5.16.2006

Even His Crab Cakes Reign Supreme

Everything Roberto Donna touches seems to turn to gold these days. Fresh off his recent win on Iron Chef America, the Galileo chef and owner took home the best crab cakes award at Monday night's I Love Crab Cakes competition.

Also competing in the event, which was co-sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food and Phillips Seafood, were chef Greggory Hill of David Greggory (pictured), Jamie Leeds of Hank's Oyster Bar, Jim Swenson of the Fourth Estate and Geoff Tracy of Chef Geoff's and the soon-to-open Lia's. Former 1789 chef Ris Lacoste, who I hear may have found a location for her new restaurant, served as mistress of ceremonies. Swenson was honored with the people's choice award for his crab cakes, though Hill's rendition, which was wrapped in bacon and served with truffle-scented succotash, left a lasting impression on me.

Judges for the event were Seattle chef, restaurateur and author Tom Douglas, whose new book, "I Love Crab Cakes", was an inspiration for the event; Bob Madigan from WTOP radio; Tom Head, food and wine writer; Nycci Nellis, publisher of The List; Marc Silverstein from the Food Network and contributing editor of DC Style magazine; Phyllis Richman, former food critic for The Washington Post; Ann Cashion, chef/owner of Cashion's Eat Place and Johnny's Half Shell; and Dennis Gavagan, corporate executive chef for Phillips Seafood.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have avoided Galileo for the last few years after finding it disappointing, but I figured on the recent wave of great press things may have turned around. I took my mom and boyfriend there on the Sat pm before Mother's Day and was terribly let down. There was an hour gap between our starters and our entrees, and my veal was way overdone (and smothered in an unadvertised cream sauce) while my bf finished his lamb in 2 bites. Going to return to my avoidance policy - for that price, there are so many other truly great places to eat in the city!!

Anonymous said...

I've never been to any of Galileo's dining rooms, but a lot of people seem to think that you should either go for a blow-out in the Laboratorio or a casual meal in the osteria, but the regular dining room isn't worth it.

Amanda said...

I've only experienced Galileo's extremes: a memorable meal in the Lab and pork sandwiches from the lunch grill.

Did the long wait for your entrees get acknowledged by the staff?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they came over and apologized for the delay(after the first 40 minutes), but when I asked if the entrees would be coming soon, they just offered us more salad and said "We hope so." I'm honestly not a difficult customer at all - I've spent way too long in the industry for that - but I was pretty unhappy with the meal. Perhaps it would have been another story had the food been worth the wait!

Amanda said...

That's too bad. Something must have been going on in the kitchen that night.

Anonymous said...

Since Ann Cashion of Johnny's Halfshell was a judge, that restaurant was ineligible to compete. But I can tell you right now, her crabcake would have put a serious smackdown on Donna's any day.

Anonymous said...

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