Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Treats

If you're in town this weekend, go to the market and get some of those beautiful tomatoes and watermelon and enjoy a juicy salad!  I'll be making some Watermelon Sangria.

Photos by Mary Diaz

Asia Nine: La Dolce DC

– A Review
by: James Whitaker

Situated under the Galactic Empiresque brown J. Edgar Hoover building on E St. NW, Asia Nine serves up a contemporary mix of Far East and Southeast Asian-inspired dishes. From Japanese sushi to Thai’s Gway Tiew to Korean Sizzling Beef to Chinese Lo Mein, every Asian food enthusiast could find something on the menu that would peak their interest. 

Overview: The Cajun Experience

I'm happy to say that I had my first Cajun Experience and I'll be back for more.  Tucked away, down the stairs, you'll find the restaurant right next to Lauriol Plaza. Listen to  live music from New Orleans band Zachary Smith and the Dixie Power Trio and enjoy patio seating out back.  

Farewell to TenPenh, Lost Society Opening, 4th of July Deals and More

Join in on the closing day send-off of TenPenh restaurant for ONE DAY ONLY, Thursday, June 30, 2011. Come in for lunch or dinner to get your last tasty bites of the signature dishes that have pleased DC palates for over 11 years.  Diners can compliment their meal the entire day with HALF PRICE WINES, with the purchase of any main course. If wine is not your preference, which we took into account, and created Happy Hour ALL DAY! So don't miss specials such as $5 for specialty cocktails, plus small plates from the Izakaya Bar and Lounge Menu that features items such as Kobe Beef Sliders and Chili Brined Chicken Wings.  PLUS, TWO DOLLAR DRAFT BEER starting at 6pm...until the well runs dry.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Eating and Drinking Around Town: 1789, Urban Table and Watershed

Riseling Poached Breast of Market Chicken with morel mushroom agnolotti, charred asparagus and green peppercorn chicken jus from Chef Todd Gray
This summer has treated my stomach well.  I've been eating all over town and loving every minute.  Where have you been eating and drinking this summer?

Behind-The-Bistro: Courtyard Marriott

Eat, drink, and connect: The Bistro at Courtyard by Marriott can satisfy all 3 in one spot “for any business or leisure travelers who are motivated by success and enjoy the break from routine.” As a food enthusiast and an avid traveler, I had the opportunity to take a backstage pass as a panelist on Behind-The-Bistro Food Experience to see just what this cutting edge space has to offer. Whether you’re a frequent traveling executive or a family with kids, The Bistro is sure to satisfy all taste buds! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Overview: El Centro

Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor:  Ambiance inspired by the dining experiences of Mexico City
  • Food:  Casual Mexican food.  I loved the shrimp quesadillas from the late-night menu.
  • Drinks:  200 tequilas and mezcals
  • Price: Reasonable
  • Would I go back?  Yes.

Monday, June 27, 2011


We had the best time at the RAMMY awards last night.  Everyone was dressed to impress, the food was delicious and it was fun to see so many familiar faces.

Free Yogurt today at Cava Grill!

Photo by Emily Clack
Cava Grill will offer locally produced yogurt, served with a choice of toppings, including berries, honey, granola, and walnuts free today between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., at Cava Grill’s Bethesda location.

Closer Look: Noridic Food Days

If you missed the Nordic Food Days last week, check out this video to get a closer look at New Nordic Cuisine.  Special thanks to Nick Szpara for filming and editing.  Also, thank you to all of the Nordic countries and embassies for bringing DC a taste of New Nordic Food!

Event: 21st Annual Chef’s Best Dinner and Auction

Tonight, more than 55 of the region’s brightest culinary stars will converge on the Washington Hilton to help raise money for Food and Friends at the year’s biggest and most charitable event – the annual Chef’s Best Dinner and Auction presented by and honoring ING.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nordic Kick-off Provided Washingtonians A Taste of New Nordic Cuisine!

The House of Sweden was the perfect spot to kick-off this week's Nordic Food Days.  
The views from the rooftop overlook the water in Georgetown.  I was so excited for DC to finally get a taste of New Nordic Cuisine. 
This guy enjoyed himself!
 It is not too late for you to get a taste at Vidalia, Masa 14, DC Coast, Marcel's or Birch and Barley.  Also, stop by the Nordic Pavilion at the RAMMY's this Sunday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Lounge Kicks Off Summer with a New Menu

One Lounge has all the essentials for a great night out – good food, strong drinks and plenty of room to chat with your date or dance the night away. The space is divided up into several candle-lit rooms with cozy sitting areas around every corner. The mismatched chairs, oriental rugs and crown molding throughout the lounge make you feel like you’ve stumbled into someone’s house party. (The ultimate house party with lots of attractive people and all the vodka you could ever need.)

