2015 in Review…the Music

sThis is the third of four postings in a brief series looking back at 2015.  I love live music and have always admired how 4 people in any given bar on a Saturday night can hold 200 patrons in the palm of their hand.  The DC area has a very strong music scene and lots of small venues that attract excellent talent.

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My musical tastes begin with the Grateful Dead and jam bands in general and this was a great year to be a fan of that music.  The Dead performed a sensational 3-day stand at Soldier Field in Chicago over the 4th of July.  Dubbed “Fare Thee Well” after a song lyric, it was loaded with symbolism and meaning.  Soldier Field was the last venue Jerry Garcia played before he died in 1995.  They opened with “Box of Rain”, the last song they played there, and this year was the 50th anniversary of the band.  I was not able to get to Chicago but did enjoy the simulcast with some friends for a couple of the shows at a favorite local venue.

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The Grateful Dead played to 200,000 people over a 3-day stand at Soldier Field in Chicago. I would end up watching it in a local bar via simulcast.

The one benefit to watching a live event on TV is that you get great “seats” and in the case of Gypsy Sally’s where we saw the shows, great sound too!  For whatever reason, the Dead’s music has always worked for me, and 50 years later I have yet to get sick of it.

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The one benefit to having to watch a simulcast instead of being there was great “seats”

I am also a Phish fan, and was very pleased to see Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio in the role of Jerry.  I thought he did a respectable–and respectful–job and later in the year would see him in Maryland with his own band, Phish.

I freely admit that Phish is an acquired taste, but I love them.  Unlike the Dead’s 50 years, Phish has only been around for 32 years!  This year they played at Merriweather Post Pavilion in suburban Maryland and I went with my son.

There’s no question that the Phish crowd–like the Deadheads–can alienate a more conservative group.  There is some wild behavior to say the least.  Unfortunately, however, that often obscures how good the band and the music are.

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People are so quick to assume a Phish concert is nothing but a bunch of wild young people smoking weed. As this photo plainly illustrates, I found no evidence of this whatsoever.

After the Soldier Field shows, the band–with the exception of Phil Lesh–set out for another tour, this time with John Mayer filling Jerry’s role.  They call themselves Dead & Company and I saw them at DC’s Verizon Center in early November.

With no disrespect to Trey, I was blown away by John Mayer!  He is a great guitarist and played with a LOT of heart; but he went so much further (or should I say, “furthur“) injecting emotion and interpretation that made him appear to be actually channeling Garcia from the great beyond.  He brought a lot of younger fans which didn’t hurt either.  These shows are beginning to be top-heavy with long gray male ponytails!

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Washington, DC’s Verizon Center was packed to the gills and John Mayer brought in a lot of young people.

I had great seats, off to the side of the stage.  The band had the sellout crowd in the palm of their hands and worked it into a lather for nearly three hours.  I am constantly reminded that this music is not everyone’s cup of tea but for me it was the legend of improvised rock-music living on.

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Dead & Company was John Mayer stepping into the role of the late Jerry Garcia with all of the surviving members of the Grateful Dead except bass player Phil Lesh. I think even the most jaded Jerry fan had to give Mayer props for his heart and emotion and impressive talent.

…and other music…

In September the Annual Lock’n Festival took place just outside Charlottesville, VA.  This festival is a jam band paradise!  In one day, from two stages with no break in the music we saw Hot Tuna, the Tedeschi Truck’s Band with guest Bob Weir, Widespread Panic with guest Jimmy Cliff, Phil Lesh and Friends with guests Carlos Santana and Warren Haynes.  It was beautiful weather on a large farm and pretty much the perfect show!

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Susan Tedeschi of Tedeschi Trucks Band was joined by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir at Lock’n

To see the former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant was great, but to hear him drive one song into the next with updated versions of the old songs was unbelievable!  To see Carlos Santana playing his heart out on all these old Grateful Dead songs was practically an out-of-body experience!

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Former Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant rocked the farm at Lock’n

It was a diverse year musically, however, and not all Grateful Dead.  One very exciting example of that was when my own company hired the Kevin Eubanks band (formerly of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show) to play our annual Partner Summit.  They would play during breaks between sessions and when speakers would come out on stage Kevin would banter with the speaker for a minute or so before they launched into their presentation.

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The Avnet Partner Summit in Chandler, AZ featured Kevin Eubanks and his band playing between sessions and bantering with speakers as they walked onto the stage!

