Archive | April, 2011

A New Pizza Haven in Bethesda

27 Apr

Well folks, it looks like Bethesda is about to become a pizza haven. And yes, we literally mean that – Haven Pizzeria Napoletana is scheduled to open late spring at 7137 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

Haven Pizzeria Napoletana

Haven Pizzeria is a joint venture between founder and partner, Tiger Mullen, and New Haven-born pizzaiolo Marco Stefanelli, who will also manage the restaurant and has an extensive resume in the pizza and restaurant business.

Haven Construction

Photo courtesy of

The pizzeria will feature New Haven-style pizza, cooked via anthracite coal ovens that give off a distinctive “char” flavor. The dough will be freshly prepared on a daily basis while ingredients such as plum tomatoes (hand-grounded daily) and cheeses will be imported from Italy.

Even the water used to make the dough is filtered in such a way that it “replicates the exact characteristics found in the reservoirs feeding the best pizzerias in the world”, Haven’s website claims.

In addition to pizza, Haven will offer salads, antipasti, and homemade gelato. It looks like Haven will also have a full bar with an extensive wine list to boot. You can even see their construction progress on their Tumblr page. Judging from pictures alone, this place is going to be huge!

Haven Notice

Alcohol License Notice

Considering how much we love Pete’s New Haven pizza, which is a couple of miles down the road, we are very excited for Haven to open.

Between this, Pizzeria da Marco, and Naked Pizza all opening very soon, let’s just say we’re not too upset that we’ll have so many great new pizza venues to choose from!


Haven Pizzeria Napoletana will be located on 7137 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda and is scheduled to open late spring.

The Silver Spring Side of Olazzo

26 Apr

With Passover concluding tonight, what better way to celebrate than discussing a return to carbs, and more importantly, pasta!

While we adore Olazzo in downtown Bethesda, we have never been to its nearby location in Silver Spring. As it turns out, Rachel inadvertently bought a BuyWithMe certificate for the Italian restaurant without realizing it was for the latter as opposed with the intention of buying it for the former.

Thanks to Rachel’s slight oversight, it gave us an opportunity to try their sister location, and especially in my case, their great meatballs.

Chicken Cardinale

One huge pro about their Silver Spring location is that they accept reservations, something that isn’t a practice at their Bethesda restaurant. Our table was ready as soon as we arrived, but given that it was a Thursday night instead of a weekend, this was anticipated.

Another noticeable difference between the two venues is that Silver Spring has a much larger dining area. The front of the house features an extensive bar area while Bethesda’s is essentially non-existent save for a few barstools. There were also several booths lined up opposite the bar that made for a cozy pub atmosphere.

Meanwhile, we were seated in the backroom which was just slightly smaller than their entire Bethesda dining room, but with higher ceilings and, even better, less noise. Then again, our reservation was around 9pm, so that probably helped in regards to the decibel levels.

Pasta Primavera

Our waitress soon came by and asked for our drink orders while one of the busboys brought out their trademark warm, fresh bread with freshly-poured olive oil. Needless to say, I went through the whole loaf.

I ordered the Chicken Cardinale while Rachel got the Pasta Primavera. And of course, we shared a meatball.

Rachel got one of her go-to dishes here, the Pasta Primavera. The description lists the dish with olive oil and garlic, but like Brett, she loves her marinara sauce. However, she didn’t think that took away from her dish, and while it wasn’t amazing or completely unique, it was a very satisfying and heaping portion of penne pasta with an array of vegetables and a zesty sauce.

Being a huge fan of marinara, I foolishly opted for that over the tomato cream sauce that came with the Cardinale. I should have stuck with the original recipe as the red sauce’s texture wasn’t optimal for the dish, but despite the substitution, I was rather disappointed with the quality of the chicken.  It was dry, stringy, and downright unflavorful.


