Sunday, February 28, 2010

San Diego: Grant Grill

On our last night in San Diego, we headed out to San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter for dinner at Grant Grill, located in the lobby of the US Grant Hotel in the Gaslamp District.  I think, if we hadn't had an amazing dinner at whisknladle the night before, we probably both would have been slightly happier with the meal.  As it was, dinner at Grant Grill was...fine, but definitely suffered by comparison to whisknladle with regard to the food, service and price.

Lobby of the US Grant Hotel

Click below to see what we ate!

San Diego: Whisknladle Bistro & Bar

On our second evening in San Diego, Mark and I took a short drive over to gorgeous La Jolla to dine at whisknladle.  We sort of picked the self-proclaimed "neighborhood bistro & bar" on a whim, and man, I am ridiculously glad we did.  Whisknladle was recently chosen by Conde Nast as one of the top new restaurants worldwide, an honor I can wholeheartedly get behind.  


Click below to see what we ate!

San Diego: South Beach Bar & Grille

This past week, Mark and I traveled cross country to San Diego, one of my very favorite cities in the entire world.  We had one very good meal, one mind-blowing meal, and one so-so meal.  The first of these was South Beach Bar & Grille, a place for which we got two separate and independent recommendations solely on the basis of their tacos.  The bar & grille, located right on the Pacific in Ocean Beach, completely lived up to expectations, as far as the fish tacos were concerned. 

 Click below to see what we ate!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pizzeria Paradiso

Last night, Mark and I decided to take a break from cooking.  We didn't really have a sense of exactly what we wanted to eat; we just started walking and found ourselves in front of Pizzeria Paradiso, at 2003 P Street (right off Dupont Circle).*  We've eaten pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso a couple of times before and haven't been too impressed by the pizza, but each time, we like it a little better.  We decided to give it another chance tonight, and aside from the wait, I'm glad we did!

Click below to see what we ate!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lamb Chops, Cauliflower & Prosciutto-Wrapped Pears w/ Goat Cheese

*Post by Mark.
Angela can be a busy young lady. When she's not working, marathon training, sleep-walking (oh, you have NO idea), or keeping up with an intense weekly DVR regiment (apparently Bones is 'must-watch TV'), she's usually cooking some extravagant meal for this guy's exclusive benefit. Now, I'm no stranger to the kitchen, but I usually step aside when it comes to the kitchen... no, I literally step aside. The kitchen comfortably fits 1/2 a normal sized person, which means it fits one Angela comfortably (Also, she's a total control-freak).

With her upcoming birthday and a strenuous recent workload and my fear of gradually becoming an easily replaceable component in this relationship, I decided tonight would be a good opportunity to nudge her aside, squeeze into the close-but-foreign quarters of the kitchen and make myself useful. Perhaps my apron-wearing hiatus made me antsy to push my culinary ventures, or perhaps I had a lot of reciprocating to do, but I settled on a menu that given my talents limitations, may have been a little... ambitious.

Click READ MORE to see what Mark cooked for Angela.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Saigon Bistro

Last night, Mark and I were just looking for a place for a quick, cheap dinner (we had been planning to go to Busboys & Poets, but found ourselves too cold and too lazy to venture that far) - and found it at Saigon Bistro, at 2153 P Street, just off Dupont Circle.  The eatery was clean and bright, the service was fast and efficient, and we had a solid, inexpensive meal in under 45 minutes.  I would definitely go back in the future for a hassle-free, satisfying meal.

Click below to see what we ate!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pasta Bolognese

After two nights of quick and easy meals, I woke up yesterday to an incredibly frigid morning with only one thought sounding through my head.  Bolognese.  Bolognese is a thick, full-bodied meat sauce originating in northern Italy's Bologna.  I've made countless Bolognese recipes, some incredible and some so-so, but this recipe from Emeril, which I've adapted just slightly, is one of my favorites.  I'll warn you now: the list of ingredients for this recipe is relatively extensive, and it takes about 2 hours of simmering (I had a lot of work to do tonight, and Mark wasn't going to be home until very late, so it worked out for me - you may need to wait until the weekend).  But the complexity, richness, and depth of flavor of the resulting sauce is well worth it.   

Click below to see the recipe!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Duck Tacos

I love the process of cooking.  I love slow-cooked or roasted dinners, complicated dishes, meals that require overnight brining or marinating...most times, I feel like the longer a meal takes, the better it tastes; the more work a dish requires, the more love I put into it.  Unfortunately, like most working adults, my schedule doesn't really allow me to make time- and work-intensive meals, other than on the weekends or holidays (or snow days!!).  So, throughout my very short cooking career, I've tried to build a repertoire of simple and quick meals that are delicious and filling.  I've just added another one to the list: duck tacos from fellow DC food blogger, My Husband Cooks.  I decided not to make the accompanying corn salsa (although it looks delicious) because it would have required another trip to the store - I already had flour tortillas, shredded Mexican cheese, guacamole and a tomato.  The result was a go-to dinner that I will be dreaming about all week.

Click below to see the recipe!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sake-Steamed Sea Bass with Ginger and Green Onions

Mark had to work for Valentine's Day, and I had a lot of work to get caught up on at home, so I wanted to make a quick but tasty dinner for one.  I tend to hit the seafood aisle at Whole Foods the minute Mark walks out the door, and this weekend was no different.  I decided to make one of my favorites, a sake-steamed sea bass dish that is light and healthy, yet yummy enough to crave.  I adapted this Epicurious recipe just slightly, and the result is this almost-too-easy-to-be-believed, wonderfully flavorful dish.

Click below to get the recipe!


