• 29Apr

    Lobster rolls.

    We were at the grand opening of Härth this week. (Yes, I realize the name shouldn’t be capitalized but I cant help myself.)  They had hundreds of people, tons of food, a variety of drinks, an ice bar, and some performers (including 3 fire jugglers and a woman on stilts.) There were also more staff and photographers than I’ve seen at one event (but I wasn’t at the royal wedding).

    I don’t believe they served anything from the breakfast menu.  These dished were served and were from their different menus (bar, lunch, dinner):

    • Country pork pate with peach chutney.  The pate was good and I really enjoyed the chutney.
    • Mini lobster rolls with tarragon mayo on mini brioche buns.  This was my favorite item and I ate more than one of them.
    • Cheese & Charcuterie.  This included Firefly Farms goat, talbot


      reserve cheddar & maryland blue cheeses, san danielle prosciutto, finochionna sausage, country pork paté, olive tapanade, peach chutney, grain mustard, and peasant bread.  My favorites in this assortment were the goat cheese, olive tapanade, and peach chutney.

    • Wood fired flatbreads.  They served several of these, including the roasted mushroom with caramelized onion, fontina and truffled sea salt, the sweet Italian sausage with aged provolone, herb roasted fennel, san marzano tomato, , and the fire roasted chicken, red pepper, fontina & basil pesto.  Turns out that the third one they served was the sweet sausage flatbread from the dinner menu.

      Gran marnier pearls for the moet.

    • Chipotle BBQ Shrimp with black bean-corn salsa.  This was very good, although not consistently spiced.  My dining partner had 2 (from separate rounds of service) and the second one was much hotter than the first.
    • Beef & veal meatballs.  This had roasted tomato sauce and pecorino romano and was another dish that I enjoyed.
    • Moet champagne with Gran Marnier pearls (which was awesome), 2 signature martinis (ginger, and chipotle raspberry), and wine.
    • Chocolate Cupcakes.  These were nice because they had dark chocolate and were kind of crumbly on top.  It had a cream filling.  Basically, it came across like an Oreo meets a Hostess cupcake, but with better chocolate.  They were decent, but this is a cupcake town, and the cupcakes were the only dessert.

    All in all, the food and drinks were very good, and the grand opening was a great experience.




  • 28Apr

    Chef Liu having lunch at Mala Tang.

    Chef Liu Chaosheng (of Hong Kong Palace) is launching Mala Tang, a Sichuan hot pot restaurant Monday.  While the restaurant’s soft opening is on Monday, I was lucky enough to try a few of the Xiao Chi (small plates) today.

    The spicy wontons (ground pork, house made soy sauce, mapo tofu) topped with ground pork, and cold spicy dried beef (with sesame seeds and ground Sichuan peppercorns) were excellent, and had the fragrant and floral spiciness associated with authentic Sichuan cuisine.  I’ve had all of these dishes before, but even if I hadn’t, I’d be able to tell that they are very good and very authentic.   Really, who else makes their own soy sauce and tofu?

    I NEED to try the hot pot and dan dan noodles next time.  The restaurant has individual burners set up, since they thought it would be more friendly to an American audience than one large hot pot per table.  I’m fine either way, but I have really good memories of a long gone Queens Sichuan restaurant (Lion Pavilion) that had amazing dan dan noodles, and I’m hoping Mala Tang’s are as good.  I’d settle for half as good, if I hadn’t already tried some of Mala Tang’s food.  Everything I tried at Mala Tang was delicious so I have high expectations for future visits.


  • 27Apr

    In my inbox.