Gypsy Sally’s is a small music venue in Georgetown, a section of Washington, DC and they feature a lot of great live music.  Recently I saw Amy Helm, daughter of The Band’s Levon Helm.

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Levon Helm’s daughter Amy put on a great show at a local venue, Gypsy Sally’s. Her music was original and her band was great.

In October I attended the Oracle OpenWorld Conference in San Francisco and was treated to an amazing concert!  It is always outdoors on Treasure Island, under the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland.

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Each year Oracle puts on an amazing concert for attendees of their Oracle OpenWorld conference. Always great weather, always outdoors, the show is held on Treasure Island in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.

This year the acts included Beck with their Grammy-winning unique sound.  That was a great show, but not really the headliner for old guys like myself.

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Beck was an amazing show but for a guy my age, was not the headliner…

No, that was Elton John!  I started toward the front of the crowd and watched Elton perform his legendary Benny and the Jets from about 40 feet away.  The crowd got pretty claustrophobic however and I moved back to my company’s reserved seats.

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Sir Elton John

He did every song I could think of.  He played for a solid two hours and left almost nothing unplayed (except the Disney stuff…thankfully).  To see a hero of my youth perform Rocket Man, Benny, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, Daniel, Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Crocodile Rock, Harmony, Your Song, Philadelphia Freedom, it just went on and on!!!!

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At 68 years old, Elton John’s piano playing is stronger than ever, and he puts on a hell of a show!

There were many other small local bands I was fortunate enough to see.  I am always impressed at how any bar in any town can feature really talented musicians.  I myself have been trying to learn guitar for years and can’t even get my left hand to cooperate with my right!

2015 was an extraordinary year musically and I am looking forward to more next year.

I wish you all Happy New Year, and will post once more tomorrow to close out this series with a sneak peek at what’s in store for 2016!

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VE Day 70th Anniversary – Warbirds’ DC Flyover

Friday May 8th was the 70th anniversary of VE Day.  To commemorate the event, a massive flyover of 56 World War II era planes was staged at a small airport in Manassas, VA and flew to Washington, DC, along the Potomac River, pivoting at the Iwo Jima Marine Memorial, and flying over the Washington Monument, and National Mall.

For a great aggregation of the media coverage click here.

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It was rare that they flew low enough to capture both planes and monuments but it happened a few times.

It sounded fun and I thought I would pop down to the Marine Memorial (Iwo Jima) and see it.  Not an original idea!  I knew I was in trouble when I saw throngs of people pouring from the offices in Rosslyn to the site!

IMG_0242But I tend to have great luck and sure enough there was a sweet parking spot waiting for my car!  I headed over to the Netherlands Carillon which is next to the Marine Memorial and there were a hundred or more photographers!

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The Netherlands Carillon in the back left sits up on a hill, between the Marine Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery.

All around me were huge long lenses and tripods, they had vests with extra accessories and multiple cameras.

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As it turned out, many were professionals!  The guy next to me was from Reuters, and the Washington Post was next to him!  There were also plenty of serious amateurs and bloggers.

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The planes came in various formations based on different theaters and time periods during the war.

The planes would come in along the river and be at 1,000 feet which is twice the height of the Washington Monument.  For the pros it was almost a total bust because the planes were too hight to capture the monuments behind them.  There was also a sunny haze that made for difficult photo settings.

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It was a hot sunny day with a humid haze throughout but that did not stop picnics, office gatherings, and many loyal fans of the warbirds.

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Our first glimpse would be to our left between the trees before they were in front of the monuments on the National Mall.

There were brief gaps between groups and then someone in the crowd would yell, “Here we go!”  We would grab a few shots through the trees to the left, then the plane buffs would identify the crafts and many times the actual given name of that plane, “There’s Big Jane!” and shutters would start snapping.

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If they weren’t talking shop about lenses and settings, they were talking about World War II planes.  People were intimately familiar with the crafts and could identify them by the tail markings, etc.

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This, the Lockheed P38 with its distinctive twin booms was a crowd favorite.


They came in several formations based on the history of the aircraft.  Some in threes, some in fours.
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In the end, there were some decent shots of planes with the monuments.  Too bad these professional photographers can’t just turn their phone to the upright position!


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I felt a little silly standing among all these photographers with my iPhone 5, but they were all really nice and gave tips here and there on getting the best possible shot.  There was one woman named Sabrina who described herself as an “overzealous amateur”.  She had a massive lens that she had bought just for air shows and told me that photographing planes made “her brain sparkle”.  She was very nice and gave me her card with a variety of websites.  Here flickr site is beautiful!  .  Her blog has some fabulous photography, including some great shots from a group that did aerial photography of the flyover. See her site at www.sybspics.com.