The meatball, on the other hand, was terrific as always. Almost the size of a softball, this (along with their excellent cannolis) is one of their signature items and is a must-order if you’re dining at Olazzo. I’m honestly annoyed at myself for not ordering a plate of spaghetti and meatballs for dinner instead, but I digress.

Our bill came out to a little less than $50, and given that our BuyWithMe offer cost $20 for $40 worth of food, an inexpensive dinner turned out to be even more economical. It’s not often you receive a check for two entrees, two glasses of wine, and a side dish that comes out to $10 (excluding tip)!

Outside of the Chicken Cardinale, some of which was my fault as well as the kitchen’s, it was another great tonight at was is typically a very reliable establishment. Given that we’re walking distance to their Bethesda location, I sense I’ll have plenty more opportunities to get my cherished spaghetti and meatballs.

Olazzo on Urbanspoon

LivingSocial Lunch at Equinox

22 Apr

When LivingSocial launched its Instant Deals program by offering dollar lunches at many of the city’s restaurants last Friday, it caused quite the stir in the District. While there were a plethora of options to choose from, perhaps none were more worthwhile than Equinox and its participation in the promotion.

Todd Gray’s restaurant was not only the best venue LivingSocial offered, but given that it cost just one dollar for $20 worth of food, it was arguably the biggest steal of the day.

Hawaiian escolar filet with spring vegetable ratatouille

Rachel and I decided to meet for lunch after booking a reservation on OpenTable, as this was too big of a deal to pass up. Apologies to the turkey sandwich I made the night before.

Rachel arrived right on time, as the Metro gods smiled on her that day. Brett, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. When she got there, a representative from LivingSocial checked her in as she sat down and perused the menu.

Once we were ready to order, we realized that the offer was only valid for one per table, but it was still a fantastic deal for an impromptu Friday lunch. Since both of us work at places that allow you to wear jeans on Friday, we were feeling a little underdressed at such a fancy establishment, but hopefully they didn’t mind too much.

Eggplant Frites

After much debate, Rachel ordered the Hawaiian escolar filet with spring vegetable ratatouille while I got the pork tenderloin with mustard greens and baked potato tots. We decided to splurge a little since we had such a great deal and also got a side of eggplant frites with a spicy rémoulade.

The frites were an excellent side as Rachel and I were pretty much in a contest on who could finish them first. With a light, flaky coating of panko breadcrumbs, the eggplant had a creamy texture that was both unexpected and delightful. Meanwhile the rémoulade was irresistibly good as we could not stop dipping our frites in it.

Pork tenderloin with mustard greens and baked potato tots

The tenderloin, cooked medium-rare, turned out to be a very generous portion given the mealtime as well as the fabulous deal we were participating in. The meat was tender albeit a tad dry, but overall I didn’t have any qualms with the dish. The homemade tots were a nice side in terms of a meat and potatoes entree as it proved to be lighter than heavier alternatives such as a puree or even fries.

Rachel’s escolar literally melted in her mouth, and the buttery fish was an ideal complement to the ratatouille. If Hawaii is known for their escolar, she will definitely be on the look out for it when we visit there in September.

We have always wanted to visit Equinox, and are so glad we were able to take advantage of this great offer. We will definitely be back again. In fact, Rachel will be checking out Todd Gray’s new Watershed restaurant this weekend!

Stay tuned for a report…

Equinox on Urbanspoon

Jaleo Comes Through for Bethesda Restaurant Week

20 Apr

I almost made it through another Bethesda Restaurant Week without taking advantage of any deals, but when my friends said they were going to Jaleo for lunch, I immediately made an exception.

Jaleo has one of the better deals for Bethesda Row Restaurant Week – for $15 you can choose three items from three sections of tapas. I added up the cost of what mine would have been a la carte and it easily came to around $30.

Seared scallops

As soon as we were seated, we were served a basket of bread with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. After sifting through the menu, it seemed that everyone wanted to order three items from the middle “classic” category, instead of one from each section.

