• 11Jun

    Savor at the National Building Museum is a great showcase for high quality craft beers, with this year (the tenth annual) not being an exception. This year’s beer list included some exceptional choices and pairings. Virginia’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Company created this year’s collaborative beer, Savor X, a parting gift for attendees. Red Apron‘s charcuterie, Choptank‘s oysters, and Wisconsin cheese were hits!

    This is a show DC craft beer lovers (including myself) look forward to every year, so keep an eye out for Savor 2018! Maybe they’ll bring salons (classes) back next year?

    -JAY

  • 22May

    Summer Thursdays always brim with excitement. It’s not quite the weekend, but it’s close, and everyone seems to be out and about. If you’re looking for a Thursday spot with great food, great drinks, and an amazing vibe, look no further Bar Dupont. Located on Dupont Circle, Bar Dupont is the perfect place for people-watching and cocktail-sipping. They recently launched Dupont Live every Thursday through July, starting at 6:30 p.m., featuring local musicians on their patio, along with their newest menu additions.

    The Evening’s Performers

    Throughout the evening, we were able to try a variety of Bar Dupont’s new cocktails and appetizers. Their take on a Tom Collins, the aptly named Dupont Collins, was my favorite. The introduction of St. Germain provides a bit of a floral note, and the cocktail light and refreshing on hot summer nights. The Moto Guzzi, an Aperol spritz, is another perfect-for-the-weather option, albeit one that goes down a bit too easy. The Green Variety Margarita is tasty, and makes you at least feel somewhat healthy, due to the green juice. And who doesn’t want to sit on a patio while sipping a rosé? No patio menu would be complete without at least one option, and their Chateau Jouclary Bardes option is a great one, though they have several. Bar Dupont also focuses on offering local wine, beer, and spirits.

    Though “bar” is in their name, don’t let that fool you—their food is also fantastic. The two standouts for me are the tuna tacos (crispy shell, Ahi tuna, slaw, avocado) and the curried cauliflower (fried cauliflower bites with chimichurri). The tacos were not only tasty, but texturally interesting due to the crispy shell and tuna. The cauliflower was perfectly fried and went well with the tangy chimichurri sauce. It was also slightly addictive, and you might end up wanting a second order. The oysters were huge and delicious, though I didn’t care for the mignonette on them. But you can’t go wrong ordering those. I didn’t get to try the beef tartare or the Wagyu bacon cheeseburger, but those all went fast, so my guess is either one is a smart choice.

    Dupont Live will feature various musical genres and local musicians. The duo we heard played a bit of light jazz, which really set the tone for a chill atmosphere. Each act will be a surprise, so you never know who you might see!

    Bar Dupont should definitely be in your regular rotation, especially on Thursdays for Dupont Live. With impressive food, drinks, and musicians, you won’t want to miss it.

    -LEM

  • 11May

    I did what most young professionals do on a Friday night,  look for an after-work chill, cool down spot with a nice view of the city and good food.  Well, I think I might have found this “diamond in the rough” at the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop Bar located at 2015 Massachusetts Ave, NW,  in the District.

    Opened over the weekend, the Embassy Row Hotel Rooftop Bar just had their kickoff event, and was  named “One of the World’s Most Amazing Rooftop Pools in The World” by Weather.com and “One of Best Rooftop Pools in America” by USA Today. They also received an awarded for “Best Chef in DC” with Chef Guy manning the grill.   Some popular items that were ordered include:

    Starters: Roast Piquillo pepper hummus,  Street Fare Kabobs Skewers of beef, chicken, steak, and vegetables, and Grilled Wings, which all will run you about $10.

    Sandwiches: Basil Chicken Breast, and “Juicy Lucy Burger.”

    The drinks: “Red Bull Mango Manic” sold out quickly. The shot girls appeared with the featured alcohol of the night (Tequila shot and Coronas in honor of Cinco De Mayo).

    Upon entering the Rooftop, there were some chairs near the grass-like area in front where people can sit and talk and pose with different selfie props. Around the pool area, there was some seating.  The lower desk has different games that people can play such as Checkers, and Connect Four – the adult version.   More games are featured downstairs in the “Underground Playground” which features:  Foosball, Ping Pong, Shuffleboard, and Air Hockey.

    The only downside that was a constant was the long line for drinks and food since Chef Guy was his own one man band and there were only 2 bartenders for thirty people.  However, with the long line came the shot girls to quiet the masses and the line moved with the sweet tunes of DJ Nick manning the tables.   He definitely played to the crowd and took my requestto play the Macarena – in honor of Cinco De Maya – I was in heaven.

