• 12Aug

     

    In the D.C. area, you can find a variety of Caribbean cuisine–Jamaican, Trini, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Dominican. But it’s been a while since our region had Haitian food. Luckily, that void has been filled by Don Berto’s Kitchen.

    A pop-up held most Sundays in Silver Spring (held in the Afrik Grill/GOLF Lounge space), Chef Don Berto serves fresh, flavorful dishes from noon-7 p.m. The menu changes weekly, and their Facebook page is updated frequently.

    Popular dishes from this island nation include griyot (fried pork), rice and beans, mashed fried plantains, and pikliz (pickled vegetables). You’ll find that here (though the griyot tends to be turkey), along with snapper, goat stew, rum cake, and more. You’ll also find the national drink, Rhum Barbancourt, which is a good sipping rum. What you won’t find is MSG and Maggi (used quite frequently in Haitian cooking). Instead, the chef freshly mixes his seasonings.

    I had the goat stew, red snapper with rice and beans, plantains, and vegetables.  Everything was delicious. The goat stew is rich and filled with vegetables, dumplings, and plenty of goat. I’ll be looking forward to this in the colder months. The red snapper was beautifully done, and I could not stop eating it. The sauce coated the rest of the food on the platter and made everything more delectable. The portion size is good, but you must leave room for the rum cake. Soaked in rum, yet not soggy, it is the best version I’ve ever had, and you’ll be taking a slice to go, guaranteed.

    Chef Don Berto and his staff are welcoming and happy to answer any questions. You’ll be craving their food after just one visit, and you’ll want to return for the family-like atmosphere, friendly service, and maybe even stay for the kompa.

    -LEM

  • 09Aug

    Saturday, August 19th will be the the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest in Charlottesville, VA. The Fest will be hosted by Three Notch’d Brewing Company and is the only sanctioned event of the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. Thousands of craft beer lovers from Virginia and surrounding states enjoy chatting with the brewers responsible for the tasty libations. With nearly 100 breweries from across Virginia on hand to serve tastings from 2-8 PM, you should plan to stay for the day so you get to taste them all.

    DCFüd is giving away a pair of General Admission tickets to this event. Email your first and last name and phone number to Contest (AT) dcfud (DOT) com by Sunday August 13th at 5pm with the subject “VA Beer Fest” for a chance to win. It may take a couple of days for us to get back to the winner.

    We wrote about Three Notch’d previously.

    Road-trip!

    -JAY

  • 02Aug

     

    John Shields of Gertrude’s, PBS’s Coastal Cooking, and the New Chesapeake Kitchen was the MC and crab disassembling demonstrator at last week’s Crab & Beer Dinner at Wildfire in Tysons. Evolution Brewing of Salisbury, MD was on hand to pair and serve their fine brews.

    Properly-spiced Maryland blue crab served alongside a plastic lobster bib, mallet, and beach bucket for the shells was our first course of the evening. John showed everyone a proper technique to get out all the succulent meat in an expedient manner. He’s even studied with professional crab pickers. The blue crab was paired with Evolution’s Delmarva Pure Pils.

    Crab Spaghetti with summer vegetables and lobster sauce followed as the second course. Large chunks of fresh and delicious crab topped the spaghetti. The lobster sauce was made from a nicely reduced sauce. The dish was both fresh and delicate. This course was paired with Evolution’s Pine’hop’le IPA.

    Tender and savory Crab Crusted Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon in a roasted shallot-sherry wine reduction completed the pre-dessert courses. The steak dish was paired with Evolution’s Exile Red Ale.

    Dessert was served last, an orange pound cake with seasonal mixed berries and fluffy whipped cream.

    Keep an eye out for other extraordinary dinners at Wildfire. The next few months will bring another beer dinner, a single malt scotch Dinner, and a Wine dinner.

    Our thanks to Chef Moreno Espinoza (pictured above on the left) who joins us annually from Chicago to cook for this wonderful event.

    -JAY

  • 21Jul

    Coffee. Whether it’s your go-go juice, your perfect beverage paired with morning zen time, or an emergency pit stop to survive those last hours at work … Hopscotch Coffee & Records in Winchester, VA has your bases covered. The menu skips past the specialty drinks (don’t worry, you won’t miss those mocha-frappa-double-shot-extra-whip-hint-of-bullshit-achinos) because the true, rich flavor of Hopscotch’s locally roasted beans are showcased throughout each latte, espresso, regular drip, and french press. Did I mention that the beans are roasted less than a mile from the shop? I’d say that’s as local as it gets. Nate Rhodes, the owner, has seven years of experience with coffee and really knows what he’s doing behind the counter. I give him mad props for not hiring a bunch of hipster wanna be teens attempting to make coffee with no experience dialing in espresso. He’s really involved in his business, and I highly appreciate that as a customer.

    As for my latte, there were no complaints. I tasted no acidity, and only bold, rich espresso with delicate steamed milk. The drink was not blistering hot, and not at all lukewarm. The kitschy atmosphere reminded me of an urban outfitters, but homier. There was pinball machine in the corner, and cases of records for sale. Modern art adorned the walls as well as a map you might find in a high school geography classroom. There were plenty of seating and power outlets for every occasion, whether it be a business meeting, date with friends, or a quiet study session. All in all, for a shop only opened for 3 years, I see it being as prosperous and delicious for many more years to come.

    -Jara (JMG), Guest Blogger

    Permalink Filed under: Drinks, Etc, Stores Tags: No Comments
  • 17Jul

    Trappist Beer Travels is a new book for those who love Belgian Trappist Brews and are interested in the eleven Monasteries/Breweries that produce them. This is a great coffee table book for those who appreciate Belgian Trappist beers and their history. The book is well written and includes history, travel tips, information on the beers themselves, and beautiful photos.

    Included in this book are Orval, Achel, La Trappe, Rochefort, Chimay,  Westvleteren, Westmalle, Zundert, Stift Engelszell, Tre Fontane, and Spencer.

    Wait, Spencer? Yes, Spencer Brewery (Saint Joseph’s Abbey) in Spencer Massachusetts (6o miles from Boston) is even included. It is a shame the Abbey does not permit tours of the brewery or jam factory, but there is a gift shop, and you can join in mass services and walk the well-manicured paths. I actually didn’t know that we have a Trappist brewery here on the East Coast.

    Saint Bernardus Brewery has a bed and breakfast and is only a 25 minute drive from Westvleteren? That’s perfect for us beer nerds! The research trips “required” while writing this book must have been amazing!

    -JAY

  • 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.

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