Friday, April 30, 2010

The Weekly Round Up

The DC Zoning Commission met Monday night and voted to increase the percentage of restaurants and bars in the 14th and U St. area from 25% to 30%. This will allow new projects to be completed. It is believed the commission will eventually increase the percentage to 50%.

The James Beard award winners will be announced Monday, May 3rd. If you are interested in following the event as it happens, check out Apron Anxiety or Alinea at Home. To see a list of local nominees, click here.

José Andrés will be featured on 60 Minutes Sunday at 7 p.m. Click here to view the trailer.

Capital City Cheesecake (7071 Carroll Ave.) will be opening on Saturday in Takoma Park. Free samples of muffins, chocolate, and cheesecake are sure to draw crowds. Find a full schedule of events here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Event: A Feast for the Senses

Cuisine des Artistes 2010
Presenting a literal feast for all five senses, the District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC) hosts a smorgasbord of artistic endeavors on Thursday, May 13 at the historic Meridian House from 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. In a rare union of the visual, theatrical and gastronomic, DCAC’s bi-annual gala fundraiser, Cuisine des Artistes, invites artists and chefs to collaborate on the creation of a veritable museum of edible art.

The evening begins with a cocktail hour in the Linden Grove garden patio , featuring passed hors d’oeuvres created by the artists and punctuated by eclectic entertainment, including poetry readings, music and performances. The presentation of the main course delicacies follows the appetizer course and cocktail hour. Born of the unique artist/chef collaboration, the entrees make this event a true multidisciplinary phenomenon. Guests at past Cuisine des Artistes galas have relished tapas served from the front end of a 1950s hot rod, barbecue surrounded by swinging cauldrons of fire, and cakes with Pollock-esque chocolate drip art, as well as stunning food displays including lights, mosaics, living greenery and other ingenious and sometimes outrageous installations.

Past collaborations included artist Anita Walsh with Sam Adkins from Jackie’s Restaurant, Byron Peck with Gustavo Haupella from Rumba Café, Bridget Sue Lambert with Josh Whigham of Café Atlantico, and Trish Tillman with Antonio Burrell of Viridian.

This special evening also provides an opportunity to honor the hard work and dedication of a local arts leader. During the celebration, Don Russell, Director of Provisions Library, will be presented with the 2nd bi-annual Herb White Award. This award was established in 2008 to recognize an individual who has contributed to the arts community in Washington without public acclaim or fanfare. The inaugural 2008 award was presented to Mary Swift, founder and managing editor for 25 years of the now defunct Washington Review. Continuing a tradition begun in 2008, local artist John Dreyfuss will design the award.

DCAC is a 20-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting budding artists in the Washington, D.C. area.  DCAC’s 750 square foot gallery and 50 seat theater provide a professional venue for visual and theatre artists.  They also provide a structured program through which artists in all media can practice both the craft and the business of art.  Today, the arts center is one of the only grassroots organizations available to artists looking to break into the mainstream.  Just as artists have come to depend on DCAC’s support, so too has the community come to associate DCAC with outstanding and original artistic expression.

Cuisine des Artistes will be held on Thursday, May 13 at the Meridian House from 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. For more information, please visit

Sweet Deal: OYA Lunch Special...only $10

OYA, the amazing Japanese restaurant located at 777 9th St NW is now offering a $10 “TO GO” Lunch in a Bag!

You choose from:

  1. sushi, entrée salad or sandwich
  2. OYA adds Artisan Chips or seaweed salad and edamame with sushi
  3. End with your choice of Sweet

All for $10...What a deal!!!

Includes seaweed salad & edamame and choice of sweet
Choice of:
Spicy Crunchy Shrimp
Crispy Tuna
Rock N Roll

Entrée Salad & Sandwiches
Includes Artisan Chips and choice of sweet
Choice of:
Apple, Endive and Grape Salad
Mai Thai Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad
Tomato and Grilled Bread Salad
Garden Sliders
Smoked Turkey and Brie Sandwich
Pulled Short Rib Sandwich
Teriyaki Salmon Sliders

Choice of:
Banana Bread Pudding
Carrot Ginger Bars
Fresh Fruit and Granola Parfait.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Get ready for Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Fiesta airing this Thursday!

Watch Capital Cooking on the Dish Network channels 9396 and 9407.

This week check out our Mexican Fiesta episode. Chef Connie Johnson from Connie’s Authentic Mexican Catering will join me in preparing authentic Mexican cuisine including: guacamole, empanadas, sopaipillas and mango margaritas. This was one of our very first shows.

