Friday, March 30, 2012

Hot Sausage Dinner

The nice thing about getting off of work early is that I have plenty of time to go to the grocery store and make dinner. Sometimes, that means planning an elaborate dinner, three courses or some such, going to the store to get the fixings, and going at it. This time, it meant going to the store and seeing what looked good and/or was on sale.

It so happened that they had really good looking hot Italian sausage. It was a nice day, so I figured I could grill it, have a nice meal outdoors, and enjoy the bottle of Brewer's Art Green Peppercorn Trippel I had picked up. But I wanted a meal a bit more complicated than just sausage on a bun. Preferably involving vegetables. I grabbed some jalapeño for spice and some onion. I wanted something green, so I grabbed some cabbage. I thought maybe I could make some sauerkraut, but that was too complicated, long, and involved ingredients I didn't have. Or at least two of the three, depending on the recipe. So I made German coleslaw.

After starting up the grill, I put the sausage on the grill to cook a little while I cut up the onion and jalapeño. I sliced each in half and brushed some olive oil on the end. I set the onion on the grill, flipped the sausage, and a bit later, set the pepper on the grill. I wasn't going to, but looking at the way the jalapeño was cooking, I flipped them over before I took them off. Everything cooked up fine, but I wish I had sliced the onion before cooking, rather than cutting in half. The caramelized bits were great, but the caramelization didn't penetrate very far.

Once everything was cooked, I piled it on toasted buns. Sausage, coleslaw, jalapeño, mustard, and onion on a bun. It wasn't bad. Stone-ground mustard would have been better, but I only had Dijon. I had the aforementioned problem with the onions. The jalapeños were great though, and the coleslaw gave the contraption a really satisfying crunch.

Small Plates: 03.30.12

Picture by Boston Public Library on flickr

ArtBart covers the Columbia Heights venues honored in City Paper's Best of DC. [The Heights Life]

Whoopie Pies coming to former ACKC space in Logan Circle. [PoP]

Adour has a new lunch menu. It looks fancy, not to mention tasty. [We Love DC]

Prince of Petworth has a peek inside of Casbah, coming to 11th and H St NE. [PoP]

Cochon 555 is coming to DC on April 22nd. Tickets are $125. [Urban Daddy]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Small Plates: 03.29.12

Photo by Mereastew from flickr.
Poste launches new brunch menu, cocktail list. How's the Bloody Mary bar? [PoP]

Pleasant Pops, the popsicle truck, is looking to open a brick and mortar store through Kickstarter. [DCist]

New Belgium is bringing the inexplicably named "Tour de Fat" to Yard Park June 16th. [PoP]

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Small Plates: 03.28.12

Peanut Butter Tart from Birch and Barley
How do you know gentrification is happening? When Señor Chicken becomes People's Ramen Bar. [PoP]

Need a pick me up? Serious Eats has a history of the coffee break. [Serious Eats]

Menomale, a craft pizza and beer joint in Brookland, is facing a liquor license fight. [PoP]

Scoutmob is hosting a cherry blossom party on H St, and Dangerously Delicious Pies is invited. [Scoutmob]

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rammy Finalists Announced

Graffiato, nominated for Best New Restaurant
The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, RAMW, announced it's slate of finalists today for it's prestigious RAMMY award. Given for excellence in one of 16 different categories, it also works as a guide to places you should definitely try.  List of nominees after the jump.

Taste of the Nation

Photo by Jason B, from flickr
Next Monday, April 2nd, Taste of the Nation comes to D.C. Taste of the Nation is the nation's premier culinary benefit. Connected to Share our Strength, it brings together chefs and mixologists to raise money to end childhood hunger. The event is led by a Chef's Council comprised of the areas top chefs. There is also a wine chair, Nadine Brown, and a mixology chair, Gina Chersevani. Taste of the Nation allows you to enjoy awesome drinks and dishes, all for a good cause. Tickets are still available.

