• 11Mar

    Ever wondered what it would be like to walk into a hidden basement bar where their sign is subtlety displayed so not to attract too much attention, making you feel like you are part of an exclusive underground bar society cult?

    How intriguing would it be to know that their hand drawn cocktail menu changes quite frequently and their hours of operation and telephone number are nowhere to be found on-site and online?

    As the cocktail creator of D.C.’s Proof and Estadio, Adam Bernbach is the Bar Director of 2 Birds 1 Stone, D.C.’s modern day speakeasy located near the corner of S and 14st NW.  Yes, basic information you’d expect to easily find about a D.C. bar does not apply to 2 Birds 1 Stone. Go to their website for their location and email address but that’s all you’ll find. I was lucky enough to have my best friend who is a bigger D.C. foodie than myself to introduce me to this hidden gem.  Apparently, you never know when they open or close so you just gotta take a chance and go inside.  And wait lines are common on weekends so that’s why we went on a Thursday night and walked in with ease.

    The interior décor of the speakeasy bar is clean—whitewashed concrete walls with a minimalist chic kind of clean. As I entered, a cute portrait of two birds on the wall caught my attention. Upon sitting at the bar, I noticed several figurines of coupled birds scattered along the walls and shelves. I’m a sucker for small details that has obviously been given a lot of thought so bravo, 2 Birds 1 Stone, bravo.

    But most importantly, let’s get to the drinks. A nicely decorated bar providing a hipster’ish ambiance is nothing without great cocktail concoctions.

    I only had one drink because we were trying to kill time waiting for a dinner reservation at Barcelona a few blocks away (review on this will be coming up shortly), but that one drink was remarkably delicious. It was strong on the booze and flavors, just how I like it. If you appreciate the zing of ginger, cinnamon, gin, coriander, and mint leaves, order the Pimms Cup. It’s packed with natural flavors that kick your taste buds without leaving a sugary aftertaste.

    As for my friend’s whiskey cocktail, I can’t recall the name but I remember it was thoroughly enjoyed. If anyone reading knows the name of the cocktail to the right in the photo, please let me know. This was during the week of February 21, 2014.

    Could I drink the Pimms Cup all night? No way. But it was the perfect drink to sip on to kill time. Would I go back? Absolutely. I’m intrigued by their Southeast Asian bar food menu I didn’t have the chance to indulge in.

     -EHY (Elina)

  • 03Mar

    We attended the DC Travel & Adventure Show this year. The show (as always) had great speakers, and we watched both (Travel Channel celebrities) Samantha Brown and Todd Carmichael present.

    Samantha has been on the Travel Channel for quite a number of years as the host of various self-titled shows, while Todd is in his second season of hosting Dangerous Grounds. Both of their presentations included wonderful storytelling and video clips from their shows.

    Todd’s La Colombe cafes are located in New York City , Philadelphia, Chicago, Seoul, and as of a  few weeks ago, Washington, DC. We headed to his cafe after his presentation to try some of the coffee that he potentially risked his life to obtain. La Colombe’s DC location is located in an alley across the street from the Convention Center. Yes, we talking about the same alley as Rogue 24, Blagden Alley. La Colombe is a small (long and narrow partially unfinished) cafe, and is generally very crowded with coffee connoisseurs. I tried the single origin Kochere from Ethiopia which was delicious, had a natural sweetness, and opened up as it cooled. “S” enjoyed her cappuccino.

    Keep an eye out for a second local La Colombe, since Todd said he is planning his next DC location.

    -JAY

  • 13Feb

    The March DC Food Blogger Happy Hour will be at City Tap House on March 5th, 6-8pm. Please RSVP here. I am hosting with Chito of RUNIN Out. Thanks to everyone who attended last week’s happy hour at Nopa Kitchen + Bar.

    -JAY

    City Tap House Flyer FB

     

     

  • 08Feb

    I recently had the pleasure of attending a gluten-free beer and food pairing event at Wildfire Restaurant in McLean. Not only was this event a culinary treat, but it was also an opportunity to make new friends and lament over the difficulties of gluten-free traveling. Guest speaker, Eric Marrapodi from CNN, told us tales of his own travel mishaps while also providing tips learned along the way. The laid-back, friendly atmosphere, as well as the flowing drinks, allowed us all to swap a few more tales of our own.

    There were four pairings, each with their own individual taste and flair. First, there were appetizers of fried oysters and prosciutto and date flatbreads paired with Bard’s beer. I have to say, the flatbreads were actually one of my favorite options from the night, along with the jumbo lump crab cakes. The crab cakes were made with Wildfire’s homemade gluten-free bread and served with a dijon mustard sauce and a Redbridge beer pairing. Since going gluten-free, I have found very few occasions where I can enjoy crab cakes, let alone ones that were as moist and tasty as these. My entire table gushed and devoured every bite.

