Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Three Latest and Best

Ahh, the better weather now puts the nightmare of the last month behind us! I can actually believe spring might be coming now! I've been on the road and stuck indoors but have managed to keep eating!

Brunch at Patachou on the Park: What a delightful space! If you haven't been to the new Patachou location in the lobby of the Simon headquarters downtown (facing the capitol building) you've been missing the best brunch downtown. The best part?! It's not overly crowded -- yet. We recently had a delightful and leisurely brunch on a Sunday and not only enjoyed the big, comfortable room, but also saw a veritable who's who in Indiana. It will be my new favorite choice over the hip crowd at 49th and Penn.

Lunch at Danelli: I can see why this new room at the Canterbury Hotel is having a bit of a problem finding its way. What do you do when you have a new chef, you want to do high-end food, your prices are extremely expensive, and you have an expectation due to your location that you provide the hotel experience? You execute what you can -- a high-end, expensive, safe hotel restaurant with the best food you can do. The bar at the Canterbury is a wonderful room, but once you move back to the restaurant, you enter the extremely formal world of Danelli. the problem becomes clear when the food doesn't meet the high expectation set by the rest of the experience. In other words, the food has to be *perfect* and it's not. (If you do a pizza, no matter what you call it, the crust must be perfect and it can *not* be soggy in the middle. Mine was.) They will do best to recognize their entire enterprise will always be reliant on regulars and high end customers. and make the food better than the best (which it isn't yet.) But lunch is about the company right? If so, it was a fantastic meal -- feeding my brain as well as my stomach.

Deano on Connecticut in DC: Friends in DC took me to their favorite neighborhood place in Cleveland Park last weekend -- Deano. The east coast is crawling with these old school Italian joints from Little Italy to Florida. But this one is oh-so-different. Still giving customers the Italian diner vibe, this one has an upscale, uncluttered look, better to accommodate the people waiting for tables. We had our friends' favorite server as we were ushered to a wonderful round booth and given ample time to peruse the wine list, the menu, and specials. Here, the mixologist, Chris, takes his craft very seriously with a deep gin list, his own marinated cocktail onions, and marinated olive and broad bean bar mix. Starting with a Barbero, a junipero G&T and a Bull Dog Gibson, we ate our way through their menu with rib eyes, seafood, and the freshest pomodoro I've ever had in winter. It hit the spot!

Nirvana at Dunkin Donuts: You know, I really really like donuts. Not the cake kind with icing, but the slightly crispy from the fryer, yeast glazed then frosted in chocolate kind. I recently heard a faint calling in a busy airport, followed it and found myself at the Dunkin Donuts stand. I snarfed a chocolate, custard filled, yeast donut immediately with a full-sugar black cherry soda. Ohh, so good. Bonus, good sugar coma nap for the flight.

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