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I felt a little silly standing among all these photographers with my iPhone 5, but they were all really nice and gave tips here and there on getting the best possible shot.  There was one woman named Sabrina who described herself as an “overzealous amateur”.  She had a massive lens that she had bought just for air shows and told me that photographing planes made “her brain sparkle”.  She was very nice and gave me her card with a variety of websites.  Here flickr site is beautiful!  .  Her blog has some fabulous photography, including some great shots from a group that did aerial photography of the flyover. See her site at www.sybspics.com.

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My friend Jim is a gifted photographer and during the entire flyover we were texting.  He was positioned at the Jefferson Memorial.  To check out Jim’s website Boomer-23.  Jim managed to capture a great shot of a plane that had an engine malfunction and had to break out of formation and land (safely) at National Airport.

All said, it was a fun experience.  The planes were exciting to see (and on display at the Air & Space Museum Dulles Facility the next day) and the experience of being among real photographers was very cool!

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Bucket List Update: Meet Molly Ringwald…Check!

OK, maybe meeting Molly Ringwald was not exactly a bucket list item but I do find her pretty iconic (not to mention pretty in pink…and, well, just plain pretty)! When marketing company O’Keefe & Company invited me to their 16th anniversary party with a theme of “16 Candles”, the simple promise of an open bar would have been enough to attend; but, then they added the draw of meeting Molly Ringwald!

Me & Molly Ringwald

I was fascinated by the idea of using celebrity to market. The party was fantastic. The entire establishment of Ireland’s Four Provinces in Falls Church was rented out. It felt so special to walk past the sign that said, “Sorry, closed for private event”.

The next day there was a piece in the Style Section of the Washington Post. The article mentioned that she was in town, what it had cost O’Keefe to get her, what she wore, etc. It was brilliant PR on the part of O’Keefe since countless people are now posting their pics (and blogging!)

When it was over I had to admit I felt silly waiting in line in my early 50’s to get a picture and autograph from a movie star known best for work she did 30 years ago, but did I mention the open bar?

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House of Walker Scotch Tasting and a Lesson in Brand Marketing

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The invitation came from UrbanDaddy.  The event was being held at Living Social and was a scotch tasting from the “House of Walker” as in Johnny Walker.

Scotch tasting or not, it was really a marketing event.  My day job is largely marketing so I found the whole thing interesting on that level.  Here was social media used for advertising, and sponsorship.

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It was also a superb occasion to meet two buddies downtown for a night out.  We met at the Living Social DC headquarters, a beautiful old 4 story building in downtown DC near Chinatown and the Verizon Center.  From the moment we entered the PR began.  The event, although completely free, was glitzy and upscale.  It was staffed by scores of petite young women in black cocktail dresses and high heels and I’m not going pretend I didn’t  enjoy that.  It was way better than some gruff old Scot with a beard and a thick accent.

012We were inspected for Homeland Security which is just part of living in the DC area, and then registered on iPads as we walked past a very slick slideshow on a video wall.  The crowd was surprisingly diverse!  Age, race, gender, ethnicity, and even demographics were all widely represented.  Thus, Asian hipsters, obvious Nats fans, and cool, if suburban middle-agers (us) were all there.

We were each given what looked like a plastic hotel key and told this was our “drink ticket” and to hold on to it.  The first stop was at a small posh theater where we watched a short film (featuring the bearded Scot with thick accent) on the history of the Walker label.  That was followed with a briefing from our “Whisky Ambassador” on what would take place over the next hour or so.

We then moved into another room all set up for some tasting.  We started with the real anchor of the Walker label, Johnny Walker Black.  The setup looked serious.  We each had two small samples in front of us and a pitcher of water, bucket of ice, and eye-droppers.  (all I could think is this is going to really burn my eyes!)  The Ambassador walked us through the three ways to taste the scotch, first a sip straight up, then with a little water in it, and finally with an ice cube in it.  Each had slightly different characteristics and brought out different notes in the scotch.

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More importantly, that first sip was so anticipated!  We made this reservation a week earlier, and then been at work all day building the anticipation of that first sip.  Then we watched the film and stood in front of the shots while he explained them.  By the time we finally got to taste it I had a Pavlovian reaction and the quality of the scotch was probably the last thing on my mind!  The eye dropper, by the way, was to put drops of water in the sample.  Thank God, that would have ruined my contacts!

