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Happy Thanksgiving from the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Old Nov 24th, 2021, 06:37 PM
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Happy Thanksgiving from the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.

This is 75 y.o. TDudette checking in for a little getaway. I'm staying across from the Smithsonian American Art Museum/Portrait Gallery to enjoy a Sargent/Whistler/Venetian Glass exhibit, and the Holiday Market.

Getting to D.C. on Route 50/New York Avenue was slow. The hotel street was closed for the market but a trip around the block led to a small entry sign for the hotel. More to come after I take a stroll before dinner (which will end up being the tasting menu at Zaytinya).
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Old Nov 24th, 2021, 06:45 PM
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I hope you enjoy a wonderful time in DC. If I were with you, I would have selected Zaytinya, too! Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 05:06 AM
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Looking forward to more! Sounds like a wonderful trip..
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 06:33 AM
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Thanks k_marie and shouldbewriting.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 07:02 AM
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Arrived around 3:00 so no waiting for the room. The Monaco lobby in greens and white:




Check-in smooth and the walk to my room short. A resting/waiting nook on the way:



And the nice hallway:



Next, the room.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 10:23 AM
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Here's the room:

There's a desk to your right of the bed. It has two outlets. You might need a strip if your charging plugs are large

Enough room for one little travel case

Narrow glass shelf over toilet, one step up shower.


Walked outside and the Holiday Market is literally in front of the hotel. Two block-long lines of arts and crafts with Mexican churros at one end and German donuts at the other (I think...just glanced). There was a band, a snow-making machine, and a few other food stalls. I found an artist met quite a few years ago and when I get home, will post a pix the piece I bought on the art thread.

Beyond that is SAAM but that entry is closed so one must walk around the block.


Zaytinya is on the block just beyond SAAM. A group of us ate here at the 2019 DC gtg and shared the tasting menu. Thanks to our great waiter, we only ordered a couple of them and were able to pass the plates and share. I asked my waitperson about taking home what I couldn't finish and she proceeded to put unfinished things in "to go" boxes as the plates came out:
  1. Already on the table was pita bread. My wine (Turasan from Turkey) came with evoo with a swirl of pomegranate molasses:
  2. The starters were (quoting from online menu) "LABNEH Lebanese strained yogurt with za’atar; HTIPITI marinated roasted red peppers, feta, thyme; and HOMMUS purée of chickpeas, garlic, tahini"
  3. Next the salad and cured meat. Not on the menu was a beet and apricot salad with feta, greens and evoo, and "TURKISH STYLE PASTIRMA traditionally cured loin of beef spiced with cumin, fenugreek and paprika with local seasonal fruit, baby arugula and roasted pine nuts":
  4. Next is the fish. When we discussed my likes/dislikes, I mentioned that I love salmon. I don't see it on the menu but in the forefront is a grilled salmon with tomatoes; then "CRISPY BRUSSELS AFELIA brussels sprouts, coriander seed, barberries, garlic yogurt"; and "GARIDES ME ANITHO sautéed shrimp, dill, shallots, mustard, lemon juice":
  5. The meat course (and more veggies) comes next along with my next wine (Musar from Lebanon). "LAMB BAHARAT* spiced rubbed lamb leg kebab, tabbouleh, charred tomatoes, tahini sauce; CAULIFLOWER TIGANITES tahini, preserved lemon, pine nuts, capers, golden spice vinaigrette; IMAM BAYILDI inspired by the legendary preparation from the Ottoman era, eggplant, onions and tomato slowly cooked in olive oil with aromatic spices and garnished with pine nuts" and, I think "SHISH TAOUK grilled chicken skewer, sumac, onions, garlic toum, grilled tomatoes":
  6. FINALLY, dessert. Again, it doesn't exactly match the online menu but a kind of yogurt/apricot mousse; and "TURKISH COFFEE CHOCOLATE CAKE molten center Valrhona chocolate cake, roasted pistachio, mastic** ice cream, chocolate pearls":
**Several servers raved about the mastic ice cream. If you google the word, you might be reminded of the "It's a breath mint; no, it's a candy" Certs ad of old. It was satirized on TV with something saying it was both a food and a floor cleaner. LOL. Well, mastic is from a tree resin. You can eat it and make vinyl siding.

It took me two hours to enjoy this feast. According to the web site, Zaytinya is inspired by Turkish, Greek and Lebanese cuisines. The price of the tasting menu was $65. What I couldn't eat will be another meal. This could easily feed 2 people. The wines by the glasswere horribly expensive at $14 and $16...I think the cheapest was $12. I truly waddled home and went to bed. End of day one.

