Rose’s Luxury – Roof Garden Tasting Menu

When two friends have birthdays in July, what do we do? We have a fancy birthday celebration at Rose’s Luxury

I still remember the first time I ate there. It was totally worth the wait. This time, it was even better because we had a reservation!

This beautiful rooftop garden (that I would just pass by on my way to the restroom upstairs😂) welcomed us when we got there. One of the birthday girls, “C”, had to stay online and refresh their reservation page 15,000 times to get this. The competition is intense! Special thanks to C for your fast click skills!

We basically sat there for 4 hours and kept eating and drinking. That’s what I call a great life!😁 What was even better, I didn’t have to experience that anxiety/agony/suffering at Komi, where I was asked not to take any pictures of the food. Food was great but every time they brought out beautiful dishes, I gotta say, a little part of me died. No picture, no blog post. Oh well. 

So, here are the pictures from our lavish birthday party!

Rye Challah / with whipped honey-caraway butter and sea salt 

Pheasant “Mortadella” / with pistachio, Dijon & red onion 

Stuff Date / with cultured butter

Artichoke Leaf / with barigoule & smoked trout roe

Kung Pao Tofu / with broccoli, Virginia peanuts & pea shoots (Well, most of us were Asian. When they brought out the Chinese to-go paper containers, for a split second, some of us thought, ‘they are not serving this because we are…?’😂)

Carrots “Pastrami” / with smoked butter, rye & sauerkraut (This might have been my favorite dish this time!)

THE Lychee Salad / with pork sausage, habanero, red onions, coconut milk foam, toasted garlic slices, cilantro & peanuts (This dish has been on their menu forever and I like it every time I eat it!)

Farro Reginetti / with garlic & mustard greens (Some said that it was too salty, even though I liked pasta better than the other one😉)
Rogatoni Alla Vodka / with squid & genovese basil
Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken / with honey & benne seeds (Btw, pickle juice is a great marinade! Never throw away leftover pickle juice. I use it all the time!)
Smoked Brisket / with white bread, horseradish & slaw

Italian House Salad

BBQ Beans / with Carolina gold rice 

Toasted Cinnamon Ice Cream / with apple cider donut (The. Donut. Was. The. Bomb.)
Innkeeper’s Pie / with walnuts, chocolate ganache & milk ice cream (O. M. G. 😱)

Last, but not least, the breakfast goodie bag! On our way out, they gave each of us this bag with a cinnamon bun and bottled cold brew coffee! 

It was such a nice treat! We got to meet and hang out with some cool people while enjoying scrumptious food all evening! If you have some important celebration coming up, I definitely recommmend that you set a reminder on your phone and get online to make a reservation! 

Happy summer!😎 And happy birthday, Y and C!!💕

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Convivial D.C. 

Going out for ethnic food in Northern Virginia is always awesome: super delicious and quite affordable. However, we all have one of those days we wanna treat ourselves in a fancier setting. That was last night. 

We went out to Convivial in DC to celebrate my birthday and my father-in-law’s retirement. You may not wanna walk in there in your shorts and flipflops but it is pretty laid back there. All the servers were wearing jeans! 

First, and our favorite dish: Arctic Char Lox. Rye crisp, horseradish & caraway coleslaw, “everything” aioli. What a brilliant twist to a great food concept! It actually tastes better than it looks (and yes, that’s possible!). 

Zucchini Roulade. Tomato, goat cheese, sumac, pine nuts. Good thing I took a quick snap of this beautiful dish because there is no pretty way to cut this roulade😂 The pleasant, subtle goat cheese flavor in this cold dish was just perfect. 

Bouillabaisse. Blue catfish, clam, mussel, prawn, crab, squid, daurade, octopus. I know it can be quite intimidating if you are not used to certain seafood items in that broth. However, I think everyone should try this. The broth had this super creamy texture and the fresh seafood was perfectly cooked. Say no to overcooked, chewy squid! 