    The second course was a coffee crusted beef tenderloin with scalloped potatoes paired with Estrella Damm Daura beer. This was my favorite beer selection of the evening, although it was unanimously agreed by my table that the Angry Orchard cider and apple cinnamon bread pudding was the best pairing of the evening. Even my husband, who is not usually a cider fan, agreed the cider brought out the flavors of the bread pudding, while the pudding toned down the sweetness in the cider. It was definitely the perfect pairing to end a perfect evening. I departed that evening satisfied with a full belly and promising to count down in anticipation for Wildfire’s next gluten-free event.

    -JPM (Joyana)

    Wildfire - Tysons Galleria on Urbanspoon

  • 03Feb

    We were present at SweetWater Brewery‘s tap takeover at RFD last week. The Atlanta based brewery also did a tap takeover at Rustico in Ballston, so now you know two local places to get their beer on tap.

    My favorite was the 420 (Extra Pale Ale), but I was also a fan of the Georgia Brown–I do tend to enjoy browns. The LowRYEDer IPA is very good, and is nice to try a beer of that style (rye IPA). We also tried the (non rye) IPA, with Cy stating: “The SweetWater Brewery IPA is VERY hoppy. The label says kick in the teeth hops.”  Cy’s comments on the 420 are: “It is Bitter with citrus and sweet undertones. ”

    We previously sampled the Blue (made with a high quality blueberry extract), which neither of us were huge fans of, but we can see how it could become quite popular. You can definitely taste the blueberries flavor in the beer.

    Cy and I ordered RFD’s BBQ pizza, which was good, but contained bacon that we just could not taste. So, maybe the bacon isn’t necessary when you already have pulled pork, BBQ sauce ad cheese on a pizza.

    -JAY

    R.F.D. Washington on Urbanspoon

  • 21Jan

    Pic courtesy of tripadvisor.com.

    When my friend first dragged me into Bourbon Coffee it was December, my friend desperately wanted a pastry, and I needed a coffee.

    Now, as a twenty-one-year-old and self-proclaimed semi-hip person, I was shocked by how un-hip I felt in Bourbon Coffee. The place was softly lit, paintings hung all over the walls, and calm jazz music played in the background. Everyone there seemed a bit too calm and I had grown accustomed to the long lines and headaches of Starbucks. However, after venturing into Bourbon Coffee a few more times, I started to love the bohemian ambiance. With free Wi-Fi, It’s a great place to do work, study, or read a book to relax. Also, as a side note, this place is warm with a built-in fireplace, which I am not underselling in this current season of freezing freaky weather.

    The coffee is pretty good too. Bourbon Coffee has over two-dozen espresso drinks, all with non-traditional sort of fun names. Always order your coffee to drink there- they serve it to you in over sized mugs that make you feel like you’re at Central Perk from Friends. They also sell Panini’s, yogurts, salads, and pastries.  Their breakfast menu is what I go for in the morning.

    Personal favorite drinks:

    The Nutty Irishman: Strong coffee, even stronger nutty flavor. If you like Irish Cream and hint of nutmeg in your coffee, go for this one. I get this every time I go. Must be eaten with a cookie.

    Mexican Hot Chocolate: Get this one, if you want something on the more luxurious side. They aren’t chincey on the chocolate. There’s also a hint of chili powder in it that gives it a nice kick.

    Recommendation: If you want something for dessert, leave the Danish and take the cookie. The pastries are only so-so but the cookies are delicious and are as big as your head.

    -Guest Writer, Mary Sette (MAS)

  • 14Jan

    A couple of weeks ago, Cy and I attended  a traditional Napolitan Christmas Eve 7 Fishes dinner at Dolce Vita/Dolce Veloce in the private cantina (which was packed with regulars) next door. Giuseppe “Joe” Ricciardi, chef/owner of the aforementioned Fairfax Italian restaurants is a native of Naples, and an extraordinary chef/restauranteur. His restaurants have some nice touches including artwork, tile wine racks that store wine at the correct temperature, Dolce Vita’s wood burning pizza oven shown above, and a superb selection of wines that displayed and sold (at retail prices) at Dolce Veloce.

    I’ve  posted pictures of the different courses above. The paired wines were as follows:

    • Assorted Crostini was paired with the sparking wine, Prosecco Anima.
    • Baccala 3 Ways was served with Gavi Di Gavi , a dry white wine from Piemonte.
    • Linguini with Eel Sauce was complemented by Barbera D’Alba, a light red from Alba Piemonte.
    • 7 Fish Stew was paired with a Pinot Noir Reserva from Alto Adice.
    • Amaretto Mouse was served with Moscato from Piemonte.

    Below is a video Cy (our videographer and beer note writer) took of the dinner.  Included is some footage of the wonderful Bunny Polmer (Dolce Vita’s publicist) and I eating dinner.

    The food and wine pairings were excellent. It’s a shame I could not try the crostini due to an allergy to molds/truffles/mushrooms but Cy enjoyed it. You can tell that Joe knows how to work with salt cod, because it was very flavorful without being too salty. We enjoyed the texture and flavor of the scungili (imported from Italy) included in the 7 Fish Stew.

