Monday, May 31, 2010

New Write-up from Dining in DC

Lisa Shapiro of Dining in DC attended the Capital Cooking Cookbook launch party and wrote a nice post on her blog:  Capital Cooking Cookbook is as well-rounded as our nation’s capital with recipes from DC’s best chefs.

Thanks Lisa!
Photo by Emily Clack

Review: Seasons

My mom and I enjoyed breakfast at the Seasons.

Cooking with Chocolate Recipes

Earlier in the month I attended a cooking with chocolate demo at the Venezuelan Embassy taught by Susan Cohen of Biagio Fine Chocolates. Below are the recipes from the event. Enjoy!

Spicy Chocolate Wings

72 Serving
Bake 30 min

¼ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
72 chicken wings, tips discarded and wings separated at the joint
18 cloves garlic, chopped
¾ cup chili powder
1 tablespoons ground allspice
12 cups tomato sauce
18 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoons salt
¾ cup finely chopped cilantro

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken wings and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the garlic, chili powder and allspice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add water, the chocolate, hot sauce and salt and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted.
Return the wings to the pan, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the wings are cooked through and the sauce is reduced to a thick glaze, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the cilantro.

Cocoa Nib Caponata
Serves 64
2-2/3 cups Pinot Noir
2-2/3 cups yellow raisins
2 cups olive oil

8 eggplant, diced, salted for 1/2 hour and patted dry

16 garlic cloves, minced
8 pinches of chili flakes

16 celery stalks, diced small

4 medium red onion, diced
5 1/3 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 cups balsamic vinegar

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups capers, rinsed
1 cups flat leaf parsley, minced

1 cups cocoa nibs,
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a small sauce pan on high heat, bring the pinot noir to a boil and pour over the raisins to plump. In a large sauté pan on medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and chili flakes, stirring until fragrant, about a minute. Add the onions and celery, and saute until the onions are transluscent, about 5 more minutes. Add the eggplant and saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely incorporated. Add the yellow raisins, capers, parsley, and cocoa nibs and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. Serve room temperature with grilled rustic bread and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Flourless Chocolate Dessert
8 eggs yolks
2 2/3 cups sugar
3 cups milk
64 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
8 cups butter
2 cups liqueur.

In saucepan, whisk together yolks and sugar, until lemon yellow, about 2 minutes. Bring milk to a boil. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the boiling milk into the egg mixture, then cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3-4 minutes.

Place chocolate in heatproof bowl. Slowly pour hot milk mixture over chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate melts. Add butter stirring until creamy and uniform texture. Stir in liqueur.

Pour into mold and refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate Cold Drink:
AROA Classic 58% Dark chocolate + ice.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Find: Frosting A Cupcakery

There is nothing better than stumbling upon a new find while taking a leisurely Sunday stroll. This is exactly what happened to me as I was walking around Friendship Heights earlier today and my new find was Frosting A Cupcakery. Despite having leftover Georgetown Cupcakes from my birthday and plans to make banana Nutella crepes tonight, I allowed spontaneity to trump logic and went inside.

I was happily greeted by Todd, co-owner and husband to Michelle, also an owner, who was helpful in assisting me with a REDiculous cupcake. Anytime I try a new cupcake place, I always order my favorite cupcake, red velvet. Since red velvet is standard at most cupcake shops, it's easy to see the positives and negatives of each store, as well as taste a different interpretation of the favorite Southern dessert.

Now, I've tried many red velvet cupcakes throughout the city but most failed to live up to my favorite, Georgetown Cupcake. For the first time in two years, I found a cupcake that did just that. Delightfully moist and topped with a frosting that perfectly balanced cream cheese and sugar, I had to stop myself from getting another one to try. In fact, I've already started a list of what to get when I return:

Campfire: graham cracker bottom with milk chocolate ganache and marshmallow top
Skinniment: chocolate bottom with peppermint vanilla buttercream top
Jackie-Oh!: chocolate bottom with almond buttercream top
Frenchie: French toast bottom with maple buttercream top

Frosting A Cupcakery also features illy coffee and espresso, as well as cookies, brownies, whoopie pies, dessert breads, and biscottis.

