I think I’m getting addicted to that subtle tingle of anticipation I get when I sit down at a restaurant I’ve never been to before and unfold the menu. I crave that now – ordering a meal and wondering what exactly will appear. I adore the buzz of a place, the low murmur or the boisterous laughter. I like the sleekest of scenes, the sound of my high heels on a polished floor and the dingiest of hole-in-the walls with foamy beer right off the tap. There’s a small miracle in being given a whole list of options, choosing the ones you like best, and then having them brought to you and placed right in front of you (!) for you to devour, judge, accept or reject – when is that experience ever replicated in life? I love not having to cook, I love the simplicity of the process. I love having a dish presented to me, no matter what. I appreciate the showiest constructed dish with sprigs of Rosemary, stacks of accoutrement and a carefully placed spruce of tartare to the simplest plain white bowl of grits topped with shrimp. I love the smells. I love the sounds. I love the possibilities. I love the interactions. In the simplest of statements, I love restaurants.
Good thing I’ve found an outlet for my adoration. I know it sounds a bit overboard, my little poetic waxing about restaurants – I mean, they dot every corner of DC, from Wisconsin to New York Ave. They come in all sizes, all standards, serve a number of purposes. To love something so mundane to someone else might seem silly. But I am unabashedly, unashamedly in love with the food in this fine city. This month was slightly less busy than the last, and August is gearing up to be on par. There have been openings, there have been new menus to try, and there have been simple dinners out with friends. Out of all the places I’ve eaten this month, here are my favorite dishes from eat places within the Beltway. Continue reading