Small Plates: 03.27.12

Rustico in Ballston to tap a keg of Hopslam today. Too bad it's in Virginia. [WaPo]

DC proposes longer hours for bars, but when will they let liquor stores open on Sunday? [DCist]

Bar Pilar's second floor opens. Hopefully that means there'll be room to eat there. [PoP]

The Tacocopter. A flying robot that delivers you tacos. 'Nuff said. [The Dish]

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ella's Wood Fired Pizza

One of the things I miss about working near Farragut Square is the variety of options for pizza that exist. There's Fuel, there's DC Slices, Pizza Pino, Washington Deli, The Upper Crust, and that's just off the top of my head. Not all of them are equally good, but they are all pretty quick. It's not hard to get in and out in half an hour, and that's about what I get to spend on a lunch break. Here in Penn Quarter, things are different. Sure, there's Matchbox or Graffiato. But I don't trust either of those to get me in and out quickly. Pi's quick slice was pretty terrible. But thank goodness, there's Ella's.

The pizza here is Neapolitan style, which isn't my favorite type of pizza. But Ella's is cheesier than most, which from my perspective is a big improvement. Their pepperoni was just okay, but the margherita was above average. The basil was really fresh, and it had the right amount of salt. Sadly, the crust was not as caramelized as I like, or would have expected given the wood-fired stove. Not that I drink during my lunch hour, but they have a pretty good selection of craft beers. They also have $5 pizzas during happy hour, which doesn't help me for lunch, but which is probably a good time to check them out.

Ella's: 901 F St NW

Of the Ordering of Beer

Welcome to Beerjobber, a new site that aims to make finding hard-to-find brews a bit easier. Registration is free and easy; you give them your name and email address, and can fill out an easy to understand survey about what styles of beer you enjoy the most. Once you've registered, you can click on their market to see various lists of beer, such as featured beers and beers recommended for you. The selection looks really good; of the twenty or so beers shown, I hadn't heard of any of them! It also gives you the option to search by brewery, in case you want to find the latest from Bell's or Founder's. It doesn't really work for me to have alcohol delivered to my house, so I won't be trying it for a while, but it definitely looks like I could waste a lot of time and money here.

h/t: Tasting Table

Small Plates: 03.26.12

New spirits, including some from Breuckelen Distilling, hit town soon. [Best Bites]

Outstanding in the Field heads to Arcadia Farms with Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac. [We Love DC]

Food truck opens Salt and Pepper Grill brick and mortar spot on Georgia Ave. [New Columbia Heights]

Serious Eats has a Merlot taste-along. You know, the wine unfairly maligned in Sideways? [Serious Eats]

Friday, March 23, 2012


Paul has great bread. That's really the first thing to know about it, what you need to remember. It's chewy and soft in the right proportions, with the right amount of salt. It's in Penn Quarter, which means it doesn't have a lot of competition, so it's okay that their sandwiches are a bit basic. Typically I get their most basic sandwich, the "Sandwich Mixte," which is just ham and cheese on bread. Very good bread! Sometimes I'll get the Sandwich Mixte Charlemagne, which is similar to the Mixte, but is on the Charlemagne bread and has some aioli on it. Other times I'll get the Camembert and Raisin, which is Camembert on raisin bread. Very good raisin bread. The bread really makes the sandwiches here, but the toppings don't seem to be exceptional. Still, best place in the neighborhood for this sort of thing.

Smoke and Barrel: Whiskey Story Hour II

The other night we went to Smoke and Barrel for their second "Whiskey Story Hour". At these events they serve whiskey and small plates. They have a whiskey expert, Mike Goss, talk about the whiskeys and give some of the history behind them. This event was focused on Irish whiskeys, with Irish food accompanying them. We both like Smoke and Barrel, and we love whiskey, so we were really looking forward to this event.
The food was all really good. They first served PEI mussels with bacon and pepperoncinis. The peppers were fairly spicy and stood out, but the rest blended together quite well. The second dish was a Gorgonzola boxty with fried cabbage and chipotle aioli. There wasn't much gorgonzola, but the potatoes were nice and fluffy. The final dish was the corned beef brisket. Since this was five whiskeys in, I don't remember the details, but it was very tender and tasty, which is a nice combination to have.
They served eight different whiskeys at the event, seven that were included and an eighth as a bonus add-on at the end of the night. I enjoyed all of them. I'm not going to talk about all of them, but one of the highlights was the Jameson Gold. Aged in bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak, it was complex and sweet with hints of stonefruit. The Redbreast 15 was incredible, all toffee and caramel, and the Connemara had a hint of peat, but was far smoother than any Islay I've had. The Middleton Very Rare was fabulous, as was the Green Spot.
We had a really great time at this event. The other people at the table were great, and Mike Goss was very helpful. However, it was a bit disorganized. Most of the whiskey was out before the first food dish was; it would have been nice to have had food a bit earlier to soak up the whiskey. And Mike didn't say very much after the Jameson came out. But we'll definitely be back for Whiskey Story Hour III!