    According to the Event Calendar, some notable events:  “Silent Disco” on Fridays, each guest gets a pair of headphones and then tunes into each 3 DJ different stations from 7pm until 11pm – this a cool millennial spirited event.  “Yoga Monday” starts the week out with some calm by the poolside. Events are listed on their website.

    Follow them on social media as well  (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) @EmbassyRowHotel, #MyDCRooftop, #EmbassyRowLove

    To access The Rooftop pool, you can purchase a day pass for $30 on The Rooftop, starting at 3 PM each day; if you’re dining on The Rooftop, you don’t need to purchase a day pass. The Rooftop is typically open May – September, weather dependent.

    Embassy Row Hotel features different options for those who want to spend the night:

    LOVE,

    -CLF

     

     

     

     

     

  • 03May

    Fogo de Chão recently invited us to a media event featuring their new bar and seasonal offerings, and of course, a variety of fire roasted meats! While our schedule didn’t allow us to arrive early enough to try the Southern Brazilian steakhouse’s new Bar Fogo – Happy Hour Menu offerings, Braised Beef Rib Sliders, Brazilian Empanadas (beef), and Garlic Shrimp, or seasonal options, Blackberry Arugula Salad, Lentil Quinoa Salad, and Carrot Ginger Soup, we did sample the Mango Habanero Caipirinha off the new menu, and Fogo’s classic, Passion Fruit Caipirinha.

    We did arrive in time to sample the Rodizio (parade of fire roasted meats), sides, and dessert. Some of our favorite meats of the evening were the Picanha (prime part of the top sirloin), Beef Ancho (ribeye),  Costela (beef ribs), Pork Sausages, and Baby Lamb Chops. The Pão de Queijo (cheese bread) and Flan were hits as well.

    “Bar Fogo’s Happy Hour is available Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and features new Happy Hour prices that everyone can appreciate – from $4 Brazilian Bites & Beers to $6 South American Wines and $8 Brazilian Inspired Cocktails.”

    This was our first time at Fogo, and we will definitely be returning soon. We definitely need to try the empanadas and both the new Strawberry Hibiscus Caipirinha and Fogo Caipirinha.

    Fogo’s nearby locations include Washington, DC, and a new addition to the area, Tysons.

    -JAY

     

    Editor’s Note:

    Several of the included links contain actual recipes.

     

     

     

  • 18Nov

    One Eight Distillery (located in Ivy City, right around the corner from Union Market) new product line of whiskey is excellent for both drinking and baking.   Upon entering the tasting room which is just right outside the Distillery, One Eight presented an indulgent alcohol-infused brownie. The brownie and chocolate ganache were infused with One Eight’s spirits and went over very well with the crowd.

    After your ID was checked (Good Looking Out, Loved the Complainant), the individual  received a bracelet with 3 tear away coupons for the tasting room.  The tasting room presented Rock Creek Whiskey, Ivy City Gin, District Made Vodka, and Untitled.  These Spirits were distilled in DC; each of the ingredients were hand picked from local vendors in DC. The rye and corn were locally grown.  Rock Creek Rye has the distinct honor of being the ONLY “Grain to Glass” bottled in the District since Prohibition.  Now I caution you that when I stuck my tongue in the shot glass, my tongue stung. (Editor’s Note: A Christmas Story flashbacks, anyone?)

    #MadeInDC network theme ran though the event from the individualized Photo Booth (take a selfie with the bottle!) to the  “Make Your Own Cocktail” bar (craft their own personal spirit!). Also, food vendors from neighboring Union Market were on hand to wow the mouth with either pizza rolls and gelato.

    Additionally, the bar was serving various cocktails featuring the One Eight product line.  My favorite was the “Constant Gardner.”

    Happy Exploring the NEW IVY CITY,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

    One Eight Distilling

    1135 Okie Street NE | Washington, DC 20002

    Metro: NoMa-Gallaudet U; Rhode Island Ave

    Bus: D3, D4; E2, E3

    Parking: Free on-street parking is available. Please be respectful of neighboring businesses/residences and any posted parking policies.

  • 17Nov

    cr-invite-mokiCotton and Reed (1330 5th Street NE) is a new distillery recently opened near Union Market.  This bar does not offer any food; co-founders Reed Walker and Jordon Cotton contract local food truck vendors to make sure that they are in the parking lot for the last night ready for the crowd.

    Chaz Jefferson, Head Bartender, when asked about what type of bar does he want to have: “I want to have rowdy bar.”  His favorite shot is: 1 oz shot, and is so smooth. His advice to Novice Drinkers: Chaz suggest that individuals start with a daiquiri to taste the rum; its not a sweet bite, but its sneaks up on you!” Lucas, the Head Drink Designer, states, that the “sweetness comes from Turkish sweets.”

