dc news


After 7 months, we finally learn what Barton Seaver, the guy who made Hook the amazing restaurant it was (and used to work at Cafe Saint-Ex and Bar Pilar), is going.  He’s now the executive chef at Blue Ridge, a new neighborhood restaurant that will be opening on April 1st.

Prices range from $13-20 for entrees and the new restaurant will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. 

I can’t wait to try the new restaurant!

Well, I’m late to the news, but am bummed to report that after 15 years, Les Halles has closed.  No more steak and frites for me…or anyone else.  Darn. 

They officially shut their DC doors on Friday, November 14th, but you can still try their food in NYC and Miami.  And if you’re going to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau on November 19th 20th, they’re scheduled to be open for that.

The reason for the shut down?  The lease was set to expire

Any ideas on who is going to take over?

The burrito man is back.  Everything is essentially the same except a minor price increase.  Now if you get a medium burrito with cheese on a flour tortilla, it’s $5.50 (it used to be $5).

Still one of the best things you can buy for $5.50.  His frequent burrito cards aren’t available (yet). 

Burrito Cart Returns!  Burrito Cart Returns! 

And here’s the updated menu:

Burrito Cart Menu

And when we were talking to John, he said he’s going to retire working at the cart.  Yay, this means he’s not leaving for a very long time. 

Thank goodness!  I don’t think I could handle another disappearance…

**UPDATE 9/12 He’s back and for good.  Yay!**

**UPDATE at 9 AM EST — John said he’s got a propane leak so he won’t be able to open today, but he says tomorrow’s going to be the day.**

I received an email this morning from John, the Burrito Man on 15th and K, telling his fans that he’s back and open for business.  From his email:

Pedro & Vinny’s will open on Thursday 9/11/2008 at 15th & K Street’s (NW) Washington DC .

I am glad to be back to 15th & K street in DC. I can’t wait to see all of my friends, past customers and new ones too. So, help me spread the news… Tell a friend or better yet bring a friend or two … or even your whole office :)… I will make them the BEST and FRESHEST burrito they have ever had. Don’t forget the GOOSE sauce! You have to try it………..

Free Chips and the entertainment ( me cooking ) is FREE too….

I can’t wait to grab my burrito today!  I’ve been checking his Web site all week!

OK, so you caught me — I was on vacation.  And for me, that meant 4 blissful days without my Blackberry or computer. 

So I missed the email that said the famous burrito cart, the one I love so much, is returning!  Pedro & Vinny’s is expected to re-open the first or second week of September.

While we don’t know why he’s returning (he says it’s a long story), but that this time, his family is coming with him.  Will that mean Mrs. Pedro & Vinny’s and mini-Pedro & Vinny’s will be in the cart too?  Ha ha…regardless, I’m excited to see him back!

To get more information, check out his new Web site.  I can’t wait to get my burrito…I hope I didn’t throw away my frequent burrito eater cards!

Update 8/26: This morning my neighbor came over to say that Hello Cupcake ruled and Georgetown Cupcake drooled.  Ha ha.  She said that they were so incredibly moist and delicious — couldn’t stop saying enough good stuff.  Her favorite was the you tart!.  She also mentioned that they make their gluten-free and vegan cupcakes in the morning when everything is sterile and clean. 

____________________________________

My office neighbor was really excited to hear that Hello Cupcake! grand opening was today and asked if I wanted to go with (she also offered to bring back a cupcake for me, so kind!).  I decided to venture out in this ridiculous humidity with her and go.

While we were walking there, she was telling me how much she loves Georgetown Cupcake and how she wondered if it’d be as good.

When we went, there was a line almost to the door of the SEIU building next door.  Since I had to get back, I dropped out of line but my neighbor stayed strong and in line.

After returning only 30 minutes after I had, she came back with 4 beautiful cupcakes and a few tidbits.

  • Fox 5 was there to record the opening and interviewing folks (will be airing the interview at 6 PM tonight)
  • There’s a huge pink chandelier in the middle of the cupcake bakery
  • There are 8 tables and chairs inside where you can hang out and enjoy your cupcake(s)
  • The owner’s husband was in the front of the house and was telling folks some interesting factoids about the place including one of the chefs was Tony from Food Network’s Iron Chef (side note – I don’t know who this is and can’t find any mention on their Web site; anyone?)

And for those who were wondering if it’s as good as Georgetown Cupcakes, she said that she can’t give a definitive answer without doing a side-by-side comparison, but did say Hello Cupcake! is definitely strong competition.

