Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Del Campo is Open!


Victor Albisu's South American grill, Del Campo, is now open!  I got a first look and taste last night.  Both were delicious!  

1905 Restaurant's Roof Deck Opens


By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Great spots to dine and enjoy an after work cocktail are aplenty in the DC area but few feature a rooftop deck with a quaint, low-key neighborhood hang-out feel like 1905 Restaurant.  Located in the U Street Cooridor neighborhood, the restaurant focuses on bistro fare with a Southern twist.  Inside the restaurant, the decor is cozy and plush with dim lighting.  In contrast, the rooftop deck is spacious and airy with view overlooking the U Street neighborhood -- a great place to enjoy some summer cocktails and unwind.

TV Preview: Capital Cooking in Cabo--Part 2


Join Lauren during her exploration of Cabo.  In this episode, Lauren will get a lesson in tequila and Baja wine, experience a Spagarita, cook a Vegetarian Paella and sale out to the Cabo Arch at Land's End. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Vinoteca Plaza Seasonal Re-Opening

By Claire Goldman


Vinoteca has re-opened their back patio (a.k.a. The Plaza).  The 11th Street local favorite kicked off the season with a Champagne and Hot Dog themed shindig.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Zaytinya Celebrates Greek Easter with Outdoor Market

By: Lauren Rittermann
Capital Cooking Contributor

Jose Andres and the culinary team at Zaytinya kicked off their Greek Easter Celebration with a fantastic outdoor market featuring local artists and vendors as well as live music.  The Greek Easter celebration begins on the Greek Orthodox Palm Sunday and ends on the day of Saint Thomas, the Sunday after Easter. The holiday is considered one of the most sacred celebrations and is a time for families to spend time together and honor Spring with festive gatherings, traditional Greek dishes, and religious ceremonies.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Upcoming Event: Thunder Pig's Flying Circus

This past February, Think Local First held it's second StartUp Kitchen Chopping Block Competition, where Meg Murray, creator of Thunder Pig Confectionary, beat out two other area bakers to win an 8-week incubation and mentorship program with Penny Karas of Hello Cupcake in her Barracks Row location.  As a part of the StartUp Kitchen incubation, Meg Murray will be operating her restaurant out of the Hello Cupcake on Barracks Row every Monday evening in April.  Limited tickets are sold to give customers the opportunity to meet Meg and provide immediate feedback, helping her enhance her final concept. On April 8th I attended the first "Flying Circus" of the series, where I was treated to three rings of delicious treats. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thinking of Drinking: April Rain


April showers bring May flowers!  Have a sip of some April Rain.  Hopefully we'll clear through the rest of the month without more rain.

$1 Oysters!

Azur, Frederik de Pue’s brand new Penn Quarter seafood restaurant, is rolling out its bar menu and happy hour on Tuesday, April 30. 

Thinking of Drinking: The Maple Knob


The Daily Grill has a great new cocktail menu.  Try The Maple Knob at home or stop in and give it a taste!

Thinking of Drinking: Jack’s Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is a Southern U.S. tradition. This cocktail is a must-have for watching the Kentucky Derby horse races. Did you realize the races are next weekend?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Upcoming Events: Dining Out for Life, Margarita March and More!

Eat for a good cause at a participating restaurant for the 17th annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser on Thursday, April 25th, 2013. Join thousands of diners from across North America to stand up against HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by sitting down at local restaurants that have pledged 25% to 110% of the day’s proceeds to directly benefit Food & Friends’ programs and clients. Food and Friends provides specialized meals, nutrition counseling and friendship to people living with serious illnesses in our nation's capital and surrounding areas. Since 1988, Food and Friends has provided more than 15.8 million meals to more 22,600 individuals, and has helped family members, friends, and loved ones provide care and support. Last year, more than 25,000 diners, restaurants and volunteers participated in Dining Out for Life and raised more than $300,000. This year, among the over 100 participating restaurants, several restaurants are donating their entire evening’s proceeds – Freddie's Beach Bar and Restaurant (110%), Annie’s Paramount Steak House(100%) and Ristorante Tosca (100%). Please visit www.foodandfriends.org/dol for more information and complete listing.

Who Wants A Ramp Stamp?

Me!  Me!  If you do too, you better hurry into BLT Steak because they'll only be available for a short time.  You may have heard of the infamous Pickle Back Shot, but how about the Ramp Stamp?  First goes the Rye Whiskey and next goes the Pickled Ramp Juice.  Amazing!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Restaurant Makeover: Morton's Bethesda

Metropolitan Martini and
Tomato Bruschetta Crostini

Morton's The Steakhouse has brought new life to it's Bethesda, MD restaurant with a complete interior facelift.  Since their acquisition of Morton's in 2012, Landry's Inc. has been updating Morton's restaurants nationwide.  The addition of new booths, fresh carpeting, modernized light fixtures and artwork give the Bethesda restaurant the upscale appeal it deserves.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Opening: Azur


Azur, Chef Frederick De Pue's newest restaurant, officially opened for business at the end of last week, and we were able to attend a grand opening party the Wednesday before the official opening.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Check out Capital Cooking in West Sweden!