    The Prince of Wales to Deliver Keynote at “The Future of Food” Conference hosted by Washington Post Live:

    Authors Wendell Berry and Eric Schlosser; White House Chef Sam Kass;

    and key executives from Stonyfield Farms, General Mills, Applegate Farms, and Bon Appetit

    convene to discuss the future of food production
    Washington, D.C.—April 26, 2011—The Prince of Wales will give the keynote address at “The Future of Food” conference, hosted by Washington Post Live at Georgetown University, May 4. The conference will bring together top corporate executives, community leaders, and government officials in the sustainability movement.  The discussion will focus on how to make the world’s food system more resilient, reduce its harmful impact on the environment, and ensure that healthy food becomes available to everyone.
    Among those attending will be Wendell Berry, the novelist, poet and pioneer of the organic movement; Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation”; Sam Kass, White House Chef; U.S. Senator Jon Tester; Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner, FDA; Gary Hirschberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Farms; Dan Barber, the chef at Blue Hill; Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power; Susan Crockett, vice president and senior technology officer for health and nutrition at General Mills; and many other leading figures in the food and sustainability movement.

    “The Future of Food conference brings together an incredible group of leaders to discuss an issue that affects everyone. We’re delighted to be hosting another forum that invites thoughtful conversation about an important global issue,” said Mary Jordan, Editor, Washington Post Live.

    His Royal Highness is a long-time advocate of local, organic, and sustainable food production. As the keynote speaker, he will address the issue of long-term agricultural sustainability and the importance of promoting ecosystem resilience.

    Patrick Holden, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Food Trust, who will be speaking at the conference and who worked closely with Prince Charles during Mr. Holden’s term as Director of the U.K. Soil Association said, “The Prince of Wales has rightly emerged as the leading global authority on this theme through his vision and leadership in consistently highlighting the importance of sustainable agriculture over more than 25 years. It is so timely that this conference is taking place at the very moment when there is an emerging global consensus about the need for fundamental changes to our food systems. There could be no better person to highlight the need for increased food security and resilience against a background of climate change, resource depletion and population growth.”

    The conference will be live-streamed on washingtonpostlive.com/conferences/food from Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall. An agenda will also be listed on the site the week of the conference. Following the conference, video highlights will be available online.

  • 26Apr

    Straight from France, Paul had its ribbon-cutting ceremony today of their flagship bakery in Penn Quarter.  Mayor Vincent C. Gray and French Ambassador François Delattre were present.  I believe Paul actually opens this Friday.

    Several other locations will open in DC including one in Georgetown…they had to have one near the embassy. 🙂

    Everything I sampled was very good including the best macarons I’ve had.  I don’t even know what half the pastries I tried were but they were phenomenal.   They also had some very tasty hors d’oeuvres such as salmon or salami or ham on buttered bread.  The baguettes were fresh from the over and they have several kinds.  Even the ham and cheese sandwich was very good!  I took a flan and a pan de chocolat to go but the flan seems more like a tart than the (Spanish) flan I’m used to.

    They tried various US flours until finding the (organic Wisconsin) flour they liked for their breads.  They definitely made a good choice. (I’m getting baguette crumbs in my keyboard.)

    Jack Evans (Ward 2 Councilman), Mayor Vincent Gray, Maxime Holder (Chairman of Groupe PAUL and grandson of the founder), Philippe Sanchez (Pres and CEO of PAUL USA).

    Oh and they use pearl sugar in some items — an ingredient I’m familiar with from Liege waffles (from a Bobby Flay waffle throw down episode on TVFN and locally from Belgian bakery/cafe Le Pain Quotidien).  Pearl sugar is shaped like little spheres and melts on your tongue as you eat it.

    This is one of those cases where pictures tell the story. 🙂

    PAUL is at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004.



  • 25Apr

    pinkIn my inbox.



    Pinkberry comes to DC (preview event)

    Thursday, May 5 · 6:00pm – 10:00pm

    1213 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, DC


    Come celebrate Pinkberry’s Grand Opening in DC with Free Pinkberry, entertainment and prizes! On-Air personality Tommy McFly from 94.7 Fresh FM will be there from 7-9pm.

    Did you find a ping pong ball? Bring it to the event and you could win an iPad 2 or one of the fantastic prizes our neighbors have donated for the occasion!

    Alpha Phi & Delta Gamma from George Washington University will be distributing them all around Dupont Circle, Connecticut avenue and campus for the next 2 weeks! Keep watching the page for updates on where the ping pong balls will be and when!

  • 21Apr

    In My Inbox.

