• 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
    20161009_134545

    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.

  • 01Sep

    We recently dined at City Perch (in North Bethesda) for the first time. The restaurant shares a floor with a movie theater (which is part of the same company).

    We tried several of City Perch’s new menu items: Grilled Pork Chop, French Onion Soup, Tuscan Kale Salad, Apple Crisp, and Chocolate Donut. We also tried one of their classic options, the Roasted Long Island Duck, and two of their cocktails, the Norma Jean and the Illegalito.

    So, how were the food and drinks?

    The shredded duck was delicious. The dried out duck leg was more of a garnish, but the BBQ sauce and rest of the duck were spot on. The duck was served with Chinese Butter Buns (whipped trickling springs butter + sea salt), something I haven’t heard of, but they had a nice texture and worked well with the dish.

    The pork chop was tender and well executed, and was served with tasty Brussels sprouts. It was odd that they served me an item on the bone with a butter knife, since a steak knife would have been more appropriate (easier to use).

    The French Onion Soup and Tuscan Kale salad were good as well. I haven’t had French Onion Soup that included beef previously, but it was a good combination.

    The Norma Jean (Strawberry Vodka lemonade) and Illegalito (lovechild of a passion fruit mojito and a fresh piña colada) were both cocktails we would order again. We actually attempted to order a piña colada, since they already were making a similar cocktail, but were told it was not possible.

    The last three images above are dishes I took pictures of, even though we did not try them.

    This is a great restaurant that is serving some wonderful dishes, but some work needs to be done on the dessert menu. It is interesting that the waiter tried to steer both of us towards the Chocolate Donut, but we insisted on trying two different desserts.

    The Chocolate Donut could have had better texture, and in the menu, it was not clear that it is filled with warm chocolate. The accompanying macadamie tuile was excellent and the ice cream pairing (chocolate mint) worked.

    The apples in the Apple Crisp were under cooked and under seasoned (cinnamon, brown sugar, or ginger would help) and the crisp topping wasn’t crisp or substantial (it is usually like a crust when I order it in other restaurants) or flavored. The bland apple crisp was paired with crème fraîche ice cream when a flavored ice cream could have helped substantially by bringing contracting flavors. That particular ice cream flavor may pair well with a more flavored dessert.

    We are definitely looking forward to trying more dishes at City Perch, since the entrees were delicious and well-executed.

    -JAY

  • 26Aug

    One part laid-back Latin lounge, one part energetic izakaya, a dash of trendy U Street cocktail bar, shaken and poured into a new and stunning two-level space. Welcome to Sakerum.
    The name is a clear combination of inspiration across two distinct, but here united, cultures. The interior, the food, and the drink all reflects this unity. Inside, interweaving international textiles back up unique wall décor and statement pieces,  including a golden bird cage. And in a direct nod to the name, diners will find patterns inspired by rice and sugarcane throughout the space. The open-air upstairs space is now complete with a retractable rooftop.

    Owner Stephanos Andreou said “I’m just all about people. I Mixtress Gina Chersevani shakes it upwanted something less serious, more fun, and both sophisticated and a touch mysterious. I was inspired to blend Latin and Japanese cuisines because I have always believed that though their perspectives are quite different, their flavors complement each other very well. I was also excited to bring this unique concept to a city like Washington where I was unable to find another restaurant like this before.”

    Officially opened on August 22, the kitchen is helmed by Chef Khan Gayabazar, who crafts contemporary sushi, sashimi, and other dishes that cross Pacific trade and national barriers. Take the Mar y Tierra Roll – sushi made with lobster tail and tableside-scorched Miyazaki Wagyu beef, or the Yaki Tako, sweet and tender lightly grilled octopus kissed with lemon oil paired with a just-spicy-enough orange-mango salsa that provides a perfectly complementary bite.

    Meanwhile, as for the liquor, talented Gina Chersevani of Buffalo & Bergen heads up the bar program as beverage manager, where she coordinates the crafting of equally alluring and creative cocktails. The “Pirates Creed,” for example, has rum, coconut, pineapple, yuzu, and nutmeg. Of course, she includes the featured spirits in her drinks, as well as housemade sugarcane juice, made from a machine right behind the upstairs bar (ask for a taste!).

    At the opening party on Tuesday, August 23, Mixtress Gina debuted her cheeky tiki cocktail menu. Guests were greeted at the door with the “Welcome to the Bamba… Baby,” a warming concoction of red wine and bitters with berry, grapefruit, and lime. In a Caribbean take on a Manhattan, there’s the “I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so,” with rum instead of whiskey, and the addition of amaro sfumato and both orange and Angostura bitters. These are served at the mood-lit downstairs space, izakaya-style, snug up against the sushi bar and booths made both for boisterous groups and perhaps a canoodle.

    The upstairs bar, meanwhile, goes full-on Latin lounge, with everything from the aforementioned sugarcane juicer to a frozen-drink maker. Slushie-style drinks are slung by bartenders in sleek copper cups adorned by shaved ice and sprigs of mint. Andreou said, “One of my favorite parts of the restaurant is the retractable rooftop on the second floor. It’s a gorgeous space that we can control the atmosphere around, and the small details, like the greenery and plants, make the area feel luxe and spacious.”

    Chersevani told us that she “didn’t know much about sake when I started the project a couple years ago, but my passion for unique spirits means now that we have an list of rums, sakes, and other liquors that you’re not going to find at any other bar. It’s been an incredible learning process.” She also gave us the scoop on her Wednesday-only Sake Bamba parties, where she’ll serve unique sakes in limited quantities, giving her the opportunity to showcase the spirit and let different iterations shine that she’d be unable to do so on other nights.
    Passed small bites wandered through the dense crowd during the event, including sushi rolls and chicken with mojo sauce. The party lasted well into the evening as the lights got low and the music turned up. Surely a good sign for this exciting space.

    -ESC

    Sakerum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

  • 13Jun

    Lhommage July 2016 DCFBHH

    DC Food Blogger Happy Hour at L’Hommage, July 6th, 6pm-8pm

    L’Hommage serves classic French bistro fare in a large, inviting space with an attached French bakery. It’s in the same restaurant family as Ottoman Taverna (last month’s happy hour), Alba Osteria, Al Dente and Bistro Atelier. Happy hour specials include mussels, sliders and other appetizers plus discounts on wine and well drinks.

    Address: 450 K Street NW (between 4th and 5th; close to Gallery Place and Judiciary Square Metro)

    Host: Andrew of Cook In / Dine Out.

    RSVP here.
  • 10Jun

    Savor splashed down in DC last weekend, combining great beer from throughout the USA with dishes the Brewer’s Association’s Executive Chef, Adam Dulye created for the 2016 show. Adam was one of the four speakers for the salon (class), Developing the SAVOR Menu. The speakers at the salon were: (from L to R) Steve Bradt of Free State Brewing Company, Steve Wildy of the Vetri Family of Restaurants, Kyle Mendenhall of Backcountry Gourmet on PBS, and Adam Dulye.

    Whenever possible, Adam starts by sampling the beer he wants to pair and then creating an appropriate dish to serve with it. But, sometimes the brew in question is being released at (or created for) the show and Adam has a phone conversation where the brewers describe a beer to him that they haven’t actual tried, which makes creating a appropriate pairing more difficult.

    Attendees left with Savor’s 2016 collaboration beer:

    Allagash Brewing Company (Portland, Maine) and Deschutes Brewery (Bend, Oregon) teamed up to brew Pettygrove’s Chance, combining delicate Oregon and Maine malts and fermenting with a farmhouse yeast.”

    Below are images of some of my favorite brews and pairings of the evening:

    -JAY

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