Elegance in an Unexpected Place

ROYAL TAJ

8335 Benson Drive, Columbia, MD 21211 (http://royaltajmd.com/)

** (Good)

When I first mentioned to a good friend of mine that I was starting up a food blog, we happened to be sitting and chatting about restaurants in the area to try. One of the recommendations for my new endeavor: Royal Taj, a Columbia restaurant tucked away in a small commercial center in a former Applebee’s. A little over a month later, my wife and I headed over on a whim for a Tuesday evening dinner. Though I went in expecting a solid Indian meal, after the showing by Royal Taj, I plan on returning with expectations of so much more.

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Hidden Amongst the Homes

SALT

2127 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21231 (http://www.salttavern.com/)

** and 1/2 (Good/Very Good)

For a decade now, the quiet neighborhood of Butchers Hill, located on the northeastern border of Patterson Park, has housed a small restaurant tucked away in a mostly residential area. Salt, which features brick walls, warm wooden tables, and a friendly staff, gives reason for searching out the remote location. My wife, ever the adventurer, happened to stumble across the restaurant a couple of years back. We’ve managed to dine there on several occasions over the years, but I wanted a chance to see whether Salt is continuing to deliver during its ten year anniversary.

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Moments of Promise, But Work to be Done

THE RIGGSBY

1731 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20009 (http://www.theriggsby.com/)

* and 1/2 (Satisfactory/Good)

Expectations were high heading into dinner at The Riggsby, Boston-based Chef Michael Schlow’s newest addition to his D.C. contingent (Schlow also owns Tico, the well-reviewed restaurant on 14th Street). My go-to food source, Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post, had high praise for The Riggsby. The Washingtonian had fond words. Friends were excited and noted all the positive reviews being heaped on the restaurant. Located on the bottom floor of The Carlyle, a swanky Kimpton Hotel nestled a few blocks from Dupont Circle, the restaurant had prime real estate and a very cool vibe. If only the quality of the food matched the digs, I too, would be singing the praises of The Riggsby.

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