Last night, Mark and I celebrated an early Valentine's Day dinner at Ceiba, a contemporary Latin American restaurant at 14th and G Street.  Ceiba is part of the Passion Foods group of restaurants, which includes TenPenh, DC Coast, Acadiana, and PassionFish (in Reston Town Center).  I've been wanting to try one of these restaurants for sometime, as they have a great reputation around town, and Valentine's Day dinner was as good an excuse as any.  Did Ceiba live up to the hype?  Sort of.  The food was very good, but in my opinion, the decor and service left a little to be desired.  Taking everything into consideration, dining at Ceiba was a nice enough experience that I'd be more than willing to give the other Passion Foods restaurants a try.  

Click below to see what we ate!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca

Yesterday we celebrated Mark's birthday at Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca, an Italian restaurant downtown, about 12th and H.  Bibiana recently made its debut on Washingtonian's 100 Best Restaurants list (for 2010) at No. 99, and as Mark loves Italian food, I thought we could give it a try.  We arrived at the restaurant at around 6 (we were meeting friends afterwards for drinks at Cure Bar & Bistro) and were seated immediately in the mostly empty, but beautiful 120-seat dining room.  We had a great time - while the dishes were a little hit-or-miss, the service was friendly and attentive, and we were together and in a birthday-celebrating mood!

Click below to see what we ate!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chicken Piccata

I was...sort of limited with the ingredients at my house, given I bought the very last package of chicken available at Soviet Safeway.  It was this:

I decided to try to make chicken piccata, throwing together all of the appropriate dried herbs that I had in my pantry.  All told, the meal worked out incredibly well.

Click below for the recipe!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chicken Arroz Caldo

Another icy day, another opportunity to make one of my mom's comforting Filipino dishes.  Since I had a little extra time this evening, and I had all the ingredients I needed at home, I decided to make chicken arroz caldo.  Should last me at least a couple of days.  One of my fellow D.C. Filipino food bloggers has a great entry on the background of the dish here.  As with all Filipino dishes, everyone has a different version of this dish, but they're all filling, flavorful, and delicious. 

Click below to see the recipe!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Rosa Mexicano

While today I'm dealing with the headaches (literally and figuratively) of Snowpocalypse: The Aftermath, yesterday was an outstandingly perfect snow day: first, a lazy morning oohing and aahing over the snowfall, then off to the Verizon Center to watch Georgetown knock down #2 Villanova, and a late lunch afterwards at Rosa Mexicano.  We warmed up in the sunny, colorful and vast dining room of the upscale Mexican chain restaurant.

We started out with the wonderful Guacamole en Molcajete, prepared table-side with avocado, tomato, onion, jalepenos and cilantro.  The guac was really excellent, chunky with a nice bite to it.

Click below to see what else we ate!

Cannellini Bean Spread

I'm watching the Super Bowl at my friends' place, one of whom is a vegetarian.  So I decided to bring one of my favorites, a cannellini bean spread from Steamy Kitchen.  It's fast and simple, and the resulting spread is luscious and satisfying.  For a vegetarian recipe, that is. 

Click below to get the recipe!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pork Sinigang...kind of.

I stood in the Snowpocalypse-panic induced lines at both Whole Foods and Safeway, just so I could bring you this post.  Or, you know, I decided I didn't feel like braving the weather to make my reservation at Oyamel tonight.  In any event, the snow gave me the perfect opportunity to cook my all-time favorite dish from childhood, my mom's Americanized version of sinigang.   Any Filipinos reading this will immediately protest, "That is not sinigang."*  To them I say this:  shut it.  It's my blog, and this is the sinigang I grew up with.  And it is delicious.  Even better, it's simple (although a little time-consuming) and the perfect dish for a snowy night in.

Click to see the recipe!

Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar

Everyone is losing their minds over Snowpocalyse 2: Electric Boogaloo.  I, on the other hand, have been calmly going about my typical food adventures.  Last night I had the great pleasure of dining with Mark and two of his friends, Anne and Byron, at the wonderful Mendocino Grille in Georgetown.  I love dining with a group of people, because it means I get to try more stuff!

Click below to see what we ate!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Last night Mark and I attended our very first food blogger happy hour at Againn, a "contemporary British Isles Bistro," at 1099 New York Avenue, NW.  Walking into the restaurant, I noted that the owners had done a great job recreating the feeling of a pub, all dark wood and dim lighting - a very cozy space.  We had a great time, chatting with fellow DC foodies and sipping some of Againn's creative (and cheap, at $5) happy hour drink offerings - I particularly enjoyed my "Coup d'etat," a refreshing, not-to-sweet concoction with pineau des cherentes, cava, lemon, cinnamon tincture.  Afterwards, we decided to stay for dinner with two of my close friends who, coincidentally, had come to Againn to unwind after work. The food was really solid, the service was excellent, and the company was even better - all in all, a pretty great night.

Click below to see what we ate!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Lost-Themed Dinner: Nutty, Tropical Salad and Island Pork Tenderloin

So, tonight was the premiere of the final season of Lost.  While I've been watching the show regularly since the pilot, Mark had gotten way behind - when I met him, he'd only made it through the first season.  So, a few months back, he hunkered down and plowed through seasons 2-5 so that we could watch this season live together.  In honor of his sacrifice (snerk!), I thought I should put in a little creative effort tonight, and make it a tropical/island inspired night in the cave.  Result:

Click below for the recipes!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Creamy leeks with pasta

I had a lot of chores to take care of this evening, so I needed a quick and filling dinner, one that would use up the leeks I bought on a whim a couple of days ago.  Instead of looking up a recipe like I usually would, I decided to wing it using the ingredients I already had in my fridge.  This is what I came up with:

And it was pretty delicious.

Click below for the recipe!