Grilled Daurade. Sautéed squid, celeriac mousseline. Daurade (European sea bream) may not sound quite familiar to you. I think a lot of Asian countries use this fish too. I know that it’s considered a very expensive kind in Korea😉 Absolutely delicious! 

And, of course, desserts! No meal is complete without desserts!

They serve French-American food in smaller portions like tapas. It’s perfect for me because I love to try many different dishes! And more importantly, EVERY SINGLE THING WAS JUST FANTABULOUS! It almost reminded me of Rose’s Luxury in a way- small delicious dishes to share with everyone. 

Their service is top-notch too. A new set of silverware is provided in a timely manner for every course. Serving spoons/forks are set aside as well in case you need them to share food. 

Even though it’s in a busy part of DC, you are not on top of each other like other well-known, hot restaurants in the city. I wouldn’t say that it’s serene but you can have a normal conversation with people in your party without other people running into you every 5 minutes. 
This weekend, we definitely well treated ourselves. Now, I’m ready for some baseball! 

Food scene in October in Southern Maryland!

When that Indian summer weather hits NOVA, it’s time to head down to Southern Maryland! Now that I’ve lived in the area for about 5 years, I do have favorite events to attend. Here are two fun food-related events in Southern Maryland that you can take your loved ones to.

<U.S. Oyster Festival / National Oyster Shucking Championships>

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  • When: 3rd weekend of October (Saturday: 10am-6pm / Sunday: 11am-6pm)
  • Where: St. Mary’s County Fair (42455 Fairgrounds Rd, Leonardtown, MD 20650)
  • Admission: $7/person (kids under 12 are free), food is pay as you eat
  • Website: http://usoysterfest.com/

I was introduced to this awesome oyster festival thanks to a couple of friends last year. This year, they celebrated their 50th anniversary! Everything you can think of (when it comes to oysters) is there: raw oysters, fried oysters, grilled oysters, steamed oysters, oyster po’boys, oyster tacos, oyster stew… You name it. A dozen of raw oysters were $18, FYI.

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There is a barn where the oyster cook-off takes place. Sit there and watch the chefs show off their skills. You may get lucky enough to sample their final products if the timing’s right. I got to taste the oyster Benedict and this amazinglicious soup at the end!

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When you see the King Oyster greeting people, you know it’s time for the oyster shucking championship rounds!

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Go get those freshly-made mini donuts with extra strawberry icing on the side and watch the experts compete! By the way, it truly IS a national championship. The winner of this national round complete in the international oyster shucking championship!

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You don’t do oysters or you are scared of eating raw food? Don’t worry. They have other food options including  the stuffed ham sandwich or fried Oreos!

The bottomless soda guy is amazing too! You get a mug and you can fill it all day long.

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Mark it on your calendar for 2017 and drive down to Southern Maryland with the whole family!

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<Harvest Taste of Solomons>

  • When: 11am-4pm on a Saturday in October (This year, it was on October 22, 2016.)
  • Where: Solomons Island
  • Admission: no admission; $4 ticket gets you a food or drink sample at a participating restaurant
  • Website: they need one!

My father-in-law came down from Upstate New York to visit us and we needed a last-minute entertainment option. I googled local food festivals for the weekend and ta-da! This small yet fun food festival popped up. We drove back down to Southern Maryland.

As you can see in the map, most restaurants are gathered in the southern part of the island. You can park the car in the parking lot there and hit the restaurants one by one. We didn’t buy any tickets in advance but paid as we went.

KakaoTalk_20161030_174644131.jpgCrabby tater tots topped with crab dip at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar

kakaotalk_20161030_174645355“Half & half” soup: Maryland crab soup + cream of crab in a bowl at the Lighthouse Restaurant & Dock Bar

KakaoTalk_20161030_174649348.jpgSmoked spare ribs at Grill Sergeant

kakaotalk_20161030_174650688Oyster Rockefeller at the Charles Street Brasserie

KakaoTalk_20161030_174651913.jpgBacon wrapped dates at the Charles Street Brasserie

kakaotalk_20161030_174653241Seafood platter at Captain Smith’s

Some of the drinks looked delish too! Wished I was more of a drinker. Oh well, I get to drive drunk people back home.