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After the tasting we were ushered into yet another room to taste the Black and another relatively new label, the Double Black.  At this point the sample was close to a full drink and of course, it was 7pm and none of us had eaten yet.  As the whisky began to make its way to my brain, everywhere I looked was a cute young lady to answer questions, show us to the next stop, or explain something about the scotch.  We moved from the Black to the Double Black, and then on to yet another room to try the legendary Johnny Walker Blue.  This is a 25 year old blended scotch and was served in a snifter, neat.  While it was delicious and memorable, we all happily agreed that we liked the Black just as well.  Good thing since the Black is about one fifth the price.

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The final stop was the basement speakeasy of the building where we enjoyed scotch based cocktails with Johnny Walker Red.  By now everyone in the bar was exuberant and the atmosphere was less educational and more bar-like.  Nobody was drunk, but were were in high spirits.

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The thing I found really interesting was that Washington, DC is an affluent city where many bars boast scores of single malt scotches.  Because their whisky is a blend, many scotch snobs would look down on it; and yet here they were hosting an event to build fans.  Again, it was more about the marketing than about whisky but even though boldly transparent, I still enjoyed the hell out of it and would now consider ordering the Black or Double Black in a bar.  The difference is, now, in addition to the whisky, the glass would also contain this fond memory and pleasant association with the brand.  To me this was a great example of using social media to bolster brand among likely future customers!

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It was also a great night out with friends that progressed to a very hot new establishment, the Daikaya Noodle House in DC.  Look for that post soon!

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The New Year’s Day Truffle Omelet

I was fortunate enough to come by a fresh truffle this week.  I am grateful to the Dean & Deluca representative who convinced me I needed it because it started the new year off on a very memorable culinary high note!  The truffle was about the size of a large olive and deliciously and powerfully pungent.  The refrigerator smelled so good I considered not using it so the fridge would smell like this forever.

There are many creative ways to showcase this earthy fragrant intoxicant, but the simplest, and in my mind the best way is an omelet.  Eggs absorb the rich flavor like a sponge, although today I would use the truffles for a filling rather than mix it into the egg.  It’s just a matter of personal preference. 

About the size of an olive, a little goes a long way and I would use about a third of it in the omelet.

By the way, when I say “earthy” I really mean it.  The truffle was from the Burgundy region of France and had in its organic DNA the same elements that flavor a fine French Burgundy.  The French call it “terroir” and it’s why they are more concerned with where the grapes are grown than what variety of grape it is.  This truffle was aching to be paired with a bold French burgundy but alas, we would be having this for breakfast mere hours after a 3 hour New Year’s Eve dinner that featured numerous wines and champagne.  We did not need anymore wine!

The truffle was grated on a microplane.

I started by grating about a third of the truffle on a microplane, and just barely sautéing it in butter.  Cooking the truffle will diminish the flavor so really what I did was heat the pan enough to melt the butter and kill the heat when the grated truffle was added.  They sizzled slightly and then began to glisten.  The fragrant aroma in the house was almost overwhelming!  At this point I added a tablespoon of sour cream and a tablespoon of heavy cream (Happy New Year!)  Once mixed this would become the filling for the omelet.

The truffles are just barely sautéed and then mixed with a small amount of sour cream and heavy cream.

The eggs were seasoned only with salt and pepper.  Like any omelet I worked at high heat and cooked it very quickly, leaving the top soft.  Just before removing it from the pan I distributed the filling across the center of the omelet, folded it over and plated.

This omelet called for four extra-large fresh farm eggs!

I then decided to add a small amount of grated cheese.  This is slightly controversial as there are those who would find it scandalous to adulterate the truffles with cheese.  This was a very fine dusting of a hard cheddar and in my mind, added to the flavor without taking anything away from the truffle.

The truffle/cream mixture would become the filling for the omelet.

The result was a rich sublime food, simple in its origins yet creating an otherworldly experience. 

Happy New Year.  Here’s to a 2012 filled with great food and cosmic adventure!

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Alice Only Cooks Once a Year…But It’s So Worth The Wait!

Beef Bourguignon with a layer of puff pastry and a leafy green salad.

My wife Alice does not like to cook.  What for me is pure pleasure is for her tedious time-wasting work.  I am never so happy when I can come home from work after a long day and get my hands on the food peeling and chopping.  Alice, on the other hand will not even consider a recipe with more than 6 ingredients!

