Sunday, March 31, 2013

Uncorked: Entyse Yourself at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner

Between the Entyse Bistro offering breakfast dining, the Entyse Espresso Bar serving a range of hot and cold beverages and "to-go" breakfast and lunch options (and Georgetown Cupcakes), and the Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge offering a unique small bite and wine experience, you can easily satisfy your appetite at all hours of the day at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Overview: Zaytinya's Greek Easter

By: Jennifer McNinch
Capital Cooking Contributor

José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup held a private reception at Zaytinya to kick-off the 5th annual Greek Easter celebration.  At the hands of Head Chef Michael Costa, the event featured Lenten dishes, traditional Easter favorites and the much anticipated spring lamb which guests got to admire as it rotated on the spit in the open kitchen.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thinking of Drinking: Angelina

Check out this Cherry Blossom Festival inspired cocktail from Sean Macpherson of Room 11 featuring  Don Ciccio and Figli fennel liqueur.  Hopefully we'll see some blooms soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Easter Menu and Pairings

My mom and sister are coming in town to celebrate with me so I'm going to make a delicious Easter Feast complete with wine pairings. I always celebrate on Saturday so I can spend the day at the wineries on Sunday.  Recipes coming soon!  What are your plans this year?

Upcoming Events: Game Watching and Beer

By:  Lauren DeSantis
Almost as good as sitting court-sideJack Rose will host a Court-side Happy Hour where fans can 'Eat for Free, Drink for Almost Free' during March Madness. From the Sweet 16 round on, Jack Rose will air games on the rooftop terrace and serve up free food like spicy Buffalo Hot WingsChilaquilesCheese Tots and Pork and Beans. And libations will be "almost free" with $5 punch, pints and whiskey (select beers/whiskeys) on their rooftop terrace which now features 20 new draft lines. Courtside Happy Hour will run during the following game days (times will vary depending on game schedule):  Elite 8 (March 28-31,) Final 4 (April 6,) and the Championship Game (April 8). Jack Rose Dining Saloon is located at 2007 18th St. NW in Washington,  

TV Preview: Capital Cooking in Cabo, Part 1

We had a blast filming in Cabo.  The food was phenomenal.  The city is filled with the most vibrant colors and art and some of the most beautiful hotels in the world.  Hope you enjoy this preview and visit someday soon.  Stay tuned for the official airing date on PBS.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

More Added: Easter Round-Up

If you're not in the mood to cook on Easter Sunday, hop on over to the many Washington area restaurants as many are offering fabulous holiday brunches and dinners on Sunday, March 31st. I like to celebrate the day before so I can do some cooking and then relax at the Virginia wineries on Sunday.  If I missed your restaurant, please email me with the details in the format below.

Opening: The Gryphon

By: Jennifer McNinch
Capital Cooking  Contributor

The Gryphon, a myth-inspired sports bar, made its debut in Dupont Circle just in time for March Madness with a VIP Preview Party.   Owners Tony HudginsDavid Karim and Rich Vasey were on-hand to introduce the venue, which boasts the social dining atmosphere of a restaurant, the heart of a pub and the view of a stadium. 

Sunset Boat Ride in Zambia

After arriving in Livingstone, Zambia, we visited Tujatane Community School, enjoyed a late lunch along the river, dropped off our belongings to Sindabezi Island and hopped back into the boat for a sunset ride. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gorge Swing at Victoria Falls

3, 2, 1... aaaaaah!  The Victoria Falls Bridge crosses over the Zambezi River just below Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia.  

My First Seder

Owners of Washington DC’s Equinox Restaurant, Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray have a new book called THE NEW JEWISH TABLE (St. Martin’s Press/ March 2013) just in time for Passover.  I got to taste some of the recipes last night at my first Passover Seder dinner at Equinox.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sabi Sabi: Day 3

On our third day at Sabi Sabi, we had barely finished our coffee when we were greeted by a spotted hyena, a slimy scavenger that makes one’s blood curdle. Ironically, we ended our evening by finding another hyena snooping around our back yard in the dark.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cookbook Review: 150 Best Desserts in a Jar

If you're anything like me, you probably have a host of plastic containers, glass jars of all shapes and sizes and random lids tucked in the nooks and crannies of your basement, garage or pantry. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Uncorked: Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Wine Tasting

Bodegas Resalte de Peñafiel Wine Tasting at the
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

First, I must apologize for not being able to provide accompanying aromas or scratch and sniff photos with this post. Each of the wines featured had rich colors and fragrances that made this tasting event uniquely special. Not a photographer by trade, it would have been difficult for me to to capture the depth and tint of these lovely reds with even the most perfect camera, so what pictures I did take with my mini camera didn't even turn out. Hopefully, my words will suffice to entice you to try these lush beauties.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Day 2 at Sabi Sabi in South Africa

Sunrise at Sabi Sabi
We weren't sure how we could top such an extraordinary first safari, but we tried anyway at 5:30 a.m. the next day.  Early, but the anticipation cured any fatigue.  