Life on the Half Shell

Photo by Yumi Kimura on flickr
It's springtime, and that always has me craving oysters. In that vein, Metrocurean has a list of 5 great oyster happy hours:
BlackByrd Warehouse Great DJs and good deals on oysters: Sunday-Thursday, oysters are $1 from 5:30-7 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.
BlackSalt This Palisades neighborhood joint offers a dozen oysters for $12 and half-dozen for $6, as well as other food specials, in the bar and cafe 4-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 4-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Hank's Oyster Bar Should the urge to slurp hit you late-night, the Dupont location of Hank's offers half price raw bar items nightly from 11 p.m. to midnight.
Old Ebbitt By far one of the city's most popular spots for oysters and for good reason. The famous Oyster Happy Hour features half off all raw bar items Monday-Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and 11 p.m.-1 a.m., and Sunday nights from 11 p.m.-1 a.m.
Pearl Dive Oyster PalaceWith the breezy new patio and open window in front, Pearl Dive's bar is where I'm finding myself many evenings. Monday through Friday from 4-7 p.m., local oysters are two for one and select wines by the glass are $5.
Their choices are great, though for no good reason I prefer Clyde's to Old Ebbitt. They have the same deal as Old Ebbitt, but it's not as, I don't know, touristy? as Old Ebbitt. I wish I had had the chance to eat more oysters when I was in New Orleans. Brasserie Beck also has great oysters, half off during their late night happy hour. Readers, any other good places for oysters?

Small Plates: 03.23.12

Loch Chaim Scotch, from Central Liquors
Grand Fête de la Francophonie at La Maison Française tonight at 7 [Tasting Table]

Bar Pilar should fully re-open this week, now with more tables. [Young & Hungry]

Sugar Magnolia is open in Cleveland Park, next to Ripple. [Capital Cooking]

DC Reynolds is open. Their back patio is the size of Standard's entire operation. [PoP]

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Authenticity in Food: A Case Study