The grand opening will be on June 5th, so be sure to look for details next week.

Frosting A Cupcakery is located at 1 Wisconsin Circle, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. They are open Tuesday-Sunday.

Frosting A Cupcakery

If you like Good Stuff Eatery, Check out THE GOOD STUFF COOKBOOK

Spike’s philosophy is simple: take classic American comfort foods made from local, farm-fresh ingredients, and give them the “good stuff twist”. This philosophy is brought to bear in THE GOOD STUFF COOKBOOK (Wiley Paperback; $24.95; May 31st, 2010), where Spike serves up over 120 fast, fun, and fresh recipes for classic fare like burgers, fries, shakes, salads, and desserts, not to mention the all-important sauces and condiments that give his dishes a gourmet twist. Also included are menu suggestions for all types of events, from big parties to casual family dinners. Recipes are accompanied by gorgeous full-color photographs throughout. 

Inside you'll find old favorites with a twist: unique and tasty sauces like Sriracha Mayonnaise and Good Stuff Sauce (Spike’s take on Thousand Island dressing); show-off salads like Fennel, Orange, and Pomegranate Wedge, dressed with a citrus-honey-Dijon vinaigrette, or Asian Pear, Pistachio and Brie Wedge; fan-favorite sides like Spike’s Village Fries with fresh rosemary and thyme, Cliff’s Homegrown Vidalia Onion Petals, and Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus; and the famous Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake, malts, and floats.

And, of course, crowd-pleasing burgers made with beef, turkey, chicken, pork, and even lamb. Chef Spike has worked relentlessly on perfecting the recipe to achieve the perfect balance of taste and texture. This chapter includes plenty of tips and tricks, as well as fantastically great recipes like Prez Obama Burger (created during the 2008 election and winner over the McCain burger by four to one!) topped with horseradish mayonnaise, red onion marmalade, bleu cheese and applewood-smoked bacon.

Just in time for summertime barbecues and cookouts, THE GOOD STUFF COOKBOOK is the perfect all-American cookbook for anyone who loves great casual comfort food, but wants to shake things up with a gourmet touch.  Can't wait to make the toasted marshmallow milkshake at home!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vote for the Best Restaurant!

Dining in DC is hosting a POLL to ask readers who they think the winner of the 2010 Rammy for Best New Restaurant will be.
So which of the five finalists for Best New Restaurant is your favorite restuarant?
Which restuarant do you think will win?
In order to be eligible for the category of ”New Restaurant” a restaurant must have been opened between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009 and has already distinguished itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service. The Rammy 201o finalists for New Restaurant are:
  • Bibiana
  • Birch & Barley
  • Bourbon Steak
  • Eventide
  • Inox
Enter the POLL here.   
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT about WHY it is your Favorite and WHY You want it to win!
If the restaurant that you voted for wins, you will be automatically entered into the drawing to win a dining Gift Certificate from the Winner! Good Luck!

Friday, May 28, 2010

More from the Capital Cooking Cookbook Launch Party

Dee of JD Gourmet brought me some beautiful flowers.  Thanks Dee!
 Special thanks to Kim Auron and Caitlin Smith for all of your help.  May 26th was 
Caitlin's 21st Birthday and she spent it with us.  Happy Birthday again!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Congratulations Emily Clack!

Emily (on far right) is doing her first photo exhibit tonight!  Emily is a great photographer from our show and the cookbook.

Art Soiree :: Hosted by Sandro and Tati

Exclusive Photo Exhibit

WHEN: Thursday, May 27th from 7:00pm to 12am ($10 cover)

WHERE: L2 Lounge, 3315 Cady’s Alley NW, Washington DC 20007 (33rd & M Street)

Once again elegance and sophistication of DC’s most exclusive and upscale evening establishment - L2 – seamlessly blend with signature Art Soiree style to create the most exceptional evening. Art Soiree and L2 invite you to the opening night of an exciting photo exhibit of works by five female photographers.

