Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Swedish Adventure: Restaurant Hasselbacken and Tradgarden

Restaurant Hasselbacken is located in the beautiful Scandic Hasselbacken on Djurgarden Island in Stockholm Sweden.  
Swedish Cider Beer (very popular)
The restaurant has a wonderful outdoor patio for dining.  The classic 1920s-style space offers Swedish cuisine with an international flavor. 
Gazpacho
It is one of Sweden's best-known restaurants, with a history dating back to the 19th century.  
They offer many traditional Swedish dishes and have tasty cocktails.  
You can even try reindeer.  
Blueberry Cheesecake
More coming soon about nightlife...

DC Gets a taste of the Pi Today!

Photos by Emily Clack
Thanks to President Obama's love of Pi pizza, owner Chris Sommers, is giving DC residents a taste of a St. Louis sensation this Wednesday, August 31st.  Obama first tasted Pi pizza after a rally in St. Louis right before the election. He liked it so much that Reggie Love (one of my favorite Duke basketball players and Obama's assistant) invited the Pi team into the White House to make pizza for everyone.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Overview: Zabb Modern Asian Restaurant

Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor:  Modern Asian design with hand-made artwork from Thailand.
  • Food:  You'll find delicious sushi, Thai food and other fun Asian dishes.
  • Drinks:  Super fun cocktail menu including my favorite, the Strawberry Basil Mojito
  • Service:  The staff is great and greets you with smiles.  The chefs are top-notch.
  • Would I go back?  Yes!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Khan's Bar and Grill: DO NOT GO HERE!

Khan's Bar and Grill was my worst restaurant experience to date.  If you read my blog, you know that I don't normally say negative things about the restaurants I visit.  I always try to give you the facts and tell you about the really great things at each place.   We have never been treated so poorly at any restaurant, as we were at Khan's.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Alfresco Dining and Drinking

I love sitting outside in nice weather to enjoy great food and drinks. Now's the time to find an outdoor spot.  I'm going to continue to add more, but check out some of the following places:
  • Cafe Dupont:  Cafe Dupont offers a large patio with French influenced fare from Chef Silvan Kraemer.  The Alan's Love cocktail is light and refreshing. 

Overview: Cafe Dupont

Café Dupont introduces creative additions to the menu each season designed by Executive Chef Silvan Kraemer. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sweet Treats For the DMV at DC Scoop 2011

On Saturday sugar fanatics descended on Union Market for DC Scoop 2011, a competition featuring some of the best creameries and gelato makers in the DMV. Upon arriving each attendee received 4 free tasting tickets for their choice of samples and one ticket to vote for their favorite. Lines were long for the 14 vendors in attendance, but the team behind DC Scoop kept people entertained with music, ice cream eating contests and face painting for the kids.

Event: Columbia Heights Day

Columbia Heights Day is this Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.  There will be a food truck row in the 1100 block of Kenyon Street NW. Plus, we'll have other vendors selling treats including cupcakes, ice cream and water ice. Participating trucks include:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Eating and Drinking Around Town

L'Auberge Chez Francois: I fell in love at first taste, so I had to go back for seconds.  L'Auberge transports you to the hills of France and only gets better every time.  I opted for most of the same dishes I tried before, but Corey tried the lamb this time and it is amazing.  Enjoy the weather on the beautiful back patio and treat yourself to the charm of L'Auberge.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Upcoming Food and Fun

Summer Restaurant Week still runs for a couple more days.  If you haven't eaten at one of the participating restaurants yet, you have until the 21st to try a three-course prix-fixe lunch at $20.11 and a three-course prix-fixe dinner at $35.11, exclusive of tax and gratuity.  Some restaurants are even extending the deal longer so check the restaurants' websites for details.