Xiao Long Bao, photo by Kake Pugh on flickr.
Chris Crowley over at Serious Eats recently posted an article on authenticity in food. Some foodies think that if a dish isn't authentic, however good it might otherwise be, it's somehow deficient. Chris looks at Chinese dumplings as a case study in how 'authenticity' can be misleading.
When considering foods eaten out of context—that is, foods eaten in a country or region that they do not originate from—the question of authenticity and what it means to be "authentic" is always a vexing one. Take, for example, Xiao Long Bao—the soup-filled dumplings hailing from Shanghai that have since been popularized throughout the world. Even referring to them as "dumplings" is enough to set off some food scholars who insist that they are distinct from what we traditionally classify as dumplings. The question is, what does it mean to be authentic and more precisely, is it even possible for authenticity to be preserved across the many barriers of language mapping, social custom, and regional tastes?
 One of the problems is that there is no single Chinese word for dumpling. The English word covers a variety of dishes that Chinese distinguishes between. So it's hard to define in the English speaking world what makes for an authentic dumpling, because there's no such unitary concept in Chinese.
As far as English terms are concerned, it seems acceptable to call something that is doughier a bun and something with a thinner wrapping a dumpling. So the argument goes, if bao zi have leavened dough, which is almost always true, butxiao long bao—or the form Westerners are familiar with—don't, then they are dumplings, not buns. However, if we are going to equate dumpling with jiao zi, then we ought to be clear. Leavened or unleavened dough, xiao long bao are not jiao zi, which are always horn shaped. Like other bao zi, XLB are purse shaped. As an all encompassing term for these related foodstuffs, dumpling doesn't do justice, failing to take into account the particulars and gray zones endemic to the Chinese perspective.
 So getting riled up over whether or not something should be called a dumpling is importing foreign concepts into Chinese food. But the other part of the argument is that all food is syncretic. It all imports notions and ingredients from other cuisines, and so no dish is truly authentic. Take dumplings again.
In his Shanghai cuisine primer Culinary Nostalgia, Mark Swislocki, referencing 1950s reporter Chen Mengyin, wrote, "what passes for Sichuan cuisine today only took shape relatively recently, probably no more then 250 years ago." A flush of immigrants and new ingredients changed the game. Today, anything less than searing heat is considered a misrepresentation (it isn't). But when digging into that ma po do fu, you aren't thinking about how those chilies, which give the dish its vital kick, were originally brought over from the New World by European merchants. They have become synonymous with Sichuanese cuisine to the point of being one of its defining elements—talk about evolution through contact with new people!
There's something to critiques about authenticity, he writes at the end. It's bad when it tends to flatten, to make all foods taste the same. But too often the impulse for authenticity tends to do the flattening, as if all pizzas had to be made the Neapolitan Way, or all beers had to be made according to the Reinheitsgebot.
What's the verdict? Food doesn't have to be "authentic" to be delicious—though it certainly helps to maintain the spirit of the cuisine. Delimiting a food like pizza with an artificial certification of authenticity (like the standards set by the Vera Pizza Napoletana society) ignores its origins on the trade routes, a place of birth shared by a great deal of our favorite foods. Some Americans become obsessed with eating chilies, learning to love spicy in an effort to experience more authentic cuisine—all the while forgetting where peppers first came from. That aside, the concept has undoubtedly pushed food forward in this nation, exposing millions to new flavors and ingredients they'd otherwise never experience. But maybe it's time we moved beyond authentic, towards a more malleable, and perhaps delicious, cuisine.
I'm oversimplifying a long and excellent article, so I encourage you to read the original here.

Capital Cooking Noodles

My first post is live at Lauren DeSantis' blog, Capital Cooking. Check it out here!

Free Cupcakes!

Photo by MBalla, from flickr.
To celebrate their first anniversary, Sprinkles Cupcakes is offering a free cupcake to anybody who stops by their Georgetown location from 9am to 9pm. In addition, their founder, Candace Nelson, will also be there. So if you like cupcakes, and you're in Georgetown, swing on by!

Sprinkles is located at 3015 M St NW, Washington DC.
h/t We Love DC

Small Plates: 03.22.12

Photo by Colonnade on flickr
Wine bar maybe coming to Adams Morgan in Old Duchess spot. [PoP]

#3 on the list of signs of the apocalypse? Pizza cones. [Serious Eats]

District Chophouse brewer creates beer that looks light, tastes dark. Why? [WaPo]

Philanthropub will offer drinks for a cause at 1926 U St. [PoP]

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I've complained that, working in Penn Quarter, there aren't very many lunch options. Once you take out the variety of expensive restaurants, most of what's left are sandwich places. (Some of which are quite good.) The one place that stands out is Merzi, which founder Kaz Kazmi describes as the Chipotle of Indian food. I've never been to Chipotle, so I can't comment on that. But it is a nice splash of color in an otherwise bland food landscape.

The way it works, you pick out a base, a meat, and a sauce. For the base, your options are rice, naan, lettuce, or chaat (a mix of chickpeas, potatoes, onions, and red bell peppers). Alternatively, you can get it wrapped in a wrap. I've always gone with the chaat, just because it sounds like the tastiest option. For the meat, I've tried the lamb, the 'tandisserie' chicken, and the beef. Don't get the tandisserie chicken. It's bland, and dry, and because it comes in one piece, it's harder to blend with the rest of your food. I prefer the beef to the lamb. It's cheaper, and in smaller pieces, and about as tasty. Your mileage may vary, and it might just be due to the sauce rather than the meat.

