Category Archives: Food

A Night of Beer and Cheese at Scion Restaurant 

This is a sponsored post.

Because we already know that wine and cheese are good together

beer_cheese_sampler1 scion

If you haven’t got anything planned for Wednesday, May 7, then you will want to purchase tickets for Beer & Cheese: An Evening with Funkwerks, Odell, & Right Proper, which will be held at 5pm at Scion’s Restaurant in Dupont Circle (2100 P Street, N.W.). Funkwerks and Odell are out-of-market breweries, but both have been gracious enough to each provide five special drafts for the event, all of which are infrequently available in DC. While Right Proper will not be featuring any of its brews, ambassadors of the brewery are supplying the cheese for the pairings. 

Beer isn’t typically the beverage of choice when it comes to cheese tasting. Because of its fruity flavors and acidic undertones, wine is usually sipped on while sampling different cheeses, which is why Marks and Spencer arranges hampers with classic red Bordeaux and farmhouse matured cheddar. Astonishingly, the bitterness of beers aligns with the saltiness of Gouda and Havarti. While beers are primarily bitter, they share similar undertones with various cheeses: they both have nutty, tangy, floral and earthy flavors. Textures aren’t far off from each other either, as the pairings can be smooth and creamy or dry and sharp. Even in times that there are no complements, “there is a delightful contrast; the sweetness of some beers is an ideal foil for cheese’s saltiness. And beer’s scrubbing bubbles work to whisk away the mouth-coating richness of cheese,” as eloquently put by Serious Eats’ Michael Agner.

In a way, a beer and cheese event doesn’t have the same level of … pretentiousness from a wine and cheese tasting. It appeals to a greater range of patrons, and generally, beer has a quality of relaxation that is lacking from wine. Huffington Post‘s infographic is quite helpful in educating beginners with the basic pairings, a tool that may come in handy when attending the Beer & Cheese event. 

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Dolcezza Opens Factory to the Public

http://capitalcookingshow.blogspot.com/2013/12/dolcezza-gelato-ramps-up-production.html

pic courtesy of Capital Cooking blog

As a Dolcezza fan, I’m passing along this release from Dolcezza Gelato, my personal favorite gelato (or ice cream) in the DC area.

Dolcezza Gelato is pleased to announce our state-of-the-art gelato factory + coffee lab factory at 550 Penn Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, just steps from Union Market, will officially open to the public NEXT FRIDAY, March 21st.

Opening weekend hours:

Friday 3/21 – noon to 5 PM
Saturday 3/22 and Sunday 3/23 – noon to 7 PM

Since December 2013, the 4,000 square-foot warehouse space has been used to produce 300 seasonally driven flavors of gelato and sorbetto. Now, guests will have the opportunity to visit the factory to experience gelato and sorbetto as they are being churned daily, with five to six flavors in production at any given time.

Additionally, we will debut new creations including Thai Coconut Milk with chocolate chili crumble; Singing Dog Vanilla with rosemary brown sugar walnuts, as well as Valrhona Chocolate with homemade peanut butter topped with salted Hubs Virginia peanuts and whipped cream.

As part of the opening weekend festivities, Dolcezza will be offering free public tours on Friday, March 21st, Saturday, March 22nd, and Sunday, March 23rd at 2 PM and 4 PM. Guests will also receive half priced pre-packaged pints of gelato and sorbetto.

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Weekend East City Event Round Up: 100,000 People Can’t be Wrong Edition

"The 2012 H Street Festival street performance. Photo by Phil Hutinet for East City Art."

“The 2012 H Street Festival street performance. Photo by Phil Hutinet for East City Art.”

Friday September 20

DC Murals (3pm to 5pm)

DC Mural and Art4All present a lecture by artists on the significance of their public pieces at various locations around DC.  In addition, Caitlin Carroll will present  her recently completed documentary film on DC’s murals.  For more information click here.

The Anacostia Library is located at 1800 Good Hope Road SE.

 

Mandarin Miracle (Begins at 8pm)

Part of the “Art Lives Here” project in the Gateway Arts District, Tim McLorain’s Mandarin Miracle  is a projected animation interpretation of Bela Bartok’s orchestral masterpiece at the Jewel Box, formerly the Fisher jewelry store.  The runtime for the film is 30 minutes.  For more information, click here.

The Jewel Box is located at 108 Queens Chapel Road in Hyattsville, MD

 

Honfleur Gallery (6pm to 9pm)

Artists Garth Fry, Dan Gray and Peter Krsko collaborate for the first time on a site specific installation whereupon each sculptor examines a single medium- metal, paper and wood respectively.   For more information, click here.

