We’ve been sampling some great food lately lately, so let’s talk about some of the highlights.
At the Saturday morning Courthouse Farmer’s Market, I purchased Cavanna Pasta’s Artichoke-Pesto Cannelloni ($15, think manicotti). The package has 3 frozen cannelloni per pack, and comes with heating instructions. My oven needed more time to heat up the frozen pasta than recommended in the instructions, but the end product was delicious. Some of the ingredients included basil, shallots, garlic, and pine nuts. Cavanna is based in Richmond. Arrowine carries Cavanna‘s products (and charges an extra $1 for the cannelloni).
At the Clarendon Farmer’s Market I purchased a small Chocolate Salted Caramel Chess Pie for $10 from Livin’ The Pie Life, and although it was a bit pricey, that pie was well worth the money. It was truly delicious. They sell other varieties and give samples so that you can taste the pies.
We tried a couple of nice desserts at the Tysons Corner Sheraton. Their Salted Caramel Vanilla Crunch Cake is a pudding cake containing rich caramel and creamy custard, topped with caramel popcorn bites. They also served Ice Cream from Moorenko’s (about whom we’ve written about previously a couple of times). The ice creams are all made with local produce. Flavors change weekly. We tasted the White Chocolate Mint & the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip.
9:30 Club‘s Sound Bites featured some great dishes including the Boriquen Lunch Box‘s (Puerto Rican food truck) Pastelon, a sweet plantain and meat casserole with green beans, red and green peppers, onions, garlic, and tomato sauce. It is topped with cheese and I like to describe it as “plantain lasagna.”
Also at Sound Bites, Jose Andres‘ Pepe food truck made great Spanish food, including the Botifarra Burger and a ham & cheese sandwich (yes, there is a version in Spain). I did not try their mac and cheese.
The Lamb Jam featured some great lamb dishes including Poste Moderne Brasserie‘s Lamb Carpaccio, and Bibiana‘s Stuffed Lamb Shoulder. I still vividly remember Bibiana’s Lamb Raviolis from the Lamb Jam’s media preview the previous year. I also very much enjoyed Heavy Seas Imperial stout, which tasted a bit like chocolate.
La Forchetta is a new upscale Italian restaurant of Roberto Donna‘s in DC (nowhere near a metro). They have a cheese list and a cured meat list, and I enjoyed the Castelmagno cheese (cow, sheep, and goat milk). The Grilled Whole Branzino served with Broccoli Rabe and Salsa Verde was excellent. I would go back there for it, although it was a daily special. In general, the restaurant is supposed to excel at fish dishes. The children at the table next to us (the restaurant has a neighborhood crowd) were attacking their pizzas, so we decided to try a pizza with salami, and the pizza was good. The staff seems to lean towards the Tiramisu (it’s huge!) and Cartoccio Siciliano (fried sweet dough filled with sweet ricotta cheese) but we decided on the Bambolino (fried dough balls rolled in lemon sugar with a hot chocolate sauce) and the Zuppa Inglese (chocolate cream, rum sponge cake, hot vanilla sauce). Both desserts were excellent.
Savor 2012 was last weekend, and it is an amazing beer show. I attended the CraftBeer.com Taste-Off Challenge, and got to see and taste 4 beer experts’ (3 are brewers) beer pairing skills. They had to choose a beer to pair with a rhubarb crisp, but they were not told lavender honey would be added. The 4 contestants were Jeff Hancock of DC Brau, Mike McManus of Brewery Ommegang, Chuck Silva of Green Flash Brewing Company, and Matt Bean of Men’s Health Magazine and Spike TV. While I was torn between Chuck’s choice (Belgian Trippel) and Matt’s choice (Allagash Coolship CERTES), and ultimately voted for Allagash Coolship CERTES, the winner turned out to be Mike’s choice (with Ommegang Aphrodite), my third choice. The DC Brau beer was El Hefe, and I beleive that the stealth addition of lavender destroyed the pairing, which was not Jeff’s fault.
I sampled a lot of beer at Savor! Some of my favorite beers from Savor include Flying Dog‘s Chocolate IPA, Ithica Beer Company‘s Apricot Wheat, American Beer Company‘s Caboose Oatmeal Stout (I loved this) and Breakaway IPA, Fat Head Brewery‘s Sorcerer (paired with Pork Belly Mole), Bell’s Brewery’s Wild One Sour Brown and Smoked Vienna Lager, Hardywood‘s Singel and Mocha Belgique, Founders Brewery Company‘s Curmudgeon Old Ale, Maui Brewing Company‘s Coconut Porter, Willimantic Brewing Company‘s Flowers Infusion and Pony Espresso Stout, and Ninkasi Brewing Company‘s Believer (which was served with an awesome dish, Red Chile Braised Goat).