• 27Sep

    Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar just launched its third location in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The new addition is at Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg, MD, and features Executive Chef. Gregory Webb. I was present at the opening event benefiting the wonderful charitable organization, Manna Food Center. We also covered the Tysons Corner launch.

    I tried several different mojitos, with the Peach Basil Mojito being my favorite and the Mango Cilantro my second favorite. They actually incorrectly made my Strawberry Mojito (minimal alcohol and a lot of fizz but this was the night before their actual opening and it was very busy), but when the Bar Manager remade it for me, it was good too.

    With house-made chips (made from various vegetables) we were served 3 different guacamoles (traditional, spicy, and mango/garlic), all of which were great. I was surprised at well the mango/garlic version worked, since I was skeptical at first.

    My favorite entrees were the Rum Glazed Cuban Pork (served with coconut mango rice, black beans  and fresh pico de gallo) , Grilled Skirt Steak Churrasco (served with chimichurri, sofrito rice and pinto beans), Mojo Marinated Atlantic Salmon (served with well-executed sauteed zucchini and truly great yucca spaetzle), and Coconut Curry Vegetables (a vegetarian dish I tried one or two bites of).

    The Coconut & Caramel Flan and the Sweet Potato Donuts were delicious and expertly executed! I could see myself ordering both of them often. The Mexican Chocolate Cake looked great, but they ran out of it before we were served dessert. The Paladar Churros were a crunchy style of churro (and I prefer more of the classic texture).

    The restaurant has a great corner location. The outside bar area was designed well. There are also bar tables, and on the other side of the building, a patio seating area with a great view of a nature preserve.

    This is definitely a restaurant checking out! There are also Tysons Corner, Annapolis, and Rockville locations.

    -JAY

    Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar on Urbanspoon

  • 24Sep
    Drinks

    Thai Grapefruit Martini (left) and Spontaneous Happiness (right).

    True Food Kitchen has finally opened their first Metropolitan D.C. location in the Mosaic District. Their food philosophy stems directly from their restaurant name: true, healthy, and wholesome foods. Their direction: follow an anti-inflammatory diet that is inspired by the renowned Dr. Andrew Weil. True Foods Kitchen does not use high fructose corn syrup, their produce, meats, and veggies are locally sourced, nothing is processed, and all their milk, butter and eggs are organic.

    I must say, as a huge advocate and fan of clean and healthy eating, True Food Kitchen does an excellent job of delivering fresh and delicious foods. From the menu tasting I attended last week, I was extremely pleased with the quality and flavor of each dish in the 3-course tasting.

    Drinks: Thai Grapefruit Martini & Spontaneous Happiness

    The Thai Grapefruit Martini is a tangy mixture of Prairie Organic vodka, Thai basil, and grapefruit. Would I get it again? Probably not, just because it was a bit too strong on the grapefruit side for me. But if you love grapefruit, go for it. What would I get on my next visit? Spontaneous Happiness. Now this beauty is a concoction of ginger and vanilla infused shochu, St. Germain, and lime. This is a very clean drink that delivers each ingredient without overpowering one another. Mmmmm…

    Appetizer: Autumn Ingredient (Salad)

    Light and refreshing horseradish vinaigrette dressing? Check.
    Roasted Brussels sprouts and cauliflower? Check.
    Squash, mulberry, white beans & pomegranate? Check.

    The salad sounds simple but the flavors of these ingredients combined are complex and sinfully delightful. The horseradish vinaigrette was the key component in keeping the salad unified. It was slightly oily at first and halfway towards working on the salad, the vinaigrette slowly became tangier. The transition was subtle and worked so well. I can honestly say this has now become one of my favorite salads to eat out.

    Entrée: Grilled Steelhead Salmon

    The wild salmon was not particularly large in size but rich in freshness and natural flavor. The salmon cut was thick, from which I picked out a few bones (it did not bother me one bit because that just goes to show how fresh and wild their seafood quality is). The entree arrived with smoked onion quinoa, roasted beets, arugula, cilantro, pumpkin seeds and cotija that paired perfectly with the salmon.

    My friend tried their Grass Fed Bison Burger (see photo) and gave it two thumbs up. I trust her taste buds so I will be giving this burger a try next time.

