Red Hen- A take out food review

So we wanted to help an area restaurant because the global pandemic has hit DC and all the restaurants have pretty much shut down in some way. Many have reopened but with a limited or different menu. I love food and I love fancy pants dining, but I have a 2 year old which means a sitter, so we pass. But as I mentioned in my last post, this disaster has presented an opportunity to dine from some very fine restaurants with the 2 year old.

Tonight, we tried out Bloomingdale’s Red Hen. In 2017 and 2020 it was named as a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the Michelin guide.

Looking at this I’m admitting I tipped poorly, but I was aiming for a round number. I sent the spouse out to get the food and he came back with some switchels I did not order, I should have tipped more. (See note below).

Anyway, Red Hen’s regular menu and their take out menu are pretty close. I found their drink menu, entertaining. The house cocktails were either a kit or a batch. Their bottles of wine range from $45 to $145. Not sure what the $20 corkage is.

I had the Italian Chicory Salad and the Roasted Spaghetti Squash. My spouse had the Chicken Liver toast and the Radiatori. Our 2 year old had bits of our meals. The food came in paper take out containers. I do realize a lot of what makes some fancy schmancy places special is presentation and well, it’s the end times, whaddya want? They looked very nice in their packages.  At first, the 2 year old loudly refused samples of what we were having. But as soon as he saw us eating, he wanted some. He took about 1/2 of my spaghetti squash dish, and ate most of it. He had a few bites of Daddy’s toast…. nope, he did not want any butter or chicken liver. It was the fancy hard bread. He had a few slices of Wonderbread level soft bread from the Inshaw kitchen. He also had Daddy’s pasta, but by the time he got around to getting a second bite, Daddy was done eating.

I have no star rating. It was good. We enjoyed it. It probably would have been better if my spouse left the house earlier to pick it up ad if we ate immediately after he got home with the food but the 2 year old delayed things. So some of the cheese had solidified in the pasta dish, but not to the point it was less than tasty. It was quite tasty. It is better when it comes fresh from the chef’s kitchen. So my advice is walk faster and eat sooner.
Post Red Hen Take Out

NOTE (edited 3/23/2020): I noticed the charge on our account for this was higher than $70. My beloved spouse gave an extra $30 tip. So now I don’t feel bad about the tip anymore.

Support Local Restaurants or an opportunity to eat well at home

Note- This was typed up 3/17/2020 at 3pm. Everything subject to change with the rules of how governments and businesses respond to COVID-19.

So we are to hunker down in the house, but every so often you need to get out. Why not support some local TC businesses and still enjoy the goodness that is them?

ANXO at 3rd & Florida NW in Truxton Circle will be selling ciders and wines to-go. Their Instagram page has more info. Also you can support them by buying gift cards, so you can enjoy them when things are back to normal.

Republic Cantina on the other end of the TC on N St. NW is also doing take out. They are offering their cafe and dinner menu items for take out.

Am I missing any other Truxton Circle biz in the TC?

Over in Bloomingdale:

So Red Hen, you know Michelin mentioned them… finally you can get take out at this usually fine dine in restaurant. I’m licking my lips looking at their dinner menu. They are also selling gift cards for when happier days come around.

Tiber Creek, not mentioned by a fab French tire company, via their Instagram (I am not signed up for the instas, I’m old and I’m annoyed I have to go to Instagram to find things out because info is not on your main web page or Twitter) will be doing take-out.

Bacio Pizza– Take out only (stupid Instagram info).

Michelin level restaurants make you food-

Seeing the opportunity that Red Hen presented, a normally sit down restaurant I can’t go to because I’d need a sitter because the 2 year old has terrible table manners, is now offering take out food. So that got me wondering what other places of that high caliber, that require a sitter, are providing provisions? So I took a look at the Michelin Guide for DC and saw these. If it ain’t mentioned, they either are closed or haven’t mentioned anything.

Kinship– at 1015 7th St NW, the website says tomorrow (3/18/2020) they will be doing to go service. So watch that space.

The Dabney– They have take out, 3 courses for $45. From their site “Orders will be taken by phone from 11am – 2pm daily by phone only for that evening’s menu; there are limited number of dinners available. We are unable to modify the set menu, and payment will be processed upon order. In addition, a concise selection of wines by the bottle are available for purchase. ”

I have no idea what Jose Andres is doing in his awesomeness, but I doubt the community kitchen offerings at minibar is going to be as amazeballs as normal minibar.

Masseria– They will bring food to you. You just have to order before 3pm, delivery between 4-6pm.