Watch each episode and learn from the pros how to make delectable food right in your home. Lauren makes recipes fun and easy to prepare for anyone with any level of cooking.

Capital Cooking with Lauren DeSantis airs on Colours TV Network every Thursday at 6 p.m.EST. Find all of the schedule at: CoLours offers multi-cultural and multi-ethnic programming highlighting educational and cultural issues of African, Asian, Latin, and Native Americans. For further information visit their website at

Don’t miss the upcoming episodes every Thursday at 6:

A Rustic Roman Afternoon – 5/6
Ethiopian Cuisine – 5/13
Taste of Morocco – 5/20
Asian Cuisine 5/27

For more information about this episode or the Capital Cooking series, please contact Lauren DeSantis at

May Food Blogger Happy Hour

Happy hour this month is at Restaurant 3 in Arlington.  Please RSVP to the DC Food Blogger Facebook page.
All food lovers and food bloggers are welcome to attend.
I won't be able to make it this time, but I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bethesda Restaurant Week for the "Fashionably Hungry"

Bethesda Restaurant week kicks off tomorrow, April 26th at the following locations:

Click on the name of the restaurant to see menu selections. Enjoy a three course lunch for $15 or a three course dinner for $30. Bethesda Restaurant Week ends Sunday, May 2nd.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet or Spicy? What’s your FLAVOR? Cinnamon

Wholesome Sweeteners Introduces Cinnamon, Maple, Strawberry and Vanilla FLAVORED BLUE AGAVES
The innovators at Wholesome Sweeteners are introducing amazing NEW Cinnamon, Maple, Strawberry and Vanilla Flavored Organic Blue Agave Syrups. Made from the renowned Blue Agave, Wholesome’s Organic Blue Agaves are low glycemic, 25% sweeter than sugar and now with proprietary pop-in-your-mouth flavors!

This morning I tried the Cinnamon Agave Syrup in my coffee and it was delicious!  I'm going to use it in my pumpkin pie martini recipe this fall.  More recipes with agave syrup coming soon.

Organic Cinnamon Flavored Blue Agave Syrup
Cinnamon’s spicy warmth, with a sweet, mild fragrance blended perfectly with Organic Raw Blue Agave. Try it in coffee, hot chocolate, on waffles, toast or in gingerbread.

Organic Maple Flavored Blue Agave Syrup
Warm maple tones and comforting aroma blended perfectly with our sweet Raw Blue Agave. Perfect on pancakes, wonderful on ice cream, oatmeal, in glazes and marinades, or in your own homemade granola.

Organic Strawberry Flavored Blue Agave Syrup
Tease your taste buds with this sweet, strawberry-flavored Raw Blue Agave. Perfect as a topping for cheesecake, in herbal tea or strawberry lemonade, and in home made salad dressings.

Organic Vanilla Flavored Blue Agave Syrup
A lush vanilla-bean flavor blended perfectly with our sweet Blue Agave. Excellent in beverages like almond and rice milk, in mixed drinks, and as a rich dessert topping.                         

As always, Wholesome’s Blue Agave products are GMO-Free, gluten-free, and kosher. No additives, HFCS or synthetic chemicals.

Friday, April 23, 2010

4th Annual Year of Northern Virginia's Great Grapes Wine Festival at the Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia

This Saturday & Sunday
 GREAT FAMILY FUN.  The festival is an inexpensive way to see Virginia Wine Country - right in your own backyard. Take your sample glass and enjoy samples from all your favorite wineries. GREAT KIDS ACTIVITY AREA. If you want to bring the kids, have them enjoy the fun activity booths and craft area. Kids are FREE.  FANTASTIC CRAFTS AND CULINARY GIFT ITEMS.  The Show features about 60 different artists and crafter's that will offer neat gift ideas for the foodie in you or your friends.  GOURMET LIVE!  Enjoy cooking and wine pairing seminars on-site at the show.
LIVE MUSIC ON THE MAIN STAGE.  Listen to your favorite bands while you try the different wines on-site. LOTS OF FREE PARKING & GREAT AFTER SHOW PLACES TO CONTINUE THE FUN.  Reston Town Center is a destination in itself.  Come to the show, stay for shopping, dinner and a movie.  
Check us out at the Gourmet Live Stage!

Spring is in the Air with Wine to Pair
Join Lauren DeSantis, the host of television show, Capital Cooking, as she demonstrates how to make some delightful spring dishes with suggested wine pairings.  