Thinking of Drinking: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion

By: Jennifer McNinch
Capital Cooking Contributor
Union Market hosted a Cocktail Seminar “To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion” with member of The Museum of the American Cocktail and author of the newly released book of the same name, Philip Greene. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Trip to Victoria Falls, Zambia

Livingstone, Zambia is a must-visit in Africa for adrenaline junkies!  The beauty and warmth of the people are unmatched.  

Upcoming Events: The “Papal” Pionono and More!

Ceiba, Washington, DC’s Latin-inspired restaurant, will celebrate the authentic flavors of Argentina and the Pope’s new Italian residency with specialty items that day. The “Papal” Pionono with Dulce de Leche, Whipped Cream and Blueberry Acai Syrup will nod to one of Argentina’s most loved pastries, while the Pan-Roasted Branzino with Warm Orzo Salad and Chimichurri Roja blends the two cultures – and adheres to any Lenten diet. Paying tribute to the 266th Pope, the entrée will be priced at $26.60.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe: Pear and Gorgonzola Soup

After our two night stay in Johannesburg at the Saxon, we took off for a safari.  During our time at the Earth Lodge in Sabi Sabi, we tasted gourmet cuisine everyday.  We tried the chef's Pear and Gorgonzola Soup on our first night dining under the stars of a boma.  The importance to flavor success in this recipe is very ripe pears and a creamy, best quality Gorgonzola Cheese.

Opening: Edgar Bar and Kitchen

By: Lauren Rittermann

Edgar Bar and Kitchen opened just a couple months ago, and now that the holidays have finished, they decided to throw a spectacular Grand Opening Party.  This opening party came full with a red carpet, live music, and an abundance of Champagne.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Overview: Walker's Grille

In today’s world, organic food represents the fastest-growing sector of the food industry, and while local farmer’s markets and specialty grocers offer sustainable and organic food, sticking to a diet that is local, unfrozen, unprocessed, seasonal, organic or near organic while dining out presents a challenging task. DC’s farm-to-table, eco-friendly options are few and far between; so, imagine my surprise when I discovered an eco-friendly restaurant tucked away in the historic district of Franconia. In the Metro Office Park right off the Franconia-Springfield metro, Walker’s Grille remains unknown to most Washingtonians when it should be embraced just as readily as Founding Farmers in Foggy Bottom.

Tujatane Tongabezi Trust School Touched My Heart

After a relaxing stay at The Saxon and an amazing safari in Sabi Sabi, we didn't think it could get any better. We took a quick flight from Kruger Airport up to Livingstone, Zambia, and made an unexpected trip to the Tujatane Tongabezi Trust School.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Day 1 at Sabi Sabi in South Africa

To get to Sabi Sabi - a private game reserve in northeast South Africa - we embarked from a small airfield outside Jo’burg.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Overview: Cafe Rio

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

A new Mexican restaurant is popping up around town with a focus on fresh food and community involvement--Cafe Rio. This 'quick service' restaurant doesn't have any freezers or microwaves, hand squeezes over 1,000 limes a day, and has 6 locations in Maryland and Virginia.  We had the opportunity to head over to Cafe Rio to try out some menu items and check just how "fresh" it is.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cookbook Review: The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

By: Michelle Hershman
I was super excited to receive The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods cookbook. I have a family member who is gluten intolerant so having this cookbook on hand makes my life so much easier. But, even if that wasn’t a factor, I would still be psyched for this book. It’s amazing.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Upcoming Events: St. Patty's Day and More

St. Patrick's Day:

Mussel Bar and Grille in Bethesda, MD will offer a two-day special for St. Patty's Day starting Saturday, March. They'll get into the Irish spirit with $5 Jameson, specialty Irish stouts on draft and Rueben Sandwiches with layers of Corned Beef, just like you'd find at a Dublin pub.

Around the Globe: The Big 5

We saw rhinos within the first few minutes of our game drive at Sabi Sabi and then saw them again on almost every drive we went on in South Africa.
During our time in Africa, we hoped to see the Big 5.  The Big 5 refers to rhinos, lions, Cape Buffalo, leopards and elephants.  We saw three at Sabi Sabi and then got lucky to see the last two in Zambia.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mari Vanna Unlocks Grandma's Basement

Mari Vanna, Dupont Circle's newest Russian eatery, recently debuted it's weekly KGB (Karaoke in Grandma's Basement) series. Located in the cocktail lounge on the third floor, guests can treat themselves to Mari Vanna's signature infused vodkas while choosing their song of choice.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Around the Globe: Moyo

On our second night in Jo’burg, after relaxing in the Saxon all day (we couldn't tear ourselves away from the outstanding service and spa), we were treated by the Saxon with a bottle of champagne delivered to our room at 4:00.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy Birthday Erin!