In the end, I settled on gazpacho estilo Algeciras, their very famous gambas al ajillo, and seared scallops. We decided to share most of our plates, so I also got to have some bacon-wrapped dates, apple Manchego salad, calamari, and pollo al ajillo con salsa verde.

Gazpacho estilo Algeciras

I won’t go into too much detail about the food itself since we previously reported on many of these items, but I can’t say enough about the quality and consistency of the food at Jaleo. Our waitress was a little slow and we noticed tables around us were served before ours, but I guess that is the nature of tapas.

In an age with so much restaurant turnover, especially in Bethesda, it’s amazing that Jaleo has been around for over 10 years and remains a flagship destination in the area. Every time I dine there, I feel that we should come more often and take advantage of the fact that we are so close to such a well-regarded dining establishment in the DC area.

Pollo al ajillo con salsa verdeGambas al ajilloCalamares a la Romana

Although as much as we try to branch out with the menu items, it is hard to move away from such classic dishes that made Jaleo famous to begin with. You have to admit, the patatas bravas, gambas, and bacon-wrapped dates are really, really addictive.

Jaleo on Urbanspoon

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: Upstate New York BBQ

18 Apr

When one thinks of Upstate New York, barbecue is typically not the first thing that crosses your mind. Yet when I had heard that Syracuse staple Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was opening a location near my hometown, I was pretty enthusiastic. Considering that we were in Albany this weekend to visit my family for Passover, this was an opportunity we could not pass up.

With several of my friends from home, we drove down to Troy for an early dinner on Saturday for our first experience of Upstate ‘cue. Situated right off the Hudson River in the former Fresno’s space, Dinosaur BBQ has an optimal location in the downtown area.

Once we stepped inside, we were overwhelmed not only by the massive space, but also by the wait for a table. Bear in mind that we arrived around 5pm, and there was already a 40 minute wait!

Ultimate Sampler

With our party of five in tow, we made our way towards the bar, which featured one of the better beer selections in the Capital District. New York State’s finest breweries were repped as Southern Tier, Ommegang, and Lake Placid were all found on the restaurant’s very impressive beer list.

It didn’t seem like too long of a wait, especially while enjoying a Southern Tier IPA draft, when we got the call that our table was ready. After looking over the menu, Rachel and I decided that we might as well sample as much BBQ as we possibly could and ordered the Extreme Samper.

It was an apt title for the combo given that it came with a) a half a rack of ribs, b) a half chicken, c) sliced Texas beef brisket, d) two sides, and e) corn bread. Yeah, you could say it was A LOT of food. But for $24.95 between two people, we weren’t really complaining.

So, how did this barbecue stack up to the likes of Kansas City, Austin, North Carolina, and even DC? I have to admit, I came away rather impressed.

Let’s just get right to the ribs: incredible. Honestly, these St. Louis-style cut pork ribs were some of the best I have had since Oklahoma Joe’s last year. The smoky, tender meat came right off the bone, and unlike Hill Country, you could take more than a handful of bites of each rib. And while I have grown used to dry ribs, I really enjoyed how Dinosaur’s were gently glazed with their homemade BBQ sauce. It was a beautiful mess.

Dinosaur Ribs

The chicken was also a hit as both Rachel and I enjoyed how moist and delicious it was. Pit-smoked and apple brined, this was some quality ‘cue. There was clearly no way we were going to be able to finish a leg, thigh, breast, and wing in one sitting, but we (or mostly I) tried our hardest.

The only disappointment, at least for me, was the brisket. Now that may be because we have had sliced variations of this cut in other regions, but in all honestly, it just didn’t wow me. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, but Dinosaur’s version made me want to use more sauce instead of less of it. Hill Country did a better job in this department, both in taste as well as thickness.

As for the sides, we ordered the maple whipped sweet potatoes and the mustard greens. We devoured the former faster than the latter, and we would have ordered seconds had we had the opportunity.  These were arguably some of the best mashed sweet potatoes either of us have tasted. It’s a must-order when it comes to Dinosaur’s side items. Meanwhile the BBQ sauce wasn’t anything to write home about, although their Wango Tango variation captured a nice balance of sweet and spicy.