Menu Revamp: Brixton



By the time the Brixton celebrates its one year anniversary this July, Chef Jorge Pimentel hopes the Brixton will be known not simply as a British pub, but more as a place to tour international cuisine, offering tastes of "street" food from around the world. Though the Brixton plans to always stay true to its British roots, the Brixton also wants to better reflect the unique and diverse culture here in Washington D.C. by offering menu items with global inspiration. Brixton's new menu draws from African, Indian and Tunisian influences, among other cultures.  We were recently invited to sample some of this "street" food alongside a selection of specialty cocktails. 

Swedish Recipe: Toast Skagen

We had a blast on our Swedish adventure to explore the cuisine and culture. We got our first taste of Toast Skagen in Stockholm, Sweden at Lisa Emqvist inside Östermalms Saluhall.  It wasn't until our trip to Grinda (one of the islands in the archipelago) that Chef Victor Rundquist showed us how to make it.  Imagine visiting a beautiful and relaxing island and cooking with the chef outside on the BBQ pit.  It couldn't be better.  The Toast Skagen is a traditional Swedish starter and we saw it listed on the menu at most restaurants. This is a great recipe for Spring!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Time to Eat REAL


It was a packed house at the Elizabeth's on L on Tuesday night. The first all raw and vegan restaurant in DC couldn't have been a better venue to launch the REAL Certification program and formally announce the first restaurants to earn the REAL designation. 16 local restaurants were newly minted with the Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certification, the nation's first nutrition and sustainability best practices certification program created by the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC). The USHFC, a non-profit and non-governmental agency, was founded in 2011 to combat obesity, diabetes and other food related diseases. Its mission is to promote access to organic and sustainable food and beverages and is dedicated to help Americans eat healthfully.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cookbook Review: Modern Maple

By: Michelle Hershman
The book’s title, Modern Maple, is kind of ironic because the book itself looks rather old-fashioned. The book is formatted like a paperback novel with low-quality, off-color paper, a lot of type and almost no pictures. I know that the page quality of a cookbook might not seem that important, but when you want your recipes to pop, I think it matters. Without colorful pictures, design, or even font changes, the book was a little monotonous to read – even for me, and I love reading cookbooks.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cherry Blossom Menu at Daily Grill


The Daily Grill has a special menu and cocktails to celebrate DC's Cherry Blossom season.  We stopped in to check it out.

Upcoming Events: Parisian Sidewalk Sale and More!


Parisian Sidewalk Sale in Georgetown:  Perhaps it’s too expensive to fly to Paris this weekend to shop? Well, Georgetown just brought a bit of Paris to DC! Georgetown's 10th Annual French Market returns to the charming Book Hill neighborhood on upper Wisconsin Ave, between P Street and Reservoir Road, on Friday and Saturday, April 19th and 20th, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with fashion finds, French fare, quaint shops, galleries and live music. A charming weekend for shoppers, foodies and families, more than 40 shops and cafes will come together for spring's most exciting shopping and entertainment event.  Highlights include up to 80% off at sidewalk sales at a variety of Book Hill shops and boutiques, the neighborhood's best restaurants grilling up French merguez sausages, filling sweet and savory crepes and serving fresh French pastries, and live music, strolling mimes and other street entertainers.  Come discover all that a French market has to offer! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Trip to Livingstone Island in Zambia

My adrenaline was already pumping after getting soaked at Victoria Falls and jumping off the bridge, but the day was just getting started. 

Eat With Your Eyes: Egg and Bacon Sandwich

Is your mouth watering? It should be. You can find this gourmet take on a bacon and egg sandwich served open-faced with juicy hunks of Pork Belly and a duck egg on rustic bread at Jack Rose Dining Saloon for $11.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Beer from Abita


Abita Brewing Company has a new beer!  Meet Lemon Wheat.  Lemon Wheat is a crisp, refreshing beer made with real lemon peel for a fresh citrus taste and aroma.  Yum!

Falling For Capital Cooking

Recipe: Arugula, Avocado and Blood Orange Salad

I've been cooking up a lot of amazing lamb dishes over the past year and I've been working on some healthy accompaniments for the meal.  This salad has beautiful color and fresh flavors.  It is perfect with a rack of lamb.

Perfect Pair: Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin Chops

My mom came to visit me this Easter and I made a delicious feast. Celebrate spring with Garlic and Herb Lamb Loin.