Photo by Duane Heaton

The Weekly Round Up

Last Friday we reported on DC Slice, the new pizza truck roaming the streets of DC, but now it's time to get ready for Red Hook Lobster Pound! Serving lobster rolls to displaced New Englanders, the Red Hood Lobster Pound truck is sure to be a hit. The truck will make its first stop on April 30th at the Landon Azalea Festival in Bethesda.

After a horrifying fire broke out at Equinox the restaurant is on the way to recovery after obtaining a building permit on Wednesday. The restaurant is still weeks away from reopening but be on the look out for reopening this summer.

Lyon Hall
, a new brasserie in Clarendon, opened this week. The menu features steamed mussels, arctic char, and pasta dumplings. 3100 Washington Blvd., Arlington, VA

Freshii, a diet friendly restaurant, opened on M Street, NW. Design your own salads,
sandwiches, frozen yogurt, and breakfast that best suits your needs. 2001 M Street, NW

Dodge City, a new bar on U Street, had a soft opening on Tuesday. Prince of Petworth has an in depth view of this new bar. 917 U Street, NW

Dangerously Delicious Pies
opened in NE last week. From sweet to savory, there is pie to satisfy every individual. 1339 H Street, NE

Star and Shamrock, which combines a Jewish deli with an Irish pub, had a soft opening on Sunday. 1341 H Street, NE

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Don't Miss “5 Pigs, 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers”

Cochon 555 – Washington D.C.

“5 Pigs, 5 Chefs, 5 Winemakers”

May 2, 2010

WHAT: A group of top chefs from the Washington D.C. area will each prepare a heritage breed pig from head to toe for the 2nd annual event. Cochon 555 is the only national chef competition promoting heritage pigs and breed diversity. In addition, five family-owned wineries will showcase their wines. Guests and professional judges will determine a winner based on utilization, presentation and overall best flavor. The winner will have the opportunity to compete with other national winning chefs at Grand Cochon during the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, June 18-20.

WHO: Taste Network presents

R.J. Cooper, Vidalia Restaurant

Nicholas Stefanelli, Bibiana

David Varley, Bourbon Steak

Daniel Singhofen, Eola

Joe Palma, Westend Bistro

Whole pig breakdown demonstration by resident butcher, Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats

Wineries: Anderson’s Conn Valley, Chehalem Wines, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Donkey and Goat Winery, Twomey Cellars

VIP: Silver Oak Cellar, Donkey and Goat Winery, Cowgirl Creamery and more

WHEN: Saturday May 2nd, 5:00 p.m.

VIP Reception 3:30 p.m. photo opportunity/ rsvp required

WHERE: The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. 1150 22nd Street, NW

WHY: To promote heritage pigs and breed diversity in local and national communities.

HOW: The cost is $125 per person and is open to the public. For tickets or more information visit Advance ticket purchase required.


Cochon 555 is the only heritage breed pig and chef competition in the U.S. The touring event was created by Brady Lowe in response to the lack of consumer education around heritage breeds. Upcoming cities include New York, Washington D.C. and Seattle. Chefs and judges from each city are selected by Taste Network, Lowe’s company, to participate in the event. Taste Network is based in Atlanta and delivers experiential services to the boutique food industry nation-wide. The company’s mission is to provide cultured events and education focused around artisan wine, cheese and cuisine to its clients and the public at large.

About FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen: In its 28th year, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen is the epicurean magazine’s signature event, bringing together 50 of the world’s foremost authorities on wine and food at 80 cooking demonstrations and wine seminars. In addition, over 300 wines and luxury lifestyle brands gather together in the Grand Tasting Pavilion, the epicenter of the event, to pour over 50,000 bottles of wine and exhibit their newest products. FOOD & WINE is the modern, stylish, trend-spotting, talent-seeking epicurean magazine. Published by American Express Publishing Corporation, the leader in luxury lifestyle magazines, FOOD & WINE has a circulation of over 925,000. Details about the event and the company are available at

Monday, April 19, 2010

Filming Fun: Panamania

Saturday we had fun filming the Panamania episode with Chef Ana Victoria Mas.  We first met at the Embassy Chef Challenge.

Ana Victoria Mas is currently working as the Head of Protocol and Events, and Head Chef at the Embassy of the Republic of Panama in Washington D.C.  She graduated in February 2009 from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park NY with a major in Culinary Arts. Right after graduation she performed her Optional Practical Training (OPT) in Frank Ruta’s renowned Palena Restaurant in Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.   