Thanks for being my BFF for all these years!  Hope your birthday is amazing!

Around the Globe: The Saxon Spa

After the 17 hour flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, I was treated to the Saxon's Signature Sound Therapy Treatment.  I arrived to the spa and changed into a comfortable robe and was led into the sound room.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Anniversary Sixth Engine!

To celebrate Sixth Engine's one year in Mount Vernon Triangle, Sixth Engine opened its doors to friends, family and fans of the neighborhood eatery, and invited Danny Lee from Mandu and Casey Patten from Taylor Gourmet to join Sixth Engine Chef, Paul Madrid in serving small bites that were inspired by each chef’s favorite dishes at their counterpart's restaurant.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cookbook Review: What’s Cooking in the Okavango Delta?

By: Michelle Hershman

I was dreading writing this review because I hate giving bad reviews. I know, as a book reviewer, I need to get over that, but I still feel guilty providing negative feedback. Unfortunately, after reading the What’s Cooking in the Okavango Delta? cookbook, I really have no choice. I have almost nothing redeeming to say about this book.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Around the Globe: Qunu

On our first night in Johannesburg, we were picked up at the airport after our direct South African Airways flight by our friends Kevin and Barbara, who are from the States but have lived in Jo’burg for more than four years (Kevin is helping engineer a massive 480 megawatt power plant nearby).  We knew we were in for a treat when we researched the Saxon before our visit and learned that Nelson Mandela (known affectionately by his African name, Madiba) wrote A Long Walk to Freedom while staying at the Saxon, and upon arrival Kevin and Barbara confirmed that it is the best hotel in town. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

15 Reasons Why I Loved The Saxon

After our comforting business class flight on South African Airways, we were greeted by our friends in Johannesburg and headed to The Saxon. Previously a private home, The Saxon Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, opened its doors to the public in June 2000 and transformed into 24 luxury suites. It was so cool to know that Nelson Mandela wrote A Long Walk to Freedom while staying there in 1990. Here are my top 15 Reasons Why I LOVED The Saxon Hotel:

Upcoming Events: Keep Pouring

Want to be an artist and create your own masterpiece while sipping wine? Tel’Veh Café and Wine Bar and painting studio, BOLD strokes, debut their first wine and painting class of a monthly series, Sunday, March 10th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm just 3 blocks from Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro or Judiciary Square. Classes are always the second Sunday of the month priced at $65 per person, including two glasses of wine and all the necessary painting materials (even the canvas and easel), plus guidance from an experienced artist. In March, Tel’Veh will showcase Spanish wines and Cubist artists from the region, such as Picasso, Juan Gris, and Maria Blanchard. If wine and art pair well with you, purchase tickets online at: or phone Tel’Veh for additional information at (202) 758-2929 or visit

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Out to Brunch: Capitol City Brewing Company

By Claire Goldman

With all the snow and freezing temperatures the Washington area has been enduring lately, you may be getting a bit of cabin fever from trying to stay in your warm apartment until first bloom. But it’s time go out and brave the cold, people! The perfect cure for the winter blues is boozy brunch and Capitol City Brewing Company is a great option for your early afternoon weekend destination.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Overview: DuClaw Brewing Company

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

Good beer and good food can be hard to find, especially if you live outside the District.  But for all you Maryland residents, look no further – DuClaw Brewing Company just revamped it’s menu and is offering a “gastropub” experience closer to your front door.  DuClaw Brewing Company is the #1 craft brewery in Maryland with restaurant locations in Baltimore, Bel Air, Bowie and Anne Arundel.  And they just stepped up their game by pairing new, seasonal fare with their delicious handcrafted brews.  We had the opportunity to go try the new menu items created by Chef Giovanni Leopardi and they did not disappoint.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Overview: Zoe's Kitchen

Zoe's Kitchen first debuted in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area with an opening in Woodbridge, VA in early 2010. In the three years since , residents of Potomac, MD, Fairfax, VA, Annapolis, MD, Arlington, VA, and now, Reston, VA, have all been provided with the fresh and tasty Mediterranean-inspired dishes offered by Zoe's Kitchen.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Re-cap: Mardi Gras Block Party at Bayou Bakery

For the third year in a row the Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery in the Courthouse neighborhood of Arlington pulled out all the stops to host an even bigger “Bayou Gras” celebration, this year adding a tented block party.  Making sure the experience was authentic, native New Orleanian Chef Guas put together a tasty selection of food that made you think you were down in Charm City itself. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Uncorked: Peter Lehmann Wines

There aren't enough positive adjectives to describe my dining experiences at this year's International Wine and Food Festival (IWFF). The IWFF showcase dinner that featured seven Peter Lehmann wines from Australia’s Barossa Valley and was simply elegant.