Honfleur Gallery is located at 1241 Good Hope RD (Downstairs)

 

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions (6pm to 9pm)

After having benign tumors removed from her body, photographer Lauren Henkin turned her camera towards capturing images of plants species that manage to grow amongst the cracks and crevices of parking lots, buildings and other man-made structures.  However, unlike her tumors, she sees the unwanted urban flora as both “invasive and reclaiming.”  For more information, click here.

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions is located at 1241 Good Hope RD (Upstairs)

Saturday September 21

H Street Festival (Noon to 7pm)

Ten blocks, eight stages, 250 vendors, 150 food stalls- and that’s just the beginning.  This 2013 H Street Festival promises to be “Epic” with over 100,000 people expected to attend.  This year’s visual arts line-up curated by Gallery O on H on the 1300 includes eight art cars (all local this year), ten local artists and the gallery’s very own stage on 14th Street.  For more information, click here.

The H Street Festival starts at 4th Street and ends at 14th Street NE

CONNERSMITH (6pm to 8pm)

CONNERSMITH presents two concurrent exhibitions- Festoon by Zoë Charlton and Faust in the City by Wilmer Wilson IV.  Both exhibitions confront racial stereotypes by superimposing the human body against a backdrop of socially accepted mores, the commodification of “the ideal lifestyle” and by juxtaposing wealthy DC neighborhoods with its poorest.  For more information, click here.

CONNERSMITH is located at 1358 Florida Avenue NE.

East City Art is now in Print!

Get your free copy of the East City Art Quarterly Guide to the Visual Arts in the September editions of the Hill Rag or East of the River Monthlies.

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 

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Filed under Arts, Drink, East, Food, H Street, Philip

Revenge is a Dish Best Served on H

H Street DC sign
H Street – it’s not just for boobs and vaudeville anymore. Rising from the ashes of the recently vacated Red Palace space is…..drum-roll…..long-planned Italian eatery Vendetta, which was originally slated for the 1300 block. Observant Sherlock-types may have seen small ads for it whilst frequenting RnR or the Biergarten.

Vendetta will boast two bocce courts upstairs (think H Street Country Club) and will feature a Vespa themed bar, with several of the popular motor scooters hanging from the ceiling. Let’s hope they’re well secured.

Vendetta will serve casual Italian cuisine, with a wide selection of pastas and pretentious sides, including something called vanilla Chianti polenta. Sigh. It’s only a matter of time until some enterprising chef unveils an artisan sea urchin ceviche accented with violets and pine nuts.

In terms of ambiance, partner Jimmy Silk says he’s going for a rustic feel, probably akin to distant neighbor Boundary Road but with more of a focus on wood. The space will have 120 seats over both floors.

The 5,000 sq ft space at 1210 H is better suited as a restaurant. When Palace of Wonders and the Red and the Black merged a few years ago, it lacked cohesion, although the renovated performance stage upstairs will be sorely missed, not to mention the sword-swallowing strippers.

As for the Vendetta plan, the ink hasn’t dried yet, but the partners are fast-tracking this for a Spring opening. Pretty exciting!

And the transformation of H Street continues…

Written by Joel Church.

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Restaurant Review: Ambar on Barrack’s Row

pic courtesy K Street Magazine

pic courtesy K Street Magazine

I must admit that I was skeptical. Despite the fact that Ambar, the new Balkan cuisine restaurant occupying the space that was once Jordan’s 8 on Barrack’s Row, is the newest culinary project of Ivan Iricanin, who has made me salivate at Maza 14 and El Centro. This guy is good, I knew, but even a great artist can be limited by his raw materials. And my previous experience with Balkan food gave me pause.

In December 2010, I took a last-minute trip to the beautiful country of Croatia with my mother.  We traveled to Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split and were delighted by the people, places and things we encountered, with one significant exception: the food. Croats may have invented cravats, boast gorgeous, ancient cities, produced incredible artists and done many other exceptional things, but the culinary culture there left my spoiled Washington palate with something to be desired… namely, flavor and variety.  So, I approached Ambar with some reservation. My two friends who had lived in Bulgaria, however, could not contain their enthusiasm. Was it possible I was just on the wrong side of the Balkan kitchen?

We started at the bar. The set up is the same as Jordan’s, with some welcome improvements in color and lighting. The outdoor bar will undoubtedly be a destination after the winter. After discussing the differences between plum brandy and hazelnut liquor with the nice people at the bar, I indulged in the Belgrade, a delightfully sour cocktail with plum brandy, ginger beer and lime. The signature cocktails are named for the capitals of the countries in the Balkans. So far, so good.

