Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Perfect Pair: Plume Dinner

For an evening of unmatched elegance, I'd highly recommend dining at Plume, inside The Jefferson Hotel.  
Chef Chris Jakubiec blew me away with his artful and delicious dishes.  Michael Scaffidi took the experience to the top with his exceptional pairing options. 

Capital Cooking Quick Clip: How to decorate Valentine's Cookies

On one of our Capital Cooking Quick Clips, Larry Calvert, owner of Toute Sweets, showed us how to make some fabulous cookies for Valentine's day.  Larry showed us some amazing decorating tips.  Larry makes all sorts of custom cookies including edible images.  Thanks Larry!  Order some special cookies today for Valentine's Day!

Filming Fun: Chef Mallory Staley from 1789

Chef Mallory Staley from 1789 joined us on Saturday on Capital Cooking's Setting the Mood with Food episode to make Chocolate Cinnamon Waffles with caramelized banana’s and rum ice cream.  

Perfect Pair: Meal Paired with Campo Viejo

During the winter months (excluding the weather today), there is nothing better than opening a bottle of wine with loved ones and sharing a homemade meal that highlights the flavors that are so indicative of winter.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Planning a Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is right around the corner.  Get your favorite party dishes ready to go for the Super Bowl!

Valentine's Day Recipe: Fresh Mint Truffles

Photo by Emily Clack
I was excited to work with Shenandoah Growers to make Fresh Mint Truffles on our Sweet Endings episode.  For the truffles, I infused the cream with the fresh mint to give them the perfect amount of minty flavor.  Then I added some Mint Chocolate Bailey's and I rolled them in crumbled thin mint cookies.  Wait until you taste them!  

2012 RAMMY Gala: "Hats Off to Restaurants!"

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) recently announced the theme for the 2012 RAMMY Gala: "Hats Off to Restaurants!" 

Filming Fun: Chef Enzo Fargione from Elisir Restaurant

We had the best time filming on Saturday!  

Friday, January 27, 2012

DC has a Love Child


by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor


It's finally happened: DC has a love child. And it's good. Well, of course it is. It's a cupcake, after all.

Thinking of Drinking: Kingdom Come

I met Taha at the preview event for Sugar and Champagne and he was shaking up some of these Kingdom Come cocktails.   Try one at home or head into Graffiato!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Congrats to the Sugar and Champagne Ticket Give-Away Winners!

Are you an animal lover?  You can't miss the 11th Annual Sugar and Champagne Affair on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Drum Roll Please... The Winners of the #sugarandchampagne give-away are Audra Heagney with her pup Darcy and @Amber McDonald and Meanie!

Upcoming Events: Wine and Beer Dinners

J and G Steakhouse will host its first wine dinner of 2012 with Virginia’s Linden Vineyards on Monday, January 30. The four-course dinner with wine pairings features highlights like Seared Cod with Scallion-Chili sauce, Basil and Celery, and Grilled Beef Short Ribs with Red Wine Glaze, Asian Pear and Herbs, and will be led by J and G Sommelier Guy Golan.Ticket/Reservation Info: $115/person, all-inclusive. Reservations are available online

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Perfect Pair: 3rd Annual Capital Wine Festival

The kick-off event for the 3rd Annual Capital Wine Festival was a huge success. The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, in conjunction with its signature restaurant, 2100 Prime, hosted a lovely reception last week with delicious food and a sampling of many wineries that will be part of the 10-week dinner series. It isn't too late to sign up for one of these unique dinners to break bread with some of the most talented winemakers around the country.  You'll enjoy the perfect pairings of food and wine.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cooking Italian at Culinaria Cooking School


by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor


As DC heads straight into the depths of winter, new ideas for fun indoor activities are more welcome than ever. Here's one to add to the list: Get into a warm kitchen and learn to cook Italian from a Tuscan chef!

Chef Gina Stipo has paired with Culinaria Cooking School in Vienna, Virginia, allowing students to hone their skills or learn something new.

Stipo is the warm personality of a close family-friend. She openly admits her love for Costco and tells her students to purchase the Tuscan variety of Kirkland Signature olive oil. Stipo is sociable and talkative, the kind of person you'd sit down and have a beer with; it's easy to learn from her.

Chef Stipo cooks for her students before teaching them how to make their own pasta from scratch.

The chef has DC roots, but she's been living and cooking in Siena, Italy (Tuscany) for 12 years. There, Stipo cooks, teaches, and leads regional cooking and wine tours with her brand Ecco La Cucina. But when she's not there, she's touring the United States. And for just a while, her heart has brought her back home, where she is holding seminars and teaching classes at Culinaria.

Classes hold about 20 people. They're large enough to work in groups and get your hands dirty, but small enough that you get personal attention if you need it. Don't fear getting it right the first time. Most people are first timers, so it's a pretty safe environment to take a few risks in getting your hands dirty, literally, and jumping right in.

Fresh pasta is being rolled out by hand in one Culinaria class.