-Alyona Vogelmann
-Emily Clack
-Natalya Skiba
-Xeniya Ketz
-Zanyasan Tanantpapat

Never prior exhibited, “virgins” in the field of art and photography, these female artists will show you the world of women through the lenses of their cameras. All different and unpredictable they see photography as a transcendent art form, which allows them to express their creativity and share their vision. The vision of beautiful, ever-changing, and ever-evolving world that surrounds us, where the camera capturing a moment in time makes it tangible. The vision of the inner beauty, found through capturing emotions, personality and individuality in everyday reality of women’s lives. The vision of hidden weaknesses and the vulnerability that create beautiful and mesmerizing moments.

This Thursday Art Soiree is all about women, celebrating their beauty, elegance, talents, achievements and much more. Come and meet these talented photographers as they share with you their lives through their works, all while enjoying a jazz performance by our female guest musician.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Dress code: Fashionable Cocktail or Business Attire (With the summer just around the corner it's time for a white party, so come out sporting your best white outfit!)

Valet parking available
Entrance fee: $10

Please make sure to RSVP via email as we are limited to 250 attendees. Please note that facebook RSVP is not sufficient.

For further information please contact:
A perfect prelude to the opening of the SEX AND THE CITY MOVIE!!! Don’t miss out - FIVE VIRGINS AND THE CAMERA

Thank you everyone who attended the Book Launch!

There are so many people to thank for making the Capital Cooking Book launch a huge success!  I only have a few of the photos so far so I'll be updating this throughout the week.  Thank you Mom for flying in from St. Louis!

Thanks to everyone from my office at Polsinelli for attending the event and even some of our clients.
Thank you to MallowDrama for making this beautiful cake of the Capital Cooking logo.
Thank you to my husband Corey for putting up with me during all of the planning.
Throughout the night we had about 200 guests in attendance.  It was amazing!  

Photos by Duane Heaton

Thank you to the chefs:

Embassy of Panama
Ana Victoria Mas
Shrimp and fish ceviche w/pixbae

Pork Barrel BBQ
Heath Hall and Brett Thompson
Pulled Pork Sliders and Bread Pudding

Daniel Guisti
Local Asparagus With Big Eye Tuna, Surryano Ham, 
and Smoked Paprika

Dean Gold
Caprese Crostini and Meatballs

Jaime Montes De Oca Jr.
Singapore Slaw
(Zentan is really cool and this slaw is amazing!  
Check out their restaurant.)
Zentan on Urbanspoon


Cashion's Eat Place
Sarah Smith
Salad of Green Farro from Anson Mills with Steve's
local Melon's, Cucumbers,Blue Boston Mint, Lemon and Laconian Olive Oil

JD Gourmet Foods
Olive oils and balsamic vinegar
Carafe Winery
Emperor Vodka
VinBev: Domenico Wines
Ame Cosmetics
Bath and body set
Alili Morocco
Curry Simple
Critique Boutique
Pasmina scarf

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Andrew Zimmern at the Beautiful House of Sweden

Recently I watched the taping of Andrew Zimmern's Travel Channel Show:  Bizarre Foods being filmed at the beautiful roof deck of the House of Sweden.


It's not to late to order your tickets for SoundBites, a food and music collaboration to benefit D.C. Central Kitchen. For $30 you can try free samples from the following restaurants:

  • BGR The Burger Joint
  • Busboys and Poets
  • Church Key
  • Commonwealth Gastro Pub
  • Cork
  • EatBar
  • Fresh Start Catering
  • Harry's Tap Room
  • Indique
  • Jaleo
  • Maddy's Bar and Grill
  • Marvin
  • Masa 14
  • Mie N Yu
  • Radius Pizza
  • Sauca
  • Taylor Gourmet
  • Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar

Tickets can be purchased at or at the 9:30 Club box office.
The event starts at 5 p.m at the 9:30 Club.

The Weekly Round Up

It seems like a new food truck drives into the city every week. This week it's Sweetbites, featuring, you guessed it, sweets. Cooped up office workers can track the truck via twitter and take the much needed break as it approaches their vicinity. Customers can enjoy cupcakes, bars, muffins, pastries, scones, and coffee.

In other food truck news, Pupatella, the original D.C. food truck, is opening its first restaurant in Arlington. The new restaurant opens today and will showcase their Neapolitan pizza and local gelato. Check out the opening at 5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA.

