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Siroc Restaurant Review

28 Dec

In the last few years the DC area transitioned from a place with a few restaurant gems to a vibrant restaurant scene.  World-renowned chefs opened up dazzling new hot spots, and local celebrities like José Andrés, expanded their culinary empires.  And don’t forget about all of our remarkable food trucks!

We have shining examples of every type of cuisine with the exception of Italian food.  I heard Mario Batali is in search of the perfect DC location for his new restaurant venture, but until then, I’m still in search of my favorite Italian place in and around the city.  I know many people feel like cooking Italian food is simple, and therefore not worth spending their money on for date night.  I recently fell in love with making pasta, and I wholeheartedly disagree.  Italian food at it’s best is simple, fresh and has vibrant flavors.

So far my best bet for delicious Italian food has been Siroc Restaurant. I’ve been four times, and had consistently delightful Italian-inspired food.  I went recently with a few friends and here’s a look at my meal.

Appetizer:  Burrata Mozzarella with Roasted Peppers, Capers, Garlic, Anchovy, and Arrugola Puree

The plate was beautiful and the appetizer was very good.  I love burrata and think this is a close second to the best in the city.  The roasted peppers added a sweetness and the capers and anchovies gave me the touch of salt I needed.  All in all, a great dish.

Entrée:  Potato Gnocchi with Venison Ragu, Rosemary, Wild Mushrooms, Nutmeg and Cream

In the picture this entrée looks like it’s to die for.  In person the dish was definitely to die for.  The gnocchi were the perfect light little sponges to absorb the welcoming venison raguAbsolutely perfect for such a cold day.  I can safely say, I was the envy of the table when my meal arrived. 

As usual, I can never turn down dessert.  My friend Megan (yes another one) suggested we order it in truth because she was not entirely satisfied with her dinner.

Dessert:  Warm Almond Cake with Blueberry topping and a Cinnamon Zabaglione Sauce

Again, another gorgeous and simple presentation.  I loved the blueberry and cinnamon creme.  My almond cake was a bit dry, but still very good.  I’ve ordered this same dessert in the past at Siroc and had a better cake. 

My overall rating for Siroc was a solid B+ on the entire meal.  As I previously mentioned, I’ve been to the restaurant several times, and have every intention of returning.  For starters, I would highly recommend their Potato Torte with onions and thyme and also the Burrata.  For the main course I would certainly order the Gnocchi with Venison Ragu, the Black Pepper Taglialtelle with Scallops, the Butternut Squash Cappellacci and one of my other favorites, the Eggplant layered with Lamb Shank.  All of these dishes are wonderful and you can see that Siroc excels where pasta is concerned.  I’m still trying to figure out the dessert option, but plan to try out the Trio of House-made Ice Creams next time.

Try out Siroc the next time you have an irresistible urge for pasta!

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Cuba Libre & Pop-Up Paladares Post

30 Nov

Brrr its brisk today!  Have you checked the 10 day forecast lately?  Nothing but my cold coming our way.  Looking for a way to warm up?!  Check out my recent Cuba Libre  and Pop-Up Paladares post at http://www.pamelaspunch.com/pop-up-paladares-cooking-series-cuba-libre-lunch/In addition to a fabulous meal, Chef Pernot gave me the scoop on his first event January 17-19th in the new Pop-Up Paladares seriesMy post will take you to tropical Havana in no time.

Here are a few photos to whet your appetite!

 Chef Guillermo Pernot

Buñuelos de Espinaca

Pulpo con Berenjenas

Carne de Cangrejo

Cesar de Oriente

Grilled Pineapple Mojito

Thai X-ing Review

5 Sep

Hi friends!  We’re friends right?  I’m asking because friends can keep a secret, and I am about to write about one of the best kept secrets in DC.

I first heard about Thai X-ing from my much cooler, more adventurous, younger sister K-mac.  She told me that 20 of her friends were having her birthday dinner in this guy’s house in Shaw, it was seven plus courses of Thai food, byob, and cash only.  Let’s just say I did not have high hopes.

As usual (and I may never live this down), she was right about this place.  It’s legit.  I went for a second time on Friday for a friend’s going-away party.  The food was so good, I thought we might have changed the guest of honor’s mind!

