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.
There’s just so much going on in food this weekend, I thought I’d sum it all up at once just for you 🙂
International Wine & Food Festival – Taste from over 100 domestic wines and 600 international wines. Tickets to the Grand Tastings and all events are available online at www.dcwineandfood.com
Stir Crazy – Head to Sou’wester for a mixology class to ensure you are well prepared for the next snowstorm! Class participants will learn how to make three easy cocktails with ingredients they might have on hand. Priced at $25 per person (not including tax) the class will be offered from Saturday, February 13, Sunday, February 14 and Monday, February 15 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day.
A Taste of the Winter Olympics – Beginning Friday, February 12, Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) and its eight restaurants will offer guests bites from around the world. Collect stamps from all of the restaurants to win a $50 gift certificate! From housemade pretzels and Bavarian beer at Rustico to an all-American burger lineup and American brews, there’s something for everyone.
“Business at BOURBON STEAK over Burgers” – includes a choice of six different, delicious kinds of burgers, an accompaniment, a non-alcoholic drink and a house made BOURBON STEAK brownie, all for $21 per person. I think I’ve told you how amazing these burgers are before, but in case I haven’t – they’re AMAZING! For reservations or more information, please call 202.944.2026 or visit the website at www.fourseasons.com/washington
Baked and Wired – Stop by this Georgetown institution (they were here long before G-town Cupcake and are so much better) to pick up your Valentine’s Sweets including heart-shaped brownies, Pink Pink Rice Krispie Treats, raspberry-filled Lizner Heart Cookies, Kahlua Chocolate Heart Cookies filled with pink Kahlua buttercream and Grandma’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls iced with pink buttercream – Love has never been so sweet!
J. Chocolatier – The Georgetown chocolate boutique uses Manjari chocolate from Valrhona when whipping up delectable truffles in flavors like peppermint mocha and honey hazelnut. Valentine’s Day specialties include pearl drop earrings and 8-piece truffle box ($45). Visit jchocolatier.com for more information.
Today’s chef of the week mans the kitchen at Michael Mina’s BOURBON STEAK in the Four Seasons. I recently had a steal of a lunch at the bar priced at $21 per person including a choice of burger, accompaniment, non-alcoholic drink and a house made BOURBON STEAK brownie. What’s good you ask? I’d go for the Dry-Aged Steak Burger, Trio of Duck Fat Fries (or the Beer Battered Red Onion Rings) and the West Indian Limeade. Mmm Mmm Good!
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
It’s cliched but a really good quality razor sharp Japanese knife is the must have of any serious chef.
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
In my opinion truffle oil is the item most used in kitchens.
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
I think Washington DC needs a really great hot dog stand, an institution, like Grays Papaya or Rutt’s Hutt. That could be fun.
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
My favorite new vendor is Gryffon’s Aerie, they do amazing grass fed beef and Tamworth pork out in Crozet Virginia.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I tend to be far more forgiving of our customers than they are of me, but one pet peeve is when guests come in with closed minds and a pre-determination to not enjoy themselves. It happens from time to time and is the most mentally taxing on a crew whose greatest joy is to give their all to the guest.
What do you drink/eat after work?
I work some long days and constantly find myself needing to loose a few lbs so I will typically forgo the typical late night extra greasy chow and maybe have a green tea if I am at home researching or reading. I’m more of a librarian than a rockstar.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I almost never cook at home, but when I do it’s simple things like cold soba or a really flavorful yet simple dashi. I don’t have as many sous chefs and dishwashers at home!
Keep reading for Chef Varley’s light-as-air crispy beer battered red onion rings…