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Question of the Day
Well, Jackie’s, indeed, is quite loveable, though we had our share of mostly ups but some downs recently. The weak point is the service: a little slow — close to 30 minutes for the not-very-complicated appetizers to arrive — and somewhat indifferent.
Once our appetizers arrived, though, moods around the table improved markedly, because the cooks, including executive chef Sam Adkins, know their stuff. The fried calamari with cilantro chili sauce was as perfect as it was unpredictable. The batter was tasty and crunchy but so light it was barely visible; the fresh, piquant cilantro combined nicely with the chewy texture and light flavor of the squid.
The presentation is simple but elegant on white plates of different shapes and sizes. All offerings are comfort-food and home-cooking inspired, but the kitchen takes those concepts and runs with them.
Overall, dining at Jackie’s is very rewarding. The food is solid while pleasantly unpredictable. The decor is fun and comfortable. If only the waiters cared a little more and the noise level bothered a little less, it would be perfect.
815 Connecticut Ave. NW
Step into Ashok Bajaj’s Bombay Club, two blocks from the White House, and you enter India in the days of the British raj. Think high ceilings, slowly moving fans, leafy potted plants against louvered shutters, and over all an aroma of Indian spices
In the evenings, a pianist adds a touch of class. Waiters are attentive and well-informed. A nice buzz of conversation gives life to the room.
The Bombay Club has been around since 1988, and the cooking — under new chef Nilesh Singhvi — is inspired. The menu, identical at lunch and dinner, is a mix of Bombay Parsi meat dishes, Goan fish specialties, North Indian Mogol cooking and the spice of South India.
Appetizers are marvelous. Main courses, which can be shared, are divided into Northwest Frontier specialties and Indian curries, which range from mild, such as white chicken korma, to hot, as in the green-chili chicken.
The meats are primarily cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven. Tandoori dishes include marinated shrimp, lamb chops, trout, salmon and chicken. The salmon is one of Mr. Singhvi’s specialties.
By Robert N. Tracci
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