Here’s a look at our meal to the best of my recollection.  I’m not 100% sure on the names of all of these courses, as the chef changes his menu frequently for the group dining option.

Course #1  Stuffed Cucumber and Ground Pork Soup.

Course #2 Spicy Ginger Ground Chicken with Parsley. This dish is so hot it gets your adrenaline going like a roller coaster.  While the carnivores sweated our way through this dish, the chef served my veg sister a spicy cabbage noodle dish (not pictured).

Course #3 Pumpkin CurryThis dish is a house specialty and I heard the chef serves it regularly with the group menu.  Frankly, I would have been happy just having this dish for dinner! 

Course # 4 Steamed Whole Fish with Garlic Pepper Sauce.

Course #5 included a Tofu and Bean dish (above) and a Beef and Eggplant Stir Fry (not pictured).

Course # 6 Chicken Drumsticks in Cinnamon CurryAgain, I’m not sure what else was in this rich curry, but there was definitely a note of cinnamon in the background.

Course # 7 Red Mussels (above) and Drunken Noodles (below).

Course # 8 Sliced Mango with Coconut Sticky Rice.  I’m not really a mango-lover, but still ate a piece.  The sticky rice was just awesome and I could probably eat it everyday.

I’m giving the food an A for authenticity and overall amazingness.  Since I really only care about the food…my Overall Rating is an A for Thai-XingThis place has no ambiance (and no shoes permitted), so bring excellent company and wear comfortable clothes.  

As my friends, I invite you to check this place out.  But shhhhhhh!  Let’s keep this place on the down-low, and to quote the great Adam Sandler, “no-one gots to know about it!”

Ted’s Bulletin

26 Mar

There are few things I love more than a good brunch.  I’m a huge breakfast food fan, but my stomach doesn’t generally wake up until 11:30 am or later.  Brunch is the perfect solution. 

I recently went with my sister, RB, Nancy and Dan to Ted’s Bulletin for brunch.  I’d been hearing rave reviews about the place, and decided a trip to Eastern Market was in order because of the Spring-like  weather that day.   

All I have to say is thank goodness my sis a) got there early to put in our name and b) that the company and people-watching were stellar.  We had to wait forever for our table.  I mean forever in The Sandlot sense, FORE EV VER!  During the wait we chatted, watched a parade of unique fashion choices, and drooled over the homemade pastries in the window.

After about an hour, we started to narrow down our brunch entrees.  Ted’s has one of those menus where everything sounds outrageously delicious and it becomes more difficult to decide the longer you stare at the menu.

By the time we actually sat down (almost 2 hours later), I had mentally ordered 75% of the menu.  The only thing I knew was that I needed to sample one of their famed Milkshakes.  There are two varieties of shakes, traditional and grown up shakes.  All adult shakes include liquor of some sort to compliment the flavors of the shakes and the hangovers of the diners.  I went with the S’mores Shake and it was divine.  Feast your eyes on this!  Pure fluff heaven.

All five of us foolishly decided to order our own shakes, because frankly we were famished.  All of them were fantastic and huge!  We vowed to share them next time to leave room for our food.  At that point in the day, I opted for lunch brunch and the Short Rib Sandwich.  The tender sandwich was served on white bread with white cheddar, arugula, red wine mayo and massive onion rings.  I’m going through a major short rib phase and each bite was mouth-watering bliss!  The onion rings were thick and had a nice crusty bite to them. 

We started the meal with our dessert, so had to end it with creamy, gooey, golden-crumb topped Mac & Cheese.  Bless you Nancy!  She was kind enough to share it with the whole table.  The rest of us wanted to try it as soon as it came to the table.  We started off asking politely “do you mind if I try some of your mac & cheese?”  By the end of the meal we were all fighting over the goodness with our forks.

Ted’s Bulletin did not disappoint!  The food and milkshakes were wonderful.  The restaurant decor and theme is fun.  Also, props to our waiter for knowing how we needed to order our dishes, even when we didn’t.  My only complaint was the wait, but it seems silly to penalize a great place because it’s too popular.  Just remember to make a reservation and do not go hungry.  Overall Rating A.