Best Way to Get Over the Holiday Blues? Go Out!

Most people with whom I talk are still not interested in discussing all the issues that exist in today’s world. The end of the holiday blues, fatigue from talking heads, and freezing cold weather can all be blamed for most people’s lack of excitement over discussing anything political or international. Can’t say I blame them. So a few friends and I decided we would start the New Year dining out at some of our favorite restaurants to celebrate 2014 – and dwell on great food and wine. So here are my notes from some of the restaurants.

Chef Luigi's Cookbook

Chef Luigi’s Cookbook

Al Tiramisu – As I have said before, Al Tiramisu is one of my very favorite restaurants and a place where one of the scenes from the Alex Garfield book trailer is filmed. The fresh fish is well known, but the pasta and veal are to die for as well. The owner, Chef Luigi Du, has just published a cook book and autobiography which you can get at the restaurant. The book is full of hints, simple instructions and the story of Luigi’s development as well as great stories of life in Italy and how he became a chef. Luigi also has a superb Italian wine cellar with a good selection of Super Tuscans.

Steak Frites at Et Voila

Steak Frites at Et Voila

Et Voila – A small Belgian restaurant on MacArthur Boulevard in northwest D.C., Et Voila has only 18 tables and five bar stools, but it has excellent, fresh Belgian food. Obviously, their specials include onion soup with enough cheeses to add inches to your waist along with great mussels and steak frites. They also have excellent stews and on Sundays a wonderful brunch. One definitely needs reservations since it is so small.

Steak Salad at The Palm.

Steak Salad at The Palm.

The Palm – A Washington classic, The Palm is still the scene for the downtown professional crowd. At lunch one can run into all types, and their happy hour is a favorite watering hole for the surrounding businesses and law firms. The lobster BLT and the crab cakes are specialties in addition to any form of beef which is what started the restaurant’s fame in 1972 when they opened in D.C. (The Palm originated in New York in 1926.) One of my favorites is the Cesar salad with blackened rib eye on top. It is perfectly spiced, and the Cesar is one of the very best in town. The Palm is also known for its wall of cartoons of famous Washingtonians. Presidents and Vice Presidents don’t have their names written beneath their image but others do so it is quite fun to peruse the walls while waiting for your meal.

So now be inspired and go out and eat something delicious to start out the new year!

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