    I’m looking forward to eating at Dolci Vita again soon; I hear that I have to try their pizza cones. Joe told me that pizza cones were popular for a short while in Italy, but now that he has perfected them, they are a regular part of his menu .

    Previous DCFüd coverage of Dolce Veloce is available here and here.

    -JAY

    Dolce Vita on Urbanspoon

  • 19Dec
    Happy hour is Monday-Friday, 3pm-7pm: $4 beers, $5 martinis and mojitos, and $6 wine.

    Happy hour is Monday-Friday, 3pm-7pm: $4 beers, $5 martinis and mojitos, and $6 wine.

    There’s a new Happy Hour spot in town where you can watch pretty much any game on their tremendous 90-100 inch quad-screen capable plasma TV. (But, don’t worry, there are plenty of other TV setups as well if you can’t grab a seat in front of this one.) As soon as you walk in, your eyes are immediately drawn towards their bright and shiny new bar, the obvious focal point of the establishment. This California-based brewery restaurant  is not designed in a traditional manner since the bartenders have plenty of space to hustle around inside, and all the beer taps are on the center island of the oval shaped bar.

    As for their food, I tried the following appetizers:

    • Spinach and Artichoke Dip- Too creamy and salty for my taste buds.
    • Chicken Lettuce Wraps- I’m indifferent about this dish. The chicken pieces were cubed and dry. The flavor and presentation were not bad, but it’s unlikely I will order this again.
    • Their house Cabernet Sauvignon.

      Their house Cabernet Sauvignon.

      Crispy Calamari- Portion size is smaller but this dish is tasty, so I preferred it to the Spinach and artichoke Dip or Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

    • Avocado Egg Rolls- My favorite out of the four appetizers! There are heaping thick cuts of warm avocado layered in just the right amount of cream cheese, red onions, cilantro, tomatoes, pine nuts, and spices. This is a must try!

    The service and my overall experience at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse was fantastic. This new brewery restaurant has a lot of potential and is worth checking out next time you’re in the Tysons Corner area.

    Warning: the bar gets packed during HH, so go early to grab a good seat or bar table! Cheers!

    -EHY (Elina)

    B.J.'s Brewhouse on Urbanspoon

  • 15Dec

    Pros event_image_12201_5456The promo code for this is “foodie” which will take $10 off the price of each of the three events listed below. The promo code is only good for these three events and for tickets purchased in advance (it can’t be used for purchase at the door). The below ticket prices are subject to change and will increase as we get closer in time to the events.

    Champagne, Cheese, Chocolate, Music, Dancing and More: Pre-New Year’s Eve Mixer and Tasting : Saturday, December 28, 2013 from 7 pm – 12 am at  the Embassy Suites in Old Town Alexandria. $65
     
    Washington DC New Year’s Eve Passport to the World Gala: An International Red Carpet Affair – 9:00 p.m. Entry Time: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 9 pm – 2 am at the Capital Hilton in DC. $139
     
    Washington DC New Year’s Eve Passport to the World Gala: An International Red Carpet Affair – 10:30 p.m. Entry Time : Tuesday, December 31, 2013 from 10:30 pm – 2 am at the Capital Hilton in DC. $99
     
    -JAY
  • 11Oct

    From October 21st until November 3rd, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana will celebrate Its Seventh Annual Day of the Dead Festival with festive cocktails and a menu showcasing some of the most authentic ancient foods of Mexico. Tuesday evening, Cy and I attended the media preview for the festival. The food and drinks at this event were exceptional. I could not try the duck dish (since it has mushrooms) and the crab dish was not served.

    Day of the Dead Menu Specials:

    • Caviar de Chapala (Caviar, cilantro, onion, Serrano chile and green tomato in a warm tortilla)
    • Ostiones Pimentos (Lightly poached oyster with bay leaf, black peppercorn, garlic and lemon, served in its own shell)
    • Jaibas Rellenas (Stuffed crab shell topped with sea urchin butter)
    • Chilorio Negro (Black mole with beef and season vegetables)
    • Pato Frito en Chile Seco (Fried duck in a dry chile sauce)
    • Sopa de Calabaza (Pumpkin and squash soup with spiced pumpkin seeds, chile, annatto oil, and foie gras)

    Day of the Dead Cocktail Specials:

    • Atole Rico (Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal, masa, Mexican cinnamon, piloncillo, vanilla and lemon)
    • Resucitó (Maestro Dobel Diamond tequila, Cocchi Americano Rosa, lime leaf and grapefruit bitters)
    • Pato Borracho (House-infused duck Gran Centrenario Añejo, Chihuatl chili, pomegranate and pineapple with an almond air)
    • Atole Rico (A cold cocktail version of Atole, a traditional humble porridge Day of the Dead drink)

    -JAY

    Oyamel on Urbanspoon

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