Gravitas– They plan to offer pickup and delivery options.

Rose’s Luxury– They already have the Rose’s at Home service, which is currently offering drop off and Pick Up service. And there is the take away menu. The Pineapples and Pearls site will point you to this service.

Maydan– They have to go but I have no idea what is available.(instagram info)

Komi and Little Serow–  Get carry out at Little Serow and Komi plans to implement Happy Gyro later this week.

Little Pearl– See Rose’s Luxury and their evening takeout menu.

Sushi Taro– (g*d**m Instagram). Pick up menu from 12-8pm, $30. See the stupid instagram page for options.

 

 

 

My weekend

Well Saturday was the BACA clean up which Caryn over the BACA blog mentions the turnout was low. Well I didn’t help matters by not posting the announcement earlier, though I got it earlier. Also there were supposed to be fliers about it, but of a neighborhood of our size flier distribution takes a while. Yes, it doesn’t seem like it but you never realize how many friggin’ houses are just on one side of the street until you have to place a flier in every single one of those doors. Personally, I don’t care for the stuff the flier in the fence method, as the wind can take those away. I took on the top triangular part of the TC till my bag got ripped. There wasn’t much to do as we have a few neighbors who regularly clean the sidewalks.
Before I picked up my bag I was walking with Brett to 1st & P, where BACA normally starts these things, trying to explain the “Broken Window” theory and why clean ups are important. I’m hoping B. was playing Devil’s advocate when he questioned the effectiveness of a clean up and the ‘broken windows’ theory. Quick summary, trash adds to the perception of crime and disorder.
After the clean up I ran my usual Saturday errands, one being the warehouse area on Florida Ave NE. At US Beef I ran into Ms. Frozen Tropics, Elise, who had a hunk of meat for carnitas. I had a bag full of drumsticks for curry, two pounds of butter, for making ghee, and a frozen boneless lamb. I mentioned that the frozen whole chicken there was rubbery, but the fresh chicken was quite good. Elise mentioned she was going to hit Mexican Fruit next for limes. But there were limes near the register at US Beef and I had already been to Mexican Fruit, whose limes were lackluster that day, so we both picked up bags of lemons and limes. I was going to make marmalade, Elise margaritas. Somewhere in the middle of that a friend of Elise came up with a small tub of tofu from a nearby store. I expressed my confusion with the warehouse area of knowing which stores will sell to you. Apparently there is a tofu place between US Beef and Sam Wang, you go up to the window, you tell the guy you want the white tub, and for $4 you get a small gallonish tub of tofu. Half shopping experience. Half speakeasy.
Sunday, was chicken Sunday. Chicken stock. Chicken Marsala. Chicken Biryani. Buttery Chicken. And chicken curry. Somewhere in there I decided to clean 1/2 of my alley, with some help from a neighbor. The street was busy with open houses. The house that was under contract, is back on the market. Then a new neighbor has decided to move to the west coast and rent out his house so there were people dropping by to check the place out.

Boundary Stone Tavern/Pub


Hidden tin ceiling
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

Well Scott Roberts has a much better description of the proposed pub for Bloomingdale because the man knows what questions to ask. All I asked about was noise, because the rear of the location backs up to several residential bedrooms. I was told that they expect to keep the noise on Rhode Island Ave., not a quiet street mind you.
You can ask what the heck is this photo I have attached here. Well, it is the cool looking tin ceiling that is hidden behind the dropped ceiling at 116 Rhode Island Avenue NW/Boundary Stone. What the owners would like to do (provided they get approved for the liquor license) is put in a mezzanine as there is about 10-11 extra feet in some spots. The building housing this proposed pub is in the former Sylvan Theater and the landlord for this building seems to be amenable to improving and adding value to his property (as opposed to some other commercial landowners who are crazy).
The pub owners are hopeful about when they may be able to make this come to life. But before any of that there is the ABC liquor dance between the ANC, the neighbors and the owners. The ANC will (regardless of support) protest the license, the owners will agree to a voluntary agreement, someone will go on and on about how there will be drunkards in the streets and that we don’t need more liquor in our neighborhood.
PoP also has a post on this too.

Can I boycott a place I’d probably never get to

Some of ya’ll are aware of the kerfuffle regarding U Street Girl and the owner of a wine bar threatened legal action. She has recommended that others join her in not patronizing or promoting the 14th Street business. Okay.
I totally agree on principle, but honestly I haven’t even gotten to the wine bars I actually want to go to, like Cork, so I don’t know what use that would be. Also as a fan of redemption and forgiveness I hope that the owner of Du Vin Osteria, David Shott, will make an honest effort to undo the damage done.