In class, she shares her recipes, tips and tricks. For example, when buying dried pasta, one should look for artisan brands that use metal dies to extrude their pastas. She'll tell you why spaghetti and meatballs isn't an actual Italian dish and why to use only two fingers when first mixing pasta dough together. And, of course, probably one of the most important cooking lessons she'll teach: you control the pasta; don't let it control you!

No matter how much or how little experience students have, classes are lighthearted and fun, a great way to spend an evening or weekend afternoon.

Whether or not the class is a seminar form or hands-on, you'll be sure to go home with a full stomach and much more knowledge than you came with. And just to make sure you don't forget what she taught, each student will go home with a packet of recipes learned in class that day.

Upcoming classes with Chef Gina Stipo:

Friday, February 24 // 7-10 pm
A Tale & Taste of Tuscany: Culinary Seminar, Demonstration & Tasting
$100 per student

Menu:
  • Tuscan Kale Bruschetta
  • Tarragon Cream Crostini
  • Winter Squash & Balsamic Risotto
  • Roast Pork with Fennel
  • Jam Tart

Saturday, February 25 // 2-5 pm
Hands-On Pasta Making Cooking Class
$95 per student

Menu:
  • Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with a Butter-Sage Sauce
  • Tagliatelle with Duck-Vin Santo Ragu
  • Porcini and Three Cheese Agnolotti with Nutmeg and Butter
  • Gragnano pasta with Rapini and Cayenne

A full calendar and registration can be found here. Call Culinaria directly at 703.865.7920.

Zabb Revamps the Menu

I recently made my third visit to Zabb Modern Asian Restaurant.  Zabb is zabb zabb (Zabb means delicious in Thai.  You only use the word if the food is really really good)!  We used this phrase a lot during our visit to Thailand.  You can't beat their amazing happy hour. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Comfort on a Plate: My Top 3

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Corn Bread at Cure ($6).  Best corn bread I've ever had!
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Majestic
101 Layer Lasagna at Bond 45.  Layer upon layer of homemade pasta just melts in your mouth. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eating and Drinking Around Town

Blue Duck Tavern:  I was impressed with the food at Blue Duck Tavern when the chef was a guest on my Sunday Brunch episode a couple years ago, but I still hadn't been to the restaurant.  

Upcoming Events: 3rd Annual Capital Wine Festival

Third Annual Capital Wine Festival:  The 10-week dinner event kicks off with an opening reception tonight, January 19 at 7 p.m. which will highlight the 10 wineries sponsoring the event. Located at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, in conjunction with its signature restaurant, 2100 Prime.

Welcome Jemil Gadea to DC!

Jemil, me and Chef Nick
Jemil Gadea is the new pastry chef of Bibiana-Osteria Enoteca.  Gadea brings to the position a decade of distinguished experience working at some of the country’s most acclaimed resorts and restaurants.  I've had the pleasure of tasting some of his work and it is absolutely delicious!  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Event: Saturday Night Sips

Sips is aimed more at the young professionals who support the food community. It's being held at the Newseum, and is a cocktail + hors d'oeuvres event featuring tastings and demos from local chefs. All proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen and Martha's Table, and the price tag is much more manageable than the Suppers event ($125).

Eat with Your Eyes: FAZZOLETTI DI NERO E ZAFFERANO ALA RAGU DI ARAGOSTA

Is your mouth watering?  You can find this FAZZOLETTI DI NERO E ZAFFERANO ALA RAGU DI ARAGOSTA at Elisir for $34.  Do you have a food photo that would make others drool?  If so, email me at capitalcooking@gmail.com and we can include it in Eat with your Eyes.
 
Photo by Emily Clack

Recap: Sticky Fingers Cupcake Wars Viewing Party


Chuck Berry and Salt-N-Peppa

Last Sunday, we celebrated MLK weekend by attending a viewing party of Cupcake Wars All Stars at Bourbon in Adams Morgan. Our favorite vegan cupcake shop, Sticky Fingers Sweets and Eats won The Food Network’s Cupcake Wars back in March of 2011 which got them a slot in the All Star Competition. This time around founder Doron Petersan and head baker Jenny Webb were not only defending their title, but also competing to provide their cupcakes for a star studded after party for the AMA’s!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Opening: Unum


This January, Unum will open in Georgetown at 2917 M St. NW in the former Mendocino Grille location. The intimate and contemporary 50-seat neighborhood restaurant will offer new American cuisine in a warm and dynamic space that also includes a 12-seat bar.

Free Food For 1 Year

Fuel Pizza will celebrate the grand opening of their first Washington, DC location on January 18th with a monumental offering of FREE FUEL FOOD FOR ONE FULL YEAR to the first 50 customers. All customers at Fuel's grand opening on January 18th will receive complimentary dishes from Fuel's menu. Fuel's grand opening celebration will take place from noon - 6pm on January 18th.

