-snacks in Washington’s Shaw district into the “Miracle on Seventh Street,” aka “The Christmas Bar.”

The party runs through New Year’s Eve, but even now, according to Reddit, the nightly line waiting to get in can run to ~150 people.

The part of this year’s event that’s getting the most attention is the area devoted to last summer’s Stranger Things, complete with a Ouija board wall,  Winona Ryder’s erratically strung Christmas lights, and a celebration of Barb, the show’s unlikely break-out character. (She deserved better.)

Cheers!

bard

All photos found on the Net.

Chercher — Lunch on 15 September 2016

Washington is generally thought to have the most vibrant Ethiopian dining scene outside of Ethiopia itself.   For decades, the District has been home to thousands of asylum-seekers fleeing civil war.  Many of them have opened restaurants.

I probably only have Ethiopian food once every five years or so, but I had things to do in the Shaw area of Washington, and I’d heard good things about an Ethiopian restaurant called Chercher.

Tibs

Tibs

I had Beef Tibs, which is tender strips of marinated and grilled beef with onions, garlic, Jalapeno pepper, and herbs.  Ethiopian food is eaten without utensils.   You use your fingers (right hand only!) and a spongy bread called “injera.”   You tear off a small piece of the bread, then use it to pick up a bit of meat and vegetables.

It’s a hot cuisine.  It opens the sinuses.

Lunch at Chercher was an interesting departure from my usual routine.  Good stuff!

Beau Thai — Lunch on 20 June 2016

I continued my exploration of the Shaw area of Washington this week with a visit to local favourite Beau Thai.  As I’ve mentioned, Shaw is one of the several parts of Washington that have undergone really amazing transformations in the years since the turn of the century.  It’s now the site of one of the hottest restaurant zones in the city, and it seems as if new buildings are going up or old ones are being renovated on every other block.

Beau Thai itself is sleek and trendy.  It’s been named “Best Thai Restaurant” in Washington for each of the last four years in Washington City Paper’s annual readers’ polls.  Meals here are promoted as fresh and authentic.  They’re also inexpensive.

Thai Sausage

Thai Sausage

This was a grilled pork sausage, served with fresh ginger, red onions, and peanuts.  Basic, but good.

Kao Pad Nam Prik Pao

Kao Pad Nam Prik Pao

Kao Pad Nam Prik Pao is fried chicken with a nice crunchy coating.  The heat—and it was sinus-draining, tear-inducingly hot—came from the fried rice with Thai chili sauce.

All in all. a good meal, but I’d question the “Best Thai Restaurant” in Washington award.  DC has dozens of comparable Thai restaurants, which is yet another reason why living here can be so very pleasant.

Drift on 7th — Lunch on 5 May 2016

Drift on 7th

Drift on 7th

Shaw is yet another of the many neighbourhoods in Washington that was underdeveloped and underused until the fairly recent past.  Over the last few years, the area has blossomed into one of the hottest restaurant zones in DC.  Today I tried Drift on 7th, one of the newer additions to the scene.

I’ll be back.

Tots ’n’ Tentacles

Tots ’n’ Tentacles

They call this starter “Tots ’n’ Tentacles.”  The tentacles are calamari and the tots are haddock, and they arrive on a bed of hand-cut French fries.  The accompanying dipping sauces are a spicy sriracha mayonnaise and a horseradish rémoulade.  Everything was first-rate.

I’d ordered a main course as well, but I hadn’t anticipated how generous a serving this would be.  My v helpful and informative waitress—who was clearly one of those happy people who loves her job and is great at doing it—said there’d be no problem making that order “to go.”

Excellent meal.