    Please Save the Date for The Atlantic’s 2011 Food Summit, to be held on Tuesday, April 26th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. Throughout the day, we’ll talk with the world’s leading authorities on food policy, production, safety, and nutrition, in a series of panels, keynote speeches, and interviews.

    Formal invitations will be sent next week, but if you would like to pre-register, please visit the event site.

    Schedule (Tuesday, April 26, 2011)

    8:00 AM – 2:30 PM Food Summit
    8:00am Guest Arrival, Registration, and Breakfast

    8:30am Welcome Remarks: Elizabeth Baker Keffer, President, AtlanticLIVE, and Vice President, The Atlantic

    8:35am Introductory Remarks: James C. Borel, Executive Vice President, DuPont

    8:45am Keynote Address: Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture

    9:15am Panel Discussion: Sustainable Agriculture

    10:15am Break

    10:30am Panel Discussion: Global Food Security, Access, and Affordability

    11:30am Panel Discussion: A Closer Look at Consumer Choice, Nutrition, and Policy

    12:30pm Lunch

    1:30pm Headline Interview with Alice Waters, Executive Chef, Founder, and Owner, Chez Panisse and Atlantic Senior Editor

    2:30pm Closing Remarks: Elizabeth Baker Keffer


  • 21Apr

    In my Inbox.



    A new pastry competition show on a top cable network is currently casting talented, outgoing and dynamic pastry chefs, bakers and all those who have mastered sweets to participate in a short pastry competition. Participants will be competing for a cash prize.

    They will be conducting on camera interviews very soon. If you–or someone you know–would be a good fit, feel free to contact them at pastrychefscasting@gmail.com. Please include the following details:
    • Name
    • Occupation
    • Contact Information
    • Recent photograph
    • Resume
    • A short summary, detailing your background in your industry
    • Any relevant photos of your pastries/baked goods


  • 15Apr

    When you walk into Dama’s dining room, take note of the television in the corner. Go hungry, but expect to wait as the order to table timing varies and it is never quick. The television is a nice, if not a necessary distraction while you wait for your food. The Ethiopian programming is also part of the experience.

    Perhaps once intended to be a more formal atmosphere, the décor is now retro. Dama has settled to become a welcoming environment with a slightly otherworld feel. The clientele has become increasingly diverse since I started going there years ago, but in taking note of other diners, Dama maintains a solid customer base of Ethiopians.

    Plastic protects the fabric tablecloths and keeps the large communal tray of food in place. The food is always good, and sometimes stellar. What emerges from the kitchen, which you can see from certain tables, is a reliable amalgamation of comfortably spiced and flavorful vegetables, meats and lentils. It’s home style Ethiopian cooking, with a collective, family style approach as diners share dishes off a large tray in the middle of the tables.

    In lieu of utensils, you tear off a piece of spongy injera bread to take your food. The bread takes a little getting used to, but you soon come to appreciate that it allows you to mix dishes. The injera upon which the meal sits absorbs the flavors and makes for perfect post meal snacking as you linger after dinner.

    Depending on who is dishing out the plates, you get a small sampling of Dama’s incredible lentils – red, orange and yellow, and the chickpea puree if you are lucky. Those in search of a little extra should go for the lentil sampler with the chic peas.

    The vegetable dishes are why I go to Dama. Highlights include gomen wat and yetakilt wat. The gomen wat (wot), a dish of collards or other greens and spices, is second to none other. Yetakelt wat is a mix of cabbage, carrots and potatoes, a savory dish with sweeter undertones (thanks to the natural sweetness of cooked carrots and cabbage). What an incredibly delicious way to eat your recommended daily intake of veggies.

    For meat, the beef tibs are tender and spiced to taste. Kitfo, a beef tartar dish that the restaurant is known for, is served completely raw or slightly warmed. I’m told that it is an acquired taste and, not having the intestinal fortitude to give it a try, I will leave it at that.

    Usually too full for dessert, there are also pastries (dry), cookies (you’ll try to make room for) and really strong coffee (for the walk you’ll need to take after eating).