Overall, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que was outstanding. Our entire party loved it and walked away more than satisfied. Rachel and I probably consumed at most 60% of our plate, but my dad was more than happy to eat the leftovers once we got home. Considering that we are going to be in the Albany area until Tuesday, I will go on record and say that a second trip is a very, very realistic possibility.

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Urbanspoon

Redwood and Bloomspot = A Perfect Evening

15 Apr

With the innumerable amounts of Groupon-like offers out there on the web, one deal really caught our eye a few weeks ago. Bloomspot, one of the newer entrants in the daily deal market, offered a three-course tasting menu, with wine pairings no less, at Bethesda’s Redwood Restaurant and Bar. How much, you ask? $38!

I mean, how could we resist?


This past Monday, we met up with our friends Erika and Jeremy for dinner at Redwood, marking our first official dinner at the Bethesda Row venue after several happy hours and lunches. They had each bought the BloomSpot offer as well as the whole table had to participate in order to enjoy the tasting menu.

We asked to sit outside, since it was a perfect night that felt like summer even though its mid-April. As we were being seated, we informed our waiter that we would be participating in the Bloomspot offer. Without hesitation, he brought over the specialized menus as well as breaking down the wine pairings for our meal.

Grilled Octupus Salad

The prix-fixe menu was not as limited as we thought it would be, giving diners four to five choices per course. Rachel and I both ordered the grilled octopus salad for our first course. Featuring farro, fresh herbs, cherry tomatoes, lemon, and paprika vinaigrette, it was a light yet satisfying salad. I especially liked how much octopus was found on the plate, and while the protein itself wasn’t anything exceptional, the other ingredients significantly helped out.

All four of us also received a glass of Pinot Grigio with our first course. What we really liked, however, were the generous pours. We must have received at least eight ounces in each of our glasses! Considering that I already had a few drafts at the bar earlier in the evening, I could tell that I was going to be in for a long evening.

Coq au Vin

For our main course, I ordered the Coq au Vin. When it arrived, I was stunned not only by its beautiful presentation, but also by the sheer size of the chicken breast. Furthermore, the dish also came with a braised thigh as well as a side of potato puree. This was a lot of food, kids.

It’s sometimes difficult to pull off chicken, but this bird was excellently cooked – juicy and tender with some great flavor. Topped with pearl onions and, even better, bacon lardoons, Redwood won me over with this entrée. I was the last of our group to finish given the immense amount of meat that was served. Not that I was complaining.

Pan-roasted Atlantic cod

Rachel went for the pan-roasted Atlantic cod without hesitation, which came with beluga lentils, Savoy cabbage, caraway carrots, and a lobster-Riesling nage. The fish was impeccably cooked, crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. She’s a sucker for anything with lobster, and the small nuggets in the white wine sauce melted in her mouth.

Not to be outdone, our second wine paring was a superb Chardonnay from Barboursville Vineyards. And once again, our glasses were more than half full. Our whole party couldn’t believe what a deal this was as everyone was very pleased with their meal thus far. More importantly, it was also a good thing we weren’t driving!

Lime and Yogurt Panna Cotta

For dessert, I went with the vanilla crème brûlée. Topped with pecan sandies, it proved to be a gratifying ending to a wonderful dinner. It was a classic dish that was wonderfully executed.

Rachel got the lime and yogurt Panna Cotta with a chilled mango papaya soup. The Panna Cotta was very refreshing and perfect for a warm evening, but she could have done without the soup. The mango pieces were good but the soup was a little too overpowering for the rest of her dish.

Our final wine pairing was Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Port. While I’m not particularly the biggest fan of ports, Erika made sure she enjoyed her entire glass. I was more than satisfied considering how much I had already consumed.

