Category Archives: Restaurants

The Equinox Family Grows

Chef Todd Gray was one of The District Domestic’s first chef interviews.. Read it here.

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Easter at Zaytinya

My darling has been gone for a couple of weeks, and is now on his way home.  I’m super excited for this new promo that Zaytinya is running.  I love all food Jose Andres and think this will be the perfect way to celebrate him coming home 🙂

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Mardi Gras… a little late!

I surprised my husband with a trip to New Orleans the first weekend in February, which happened to be the start of the Mardi Gras celebration in the Crescent City!  From fried oysters with brie at Clancy’s to Muffulettas at Cochon Butcher to a new retail vendor for Haute Papier in The Stationer New Orleans to macarons and king’s cake at Sucre to the irresistible beignets at Cafe du Monde, it was a wonderful glutenous and relaxing trip!

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Singapore Slaw ala Zentan!

A few days ago I was going on about the refreshing, yet super satisfying Singapore Slaw at Zentan, which then only made me want one, but since I was in Leesburg, not DC for the day, it was out of reach, which then led to a search on Tastespotting (my favorite place to search for recipes) for a how to, which led to me finding a complete video tutorial on Washingtonian!  (How’s that for a run on sentence?)

I’ve pasted the recipe from their site below along with the fab photo above, but you’ll need to click here to go over there to see the informational and entertaining video how to!

Singapore Slaw With Salted Plum Dressing
Serves 4

2 green onions, both white and green parts, julienned
1 taro, peeled and julienned
2 ounces rice vermicelli noodles, broken into three pieces
1 large English cucumber, julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 small jicama, peeled and julienned
1 daikon, peeled and julienned
2 large roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 pickled red onion (see recipe below)
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
6 teaspoons crushed roasted hazelnuts
4 teaspoons fried shallots
4 teaspoons edible-flower petals
4 teaspoons micro purple basil
4 teaspoons micro beet greens
4 teaspoons daikon sprouts
2 tablespoons pickled ginger
1½ cups salted-plum dressing (see recipe below)
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt as needed

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From the Kitchen of: Guillermo Pernot

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar’s Concept Chef Guillermo Pernot.  Orlando, Philly and Atlantic City have already been nibbling up his traditional and updated cuisine, now we’re lucky enough to have his genius  in Penn Quarter.

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A very sharp Global knife

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Foams and sous vide

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
Asian.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
In Lancaster county, PA, Glen Brendel.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Substitutions.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Fresca, what ever is left over in my refrigerator, or an fried egg sandwich.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Fish, any type.

Keep reading for the recipe for Ropa Vieja from Chef Pernot… Continue reading

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Upcoming Food Events

Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating with family and friends while taking in all that we are grateful for…like not having to do the dishes!  If you are thinking of going out this year, here are some fabulous options:

1789 in Georgetown will be featuring delicious options on their seasonal a la carte menu including oyster and applewood-smoked bacon gratin with braised salsify, aged Gruyere and brioche croutons; sweet potato gnocchi with toasted walnuts and much more. There will also be a 3-course menu at $50 if you prefer.  Thanksgiving hours will be 12:00 Noon until 9:00pm.  Call 202.965.1789 for reservations or visit their website for more information.

Buddha Bar will have its famous Peking-Style Peking Duck Dinner in addition to its regular menu.  Call 202.377.5555 for reservations or visit their site.

BGR (The Burger Joint) has a bit more casual fare including their Thanksgiving on a Bun; a turkey burger topped with cranberry sauce, turkey gravy, and cornbread stuffing.  Delicious, right?  Made better only by pairing it with their Pumpkin Pie Shake.  BGR has locations in Old Town Alexandria, Arlington and Dupont Circle.

Darlington House in Dupont Circle will be offering a 3-course Thanksgiving Dinner with a Prosecco toast for $40 per person.  A kid’s version will be available for $20.  For reservations call 202.332.3722

Bibiana has a 3-course menu for $45.  Beautiful items like Juniper crusted Heritage Turkey, Butternut Squash Tortellini, and Apple Financier.  For Reservations call 202.216.9550 or visit their site.