    Dama is located at 1503 Columbia Pike, near the Navy Annex. You can walk there from Pentagon City Metro, but if you find that a bit far, find a friend with a car and offer to pay for dinner. We once fed eight people for about $65. Be advised, however, that ordering more during dinner may result in surprises on your bill. Each addition, regardless of how small, counts as an entire dish. That said, every meal has been worth every single penny.

    By Guest Blogger:  Wendy M.

    Dama Ethiopian on Urbanspoon

  • 14Apr

    In my inbox.

    Great Party. Greater Cause.

    SoundBites Features 20 Restaurants, 5 Food Trucks & 5 Bands

    WASHINGTON, DC: On May 22nd the 9:30 Club and DC Central Kitchen will bring back SoundBites, a food and music festival that benefits DC Central Kitchen, a national leader for combating hunger and creating opportunities for individuals in need.

    With music from Trouble Funk, Pietasters, Ra Ra Rasputin, DJ lil’e, and Will Rast Trio, attendees will enjoy tastes of signature dishes from 20 local eateries including Casa Nonna, Cork, District 2, Eatonville, Evening Star Café, Harry’s Smokehouse, Indique, Jaleo, Mandu, Mie N Yu, Policy, Radius Pizza, Rappahonack Oysters, Taylor Gourmet, and Toki Underground as well as five of the area’s hottest food trucks including Sabor’a Street and DC Empanadas. Guests will enjoy all they can eat from each of the restaurants’ selections, included in the ticket price. Tickets on sale now at ticketfly.com!

    What: SoundBites

    An evening of Music, Food and Change to benefit DC Central Kitchen

    When: Sunday, May 22, 2011

    5:00 – 10:00 p.m.

    Where: 9:30 Club

    815 V St., N.W. Washington DC

    Tickets: $40, with proceeds benefiting the work of DC Central Kitchen

    Available online at Ticket Fly

    About DC Central Kitchen

    This year marks DC Central Kitchen’s 22nd year of combating hunger and creating opportunity. The Kitchen works 365 days a year providing low-income individuals and families with nutritious food, assisting local farmers, empowering chronically unemployed men and women to achieve self-sufficiency and reaching out to people living on the streets. Tens of thousands of pounds of free or low-cost, surplus fresh produce recovered from area farms enhance the nutrition of more than 4,500 meals prepared at the Kitchen every day. To learn more about the Kitchen and its initiatives, visit DC Central Kitchen.

    About the 9:30 Club

    Multiple winner of both Billboard’s and Pollstar’s Nightclub of the Year, the 9:30 Club is the inimitable place bands aspire to play and music fans love to attend – a destination for locals and people across the country. Gracing the stage have been legends Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Al Green, and James Brown; recently discovered acts like The ArcticMonkeys, Wolfmother, Katy Perry and Lily Allen, and arena acts looking for an intimate club play such as Justin Timberlake, the Smashing Pumpkins and FooFighters. The 9:30 Club is located at 9th and V streets, NW, Washington, D.C.


  • 12Apr

    In my inbox.



    MiO, a revolutionary liquid water enhancer, just hit store shelves. To celebrate, MiO representatives will be handing out free samples to fellow DC foodies and culinary trendsetters at the weekly Farragut Friday food truck gathering this Friday, April 15th at Farragut Square, 17th and K Street NW, from 11:30 am to 2 pm.

    Just like your favorite food truck, MiO is completely portable, and it fits right in the palm of your hand. And the best part is—with MiO, you can personalize your drink. All you have to do is Flip it, Tip it and Sip it to make your drink your way. Add a little. Add a lot. There are six delicious flavors to choose from.

    To get a sample, all you have to do is show up on Friday at Farragut Square. Grab something to eat, test out MiO and enjoy the nice weather. If you are unable to attend on Friday, or for more information about our new liquid water enhancer, connect with us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/MiO).

    MiO is a liquid water enhancer – you squirt some into your water and the drink self-mixes (similar to Crystal Light packets but with liquid instead of powder).

    According to Twitter, these food trucks will definitely be there:

    Food trucks that are likely to be there include:

    • CapMac
    • Carnivore BBQ
    • Sauca
    • Sweetbites



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