Merzi offers six sauce, three hot masalas and three dry chutneys. I've tried the two spicier masalas, the creamy tikka and the onion tomato. The onion tomato is the superior sauce, with a really good kick to it, but the creamy tikka masala is also very good, especially if you're less into spice. In general, the food at Merzi is a bit bland for Indian food, and I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but it's a good addition to the scene in Penn Quarter.

Small Plates: 03.21.12

Noodles & Company Peanut Sauté
Speaking of invasive species, Dean Gold is serving them up wrapped in prosciutto. [Dino]

Contestants announced for Cochon 555, the 'who can cook a whole pig the best' contest. Also just known as 'the best contest'. [Young & Hungry]

Chop Suey: authentic Cantonese home cooking, or plot to get back at racist miners? [The Dish]

Signs of life at Wagamama in Penn Quarter. There was a man cutting plywood inside; it's a step. [PoP]

Serious Eats has a guide on how to survive food crawls. Mostly it's the two bite rule. [Serious Eats]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Golden Ratio: A Cocktail Method

Photo by Juan Barahona, JBlaze B on flickr
A while back, I talked about a method for devising your own cocktails, the Mr. Potato-Head method. Truth be told, most of the time when I'm fooling around with mixology, I use what I call the ratio method. For a long time, I made Manhattans with the ratio 3 parts bourbon to 2 parts sweet vermouth to 1 part Cointreau. As I started occasionally making margaritas, I made them with 3 parts tequila to 2 parts lime juice to 1 part Cointreau. Noticing the similarity, I came up with a general rule. New beverages can be made tasty by mixing three parts of a base spirit with two parts of a blender and 1 part of a flavoring agent.

Let me explain. I take it you are all familiar with the idea of a base spirit. This is your tequila or whiskey or rum, or whatever. According to the ratio method, this is what defines your drink. The flavoring agent is what characterizes your drink. To explain what I mean, let me use hobos as an example. In this metaphor, 'hobo' is your base spirit. But there are lots of different kinds of hobos. There are drunk hobos, sleepy hobos, clever hobos, shifty hobos, etc. The drunk, sleepy, clever, or shifty? That's your  flavoring agent. Both of the drinks above use Cointreau as their flavoring agent, but you can use lots of different things. Amaros, like Averna or Cardamaro, make good flavoring agents. If you're making a Dirty Martini, which I recommend against, the olive brine would be your flavoring agent. 

Finally, we have the 'blender'. This is the portion of the drink that brings it all together, that 'blends' the base spirit and the flavoring agent. Very often, it's some variety of vermouth, but it can be lime or lemon juice as well, anything that helps combine the diverse ingredients together. Of course, you can use different ratios as well. If you're using a strongly flavored blender, you could go with 3:1:1. If you want to give less prominence to the base spirit, you could go with 2:1:1. Experimentation is key! There's recipe for a really tasty margarita after the jump.

Small Plates: 03.20.12

Cardozo High School

Problems with overfishing? Just eat them! [Wonkblog]

For people who can't get enough froyo or cupcakes, now you can have them together at Yocake. [WaPo]

Rasika is opening a new restaurant, Rasika West End, in the West End. [Young & Hungry]

Cava Mezze grill is definitely coming to Columbia Heights. Great news! [PoP]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Lion's Head Liquor Store

I've been looking forward to Lion's Head re-opening for a while; you can read my preview here. I finally got the chance to swing by this past weekend, and was generally very happy with what I saw. They have a pretty good selection of booze, and a great selection of beer and wine. Not only that, but the prices range from fair to very good.

I didn't spend too much time looking at the wines, and I'm not a very good judge of the quality of the selection anyway, so I'll just say it looked like they had plenty, and a pretty good variety. The beer selection was fantastic, comparable to and probably better than any other store north of De Vino's, with a variety of craft beers and more mainstream offerings. Sadly, there weren't very many Belgian beers, nor were there many large format beers.

Most of my time was spent ogling the liquor selection. It's behind the counter, which I find less than ideal, but there wasn't any bulletproof glass, so it was pretty easy to see what they had and how expensive it was. And the answer to how expensive it was, was generally 'not very.' Part of it is that I usually shop in downtown DC, but a lot of their selection was $4-5 cheaper than what I usually spend.