    Dessert: Coconut Banana Pudding

    This devilishly sweet concoction of coconut, bananas, and chia seeds is one of the best tasting puddings I have had in an extremely long time. It’s slightly sweet, very cool and refreshing. This was the perfect way to end lunch.

    Would I go back? Absolutely! I love restaurants that flow with wide-open spaces and are not afraid to play with color (i.e. their open kitchen and lime green upholstery). Also, I love how environmentally friendly they are; they have bright yellow chairs made from recycled plastic soda bottles and hardwood floors made from reclaimed wood.

    True Food Kitchen is now open to the public so try them out! They are located across from Target and the Angelika Film Center in the ever-growing Mosaic District.

    True Food Kitchen, welcome to the D.C. area!

    -EHY

    True Food Kitchen on Urbanspoon

  • 19Sep

    Below are some of the best things we’ve eaten recently:

     

    -JAY

  • 12Sep

    ulah bistro october dcfbhhNext DCFBHH is at Ulah Bistro on 10/1/14 from 6pm to 8pm.

    While I don’t think I can actually attend this one, I thought it would be nice to share the info with you. This month’s Host is Johnna.

    -JAY

  • 10Sep
    appetite-festival-banner

    This incredible two-day food festival, the first of its kind held at the Strathmore in North Bethesda, showcased headliners Giada De Laurentiis and Andrew Zimmern along with many other food experts.

    This two-day event offered food trucks, a beer garden, live music, live cooking demonstrations, tastings, and more.

    Friday’s half day event started off with a 2-hour happy hour with food fare for sale by the Strathmore Restaurant Associates followed by Giada De Laurentiis on the main stage.

    Giada De Laurentiis_FULL

    Giada De Laurentiis

    Giada’s  charming persona makes you feel like you’ve just been welcomed right into her home much like her Food Network show, Giada at Home.  She two separate volunteer groups up to help her cook two Italian dishes.  The first dish was a muffaletta which is a popular Italian sandwich filled with meats, olive tapenade and roasted peppers in a large thick sourdough bread.  The second dish was a tortellini in a creamy peas-based sauce with prociutto.

    While her volunteers cooked the dishes she talked about her personal life at home, life as a food network star, and took several questions from the audience including taking a couple of selfies with fans in the audience.

    Satuday

    Day 2 offered a day of cooking workshops and demonstrations from executive chefs, local food trucks and the evening headliner Andrew Zimmern, star of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Food.”  Besides the headliner, my favorite of the day was the Peruvian street fare from Mitsitam Café with guest chef Jerome Grant heading up the grill.  Their offering of Anticuchos Asados (cow heart) was seasoned and cooked to perfection.  As a big fan of animal innards, I was very excited and pleased to see this offering at the festival.  Like most innards, if not cooked properly, your experience can be very unappetizing.  Overcooked, it can taste putrid and under cooked it can be chewy or gamey, but cooked to perfection it can give you a burst of flavor which is exactly what Chef Grant provided with this dish.  I’m sure that chicken-eaters have had some form of Peruvian chicken in their lifetime but you’ve missed out if you didn’t get a chance to have the one at Mitsitam Café.  This generous portion of chicken was mouthwatering, fall off the bone, and spiced to perfection so that it didn’t even need the side of sauce to go with it  ̶  definitely the highlight of the day.

    Andrew Zimmern_FULL

    Andrew Zimmern

    In the evening , Andrew Zimmern spoke about breaking through the typical American mindset and opening up your food palette to experience new things even if it means eating a few rodents and bugs along the way.  Zimmern is one of my favorite television personalities as I like to watch “Bizarre Foods” and comment, “That’s not weird.  I eat that stuff all of the time,” but he still finds ways to amaze me with bizarre foods that I never would’ve imagined to eat.

    Because he doesn’t cook on his show, many don’t realize that he’s actually a chef himself.  And he demonstrated in his own way three different dishes that had people squirming in their seats.  His first dish was California Squirrel as he encouraged the audience to consider local game as normal protein.  His next dish was live crickets.  Yes, you heard right, he had a jar of live crickets which he stir fried and accidentally knocked half of the jar on the floor.  His final dish contained duck testicles.  His takeaway at the end of the night was to challenge yourself to try new things and to see food as the cultural foundation for bringing people together.