Spring Dining at the Blue Duck Tavern


By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Spring is in the air and you know what that means... al fresco dining with fresh, light ingredients that highlight the best of what's in season (like peas and asparagus, just to name a few!).  There is a short window of time in DC to enjoy dining outside before the heat and humidity of the summer sets in.  Which is why now is the perfect time to head over to the Blue Duck Tavern to enjoy their spacious  outdoor terrace while sampling refreshing cocktails and new spring menu items.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Taste of Japan/Grand Sake Tasting


By Claire Goldman

Sushi, sake and ceviche?  Don't mind if I do!  One of the many charms from the Orient brought to the District by the annual National Cherry Blossom festival is the Taste of Japan/Grand Sake Tasting event.  Hosted in the historic Carnegie Library, several of the top local Japanese restaurants gathered along with 17 different sake and Japanese beer brands.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cookbook Review: The Yankee Chef

By: Michelle Hershman

I liked the look of this cookbook as soon as I opened it. Sure, it was a little bigger and heavier than I usually prefer, but it had a fun layout with tons of recipes, notes, pictures and stories. It’s the kind of cookbook you can read. The assortment of Yankee recipes gives you a feel for the Northeast while the side notes teach you about the history of the region and its food. For instance, I learned that, contrary to today, lobsters were once a poor man’s meal because they were so abundant on the New England coast. They were actually used as fertilizer and indentured servants stipulated in their contracts that they were to be fed lobster no more than once a week by their employers. Most people nowadays would love to get lobster once a month, if not once a week.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thinking of Drinking: Cherry Cilantro Mojito

I love fresh herbs in cocktails!  Celebrate the last days of the Cherry Blossoms at P.O.V at the W Washington D.C. hotel. This signature Cherry Cilantro Mojito is available for $10.

Thinking of Drinking: Cherry Limeade

Celebrate the Cherry Blossoms at P.O.V at the W Washington D.C. hotel. This signature Cherry Limeade is available for $10.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Upcoming Events: Crawfish Boil and More!

Photo by Lauren DeSantis
Acadiana in Washington, DC will be firing up the season with their Crawfish Boil Throw-down on Friday, April 12 from 5:30-8:30PM on their patio. The festive event will benefit Tipitina's Foundation, a non-profit in New Orleans dedicated to supporting the music and culture of Louisiana. Tickets, which are $40 in advance and $45 at the door, include all-you-can-eat Spice-broiled Crawfish, Chicken Gumbo, Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob, House-made Andouille Sausage, Cracklin', Apple-Bourbon Pie and Roasted Potatoes.  Live music by New Orleans’ own Black Masala band, will give us sounds from Cajun country. Door prizes, a raffle and eating contests will add a spirited edge. Attendees can eat-to-compete by testing their abilities to devour a Cherry Pie [also a nod to the Cherry Blossom Parade the following day,] polish off Corn on the Cob and down a pound of “Crawfish-with-the-Fixins.” Guests can wash it all down at the cash bar with Abita Beer by the draft, bottle or bucket, along with French Quarter-style Cocktails or house wine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Uncorked: Early Mountain Vineyards Oyster Fest



By: Jennifer McNinch
Capital Cooking Contributor


The enormous success of the inaugural Oyster Festival at Early Mountain Vineyards in beautiful Madison, VA, should alert everyone within a 100-mile radius to plan ahead to attend next year.  However, that should not prevent you from planning a visit (or several) between now and next Spring because the vineyard, staff and offerings are top notch!   The tasting room is more like a lounge with several comfy couches, some set in front of a massive double-sided fireplace, seating areas with tables and chairs, and window-seat benches to enjoy the view of the lovely grounds.

Zambia, the Only Place Where . . .

Zambia is the only place where you can fall asleep in a riverside cottage in a bed without walls, wake up enveloped by the chorus of thousands of birds and vervet monkeys, and go to bed with the bellowing of grass-grazing hippos, the roars of lions across the river in Zimbabwe and the bone-chilling harrumphing of elephants in the dark.

Dine Out With Your Vine Out: Don Ciccio e Figli

Last night I checked out Francesco Amodeo's newest venture, Don Ciccio e Figli.  He currently has a line of six Italian-inspired artisanal liqueurs ("Rosoli") and he makes them by hand right here in DC. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Dishes at Sou'Wester


Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. recently appointed Didier Pouzier as Executive Chef.  I headed to Sou'Wester Restaurant to check out his new menu.  