So, if you are itching for some delicious day trip in October, head down south and go to town! Happy Fall! Happy Halloween!

Rose’s Luxury – the hype, expectations & satisfaction!

The phrase “the best restaurant in DC” usually triggers my sarcasm. Rose’s Luxury had been on my radar for a while but I wasn’t in a hurry. If it’s that good, it will stick around for years, right? 😉

Then, a friend of mine recently has decided to move to San Diego. The farewell meal of her choice was……..! Yes, Rose’s Luxury! So it happened tonight!

Rose’s Luxury: 717 8th Street SE, Washington, DC, 20003 | (202)580-8889

 The restaurant opens at 5pm. By the time she got there (at 4ish), the line was already this long. But don’t let that intimidate you! More than half of the people are there in line to reserve a spot for a later time. We got seated as soon as the door opened even though there were 50+ other people ahead of us!

  The whole staff and servers greeted us with big smiles. The moment we walked in, we felt at home. 

 Like many other restaurants in DC, the space is rather tight. However, every table has this little secret place for your drink menu (or whatever) you might wanna hold on to all night! It’s a nice touch. 

So, the food. 

  Potato brioche and butter with crispy onion bits and chives. I normally don’t fill up with dinner rolls. Man, this bread was from another world! It was nice and warm. We just killed this soft, delicious loaf in 2 seconds. I almost wanted to ask for another one to eat and another to go but I decided to behave myself….. THIS TIME. 

  Their signature dish: pork sausage, habanero, peanuts and lychee salad. We didn’t know what to expect when we ordered this dish. My friend is a pescaterian so she ordered the vegetarian version with veggie sausages. The saltiness from the sausages, the sweetness from lychee, the tangy flavor from the dressing, the spiciness from red onions, the aroma from the herbs plus peanuts and thin, toasted garlic! All those flavors were nicely put tougher without clashing with each other. Surprisingly, I actually LOVED the vegetarian version as well. It was milder. If you are not a big fan of strong herby tastes (of sausages), the vegetarian version will give you the ultimate satisfaction!

  Charred carrots with harrisa, housemade yogurt and pearl onions. The combination of the yogurt and the spicy red sauce went really well with charred veggies. Gosh, I love pearl onions! Btw, every time I say onions, I can’t stop hearing Mr. Raftery in my head haha. #NCAA #MarchMadness 😁🏀

  
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm…. Spaghetti with spring pistou, jalapeño and blue crab. Even if you are terrified with anything green, you should try this dish. Their pasta is supposed to be really well made. The noodles were cooked perfectly. The sauce was seasoned just right. There was a good amount of crab meat. We kept saying that we could eat this all day every day. We were only half joking. 

  AND when we thought we were done, this special dish (on the house!) came out for no reason. What a nice surprise! White rice with risotto-like texture topped with seasoned beans! Not sure how they made this rice so creamy without using any cream or milk! Or did they..?! 😛 I loved the perfect harmony of saltiness and sweetness!
  No meal ends without desserts! Warm chocolate mousse, toasted brioche and rose ice cream. Yes, pure foodgasm it was. 
  Then, a more classic choice. Rhubarb tart, strawberries and black pepper whipped cream. When we thought that we were done eating, we had a little taste of this tart. Like we hadn’t been eating, we started to stuff our faces again. I think, at one point, the two couples next to us kind of looked at us with judging eyes. Lol
I’ve read reviews about this place. Some aren’t nice. The wait is too long. The portions are small. It’s expensive. They don’t take reservations. And all of these are somewhat true. Some super duper famous restaurants have let me down for sure. However, to me, it was well worth it. The hype met my expectations today. 

The menu is simple. They give you familiar food choices; yet, they mix and match flavors that we are used to and give you a little surprise on your palate. 

  

I wouldn’t come here every day but it’s definitely a destination. I even asked them about private dining options! 

Farewell to my good friend, C!! Hope she finds all the good restaurants in San Diego by the time I visit her! Can’t wait!

Happy weekend!

Taste of Georgetown 2014

I randomly found out about this event and had no expectations. It turned out to be awesome!

Each “taste” was 5 dollars or a bundle of 5 plates was 20 bucks. Of course, we bought a few of those bundles 😉 Portions were bigger than we thought and the vibe we got there was great.

I’m not gonna say much about it this year until I go back in 2015 but I do want to share some pictures of the foods! It was such a delicious afternoon!!

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Official website : Taste of Georgetown

[Restaurant Review] Oriental East Restaurant

▣ Location: 1312 E West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910
▣ Tel: 301-608-0030
▣ Dim Sum
▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★☆☆ (as of April 12, 2014) – Click stars for more info!

Oriental East is supposed to be one of the best dim sum places in the area. A & J Restaurant is said to be another great Chinese restaurant but today was a dim sum and dim sum ONLY kinda day. 😉

I won’t say much, though. It was AWESOME. Been to Beijing only once and never been to Hong Kong or anywhere down south so I don’t really know what’s “authentic”. However, some of my Chinese friends have approved this place to be authentic – if not, very close.

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On the table is the empty bill, which is to be filled up as your tummy gets fuller with delicious Cantonese food.

Tip1! They open at 11am daily and BE THERE EARLIER! We showed up around 10:40 and were part of the first round of seating. A lot of people had already been there a while. Those 20+ minutes of waiting can save you 1 hour or more! (Hmm… This sounds like the GEICO commercial…… lol)

Tip2! Pick-up is another great option if you are not a big fan of hustle and bustle. I didn’t even know if that was an option until I saw another line forming in the restaurant for pick-up orders. Duh.

Caution! You don’t necessarily know exactly what you are getting here but that’s part of the experience, right? The ladies with carts try to explain but not all details are accurately delivered. 😉 As long as you know it’s pork or shrimp, you are good to go. 🙂

So enough said. Here are some of the dishes from the restaurant. Add this to your restaurant list! 🙂

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(☝️Btw, the dish above here was my personal favorite. Had eggplant and pork… Don’t know what it’s called but it was MONEY!)

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Happy 4th! Happy tummy!

How was your 4th? Mine was full of yummy food!! Homemade sausages were the best! Reuben brats, cheddar brats and italian – precooked in beer bath and grilled. “Cooler” corn. Eastern shore shrimp and clam boil. S’more. “Mountain pies”. And yes, that all happened in a day! Special thanks to the Boscos 🙂 Their food is money! 😉

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Shilla Bakery – Annandale, VA

Are we tired of the same bagels from Harris Teeter? Have we had enough cupcakes from M Street? Then, here’s something new to meet our bakery cravings!

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Shilla Bakery
7039 Little River Tpke
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 333-2001

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Some bakeries are meant to be just for pick-up baked goods for your busy morning. However, this place gives you that option PLUS it’s a cool place to hang out with your friends.20130622-195202.jpg

Not only do they have different – meaning that this might not be for “everyone”- but also they serve various coffee drinks and my favorite Korean dessert, patbingsu! It’s shaved ice with sweetened red beans and condensed milk. This might sound very foreign but once you go patbingsu, there’s no turning back! Highly recommended if you are somewhat food-adventurous 😉 20130622-200009.jpg If you go there early enough, you get to taste their breads for free! We went there around 9 am today and they put out so many kinds to try. They cut up the bread into small pieces. Some last all day but they are the best in the morning when they just come out of the oven. If you like what you taste, you can buy it. If you don’t, you can just get their Illy coffee and walk out! Do some people totally take advantage of it and just eat quite a bit without paying a dime? Oh yes. 🙂 20130622-195228.jpg

Their cake choices are quite delightful too. One thing I’ve noticed here in the states is that cakes are not that “pretty”. They don’t need to look beautiful but I am sometimes so amazed how some cakes look just boring. Shilla bakery has cakes that are really “Korean”: lots of fruits, lots of decorations. 20130622-195218.jpg

Next time you are in Annandale, drop by and treat yourself!