    The official opening was November 12, however we attended a soft opening which was open to food bloggers, friends,  and publicists, but some locals did manage to get in and enjoy free spirits that night.

    The menu normally contains simple offerings at only of $10 a drink, which is very generous considering the quality of the spirits and cocktails.

    When speaking with one patron, he stated, “The Spice Boy is my favorite: I just love it!”  Another man, whose 21st birthday was this day, marked the occasion with a 1 oz Spice Rum Shot which he stated as “Transverse.”  A group of women joined in and cheered, “This rum makes me speechless!” while the other woman stated, “This rum makes you wonder why other rums aren’t this good.”

    My question remains, “WHY DO ALL OTHER RUMS BURN, when this rum is so SMOOTH?”

    Smoothly Signing Off,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

     

  • 14Oct

    Adams Morgan Neighborhood Immersion concept is kind of like a bar crawl but without all of the unlimited boozing. Brooklyn Brewery hosted this immersion, so you know some good brews were present!

    You pay $20 and you’re guaranteed a free lunch at a participating restaurant and two beer tickets.  Upon getting your tickets you are given a number of coupons that include your free lunch at Mellow Mushroom and another restaurant of your choice (Amsterdam Falafel, Pop’s SeaBar or Songbyrd) and coupons for discounts, raffles, etc.

    First stop Mellow Mushroom for a free lunch.  Lunch at the Mellow Mushroom was awesome.  However, you’re not told what your “free lunch” entails until you arrive at the restaurant.  It was a free small pizza with one topping of your choice.  And who doesn’t like free pizza?

    Mellow Mushroom is always a favorite and you can’t go to a place called “mellow mushroom” and not get mushrooms as your topping.  Next stop was BicycleSPACE where they were raffling off a free bike.  Very cool bicycle shop.  I need a bike basket for my dog!  =)  We then headed over to Rise Bakery for some gluten free baked goods.  So I’m not a big fan of gluten free pastries but I have to say it’s much better than some of the gluten free foods I’ve had before.  So I’d say if you have a gluten allergy, this is a great spot to get your bread, cupcake and pastry fix.  Of the three other free lunches to choose from I went with Pop’s Seabar because I’ve never been there before.

    Options were free calamari or their boardwalk chicken…so I went for them both and then threw in an order of oysters on the half shell.  Wonderfully fresh oysters and who doesn’t like fried foods.  It’s definitely a spot I’d hit up again; however, I wouldn’t have considered that a “lunch.”

    I didn’t hit up all of the spots that they had in their envelope of coupon goodies because they didn’t really entice me.  Overall, I thought that this event was a little lacking and not at all interesting.  The free lunch at Mellow Mushroom was great, free beer is always good and that paid for the tickets themselves.  But I would’ve hoped for more restaurants to want to draw in the crowd by offering more than just some discounts and having to choose from their already small selection of restaurants (3).

    -ADT


    Editor’s Note(s): During this Mash Tour, I attended the Beer Mansion event and part of the dinner at the Royal. I do wish I’d had more available time on both days because Chef Andrew Gerson is amazing! His duck dish (Seared Duck Breast, Confit Leg, Celery, Orange, Grilled Shishito Peppers, and Duck Demi Glace) was wonderful and who else will serve you poke directly into your hand?

    My favorite brews of the dinner at the Royal were Yokai (which includes sake leaves) and Local 1, while my dining partner favored Galahad and Framboisie (raspberries!). Ok, Sorachi Ace and K is for Kriek (cherries!) were great too, as always

    Some highlights:

    -JAY

  • 14Oct

    Beer Garden in the middle of the Street

    The 17th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest- Shirlington Vilage was held on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 12pm – 7pm with the taps closing at 6pm in the Shirlington area of Campbell Street area. It was presented by the Capitol City Brewing Company.

    More than 65 breweries from all over Virginia were lined up and down the streets, to provide their ”spirits offering” to a new audience.   These mostly Southern breweries are trying to tap into the Northern Virginia market. While walking down the street, I got to experience distinct hops (and combinations) that make  brews that are unique to the participating breweries.   While the beer is the mostly the draw, the addition of authentic German food: brezlen –huge German-style pretzels, bratwurst- German-style hot dogs, and my personal favorite: cinnamon nuts combined with Apline Bavarian tunes playing in the middle of the square to create a classic Oktoberfest ambiance.