The selection, however, was a bit lacking. Plenty of low to middle-end stuff, but not very much top shelf product. Their selection of liqueur's was particularly lacking, which was especially disappointing as I had gone specifically to pick up some Luxardo maraschino liqueur. They didn't even have any bitters! Hopefully as they get feedback from the community, they'll improve on this score. I don't know what the market is for $40 gin, but certainly some Peychaud's or Angostura would not be remiss.

Now, it's a little far from where I live, and not on the way home from anywhere, so I don't know how often I'll end up going here. But it's pretty close to the Georgia-Petworth metro, so it's a good bet I'll be stopping in from time to time.

Small Plates: 03.19.12

Neighborhood Restaurant Group names its new brewery "Bluejacket." I guess Rosebud was taken. [WaPo]

SŪNA is coming to Eastern Market. Also, Chris Shott's puns are horrible. [Young & Hungry]

Two more weeks until Banana Leaves reopens in Dupont Circle after the fire a year ago. [PoP]

Apparently there was a kickstarter to bring Poitín, an Irish moonshine, to the US. I'll try to be more on top of these things for you guys. [Serious Eats]

Friday, March 16, 2012

Small Plates: 03.16.12

Piratz Tavern takes back it's makeover, gives corporate overlord an eyepatch. [WaPo]

Ted's Bulletin to come to Logan Circle near the new Matchbox. [Young & Hungry]

For St. Patrick's, Acre 121 offers bluegrass and Irish food. [New Columbia Heights]

Boqueria opened last night in the old Penang space. Hopefully they stick around. [PoP]

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Last Word

One of the reasons I wanted to make a Last Word was for the word play. This probably makes me a bad person. But it's a classic cocktail, and it has both cherry and chartreuse, so I figured it would be pretty tasty. The recipe requires maraschino liqueur, however, and I only have Cherry Herring. A friend assured me I could substitute the Cherry Heering for the maraschino, and so I did.

My friend was wrong. The Heering made it way too thick and syrupy. The flavor wasn't horrible, but way too rich, and not balanced at all. I want to try it again, once I get my hands on some maraschino, but please, don't make it with Cherry Heering. I'll never make that mistake again. Recipe, courtesy of Cocktail Chronicles, after the jump.

Nature vs. Nurture: Wine-Tasting Edition

Photo by Kevin Buehler, ksbuehler on flickr
A recent study from Penn State has re-opened the nature versus nurture debate, this time as it applies to the tasting of fine wines. The study discusses so-called supertasters, who not only respond more acutely to taste compounds in wines, but are better able to distinguish between different flavors, than the average Joe Boxedwine. This has led to a lot of breathless chatter that some people are just born to be oenophiles. But the Washington Post disagrees.

If, as a wine writer, I’m an ‘expert,’ it’s because I’ve taken the time and made the effort to taste more wines than most people have. Taste enough cabernet sauvignon, and you’ll learn to tell it from merlot — if you pay attention. And I suspect that anyone who does that might become more sensitive to bitterness.
The key words are “if you pay attention.” People often tell me, “I had a great wine the other night!” When I ask what wine, they hem and haw and say, “Umm, it had a green label.” I can’t help those people. Even if someone wants to spend only $5 to $10 on a bottle, paying attention helps distinguish the plonk from the gems — and yes, there are gems in that price range. 
By paying attention as I became increasingly obsessed with wine, I not only began to distinguish wines I liked from those I didn’t, but I could explain why. By paying attention to the flavors in wine, I began not only to appreciate their subtle nuances (which, in turn, drove my price tolerance level skyward), but also to notice flavors and aromas in nature around me. Jasmine flowers? Viognier. Wet stones after a spring rain? Chablis. A barnyard pile of manure? Well, any number of faulty wines.
I generally agree. I'm always suspicious of arguments that try to throw us entirely on one side of the nature or nurture debate. Things are usually more complicated than that. Certainly with wine tasting, I've found that as I've learned to pay more attention to the wine, my skills have improved. Even just trying to guess the flavors you're tasting, before your palate has really developed, can help you taste those flavors better. And of course, one of the keys is trying more wine, something I'm more than happy to do.