Soon, our meal began with crispy bacon wrapped-plums stuffed with cheese, hearty sourdough and corn breads and a warm stuffed pepper. Our kind waiter indulged all our questions and you would have never known that it was only the second night a new restaurant was open. You could tell an experienced hand was running the show. The food continued to offer all the flavor and variety I could ask for and missed in beautiful Hrvaška. Crisp salads with colorful peppers and feta, a ricotta cheese pastry, veal-stuffed cabbage, parmesan- encrusted sirloin cooked exactly right, walnut-encrusted chicken that was moist and flavorful, delightfully salty potatoes, and salmon served with an enticing sweet eggplant purée. Everything we ordered (and it was a lot) was delicious and well-presented. I paired my steak with a red Macedonian wine that nicely rounded out the meal.

I will be back to Ambar, and I will never underestimate Ivan Iricanin again.

Written by Marie Francis.

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Monthly Wine Tasting at Le Grenier

pic courtesy of District Cuisine

pic courtesy of District Cuisine

New local favorite Le Grenier, at 5th and H Streets NE, knows how to keep the local crowd happy.  Every month the French restaurant will feature new wines by the glass, introduced at a free [read: FREE] tasting the first Tuesday of every month.  I sat down at the beautiful and dimly lit bar to try six new wines for myself.  Verdict?  I’m sold.

Le Grenier means “attic” in French, and has been decorated completely by the wife of the husband-and-wife team who owns the new spot, in addition to long-standing favorite Le Chat Noir in Georgetown.  The small upstairs (available for private parties) is decorated with antique skis, headboards, and my favorite, a marching band drum with stuffed animals inside. The effect is charming.

Back to the tasting!  Six wines were being poured, in addition to gorgeous crostini on offer, of cured meats, paté, and lemon and herb mousse.  The following are some of my notes and thoughts, in case you wish to stop in for a happy hour (wine half off every day from 5-7, even weekends).

Whites

  • 2011 Francois Chidaine Sauvignon D’Alsace Touraine:
    From the Loire valley, mellow and light, very easy to drink.
  • 2010 Castle Rock Chardonnay, California:
    To make the list in a French restaurant, this California wine must be pretty great, and it is.   Softer, with an apple and pear profile, rounder bodied.
  • 2010 Jean Baptiste Adam Pinot Gris D’Alsace Reserve:
    This one was my personal favorite.  Brighter, sweeter, lively, fun to drink.

Reds

  • 2009 Chateau Pavillon Boyrein Graves Rouge, Bordeaux
    Poor Merlot, left out in the cold after Sideways.  But really, the only reason people (myself included) generally don’t care for Merlot is we’ve been drinking bad/cheap Merlot.  This wine was dry yet fruity, with a tang on the palette after a sip.  Flavors of berries.
  • 2009 Chateau Lascaux Rouge, from the Languedoc
    Full-bodied, fruity, dry and tangy.
  • 2010 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone, Rhone Valley
    I really love this maker’s name, but the wine was excellent too.  My notes read “full, full, full.”  Acidic once tasted, this was in energetic, the perfect companion to a steak.  The acidity in this wine stands up to food, as opposed to some of the others, which are just fun to drink alone.

If you miss the monthly wine tasting, which is planned for the first Tuesday of every month, you can still catch an amazing deal every Tuesday: half-price wine, cheese, and charcuterie at the bar.  Sitting at the bar tasting wine lets all the hurry of the world outside melt away.  Treat yourself next month.

Written by Haley Fults

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Hip Hip Hikari!

pic courtesy Thrillist

pic courtesy Thrillist

New Japanese restaurant Hikari Sushi opened this week at 644 H St NE, adding another exciting cuisine option to the burgeoning corridor. According to Thrillist, it’s named after the fastest bullet train in Japan. The polished decor includes samurai swords and red lanterns, and there’s an impressive skylight lining the entire staircase. The first floor seems to cater more to the drinking crowd, while the 2nd floor has booths for peeps looking to dine-in or check out the exciting goings-on at the sushi bar. A wood-lined patio is slated to open in March on the second floor, which will be a great spot for outdoor seating in the warmer months.

Onto the offerings. Hikari offers an wide array of nearly 30 sakes, and the food menu offers an impressive list of Japanese “tapas”, including a lot of tasty-looking options for those who prefer small plates. The ever-growing ramen crowd has no need to fear – there are several options, but none that look as creative as the ones offered at Toki Underground.
There’s a range of Pan Asian dishes, including several styles of noodles, Korean bulgogi, as well as Hibachi grilled meats of your choice – chicken, steak, and lobster.  The fancy sushi rolls are on the expensive side (priced quite a bit higher than similar items found at Sticky Rice) but are quite delicious – from what we could tell, Hikari appears to get very good fish.

They offer happy hour specials on Tuesday, and hopefully this will be extended to the rest of the week as well. We’re glad to have Hikari as another great option on the western end of H Street.
Written by Joel Church.

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