This is fine with me because I rarely have to share the kitchen and she frequently cleans the kitchen behind me.  And in truth, she will occasionally put dinner on the table–usually under great protest.

The house was decorated for Christmas...

Once a year, however, she plans and hosts a dinner party in which she conceives of the menu, prepares the dish, and entertains like a socialite.  Last night was the 2011 version of this experience and for myself and 14 lucky friends and neighbors it was a treat from top to bottom!

When planning the menu she wanted something that could be prepared in a large single pot, but served individually with elegance.  She decided upon Beef Bourguignon, and went straight to Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for her recipe.  If you saw the movie “Julie and Julia” you will remember that Beef Bourguignon was the first recipe she tackled in her quest to cook and blog every recipe in the book.  It is not an easy one!

...and the evening promised to be fun!

In addition to doing all the work normally done by me for a dinner party, she did all the work that she normally does, like the table setting, decorations, etc.  She really created a fabulous evening.

It started the night before when she began the main course.  The beef has to be well browned with bacon, onions, carrots and all tossed in flour.  It is then simmered for hours in a mixture of beef stock and red wine.  The house smelled like a savory wonderland.

I came home from work on Friday to find the richest most beautiful brown sauce I have ever seen.  If you have ever tried to create a velvety sauce like this you know this picture says it all!

This sauce captured flavors from each ingredient and then distributed them throughout the dish.

The next day she sautéed mushrooms in what can only be described as a labor-intensive, multi-step process.  Then came pearl onions.  Everything was prepared for 16 people which meant tripling the recipe in the book.

The combination of pearl onions, sautéed mushrooms, and bacon are a brilliant beginning to any dish!

Meanwhile there were cookies being made as a party favor in a small holiday Chinese food box which would be each person’s place card. 

There was also a fun and festive dessert offering that involved a decadent version of Rice Krispie treats dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut and served on a skewer!

The stew was ladled into individual ramekins and topped with a layer of puff pastry.

When it was time to serve the entrée Alice filled individual ramekins with the meat, the onions and mushrooms, and the sauce.  To give it a little extra elegance, she topped each with a round of puff pastry and baked them until the pastry was brown and bubbly.  The dish was served with a light green salad with a homemade Dijon vinaigrette that had just the right bright notes to compliment the heavier and hearty beef.

The guests arrived between 7:00 and 7:30 and there was a fire in the fireplace, a handsome bar was set up and what would ultimately be more than a case of wine was at the ready!

In no time there was a raucous volume of multiple conversations and the buzz of excitement for what promised to be a great evening.

Dinner was served at two beautiful tables and there was much calling from one to the other.  Conversation was rapid and exciting and many oohs and ahhs were heard from everyone.

Our friend Laurie made an exquisite bread pudding with whiskey sauce along with a pie that was truly addictive!

Alice offering Rice Krispie Treats dipped in chocolate!

In addition to the dessert that Alice made, one of our guests brought dessert and had no trouble standing up to the fantastic dinner entrée.  Our friend Laurie made a bread pudding that was decadently rich and served it with a whiskey hard sauce that could not have been offered to minors!  The combination of the rich and mellow dessert with the sharp and aromatic whiskey sauce was perfect.  I for one ate way more than I should have. 

For good measure, Laurie made a separate pie for anyone who might not be a bread pudding fan.  She called this “Crack Pie” and said it was nothing but butter and sugar.  There was indeed more than that, but I do see where the name came from because one bite produced such an intense pleasure that I would have ignored all good judgement for another bite, even though it was clearly not good for me!

It is my opinion that Alice’s execution of the Beef Bourguignon was flawless.  This was a 10 on a scale of 1-10.  As always, I think the measure of a successful dinner party can be found in two factors, how long do people linger at the table after they’re done eating and how long do guests stay?

On the first count, it was 11:00 before we left the table, having crowded around the larger dining room table for dessert and conducting no fewer than 10 different conversations at once!  ( I know, the math doesn’t work out for 16 people).

A successful dinner party lingers at the table and lasts until at least midnight...success on both counts last night!

It was after midnight when the last guest went home and once again, Alice had shown her inner circle that while she is not particularly fond of cooking, she’s still very good at it!

Well done Alice, and thanks to our friends for a great evening and kicking off the holiday season.

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ToneManBlog Now Has Its Own Twitter Account.

Effective immediately the best way to follow the ToneManBlog is at the twitter username @tonemanblog

Those of you already following my personal twitter account (@tonytrombly) are welcome to continue,

but blog postings will appear on the new address and my personal account will be limited to my own random observations and drunken adventures.

