Tuesday, February 11 at 11 AM

Where can you get a three-star experience at one-star prices? Which hot new restaurant merits the scorching hype? The answer to all these questions and more can be found Tuesdays at 11 AM on Kliman Online.

Where can you get a three-star experience at one-star prices? Which hot new restaurant merits the scorching hype? The answer to all these questions and more can be found Tuesdays at 11 AM on Kliman Online.

From scoping out scruffy holes in the wall to weighing the merits of four-star wanna-bes, from scouring the ‘burbs and exurbs to hitting the city’s streets, Todd Kliman covers a lot of territory.

Winner of a James Beard Foundation Award in 2005 for the country’s best newspaper column about food, Kliman is food and wine editor and restaurant critic for The Washingtonian. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’sThe Oxford American, Lucky Peach, The Daily Beast and Men’s Health, among others, and he has been selected four times for inclusion in the Best Food Writing anthologies. He was a finalist for the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award, and recently took home first-place honors for feature writing from the Association of Food Journalists.

Kliman is the author of The Wild Vine, a literary exploration of two entwined mysteries: an obscure grape that rose to prominence, only to disappear, and its present-day evangelist, a foul-mouthed transgendered multi-millionaire vintner on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of an antebellum southern doctor.

He previously taught writing and literature at American University and Howard University. At Howard, he was also the editorial advisor to The Illtop Journal, Chris Rock’s humor magazine modeled after the Harvard Lampoon.

Can’t wait a week to talk to Todd? Follow him on Twitter for dining reports, tips, and breaking news from the culinary world. Or write to him: tkliman@washingtonian.com


W H E R E   I ‘ M   E A T I N G   N O W   .  .  .

* Bar Pilar, DC

Justin Bittner has moved on; Jesse Miller has replaced him. And one of the coziest, most charming small plates spots in the city just keeps rolling. I’ve been twice in the past month: one meal was great, the other good. I’m not sure there’s a place along 14th St. right now that I’d rather find myself in for a couple of hours. A sweet, crisp-skinned branzino with pecorino custard and pea shoots could have come straight from the Oval Room (makes sense: Miller apprenticed under chef Tony Conte). A rusticky Bolognese, with grilled bread for scooping up the thick, Sunday-style gravy, gets my vote for the best Italian dish I’ve eaten in months. And though technically the chef’s porchetta is not a porchetta — rabbit, not pig, is deboned, stuffed with its own livers, and encased in a second-skin of bacon to seal in moisture — it’s terrific, a perfect precis of the boldly designed but intricately conceived cooking come out of this kitchen right now.

Trapezaria, Rockville

The kind of big-hearted restaurant that takes you to another place (Baltimore? St. Louis?) and maybe another time (late’ 70s). Come on a weekend night, when there’s a two-piece band and the place is humming and you’ll feel as if you’ve just crashed a wedding reception. I love the GM in coat and tie who shows you to your table, maitre d’-style. I love the waitress who turned to me one night when I was trying to decide between a lamb dish on the menu and a lamb dish that was a special, and said, “Listen. Listen to me,” and insisted I order the latter. She was right. The meat was rich and juicy and drenched in a lemon-spiked gravy. Alongside it: lemon roasted potatoes and green beans cooked with tomato and mint. True to the homestyle nature of the place, you couldn’t see any white space on the plate. Another great dish is the fried cod, delicately light, with a fluff of skordalia in the center, a sit-down Greek fish and chips. The menu has no weak spots, as far as I can tell. I’ve been three times, now, and nearly everything that has come out of the kitchen has ranged from the good to the terrific. Vegetarians can revel here. Iman bayaldi, a dish of roasted eggplant drenched in cinnamon-spiced tomato sauce, has the tight, knitted flavor of expert long-cooking. It comes in a massive portion, and costs just $7. There are stuffed grape leaves without the ground beef, filled with well-cooked rice and pine nuts and wrapped in fresh-tasting leaves that still have some good chew to them. If it takes wrapping up some food for leftovers in order to manage dessert, then do it. The version of galaktobouriko — presented in small, crunchy pieces, almost like bites of fudge — is one of the best I’ve eaten in years; the baklava (served warm, and nearly spilling its crunchy, nutty, sticky filling) is stunning; and the centerpiece of the yogurt with honey and walnuts is a scoop that has been strained almost to the consistency of a cheese, with a tanginess that goes on and on and on.