Pitango Gelato opened its fourth location in Penn Quarter this week. Other locations are Logan Circle, Baltimore's Fells Point, and Reston Town Center.

The city must be craving pizza as another pizza place is slated to open this summer. From the people who brought you 2941, get ready for Pizzeria Orso. Find them at 400 South Maple Ave, Falls Church, VA in June.

It was announced this week that Top Chef D.C. will premier Wednesday, June 16th at 9 pm on Bravo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Open Kitchen

We got a sneak peek last February when Open Kitchen was in the menu planning stage.  Finally, I made my way to Falls Church to get a first-hand look at the Bistro at Open Kitchen.  Yum!  The whole place has a great concept and design.  Not only do they serve delicious meals at the bistro, but they also teach awesome cooking classes and have commercial kitchen space for chefs to rent.

We started with an Antipasto Platter with a rabbit terrine.  This appetizer is perfect to share with friends.

We enjoyed the Shrimp Provencal, Steamed Mussels and Gourmet Pulled Pork Pappardelle.  The Provencal dish was my favorite with sautéed shrimp, tomatoes, garlic and spaghetti-cut zucchini, finished with olive oil.
Dinner was not complete without the Guinness cupcakes and Panna Cotta.  I left full and satisfied.  Make sure to head over to Open Kitchen to check it out soon!

(703) 942-8148
Falls Church
7115 Leesburg Pike #107
Falls Church, VA 22043

Open Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Book Review: Get in the Kitchen Bit@hes!

One word. Gross. I'm tempted to leave the review at that but as every English teacher I've ever had taught me, you do need evidence to back up your argument. For Get in the Kitchen, Bit@hes by Jason Bailin, this is easy to do.

Let's begin with the overall appearance of the book. It looks like a student project that was printed at Kinkos. In addition, it is far too small to actually be used while working in the kitchen. Imagine trying to cook a new recipe but in order to actually read the recipe, you need to hold the book about six inches away from your face. It's impractical and unacceptable for those truly interested in cooking. Not to mention, one recipe can take up multiple pages. Having always to turn the page sounds silly but can become cumbersome and frustrating when you are trying to follow directions. I do have one positive thing to say about the utility and appearance of this book, all the pictures are in black and white. Normally, this is a downside and something I dislike about cookbooks; however, in this case, the pictures are so repulsive that if I had to see them in color, I would lose my appetite. Note to the author, most people would not like to see pictures of your friends half naked or dressed in S&M gear. Remember, this is a cookbook, pictures of the food are usually necessary.

On to the recipes, they're not bad. Poorly named (sorry, I prefer not to tell my dinner guests they are eating Pistol Whip Pasta) but simple. There are few appetizers in the book (only 3), simply because the author is not a fan. When you are writing a cookbook, it's not just about you. It's crucially important to try and appeal to everyone. On a personal note, I love appetizers and often make meals out of them. That being said, this cookbook has instantly diminished in value to me. Readers will also find an odd arrangement of recipes. With entrees coming first, then appetizers, and finally a hodgepodge of recipes the author threw in, the book is poorly organized. Again, this has the feeling of a last minute student project. My grade: D.

This book is best suited as a gag gift but make sure you give it to the right person; you don't want to offend anybody.
For more information about Get in the Kitchen, Bit@hes by Jason Bailin, go to

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Taste of 12

For $12 you can sample up to six different restaurants at the third annual Taste of 12. Not only is this the ultimate bang for your buck but money raised from this event will benefit the Capital Area Food Bank. Some of the restaurants participating in the Taste of 12 are:

Acadiana, Asia 9, Cedar Restaurant, Central Michael Richard, Chipotle, Cure Bar and Bistro, Dunkin' Donuts, ESPN Zone, Gifford's Ice Cream, Henry's Soul Food Cafe, Jaleo, La Tasca, Matchbox, McCormick and Schmick's, Ping Pong Dim Sum, Rosa Mexicano, The Source, Tony Cheng's Seafood Restaurant, and Mongolian BBQ.

Be on the lookout for 2010 Rammy nominee Mike Isabella of Zaytinya, as well as other nominees Cafe Atlantico and Zola.

Tickets can only be purchased the day of the event at the Verizon Center.