    To learn more about the Appetite Festival and to get more information about next year’s event visit their website at www.strathmore.org/appetite.

    -ADT (Angie)

  • 27Aug

    Anita of Greg’s List DC is hosting this moth’s Happy Hour at the newly opened Dino’s Grotto in Shaw. You can RSVP here.

    -JAY

    DinoFlier

  • 15Aug
    IMG_20140815_151533_602

    CSA box production line. The ones with kale on top are complete.

    Groupon has  a certificate (which they are almost out of so move quickly) that lets you get a produce box from Nall’s (Friday or Saturday) for $12 ($22 value). I just picked up this week’s box, which includes peaches, nectarines, 2 bunches of kale, mushrooms, 4 large green bell peppers, 3 huge peaches, 3 small nectarines, 2 ears of corn and a canary melon. They handled my mushroom allergy by making a box up for my separately and substituting a teeny loaf of bread.

    I will say that 4 big green bell peppers is a lot of green peppers for me–a variety of pepper colors would have been nicer. I have no intention of making stuffed peppers, so some of them may go bad before I can eat them in salads or put some in this or that dish.

    I also bought strawberries, yellow summer squash, a large yellow tomato, and a bottle of Runningbyrd Summer Rain local artisinal sweet tea. I buy a watermelon there weekly, and they have a good variety of them.

    Nall’s has 2 weeks left of the weekly summer CSA program before the fall program begins.

    -JAY

  • 14Aug

     

    Cy and I recently had a wonderful meal at The Gryphon, which is under new management and part of the same group with Lost Society. The menu and decor have been updated. They now have a nice raw bar.

    The cocktails we tried were excellent (and well-designed), including:

    • Aphrodite’s Kiss: Absolut Vodka, Absolute Vanilla Vodka, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and lavender syrup.
    • Chimera Flame: Tanteo Jalapeno Tequila, Lime Juice, Cointreau, St. Germaine, simple syrup, Dekuyper Razzmatazz, and a splash of soda.
    • Centaur Kick: Jack Daniel’s Hoey, Dekayper, Triple Sec, and a splash of sour mix.

    Our overall favorite dishes were the:

    • 20 Ounce Dry-Aged Ribeye (although we didn’t enjoy the funky tasting “marrow butter” that was smeared on it). The ribeye is aged 28 days and is served with Chimichurri. I gnawed on the bone! They age their own steaks in a room that you can look into in the back of the restaurant.
    • Prosciutto Wrapped Monkfish, a wonderful combination of texture (the fish was firm and the ham was crispy), saltiness, and flavor.
    • Kale Sale, which had great texture and included Balsamic Dressing, Sunflower Seeds, Currants, Dried Pineapple, and Aged Gouda.
    • Crispy Pork Belly, served with a fried egg, house habanero hot sauce, and cilantro oil.
    • Striped Bass Ceviche, served with lime, orange, grapefruit, cilantro, and red onion.
    • Tuna Tar Tar, served with chili dressing, pickled watermelon rind, and lotus root. Cy was all about this one.
    • Crispy Fried Oysters, with Worcestershire, Smoked Maple Hot Sauce, Cilantro.
    • Desserts (although I leaned towards the Flourless Chocolate Tort, and Cy leaned toward the bread pudding). These are the only two desserts on the menu.

    There is currently a deal for The Gryphon on Living Social. Gilt City has a deal for brunch for 2 there.

    -JAY

    The Gryphon on Urbanspoon

    Disclosure: From time to time, we are given free items, meals, or entry to events.

  • 10Aug

    DC Food Blogger Happy Hour Wednesday was hosted by Wendy Brannen of USApples and myself at Roofers Union in Adams Morgan (in the former space of The Reef). We sampled a variety of Executive Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley‘s delicious apple themed dishes and a great cocktail Bartender Frank Mills created. Frank named the cocktail “How Do You Like Dem Apples” and provided us with the below recipe (for an individual cocktail):

    -JAY

    Roofers Union on Urbanspoon

  • 01Aug

    Here is your reminder. Event info and the link to RSVP are here.

    August DCFBHH

     

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