Kogiya, Annandale

The new king of Koreatown. This is the best Korean barbecue out there right now, served up by a slew of young, t-shirted staffers in a rollicking, industrial setting. Go for the marinated pork ribs.

Bangkok Golden, Falls Church

I was tempted to say this a while back, but didn’t. I will now, after a recent knockout visit: I’d rather go here, for the Lao menu, than Little Serow. The range of tastes is vast, and every plate is alive with flavor — bright and pungent and smoky and funky. Not to mention crunch and heat. Not to mention a shorter wait and a lighter bill (my recent meal of four dishes and a beer, pre-tax: $43).

Rose’s Luxury, DC

I love the crackle in the room when you walk in. I’m not talking about mere noise; lots of restaurants have noise. I’m not even talking about buzz, that sense that a new place is hot. This one has an energy that is unmistakable, a sense that you have entered a kind of rare and cherished zone where the enthusiasm of the kitchen and the staff is returned in kind by the diners, who all seem to walk out the door with smiles on their faces. It’s not hard to understand why. Rose’s Luxury has an old-school vibe, and a sort of making-it-up-as-we-go-along feel, from the homey, unassuming way the menu bids you to settle in and order to the dinner party-run-amok vibe to the yahrzeit-look-alike votives to the beer glasses that are sawed-off wine bottles. The chef, Aaron Silverman, logged stints in such high-profile kitchens as Momofuku in New York and Husk and McCrady’s in Charleston, and you don’t have to look hard to see elements of each of these places in the room and on the plate. Like his mentors David Chang and Sean Brock, he aims to bring off a marriage of extreme playfulness and extreme precision. The bulk of the menu consists of a dozen small plates in which Silverman sets out to cross the wires, compositionally speaking, and see what happens. A pate is a braiding of French, Italian (garlic bread are the toasts), Vietnamese (the rich, crushed-peanut topped spread brims with star anise), and I want to say Jewish (the brine for the jalapenos, onions and cukes that add crunch and tang tastes deli to me). It’s seamlessly done, and highly addictive. He crosses high and low in a soup that tastes at once like liquefied popcorn and a delicate lobster veloute (the sweetness calls out for some sort of counterbalancing ingredient, or more lobster). It’s not all derring-do. His gnocchi are more properly a kind of ravioli, stuffed with fennel and mint, sauced with not-too-much butter and topped with a generous scattering of crunchy toasted breadcrumbs. You’d be hard put to find five better pasta dishes in town right now. The final course is a page not out of Momofuku or Husk or McCrady’s, but out of Komi — share plates for two. In one, you lay luscious slices of perfectly smoked brisket on griddled Texas toast, add on tangy strands of pickled cabbage and smear the whole thing with a fluffy horseradish cream. The other is built around a beautifully brined pork chop — sweet and aromatic and rich as the best pork can be — with potlikker beans and a textbook red-eye gravy. The final act needs re-staging. The lack of a pastry chef doesn’t help, nor does the tendency to over-think and over-embellish. Quenelles of chocolate cream sprinkled with dried rose petals and intended for spreading on slices of charred bread feels twee, not interesting, and hardly satisfies. More of the sink-in simplicity of the share courses would go a long way. Still, this is one of the most exciting debuts of the year. I’d even go so far as to say it’s one of the most exciting debuts of the past three years.

