Sunday, March 18, 2007

say it with food, from D.C.

Yesterday, I ate my way through the neighborhood.

No, really. There was hardly a pause. Take a look. (There is one photo that does not belong with the rest. Because there was one hour that did not have food written into it. In the interest of fair disclosure, I put it into the day’s line up.)

march 07 090
a few blocks up 14th a small place for brunch...

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...starting the day with a mimosa

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scrambled, over cheese grits

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at U Street's Love Café

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blooming magnolia at sunset

march 07 107
pear & elderberry martini

march 07 109
wood-fired scallops from Viking Village, Maine, over red wine braised lentils

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a small, roasted lobster from Duxbury, Maine

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key lime and white chocolate custard with huckleberry compote (an apple pie and a baked to order chocolate cake in the background)

The last four were at a remarkable place (the Blue Duck Tavern) where artisanal foods were on parade, with due recognition to the farms and fisheries that supplied them. A few notable places do this in Madison (l’Etoile began the tradition almost three decades ago). That you can do regional seasonal foods well comes as no surprise, of course. What is always a huge joy is to see it done well in one of the worst cooking months of the northern climate – March. And at prices substantially lower than our own l’Etoile. [Why is that? I’m guessing it’s a matter of volume. The Blue Duck was packed. If you can count on a full house in late winter, you can lower your prices. Of course, one way to boost diner-ship is to keep the prices down. It is so very disappointing to see our own eateries price themselves out of our pocketbooks. Ah well, there's always the kitchen stove and the grocery store. And a good latte around the corner.]