Hopefully, we’ll have none of that in nearby (to me) Bloomingdale. Tonight there is going to be an open house Q&A for a proposed bar/pub/wateringhole at 116 Rhode Island Ave NW between 6 and 8pm. I guess it would be a good place to unwind after some yoga ’round the corner. Seriously, I’m looking forward to the development, growth and appearances of all the small businesses in the Bloomingdale and eastern Shaw area.

Big Bear Beer II

Sometime after all the youth/school related stuff at the BACA meeting, about an hour into it, we finally got to Big Bear and their general ideas of pursuing an ABC liquor license. There were two persons from Bog Bear, one being Matt Sellers, the other guy a blond barista… now if it is a guy do you call them baristas? Not baristos?
Anyway. Big Bear is aiming for a CR license. For those of you unfamiliar with the wonderful world of ABC licenses, a class C Restaurant license is one for places where at least 45% of revenues come from food sales. It is different from the class of licenses for bars or corner markets. The was one objection mentioned, coming from a Baptist minister, presenting his concerns about people getting drunk and hanging out in the park. This was countered by the Episcopalian church secretary reminding him of Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding at Cana, turning water into wine.
There were questions about Big Bear expanding and the space they have. The bear is kind of landlocked and the space above is leased to tenants, so in the near future, nope. Maybe, years down the road. Another question was the issue of vagrants/ neighbor characters. Characters do drop by to get a glass of water and to use the bathroom and for the most part they don’t cause a problem.
The idea is Big Bear has a vibe as a cafe, hang out and they have no intention of becoming a bar, they just want to expand their food service options. I asked the barista (m) if the idea is to offer something like Teaism, and he answered in the affirmative. As far as I can tell despite having a small park area and a restaurant/bar across the street, the Penn Quarter Teaism fails to produce drunkards rolling out of its doors.

Big Bear Beer?

I noticed this in the announcement for today’s BACA meeting:

(b) Ms. Elizabeth Lyttleton, an Eckington resident who provides occasional consulting services to Big Bear Café, asked for time on our agenda to apprise our group of the status of the cafe’s current efforts to acquire a license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. I am advised that Ms. Lyttleton developed a scheduling conflict that won’t allow her to attend Monday’s meeting in person; however, she plans to identify someone else to make her expected presentation and to answer any questions that it might generate.

TODAY! 7PM Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, in the basement cafeteria.

Safeway at RI and 4th NE

Really I should stay of this. But the store that was closed for a short period due to a rat infestation. It is a store at the top of the hill and about 1/4 of a mile from the Giant near the Rhode Island metro station. I’ve been in the Giant a few times. I know people hate it. I’ve been okay with it, but haven’t been in enough times to say if it’s any worse than the O Street Giant. I’ve been in that Safeway once and haven’t felt any deep need to return.
So on the listservs there is this clamoring to keep the Safeway from closing. Harry Thomas has gotten involved. There is some sort of petition for a Harris Teeter.
Okay, someone enlighten me. Someone ‘splain to me how the politicos are supposed to convince a private business to land on top the same old unprofitable rat’s nest? As Safeway said they aren’t making enough money in that spot, how is a Teet supposed to make it work?
Anyway good luck with that, but since a Harris Teeter is slated to open near the NY Ave metro, I don’t see one popping up anytime soon 1 mile away.

News from other blogs or Friday Misc.

Over in Bloomingdale The Yoga District is having a mommy & me, but with a more inclusive title of Family Yoga and Community Playtime.

The Great Scott Roberts also mentioned some tasty info he got from a Bloomingdale restaurant hopefully to come at NJ & R. According to WashBiz Journal, Beau Thai, a carry out, is due to open in March, hopefully, maybe, fingers crossed.
Speaking of restaurants on R, anyone know what’s going on with 6th and R for the proposed Toque Cafe? I’ve noticed a change of windows and the application of paper over the windows, so I hope there is something good going on behind the paper.

Over here in the TC, the BACA blog tells that there will be a grand opening of the Eckstine and Ellington Theatre at the Dorothy I Height Community Academy Public Charter Schools (CAPCS)school, also known as Armstrong, this weekend.
have a great weekend y’all.

Waggamama

I’m thinking about lunch, and my lunch buddy just cancelled on me. We were going to check out one of the nearby places for Restaurant Week. It’s cold and so I’m going to eat at the desk.
Anyway food got me wondering about Waggamama. The signs are still up on the windows on 7th Street, but so far no change. Checked the website and it appears they will open Septemeber 2010.