So You Think You Can Grill?

After days of rain, at last there is sun! What better day than today to plan out your summer barbeques and pull out your grill recipes. Why not take it one step further? If you think you have what it takes, submit your favorite recipe to the So You Think You Can Grill? contest by tomorrow, May 21st at 3:00 p.m. EST.

If you are selected to participate, you can have the chance to showcase your grilling skills at the What's For Dinner Tent? at the Food and Wine Festival at National Harbor. This competition is for amateurs only and the recipe must be unique and unpublished. The four recipes chosen will compete in two rounds of intense but fun grilling. The winner will receive a new Weber grill, a copy of the Healthy Beef Cookbook, a set of steak knives, and the chance to have their recipe published on

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Event: Inaugural SoundBites Concert Features Tasty Music, Food and Charity

The 9:30 Club will be turned inside out when D.C.’s hottest chefs and coolest music acts will be spinning plates and mixing jams Sunday, May 23rd -- all to benefit DC Central Kitchen. For the first time 9:30 Club will expand to its exterior, making this the first indoor-outdoor event planned at the legendary club.

With the purchase of a ticket to SoundBites, not only will proceeds go to the area’s neediest people, but foodies will get to taste the specialties from 18 popular D.C. restaurants and caterers – including
BGR the Burger Joint, Busboys and Poets, Church Key, Commonwealth Gastropub, Cork, EatBar, Fresh Start Catering, 

Harry's Tap Room, 
Indique, Jaleo, Marvin, Maddy's Bar and Grill, Masa 14, Mie N Yu
, Radius Pizza, Sauca, Taylor Gourmet, and Zola, Kitchen/Wine Bar. The chefs will offer tastes of their signature dishes throughout the evening, showing their support for D.C. Central Kitchen’s innovative approach to the complex problem of hunger in the Greater Washington area and around the country.

The dance floor will be as busy as the roomful of palates, since the crowd will also be treated to the sounds of
DJ Will Eastman, US Royalty, Bluebrain, Fatback DJs, Beautiful Swimmers and Midnight Kids over the five-hour event. Tickets to the fundraiser cost $30 and are available at the 9:30 Club box office or online at

California Tortilla

California Tortilla of Cleveland Park launched a new menu Tuesday night. Guests enjoyed homemade guacamole and salsa, as well as new burrito options. From the BBQ Crunchy Burrito to the long-time favorite California Burrito, California Tortilla uses only the most "honest" ingredients. This honesty was further emphasized by the special guest appearance of Abraham Lincoln. Posing for numerous photos, it's certain he will be popping up on numerous social media sites. A quick bite that is sure to satisfy, make a stop at California Tortilla the next time you're in the neighborhood.

3501 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

California Tortilla

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Results of Cochon 555 2010

All of the chefs did a fabulous job! The chefs even stepped it up a notch from last year.  

FREE Pizza!

You’re Invited – FREE Pizza!
Flippin’ Pizza Grand Opening
Tuesday, May 18th – 5:00 to 7:00 pm
7645 Arundel Mills Boulevard
Hanover, Maryland
(Safeway Shopping Center across from Arundel Mills Mall)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Capital Cooking Cookbook is now available online!

Get your Capital Cooking Cookbook today!

For the rest of the month of May, receive a 10% discount on your purchase by applying this code:  H5QS5NZH.

The nation’s capital is not just the home of the federal government but also the “home” for every American. What better way to get the feeling of home than by creating your favorite dish? The Capital Cooking Cookbook gives readers from across the country the opportunity to return “home” any time with the help of Lauren DeSantis, the host of Capital Cooking.
A companion cookbook to the show, with the Capital Cooking Cookbook anyone can relive the best Capital Cooking moments, as well as the delicious tastes of the city. From making mini burgers at Matchbox to creating a soul food dinner of fried chicken with Art and Soul, readers are sure to appreciate the over 90 recipes of D.C. cuisine.
The District’s international appeal is not forgotten and chefs can try their hand at creating dishes from around the world. Travel to Morocco with Moroccan Chicken Tagine or to Italy with Salt Crusted Branzino, and impress friends and family with a wide breadth of culinary creations.
Complete with over 70 images and cooking tips from Lauren, the Capital Cooking Cookbook encompasses everything a chef needs to create the perfect dish. This is a must-have book for food lovers across the country.
The Capital Cooking Cookbook (ISBN: 9781441488916) retails for $29.99 and can be purchased online at or through Amazon.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: Napoleon Bistro Brunch

