Recent Restaurant Experiences (8 cents)

What is shorter than a mini-review? Here goes (covers the last month or so)…..

1. Ezme, a new Turkish mezze restaurant on P Street in the Dupont Circle area. We stopped in for a light supper after a reception last week, and were more than pleasantly surprised by the variety of choices, the quality of food, the friendliness of the service, and the prices. Definitely a restaurant to try again. And soon.

2. Sonoma, a trendy bar/restaurant on Capitol Hill. I had lunch there once before with a large group where we shared a variety of pizzas, which were delicious, so it was with great expectations that we went for supper one evening last week. Major disappointment – slow service, salty soup, nice salad, undercooked trout, over-spiced broccoli rabe, and if you want bread, it’ll cost you $3. Nice wine list, comfortable ambiance. Maybe good for pizza and wine – stay away if you want a real meal.

3. Le Chat Noir, becoming an old standby on Wisconsin Ave, just south of Fessenden. An early dinner last night (to make up for barely existent lunch) – simple: salmon and tabouleh [which reminds me: watched the National Spelling Bee finals on Friday; I would have lost on tabouleh, if it were my word]. Excellent as always.

4. Arucola, another standby, where I had something new on the menu, a plate of assorted vegetables – greens and roasted root vegetables. Excellent flavors, cooked just right.

5. Restaurant du Vieux-Port, in the old city part of Montreal. There were eight of us at the table; only one ordered steak. Everyone else had fish. I had red snapper, which was first class. Everyone was happy with the meal.

6. Casa Minhota, a Portuguese restuarant on St. Laurent in Montreal. An accidental choice for lunch, and much more food than anyone needed. Wonderful restaurant, although I made a poor choice with the Cod Minhota, which was a salt cod, although clearly of high quality, served with soft cooked sweet onions. Everyone else ordered well, and the mixed salad was extraordinary.

7. The restaurant at the Best Western in Plattsburgh NY and the Howard Johnson diner in Saugerties NY: you might be better off going to bed hungry.

8. La Matriciana in Rome, across from the Opera House. Wonderful restaurant, excellent service. Had a fish and a salad, and excellent wine and espresso (served with macaroons on the house).

9. La Scala in Trastevere, Rome, highly recommended by friends, turned out to be an ordinary, nice restaurant with no reason to choose it above any other.

10. Il Posto Accanto, Rome, a restaurant we chose by its looks when we walked by. Delicious pasta followed by sub-par fish. Wouldn’t go back there.

12. The Ethiopian Restaurant, Tel Aviv. Quite spicy, but quite good. Just like the Ethiopian restaurants in Washington. Are they the same in Addis Ababa?

13. Rocca, Herzliya. Wonderful place for dinner, right on the Mediterranean, with large outdoor seating area where you can watch the sun go down.

I have to stop now – I’m hungry

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