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Stolen Steaks!

Best thing he ate this summer: "Here, at the restaurant, a fabulous green tomato gazpacho. It's less acidic and different."

Coming off the summer menu: Foie gras with cape gooseberries.



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Coming on the fall menu: Foie gras with a pineapple mango chutney. Poached abalone with a ginger-lemongrass cream.

Sleeper hit of the summer: Grilled ostrich tenderloin with porcini spaetzle was "off the charts." Also, bison loin with red cabbage. "We turned a lot of people on to ostrich and bison."

KAZ OKOCHI

Kaz Sushi Bistro, Downtown

Best thing he ate this summer: "That's easy. Really good tomatoes from the farmers market. I peel them, slice and add salt. That's it."

Coming off the summer menu: Sashimi gazpacho and salmon with tomato confit.

Coming on the fall menu: Wild mushrooms -- hedgehogs and chanterelles -- for soups and sauces.

Sleeper hit of the summer: "People really liked our different types of seviche, like tuna with grilled vegetables, because it was so summery and a little spicy."

Customer story of the summer: "Two couples sat down at the sushi bar and asked, 'Can we do the sake bomb?' I said sure. Most people do the sake bomb by dropping a cup of sake into a glass of beer. But these people . . put their chopsticks on top of the beer glass and the sake cup balanced on top. Then they pounded their fists on the sushi bar very loud, over and over, until the sake cup falls over into the beer. Really strange."

BRIAN McBRIDE

Melrose, West End

Best thing he ate this summer: The tomatoes from Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative in Pennsylvania. "My personal favorite is the big Purple Cherokee tomatoes."

Going off the summer menu: Sauteed soft-shell crabs stuffed with basil and nuts, served with cold cucumber vinaigrette and spicy pickled tomatoes.

Coming on the fall menu: Braised duck with pickled summer cherries.

Sleeper hit of the summer: Kobe beef with portobello mushroom gratin, shallot marmalade and mustard seed sauce. "I was surprised this sold so well because it was so darn expensive. It's a seven-ounce steak for $48, but people love the Kobe beef."

ROBERT WELAND

Poste, Penn Quarter

Best thing he ate this summer: Wild strawberries growing in the backyard of his house on Capitol Hill.


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