    The ticket price were $30 for 21-year old and over, which included an official waistband, official Capital City Tasting cup, and 10 drink tickets. For an additional fee you can add “Beer Insurance” for $5 which is basically a lanyard so you can be hands-free.   For additional $1, a festivalgoer can purchase additional tickets with a 5-ticket maximum, for additional tastings.

    With my ten drink tickets, I had the distinct pleasure to taste some of these elixirs myself:

    Capital City Brewing has three offerings inside the restaurant – Cursed Gourd – which was brewed with chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.  Next up, Smoketoberfest – this wheat beer had a smoky character and packed a punch.  Lastly, Oktoberfest Lager (which was just 1 ticket) was complex and tangy, and left a sweet flavor pleasantly lingering on our tongues.

    Starr Hill which is based in Charlottesville, VA – had two offering – Reviver: Red Indian Pale Ale which is a wheat beer (made exclusively in Virginia) and Last Leaf Maple Brown Ale (with maple syrup from a local vendor in Charlottesville)

    Crabbie (Ginger Beer) is based in Richmond, VA  – had two offerings – Fruits: Cloudy Alcoholic Lemonade (I personally recommend) which is good for summer days, and not as much for cold, wet, rainy days, and Original Ginger Beer which is good anytime with hints of citrus, ginger, and more refreshing notes much like a wine cooler.

    Ardoit Theory is based in Purcellville, VA (Loundon County)  and has a heavy Social Media presence through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat; their lines were long, due the heavy branding process which was already in effect.  Additionally, their larger was darker, richer, and bolder than most.  I personally don’t like dark stouts unless mixed with a lighter brew (Black and Tans are always my go to in a Tavern setting.)

    Mad Fox has two locations in Northern Virginia, and offered winter brews.  Orange Whip (American Pale Ale) had fruity notes such as pineapple, oranges, and citrus tones along with a smooth caramel finish.  Oktoberfest Lagerbier  is a classic German beer with all the right touches.

    Flying Dog  Grout Standard (Pumpkin IPA) helps you get in the Autumn spirit. Raging Bitch is another personal favorite, but I think I like the name almost as much as the beer.

    Another cool aspect, was COPA, which is a cup of red or white wine, and has a presence at Total Wine and Whole Foods, but this was a chance to actually taste it before purchasing it elsewhere.

    As good as beers are, they do have a habit of sneaking up on you so please drink responsibly.

    Your Cheering Buddy,

    -CLF (Crystal)

     

  • 28Sep

    brooklyn-mashThe Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour Returns to DC October 6th through 9th. This year’s events include:

    · Dinner With Friends at The Royal – Thursday, October 6th

    · FREE SHOW! – Timberland presents Black Lips – Thursday, October 6th

    · Beer Mansion at Blind Whino – Saturday, October 8th

    · Adams Morgan Neighborhood Immersion – Sunday October 9th

    You can check our our coverage of last year’s DC events. We are covering this year’s events as well.

    -JAY

     

  • 18Sep

    In the theme of “dress for the job you want to have,” Ashok Bajaj’s 701 Restaurant on Tuesday evening, September 13, ran with the idea of “create a menu for the season you want it to be.” Fall’s a-coming, even if we can’t quite tell yet. Talented chef Benjamin Lambert (who once worked at Restaurant Nora) is changing over his seasonal menu with sips and plates that have whiffs of sultry summer and gusts of hearty fall.

    “I took inspiration from dishes that I love to cook and eat,” he said. “And, of course, the upcoming fall season. I have a really wide range to create dishes that I’m passionate about.”

    At the bar, a seasoned mixologist poured not only red, white and rose wine (now popular in any season), but also two craft cocktails. The first is geographical in name: the 7th & Penn, with rye, aged rum, PX sherry, orange and angostura bitters. The second connects summer (gin) and fall (port), called the Douro Spritz, with saffron-infused gin, white port, housemade tonic, and soda.

    Small plates circulated the room, beginning with a Chilled Corn Soup in a shot glass, topped with bacon crumbles, cornbread streusel, and chili-lime sorbet. In the frozen theme, a Bluefin Tuna Tartare came topped with sushi rice ice cream, along with ponzu and wasabi oil. Our favorites: the delightful and hearty cauliflower shawarma, served over a tiny dollop of hummus, with golden raisins, tomatoes, and lavash; and the Smoked Duck Breast, served over a trio of sauces: black bean puree, salsa verde, and baby corn aioli.

    The evening finished with a sweet corn pudding and deconstructed s’mores: a fitting end to a warm evening.

    -ESC (Evan)

     

    Editor’s Note: Yes, one photo is upside down.

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