Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Great Dinner, No Wingman Needed!

Sometimes, you just don't get a perfect dining experience right away. On my first review for this blog, I recounted a dinner I had at Cheesetique. Although there were some technical difficulties with the wine (yuck!), I still managed to have a fantastic time thanks to my friend. She single-handedly gave me a lobotomy and made me forget about how terrible the wine was. Conversely, there have been times where the amazing food cast a spell on me and compelled me to see my blah dining companions in a more positive light.

In these instances, the food and company worked with each other, helping the less-desirable aspect seem more appealing, much like what a wingman does. However, in the case of dinner last week, both the food and company were amazing from the get-go.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Foodie" is a Four-Letter Word

This past week, I have been doing quite a bit of shameless self-promotion for this blog. To keep my eating, writing, and reviewing skills sharp, I have been doing some research. This means flipping through my piles of Food & Wine and Wine Spectator magazines and re-reading my food books (Thanks Anthony Bourdain and Pim Techamuanvivit!). Over the course of my studies, I've come across some words that often come up in culinary journalism, but I have never liked.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Falling for Cheesetique

Ahh, the beginning of fall. As much as I love the laissez-faire way of life that comes with the summer months, I eagerly anticipate the turning over of the seasons. It's the time when you feel that slight breeze during the day, you see the leaves change to their requisite autumnal hues, and you discover all the new fall merchandise arriving at the stores!

As with the seasons, it was a natural progression that a friend and I moved our weekly powwow about life, men, clothes, and shoes from her sunny poolside to cozy Cheesetique in Alexandria. We sat down and giddily talked about getting rid of our summer clothes to make room for our freshly acquired fall wardrobe, and even had a serious discussion as to when to break out our new boots! I thought, this cheese place is perfect for us cheeseballs!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Me, Drinks & The Number 5

Favourite non-alcoholic drink:
  1. Coke Zero
  2. Starbucks Green Tea Latte
  3. Arizona Green Tea Iced Tea
  4. Sparkling water
  5. Milk
Favourite drink with alcohol:
  1. Guinness
  2. Jägermeister shot, ice cold
  3. Grey Goose and cranberry juice 
  4. Red wine, preferably a big, oaky Cab Sauv or Shiraz
  5. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
Favourite bartenders:
  1. Bruce, at Union Street Pub in Old Town Alexandria
  2. Hugo, at Cafe Salsa in Old Town Alexandria
  3. Tim, at Ri Ra in Arlington
  4. Rob, at Cafe Citron in DC
  5. Petr, at Lima in DC

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Making of DC Gluttony

The idea of a restaurant review blog has been rolling around in my head for a number of years, and now, it is finally a reality! I won't bore you with any extensive credentials, like how I graduated from CIA or apprenticed under Eric Ripert or spent the summer savouring the flavours of the French countryside. In fact, I won't even pretend that I have any culinary background, period! Truth is, I never went to cooking school and I rarely cook for myself! As for the taste of France, does eating crepes at IHOP count? But my one qualification for starting this blog is my love of cuisine, particularly that of the DC area.

I have lived here since 2004, and I have been fortunate enough to eat at a number of eating establishments around town. Sure, people like to discredit the culinary strength of DC, comparing it to more progressive cities like Los Angeles or New York. In my opinion, this is similar to comparing apples to oranges. DC is a transient town and the food will reflect that. Flip open the phone book to "Restaurants" and you will find such a random smattering of cuisines. From Filipino to Southern to Ethiopian, consider yourself in the United Nations of culinary goodness!
Let's get to the heart of this blog and its concept. I want to give an honest, clear-cut review of restaurants in the DC area, with everything being rated on a 1- to 5-star rating scale. I've always believed that when we eat, we utilize all of our basic senses. What we experience with our senses complement each other, elevating the dining experience. Sometimes, they're just dealbreakers. For example, durian is a yummy fruit with a delicate tropical flavour, but for many, the smell itself is enough to make them want to singe their nose hairs in the attempt to mask it! Simply put, Sight, Smell, Touch (Texture), and finally Taste will all be factored in when I give my reviews. If I encounter food that pops or even crackles, I'll try to include Sound! How neat would that be?

I will try my best to be both comprehensive yet concise with the descriptions. As well, I plan to be as impartial as possible, but as we all know, food is very subjective and I am easily swayed. So unless the restaurant has an amazing Cabernet Sauvignon that's just the right kind of oaky and a bread pudding that can strike that perfect balance between being rich and light, you got yourself a front row seat for an honest take of DC Gluttony.

Graphic courtesy of