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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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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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From the Kitchen of: Blake Schumpert

Today’s feature comes from Chef Blake Schumpert from Redwood in Bethesda.  If you haven’t been – they’ve got a great happy hour and delicious flat bread!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
I have an amazing wood fired rotisserie grill and brick oven at Redwood which I love using to make rotisserie chicken salad, home made pizzas and other items for our menus.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Restaurants are so eager to list the farms where they source their ingredients on their menus to prove to customers that what they are serving is fresh, but shouldn’t that just be a given? At Redwood we are sourcing a number of our products from the Bethesda Central Farmers Market right outside our doors. You can’t get more local than that!

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
C’est un secret!

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
I love working with all the local farmers who participate in the Bethesda Central Farmers Market which is held Thursdays from 3 PM to 7 PM, just steps from my kitchen on Bethesda Row. Some of my favorites include Jamison Farm for lamb, Toigo Farms for fruit, and Stony Man Farms for cheese.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I wish my customers would come to Redwood for lunch everyday as the “soup, sandwich, pasta and catch of the day” changes seven days a week so there is always something different to try!

What do you drink/eat after work?
I love a good Chablis after work, or noodles from some of my favorite spots in Chinatown.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
No recipe required as its simple really! On Sunday mornings I love to take a fresh toasted bagel and load on brandade (which is a puree of salt cod, olive oil and milk), tomato, shaved red onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve this with a large pot of coffee and you have the ultimate breakfast.

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