I don't go for brunch all too often because it is one of my favorite meals to make at home, but one of my best friends was in town from Kansas City so we went out for a change.  We were seated right away. +
Napoleon Bistro is a really cute restaurant in Adams Morgan that has a great outdoor patio for seating.  +
The crepes and croissants were delicious!  +

The blood orange mimosas were tasty, but we didn't find out that they were $10 until the bill arrived.  Ouch. -

I'll be back for sure and would highly recommend Napoleon Bistro for brunch.  Hope you like it.

Napoleon on Urbanspoon

(202) 299-9630
Adams Morgan
1847 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Event: Taste of Arlington 2010

The Taste Returns Sunday, May 16th

Discounted Tickets Available Online

The Ballston Partnership is pleased to announce that Taste of Arlington 2010 will take place on Sunday, May 16th from noon to 5 p.m. What has become a beloved spring Arlington tradition will be back this year and bigger than ever. In addition to a wide array of Arlington’s favorite eateries, the Taste will also feature a juried arts and crafts show, children’s activities and live entertainment. Visitors can also taste wines from local Tarara Vineyards, listen to the smooth sounds of Marcus Johnson and teach their families about food safety inside the new interactive FDA Food Safety Zone.

The Ballston Partnership has teamed up with the Clarendon Alliance, Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, Rosslyn Renaissance, and the Crystal City BID to present the Taste of Arlington, a celebration of their collective communities and the largest single day event in Arlington. Proceeds from Taste of Arlington will benefit the Virginia Hospital Center and Arlington Community Foundation.

For the latest updates, follow us on Twitter: @TasteArlington

Highlights of the 2010 Taste of Arlington

Participating Restaurants: 3 Bar and Grill Argia's Italian Best Buns Bread Co. Busboys and Poets Carlyle Caribbean Breeze Chevy’s Fresh Mex Cityhouse at Hyatt Arlington Culinaire Dan and Brad’s Domaso Trattoria First Down Sports Bar & Grill Front Page Grand Cru Jaleo Crystal City & Wine Shop La Tasca Liberty Tavern   Lyon Hall Melting Pot Moorenko’s Northside Social PF Chang’s Pinzimini Rock Bottom Rustico Restaurant Sangam Restaurant Ted’s Montana Grill Thirsty Bernie Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream Union Jack’s British Pub Velocity Five Willow

Performances By:
Marcus Johnson
The U.S. Army Band Downrange
Levine School of Music’s Virginia Big Band
The Children's Spanish Chorus or El Coro Infantil en Espanol
Bowen McCauley Dance’s Kenmore Junior Company

Also stilt-walkers, jugglers and much much more!

Other Highlights:
Wines from Tarara Vineyards
FDA Interactive Food Safety Discovery Zone
Jump Street

The 23rd Annual Taste of Arlington - a lively street festival that celebrates community by bringing together over 40 restaurants, local talent, arts and crafts, children’s activities and an average of 12,000 people from the greater Washington, DC area.  

Wilson Boulevard in front of Ballston Common Mall. Parking is available all day for $1 at the Ballston Public Parking Garage adjacent to the Ballston Common Mall Metro Ballston-MU station (Orange line). Bike Valet Service provided by Washington Area Bicyclist Association  

Sunday, May 16th, noon to - 5 p.m.  

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required to taste.       
Advance Online Tickets: eight Tastes for $20 Day of Event Tickets: eight Tastes for $25
One food sample costs one Taste Beer and wine cost two Tastes       
Tickets are on sale now at:

The Weekly Round Up

Ted's Bulletin opened on Barracks Row this week from the creators of Matchbox. Stop in for breakfast and enjoy "The Big Mark Breakfast" ( 3 eggs, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, hash browns, toast, and a homemade pop tart) or "Mark on an Off Day" (2 eggs, sausage or bacon, hash browns or toast). Check out the rest of their menu here.