Nordic Food, Food Trucks, Water Balloon Fights and More Fun Food Events Coming Up

Photo by Emily Clack
Nordic Food Days is taking place June 19-26th. Washingtonians will be invited to experience food prepared by five of the world’s best chefs from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden over the course of one week.  Don't miss out on New Nordic cuisine!


Photo by Kristen Finn
Fire up your grill and enjoy some old school favorites on the next episode of Capital Cooking.  Airing on this Friday (6/24) at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 a..m. on WETA Create,, Capital Cooking’s Lauren DeSantis will feature Wellington Burgers, Fried Pickles, Sweet Potato Fries, and an “Adult” Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake.  

WETA Create

Your favorite how-to, cooking, and travel programs, 24 hours a day.
  • Via antenna: 26.2
  • Comcast: 265
  • Cox: 800
  • Verizon FiOS: 474
  • RCN: 39

Freixenet Cava Food Truck in DC from June 23-26

The Freixenet Cava Food Truck is making its way through DC this weekend. What is Freixenet you ask? Freixenet (pronounced fresh-eh-net) is a cava, Spain's sparkling white wine, with a near 100-year history of wine-making in the Méthode Champenoise, the same process used to make champagne. The food truck is on a tour of five east coast cities and is in DC from June 23-26 to show that the "Black Bottle Bubbly" is not just for celebrating, but can also be great paired with a variety foods and for everyday drinking. And what better food to enjoy with Spain's sparkling wine than Tapas of course!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just Opened: Codmother

The U Street Corridor was abuzz last night as locals gathered to celebrate the opening of Codmother. Featuring all the makings of an authentic English pub, the subterranean restaurant exudes an eclectic yet cozy vibe. Exposed brick fades into rich, dark wood paneling. Plastered along the walls are old maps, photos, newspaper clippings and sketches paying homage to the great codfish, creating an ambiance that transports you a British countryside watering hole.

Eating around Town: Demystifying Seafood

The Museum of Natural History was filled with people interested in learning more about sustainable seafood.  Top Chef contestant, Carla Hall, made a delicious blue fish dish.  The chefs cooked up an impressive menu highlighting amazing seafood.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Nordic Cuisine in DC!

Photo by Emily Clack
This past March, I began my exploration of New Nordic Cuisine in Iceland, but now you will have the chance to get a taste right here in DC.    Lucky for you, the embassies of the Nordic countries are bringing the region’s best and most creative chefs to the United States for the very first time ever.  Don't miss the Nordic Food Days June 19-26th!  Can't wait to see my friend Siggi and meet the other Nordic Chefs.

Opening: Graffiato Opens this Thursday!

Top Chef All-Stars Runner-Up Mike Isabella will open his first restaurant, Graffiato, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on June 23. The no-frills two-story eatery, composed of bricks, cinder blocks, wooden booths and teak composite countertops, is a raw space reminiscent of the Italian bistros Chef Isabella grew up frequenting in New Jersey, yet the menu is anything but traditional Italian fare. Artisanal pizzas, house-made seasonal vegetable dishes, locally procured meats and cheeses and Italian-inspired small plates comprise the menu, which is sourced almost entirely from the East Coast. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Capital Cooking Debuts on WETA Create Tonight!

Capital Cooking is dimming the lights and lighting the candles in preparation for a Romantic Dinner for Two. On the newest episode of Capital Cooking, host Lauren DeSantis walks viewers through creating a meaningful dinner for the one you love.  Capital Cooking will be debuting tonight at 7:30 p.m. and will air every Friday at that time!

WETA Create

Your favorite how-to, cooking, and travel programs, 24 hours a day.
  • Via antenna: 26.2
  • Comcast: 265
  • Cox: 800
  • Verizon FiOS: 474
  • RCN: 39

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Events: Urban Farm Table and More

The Second Annual Urban Farm Table Under the Stars will take place Friday, June 17, 2011 at 6:30 PM.   The four course celebration will take place on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the International Trade Center and Ronald Reagan Building. The presenting chefs for Urban Farm Table on the Plaza are Jaime Montes de Oca of Zentan; Todd Gray of Equinox and Watershed; Xavier Deshayes of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center; and Amy Brandwein of Casa Nonna.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tribute to Fathers: Chef Chris Clime – PassionFish

Father's Day is right around the corner.  Unfortunately I won't be able to go home to St. Louis to grill with my dad, but I wish I could.  The past couple of weeks we've been asking local chefs about their traditions with their fathers and children to share some of the stories with you.  Check out Chef Chris Clime's story below.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tribute to Fathers: Chef Jaime Montes de Oca of Zentan

Chef Jaime Montes de Oca of Zentan likes to cook with his daugther.  Happy Father's Day this weekend!