Plus, cute packaging!  When she opened the box so I could take a photo, it smelled so yummy!

Hello Cupcake  Hello Cupcake

Row 1 (in the back left) – prima donna; triple coconut
Row 2 (in the front left) – you tart! (gluten free); velvet Elvis

To see the full list, click here.  To make reservations on OpenTable, click here.  Like I did last year,  I’m only posting the menus of the restaurants that are in the three or four dollar range (based on OpenTable). 

The list is bleak because a lot of restaurants haven’t yet posted.  But keep checking back because I’ll be making the updates!  Most restaurants that are going to post their menus have so I’ve tried to compile them here.  If I’ve missed one, let me know. 

Don’t forget — lunch is $20.08 and dinner is $35.08.  It’s happening August 11-17th. 

$$$$

  • Bobby Van’s Steakhouse — There are two locations, so click here and then on the location you’re interested in to see the menu. 
  • Sam & Harry’s — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • Taberna del Alabardero — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • The Caucus Room — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • The Prime Rib — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.  Also celebrating until August 29th. 

$$$

  • Ardeo— Cleveland Park — Menu can be found here, then click Menu and Restaurant Week.
  • Bastille — Alexandria — Only celebrating Aug 12th-16th.  Lunch is regular menu.  Dinner menu here
  • Bistro Bis— Capitol Hill — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Bombay Club— Downtown — Menus for lunch and dinner can be found here, then click Events and Restaurant Week.
  • Cafe Atlantico — Penn Quarter — Extended to August 18th-24th.  Lunch menu here.  Dinner menu here.
  • Ceiba— Penn Quarter — Lunch and dinner menu can be found here.  Also August 18-24, offering bottles of wine for $20.08 and $35.08. 
  • Charlie Palmer— Capitol Hill — Pre-fixe lunch menu here for $20.08. Also doing dinner, but no available online menu.
  • Chef Geoff— Downtown and Georgetown menus found here, then click on either location.
  • DC Coast— Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu can be found here, then click on Upcoming Events.
  • District ChopHouse — Penn Quarter — Dinner only and menu is here.
  • FarrahOlivia — Alexandria — Extended to September 22nd.  Menu TBA.
  • La Bergia — Alexandria — Extended to August 24th.  Menu TBA.
  • Neyla — Georgetown — Dinner only menu here.
  • Rasika— Penn Quarter — Menus for lunch and dinner can be found here, then click Events. 
  • TenPenh — Penn Quarter — Menu TBA.  Also August 18-24, offering bottles of wine for $20.08 and $35.08. 
  • Vidalia— Golden Triangle — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Willow Restaurant— Arlington — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Zengo — Penn Quarter — Menu TBA.  Celebrating until August 24th. 

I can sense the excitement as we approach DC’s summer Restaurant Week, August 11-17th.  While we’re waiting for the full list to be released on July 21st, there are some restaurants who are already posting their menus.

If you’re looking for deals on dinner like Restaurant Week all year long, visit here.

And to walk down memory lane, here’s the list of restaurants that participated in January 2008.

**UPDATE 7/21/08 – I know you’re looking for the list.  It’s not published yet.  I’m still waiting myself!

**UPDATE 7/22/08 – It’s here!

I have to confess — I’ve never been to Nando’s, nor have I ever heard about it until Bacon and Blue’s review on the restaurant.  Nando’s has opened in Chinatown, but they’re also developing a restaurant in the Golden Triangle. 

To be exact, it’s going to be in the old Candey’s Hardware store on 18th and M Street NW (by Eighteenth Street Lounge). 

It seems like it’ll be a good place to grab a quick and fun lunch. 

Not sure when it’s going to open, but would expect in the next couple of months.  Will keep you posted!

Imagine — two days celebrating beer for only $20.  On Saturday, June 21st and Sunday, June 22nd at the Morven Park in Leesburg, 40 of the areas best breweries will offer their beer starting at 11 AM (both days). Buy your tickets in advance because they’re $20, but you can also buy at the gate for $25. 

The event will happen rain or shine, but I think this weekend’s weather is supposed to be really nice forecast is scattered rain…either way, sounds like a fun event!

To learn more about the event, please click here.  And don’t forget, don’t drink and drive. 

 

 

To know me is to know I love few things more than Visakha Puja Day (or as I affectionately call it, “Thai Fest Day”).  This year, it’ll be on May 18th.  It’s a one day Thai food festival!  Who wouldn’t love it? 

