• 27May

    Last week we attended a SOFAR (Sounds From A Room) concert in a Parks Department building in Columbia Heights. SOFAR has shows in various cities around the world (it started in London). You don’t know the changing venues or bands beforehand. People sit on the floor or in chairs and enjoy the beer they brought to the show. Mostly, there was a lot of DC’s own DC Brau at the show, but I did see some Sam Adams and Corona. And, one of the bands (Cautious Clay) was even “experimental” music.

    -JAY

    KetchungEditor’s Note:

    I keep meaning to mention a local spicy ketchup that I recently tried out called Ketchung. It is a good thick and spicy ketchup.

     

     

  • 18May

    meridian pintEugene of DC Life Magazine is this month’s Host. The happy hour will be on June 1st from 6pm to 8pm and the venue is the lower level of Meridian Pint. Feel free to stay for trivia night, which begins at 8pm. Please RSVP on the event page.

    Thanks again to everyone who attended last month’s happy hour at the brand new Turkish restaurant, Ottoman Taverna. It was a fun evening.

    -JAY

     

     

  • 11May
    img_20160508_142021609

    All delicious: Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart, Lemon Meringue Tart Parfait, Cherry Danish, & pineapple dipped at the chocolate fountain.

    GFJ and I recently attended the Mother’s Day buffet brunch at the Mandarin Oriental’s restaurant, Muze.

    GFJ favored the Japanese Wagyu beef (as seen on top of the sushi station), the short ribs, and the cooked carrots. It would have been nice if there were a couple of gluten-free pastry options for her.

    My favorites were the Wagyu, short ribs, prime rib, desserts, and pastries. The quality of the fish in sushi was good, although the rice was a little crumbly.

    There were some dishes (salmon wellington, roasted chicken breast, creamy mushrooms with pearl onions, etc.) I could not sample because they contained mushrooms or truffle oil (I’m allergic).

    This event is definitively a good family brunch buffet option for Mother’s Day.

    -JAY

    Muze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

  • 10May

    Last week Ottoman Taverna both opened and was the venue for the May DC Food Blogger Happy Hour (DCFBHH). Above are some of  the highlights from the half price happy hour menu (4pm-7pm, presumably Monday-Friday).

    The fig liqueur is soon to be featured in a cocktail. The pomegranate liqueur is featured in the Turkish sangria, which also contains an anise component (which isn’t mentioned in the drink’s description). I very much enjoyed the sangria, but I do like anise.

     

    I’m definitely returning to Ottoman Taverna soon to order more 1/2 price happy hour small plates and Turkish sangria.

    -JAY

  • 09May

    lamb-jam-logo-smDCFüd and the American Lamb Board are giving away a pair of tickets for the May 15th DC Lamb Jam! Email your first and last name to Contest (AT) dcfud (DOT) com with the subject “Lamb Jam Entry” before 5pm on Friday the 13th (which sounds ominous) for your chance to win. I will randomly select a winner sometime later that evening.

    This event features a variety of great lamb dishes, wine, and beer. I have been a judge at this event for a few years now.

    -JAY

  • 09May

    Meats Port City Beer mixed with cheese to create an American Fondue French inspired Raclette Staff preparing fondue

    One of the great staples in life is cheese; it can go from the standard party fare (think cubes of cheese on toothpicks) to the divine (think anything Italian, gooey and aged). When talking cheese, Europeans have taught us all we know; they are masters at producing all manner of dairy-based delights. On March 30th, Via Umbria played host to a most wonderful event, celebrating another wonderful Swiss dish, fondue.

    A place to enjoy all things Italy right in the middle of Georgetown, Via Umbria brought together cheese lovers to taste their way around Europe and America.  The Melt Fondue Fest was created to show off some of the best international and local cheeses in the form of fondue. Upon arrival, guests were given a passport to visit five different cheese stations.

    Curated by in-house cheese monger, Alice Phillips, the evening included a formal nod to the home of fondue, with an Alpine Fondue which contained traditional Swiss melted cheese, garlic and wine. Waving the local flag, the American Fondue stall showcased a tangy cheesy dip made with dark beer. Heading back over the pond, the French inspired Raclette came scraped over boiled potatoes. The final stall featured Wisconsin Fried cheese, which was made from fresh cheese curds that had been dipped in beer batter and then golden-fried. These cheese selections were accompanied by paired wines and beers; guests all left feeling satisfied to the hilt.

