Tag Archives: restaurant

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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Sprinkles Georgetown!

Yes, the cupcake “revolution” is getting old, but this is the real deal… Sprinkles Cupcakes… the ORIGINAL cupcake bakery!  It’s arrived here in DC – dangerously down the street from the Haute Papier design studio… but not far enough that the walk down there will burn off the calories consumed by even one cupcake (as if I am actually able to have that kind of self-restraint!)!

We were able to get a sneak peek and ridiculous amount of tasting earlier this week at a preview for business owners in Georgetown and we’re beyond smitten with the deliciousness of the cake!  It’s perfectly crumbly with so much more flavor than another cupcakes shop in Georgetown, whose name we’ll leave unmentioned, but irritates the heck out of my husband – if only because its customers have no sense of the difference between the street and sidewalk as they stand googlie-eyed taking pictures of the storefront.

We also got to meet Candace (the founder) and her husband, Charles.  Candace is just adorable – complete with cute little converse tennies with her chef’s jacket.  Welcome to DC Sprinkles!!

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From the Kitchen of: Al Nappo

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Chef Al Nappo of Founding Farmers. Washington’s greenest restaurant just announced plans to open a second location in the Park Potomac Development in Potomac, Maryland in the Fall of 2011. We’re looking forward to it! In the mean time, read along for Chef Nappo’s answers to the usual questions!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
Stick blender, for sure.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
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?
A burger place.

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Kreider Farms, Lancaster, PA.  Very fresh dairy products.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Food arriving too quickly.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Oodles of diet coke and a lot of tacos!

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
My burger mix – ground beef, worcestershire sauce, minced fresh garlic, salt, white pepper, squeeze of lime juice, perfection!!!

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From the Kitchen of: Greg Brandberg

Today’s Chef Feature comes from The Inn at Perry Cabin‘s Executive Chef Greg Brandberg.  I had the joy of dining here a few weeks ago and am still raving about the food to any and all who will listen and are looking for a little retreat out of the city for the weekend.  From the pheasant to the beet salad (beets from the garden)  and the rockfish to the duck duck goose (Chef Greg got the inspiration from the children’s game while play it with his daughter) each course just got better and better – and the evening view of the bay… the icing on the cake!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
It’s not much of a gadget, but spending the last two years at Morimoto – japanese cutlery – a couple $100 extra on knives really makes a difference. If you have a nice sharp knife you’re not going to cut yourself and you’re going to cut your prep time in half.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Molecular stuff in general… Anthony bordain said something along the lines of ”no one actually says they do molecular gastronomy, but the people who say they do, do it poorly”

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
I’ve always said my retirement plan would be a bbq place with a Jamaican flair or a Vietnamese noodle bar…

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
The farmer’s market in Easton and St. Michaels – Cottingham farm, Hummingbird farm, and Homestead farms… off-season we’re trying to source out some local chicken, lamb and pork… as local as possible….

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
I would say allergies that aren’t allergies. It more of a food preference than allergy. There is one Sex in the City episode, one of the women didn’t like anything with parsley, because it would get stuck in her teeth, so she told everyone she was allergic. We take allergies very serious here at the Inn.

What do you drink/eat after work?
Dive food… Chinatown for shitty beer and good food.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I have a $100 charcoal grill from Lowe’s – I cooked only on that for 2.5 years… roasting or grilling. One thing I do a lot on the grill is the whole roasted chicken… I rub it with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon zest – roast over hardwood. It’s delicious.

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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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Introducing…

The District Domestic’s newest addition!  A dear friend and fellow food and wine lover, Jackie Ludden will be joining the ranks with a weekly roundup of upcoming food events in the DC area.  If you’ve got tips or an event you’d like to be considered for inclusion, please email thedistrictdomestic (at) gmail (dot) com.  So, without any further ado, here’s a bit about Jackie!

Jackie has always been a foodie.  Growing up around the Chesapeake Bay was a great way to become intimately familiar with local products, produce and of course seafood!  Since arriving in Washington, DC in 2000 to attend American University, Jackie has been deeply involved in the area’s restaurant industry.  Her bubbly personality was put to good use as event coordinator and private dining sales with area restaurants including Chef Geoff’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and most recently, in opening RIS in the West End.  Over the years she has volunteered with many food-related events in DC such as March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, The RAMMYs (DC’s Restaurant Association Awards Gala), Key to the Cure at Saks Fifth Avenue, the Concierge Association’s annual Charity Gala and ZooFari.

In the spring of 2010, Jackie decided to expand her reach beyond private functions and started her own event logistics and marketing company, Ludden, LLC.  Community involvement has always been important.  She currently serves on the boards of The Washington Area Concierge Association (WACA) as well as Educated Eats: Creating the Next Generation of Culinary Professionals, the charitable arm of Washington’s Restaurant Association (RAMW).  Jackie is excited to now share her favorite food and wine-related events in and around Washington, DC with you, the readers of The District Domestic!

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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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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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Filed under Ethnic Food, Food, Interview, Outside DC, Restaurants