Before starting at the CIA in Hyde Park, NY, Ana worked at  Twist Restaurant in Panama City as a Chef Trainee and also worked in a catering company called La Petite Cuisine as a Bakery Supervisor.   Ana is 21 years old and was born in Panama City, Republic of Panama.

About the episode: 
As a land bridge between two continents, Panama possesses an unusual variety of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in native cooking.  Join Lauren and special guest, Ana Victoria Mas, to learn how to make Shrimp and Fish Ceviche with Pixbae, Sea Bass (Corvina) with Yucca Strings, Mojo Sauce and Avocado, Fried Plantain Gnocchi with Cilantro-Basil and Cashew Pesto, and a Panama Red cocktail.  Tune in Soon!

 Photos by Tyro Beatty

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Weekly Round Up

The Prince of Petworth received a press release indicating the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade will host the 2012 Summer Fancy Foods Show at the Washington Convention. The 2011 trade show will also be held in DC, the first year the show has left New York City since 1992.

Bistro Provence opened in Bethesda this week under Chef Yannick Cam.

The DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs announced it could not issue any more building permits for the intersection of 14th and U Street NW. The current law states that restaurants and bars cannot make up more than 25% of the storefronts; however, with these establishments encompassing 24.8% of the area, it is likely the percentage will be increased to 50% later this month.

DC Slices, the city's first mobile pizza truck, began driving the streets today enticing buyers with its many menu options. The pizza is made fresh in the truck, so need to worry about quality and taste. Find their current location on twitter or facebook.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Book Review: DamGoodSweet by Chef David Guas

Chef David Guas, native New Orleanian and Washington D.C. area resident, is rejoicing the sweet success of his first cookbook DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style with his first ever James Beard Foundation Award nomination!

The book contains 50 dessert recipes along with beautiful photography. As you flip through the book, you'll learn some great food history about the dishes of New Orleans. I'm a sucker for sweets and my mouth watered reading through these recipes. Guas provides many variations on the recipes to give the reader ideas to make the dish their own. Some of the recipes seem difficult for the average reader and may require equipment that not everyone owns (ice cream maker, blow torch, canning rack) With that said, there are plenty of recipes accessible for the home cook. From jams, to ice cream, to cakes, to heavenly'll find it all in DamGoodSweet.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Weekly Round Up

Eater, a New York based website, confirmed rumors of the TLC reality show featuring Georgetown Cupcake. From the press release:

The six-part series follows sisters and business partners Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis as they run Georgetown Cupcake in Washington, DC - a small cupcake shop that they have transformed into a sweet success. The Sisters gave up their corporate jobs and risked their life savings to follow their hearts into the kitchen, armed only with their Grandmother's recipes and their sisterly bond. Each episode will go beyond the frosting to uncover the secret of Sophie and Katherine's success and follow the challenges they face as the business rapidly expands and is poised to explode on the national scene."

Bonnie Benwick of The Washington Post got a sneak peek of the soon to reopen Georgetown Safeway. After being closed for a year, the new Safeway will open on May 6, it is the first LEED certified grocery store.

Northside Social
from the owners of Liberty Tavern opened in Clarendon this week.

Michael Landrum of Ray's Hell Burger, Ray's the Steaks, Ray's the Classics is opening his newest restaurant, Ray's the Steaks at East River in DC's Ward 7.

Food and Wine announced its list of best new chefs. Clayton Miller of Clifton, Virginia is on the list for his restaurant Trummer's on Main.

Top Chef: DC began filming this week. Check out The Washingtonian's map of Top Chef sightings. For more information on Top Chef: DC follow topchefdcnews on Twitter.

Michelle Obama named Good Stuff Eatery as one of her favorite places to get a burger. The First Lady also named Oyamel as one of her favorite places to get a margarita.

Don't forget to watch Food Wars: Jumbo Slice next Thursday on Travel Channel. The popular show takes to the streets of Adams Morgan and recruits jumbo slice lovers, as well as Carla Hall, to determine the best jumbo slice in DC.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't Miss A Simple Summer Supper episode this Thursday!

Join Lauren and Chef Oliver Friendly as they prepare a simple summer meal with locally grown produce and humanely raised meat from DC-area farmers markets. While commercial organic markets provide a great service, the food at the Farmers Markets is fresher and better for you. Learn how to make: Homemade Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Minted Sweet Peas and Tomato Vinaigrette, Paprika Dusted Pork Chops with Roasted Corn, Shallot, Tomato, and Mint Salsa, and Vanilla Ice Cream with Fresh Fruit and Mint Syrup.

