Tag Archives: restaurant

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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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: Chef Ghassan Jarrouj

Today’s Chef Feature comes from Agora’s Executive Chef, Ghassan Jarrouj.  Head over to this new hot spot for one of my favorites cuisines – Turkish food!  The inside of the restaurant is so cozy and welcoming, you’ll want to stay all night.  And with the tapas-style service, you just might!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A good knife.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Foam.

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

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Samuel and Sons Seafood.

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Guests making alterations to a dish that requires long preparation and the guest asks for an ingredient to be taken out. When it’s a key ingredient and changes the profile of the dish that makes for an unhappy Chef.

What do you drink/eat after work?
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Burgundies, Pinot Noir from Oregon with Goat Cheese, Manchego or triple epoix.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Fresh seasonal and rustic cuisine just like Momma used to make.

Keep reading for Chef Ghassan’s recipe for Crispy Phyllo Roll with Goat Cheese, Savory Herbs and Crushed Peppers.

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Cast your VOTE!

It’s time to cast your vote for who should take the cake in the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual awards ceremony on June 6th at the Marriott Wardman Park.  You can support your favorite in each of the following categories on the Washington City Paper’s site from now until May 12th.

  • Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year
  • Power Spot of the Year
  • Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year
  • Your Favorite Restaurant

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Chicago Tribune Taste Test: 6 Vanilla Frostings “There are more varieties of canned vanilla frosting than there are ingredients in a basic recipe. At one supermarket, we found six versions of a basic “vanilla frosting” — plus a trio that didn’t fit in our tasting parameters: a squirt can, a no-sugar and a fluffy “white.” Ingredients and calories in those we tasted vary only slightly (a serving equals 2 tablespoons in most cases). The first ingredient listed was sugar.”

4. – The Boston Globe Doing his best in Paris “After 12 years making pastries at the celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., David Lebovitz moved to Paris, where he blogs on http://www.davidlebovitz.com and writes cookbooks. The latest is “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes,’’ which includes an exceptionally creamy rice pudding, delectable chocolate chip cookies, nonfat gingersnaps, and Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies, a recipe from the late Boston-born Robert Steinberg, co-founder of Scharffen Berger chocolates.”

3. – The LA Times For small farmers, thinking outside the markets “People can talk all they want about the important restaurants and the famous chefs that have gotten so much attention over the last 30 years, but for me the biggest change in that time has been the introduction of farmers markets.”

2. – The NY Times In New Orleans, the Taste of a Comeback “There was plenty to sample — there are roughly 1,000 restaurants in New Orleans now, up a cool couple of hundred from before the storm, according to The New Orleans Menu, a Web site dedicated to the subject that is run by Tom Fitzmorris.”

1. – The Washington Post The Joys of Not Cooking “The main claim by proponents of raw foodism makes sense: When food is not exposed to processing, more of its original nutrients are preserved. Every time we cook meat, fish or plants, their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants important to our health are destroyed or devalued. More controversially, it is said that the same applies to enzymes that might help aid our digestion. (Critics say that those enzymes are destroyed long before they reach our intestines.)”

Photo from The Washington Post

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