Last edited by TDudette; Nov 25th, 2021 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Forgot the room pix
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 12:19 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed the first day of your trip. I've benn thinking of you at the SAAM exhibit today
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 12:26 PM
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Thanks, Vt. There weren't as many Sargent works as I would have desired, but many new names, glass and lace.

I wish we could get together for a coffee tomorrow...I could leave DC via Silver Spring. Please send me a private message if you think you could get away for a bit. I have to check out by noon tomorrow.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 05:03 PM
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Wow! What a great meal and visit to D.C. How fun to get away.
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Old Nov 25th, 2021, 07:57 PM
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MMMmmmm am remembering that great meal we shared at the DC gtg....even with bellyful of turkey and fixings I am drooling a bit!
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Old Nov 26th, 2021, 04:16 AM
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TDudette--I am just seeing this with your suggestion of meetong for coffee. Unfortunately that doesn't work for me with the chaotic schedule here. Maybe another time we can get together again at a DC museum.
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Old Nov 26th, 2021, 10:49 AM
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Thanks, Vt, Paqngo and Seamus! Another DC gtg would be sooooo welcome.

Above I noted re-meeting an artist from the past. He makes "Canimals". Below is an emu made from the scroll work of a tin can. The artist, Manathos Masani, had an even larger version that would have been too large to schlepp on metro. His recent multi-colored tin giraffe was incredible but too dear for me.



Last edited by TDudette; Nov 26th, 2021 at 11:08 AM.
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Old Nov 26th, 2021, 11:35 AM
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So, it is finally Thanksgiving but this Sargent lover is more excited about seeing new ones. My humble brag is that I have visited his works in Nashville, D.C., Boston, NYC, Madrid and London.

Breakfast before in 'Dirty Habit' is expensive" but this metal lion invites:


Dirty Habit is a full-service resto and bar






On the walk to Zaytinya, I passed:

This Lichtenstein sculpture


And this poster for the exhibit!

The opening time was changed from 11:00 to 11:30 (so do double-check your times), so I chatted with a man and his son waiting and were later visiting the man's Service friend. Please google SAAM and the Portrait Gallery. As Smithsonians, there is no entry fee. Not just the portraits of all of our Presidents, and some of their wives, but various special looks at interesting people.

I didn't pass the cowboy so you'll have to do your own photo but did pass these:

Note the date of the Photographers' Association!


Check out the size of this guy!



"American Artists and the Magic of Murano" is the subtitle of "Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass" so I wished for more Sargent works. Many Americans visited Venice in the 18 and 1900s. Venice's magic inspired artists (whose names were new to me) to paint her. These artists, Whistler's etchings, and Murano's amazing glass works...and a few Sargent's:

Can't you make up a story about this budding assignation?


It was hinted that Sargent might have hired and arranged this view:


His colors captivate me.


I didn't guess that this was a Sargent work. I've seen some of his interiors but they were more shadowy and the light nuanced:


Next time you're in Venice, visit Burano's Museum of Glass. The first glass ware is more complicated than one might expect.


Whistler didn't call out to me at all but according to the caption, his etching enhanced his reputation. This is the covered area where one my bring food (again, check what is allowed):


I bought the Book about this exhibit because there is so much more to see than my beloved Sargent. If glass and even some mosaic and lace are of interest, don't miss this!

Lug the book back to the room and rest before another food coma......

Last edited by TDudette; Nov 26th, 2021 at 11:53 AM.
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Old Nov 27th, 2021, 01:53 AM
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Wow, what a great getaway. Surely there are some Sargents in Maine. Or could the Wyeths be a good substitute?
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Old Nov 27th, 2021, 08:02 AM
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Thanks, dfrostynh! I believe you gave me the name of a Maine gallery with a Sargent? Wythe is in a different category but I like his work a lot. Brandywine in Delaware has lots. Sargent, however, moves me to tears. I can't explain it.

Here's an attempt at brightening the first of the Sargent's above. Their postures, the overturned bottle speak loudly.
"The Sulphur Match"

Off to Succotash for turkey!

Last edited by TDudette; Nov 27th, 2021 at 08:12 AM.
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Old Nov 27th, 2021, 09:02 AM
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Finally, Turkey.

Succotash resto was fully booked when I called. There was a wait-list option so I went for that at 5:00 p.m. It is a 3-minute walk from the hotel so asthma and knees were not put to the test.