The Bombay Club will see the return of Chef Nilesh Singhvi’s Tandoori Turkey; boneless chunks of white meat, marinated with yogurt, ginger, garlic and fenugreek leaves. The Thanksgiving turkey is offered on Thanksgiving Day 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5:30 PM to
10:00 PM.  Call 202.659.3727 for reservations.

Cleveland Park’s Ardeo+Bardeo will complete their extensive renovations just in time for their annual Thanksgiving Feast!  This 3-course meal, priced at $45 per person, includes traditional favorites like Hearth Oven Roasted Turkey with chestnut and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes and dried cranberry gravy as well as autumn harvest specialties like Smoked Tea Crusted Domestic Lamb Loin Carpaccio and Roasted Scottish Salmon with sunchoke and butternut squash hash.  For reservations call 202.244.6750

Commonwealth Gastropub in Columbia Heights will offer a family-style Thanksgiving roast from 1 p.m.-8 p.m. for $35 per person.  Dishes include roast turkey with cranberry sauce, roast beef with shallot au jus, and sides such as winter squash gratin, collard greens, and stuffing.  For reservations call 202.265.1400 or visit their site.
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**Pricing quoted do not include beverages, tax nor gratuity. Contact each individual establishment for precise details.

Now, if you would like to entertain in your home but want serve your favorite restaurant dishes, we have something for you, too.  Many area restaurants will make large portions of Thanksgiving favorites that you can take home to heat and serve.  Here a just a few examples:

RIS in the West End will be making side items by the quart to be picked up the Wednesday before our wonderful, gastronomic, national holiday.  Your favorite holiday side items will be available in quart-size containers.  Exact items will be determined in the first few weeks of November…once Chef sees what the farmers have to offer at the market.  For details call 202.730.2500 or visit their website.

The Washington, DC locations of Ruth’s Chris Steak House will also offer large sizes of some of their famous side dishes.  Select from Broccoli au Gratin, Sweet Potato Casserole, Bread Pudding with Whiskey Cream Sauce or their famous Creamed Spinach.  Call ahead for orders to be picked up on Wednesday the 24th  Dupont Circle 202.797.0033 or 9th Street 202.393.4488

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Upcoming Food Events

October is Virginia Wine Month! – From foliage picnics to a Wine & Garlic Festival, Virginia wine country is the place to be weekends in October. Check out events here.

StarChefs.com Rising Stars Gala – Tuesday, October 26th head to the Roof of Charlie Palmer for a star-studded event including tastes of Highland Park Scotch Whisky. The event will also include libations and bites from up-and-coming chefs and mixologists from such venues as VOLT, Bibiana, 2941, PS 7’s, Trummer’s on Main and more. Go here for more info.

Saks Fifth Avenue, Tysons Key to the Cure– Saks annual fundraiser for breast cancer research through a great organization called Life With Cancer.  This year’s event at the Tysons store is Thursday October 21 features great nibbles from Purple Onion Catering, Bazin’s on Church, Chima Brazilian Steakhouse, PassionFish, Georgetown Cupcake and many more.  Event is from 6 until 8 and tickets are $50.  All guests get a $25 Saks gift cards and great gift bags. To RSVP or for more information, please email rsvptysons@s5a.com or call 703.269.1206

Celebrate Octoberfest at Redwood in BethesdaRedwood will be celebrating the season this 200th Octoberfest!  October 13 through 31 Redwood will feature their twist on traditional German favorites like Leberknodel, Chicken Bratwurst and local Octoberfest-style beers!

The Vices That Made Virginia – Celebrate The Vices That Made Virginia at a fundraiser for Arcadia Center for Susatainable Food & Agriculture on Saturday, November 6, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Woodlawn. Go here for more info.

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Curbside Cookoff!