For those who have been anticipating the opening of London-based Wagamama, it looks as if the future of the restaurant is up in the air. According to the Washington Business Journal, the noodle company is re-evaluating its options.

Top Chef DC bios were posted on Bravo's website. Mark your calendars, the popular show premiers on June 16th at 9 pm.

Biergarten Haus, from the owners of Russia House, will not open this weekend; rather, look for the grand opening in a few weeks. According to a letter posted on the restaurant's website, the owners wanted to ensure the best service and atmosphere for its customers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Event: Local Food Personalities at 4th Annual Brainfood Grill-Off and Fundraiser

This outdoor grilling competition and fundraiser features teams of local chefs, amateur cooks and Brainfood program graduates. Using a pantry of secret ingredients (a la Iron Chef), teams will present their dishes to a panel of local food personalities for judgment. 

Chefs include: Daniel Giusti, 1789, Kyle Bailey; Birch & Barley; Kevin Villalovos, Cure; Dean Gold, Dino’s; Teddy Folkman, Granville Moore’s; Shannon Overmiller, The Majestic; Glenn Babcock, Nage; Bryan Moscatello, Zola and Potenza.

                        Special guests and celebrity judges will be announced soon!

WHEN:             Thursday, June 10, 2010
6:30pm - 9:30pm

WHERE:           Decatur House on Lafayette Square
1610 H Street, NW, Washington DC

TICKETS:         $75/person, including hors d’oeuvres, buffet, wine tasting, and open bar. Casual attire.

About Brainfood:
Brainfood is a nonprofit youth development organization that uses food and cooking as tools to teach life skills and healthy living to teenagers in a safe, healthy and positive environment. Local high school students participate in our programs either twice a week after school or five days a week for six weeks during the summer. Activities include hands-on cooking classes, lectures, field trips and community service projects. Brainfood graduates are equipped with practical cooking skills, an introduction to the food industry, a framework for nutritious eating, and leadership and life experiences that prepare them to make a difference in their communities. Brainfood is in its 10th year of operations and has locations in the Columbia Heights and Chinatown neighborhoods of Washington, DC. For more information, visit:

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Looking forward to Cuisine des Artistes tonight!

Appetizer artists (Appetizers and cocktails will be served from 6:30-7:30)
Robert Bettmann
Kristina Bilonick
Judy Byron and Rick Reinhard
Adam Dwight
Chanan Delivuk
Victoria Greising
Peter Hapstak and Trevor Young
Ellen Hill
Dana Jeri Maier
Kate MacDonnell
Ellington Robinson
Pam Rogers and Trudi Van Dyke
Karen Joan Topping
Jayme McLellan and Erick Jackson 
Jenny Walton
Matthew Smith
Patrick McDonough

Dan Searing of Room 11

Tapas-style entrees (Served from 7:30-9:30)
Chef Barton Seaver with artist Kate Damon
Chef Doug Cooperman of The International Culinary Schools at the Art Institute of Washington with Artist Kenny George
Chef Javier Duren and Tom Brown of The Passenger with artist Serinity Knight
Chef Dean Gold of Dino with artist Ellyn Weiss
Chef Randy Noprapra of KUSHI: Izakaya & Sushi with artist Thom Flynn
Chef Logan Cox of New Heights with artist Victoria F. Gaitán
Chef Gustavo Hupella of Rumba Café with artist Byron Peck

Desserts (Served from 9:00-10:00)
Carol Greenwood
A.B. Miner
Eve Hennessa
Billy Colbert and Rachelle Slotnick

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

More Fun at 555: Chef Singhofen of Eola and 2009 Prince of Porc, Chef RJ Cooper

Next, Chef Daniel Singhofen of Eola presented his plate.  I hadn't heard much about him or his restaurant before, but he did not disappoint. 
Chef Singhofen gave a great presentation of his dishes.
More tasting and judging.  So many great dishes.  The creativity of these chefs was extraordinary.  

