The Upstate Life
The Upstate Life

Thursday, May 28, 2009
I've Been on a Serious Dining Binge the Last Month

5/16 – Otello
5/17 – Blue Duck Tavern (My birthday)
5/19 – Capital Grille, Baltimore (Rachel's graduation)
5/21 – Late Night Happy Hour @ Morton's
5/27 – Lia's (Twilight Dinner)

Rachel was kind of enough to surprise me with dinner at Blue Duck Tavern for my birthday and it was quite the dining experience. We started off with the House Smoked Sturgeon Rillette and it had to be one of the most unique appetizers I've ever ate. It somewhat tasted like whitefish but with a more creamy texture and was accompanied with some garlic toast. Different but good. A nice touch was the complimentary order of cured beef they brought to the table in between courses. Not sure if they do this everyday but the restaurant was rather busy as the kitchen seemed to be a bit backed up.

For the main course, I went with the Braised Beef Rib and it proved to be a fine choice. The knife was rather useless since the meat was incredibly tender and was literally served atop the bone in a nice presentation. We of course ordered the infamous Hand Cut BDT Triple Fries which were amazing, probably because they were fried in duck fat. On a side note, I think more foods need to be fried in duck fat.

As for dessert, the apple pie was bar none the best in DC. Baked to order, it's a meal in itself. Good thing we decided to add some banana chocolate chip sorbet with it which made it even more incredible.

The little-known late night happy hour at Morton's is amazing and proved to be a good place for a really late dinner last week. Essentially everything on the bar menu is $5, plus oysters and shrimp are discounted as well, AND they have drink specials. We went to the one in Bethesda (which runs from 9:30-11pm) after my younger brother's graduation from Maryland and ordered several plates of the mini crab cakes (which were entirely comprised of crab meat) as well as their petite filet steak sandwiches. Needless to say, it's a great deal and we always consider it if we're in the mood for a late bite during the week.

I also highly recommend checking out Lia's for their Twilight Delight dinner special. Rachel and I both got a three-course dinner for $19.95 each last night which was a hell of a deal. Just make sure you show up before 6:30pm since that is when the Twilight special ends. It worked out for us pretty well since we were going to finally see Star Trek at the nearby Avalon at 8pm anyway.

I ordered the Italian Wedding Soup for my appetizer and got the Prosciutto, Artichoke, and Zucchini Risotto for the main course. The risotto was not only very good but was a very generous portion. I was pretty much stuffed and nearly forgot we still had dessert on the way. I opted for the mix & match scoops of gelato and sorbet while Rachel went with the Strawberry Napoleon. Again, both dishes were great but the Napoleon really stood out the way it was presented. Separated by pieces of phyllo squares, the vanilla sauce and strawberries sandwiched inside was well worth the price of the entire dinner. I'm curious to try their happy hour the next time I'm there as that looked really good as well but is only available at the bar. In the meantime, I need to starve myself for a good week after eating all of this. Yeah, that's not happening.

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