Vanilla Crème Brûlée

Overall, I still cannot believe we only paid $38 per person for a three course dinner WITH wine pairings. My meal by itself would have cost $41 a la carte, and that’s not even including a glass of wine, let alone three! The service was also exceptional as our waiter Sam was very accommodating as well as a bit of a jokester. He’s obviously in the right line of work as we left him a generous trip for his excellent service.

Redwood has really turned things around since they first opened and is proving that, while newer than some of Bethesda’s other restaurants, they are gradually making a name for themselves.

Redwood Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

A Pre-Race Dinner at Vapiano

13 Apr

A few weeks ago, I ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler for the first time. As with every race, before the run comes the carbo loading. To make things simple, we decided to eat at Vapiano in Bethesda and sit in the lounge area so we could also watch the Final Four basketball games. I had a lot at stake because if UConn won, there was a good chance I was going to win not one but two pools!

Penne with pesto

We have been to Vapiano several times and have always thought it was good for what it was. Quick, easy, no frills Italian pizza and pasta. The gimmick is you get a card when you enter, and can watch them make your pasta to order. The pizza takes a little longer, so they usually give you a buzzer while you wait at your table. I have also had some of their salads and soups before, and while you get a good portion for your money, nothing stood out there either.

On this particular night, I decided to order the Fusilli pasta with pesto and pine nuts. On a previous trip I went with a red sauce (which I usually prefer), but I realized that I usually love drowning my pasta in red sauce, and they are fairly skimpy on the sauce here. I had a feeling something like a Pesto sauce would stick better to the pasta, and I was right. There was definitely a generous portion of oil in it, but it was a very satisfying pre-race dish.

Penne Arrabbiata

Brett ordered the penne arrabbiata which featured spicy tomato sauce. He also added grilled chicken to the dish for additional three dollars, which he thought was rather steep. This was Brett’s second time to Vapiano and he was just as dissatisfied, if not more so, than he was during his first visit. While he enjoyed the spicy marinara, the pasta was mediocre at best. The worst part, however, was the grilled chicken. He had a problem with both the quality (very dry) and quantity (sparse) of the protein which really questioned the supplemental charge.

I will say that any time we have ordered pizza at Vapiano, there hasn’t been any complaints. It’s by no means the best pizza in the area, but you get decent, freshly-baked pizza at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, each time we go we try to get some pasta too, seeing as that it is one of their specialties. We should stick to their pizzas and salads, and keep the place in mind for their decent happy hour deals. Oh, and the bowl of gummy bears when you leave isn’t a bad touch either. Vapiano is a fun chain to have in the area, but if we want real pasta, we’ll stick to Olazzo and Trattoria Sorrento.

Vapiano (Bethesda) on Urbanspoon

Burgers and Beers at Bourbon

12 Apr

Kentucky Breakfast StoutAfter an arduous search throughout many of the District’s bars and beer stores, I was tipped that Bourbon had Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout in stock. We set off for the Glover Park establishment to finally fulfill my personal quest of this sought-after brew.

Rachel and I have been to Bourbon several times, both in Glover Park as well as its Adams Morgan location (where they offer a solid brunch), but we have never had dinner at either of their restaurants. We decided to make an evening out of it. I mean, if we’re going all this way just to try a beer, we might as well enjoy it over a meal, right?

We made our way upstairs, but alas, all the tables were occupied at the time. Bourbon is like ChurchKey where diners seat themselves whenever a table opens up as there is no host service. No matter as I immediately went to the bar and ordered my very first bottle of KBS. While priced at a steep $9, it was worth every drop.

While the bartender just served me the bottle, I asked for a pint glass to pour it in as I wanted to enjoy the variety of aromas captured inside in addition to observing how thick and jet-black this beer actually was. Aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year, the bourbon flavor wasn’t as overpowering as I thought it would be. Add in the hints of chocolate and coffee and I can see what all the hype is about, and I’m not even a huge fan of stouts. Even Rachel enjoyed it, and she hates bourbon!