Capital Cooking with Lauren DeSantis airs on Colours TV Network every Thursday at 6 p.m.EST. Find all of the schedule at: CoLours offers multi-cultural and multi-ethnic programming highlighting educational and cultural issues of African, Asian, Latin, and Native Americans. For further information visit their website at

Watch Capital Cooking on the Dish Network channels 9396 and 9407. CoLours is currently available on cable from the following carriers: Time Warner, Comcast, Insight, NCTC and Cox .

Watch each episode and learn from the pros how to make delectable food right in your home. Lauren makes recipes fun and easy to prepare for anyone with any level of cooking.

Don’t miss the upcoming episodes every Thursday at 6:

Meet me St. Louis - 4/15

1789 – 4/22

Mexican Fiesta – 4/29

A Rustic Roman Afternoon – 5/6

Ethiopian Cuisine – 5/13

Taste of Morocco – 5/20

Asian Cuisine 5/27

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Review: Bibiana Osteria-Encoteca

Ashok Bajaj does it again with new Italian restaurant, Bibiana Osteria-Encoteca. Chef Nicholas Stefanelli wowed us with appetizers Cipollini, the Roman Style Artichokes, Stuffed Dates and a meat platter. Watch out for large parties sitting behind the stainless-steel-beaded curtains in the main dining room. It gets loud. We loved the Gnocchi, Casoncelli, and Linguine with tuna.

The chocolate bomb, vanilla ice cream with salted caramel and pistachio desserts were delicious with the house-made digestif.  Bibiana is the perfect place for a business dinner or a fun night when you're in the mood for really good Italian food.

Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca on Urbanspoon

(202) 216-9550
1100 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekly Round Up

Tim Carman of The Washington City Paper reports the owners of Dolcezza are opening a third location in Dupont Circle. The new store will feature an antique coffee bar and communal tables.

Carman is also responsible for getting the exact order of the French first family. Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a half smoke, Carla Bruni a hot dog, and his two sons ate two half smokes and two cheeseburgers.

The District Tattle reports Spike Mendelsohn of Good Stuff Eatery will be opening his second restaurant We, the Pizza on or around April 11th. Be sure to pre-order Mendelsohn's cookbook, Good Stuff Cookbook, on Amazon.

Ellen's Easter cake

In law school, we always made Easter brunch.  Ellen made an impressive bunny cake.

Cookbook Review: Legends in the Kitchen

In our celebrity obsessed culture it is about time we had the opportunity to cook the recipes of our favorite stars. Although many of the celebrities featured in Legends in the Kitchen: Celebrity Recipes for a Cause are more recognizable to older generations, this cookbook familiarizes readers of all ages with Hollywood legends. This is due in part to the full page introductions before each recipe, which provide a picture of the celebrity contributor, as well as a brief anecdote about the recipe. Readers are sure to appreciate this personal touch and will enjoy reading the first hand accounts of those they admire.

With almost 60 recipes featured in the book, beginners will likely love the simplicity surrounding each dish; however, it is possible more advanced chefs will be looking for more of a challenge. From soups, such as Andy Williams' "Andy's Chicken Soup" to desserts, like Betty White's "Crunchy Pie," this cookbook provides numerous serving options to the reader.

Legends in the Kitchen creates an exclusive relationship between the celebrity and the reader with its stories of Hollywood; however, it lacks the efficiency of many other cookbooks . The book connects readers with the contributors but it does not connect them with the food. Since there are no pictures of the food, the cookbook relies on the appeal of celebrities to draw the attention of those who love to cook. Many individuals who purchase cookbooks do so because of the brilliance and intensity of the photos but with only black and white photos celebrities, Legends of the Kitchen fails to attract those who are not familiar with Hollywood.

A lack of contributor tips and planning menus also leaves the reader looking for more. It is not always easy to follow a recipe; therefore, helpful hints and suggestions are often needed and desired by readers to act as a guide. Planning menus are also beneficial to many who enjoy throwing dinner parties or who enjoy cooking a thoughtful meal for their family. By not giving readers the option to plan their future meals, the book does not possess the feeling of beloved a cookbook.

Despite its flaws, Legends of the Kitchen is a fun cookbook for those interested in celebrity culture. With a percentage of the sales going to the Motion Picture and Television Fund, which benefits health centers, retirement living, and other charitable services, it is certain the reader will be satisfied with their purchase.

Legends in the Kitchen (ISBN: 978-1-58985-054-5) is available at all bookstores and online.