Restaurant Review: The Pritchard

Snuggled in the heart of the Plaza District, The Pritchard unifies upscale and casual to create a concept with delicious craft cocktails, wines from all over the world, and locally-sourced dishes being served for dinner, late night and brunch. 

The moment you walk in you can't help but be grabbed by the thoughtfully curated decor and ambience of the space. The well stocked bar is paired with marble countertops, adorable bar stools (that I want to steal for my own home) and an epic gallery wall at the focal point. Across the way a deep green tufted velvet booth runs from the front to the back of the restaurant. They really took the time with the design of the space and it doesn't go unnoticed. I'm a sucker for restaurant ambience and they do it well. 

I came for brunch last Sunday and could not wait to write this post to tell you all about it. Everything from the service, to the food, to being able to doodle on the table had me swooning. 

The Pritchard is open Tues-Sun. During the week they focus on dinner, but add in brunch starting at 10 a.m on Saturday and Sunday. 

The whole menu is set up tapas/small plate style. When I heard this I was slightly skeptical because I'm not usually a fan of this set up. In my past tapas experience things get expensive quick and it's always hard to guage how much to order for whatever size group. I'm not sure how they do it, but The Pritchard just makes it work. 

I arrived Sunday morning ready to put their menu to the test. It is split up into brunch small plates, charcuterie, cheeses and proteins. Our waiter did an excellent job helping describe the menu as well as guide us on what and how many of each to order. We wanted all the brunch food so we stuck to the small plates column. I can't wait to come back for the cheese and charcuterie! 

After gazing the menu we settled on four plates for the two of us to share. That was easily the Johnny Cakes, Spanish Baked Egg, Popcorn Grits and Fruit Plate. The Johnny Cakes were unreal and a must order if you go for brunch. The plate comes with three cornmeal cakes, topped with homemade hazelnut spread, bananas and chopped hazelnuts. The cakes were thin yet fluffy and the hazelnut spread. I can't even. Think Nutella minus the chocolate, but better!

The popcorn grits shown above got the award for "favorite thing we ordered." There is no popcorn in the grits, but the name comes from the way they prepare the corn to become grits. They are cooked up with some pancetta inside and big shavings of grana padano on top, very similar to parmesan. People are skeptics of grits, but I grew up eating them on the reg, so I will always love them in any form.

The Spanish Baked Egg is a tomato ragu made of tomatoes, onions and spices topped with an egg. They use a unique method for cooking the egg that was new to me, but explained as very similar to a poached egg. This dish was great, it really was but everything else upstaged it a bit.

We were feeling great about what and how much we ordered, but head chef Shelby Sieg, sent out a few complimentary dishes she didn't want us to miss. Thank you Shelby!! We willing unbuttoned our top buttons to make room for her delicious concoctions. First up the Fried Chicken Biscuits with housemade pickle and hot sauce. The biscuits were fluffy yet crispy, just how they should be.

She also brought out their brussels sprouts with spanish chorizo. Simply roasted but paired with salty chorizo. They were a good offset to the grits, Johnny Cakes and biscuits!

Now who wants to go back with me for brunch round two? I have to get back to try their delicata squash, housemade kolaches and cocktails. Follow The Pritchard on instagram and bookmark them on Yelp, where you can also read another version of this review.

Annie

Let's work together! I'd love to review your restaurant. Email me annie@takeabiteblog.com so we can chat!
*Disclaimer: This is not a paid promoted post but I was partially paid in kind for compensation.

Bites of My Life

Work, work, work, work. All about the hustle this past week and weekend. All work and a little play, but I'm loving it. Just like my blog keeps me creatively stimulated, my day job has been doing the same. 

-Perfecting my poach, one farm fresh egg at a time.
-J.R. Designs made an appearance on the blog last week as well as killing it at her first trunk show. Check out her stuff now, if you haven't. 
-Fun to find out there are a bunch of matcha maniacs out there like myself. Glad I'm not alone. This post stimulated another matcha project I have up my sleeve.
-Working for a restaurant group has seeeeeerious perks. 
-Don't knock it till you try it. Almond butter, avocado slices, drizzle of honey and salt. So darn good I can't even.
-That matcha project I mentioned earlier. Here is a sneak peek. 
-When it's 103 outside, smoothie bowls for dinner are just about the best thing ever. 
-Texas and Oklahoma shaped sugar cookies for sweet Lauren as she makes her exit from OKC to Dallas, we'll miss you!
-Visually stimulating Mexican sodas. Come see them for yourself, starting August 1st ;)

Annie

D.C Diary Reunited

It's baaaaack! I loved using my D.C. Diary posts to log my summer adventures when I lived there. Two years later and I was able to squeeze in a trip back to my favorite city. No better way to recap the weekend than with this Take A Bite original. 

Hoped off the plane Friday evening and metro-ed into town (super proud of myself for still being able to maneuver the metro) to meet my host/bestie at her apartment. Kudos to Anna for being patient with me. I sent her an itinerary of everything I wanted to do over the weekend a few weeks back and she happily played along. Friday night was all her though. First stop on the #dcdining adventure was Rasika. More palak chaat please!! This crispy spinach dish is unreal.