Eating around Town: Nats, Prime Rib, Watershed and Whisked!

Ballpark Eats are Enhanced:  The Nationals are unveiling some delicious new culinary offerings today with the new Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk.  Located on the Mezzanine Level behind the Main Scoreboard, the Walk offers fans an elevated view of the field while enjoying pregame music, drink specials and tasty food.  And yes, they are also playing the best team in baseball today, the Cardinals!!  Go Cards!  
Lucky for me, I finally got a taste of the Shake Shack minus the line.  I loved the cheese fries and greasy burger.  So good!  Now the Nationals Stadium is more than just a baseball destination, it is worth the trip to get a taste of Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, El Verano Taqueria and Box Frites too!  
Don't forget $5 happy hour beer specials are available 2 1/2 hours prior to the first pitch for all home games of 2011.
Shake Shack on Urbanspoon

The Prime Rib:  The most coveted award in the foodservice industry - the Silver Plate Award - was presented to Buzz Beler, founder and owner of The Prime Rib. The Silver Plate Award recognizes excellence in foodservice operations and pays tribute to winners’ contributions to the advancement of the foodservice industry.  Beler earned the 2011 Silver Plate Award in the Independent Restaurants category. Beler invited us to the restaurant to give us a taste.  Walking into the Prime Rib is like walking into a scene of Mad Men, elegant and Manhattan inspired.  
The restaurant has been opened since 1965 and serves some of the best steaks in town.  Expect exceptional service and tummies full of  USDA Prime steaks.  I'll be back on my next special occasion.
Best Potato Skins!
(202) 466-8811

2020 K St NW
Washington, DC 20006
The Prime Rib on Urbanspoon

Watershed:  Todd and Ellen Gray (owners of Equinox) recently opened Watershed in the NoMa area.  Watershed has a great outdoor patio that seats 45 guests and the most delicious fresh seafood.  I loved the gumbo.  The restaurant also provides catering services for all grand ballroom weddings, events and corporate meetings, as well as in-room dining service for hotel guests.   You can get there easily by taking the Red line metro to New York Ave.  I hope to make it back again soon.
Todd Gray's Watershed on Urbanspoon
(202) 534-1350

Whisked!:  Stephanie Willis and Jenna Huntsberger launched Whisked!, an online and farmers market bakery stand just two weeks ago. Already a huge success, Whisked! treats are selling out each week at the 14th and U St Farmers market and online orders keep rolling in.  The red velvet cake is amazing! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tribute to Fathers: Chef Jeff Tunks

We caught up with Chef and Partner Jeff Tunks – Passion Food Hospitality to find out what he likes to make on Father's Day.  Jeff and I had a blast judging the Food and Fun Festival in Iceland.  Happy Early Father's Day Jeff!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Book Review: The Pastry Chef’s Apprentice

Initial Thoughts:
  • Photos:  Great photos including step-by-step shots to help you through the recipe making sure you know what the pastry should look like throughout the process
  • Recipes:  Some of the recipes seem a little complicated for the home cook containing ingredients that might not be easily accessible.
  • Would I recommend this book?  Yes.  Anyone interested in pastries would surely learn a lot from The Pastry Chef's Apprentice.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at The Sweet Lobby

Tucked away in the Barrack’s Row area of Capitol Hill is a new boutique bakery founded by two down-to-earth and hospitable siblings who view dessert as not just a reward for eating your dinner, but rather as a way of life. The McIntosh siblings are nervously preparing for their grand opening of The Sweet Lobby, yet they should be more worried about where they will expand once their business takes off. Simply put, some of the products that The Sweet Lobby offers are exquisite. The space, though quite small, is located right next to Dunkin Donuts on 8th Street. I actually had to walk past it several times before I realized the tiny area was my destination.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Beginning: Capital Cooking

I've always wanted to do a cooking show, but I didn't know how to make it happen. About six months after drafting scripts and episode ideas, I decided to go up to the local television station to take some of the production classes and they informed me that the Fairfax station actually had a cooking studio. I went over to FPA and took some classes there as well and sent out a request to find a crew. I thought long and hard about what to name the show and what the concept would be. I finally decided on Capital Cooking because I really wanted to highlight the flavor and cuisine of our nation's capital. It turns out the cuisine here is a lot like the people, a melting pot. We have many international choices as well as different regional dishes from all over the country.