The resto was a bank. Lots of marble and lots of noise:

There were several empty tables for 2 and all the servers were masked.

1. 1/2 Deviled Egg, Weisenberger Miles Cornbread Cakes, Cornbread Crisp, Sorghum Butter, Seasonal Jam. I ate the egg and one of the corn cakes before I remembered to take a photo. What looks like a slice of bread is the cornbread crisp; it covers the fruit jam.


2. Bibb Salad was goat cheese, spiced pecans, peppery radishes over greens and a bourbon vinaigrette. This was my favorite course. A very nice combination.


3. Herb-roasted Turkey Breast; Bourbon-Maple Glazed Ham; Sage cornbread stuffing; Rosemary-brown butter mashed potatoes; Charred green beans with shallots and shaved chestnuts; Cranberry-Ginger sauce; Turkey gravy; and MacN'Cheese. Since I dislike the last, I asked not to get it. The beans and the cranberry were the best. The gravy boat was small so I didn't get enough for the dressing so it was good but a bit dry. It was a hunk of turkey! Almost an inch high on one end. Ham OK and potatoes almost but not quite gummy.


4. Dessert is Pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce; Orange whipped cream; and Chocolate bourbon pecan pie. 'Pie' was too ambitious a word; they were tartlets and quite hard. The whipped cream helped soften the one I ate. The pumpkin cheesecake was a better taste imho.



Done in 1.5 hours but I can give the meal only a B+ not an A. The slabs of turkey and ham didn't "go" with the sizes of the other foods. Short walk back to the hotel. Only a handful of people walking around. A resto called 'The Smith' is next to Succotash. Anyone familiar with it? I crash in another food overload.

Friday, I decided to go home instead of revisiting the gallery. Traffic was light leaving D.C. on New York Avenue, but there was an accident on Route 50 so I took Landover Road to Upper Marlboro. The beauty of traveling locally, eh? Hint #1, be sure to get one of those travel apps or know alternate routes. Hint 1-a, have an idea of the one-way streets in D.C. for the easiest travel. When looking for New York Avenue in D.C., just go north to L Street; it will take you there. "Go to L". I often just go East and let the travel chips fall where they may....all roads lead to the beltway in that direction.

To Conclude
You have until early May to visit the Sargent, Whistler, Venetian Glass exhibit. I was amazed to learn new names of American artists who painted Venice. The area where I "lived" is the Penn Quarter. Hotel Monaco, the gallery and the two restos are within a two-block area so an easy to walk. The Gallery Place-China Town is right across the street from Zaytinya. Capitol One Arena is right there also. The Monaco was a splurge but two night there, was about the same as one night at the MGM National Harbor.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!
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Old Nov 28th, 2021, 05:38 AM
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A lovely blend of food and art, TDudette. Thanks for this.
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Old Nov 28th, 2021, 07:10 AM
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Thanks, AnselmAdorne. If I'm honest, it was more food than anything else!

Forgot to write that there were stairs to the front and valet entrances. Please check for other options. There was a sign for the rooftop by the lift.
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Old Nov 28th, 2021, 09:57 AM
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Great report TDudette! Loved the photos and food descriptions — you are an adventurous eater. Glad you had such a good time!
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Old Nov 28th, 2021, 01:47 PM
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Fancy you having dinner at the Zaytinya, TD. Shame that your second dinner wasn't quite as good. Hard to believe that the DC GTG was over 2 years ago. Such a great event, and I loved meeting so many people here IRL for the first time. And wasn't that lunch we had with VT and AGM fun too? I'f happily do it all again, but possibly without the dreadful cold I brought with me.

Funny [to me anyway] that the exhibition at SAAM is of American artists in Venice. I've been to the glass museum on Murano but even though I love old glass and have a bit of my own that I collected over the years I prefer looking at the more modern stuff, and I've been lucky enough to see quite a few glass exhibitions there by modern designers. But SFAIK I've never see a Whistler or a Sergeant in Venice. I thought that they took them all home with them but a bit of research found some etchings of Whistlers in the University of Glasgow https://etchings.arts.gla.ac.uk/cata...s/?eid=venice1.

Here's a bit more about them: https://www.plumplumcreations.com/ja...ver-of-venice/

And then I found this one in the Tate [which I sadly don't remember seeing when I was last there] https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks...-venice-n03408 If you scroll down you'll find some more of his works that are also in the Tate - which makes me think that I need to make another trip there.

Sorry to have taken your thread off in another direction. I hope you don't mind.

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