Each time a new posting is published on my blog a tweet will go out to @tonemanblog,  but I will  also tweet pictures and notes in addition to blog postings. 

So please, follow along!

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New Address for ToneMan Blog…

The ToneMan is now Master of His Domain! Effective immediately the address for my blog is http://tonemanblog.com.

If you have saved the previous address (tonytrombly.wordpress.com) that will be redirected so either way you’ll get there; but now when you tell your friends about this great blog you follow you can just tell them” ToneManBlog.com“!

I also hope you like the new look of the blog format. I think it will be easier to navigate and more useful for searching.

I always welcome feedback, so please let me know what you think.  And while you’re at it, why not click one of the links below and share this with someone, either on your facebook or twitter, or via email!

Cheers, and keep cooking,

Tony

Policy Restaurant & Lounge – Small Plates in DC’s U St. Corridor!

Last night I had the pleasure to eat at Policy in DC’s U St. Corridor.  What a fantastic choice of a restaurant! 

It is a “small plate” restaurant and thus very conducive to sharing with other people in your party.  We had a party of 5 celebrating a couple birthdays.  We started with a drink at the bar where they had a large menu of specialty drinks.  From the moment we arrived it was clear that one standard feature of Policy is great service.  Our bartender immediately made us feel like VIPs.

Tiny butternut squash gnocchi were made with pate de choux dough instead of potato and browned. They were served with candied walnuts, parmesan, and brown sugar sage butter.

The decor strikes the perfect note for the neighborhood with a sleek urban feel.  There is a lot of glossy black surfaces warmed with deep reds, and the feel is somewhere between a kitschy lounge of the 60’s and a sexy private club.

This would also be one of those nights when the server took it from a good night out to a great night out!  Ryan came to our table and told us to prepare to have a great night and then set about to make it happen!  He took us through the menu and let us know some stand-out items and in some cases how they were prepared and why they were so special.

The Red Curry Lentils, for example, had golden raisins in them which he described as “little landmines of sweetness” that gave the dish bright notes.

Red Curry Lentils were served with fresh swiss chard and cheese dumplings. The lentils contained golden raisins which acted like little "landmines of sweetness"!

We jumped right in ordering 4 small plates to be passed around the table.  The nice thing about Policy’s approach is that each dish was ample enough to pass among 5 people.

The Butternut Squash Gnocchi was the first thing we tasted and it was so good we would go on to order another portion!  Tiny gnocchi made with butternut squash and pate de choux dough (in lieu of potato) were boiled and then sautéed to brown them,then topped with a delicate sauce that hit every taste bud.

From there we moved to the dish that would be my favorite of the night, the Sweet Chili Pork Belly.  These morsels of pork were cooked chicharron style and topped with pickled daikon and a kim chee puree.  The flavor combination was outstanding!  If you’re a fan of pork belly you know that it has to be prepared perfectly or else it comes off as a fatty greasy piece of meat; but, when correctly executed as this was, it borders on sublime!

The beet salad was served with a pistachio pesto and gorgonzola mousse. So many flavors working like a symphony!

Everything we tasted was delicious and memorable!  Other meat items included Waygu Beef Medallions with marinated roasted peppers and a sweet garlic sauce.  Braised and Grilled Beef Shortribs were served with a miso-mustard glaze and topped with house made pickles.  As good as the meats were, they were equaled by the vegetables.  A vegetarian could eat really well here including a brussel sprout dish that everyone raved about, the red curry lentils with swiss chard and a coconut essence.  The beet salad featured a gorgonzola mousse, aged balsamic vinegar and pistachio pesto!

This brussel sprout dish would be one of the finest things we tasted!

The fun thing about a small plate restaurant is that every time a dish arrives at the table there are oohs and ahhs.  Our server worked this to his advantage and has us trained to watch him arrive!

When we were done eating he told us to sit tight and that he had a special birthday surprise for us.  He returned with a brown bag with a birthday message written on it that was filled with small round homemade donuts!  They were covered in confectioner’s sugar and served with creme anglaise on the side for dipping. 

But to make things fun, he served it with two rather robust sparklers in his mouth!!

Here is a server who knows how to deliver a bag of donuts!

The whole evening struck the perfect balance between casual and fun, and seriously offering food the whole staff is clearly proud of and eager to share.

I will return to Policy, and between now and when I do, I will dream about returning!  Happy birthday Mary and Michael!

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