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Stolen Steaks!

Best thing he ate this summer: Soft-shell crabs at La Chaumiere in Georgetown, simply sauteed with butter and parsley.

Coming off the summer menu: Carpaccio of heirloom tomatoes. Soft-shell crabs.



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Coming on the fall menu: Game birds -- squab, pheasant and woodcock.

Sleeper hit of the summer: "I'm amazed how much skate I sell. Other chefs say they can't give it away. I've done it for years with a lemon-caper butter sauce."

Customer story of the summer: "People still call on busy nights when the restaurant is full, asking for a table, saying they are personal friends of Marcel. That's when we tell them that Marcel [Wiedmaier's son] is 5 years old."

SUSAN LINDEBORG

Majestic Cafe, Alexandria

Best thing she's eaten this summer: A BLT sandwich made with tomatoes from the Arlington Farmers Market and Neuske's thick, applewood-smoked bacon.

Coming off the summer menu: At dinner, soft-shell crabs East Indian-style with turmeric potato salad and cole slaw made with fresh coconut, peanuts, black mustard seeds and poblano vinaigrette. At lunch, a soft-shell crab sandwich with grilled corn mayonnaise.

Coming on the fall menu: Goat cheese-and-quince cheesecake with a hazelnut crust. "This was a sleeper last year. It didn't sell much for a long time, but now people are already asking for it."

Customer story of the summer: A family with a 3-year-old came to the restaurant and asked for a kids' menu. Lindeborg told them there was no kids' menu, but she was happy to serve anything on the menu in kid-sized portions. The dad insisted the child would only eat chicken nuggets, but the family decided to stay anyway. Dad ordered a roast duck salad for himself. He gave his child a piece of duck to eat. Then another piece. And another. Five minutes later he ordered another salad just for the kid.

PETER PASTAN

Obelisk, Dupont Circle,and

2 Amys,Cleveland Park

Best thing he ate this summer: "In Rome, in June, I had a really expensive fish, the most beautiful gildhead bream, so fresh and lovely, simply roasted with tender potatoes."

What's coming off the summer menu: Morel mushrooms.

What's coming on the menu for fall: Porcini mushrooms.

Sleeper hit of the summer: Salt cod carpaccio. "It's really delicious, but I didn't expect that it would appeal to everyone."

Customer story of the summer: "At the wine bar, at 2 Amys, this big, scary guy sticks his pizza in my face and says, 'I ordered pancetta. This is bacon.' I told him that we make our own pancetta, that pancetta is bacon, and that he could come downstairs and see for himself. But all he said was, 'Just take it away.' "

MARK FURSTENBERG


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