Khan Kabob, Chantilly

The best karahi I’ve had in ages, maybe ever, is a version here made with lamb brains. The brains, for the leery, resemble tiny curds, and the sauce of garlic, ginger, cilantro, tomato and chilis is so concentrated, and so smoky, that even after you’ve had your fill it’s difficult to stop dipping your torn naan into the hammered metal vessel. Tariq Khan, the owner, was for many years part of the Ravi Kabob empire; he’s created a worthy rival.


* new this week




You were talking last week about good cocktails that don’t cost a fortune.

How about Jackie Greenbaum’s Bar Charley and SideBar – the food at Bar Charley is lackluster but the drinks can be impressive when you hit the right bartender.

Todd Kliman

Yes. Absolutely. Good adds.

Sidebar, in particular, is one of those places you wish you had five minutes from your house.

Gordon Banks came up with the drinks here, and I think he did a great job of balancing a certain seriousness without taking mixology too seriously. Most of the drinks are good, and some are great.

And I’ve always liked the snack menu.


Hi Todd,

Thanks for your time. I noticed that none of Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurants – Volt, Range, Family Meal – made the top 100. Volt is a perennial top 100 restaurant, so I was surprised. Is there any particular reason for the omission?


Todd Kliman

Well, you can’t be more surprised than we were.

But as I said here last week, there are no set-asides on that list; the restaurants that make it, earn it.

We compile a lot of reports throughout the year — internal reports, from all of us on the food team, and submitted throughout the year. And those reports — not what we hear from friends or online, not what we read in publications locally or nationally — dictate our decisions. The restaurants, in other words, tell us what to do.

In our meetings, we all were very surprised to see where these three restaurants came out when all the data was sorted through. But we trust our process.

A great meal can make a place. And a bad meal can break a place.


Hey Todd,

Recently Attorney General Doug Gansler was quoted as saying, ““You couldn’t shop in a mall in Prince George’s or go to a restaurant with a table cloth in Prince George’s. You had to come to Montgomery County or Anne Arundel County. And it’s not that different now.”

My question is: Does a table cloth make and/or mean a good restaurant? Is it a part of a dining experience that you pay attention to when going to a new place?

Also, with the Univ of MD joining the Big 10 this fall, does that mean that College Park may be prime for a decent steakhouse to serve the mid-western meat and potato fans of the Big 10? Don’t necessarily need a Morton’s but a Ray’s would be nice…

Todd Kliman

Gansler’s comment showed how out of touch he is on this score.

Most of the best restaurants in the area don’t have tablecloths anymore. Rose’s Luxury, Central Michel Richard, Proof, and I could go on and on — at none of these places will you find tablecloths. And no, I don’t pay attention to it when I’m reviewing a restaurant, except to note that nobody really does it anymore.

As to the substance of what he’s saying, he’s absolutely right; the county lags far behind Montgomery and Anne Arundel when it comes to restaurants and shopping and businesses; we all know that. I would hope that, since he is running for governor, he would be looking for ways to correct this imbalance, and find ways to funnel businesses to a county that needs and deserves them.

The blowback Gansler is getting from politicos in Prince George’s for his comments, meanwhile, shows how out of touch they are. We all know the story. The whys can be argued over for weeks. We all know those, too. But denying the reality does nothing to fix the problem.

As for a steakhouse in College Park — it’d make a lot of sense, with all the Midwesterners about to blow through town next Fall. But I wouldn’t expect any name you already know to come forward and open one. College Park is a volatile market, given its college-age population, and then there are the larger, macro issues that I alluded to above and that aren’t going away any time soon.


On “craft cocktails”…

Honestly, this is just the same DC tune in a different key. This chat has comments all the time regarding the lack of bang for your buck 8 times out of 10 when it comes to small plates (usually from the commenters) and desserts (usually from you).

Places like The Columbia Room, Barmini, PX absolutely should be charging what they charge for their cocktails, just like there are places that can do small plates or $10 desserts that don’t make you feel like a sucker/idiot. It’s the places that piggyback on the time, effort, and care of the good guys to instead toss out some lackluster crap at the same price point with no justification other than ‘welp, that’s the market rate’.

There’s no shame in a proper highball. Or even a $9-10 cocktail. Just humor your potential customers into thinking you give a crap at what you’re doing. It’s incredible how hard this is for so many spots.

Todd Kliman

I agree with your basic point.

But I think what people are responding to is a culture. There are, yes, places that do the things you talk about very, very well. But if there are many, many more who don’t, that creates a culture in which people feel that they’re not getting good value.

Think about a classroom of 20 students. And 4 of those students are star students. And 4 are terrible students. And 12 are eh — uninspired, lazy, calculating. That’s 16 students who aren’t good. As a teacher — and I was one, once — you can teach to those 4, and overfocus on them, as some professors I know used to do. But most of that class isn’t very good. The culture of the class is a bad culture. With, yes, 4 great students.

This example, by the way, is not directly analogous to the craft cocktail scene — I’m just trying to get at the idea that the aggregate is powerful. We can choose to ignore the mediocre and awful, and, in any “world,” that’s what insiders and devotees tend to do, but the mediocre and the awful don’t go away.

A culture is made up, in large part, by its middle. And — back to the food and drink scene, now — in this city the middle is expensive. And not, generally, terribly rewarding.


I think this topic has been discussed previously, this past weekend I was really excited to take a date out to my favorite new restaurant Doi Moi.

I brought my date homemade chocolate covered candied orange slices. When asked if we were interested in dessert, we said no thanks, we wanted another savory dish, which we ordered. When we were finished with that ‘dessert’, my date wanted to try a piece of my chocolate so she opened the package.

The waiter immediately swooped in and said outside food is not allowed. We were a little mortified and it was quite a buzz kill to a nice evening.

I get that the restaurant is in the business of making money, and outside food can impact the financials. I would never bring in a cake and I am weary of bringing a bottle of wine for just that reason. However, it was not like bringing in a baked alaska, it was just a piece of chocolate.

In the end, we both felt embarrassed by the situation. We spent $135 at their bar and on dinner, including higher margin wine. I looked at Doi Moi’s dessert menu after the fact, it is not really a strong suit; a couple sorbet for $6 in revenue.
If it was Central known for their desserts, maybe the equation would be different.

I had a very different experience at Kapnos a few months ago, where I brought a date cookies. The waiter asked about them and made a pleasant joke about cookies were much better than flowers on a first date. We even gave him a cookie, because he was so pleasant and inquisitive about it.

So in the end, Doi Moi’s heavy handed enforcement of this policy embarrassed their clientele. I know I will hesitate to go back to an establishment that embarrassed me, so their strict enforcement of the policy seems like it will impact their bottom line more so than getting the profits from a $6 dessert. I’d much rather spend my money now on an unhealthy amount of baby goat at Kapnos.

Todd Kliman

I wasn’t there, so I don’t know whether the waiter “immediately swooped in” — a phrase suggestive of a SWAT operation — and said no, not allowed … or came by the table and politely, if formally, explained restaurant policy.

A lot of stories I hear, on here and via email, are colored by how a diner felt at the time, and they use a language designed to dramatize action, usually in order to make a manager or server look bullying or insensitive.

I’m not saying that the server handled this well or not — I have absolutely no idea. I’m saying that it’s almost impossible for me to weigh in on this.

Does it seem like a relatively trivial thing, to bring in a chocolate-covered orange slice? Yes, very. But what if — and just a for instance, here — what if they came in a not-inconspicuous box, with foil and such to draw even more attention to the box’s presence in the room?

The point is, there are all sorts of things that I don’t know about, and you can’t possibly convey the moment in all its detail, and with the exactitude necessary for me to render a judgment.

I also think I should say that I don’t think it matters how much money you dropped. Or what the dessert menu has or doesn’t have.