New Market Place in My Neighborhood

The DC Market Place is coming to the 14th and U Street corridor for 4 consecutive weekends starting on August 20, 2011. It will offer an array of unique arts and crafts, great artisan foods, produce and more on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 4pm.  Yay!  I'll check it out this weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swedish Adventure: Rhubarb Fizz

Earlier in the day, Chef KC Wallberg, showed us the garden where he picked the rhubarb inside of Skansen and we made Rhubarb Soup.  The best part about making the soup is the drink that you can make with the syrup.  After you bake the rhubarb in the syrup, set some aside for later.  Take the syrup and add sparkling water and garnish with a lemon and raw rhubarb stalk.  It is so refreshing for a summer day.  If you want an extra kick, add a little vodka.  You'll love the Rhubarb Fizz.  
 
Next up, I'll tell you all about our lunch at the Gubbhylan Restaurant...

Lobster, Lemon Basil Vojito and Italian Creme Cake, Oh My!

Buca di Beppo's new citrus inspired beverage and dessert menus dazzle the taste buds with refreshing warm weather treats.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Re-cap: Fancy Food Show

Few times in our lifetime can we walk from Italy to Morocco, from China to England, and from India to New Jersey (have you seen Jersey Shore? They’re definitely their own country down there!), all the while experiencing and tasting delicious, rare, and gourmet foods. Yet the pavilions and booths set up at this summer’s NASFT’s Fancy Food Show allowed food-lovers, enthusiasts, and critics to do just that: explore both national and international cuisine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Opening Tomorrow: Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge

WHAT: Chef/Owner Jamie Leeds is excited to announce the opening of Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge next door to Hank’s Oyster Bar at 1624 Q Street, NW, in the heart of Dupont Circle. 

Relax the Next Time You Host

With the help of Spilled Milk Catering, you can sit back and relax the next time you host a gathering.   I love to cook, but with the stress of my attorney life, sometimes it is nice to get out of the driver's seat to enjoy the company of guests without planning the menu.  Spilled Milk Catering recently treated the Capital Cooking team to a night of tasty food and fun.  My favorite appetizers were the Braised Pork Tostadas with an Avocado Crema and Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thinking of Drinking: Power Play

I recently dined at The Bombay Club for the first time and tried the Power Play cocktail.  Power Play is balanced with sweet, tangy and fruity flavors with  none of them overpowering each other. Its a perfect amalgamation to cool off the summer!!  Not only did I enjoy the Power Play, but Ashok made me a special Mango Lassi martini.  It isn't on the menu, but if you ask nicely, I'm sure they'll whip one up. I'm thinking of drinking at the Bombay Club and listening to the live piano music while sipping on of these.

First Call with Tanqueray


If you’re anything like me you don't have the fondest of memories drinking gin. On the list of spirits I frequently indulge in, gin routinely came in last. I knew I would enjoy the view from the roof top of the Donovan house during the Tanqueray Industry party, I just wasn't so sure about the drinks. It came as a very welcome surprise how favorable, refreshing and enjoyable gin can be, especially a high end bottle such as Tanqueray. If you really want to enjoy beverage that has a more unique and sophisticated flavor, then your run of the mill mixed drink, then gin is the perfect starting point.

Thinking of Drinking: Chocolate Dipped Cherry

I recently taught a private Sweets class and we made a Chocolate Dipped Cherry to start off the session.  This cocktail is best enjoyed at the end of the meal in place of dessert.  We also made these at our Capital Cooking party with Spilled Milk Catering.  So good!  The Chocolate Diep 9 adds the most amazing chocolaty richness.  I'm thinking of drinking one of these right about now.

Thinking of Drinking: Buddha Bar's Grey Goose Soiree

Summer is in full swing, and what better way to beat the heat than to sip Grey Goose Cocktails at one of DC's most fabulous up and coming restaurants.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Swedish Adventure: Rhubarb soup with homemade vanilla sauce and rhubarb juice

The meal wasn't complete yet...you know I have a sweet tooth!  Earlier, Chef KC Wallberg, showed us the garden where he picked the rhubarb inside of Skansen.  The dessert was made with fresh rhubarb baked in a lemon and vanilla simple syrup and served with a creme anglaise.  This dish is perfect for summer.