Blackened tuna steak sandwich

Just as we ordered our drinks, Rachel was able to secure a table in the back. As for the food, I ordered a blackened tuna steak sandwich. Topped with avocado, baby spinach, and dill aioli, it was a generous portion of fish. It wasn’t anything special, but for a place that emphasizes spirits over entrees, as well as the $11 price tag, I wasn’t complaining. The side of house made sweet potato chips helped matters as well.

Rachel ordered the bison burger, something she never had before, and had always been hesitant to try ever since she saw buffalo roaming in Yellowstone on a trip years ago. However, she decided to get past that and took her first-ever bite of bison, and it was delicious. She heard bison is leaner than regular burgers, and was surprised by the thickness as well as the juiciness of the sandwich. It was topped with Swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms and, while messy, hit the spot. The burger came with a side of bourbon BBQ baked beans that were so good that her only complaint was the size of the small ramekin they were served in.

After our waiter read off a list of desserts, we simply could not refuse and had to order the homemade Chipwich. It turned out to be a worthwhile decision. Filled with rich vanilla ice cream and sandwiched between two warm chocolate chip cookies, we asked our friend Brian to help finish it off as were all but full from its deliciousness.


The great thing about Bourbon is its extensive beer selection as we had two more of our friends who lived nearby join us for some drinks. It’s a great neighborhood bar that’s right off of Wisconsin Avenue should you be looking for some quality micro brews as well as some solid bar fare. I’m already looking forward to another Chipwich myself.

Bourbon on Urbanspoon

Mardi Gras Brunch at Acadiana

7 Apr

After Rachel and some other friends completed the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, a group of us headed over to Acadiana for their Mardi Gras Brunch.

We were trying to find a brunch in DC that met certain criteria: a) it was prix-fixe, b) had something for everyone, c) was well-received, and most importantly, d) had either unlimited or highly discounted libations. Acadiana met each and every one of these prerequisites.

We have been craving New Orleans cuisine since our trip to the Big Easy last November, so we were literally counting down the days until brunch. I myself shied away from any food before our 1pm reservation just knowing that we would most likely be stuffed once we finished.

Fried Gren Tomatoes

Acadiana features a three-course brunch for $29. For $9 more, diners have access to the raw bar where they can feast upon unlimited shrimp and oysters. The kicker, of course, were the dollar Bloody Marys and blood orange Mimosas. Yes, you read that right. Each cocktail during brunch is only one dollar!

Once we were seated, the table received a few baskets of freshly baked buttermilk biscuits served with a side of red pepper jelly. After one bite, I knew we were in for a great meal. It was the quintessential biscuit: flaky on the outside, soft in the inside, and still warm when it reached the table.

Turtle Soup

For the first course, I went with the turtle soup. Having eaten this for the first time at Commander’s Palace and fallen in love with it, I could not pass up another opportunity to try it again. Acadiana’s version had a thicker consistency than that of Commander’s as well as a significant amount of turtle meat. In comparison, Commander’s Palace was more of a bisque and featured a subtle combination of turtle and pork. Overall, I preferred the version I had in New Orleans over Acadiana’s, but don’t let that discourage from you ordering it as it was still very good.

Rachel went with an old favorite – fried green tomatoes, topped with Zatarain’s spice boiled gulf shrimp rémoulade. When eating southern food, you can’t go wrong with that dish. Her only issue was that while each component may have worked separately, as a whole it was too much as the sauce overpowered everything else. The shrimp was a nice touch, but in the end, the fried tomatoes were left a little soggy.

Shrimp and Grits

After sipping on a few mimosas (and some of Rachel’s Bloody Mary), I ordered the southern shrimp and grits for my entrée. They were simply outstanding. I have had shrimp and grits before (notably in Charleston), and while it wasn’t prepared in a traditional style last Sunday, these were still the best. I’m not sure if it was the delicately-prepared cheddar cheese grit cake, Tasso ham, or the rich sauce poured on top, but I cannot recommend this dish enough. Just wonderfully executed.