Indian food and passion fruit cocktails were the perfect way to catch up and start the weekend. 

Anna and I lived together two years ago, she's now back in the district and I'm living vicariously through her. Did I mention we've known each other since we were born?

After a summer taking classes at Barre3 Georgetown, I was so happy to come visit and try out the new 14th street location. Seriously gorg studio in one of my favorite areas of town.

Can't help but stop and stare at the quaint side streets full of row houses and brownstones.

Saturday afternoon we went back to my old hood for lunch and shopping in Georgetown. Why oh why did Chaia not exist when I worked there?

Quick stop by the waterfront, before a quick detour to Baked and Wired

And now comes the best part of the trip. After a failed attempt at trying to get into Rose's Luxury two years ago, I've been dying to try again. They don't take reservations and you have to get in line right when they open to just hope you get a spot. I've been gawking them on social media and the internet and knew that this had to be apart of the trip. They were named Best New Restaurant ranking No.1 on Bon Appetit's Hot 10 list and rank tip top on several other round ups. 

Two of our friends and current D.C. resisdents, Katie and Sarah were meeting us for dinner. They were more than down for the waiting game. I love friends who love food the same way as me.  We got there at 5, got our name on the list and they happily let us know we should be seated by 7:30/8. Rose's is eclectic. They use the most interesting combination of ingredients and serve everything on mismatched china and silverware. The head chef, Aaron Silverman has said he wanted Rose's to be like having a dinner party every night. Congrats Aaron, you did it. 

I also love when people are cool with me snapping away at each course and embarrassingly asking the waitress every item in the dish. Just so you know you are looking at coconut milk foam, pork sausage, habanero cream, red onion, lychee, basil mint cilantro, togarashi, lime juice, champagne vinegar, coconut powder, and garlic chips. Ya, woah. 

Next up was a grilled romain salad with duck egg and grilled veal. 

Then confit goat and rice with BBQ sea island red peas. Like how do you even come up with these things Aaron? Everything was insane.

This. This is what sent us over the edge. Bucatini with pesto, ramps, jalapeno, blue crab and crispy breadcrumbs. This may be the best thing I've ever eaten. We pretty much all threw in the towel on ever expecting to eat anything better in our lives. 

So many cheers throughout this meal to celebrate it's amazingness and experiencing it together. After a few cocktails and many bites of bucatini we decided we had formed some kind of bucatini sisterhood. 

More pasta because we had to try their famous strawberry tomato sauce. Bon Appetit has a recipe for it here

Absolutely not done without dessert. Rhubarb custard tart and tiramisu.

Thank you Rose's Luxury. Everything really is awesome. You heard it first here but this is my favorite restaurant of all time. The food, the service, the experience, everything is gold. I mentioned at one point in the night that I was a little sad to have found this at such a young age. What do I have to live for now? 

Sisterhood of the traveling bucatini: Marsha, Virginia, Heidi and Charlie. I think our amazing meal sent us into some kind of weird trance, but we weren't trying to get out of it. 

Sunday morning recovery at my (old) favorite spot, Le Diplomate.

I dreamed of the next time I would get to have this mushroom tart since the last time I had it. 

Post-brunch shopping at Salt & Sundry

Since I was in D.C. they have grown from their Union Market location and built a brick and mortar on 14th. 

Serious home good/gift coolness overload.

Sunday afternoon called for a serious cat nap after going going going and a touristy stop at the national archives. We got to see the Declaration, Bill of Rights and Constitution. Total Nicholas Cage/National Treasure move.  We found a pick me up later in the day at Baked and Wired's new sister A Baked Joint

Weekend coming to a close, but going out with a bang. 

Steamed buns at Momofuku.

And ramen for days. 

Followed by none other than my NYC fav, Milk Bar! This duo traveled south a bit and opened locations in D.C's new City Center. 

Cheers to this trip, this friend, this city, it's food, it's culture and so much more. Now get that internship next summer too so I can come back! 

Annie

Bites of My Life

Adult spring break: it is not a thing, and that is a hard reality. My social media feeds this past week were full of friends who are still in school seen hitting the ski slopes, sunbathing in Mexico, galavanting through Europe and sightseeing in big cities. All while I was stuck behind a desk doing as the other adults do. 

Work hard, play hard though. This week wasn't too shabby. Our last Bachelor Monday for a while #teamjojo4bachelorette, a little casual 5 course cajun dinner with my foodie fam, some St. Patrick's day celebrash, and the opening of one of my new favorite restaurants. 