Almost Full Bloom

Here's a look at the Cherry Blossoms from last night.  I bet they'll be even better on Thursday.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Night at Bistro Vivant

Hanger Steak and Frites
My mom recently came to DC to visit and we headed out to Bistro Vivant in a Ford Escape.  This car offers comfort and class.  (More about the Ford Below) Bistro Vivant is located in McLean, but it is well worth the drive out.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Grab a Seat at Pati's Mexican Table


Recently Sixth and I, DC's non-denominational synagogue and cultural center, held a series of events for all the foodies in the area.  Beth Kanter, author of Washington, DC's Chef's Table, Equinox's Todd and Ellen Gray, authors of The New Jewish Table, Pati Jinich, host of the PBS Series Pati's Mexican Table and author of a cookbook of the same name, and Mark Russ Federman, author of Russ and Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built , all stopped by to share the stories behind their latest written work.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Re-cap: 1st Annual Eat4Life


Colon Cancer is a disease that is 90 percent preventable, and a diet low in red and processed meats, and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, can play a huge part in lowering your risk of this disease. As part of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, in an event that was as educational as it was delicious, the Chris 4Life Young Professionals Board launched the 1st Annual Eat4Life at Crios Modern Mexican. To help raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating in the prevention of colon cancer,  Eat4Life invited 4 local chefs to prepare colon-friendly and cancer friendly dishes for 150 guests

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Recipe: Spinach and Pea Salad

Last weekend we had a spring party and my friend Audra made this salad.  It is always a hit.  Try it out at your next dinner party.

Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Centennial at the Library of Congress

The Great Hall
Library of Congress
Even though I was not a contemporary of Danny Kaye, I have been a fan for most of my life. I was first introduced to Danny Kaye as Hans Christian Anderson (1952) at age seven and will never forget his rendition of "Thumbelina." I even had a mini-crush on him as a kid because he was so funny and sweet to the children with whom he acted.

Elysian Elixir: The Ginkgo Spa at the Steenberg Hotel

After an amazing time at The Saxon, Sabi Sabi and Tongabezi, we headed to Cape Town, South Africa. 

Upcoming Events: Jaleo Anniversary Party and More!


Jaleo celebrates its 20th Anniversary:  April 5th …marks the first of these anniversary events presented by José, Rob and the ThinkFoodGroup family of restaurants.  Any guest dining at José Andrés restaurants in DC, LA, Miami, or Las Vegas will be treated to a complimentary glass of cava. 

Restaurant Makeover: Morton's The Steakhouse

Morton's The Steakhouse recently revealed their new modern look.  I stopped into the Georgetown location to check it out.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

TV: New Show Opening


Check out our new show opening for Capital Cooking Around the Globe.

And The Nominees Are...



By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor 

Hundreds of the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area’s top restaurateurs, chefs and key restaurant industry players gathered for the announcement of the nominees for the annual RAMMY awards by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). The Nominations Party was hosted at The Hamilton LIVE and emceed by Kelly Collis and Tommy McFLY of 94.7 FRESH FM.  Restaurants, staff and Chefs were celebrated in a number of categories ranging from Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year and New Restaurant of the Year, to Employee of the Year and Power Spot of the Year.  Here’s a glimpse into some of the nominees and their signature items featured at the nomination party.

Recipe: Boiled Lobster with Garlic Rosemary Butter

Our finished meal.
Last weekend my mom came to town and we were in for a treat.  As she arrived, I just received a shipment of live lobsters from GetMaineLobster.com.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fashion Washington's Spring Issue Party


By Claire Goldman

In celebration of their new Spring issue, Fashion Washington hosted a stylish affair at Room and Board in the District.  The event featured a live runway showing of designer Allison Parris' Spring and Fall collection.

Opening: Co Co. Sala in Union Market

Co Co. Sala (929 F Street NW; Washington, DC; 202-347-4265; www.cocosala.com), officially announced today that it will be opening a chocolate shop at Union Market in DC. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Guide to Zambia

After an amazing time relaxing at The Saxon and our phenomenal safari experience at Sabi Sabi, we headed to Livingstone, Zambia.

Event: Taste of Japan

Taste of Japan is April 4 from 7:00-9:00 pm at Carnegie Library (801 K Street, NW, across from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center). 

Clorox Ick-tionary Glass Truck is Coming to Bethesda!

The newly-launched Clorox Ick-tionary, a Wiki-style dictionary of icky messes, is coming to life with an interactive mobile experience at Bethesda Row on April 2!  Come out to the Clorox Ick-tionary 12’ glass truck for interactive games, giveaways and activities.

Opening: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant opened their newest location today right next to the ballpark.  

Recipe: Todd's Modern Day Brisket


Photo Credit: Renee Comet

The melt in your mouth brisket served at the Seder at Equinox Restaurant was described as the "the best brisket I've ever had" by multiple guests in attendance. You'll definitely want to visit Equinox Restaurant between now and April 2nd to enjoy their 5-course Passover menu for $45 per person, where you'll be able to savor Todd's Modern Day Brisket alongside courses of Salad of Roasted Heirloom Beets with Capers and Pistachio, Quinoa Salad with Figs and Mint, Wilted Spinach with Sesame Seeds and Flour-less Chocolate Cake. If you can't make it to Equinox Restaurant before April 2nd, you can still enjoy Todd's Modern Day Brisket by following the recipe below: