Monday, October 31, 2011

Acqua Al 2 Transports You To Italy Without The Flight

 Initial Thoughts:
  • Design and Decor: Welcoming atmosphere with wooden tables and chairs.  Exposed brick walls.  Casual Setting.
  • Food:  Tuscan Cuisine, including the Filet Mignon with a blueberry sauce.  You've got to try it. 
  • Drinks: Good Italian Wine.
  • Would I go back?  Yes!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keep Food Warm Without Burning It

The ThermiCo casserole consists of a stainless steel cooking pot and a form fitting ceramic bowl. Once cooking is done, the pot can be placed into the bowl that will keep the pots contents warm for up to two hours.  This will avoid all of the burning food from the crock pot.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cookbook Review: 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes: Quick and Delicious Mouthwatering Dishes for the Healthy Cook

Initial Thoughts:
  • Recipes:  Gluten-free and vegetarian diets are more popular than ever, for reasons of health and sustainability, and with the holiday season approaching at astonishing speed, 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes (Avery 2011) provides recipes that will allow guests with and without dietary restrictions to join around the table and feast.  Not the most accessible ingredients, but it is worth it if you have friends with allergies.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thinking of Drinking: The Perfect Cocktail to Keep You Warm

Legal Sea Foods recently launched a new Raising the Bar cocktail menu at their D.C. area restaurants, including three signature drinks that promise to keep you warm as the temperature outside starts to drop. Capital Cooking has teamed up with Legal Sea Foods to bring these great recipes directly to you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


NEXT EPISODE FEATURES SPECIAL GUEST CHEF DIMITRI MOSHIVITIS OF CAVA airing this Friday on WETA Create at 7:30 p.m. and encore at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Event: 5-Course Port City Brewing Beer Dinner at 3

Bill Butcher, Founder of Alexandria's Port City Brewing Company joins 3 for a creative 5-course beer tasting dinner featuring exclusive, unreleased brews.

Win Tickets to the Potomac River Wine Cruise Tomorrow Night!

I have 12 tickets to tomorrow night's 8:30 p.m. Potomac River wine cruise.  Add your favorite Virginia wine in the comments to enter to win.  

Upcoming Food Fun: National Champagne Day and More...

October 28, 2011: In celebration of National Champagne Day, Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s flagship restaurant, Marcel’s, is having a $100 French Tasting featuring three specialty champagnes each paired with three extravagant hors d'oeuvres.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eat with your Eyes: Rosemary Scented Pavlova

Is your mouth watering?  You can find this ROSEMARY SCENTED PAVLOVA with lemon curd, crème fraiche, and local berries at Art and Soul for $8.  Do you have a food photo that would make others drool?  If so, email me at and we can include it in Eat with your Eyes.

Photo by Kristen Finn

Happy Birthday Heather!

Metro Cooking Show Back in DC

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

On Monday evening, DC media members gathered at PS7's Restaurant for a preview of what's to come at this year's Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show. The event, also held in Atlanta and Houston, will be held at the Washington Convention Center on November 5th and 6th.

Event planners and DC food writers sampled small bites from Peter Smith and drank wine and fabulous fall cocktails by Gina Chersevani and Owen Thomson, who will be competing against each other in cocktail throwdown. The two spoke to the group, wearing boxing gloves in preparation and playfully giving a couple jabs in the process. Each admitted that the brother-sister relationship they have isn't getting in the way of wanting to come out victorious during the three-round competition.

Gina Chersevani, Owen Thomson and chef Peter Smith talk about upcoming Metro Cooking events

One of the highlights of the evening was Jacques Pepin joining in via Skype and chef Michel Richard of Citronelle stepping up to the mic to address his friend. At one point, Pepin even picked up his dog onto his lap to say hello to the crowd. Both chefs were happy to see each other, almost unknowing of how excited the rest of the room was to see the two of them. Both Pepin and Richard will be making presentations during the Metro Cooking Show weekend.

Chef Michel Richard addresses Jacques Pepin via Skype

Guests at the show have more to look forward to than ever. There will be two full days to visit with and learn from chefs, attend tastings, and go to workshops. Over 350 companies will also be present for shopping needs. Products will range from gourmet food to party planners.

Events to look forward to:
Visit to learn more and to buy tickets online.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday Night Suppers at Watershed

Watershed recently began offering Friday Suppers.  We checked out Friday night's Fish Fry.  Not only did we enjoy tasty fried fish, there was also an amazing live blue grass band. 

Fun Food Products to get ready for Halloween

Specialty food makers are scaring up plenty of treats for Halloween this year.

Lauren's Picks: 
  • For the timid yet curious, try a hint of heat in Theo Chocolate’s Ghost Chili Caramels, winner of the 2011 sofi Award for the outstanding confection of the year.  I loved the spicy kick.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Härth Brings New Warmth to Tysons Corner

Härth may be one of the most hidden gems in Tysons Corner. The sleek yet cozy restaurant is illuminated by double sided glass fireplaces and dimly lit lighting features above that resemble art more than lights. The posh white booths and dark wood tables create a relaxed but refined dining experience.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cookbook Review: The Art of Beef Cutting

Initial Thoughts:
  • Recipes:  This isn't really a recipe cookbook, but more of a book about mastering butchering techniques.
  • Photos:  There are many helpful full-color photos, including step-by-step shots to teach you how to cut the meat.
  • Would I recommend this book?  I would recommend this book if you are looking to learn how to cut meat.  The Art of Beef Cutting is the perfect reference and training manual for anyone who wants to master the basic techniques of beef fabrication.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cookbook Review: Quick and Easy Autumn by Goose Berry Patch

With a chill in the air and apples, pumpkins, and squash at their peak harvest, what better way to begin a new season than with some fall-friendly recipes?  Goose Berry Patch cookbooks are national best-sellers that have wonderful ideas and themes for the holidays. Capital Cooking was lucky enough to receive a copy of the Quick and Easy Autumn edition for review. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thinking of Drinking: Jarritos

The Day of the Dead celebration is going on at Oyamel.  Stop in to try a Jarrito or make one at home.

Thinking of Drinking: Violet Beauregard Part 2

If you are the type of cocktail lover that doesn't want their drink to be overly sweet, you'll love the Violet Beauregard Part 2.  This drink is made with the Italian apertif, Aperol.  Aperol is an orange flavored spirit that is slightly less bitter than Campari. Salute!

Josephine Nightclub and Lounge Pairs with Belvedere Red

photo credit: Dave Phillipich
by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

On Tuesday, an invitation-only Friends and Family list enjoyed an evening spent at the newly remodeled Josephine Nightclub and Lounge. Designed by Mark Lehmkuhl, the decor is trendy and all-around fabulous. A mark of the Miami-based designer, the entire space can be plucked from it's McPherson Square location, placed in South Beach, and it wouldn't miss a beat.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Upcoming Food Fun: Wine Riot, Fish Fry, Oktoberfest and more

Wine Riot:  Try over 250 different wines from every major country and region on the planet.
Opening Night: Friday, Oct. 21, 7-11 PM
Riot One: Saturday, Oct. 22, 1-5 PM
Riot Two: Saturday, Oct. 22, 7-11 PM
Location: Daughters of the Revolution Constitution Hall
1776 D Street Northwest, Washington, DC

Fish Fry (October 21, 7:00pm)
Steeped in tradition, the diverse origins of the Fish Fry range from Italy and the Feast of the Seven Fishes, to Prohibition-era Wisconsin, where restaurants and taverns created Fish Fry social events to replace alcohol and provide a fun, affordable activity for the whole family. Watershed is putting its own spin on the Fish Fry, keeping the neighborhood-focused, friendly atmosphere, and adding 
traditional Mid-Atlantic coastal dishes and beverages from DC Brau. Check out the full menu.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crazy for Cupcakes: Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cupcakes

In the mood for some cupcakes?  How about these Peanut Butter and Chocolate ones?  Treat yourself to some tasty goodness.

Hold Out Your Glass This Weekend

After three years selling out Boston, Wine Riot launched a US tour in 2011 hitting up LA, Boston, Chicago, NY and is now rolling into DC at the Daughters of Revolution Constitution Hall on October 21st and 22nd!

A Sparkling Evening with Marc Brevot

Last week, Marc Brevot, the Moet and Chandon winemaker, joined a small group of media at Zentan to uncork endless bottles of exceptional Champagne.  I usually only pop open the bubbly for special occasions, so this dinner was quite a treat.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don't want to hassle with cooking your own turkey?

Order your turkey dinner at Carmine's.  The legendary Italian restaurant Carmine’s is going patriotic this Thanksgiving! All locations of the restaurant are temporarily forgoing their Southern Italian roots in favor of a menu that focuses on iconic American dishes. So instead of laboring all day over a hot stove to serve your family an amazing meal, just head to Carmine’s for a traditional Thanksgiving at its best!

Culinary Journey to Lima and Tokyo

For the rest of October, stop into Zengo to try Taste of Lima-Tokyo menu.  Chef Richard Sandoval never ceases to impress with his clever culinary creations.  

Chupe de Mariscos:  Seafood soup with shrimp, clams and cockles

New Tasting Menu at Zentan

ZENTAN, debuts a tempting $85 per person Chef’s Tasting menu. With seasonal recipes created by renowned Chef Susur Lee, which are artfully prepared by Executive Chef Jaime Montes De Oca, this new dinner option at ZENTAN begins October 19, 2011. It is available exclusively on Wednesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the 45-seat private dining room, and is priced at $85 per person with wine pairings (exclusive of tax and gratuity).

Grab Lunch at Hank's on Fridays

Chef Leeds in action
Hank’s Oyster and Lounge will now be extending its popular menu of New England beach fare to include lunch service exclusively on Fridays.  Located just off Dupont Circle at 1624 Q Street, NW, Hank’s will offer fresh lunchtime dishes that are easy on the wallet as everything will be priced under $18.  Lunch at Hank’s debuts Friday, October 21st and will be available from 11:30 AM until 3 PM.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cookbook Review: Vegan Holiday Kitchen

Initial Thoughts:
  • Recipes:  200 vegan recipes with menu ideas.
  • Would I buy this book?  Maybe.  It is best for the specialty market for vegans, but could be useful to other cooks as well with vegan friends.
I'm not vegan, but more of my friends have been developing food allergies so this book is a great resource to have on hand for ideas of what to make for food sensitive friends.   Nava Atlas fills the biggest gap in the vegan repertoire with more than 200 completely doable recipes for every festive occasion.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Viewing Party to Raise Money for Breast Cancer at BGR tonight!!


BGR and Capital Cooking are teaming up for the first Viewing Party of Burgers and Shakes!  We'll have two televisions set up to watch the show.  Hope you can make it!
  • Where:  BGR (Dupont location) 1514 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • When:  Friday, October 14th from 7-8:30 p.m.
  • What:  Viewing party of Burgers and Shakes
  • Why:  $2 Wellington Burgers, $2 Sweet Potato Fries, Free Champagne and 100% of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Upcoming Food Fun: Capital Cooking Viewing Party, Taste of Georgetown and More

BGR and Capital Cooking are teaming up for the first Viewing Party of Burgers and Shakes!  We'll have two televisions set up to watch the show.  
  • Where:  BGR (Dupont location) 1514 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • When:  Friday, October 14th from 7-8:30 p.m.
  • What:  Viewing party of Burgers and Shakes
  • Why:  $2 Wellington Burgers, $2 Sweet Potato Fries, Free Champagne and 100% of the proceeds to Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer

Celebrate the Day of the Dead at Oyamel

From October 17th until November 2nd, Oyamel will feature two new cocktails and a menu showcasing classic dishes from Michoacan, the home of Mexico’s famous forests. 
Get a taste today of Oyamel’s Day of the Dead celebration at the Penn Quarter FRESHFARM Market where Sous Chef Ryan Collins will demonstrate a recipe from the festivalDemo starts at 4 pm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spotlight: Meet Apollina Spoto

Meet Apollina Spoto.  She makes the most amazing cakes inspired by fashion.  Her cakes are absolutely beautiful and I love a woman who has a life outside of work:)  Apollina gives us the inside scoop on her fashion/baking passion.  I'm hoping to get a bite sometime soon!

Overview: Floriana

Initial Thoughts:
  • Would I go back?  Yes.
  • Service:  Outstanding
  •  Design and Decor:  Located in DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood, Floriana's occupies a historic brick-stone row house that has been converted into a cozy restaurant, but hasn't given up the feel of coming over to someones home for dinner. Also offers patio seating for 26 guests.  Super cute!
  •  Food:  Delicious handmade Italian pasta
  • Drinks: Great wine list and fun cocktails

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Don't Miss Taste of Georgetown This Saturday!!

The 18th annual Taste of Georgetown is coming up on Saturday, October 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be even bigger, literally, than in years past. Showcasing the spectacular cuisine of over 30 of Georgetown's finest restaurants, the "must eat" event is expanding down to K Street this year and will also feature an exciting new chef "Pumpkin Food Fight" competition, a huge Washington City Paper Wine, Ale and Spirits Pavilion with 25+ craft beers, creative cocktails and refreshing wines, the jazz talents of world-renowned Blues Alley and more.

Perfect Pair: Mixed Greens and Figs with A Selection of Wine

Tuesdays is all about pairing food and drinks with the help of our experts.  This week, wine expert, Andrew Stover,  helped us select the perfect pairings for our Mixed Greens with Fresh Figs, Goat Cheese, Caramelized Walnuts and Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Andrew is the sommelier of OYA, SEI and SAX Restaurants and the founder of Vino50: The Grape American Road Trip.

Capital Cooking Partners with Host a Toast

Host a Toast, a new company dedicated to executing at-home spirit, wine and food tastings, is partnering with Capital Cooking to help you make your next event a huge success.  Grab your friends and contact us to learn the secrets to pairing spirits and food.  We can customize the evening just for you.  The recent launch event gave guests a small taste of what Host a Toast can offer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Burgers and Shakes: The Wellington Burger

Learn how to make this burger on Capital Cooking!!  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. 

Pink Jams! Presents Take a Bite out of Breast Cancer

For the entire month of October, more than 24 DC area restaurants have committed their establishments for one day, a week, or the entire month, and will generously donate a portion of their food and beverage sales to the first annual Take a Bite out of Breast Cancer -  an outreach and fundraising campaign focusing on educating Washington, DC area residents about the importance of early detection and awareness and supports Pink Jams!, a DC area non-profit promoting breast cancer awareness to young men and women.

Drink Up! 2011 Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest

by Samantha Grieder
Capital Cooking Contributor

On Saturday, October 8th, crowds gathered for the 12th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest Beer Festival. With about 100 vendors, the Village at Shirlington was packed with beer lovers. With taps open from noon to 6 p.m., there was plenty of time to make selections and taste classics to new favorites.

Tickets sold at a base price of $25 and included a wristband, tasting glass courtesy of Capital City Brewing Co., and ten tasting tickets, which seemed to be just enough for most who attended.

Familiar brands included Sam Adams and Allagash, Sierra Nevada and Yuengling. And for those wanting something a little more foreign, there were bound to be a few tents marked with unfamiliar names. Seasonal beers were popular, with many breweries electing to serve their Oktoberfest and Pumpkin varieties. And then there were the eyebrow-raising, truly unexpected, selections, like the almost-confusing and actually a bit sour, Sour Apple beer produced by Epic. For fans of the extra-hoppy glass, area-prominent DC Brau made an appearance, with the brand representative dressed for the occasion in ever-festive lederhosen.

And what's an Oktoberfest without a little food to soak up all the liquid? German food was available for purchase, as long as the 45-minute line wouldn't hold you back. For those willing to wait it out, Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Knackwurst and Bauernwurst were the rewards. Add a side of sweet potato salad, sauerkraut and mustard, for the full German experience. Want more? Bavarian pretzels, larger than your head, were a popular choice. Grab an apple strudel for dessert, and find a place in the shade to sit down.

All in all, Oktoberfest on a gorgeous day is the perfect recipe for success. Guests seemed very pleased, and while overwhelming from the outside-looking-in, making one's way through the event turned out to be very manageable. Having seemingly endless beer taps available in rows helped spread out crowds so that lines weren't too long. 

From the hoppy DC Brau to dark milk stouts to easy-drinking Hefeweizen or fruity Lambics, there was something to please everyone who attended. For a break in the glass pouring, stopping to sit by the fountain or listen to the German music proved successful. Fancy a cigar? Those were available as well. By the 6 p.m. tap closing, a full stomach and content taste buds were perfectly ready for a nap. After all, the event has been 12 years going. Certainly enough time for the planners to get everything just right.

Grand Opening at Zabb

The grand opening of Zabb was spectacular!

Zabb has a wonderful ambiance with low lighting, clean, modern lines, and a U-shaped bar for drinks on one side and fresh sushi on the other. The major attraction for me: it has an open roof top patio for dining and drinking, and a natural feeling to it with tree branches overhanging the tables for shade on sunny days.  Better yet, the owners took a "green" approach to building the outdoor dining and bar space by recycling the wooden panels from the previous flooring and using the panels as the outdoor walls.  They even used the wood to make the zen inspired rooftop bar! The patio is perfect for grabbing drinks with friends after work. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thinking of Drinking: Tuscan Orange

I've been dreaming of being swept away to Tuscany to sip on wines and cocktails.  Hopefully some day it will happen, but until then, I can sip on these Tuscan Orange cocktails and imagine being in Italy.  The orange color could also work for a Halloween party.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thailand: Tour of the Thai Market in Chiang Mai

After our first day in Chiang Mai, we got up super early to take a Thai cooking class. The Four Seasons Cooking School begins at a fascinating tour of the local Thai food market. 

Taste of DC and more upcoming food events!

Taste of DC, the region’s largest and most eagerly anticipated food, wine and entertainment event, will return to America’s “Main Street” in downtown Washington, DC, from October 8-10, 2011.    Taste makers from the food and beverage industries, as well as world-class entertainers, take over Pennsylvania Avenue, between 9 th and 14th Streets, NW, for a three-day celebration guaranteed to bring out the inner foodie in everyone.  Here is a link for discounted tickets at a special online price: