As a celebration after completing our Washington, DC Death March (10 hours walking, 22.9 miles), we decided that a celebratory brunch was in order the next morning. It’s not particularly easy to score brunch reservations for a large party, but one of our Marchers, Jeff, recommended LIA’s in Chevy Chase. Part of the Chef Geoff group of restaurants, LIA’s is one of the places focusing on “Posh American” cuisine: American classic dishes done up with quality ingredients and with interesting twists. But, most importantly, they were easily able to hand a group of 12 with last minute reservations, so we found ourselves traveling up to Chevy Chase for brunch.
Farm Stand For the first night of our trip, we decided to stay near LAX and head east the next day. From many, many previous work trips to the area, I’m pretty familiar with the El Segundo area, and I rather like the area. Due to an odd historical/geographical quirk, El Segundo is somewhat isolated from the surrounding LA area (the Northern border is LAX, the Southern border is a giant Chevron refinery), and it still has a classic downtown that feels like it’s left over from a former era, with all sorts of small businesses, restaurants, and the like. Several of the restaurants are quite good, and this time we decided to check out Farm Stand. Farm Stand presents itself as serving up “Urban Country Food”, and that’s a pretty good overall description. Most of their dishes are rustic country dishes from a variety of cuisines ranging from American, to French, to Italian, and even Mediterranean, and most of the dishes are built around the farm to table concept using local (well, as local as one can get in El Segundo) produce and meats as much as possible. The result is a pretty varied menu, but with a lot of good items. Linguini Myself, I was drawn to their linguini with meatballs, which was some very nicely done homemade linguini served up with some very flavorful meatballs, served up in a flavorful ancho cream sauce. The dish had a rather nice fusion of Italian and Spanish flavors: the pasta was nicely made and slightly al-dente, the meatballs very pleasantly spiced, and the ancho cream sauce very bold and up front. The result was a dish that reminded me both of a nice linguini, and a nice Spanish albondigas. Lasagna Similarly, Carol did well with a rich and flavorful house lasagna, with flavorful layers of housemade pasta and a rich bolognese sauce, served up with a veritable mountain of fresh greens. We both agreed it was a particularly good lasagna that focused nicely on the meat sauce. Lamb Dip And Dan also had a pleasant looking lamb dip, which was the first time he’s had one of those (I’ve had several on the other side of LA at the famous Phillipe, which also does a great Lamb Dip), and this was a rather good rendition as well, served with an ample pile of nicely-crisped sweet potato fries. And Sophie had […]
A few years ago, the old courthouse in Newport, NH was renovated and converted into a restaurant, called, simply, The Old Courthouse. It’s been a welcome addition to the area’s fairly meager “fine dining” scene, with a rather nice dinner menu, as well as one of the area’s better Sunday Brunches. However, what has often drawn me to the Old Courthouse is that they often have some pretty good theme dinners. In this case, they recently were celebrating Polish-American Heritage Month with a series of Polish dinners. Seeing that Carol is of Polish descent, and I’m of Lithuanian descent, and the area don’t really have a lot of Eastern European dining options, we decided to check it out.
I recently had a family-related trip to Corning, NY (where I was born), and found myself craving dinner in downtown Corning (Market Street, a.k.a. The Gaffer’s District). While this part of town has quite a few restaurants (including one I’ve already reviewed), most of the places are pubs, Italian places, or pizza joints, none of which were really appealing to me. I was craving something a little more upscale, and a quick web search led me to Three Birds. Nestled in at the eastern end of Market Street, Three Birds is in a doubled-up storefront having a rather ornate bar on one side, and dinner tables on the other. Being a solo diner this time, and somewhat light on my appetite, I decided to sit at the bar, which also allowed me to peruse both their normal dinner menu, as well as the lighter bar menu.
Back in late April, due to competing obligations and business travel, Carol and I weren’t able to celebrate her birthday on its actual date, so we decided instead to meet up in Manchester and give Cotton another try. I like Cotton, since they are a nice combination of “old school” cuisine (steaks, chops, and the like) along with some new and funky ideas, of the sort that are usually labeled “New American Cuisine” these days. The result is usually quite impressive, yet familiar…