Small Plates: 3.15.12

Rahama African Restaurant opens near 9th and U. I thought Africa was a continent; isn't that a little big for a type of cuisine? [PoP]

This SUNA pop-up in the LivingSocial space looks absolutely delicious. [We Love DC]

New American resturant, Maple, coming to Columbia Heights the end of March. [PoP]

New 'Strasburger' at Nationals Park is eight pounds, just barely beating out my hometown Fifth Third Burger. [DCist]

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Small Plates: 03.14.2012

Shrimp and Pea Risotto

8 Irish whiskies to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. We recommend you space them out. [The Spirit]

Roger Marmet continues his Grateful Dead theme, with the opening of Sugar Magnolia in Cleveland Park. [Young & Hungry]

Here's a Q & A with Megan Parisi, new head brewer for ChurchKey. It'll be interesting to see what's brewing. []

Mad Momo's had me at "Outdoor Beer Garden." Coming soon to Columbia Heights. [PoP]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Small Plates: 03.13.2012

The LA Times drops restaurant stars. Walk of Fame pun forthcoming. [Washington Post]

12 places to eat corned beef on St. Pat's Day. I'm planning on a Guinness diet myself. [Washingtonian]

Three Little Pigs charcuterie opens today in upper Petworth. Looks like it could be worth the trip. [PoP]

Pho DC closes in the former Mezze Luna space. That space is almost as cursed as McNasty's. [PoP]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Small Plates: 03.12.2012

Photo from by Chris Wieland
The mystery of Pizza Goat, now solved. Truly, a coup of investigative journalism. [Daily Intel]

Jack Rose now has bourbon on tap. I'm not sure why. [Urban Daddy]

The Serious Eats guide to Irish whiskey. Remind me to try Connemara sometime. [Serious Eats]

The Union Market is coming to Shaw, and Lydia DePillis got her hands on it. [Housing Complex]

Saturday, March 10, 2012

High Plains Drifter #2

Picture from flickr, by mslaura

Recently, the Speakista ran a series of posts on tequila cocktails. It made me sad, because I like tequila, yet I didn't have the ingredients required to make most of his cocktails. So there was only one solution. Buy some green Chartreuse! For the most part, that was the ingredient I was missing. And it does go well with tequila. Green Chartreuse is very herby, which meshes well with the vegetal nature of tequila.

I'm not sure this cocktail is the best showcase for that pairing, however. It's tasty, don't get me wrong. But it ends up being a bit too sweet; I think the Chartreuse ends up over powering the tequila. There's two solutions here. I could put in less Chartreuse, or I could add something. I suspect mezcal would work okay, but that would change the drink. And now that I'm transcribing the recipe, I realize I forgot the Campari. That might make a difference. Recipe after the jump.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bistro Bohem Soft Opening Tonight

Picture by Prince of Petworth
The Prince of Petworth reports that Bistro Boheme is doing a soft opening tonight, from 7-10pm, and they're hoping to do a grand opening next week. I don't know if I'll make it there tonight, but I'm hoping to check them out sooner rather than later. Bistro Boheme is an Eastern European themed bistro. Of course, a lot of my personal excitement comes from the prospect of possibly having a good selection absinthe in the neighborhood. They already have plans for expansion into a patio area once it warms up, and into the next door space once occupied by Zee's. Bistro Boheme is located on the corned of 6th and Florida, NW.

Small Plates: 03.09.2012

Let the gourmet food truck wars begin! [Washington Post]

Graffiato is serving my favorite type of wine on the 31st: free! [PoP]

The most overpriced dishes in Washington includes a $58 burger. I'm a little tempted. [Best Bites]

Panas Empanadas now has a liquor license. So yeah, there's that. [PoP]

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Tribeca

I really liked the wine we had with dinner tonight, a Chateau Julien 2009 Merlot, but didn't really feel like I wanted to drink more wine. I wanted a cocktail. I don't know much about making cocktails with wine, but I know I like Manhattans, and sweet vermouth is a type of wine, right? So I made a Manhattan, but replaced the sweet vermouth with wine. In an attempt to balance out the different flavor profile, I added extra bitters and a fresh orange peel.