RJ Cooper started us with a Pork Bomb (pig explosion or liquid schnitzel).  I loved how RJ gave us a sheet that listed each of his 12 dishes.  The chefs ran through their presentations so quickly that it was hard to jot down all of the dishes that we were tasting.  RJ wowed me once again.
He created his dishes based on the vast international use of the pig.  China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brazil...
More eating...
After the chefs were finished presenting, we had to put in our vote for the winner...more to come tomorrow!
Photos by Emily Clack

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More of 555: Varley and Palma

Yesterday, I told you about Chef Nicholas and today, I want to tell you about Joe Palma from Westend Bistro and David Varley of Bourbon Steak.

Joe Palma presented 5 dishes with the Tamworth hog.
 Then David Varley brought out his dishes.
He even made an Oreo-style cookie with pork lard.
It was hard to spot a winner until the end of the competition because all of the chefs did such a wonderful job and it was difficult compare until we'd tasted everything.

At this point, I was quite impressed by the creativity ... find out more tomorrow.
Photos by Emily Clack

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

555 Cochon 2010 DC: My judging experience

We started early the VIP with a "Surf & Turf" station featuring oysters from Choptank Oyster Company & Whole Foods and then dig into Gryffon's Aerie Devon Steak Tartare prepared by Chef Varley. 

We enjoyed the reserve wine tasting from Silver Oak Cellars, Blenheim Vineyards, Anderson's Conn Valley and Donkey & Goat Winery. 

Cowgirl Creamery presented an artisan cheese installation along side craft brews from Heavy Seas Beer. 

After the VIP reception, I headed into the judging room to begin the 45 course tasting. 

Brady Lowe introduced the chefs.  

The tasting began with NICHOLAS STEFANELLI - Bibiana.

Bev and Chef Nicholas served the courses to 20 hungry judges, including:  Nycci Nellis and Melissa McCart.

Each chef gave us a presentation about their dishes.

Chef Nicholas went all out with 18 dishes.  Impressive!

Dessert included nutella lollipops.

Already stuffed, we still had 4 more chefs to judge...find out more tomorrow!
Photos by Emily Clack

Monday, May 10, 2010

Did Somebody Say Chocolate?

French Toast S'Mores

Cheese Magic

Bolivarian Hall

Chocolate Crostini
Flourless Chocolate Dessert

While Mother's Day allows us to pay tribute to the women who supported us throughout our lives, it also allows us to buy heaps of chocolate to give and hopefully enjoy as well. I had the pleasure of taking my mother to Co Co Sala for Mother's Day brunch, which was delicious. French toast s'mores, breakfast flat breads, and cheese magic were one the menu in addition to the many desserts occupying the dessert bar. Since Co Co Sala is a chocolate lounge, chocolate was the primary theme and we all experienced a chocolate high about midway through our meal. It was all worth it though and we promised to return next year to celebrate.

I was surprised at my ability to handle this much sugar because only last Thursday did I have the opportunity to participate in a cooking with chocolate class at the Bolivarian Hall of the Venezuelan Embassy. All of the chocolate featured at the event originated in Venezuela. Susan Cohen of Biagio Fine Chocolate introduced numerous ways chocolate can be incorporated into your diet without being unhealthy. The menu included:
  • Chocolate Crostini: French bread brushed with olive oil and topped with semi-melted 64% chocolate pieces.
  • Cold Drinking Chocolate: Melted chocolate combined with water to create a drinkable chocolate. When making a chocolate beverage, it is best to use water because it will bring out the most intense flavors of the chocolate.
  • Cocoa Nib Caponata: A nib is the purest piece of chocolate, which makes it the healthiest way to eat chocolate. Combined with wine, yellow raisins, garlic, eggplant, chocolate balsamic vinegar, semi-sweet chocolate, and much more the chocolate mixture adorns a typical caponata. A caponata is made of cornmeal and is often served for breakfast in Venezuela.
  • Spicy Chocolate Wings: Sauteed with olive oil and marinated in tomato sauce, this contributes to the meaty texture of the chicken despite using chocolate.
  • Flourless Chocolate Dessert: Similar to an English creme sauce, this dessert is made of fondant and is essentially a solid creme sauce. Serve with berries to add a balance of chocolate and fruit.
If you are interested in learning more about cooking with chocolate be sure to visit Biagio's website. For more information regarding events at the Bolivarian Hall at the Venezuelan Embassy, click here.