One thing that I have been doing a lot of this fall/winter season is eating. Yes, I know I'm paying for it since I will have to be beach body ready in a couple of months, but Lord knows I have been enjoying the good eats!
Justin and I finally made it to Toki Underground the day before Thanksgiving. I can't believe as a DC local and DC area native this is my first time dining at this place. We went during the day and still had to wait (about 20 mins) for a seat. Not too bad, comparing it to the multi-hour waits on the weekend evenings. So the key is come early and come during the day if you can!
Our server (I forgot her name but she had cute purple hair!) was friendly, informative and attentive. She gave us a great description of each item. We started off with the pork dumplings which were tasty and came with a sauce that had a little heat. Note: for lunch they only do steamed, not fried dumplings. My hubby ordered the classic (which I highly recommend you order if it's your first time) with pork cheek and extra noodles and I ordered the kimchee with pork cheek because I like things spicy!
Sorry I didn't take too many pics. I didn't want to seem like a huge dork/fangirl...LOL...
When our order came out it looked as if my bowl had the extra noodles instead of my husbands. Chef Erik overheard us (we were seated at the "chef's table"--in front of the kitchen :) and gladly made my husband an extra bowl of noodles on the spot. He was super nice and chatted with us for a bit, although I was a little shy and didn't want to bother him. In hindsight I should have chatted him up about the upcoming opening of Maketto, but I digress...
Anyway, I couldn't finish the extra order of noodles I unexpectedly received, but they packed it up. Btw, they separate the noodles and the broth so when you reheat it, your noodles don't get super soggy!
Lastly, I had a little bit of room for dessert and their fresh baked cookies were delicious on a cold rainy day. They come with a red bean miso which makes for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Another restaurant, I dined at was Water and Wall in Arlington. It is the newest creation from the team that brought you Maple Ave. (which I love!). I went with a couple of my crossfit gals and we definitely came with our appetites! Since it was all of our first time eating at this place, we decided to try a bunch of their appetizers. One of the apps we ordered was the shrimp and grits. They were so tasty and the grits made the perfect complement to the spicy shrimp broth.
We also ordered the bone marrow, which goes without saying. One of my friends hadn't tried bone marrow before...boy was she in for a treat!
Another appetizer we ordered was the steamed mussels. They were tasty and I enjoyed the Chinese sausage in the broth. However, between the bone marrow and the mussels the three of us didn't have enough bread to enjoy all the bone marrow-y and brothy goodness. Each appetizer only came with two pieces of bread. When I asked for extra bread, the server said it would cost extra (I can't remember how much). That was kind of annoying since you figure how cheap bread is and how much we were spending. We sucked it up and ordered the extra bread.
Now to the entrees!
I got the duck confit which was divine! Perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with the delicious layer of fat in between. Served atop Brussels sprouts it made for a filling and tasty meal (which I couldn't finish since I had stocked up on the appetizers!)
My friend got the beef cheek which looked really good! We shared a bit of entrees with one another, and her dish was good too!
My other friend went with the meatless option, the sweet potato risotto which was good, but I preferred the meat dishes!
Although we had ordered a ton of appetizers and entrees we still made room for dessert. We ordered the mochi (which is a standard at Maple Ave).
And what I think were apple fritters with vanilla ice cream. I can't remember. Either way, both desserts were wonderful and the perfect was to end a meal.
Wow, I'm getting hungry just thinking about all these delicious dishes! Do you do a lot of eating when it started to get cold? For some reason, I find it comforting to eat good food and stuff my face the minute the temperature drops ;)