    All cheeses can be purchased in the delicatessen along with accompaniments, so you can have out your own fondue night at home.

    -EWL

  • 08May
    Prequel Poke Popup

    Hawaiian on the left, Vietnamese on the right, Korean in the rear.

    Thursday and Friday Prequel hosted Poke Pop, a great Hawaiian-themed popup. Poke is a A raw fish salad served in Hawaiian cuisine. We ordered three of the four pokes, the Hawaiian (ahi tuna, soy ginger dressing, cucumber, wakame, red onion, scallion, and furikake), the Vietnamese (hamachi yellowtail, nuoc cham dressing, pickled daikon, carrots, cucumber, thai chili, mint, holy basil (tulsi), and peanuts) and the Korean (Atlantic salmon, gochujang chili dressing, pickled red cabbage, radish, scallion, nori, and puffed rice).  We did not order the Mexican, which is a vegetarian version featuring fried tofu.

    GFJ and I favored the Korean, although I very much enjoyed the Hawaiian as well. The Vietnamese wasn’t her (GFJ’s) thing although I was fine with it as a third choice.

    Chef Kevin Tien definitely knows his poke! This was a great concept and meal, so hopefully Poke Pop gets more time at Prequel.

    -JAY

  • 07May
    dine-n-dash

    Chef Jose Andres PortraitsOn June 15, 2016, Chef José Andrés will be hosting his 4th annual DINE-N-DASH with proceeds going to support World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that focuses on smart solutions to decrease world hunger and poverty.

    You couldn’t ask for a better event where you can pay one price (General Ticket or VIP Ticket), walk into 30 restaurants in one night, sample some of the venue’s most popular dishes and libations and walk right out without pulling out your wallet throughout Penn Quarter and the 14th Street Neighborhoods.

    Sunday’s media tour offered a sneak peak into 4 of the restaurant options.

    Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

    IMG_9971IMG_9978

    IMG_9983-First stop was Oyamel and this was by far my favorite stop for food and drinks.  A few of the dishes that were offered were the Oyamel Margarita, Taco -Carnitas estilo Michoacán, Pescadilla Sinaloa, and table-side guacamole.

    Oyamel is Mexican food that packs a punch from your standard street foods.  Their margaritas are topped with “salt air,” so there’s no need for a messy rim of salt around the glass, you get a pinch of salt with every sip.  The pork taco was topped with a crunch chicharrón satisfying the soft and crunchy textures.  Their take on the fish “empanada” which is steamed not fried, is a surprisingly flavorful moist ingredients tucked inside of a crisp shell.  Table-side guacamole, need I say more?

    DCGB Kitchen and Bar (VIP)

    IMG_9993

    IMG_9990The DCGB stop is a preview into the one of the 5 VIP restaurants available through the VIP tickets.  They offer a selection of wine and food with a fresh take on French cuisine.

    This beautiful two-story industrial bistro offers one of the best scenery with wide open windows overlooking Penn Quarter’s more posh-side of the city.  Every bite of their sampled dishes left you feeling refreshed and not weighed down by heavy creams that you often associate with French cuisine.

    Their Spring Toast was spread with pistachio and ricotta made fresh in their kitchen daily. If you dine here, don’t leave without an order of their warm Madelines.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

    Ghibellina

    IMG_9995

    IMG_9998Not a frills kind of foodie? Ghibellina offers a great pub environment with excellent bar bites.  And they offer some pretty strong, yet delicious cocktails (Pepe Primavera and Frutto  Del Sangue, pictured here).

    This cozy little restaurants sits on the 14th Street side of the U Street Corridor and offers a laid back atmosphere.

    Masa 14

    IMG_0015IMG_0011Last stop on list of sneak peeks was Masa 14 an Asian Fusion restaurant with one of the best party vibes.  This restaurant is already ready to get the party started with a live DJ, refreshing cocktails and outdoor roof deck.  In the bustling area of 14th Street off the U Street Corridor.