Looking for something different for lunch today or dinner tomorrow… or any meal in between?  Head down to CityCenterDC between 11am and 9pm today or tomorrow to sample bites from over 20 of DC’s best food trucks!  There will also be great music and art performances taking place around the square.  Some of the vendors I’m looking forward to checking out tomorrow are District TacoBBQ Bandidos and Eat Sauca.  For more information, visit the event’s webpage here.

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From the Kitchen of: Kumar Iyer

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Rangoli’s Executive Chef and Owner, Kumar Iyer.  I recently visited this hidden gem in South Riding and had the best Indian meal I’ve ever eaten.  The Bombay Burger is straight from the streets of Bombay – it’s a delicious potato/garlic/cilantro patty lightly fried with a gentle crunchy crust served on a slightly sweet, but super light roll.  And don’t miss the Gulab Jamun – the hot/cold Indian classic of warm milk-based dough balls in a honey syrup with ice cream – it’s unbelievable!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Favorite tool would be the knife, as we use them the most, our restaurant is not very advanced to use modern gadgets. But I’ll say the ‘Wet Grinder’. Wet grinder because it’s unique to Indian kitchens; we use them to grind pre-soaked rice and lentils to make crepes (dosa) and steamed savory cakes (Idly).

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Small plates and foam dishes.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
Deli sandwich/subs, soups and frozen yogurt.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Fruits like watermelon, mango and strawberries when in season. I like ‘restaurant depot’ a lot more for prices than the product; the reality is – staying in business is as important as dishing quality food.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Service level expectations, especially Asian customers. I’ve had a guest tell me just yesterday, I didn’t spend as much time on his table as I spent with few others.

What do you drink/eat after work?
A chilled beer and home cooked food.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Dal Tadka and Roti.

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Restaurant Roundup

Say hello to my first Restaurant Roundup post!  It’s a bi-monthly listing of some of my favorite bits from my inbox from some of the best eats around town.

  • Redwood Restaurant & Bar will be celebrating its second anniversary under the stars with a variety of activities next Wednesday, August 11th.  The festivities begin at 7 p.m. with live music courtesy of Donato Soviero and the local Latin-flavored jazz band, Trio Caliente, along with happy hour specials and complimentary hors d’oeuvres available on the European-inspired, pedestrian-only streetscape featuring exclusive clothing and culinary boutiques.  At 9 p.m. the lights on the Bethesda Lane will dim, and guests are encouraged to take a seat to watch the new episode of Top Chef DC, which will be shown on a 16’ by 8’ jumbo screen.  Additionally, guests are encouraged to stay for dinner as Redwood will extend their dinner service until 11 p.m.
  • Guarapo on Wilson in Arlington has a great happy hour… Beer for $4, wine for $5 and a bunch of food bites including yucca fries with huancayna cheese dip for $5… yum!
  • Café Saint-Ex is shutting down T Street in Mid-City to host an exciting Labor Day Street Party complete with a charity pig roast and live bluegrass music on Monday, September 6 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to raise money for the local Fillmore Arts Center. The community will come together to enjoy a whole smoked pig from Eco-Friendly Foods and live bluegrass tunes from Amanda Murphy and the Lost Indians. The public is invited to join Café Saint-Ex’s Labor Day festivities while supporting local arts. Patrons will enjoy typical cook-out favorites with a Café Saint-Ex twist including a delicious pulled pork sandwich, homemade potato salad and fresh coleslaw for $10.
  • BOURBON STEAK is celebrating the “dog days of summer” with an off-menu hot dog and beer special available in the bar and lounge every day in August. This promotion, which includes an artisanal Red Apron hot dog paired with a cold pint of beer, is priced at $7 and available to all diners who request the “Dog Days Dog” during this month.   A blend of dry-aged beef and pork, sourced from local farms, Red Apron dogs are spiced with smoked paprika, roasted garlic and coriander. To complement these spicy dogs, Executive Chef David Varley is dressing them in a special house-made mustard and pickle relish and pairing them with a rotating selection of craft beers from breweries such as Dogfish Head and Butternut Beers & Ale.

If you have upcoming events or specials that you’d like to be considered for inclusion, please email them to thedistrictdomestic (at) gmail (dot) com.

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