-Bachelor finale calls for chocolate covered strawberries.
-Finale also called for greek yogurt bark which was an extreme fail. Don't try it. Greek yogurt does not stay frozen...
-Since I was having to be adult this week, grown up cereal and milk seemed appropriate. 
-A chocolate coconut blueberry smoothie bowl inspired by Bailey's using Arbonne's chocolate protein powder. 
-Cafe 501's chef inspired dinner has become a monthly tradition! This month's cajun theme included a course of  oysters, gumbo, shrimp po boy, filet and table side bananas foster.
-As expected, some puppy brother time! 
-A little Irish Soda Bread for all the leprechauns out there.
-St. Patricks day calls for green beer which means washing it down with loaded jalapeno fries. 
-Cultivar Mexican Kitchen opened it's doors last week in OKC. Do yourself a favor and go ASAP. #tacos
-OATastic.
-So I went to Cultivar two days in a row, so be it. 
-Some call it Mississippi Mud, some call it Methodist Cake and the correct ones call it Better Than Sex Cake. I call it the latter because I love watching mom squirm. 

Annie

Restaurant Review: Scratch Kitchen + Cocktails

Oh boy am I excited for this post. I wrote this summer about my idea of a dream job. If I could just be hired to eat at cool restaurants and write reviews on them for the rest of my life, I'd be the happiest girl. A few weeks ago I got to pretend my dream job was a reality.

With my days in sweet Normantown coming to an end, I've been trying to savor some of my favorite local bites.  Scratch Kitchen + Cocktails is a gem found in Norman's restaurant scene. Located right outside campus, on Historic Main Street, Scratch offers quality ingredient dishes and perfectly crafted cocktails all made from scratch, hence the name. People always ask me what my favorite restaurant is or what I would recommend for a good dinner. Well Scratch is always my answer. 

Now let me walk you through my perfect evening, all crafted from scratch.

I've visited Scratch a handful of times, but my meal was exceptional this go-around. The number one perk from this visit was getting to take a peek inside the kitchen. I've never been in a restaurant kitchen before so you can imagine how giddy I was. 

in-the-kitchen.jpg

The hustle and bustle of prepping, cooking, plating and then delivering to guests had me mesmerized. I wanted so badly to throw on an apron and jump behind the stove, but I was warned to stand back. Wise words which I followed. These chefs have it down to a T and didn't need an overly excited girl with a camera to her eye messing up their mojo. Although I was snapping away, they continued to create plates of magical looking food. I wanted to shove everything in my mouth.

Now back to my meal. My sweet friend and go-to dinner date started our meal in Scratch fashion with one of their scratch made cocktails. The menu is always changing as the bartenders continuously come up with new crafted beverages from some of the best libations. 

The Icy Mitt for myself and Giving Up the Gun for my friend. Two grapefruit flavored cocktails, mine with brandy, lemon and lavender syrup, hers with gin, hibiscus and sparkling wine. Those ingredients alone. Lavender syrup? Yup, you got me there. Find their whole scratch cocktail menu here.

Our server Robin really took care of us. I'm notorious for asking my waiter's opinion, but I'm also known for asking them and still making my own decision. Not with Robin, I put all my trust in that girl and she never led us astray. We were doing it big, so by following her suggestion, we started with both the Arancini and Sooner State Board.

Arancini // risotto balls with roasted corn and green chilies, flash-fried and served in chipotle mole sauce // Nothing about that makes it sound like it could be anything but amazing. Which it is. I could order this appetizer as my entree and be so happy.

Sooner State Board // salami, smoked gouda, parmasean, brie, almond covered goat cheese, candied pecans and dried apricots // My okie pride really stirred when this cheese board came out served on an Oklahoma cutting board.

Although known for their scratch drinks, the list of classic cocktails still measures up. A Pimm's Cup is one of my favorite cocktails and Scratch has one of the best. I'm biased and think my dad makes the best, but it's my number one drink recommendation when at Scratch. We indulged in one to pair with our entrees. 

Now for the main event. We saved just enough room to bite into the California Girl sandwich and Coffee Pork Loin. Another one of Robin's suggestions that will now be mine too. It was unreal.

Coffee Pork Loin // Coffee crusted pork seared on the grill then finished in the oven. Topped with a port wine reduction and served with rosemary-roasted fingerling potatoes and charred broccolini // Stellar. Yes I'm going as bold as using the word stellar. The flavor was incredible and the portion was perfect.

California Girl // Herb-marinated chicken topped with provolone, guacamole, tomato, onion, sprouts and roasted garlic aioli on a sunflower honey wheat bun and served with shoestring fries // The sandwich was great but I could go on about these fries for hours. This was my friend's order although I'm also claiming it as my own because of the amount of fries I ate. I don't know when I turned into such a french fry connoisseur, but Scratch fed my obsession. You can see the mess I made in the next picture while I was trying to sneak a fry in the middle of a shot.

A perfect night of feeling like a true food critic. There were lots of awkward moments like standing up in my booth to get the prefect birds-eye shot and rearranging plates and drinks to position everything just right. Big kudos to Amy, Robin, Brady and the rest of the staff! Thank you for everything Scratch, we loved getting to take a bite!

Like what you see? Well I'm now available for dinner and drinks! Email me annie@takeabiteblog.com to discuss getting a review for your restaurant!

Annie

*Disclaimer: This is not a paid promoted post but I was paid in kind for compensation.