Eggs Acadiana

Rachel ordered what appeared to be their specialty, the Eggs Acadiana, which consisted of two poached eggs, Louisiana crawfish crab cakes, and Tasso ham hollandaise. She got the hollandaise on the side, and it came with a side of diced potatoes. She could have done without the potatoes because they didn’t add much to the dish, but the crawfish cakes were delicious with all meat, no filler, and a perfect blend of spices. It wasn’t a wowing dish, but it was a great spin on the regional Chesapeake Benedict.

As if it could not get any better, it did. I ordered the pecan tart for dessert and it was absurdly delicious. I’m dead serious: if you ever go to Acadiana, you have to order this. Describing it as rich would be an understatement. While the chocolate ice cream scooped on top might be a tad overboard, the bourbon and caramel glazed on top made every bite worthwhile.

Pecan Tart

Rachel was torn between the traditional beignets with chicory coffee crème anglaise or going a little lighter with the sorbet trio. At first she ordered the beignets, but that was before the first two courses. Halfway through the entree, she switched out her dessert to the sorbet, which featured caramel apple, pineapple, and Abita root beer flavors. Having been to the Abita Brewery and trying their root beer, I can attest that its like likeness was uncanny. Each scoop was incredibly refreshing and was a great way to conclude the meal.

To top things off, the server dropped off turtle pecan fudge bites with the bill. We could barely eat the small morsels given how extraordinary full we were, but the whole table managed to try one and left Acadiana that much fuller.

Sorbet Trio

Overall, Acadiana served up an outstanding brunch. The food was delectable, the service was exceptional, and the price was just right given the portions as well as the highly popular dollar mimosas. Throw in the live jazz that was being performed throughout the day and you have yourselves quite the experience. Well done, Acadiana.

Acadiana is located at 901 New York Ave NW in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Acadiana on Urbanspoon

Happy Hour at Pete's New Haven

5 Apr

We already know that Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza serves up arguably the best pizza in all of DC, but what you may not know is that they offer a terrific happy hour as well.

Rachel and I went to their Friendship Heights location last Friday not only for an early dinner, but to also partake in their great beer specials. All of their draft beer is half price, and considering that they offer some terrific brews, it’s an exceptional deal. Where else in the city can you find a pint of Great Lakes Eliot Ness for fewer than three dollars?

Veggie and Chef's Choice

I repped the DMV by ordering a glass of Port City’s Optimal Wit – a fantastic wheat ale brewed in nearby Alexandria. Glasses of house red or white wine are $2.50 each, and you can also order a pint of Moretti and a slice of cheese pizza for $5 as well.

As for food, we started off with a cup of their lentil soup. Normally when you envision lentil soup, you think of a thick, whole-bean texture. Not the case at Pete’s. It had all the flavor (and then some) but with a finer consistency, almost like a bisque. It was very, very good and was accompanied by a warm piece of homemade focaccia.

Lentil Soup

And then of course, there was the pizza. What more can we say? Pete’s does it right every single time. The crisp, slightly charred crust prepared with high-quality toppings makes this former New Yorker (albeit upstate) and New Jerseyan very happy.

I ordered a plain as well as a chef’s choice (which featured caramelized onions and prosciutto) and I can’t think of a simple complaint about either slice. Rachel ordered a slice of veggie (which included sautéed spinach and roasted peppers) and loved it.

Cheese SlicePort City Optimal Wit and Great Lakes Eliot Ness

The only problem was that we apparently did not get the memo that we were supposed to bring 300 kids with us. Seriously, the place was jam-packed with tots. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we simply had no idea it would be like that since we’ve been here for happy hour in the past. Then again, that was on a Tuesday and this was on a Friday afternoon.

Not Pete’s fault by any means. Hell, they must love it what with the line pretty much going out the door. We’ll just have to return for happy hour on any day but Friday. Sorry Rebecca Black, but it seems your demographic already conquers that specific day at Pete’s.

Pete's New Haven Style Apizza on Urbanspoon