I don’t know the reasons for Doi Moi’s policy, and as I said already, I don’t know whether that policy was “enforced” or explained.

I would imagine it has to do with not opening the doors to diners bringing in things like cakes, but I don’t know. I’m guessing we’re going to hear from someone there later on in the chat, or at least by next week. Stay tuned …


I noticed that Kushi didn’t crack the top 100 this year. It used to be one of my favorites, but I haven’t been that way in a while.

Has the quality dropped in a particular way, or is it simply a case of the competition being that much better?

Todd Kliman

It’s an interesting question.

The quality has slipped noticeably, yes — there used to be an excitement on the plate and in the room, and my most recent visit was pretty lackluster. Very decent, but not much more than very decent.

You asked whether the competition is just that much better. If by competition, you mean all the small, independent, ambitious restaurants that have flooded the scene, then the answer is yes. I just want to point out that we don’t compare within genres — in this case, sushi spots — and choose a best within that genre.


Hi Todd,

I literally just got a job offer that I was eagerly anticipating, and I’m in the mood to celebrate.

Any recommendations for a restaurant in NW DC where the food just feels celebratory? Doesn’t need to break the bank, just looking for somewhere where my job happiness matches dishes that inspire smiles. (I went to Rose’s Luxury this weekend, so not there please! Unless you think there is no equal for that vibe right now.)

Todd Kliman

No, nothing really does match that vibe, but that’s not to say there aren’t a slew of spots where you can splurge and celebrate.

Congratulations, by the way — you must be flying.

I’d go to Del Campo, if you’re up for gorging on massive piles of meat. It’s a nightly feast, and from the drinks to the smoky plates of beef to the desserts, it’s very, very festive.

Go, and revel, and give us a report next week …


You mention Sunday-style gravy in the Bar Pilar mention above.

What’s the distinction between a Sunday gravy and a tomato sauce?

Todd Kliman

Gravy is, as best I know, a Northeast Italian term — and more specifically, a Philly/Jersey term — for a chunky meat sauce, in which things like pork necks (here we go again!) and shoulders are slow-cooked in a tomato sauce until falling apart, and then shredded and incorporated into that sauce.

A kind of ragu, in other words.

“Sunday gravy,” it’s typically called, because in many of those Italian households of old the grandmother would simmer the meat and sauce all day for a big meal that would bring together the whole family. It’s not that this isn’t done anymore; it’s just that it’s less common, as the general American cultural practice of everyone for himself has taken over and the notion of “the table” has become a quaint relic.

A tomato sauce, on the other hand, is usually just tomatoes (amplified with other vegetables that have been cooked down with them).


Hey Todd,

Wondering if you could weigh in on this:

I tend bar in a restaurant that happens to have a very, very low corkage fee for bottles of wine brought in by guests to enjoy with their dinner. Usually this perk is a dining room luxury, where there’s almost always enough diners at the table ordering multiple courses, as well as bottles of wine off our list, to make up the “lost” revenue from the personal bottles.

Recently, however, an older gentleman has taken to bringing bottles of wine to enjoy at the bar, and almost always on a weekend night. Restaurant policy caps the number of outside bottles guests who are allowed to enjoy at two, but this gentleman has been known to bring in three, sometimes four. He’s perfectly pleasant, and when he doesn’t come in with friends to share his juice, he gladly pours out multiple glasses for whoever happens to be sitting next to him at the bar at the time.

Problem: I almost always have to dragoon the gentleman into ordering something – anything – off our menu, so more often than not, his tab is solely the low low corkage fee times three or four bottles. That’s lost revenue for the restaurant on the seats occupied by the gentleman, his friends, and/or whomever happens to be lucky enough to be seated close enough to enjoy his largesse.

Furthermore, he always tips about 15-18% on his severely discounted tab – I’ve had him, on more than one occasion, spend over 2 hours at my bar, and had him stumble off into the night with 8 bucks to show for my efforts. I obviously eat what I kill in this line of work, so it’s eventually going to reach a point where I start to resent his presence at the bar on what I would like to be a busy weekend night.

