Monday, April 30, 2012

To Capitol Hill ...

We took Metro to have lunch around Capitol Hill in DC, to a burger place owned by another well known Top Chef contestant, Spike Mendelsohn. Good Eatery it is! By the time we arrived, it was already around 1:30PM, but the place was so packed and the line was long. I was not in the mood to eat in a place that was super busy, we probably would not be able to get the seat anyway. I wanted to be able to enjoy the food that I was going to eat. We decided to walk to Capitol Hill which is practically about a block away. The weather was very lovely and the pictures taken were so pretty. Here are some of them! Lunch was planned for later. Elsewhere!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

White House!


I don't come to DC often, so naturally I like to visit the popular spots that I am interested in and could earn me the right to brag on (ha!). Surely, the White House is one of them, I don't need to get in. There's so much paper work to do if that is possible at all for foreigners like us. I am happy to outside the gate and take some pictures. Like we did when we were there.

We saw an interview being done with somebody that we did not know on the park across from the White House. 

There were plenty of visitors outside the gate, taking pitures with the White House on the background. We were guilty of the similar crime too!  We took tons of pictures, in fact. It was fun.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pandan Sponge Cake

I have not been too active in the kitchen since we got back from our trip to the USA. I felt so tired from catching up with works and taking a bit longer to recover from jet lag. Yet I craved for these Pandan Sponge Cake when I saw them in the shop when we were out. Instead of buying a slice or two I went home and waited for the right time to bake them. It's so much more satisfying this way, at least for me.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blue Duck Tavern At Park Hyatt, DC

I am glad we had our last dinner in DC here, at Blue Tavern. We had a late lunch but we wanted to have dinner at this restaurant since we were in the vicinity anyway.  The sliced Ciabatta that they put on the table for us while waiting for our food was just the kind of Ciabatta we love. Chewy and yummy.

DH had Wood Oven Roasted Spring Chicken With Lobster Tail. Tender and juicy. Miss K and I had some of his. 

We ordered Roast Baby Potatoes With vegetables to share, they were nicely done. 

Miss K went for Crabcakes and helped us with other dishes we had.

I was having a hard time deciding between their Wagyu Beef or their pork but finally decided on 12-hour Roasted Suckling Pig. It sounded so good and it turned out to be delicious. We were so full and could not find any space to try their dessert. The nice waitress gave us some pralines...... that we cleaned up. Great dinner indeed! I like this place.

Half A Day In DC

Visiting DC in the Spring time is the chance to see Cherry Blossoms. Sadly, we missed them by about 10 days. We were able to see the usual famous places like Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial. 

The weather was more pleasant than in the Summer, the last time we visited the place and the crowd was not as big as in the Summer too. It was absolutely so much better time to go.  

We took Metro from Foggy Bottom to Smithsonian. There was a big board with a map showing where we were and a helpful volunteer stepped in and was ready to answer the questions we had and handed a couple of useful brochures.  We headed towards Washington Memorial and took our time taking pictures. 

From far away we were able to see White House too and took a couple of picture. We had a plan to get closer like we did the last time we came here.

We passed by World War II Memorial and walked through towards Jefferson Memorial. All these we did in about a couple of hours and we headed out for lunch.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Future President

Cute display of T-shirts in a souvenir shop in DC! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Graffiato, DC - by Mike Isabella

We planned our day out so that we could have lunch at Graffiato, a restaurant owned by Mike Isabella, one of the more successful Top Chef Contestants. His restaurant is located in China town area and we took Metro from where we were, Smithsonian and walked maybe a couple of blocks to find the restaurants. For lunch, we were able to get a table for three without any reservations. I think it will be more challenging to get seat for dinner. 

We  opted for the salad with cream cheese croutons, sounding good and interesting and it was something we never had before. All dishes come in small plates and we shared each of them and got the experience in tasting all we had that day. 

The pasta that we had was Hand Cut Spaghetti, served with olive oil poached cherry tomatoes and basil. Spaghetti is never my thing, but for the sake of trying, I had some. I am still alive!

We also had their Crispy Potato Gnocchi with mushrooms.  Delicious. 

Finally, came the two pizzas that we ordered. The above is called Jersey Shore, it was topped with fried calamari. The one below is American Pie with Prosciutto. The crust was especially lovable!

By then, we were actually quite stuffed but I felt the need to try their dessert as I had no idea when I would be back in DC again. We picked Chocolate Tart with Sea Salt Gelato. We were considerably happy with the food and the service. It's a place that we do not mind to return to in the future. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dinner At Nonjya Monjya

With DH having to stay back in Jakarta to attend a wedding dinner reception, Miss K and I decided to cross the river (via a bridge!) and have dinner at Nanjya Monjya. It was her first and my second visit. I really wanted to try their specialty, Okonomiyaki (below). We ordered Inari Zushi and Unagi Nigiri to begin with.

The Okonomiyaki we had was Hotate Dama (scallop pancake/pizza), it was largely dominated by cabbage that barely remembered that I should taste some scallop inside. 

Miss K ordered Tofu Mentai Cheese, that we shared together. This one is quite a nice dish, the tofu is soft and the sauce is creamy and cheese-y, of course.

Feeling a bit greedy, we ordered a plate of seafood fried rice too. All portions are small to American standard, so actually we did had too much. Our total bill was $84. Quite pricey, considering we only had free ice water to drink.  Everything is this country is kind of expensive.  After all, this country is one of the most expensive place to live in the world. It is painful sometimes. We should start eating hawker food more often, to balance it out, $5-6 per person and they will fill us up!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Afternoon In DC...

First thing we did when we arrived in DC was going to our hotel and checked in. Thanks to DH's gold passport, our room was upgraded to I don't know whatever. The word upgraded sounded good to me. We got a well-dressed staff taking our bags up and showed us the room. The bed was particularly inviting. The bathroom was spacious with walk-in closet and the living room was nicely separated with a partition with the TV in the center that can be rotated to either the bed or the living room/study area. DH decided to try the bed and closed his eyes for a bit while I took the responsibility to refresh Miss K's memories on M street. We came here in 2004, back when Hilary Duff's Metamorphosis album was such a hit and I remember her singing many of her songs in the cry and drove me crazy. I long for those days as she is only willing to speak five words a day during school days. She is fifteen going on 40, if that could explain.

It turned out that she remembered nothing from our last trip. What a waste! She, however, upon seeing Pinkberry across the street, remember that she had it..... last year in Berkeley! We stopped by. I had the original flavor with mixed fruits and Miss K had her favorite Caramel. 

M street on DC is all about shopping and eating. It's a popular place for the locals and visitors. It helped that the weather was really beautiful that afternoon and made our walk an enjoyable one.

I spotted Miss Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in which we dined in before. Of course, my company did not remember that too.

It was our intention also to find Georgetown Cupcakes that we knew from TLC as the main element of DC Cupcakes. We'd like to try some, naturally. To our disappointment, the waiting line was super long. I definitely was unwilling to wait. I told Miss K that the cupcakes might not be as good as we thought. She, on the other hand, was quite convinced that they could have been reasonably good. We agreed to disagree and for the time being, we simply would not know.  We left and went back to our hotel.

Friday, April 20, 2012

7:13 PM, Friday

Beautiful colors in the sky as we finished our dinner on Friday evening.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Driving To DC ...

Came the day we had to leave Charlottesville. We drove around two hours to DC. The weather was beautiful and we looked forward to enjoying DC. A new adventure was about to begin.