Opening: Riot Act Opens Today

Riot Act Comedy Theater is a state of the art comedy club and full service event facility located in the heart of Penn Quarter, behind the Spy Museum and one block from the Verizon Center. Riot Act features the nation's greatest comedians and provides open mic for local and aspiring comics every Tuesday night beginning August 16th, 2011. Step up your game and rent Riot Act for your private event, day or night. 

GRAND OPENING! - August 11, 2011 - 8:30pm - TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

Upcoming Food and Fun: Summer Restaurant Week and More

Summer Restaurant Week runs from August 15-21, 2011 during which  participating restaurants offer a three-course prix-fixe lunch at $20.11 and a three-course prix-fixe dinner at $35.11, exclusive of tax and gratuity.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KITTY!

EVENT: TOMATINA FESTIVAL

What: Ripple invites guests to enjoy an evening of tomato fights, tasting menus and tipples celebrating the tomato. Inspired by La Tomatina, an annual festival held in Valencia, Spain on the last Wednesday in August in which participants throw crushed tomatoes at each other, Ripple's tomato extravaganza will take place on August 31st coinciding with the famous Spanish festival this year.

Recipe: Fig Compote over Vanilla Ice Cream

At our Lamb and Fig Feast, I made a variety of dishes including a Fig Compote over Vanilla Ice Cream.  The best part about this dessert is the wonderful aroma that fills your home when you're cooking it.  Special thank you to the California Fig Association for contributing the delicious fruit.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Swedish Adventure: Salmon with cream cheese cream and dill oil

After making the Lerpottesill with Chef KC Wallberg in the beautiful Rose Garden in Skansen overlooking the city of Stockholm, we moved on to our main course of a low temperature cooked salmon.  The salmon was cooked at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and served with a creamy dill sauce, herb oil and fresh vegetables that were lightly boiled.  

Inaugural Lamb and Fig Supper Club

I became a fan of lamb after judging the Lamb Jam in May.  Now I am the DC Lamb Ambassador and Supper Club host for the Tri-Lamb Group supper club series.   

Texas BBQ at Hill Country

 Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor:  13,000-square-foot restaurant set up like a Texas barn with shared seating, neon lights, horns, photos and other Texas embellishments.
  • Food: Large slabs of juicy meat with Southern sides and desserts.
  • Drinks:  Margaritas and beer.
  • Price:  Reasonable
  • Would I go back?  Yes.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Salsa Recipes

Temperatures are still on the rise, and you know what that means! It’s time to dust off your grill tools
and re-inflate your pool toys, and don’t forget to start planning the great food and snacks that are sure to make your summer get-togethers a hit!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thinking of Drinking: Diep 9 Sangria

Spilled Milk Catering recently made an amazing menu for the Capital Cooking team and we paired all of the dishes with Diep 9 cocktails. I mixed up a Passion Fruit Sangria as well as a Peach Apricot Sangria and the gang loved it!  Diep 9 offers 6 hand-crafted flavors and I've been having a great time mixing up some yummy cocktails. This sangria are both fruity and refreshing.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great American Bake Sale

Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale®, co-presented by Domino® Sugar and C and H®® Campaign, Share Our Strength’s national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Since 2003, more than 1.7 million people have participated in Great American Bake Sale, raising more than $6 million to make sure there is no kid hungry in America. Great American Bake Sale is supported by official bakeware partner Chicago Metallic, national television partner Food Network, national magazine partner Family Circle, and official baking ingredient partner Solo. Visit GreatAmericanBakeSale.org. Sugar, and Duncan Hines®, is a national effort that encourages Americans to host bake sales in their communities to support the No Kid Hungry.

Crafty Food Awards

Washington City Paper will host its first annual Crafty Food Awards as part of the Food Craft festivities at the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fig-licious Feast

I'll admit that I didn't grow up on fresh figs and my only childhood food memories related to figs were eating Fig Newtons after school.  This could be because there wasn't much distribution of figs in the Midwest at that time and they likely still aren't that easy to find yet.  The U.S. is ranked 3rd in the world for production of dried figs and California produces 100% of them.  California also produces 98% of the fresh figs.  I was so excited to discover the taste of fresh figs here in DC at a dinner celebrating the Year of the Fig.