Thailand: Huen Phen in Chiang Mai

I was reminded of one of the delicious meals we had in Thailand when I visited Thai X-ing over the weekend.  (Thanks for the recommendation Johnna!)  We went to a similar place in Chiang Mai, called Huen Phen.  Like Thai X-ing, Huen Phen is a bit dark and dusty.  Thai X-ing is the first place in DC that I visited that actually tasted authentic.  The prices are a lot higher than Thailand, but it is worth it ($40 for 8 courses and BYOB). 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: Champagne Cocktail

You can find this Champagne Cocktail at  America Eats Tavern for $13At America Eats, Jose Andrés has composed a fascinating menu where each item tells a story of classic dishes and the people behind them.  The research and storytelling is also found on the wine and cocktail menus crafted by Andrés with Lead Bartender Owen Thomson and Beverage Manager Jen Fitzsimmons.  This cocktail was named one of the top 10 in 1934 by Esquire Magazine. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

25. Dollars. Per. Chocolate.

The French profess that the key to a good life (and staying thin) is to feast on small portions of highly flavorful foods, including sumptuous post-dinner chocolates.  The Swedes have apparently mastered this philosophy with Emanuel Andren chocolates, which boast the most undeniably complex, perplexing, and ultimately satisfying combination of chocalate-ness ever put into one square inch.  And at $98 for 4 pieces - well, it will keep "the 1%" of you who can afford to experience this lollapalooza in your mouth nice and thin.

Upcoming Events: Masters of Food and Wine this weekend

DC Restaurant Week: through  January 15th.  Still a couple of days left.  Choose your favorite restaurant from this list of participating restaurantsLunch: $20.12 per person, Dinner: $35.12 per person.

1201 24th Street, NW (corner of 24th and M Streets, NW) Washington, DC 20037

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Eat With Your Eyes: Tiramisu

Is your mouth watering?  You can find this tiramisu at Bond 45Do you have a food photo that would make others drool?  If so, email me at capitalcooking@gmail.com and we can include it in Eat with your Eyes.
Photo by Emily Clack

The Hamilton Opens Downtown

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

It's 8:30 in the morning and there's already jazz musicians playing on stage. It's fitting, considering the fact that this is a 24/7 operation. Located downtown near Metro Center, The Hamilton is a recently opened venture by the Clyde's Restaurant Group. It's food. It's music. And it's, in a word, impressive.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tighten Your Belt with Daily Grill's New 600 Calorie Menu!

Daily Grill’s new Simply 600 Menu is made up of meals that are 600 calories or less.  The restaurant doesn't skimp on the portions and the dishes are delicious.  We had excellent service during our meal.

Perfect Pair: Braised Lamb Shank with Vermont Goat Cheese Polenta and Thyme Jus

Last year we filmed Bistro Cooking with Chef Olivier from ICI Urban Bistro. This lamb dish is perfect for the winter months. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate and Vanilla (Cream Cheese) Cake

As you can tell by the attendance at the gym, and the influx of healthy recipes in your inbox,  New Years Resolutions are in full effect. I must admit, that I am on the diet/fitness bandwagon, but I tried this recipe on NYE and just had to share. Hey, everyone needs to treat themselves sometimes! We opted for a low key night with some friends over, so this was the perfect opportunity to experiment with a new (and gluten free) dessert.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Thinking of Drinking: Moscow Mule

You can find this Moscow Mule America Eats Tavern for $13At America Eats, Jose Andrés has composed a fascinating menu where each item tells a story of classic dishes and the people behind them.  The research and storytelling is also found on the wine and cocktail menus crafted by Andrés with Lead Bartender Owen Thomson and Beverage Manager Jen Fitzsimmons.  Get in soon because America Eats is only open until July.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Upcoming Events: Restaurant Week

DC Restaurant Week:  January 9-15thChoose your favorite restaurant from this list of participating restaurantsLunch: $20.12 per person, Dinner: $35.12 per person.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Event: THIRD ANNUAL CAPITAL WINE FESTIVAL

The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, in conjunction with its signature restaurant, 2100 Prime, will host the Third Annual Capital Wine Festival starting January 19. The 10-week dinner event kicks off with an opening reception on January 19 at 7 p.m. which will highlight the 10 wineries sponsoring the event. 

Eat with Your Eyes: Kentucky Burgoo

Is your mouth watering?  You can find this Kentucky Burgoo with Rabbit, Squab and Lamb at America Eats Tavern on Wednesdays for $36At America Eats, Jose Andrés has composed a fascinating menu where each item tells a story of classic dishes and the people behind them. Burgoo was originally the porridge served to English sailors, until French Jaubert transformed it into a meaty stew while serving the Confederate general John Hunt Morgan.  Originally made with blackbirds and squirrels, Kentucky Burgoo is still served to large crowds on Derby Day. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

High Tea at the Jefferson Hotel

We recently learned some afternoon tea etiquette at the 86-year-old Jefferson Hotel.  It reopened in 2009 after a two-year overhaul, which revived former spaces and created new ones.  Enjoy pastries, scones and finger sandwiches.  Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson is the perfect treat for a special occasion.  You'll be so impressed by the beauty of the hotel.