[Restaurant Review] Boqueria – Washington D. C.

▣ Location:1837 M St NW, Washington, DC 20036

▣ Tel: 202-558-9545

▣ Tapas, Spanish

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of August 4, 2012) – Click stars for more info!

 

This Spanish tapas place with a very modern look, Boqueria, offers quite good brunch options. To me, it looked like a perfect place to take the girl you like out for a nice brunch date: very nice but not too fancy to scare her away. 😉 Or “girls only” brunch sounds really good  as well.

While I was waiting for my friend to show up (I went there even before they opened but they were very nice and hospitable!), I had some of their rose wine with tequila. VERY DELISH! They do have a lot of drink options that are apparently really good according to online reviews. Only if I was much of a drinker!! Also, their dinner menu look really fun. However, we decided to stick to typical brunch dishes.

That’s right! Huevos Benedictos! I normally don’t get eggs benedict because, sad to say, some restaurants totally don’t know what they are doing with the Hollandaise sauce. Making Hollandaise sauce is like rocket science! But the chef at Boqueria does a really good job! The eggs are poached perfectly, the Hollandaise sauce is well-seasoned, and the smoked Scottish salmon that we got we it had a really nice flavor. It was served with french fries, which had a nice kick to them (I love spicy food!), and a house salad toss with light vinaigrette. It was quite a complete meal with their house-made lemonade!

I wish I could have tried all the 10 brunch dishes on the menu! Or some of their tapas dishes offered at lunch! Or the famous churros! I think I will definitely go back for some more food here.

If you are near Dupont Circle in D.C. or want to have a fun, nice brunch with your friends or partner, check out this place. You will get treated very well with their excellent service as well as their scrumptious food!

 

[Restaurant Review] China Boy – Chinatown, D.C.

 

▣ Location: 815 6th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

▣ Tel: 202-371-1661

▣ Chinese

▣ Yelp Rating: ★★★★☆ (as of July 28, 2012) – Click stars for more info!

 

The picture up there says it all. A HOLE IN THE WALL. And the hole ain’t even big.

Whenever I go to the Chinatown in D.C., there’s this one place on 6th, where there’s an old Chinese lady making noodles and dumplings with roasted peking duck hanging off the hooks. There are always many people there too. I’ve eaten there once and (don’t get me wrong) it was good. However, it is still “for American tourists” it feels like.

However, if you walk 50 feet up the street, you see this restaurant with a grumpy-looking Chinese lady, who doesn’t really even seem that excited that you walked in. There are 1 and a half tables and there are no servers. The food is served in a plastic container. I don’t think they deliver either. I really wanted to try their “famous” crepe but they don’t even serve it after 5 p.m. Plus, it’s cash only. Now you get the point. FOOD IS REALLY GOOD.

 

Chow Foon (sometimes spelled “Chow Fun” or “Chao Fen”)

Chow Foon is a southern Chinese dish. “Chow” means to stir-fry and “Foon” is the flat, wide rice noodles. This is roast pork chow food was amazing. Perfectly seasoned pork and that smokey flavor from the sauce that they use to cook the noodles with bring out the amazing taste with the crisp texture of bean sprouts. Please ask for “spicy sauce” when she brings the food out to your table. Then, she will give you a squeeze bottle of some red sauce but the best part is their pickled peppers. Try a very small piece of the pepper with your pork. It tastes like heaven!

 

Roast Pork Noodle Soup

They use the same roast pork but you gotta taste their broth! It’s very rich yet not too “meaty”. It tastes great with the green onions too. I just grabbed the bowl and drank it out of it at the end because it was that gooooooooooooooooooooooooood. I couldn’t even finish the noodles. 😉

 

Other than pork, they have your choices of chicken, beef or shrimp as well.I kept saying, “the people in this neighborhood are so lucky!” So don’t get distracted with some Chinese characters luring you on the main street of Chinatown next time (they probably don’t mean what they say they do ;)). This place is very easy to find and once you taste their food, you are gonna wanna start writing a food blog yourself!