It makes for an interesting combination. It definitely tastes a lot fresher than a typical Manhattan, and it has a really nice finish. But for whatever reason, it's very, very bitter up front. I suspect that that is from the extra bitters, and when I make it again, I'll tone those down. But it looks like this is a good way to make a Manhattan for the summer, when you don't want the heaviness of the traditional Manhattan.

Small Plates: 03.08.2012

The Getaway

In honor of Purim, a recipe for hamantaschen with turkish delight filling [Washington Post]

Chris Shott thinks José Andrés' $20 sandwich is worth the money. [Young & Hungry]

Pho pop-up at Montserrat House this weekend. [PoP]

New coffee shop, Coffy Cafe, is delicious. "Best portable food in the neighborhood." [New Columbia Heights]

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Small Plates: 03.07.2012

The Brewer's Art

Mike Isabella is opening several new restaurants near 14th and W. [Young & Hungry]

Apparently, to keep wine fresh, you can use a pickle. [citation needed]. [Serious Eats]

There's a new taqueria coming to Columbia Heights. PoP has photos of the progress. [PoP]

José Andres reveals new expensive food truck. Mmmm, jamon de iberico. [Huffington Post]

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brief Cocktail Note

Just really quick: 1.5 oz Gin, .5 oz Dry Vermouth, .5 oz Green Chartreuse is tasty. Should try with sweet vermouth. Or find a bottle of Strega.

Small Plates: 03.06.2012

The Bitten Word does New Orleans. [Bitten Word]

Topaz Bar releases their campaign cocktail menu. Rick's Tea Party sounds tastier than in real life. [PoP]

Food trucks on the National Mall? Beats being stuck with a half smoke. [Examiner]

Lion's Fine Wine and Spirits opens in Petworth. It looks fantastic. [PoP]

Monday, March 5, 2012

Molé Brisket

Along with braised chicken thighs, brisket is one of my favorite things to experiment with. Most of the time, I toss it in the crockpot with some red wine and assorted herbs and spices, leaving the fat on the cut so it doesn't dry out. I happened to have an imperial stout laying around, so I wanted to do something that would go better with the beer. I decided to do a chocolate - coffee rub and cook the brisket in porter. (I would have done stout, but the only stout I had was the one I was planning on drinking!) I cut most of the fat off so that the rub would stick better. Then, I browned the brisket in a skillet, and set it in the crockpot for 7 hours, along with the porter, mirepoix, chipotle pepper with adobo, and some hazelnut liqueur, to make it nuttier.

In retrospect, the hazelnut liqueur was not necessary. I don't think it added much flavor to the final product. I may have also browned the brisket a bit too long; apparently spice rubs burn quicker than steak. But it was very good, and went fantastically with the stout. The rub was great, and the chipotle peppers added the right amount of heat to the dish. It was definitely drier than normal, since I cut off the fat, but not too dry. I meant to save some for lunch the next day, but by the time I could stop eating, it was almost gone. Since I was experimenting, I just have the ingredients after the jump, but as long as you taste the rub before putting it on the brisket, you should be fine.

Small Plates 03.05.2012

Jack Rose

Can beer really hurt your running? Could it help? [The Dish]

Soon you'll be able to get that 3 a.m. cupcake. [Atlantic Cities]

PORC gets itself a storefront, and other food truck news. [Best Bites]

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Small Plates

Tofu and Brussels Sprouts with Chili Pepper Sauce

Oyamel is having their fifth annual Tequila and Mezcal Festival [DCist]

Best Bites is having wing wars this March to find the best wings in DC [Washingtonian]

Jason Kottke talks about the 'proper' way to make an Old Fashioned [Kottke]

What did we need in food trucks? Oh yeah, popcorn. Popcorn? [Young & Hungry]

Friday, March 2, 2012

I recently started an assignment where I'm working 60 hours a week, so posting may be a bit slower. Hopefully I'll be able to do a little bit though!

Photo by The Doctr, from flickr.