The other day we all went out to Wildfire in McLean. I’m not sure why I like Wildfire so much. The food is good but not great. I think its more because the restaurant feels like stepping into a time machine. It pulls off the 40s supper club vibe that other steak houses can’t. The service is always good, and they know how to make a cocktail. When ordering a cocktail, I usually go for something with bourbon as its base. Growing up, I knew that Bond like martinis. I also mixed some martinis up at Christmas parties Sally Draper style. However, I never really fell in love with the martini. It might be because the Bond style of Martini (vodka, shaken) isn’t really to my taste, but more likely, its because I didn’t really like olives all that much until later in life. Eventually I developed a taste for olives and gin. The martini still isn’t a usual order for me, but at Wildfire, it just feels right.
So let me give credit where credit is due. A while back, I heard a buddy order a martini, and realized I didn’t really know how. Its definitely something every gentleman should know, so I did a little googling, and realized its much easier than I thought. The number of steps in ordering a martini varies, as one can leave some out if its one’s preference. First, you need to decide between vodka and gin. Then, if you want, you can specify how much vermouth you want by ordering it dry, perfect, or wet. Martinis are already typically served pretty dry by historical standards, so by specifying that you want a martini dry, you’ll get a very small amount of vermouth. I prefer not to specify at all. Next, you can specify whether you want the cocktail shaken or stirred. If you opt not to specify, it will likely be stirred. I won’t get into the differences between shaken and stirred martinis here (google has a plethora of information on the subject). I will way that I do not specify when ordering, but do prefer my martini to be stirred. Next you have to decide if you want your martini served up (in a typical martini glass) or on the rocks (in a tumbler with ice). Why anyone would order a martini on the rocks is beyond me, but to each his own. Finally, you can specify the garnish (olive, onions, a twist, etc.). Depending on how elaborate your own personal martini order is, it may serve to impress your guy friends, but alienate business associates and eharmony dates. (consider your company). The martinis pictured were ordered: “Gin martini, up, three olives.” It can be as simple as that.
While on the topic, I’d also like to mention how well Wildfire does the quintessential steakhouse meal: martini, wedge salad, red wine, steak. They offer a bone-in ribeye, which is my favorite cut, and it can be ordered as rare as you want (literally, as they will even cook it blue). When ordered rare, it still comes with a decent char.by rsiv with no comments yet
We still haven’t gotten over our freedom to go to restaurants kick. We had some margaritas at El Tio’s while discussing how FJ would watch EF (or vice versa).
EF got the, “best passport photo ever!”
We tried out The Locker Room. The Old Bay wings aren’t half bad.
After way too many wings, a huge plate of loaded fries, and more than a couple beers, we enjoyed the sun and an unseasonably warm February afternoon.
I found out that Sweet Rice has pork belly kapow… Insanely delicious. It might be a limited time thing, so I’d get over there asap.
EF got a very generous valentine’s day prezzy from a secret admirer (who turned out to be Thom).
On the Friday before vday we went to La Caraqueña. EF got to meet Raul, but did not enjoy her first shot of tequila.
Nascar is back. And finally, EF got a vday prezzy from daddy (because her future is so bright).by rsiv with no comments yet
After Del Campo, we’ve been on a going out binge. After having to stay in so long, its been nice, but exhausting to get out. We got some breakfast at Ohop. Always on point. And the bacon. Dang.
We did a little mobile bird watching.
HB had her first steakumms and loved them.
We met HW, Li, and VA for some plazatime. I had as many ounces in one glass as EF drinks in a day.
We went to Anthony’s with the parents. I enjoyed a mythos and ordered my usual: pizza with bacon, jalapenos, and gyro meat.
Then Christine threw a soup party. The highlight was definitely the black bean butternut squash chili. Jes. The cornbread was also really good.
I brought some DC United beer in honor of the upcoming season.
We played some heads up and trivial pursuit.
I was surprised by how much I liked yogi ginger tea. I need to get some.
Then we went to El Tio for some jumbo margaritas (all lime no mix), and some good food. EF was jelly of our margaritis.
We also heard Nilda got a new whip. Congrats on the 52 Chevy.by rsiv with no comments yet
EF’s shots finally kicked in, so we are liberated from the house. We decided to celebrate our first night of freedom at Del Campo. Del Campo takes its inspiration from a Latin American Estancia, and its menus did remind me of my time in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. Even better, at Del Campo, they seem to agree that everything tastes better off a wood grill. Even the sea salt and olive oil have a touch of smoke.
I started with an Encanto del Campo which was peppery, just sweet enough, with lime, mint, and delicious all-spice. The rest of the group had the Limonada Sucia, the Dirt and Smoke, and a Pisco Sour. The first two were most interesting, but I think the classic pisco sour was my second favorite.
We cheers’d, and EF cheers’d with leche de madre.
The smoked oysters with chorizo and butter were divine, and made for an excellent appetizer.
FJ and Swaggy-we started with the smoked uni, angel hair, and caviar. It would not have been my first choice, but it was decadent.
Del Campo had a special on a bottle of Rioja, which was excellent. Then came the asado. We had the short ribs, rolled wagyu skirt steak, del campo chorizo, and morcilla blood sausage. I really liked the short ribs, but the wagyu was pretty dang good. The board came with bone marrow, which is awesome. I doubt that many would order marrow, but this way, I bet a bunch try it for the first time and fall in love. Classy move.
The grilled swiss chard may have been a little too salty for some but I loved it. The chimichurri was decent but nothing special, while I found the salsa criolla delightful. However, the meat certainly stood on its own.
Surprisingly, we had a little room left, and as it was a celebration, we ordered dessert. If you read the blog, you know sweets are not my thing, but the crispy apple empanadas were delicious, and the tres leches twinkies really surprised me. The twinkies were good enough to be more than a gimmick, and the mango sorbet really set it off.
I enjoyed a nice madeira as a digestif, and we even got some complimentary last sweet bites.
Del Campo was worth the wait, and more than lived up to the hype. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. I hope to be back soon. Its definitely not the kind of place that I’d call baby friendly (no changing table in the restroom), but the servers were very accommodating, and we had no issues. We did go early which was key as the restaurant filled up quickly. We also managed to be as mannerly as possible since EF had her mom and mamaw there to keep her quiet. She hardly made a peep. If you’re looking for a great night out in Chinatown, give Del Campo a try.by rsiv with no comments yet
We had another good meal from Caribbean Plate.
HB made some great food on a snow day. It started with cinnamon rolls, then we had some fried thick cut bologna sammies, and finally, some breakfast for dinner.
One day we thought we’d be healthy and get some Cava mezze grill. The food was amazing, but based on the portion size, I don’t know how healthy it was.
We also got some taco bamba. The food was great except they’ve ruined their chicarrones. I think they’re using store bought pork rinds. Very sad times.
EF has decided she likes sitting up like a people and got a new wub. She also had a perfectly timed kerchoo (thanks Chashley for the book).
On superbowl Sunday, I had time for a run. I think thats my second run since EF was born, and my time definitely reflects it. I hate running, so I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can get out on the water.
Then C-Note and Jodiah came over for some hot tubbery. We made bourbon lancers and lit up some stogies. I had a Hoyo, and RP had a Partagas. Then we warmed up in the sauna.
HB got back from the inlaws. I fixed some wings and fries upstairs and then we went downstairs to watch the game. I didn’t really have a horse in the race, but I would have liked to see New England lose.by rsiv with no comments yet