Who should say something to the gentleman? Should anything be said? I’m obviously not going to say anything., but should management? Where do you stand on tipping on corkage fees? Should the restaurant drastically raise said fee? That would screw over every other guest who has ever tipped more than graciously on their discounted bill. Your thoughts please.

Todd Kliman

You should resent him. So should the GM and owner of the restaurant.

What this man is doing is narcissistic, pompous, and insufferable.
He’s using the bar as his own personal stage — hoarding seats, showing off to friends, being the life of the party — all the while not really paying for the privilege.

If you want to drink three or four bottles of your own wine with friends, there’s a place for that. It’s called home.


Interesting article from a bar owner/bar keep in Miami about $15 cocktails in March issue of Food and Whine sorry Food and Wine.

He says the ice costs him a $1 per drink since its hand carved and then his glassware is expensive and so on. Sorry I just want ice that doesnt add or subtract from what I am drinking. Most people couldnt taste the difference.

Back when I tended bar in late 70’s I used to bet customers that blindfolded they couldnt score a 100% is a taste test and tell me which glass had coke, ginger ale, sprite, and club soda. It all came out of the gun. Never lost the bet. I can still do it can you Todd?

Clifton, VA

Todd Kliman

There was that Calvin Trillin piece in The New Yorker a few years ago, in which regular drinkers of wine, in a blind taste, could not tell the difference, most of the time, between a red and a white.

You brought up ice. I’ve had some of these ices — artisanal ices, hand-harvested ices — and yes, it’s easy to make fun of the idea of them, but I do think it made a difference in the clarity and cleanness of what I was drinking.

However. And it’s a big however …

Is that because I knew to look for it?

The phenomenon has been well-documented. Guiding, or leading, the participant or test-taker absolutely does influence the result.

I don’t think, in general, that people are very discerning. About — anything. And though I do think that foodies are more discerning, I don’t think that they are, in the main, appreciably more discerning when it comes to things like this. Like most people, they will notice when it’s been pointed out to them.

I think the big thing for restaurants is that having ice that is not just the usual thing from the fridge is a selling point. See? We make our ice. We take that time. We care. Here’s our method. Yes, we actually have a method; we actually spent time coming up with a method. Who would think to come up with a method for something like ice, you ask? Who would DO that? Answer: we would.

It sweeps the (willing) diner into a story. And once someone is listening to a story, they’re generally more receptive to thinking something is good.


Speaking of necks, the discussion a couple of weeks ago inspired me to buy some beef necks at a local market.

I adapted a curried pork neck recipe. It called for making a Thai style spice blend and cooking with coconut milk. I picked up a tin of curry paste instead. The only problem is that I bought two cans. One for this dish and another, red chili paste, for judicious use at some future point. I accidentally used the wrong tin and wound up with a spicy hot neck curry. Still good, but only in smaller quantities.

Todd Kliman

Still sounds pretty great.

And the next attempt is going to be fantastic, I bet.

Good luck.

And thanks for sharing this — I’m glad you were so inspired that you had to run out and pick some up and experiment in the kitchen. That’s wonderful.

It’s funny, but I’ve eaten neck, now, in two different restaurants in the past few weeks.

A disappointing one at the new Silo, a veal neck dish. (The neck meat was chewy, unfortunately). And a good one at the new Alba, in which braised beef neck is stuffed into agnolotti, showered with grated parmiggiano, and sauced with a rich beef jus.


This is very preliminary (and probably very DC), but wondered if Thursday’s possible snow day would be a great chance to try out lunch somewhere that’s open.

I live right at 15th and O, so southern end of dupont and just west of 14th st corridor. Assuming some places will be open and barring a massive snowstorm, some places will be open – where do you suggest I go for lunch in that area?