Tribute to Fathers: Chef David Guas

We caught up with Chef/Owner David Guas - Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery to see what he liked to make with his kids on Father's Day.  Check out what he had to say and learn how to make one of his ice cream recipes.

More Food Fun Coming Up

Sustainable Seafood Fare is tonight. Sample a wide variety of sustainable seafood dishes created by chefs of Washington and the Gulf states while learning more from the chefs about choosing and preparing sustainable seafood. In addition, assorted charcuterie, desserts, artisanal cheeses, and wines from 25 wineries provided by members of the Rhone Rangers from California to Virginia will also be served.

“What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
Come celebrate the opening of the new National Archives exhibit with José Andrés. The James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef discusses the history of American food and cooking with Atlantic Senior Editor, Corby Kummer.
Friday, June 10, at 7 P.M.
The National Archives
William G. McGowan Theater

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Event: Sustainable Seafood Fare

  • WHAT:  Sustainable Seafood Fare to mark World Oceans Day
  • WHERE:  Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW (Constitution Avenue entrance)
  • WHEN:  June 9th, 6:45-10 p.m.
  • GET THE CAPITAL COOKING DISCOUNT ($15 OFF):  The promo code is 184654.  The ticket price includes admission to the evening seminar and wine and dine reception. (To purchase tickets, they can visit: or call 202-633-3030.) 
Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to learn about sustainability.  We have to find ways to save the fish to continue to enjoy our love of eating seafood.  

Tribute to Fathers: Chef Kaz Kazmi

Kaz Kazmi, chef/owner of Merzi, loves to make breakfast with his kids.  Here's his favorite recipe below.  Happy Early Father's Day!

Tackle Box Opens in Cleveland Park

Last night I checked out Tackle Box's newest  Cleveland Park location.   Local VIPs such as Carlos Gray (Mayor Vincent Gray's son), WUSA 9's Andrea Roane, NBC 4's John Schriffen, Capitol File Magazine Editor-In-Chief Kate Bennett, 94.7 FRESH FM's Tommy McFly, KStreetKate's Kate Michael and Luxxery Med Spa Celebrity Plastic Surgeon Dr. Ayman Hakki among others made a toast to owner Jonathan Umbel's second seafood shack.  The lobster was delicious and the restaurant is spacious.  Stop by the next time you're in the area.

Recipe: Insalata Fine Estate

Photo by Mary Diaz
This recipe was featured on our Rustic Roman Afternoon episode.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

L'Auberge Chez Francois: My New Favorite Restaurant

I can't imagine a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

Burgers and Shakes Preview

Burgers & Shakes - Final from Capital Cooking on Vimeo.

Here's a Sneak Peek of Burgers and Shakes:  The burger craze has swept across the country, and the heart of the nation has been credited for launching the trend. Burger joints, specializing in gourmet burgers and all of the perfect pairings including delicious milkshakes, have fired up their grills around the District.  The once-simple hamburger is now dressed with exotic toppings — everything from avocado, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, fried pickles to a variety of cheeses. We have just the gourmet burger to satisfy your appetite. So gather your friends and family, and join Lauren as she shows you how to create the perfect combination of burgers and shakes.  This episode of Capital Cooking will feature Wellington Burgers, Fried Pickles, Sweet Potato Fries and Chocolate Peanut Butter Adult Milkshakes.

Tribute to Fathers: Chef Tom Elder

Leading up to Father's Day, I thought it would be fun to honor the chefs around DC who are also fathers.  We'll be featuring recipes that our favorite chefs enjoy making with their children.  Check out Chef Tom's Creme Brulee!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eating and Drinking Around Town: SAVOR Re-Cap

Saturday evening was a ton of fun at SAVOR in the National Building Museum.  My favorite of the evening was Funkwerks White.  Perfect for summer sipping!

Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Adult Milkshake

Photo by Kristen Finn
Take your milkshake up a notch by making it "adult" style.  Learn this recipe and more on Capital Cooking's Burger and Shake episode this month on WETA Create Fridays at 7:30 p.m.