    Their Pork Belly Steamed Buns (aka, bao) are not flavored like a typical traditional bao.  It has a bit of a Latin spin on it flavored with achiote, pineapple sambal and Serrano chili.  The crispy shrimp was my favorite.  It reminded me of an lighter version of a bang bang shrimp.

    Go Buy Your Tickets

    DND1DND3DND18With 30 restaurants to choose from, you’re bound to find a place you enjoy.  Whether you want to hit 4-star quality establishments, restaurants with menus that push the limits of your palette, or the food truck scene, I am confident you’ll find something right down your alley.  And who knows, you may just run into a celebrity chef while you’re there.

    To buy tickets, visit: dinendash.info and DCFüd readers can receive a $20 off of your ticket by using the promo code: PREVIEW.  I’m buying my ticket and I hope to see you there!

    -ADT

    Editor’s Note/Save the Dates:

    The Lamb Jam will be held on Sunday, May 15, the Embassy Chef Challenge on Wednesday, May 25, and Savor (the big beer show) on June 4th-5th this year. Keep an eye out for beer events (tap takeovers and brunches) the week leading up to Savor.

    Oyamel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

  • 28Apr

    From: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/going-out-guide/wp/2016/04/26/ottoman-taverna-is-a-native-sons-ode-to-turkish-cuisine/

    Ottoman Taverna: Wednesday May 4th, 6-8pm.

    This new Turkish restaurant (really it is Ottoman cuisine) will open 2 days before our Happy Hour (it’s already fully built and permitted). I is located at 425 I Street, NW, Suite #107, Washington, DC 20001, located between K & I on 4th Street), which is next to (the opposite corner of) Alba Osteria.

  • 23Apr

    Calling a restaurant a Bistro these days conjures up a certain image, a homely place, perhaps not quite of this time, with a bit of rustic charm and simplicity. That’s exactly the atmosphere you will find at River Bend Bistro, tucked away in Alexandria’s historic Hollin Hall Shopping Centre. The decor of the restaurant somehow manages to both clash and work at the same time featuring an extensive wine collection in wooden display cabinets, exposed brickwork, a wooden bar with wooden stools really captures a simple decor, and suits the vibe.

    The brainchild of Chef and Owner Caroline Ross, River Bend aims to provide, fresh and tasty local comfort food which she has handpicked over her nine years of gaining experience both locally and across the globe. Awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Ecole del Cuisine La Varenne, in Paris, France, the true French style subtle pulls together Chef Ross’ menu and helps add some European flair to this American-Style bistro.

    Her menu features Shrimp and Grits which is known as a traditional comfort food from the South. This is a combination of fresh shrimp and creamy grits provided by a local mill.

    For those enjoy a good Steak Tartar, Chef Ross features A French dish made with very finely minced raw  filet mignon and shoulder tenderloin beef seasoned with olive oil.

    The popular seasonal item for the winter menu successfully transitioned over to the spring with the Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Flatbread.  This is a classic pairing of salmon and goat cheese the River Bend captures perfectly.  Additionally the bread is made fresh in house.  This dish pairs beautifully with a Chardonnay.

    The Rainbow Trout with a Sage and Oyster Stuffing featured a classic herbed oyster stuffing which added depth, moisture and flavor rather than overpower with a fishy salty taste that someone may expect. The Rainbow trout was quite delicate and the stuffing lifted the overall taste of the dish.

    The Grilled Shoulder Tenderloin of Beef with an Arugula Salad and Herb Vinaigrette is a fantastic dish.  The beef shoulder tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of beef and Chef Ross made sure to prepare it at a perfect medium rare.  The accompanying sharp peppery taste of arugula works much in the way as would a traditional salad, but with the crunch of salad and herbs.

    Chef Ross featured her famous and traditional Southern dessert a Chocolate Cherry Chess Pie which varied from the traditional single crust pastry with the addition of cornmeal.  In Chef Ross variation the fillings of black cherry are soaked in port which will leave you very satisfied and wanting more.

    -EWL

    River Bend Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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