Duke’s Grocery? Hank’s? DSG? Someplace else? Eat almost anything and a nice midday cocktail wouldn’t hurt. I also have snowshoes and don’t mind walking up to mile, whatever the weather.

Todd Kliman

Hey, ya gotta prepare.

That usually involves — or so the newscasters always say — stocking up on milk and eggs.

But I like the way you think …

I was disappointed in my one meal at Duke’s Grocery. The kind of place I want to love, but the banh mi just made me frustrated that I wasn’t eating a real banh mi, with the right proportion of everything, and the burger was overcooked and came apart; it was not very cohesive before its collapse.

I’d say DGS Delicatessen, which is that rare restaurant that has gotten markedly better since opening (and started off very, very well).

If you turn to this place only when you want a deli fix, you’re overlooking one of the best of the bunch of small, independent, ambitious restaurants. And one of the best values.

They’ve got a tongue gyro right now that’s phenomenal — like eating a top-of-the-line lengua taco, only bathed in great tzaziki and stuffed into a good pita.

The teiglach, a mound of donut holes doused with honey and blitzed with shaved almonds, is one of the best desserts in the city right now.

I could go on and on … The pastrami sandwich that rivals Schwartz’s, the best chopped chicken liver I’ve ever eaten, an exuberant rendition of shakshouka …

Anyway, some other options: Bub and Pop’s, which has a killer brisket sandwich.

And WTF, adjacent to Woodward Table.


He said he brought food at another restaurant. Apparently he is a repeat offender 🙂


A restaurateur

Todd Kliman

I’m glad you brought this up.

Because it speaks to entitlement.

Once, ok. More than once, and it says that you think you should be able to dictate terms.


This guy needs to stay home.

I have a feeling we’re not hearing the whole story; and frankly, even if a waiter “swooped” down on him to scold him, so what? That’s money that is coming out of the restaurant; furthermore, for all we know, that waiter could’ve been penalized or even fired for letting that table bring their own food in.

Sorry, I usually fall on the side of the consumer, but the complainer gets zero sympathy from me.

Todd Kliman

You make good points.

Kind of hard to argue with any of them.

Thanks for chiming in …


I’m gonna have to concur with you on this one- and I would’ve been even more harsh.

I wouldn’t even THINK of bringing ONE bottle to a bar, let alone three or four.

It’s one thing to bring a bottle for dinner- one of the many things I love about the PHL dining scene is the plethora of BYOBs with no corkage or ridiculously low corkage; the fact that a place in DC does it, with the District’s Byzantine liquor laws, is to be applauded.

But boo hiss to management for not having a friendly chat with this joker about what he’s doing. He’s effectively stealing money from staff, and the fact that he is nice doesn’t take away the notion that he’s at the very least stiffing the bartender.

Clowns like him are the reason why so few places offer perks like BYOB (well, that and the aforementioned liquor laws).

Todd Kliman

It’s true.

He’s the bad apple — a spoiled, rotten apple, actually — who ruins things like this for everyone.

What gets me is the arrogance and entitlement. To just assume that the world is your playpen. And that everyone in your midst should fall in line.


Wait, who are these people who can’t tell the difference between Coke and club soda? Or red and white wine? WTF???

Todd Kliman

Who are these people? They’re people.

You’d be surprised.

And remember, these are blind tests.


One thing nobody talks about at DGS is the burger.

And god damn, that’s a good burger.

Todd Kliman

Isn’t that a little like going to a great seafood spot and ordering the chicken?

I’ll take your word. I’m sure it’s great.

I’ll have to force myself to ignore other things next time and try it.

I’m starving, thanks to all of you. Off to lunch!

Be well, eat well, and let’s do it again next Tuesday at 11 …

Oh, before I forget — tune into the Kojo Nnamdi show tomorrow in the 1 o’clock hour; I’ll be on, talking about high-low in the area’s dining scene.

[missing you, TEK … ]