The food is amazing and your eyes (or at least mine) are always bigger than my stomach.  They offer all the staples — Pad Thai, mango with sticky rice, various Thai chilies/spices and at incredibly reasonable (dare I say cheap?) prices. 

While I’m sure there are other Thai Festivals in the DC-metro area, this is the one that I happened to stumble upon one year and will always be one of my favorites.

The festivities are held at 13440 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD.  They also have buses from the Silver Spring metro to take you to the festival. 

And in case you’re wanting more information on Visakha Puja Day, here you go.

 

My bus was running late this morning so after reviewing my email on my “Berry,” I switched to check out what was in the WSJ.

Imagine my delight and surprise when I saw WSJ’s “wine people” write all about our DC wine bars!  Gaiter and Brecher write a fun and highly complementary piece that mention Vinoteca, Veritas, and Proof, but focus primarily on Cork. 

Such fun! 

Check out the story here.  They also offer an interactive map and video.

It seems like there’s a lot of great food-related charity events.  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation is celebrating its 20th year — quite an impressive feat.

The event will be March 24th with a VIP Preview at 6 and general admission at 7 PM at Washington Hilton.

According to their Web site:

Enjoy incredible samples from over 50 of Washington’s best restaurants. Wines from over 20 vineyards will pair perfectly with the evening’s haute cuisine.

Witness DC’s own, Gina Chersevani of Eat Bar, Justin Guthrie of Central, Tiffany Short of PS 7’s and Derek Brown of Komi battle in the Event’s first live Bar Chef Competition.

Here is a just sample of the Participating Restaurants:

1789 Restaurant * Belga Café * Berliner Distributors * Best Buns Bread Company * Bistro Bis * BLT Steak * Bobby Van’s * Butterfield 9 * Cafe Saint-Ex * Capital Grille * Carlyle * Caucus Room * Central Michel Richard * Charlie Palmer Steak * Circle Bistro * Dino * Farrah Olivia by Morou * Finn & Porter * Firefly * Hank’s Oyster Bar * Hook * ICI Urban Bistro * IndeBleu * International Trade Center at the Reagan Building * Kinkead’s * La Tasca * Lebanese Taverna * Les Halles * Locanda * L’oustalet * The Majestic * Mark and Orlando’s * Mendocino * New Heights * Neyla * Noras * Notti Bianche * Oceanaire Seafood Room * OLiVES * Oya * Perry’s Restaurant * Poste * Proof * PS 7’s Restaurant * PX * Restaurant 3 * Restaurant Eve * Ristorante Tosca * Rustico * Sam & Harry’s Steakhouse * Ten Penh * The Capital Grille * The Caucus Room * The Source * Vermilion * Vidalia * Zengo

Returning this year, the “Chocolate Bar” promises a sweet centerpiece to a decadent event with chocolate as far as the eye can see from top area pastry chefs served alongside premium coffee roasted by Caffe Pronto.

If you want to buy tickets, click here.  Sounds like a great event!

If you enjoy eating in the Adams Morgan and want a deal, why not check out “First Tuesdays” where you can get food and drink for 2 for $25 (plus tax). 

What they offer for that price, of course, varies.  But why not check it out?

  • The Grill from Ipanema
    (1858 Col Rd)
  • Chloe
    (2473 18th St. NW)
  • Saki
    (2477 18th St. NW)
  • Bossa Bistro
    (2463 18th St. NW)
  • Left Bank
    (2424 18th St NW)
  • La Fourchette
    (2429 18th St. NW)
  • Felix
    (2406 18th St NW)
  • Bourbon
    (2321 18th St. N.W.)
  • Tom Tom
    (2333 18th Street NW)
  • Spaghetti Garden
    (2317 18th St. NW)
  • Las Canteras
    (2307 18th St NW)
  • Duplex Diner
    (2004 18th St. NW)
  • L’Enfant Café
    (2000 18th St. NW)
  • El Tamarindo
    (1785 Florida Ave. NW)

Now this is my kind of “ball.”  Capital Area Food Bank is throwing their 5th annual Blue Jeans Ball on April 8th at Marriott Wardman Park. 

They’re going to have 30 local chefs, auction, and live music.  I tried to see who’s going to be cooking, but that hasn’t been listed yet.

Regardless, you should definitely go — and if you can’t, at least make a donation (either food or money). 

According to Food and Friend’s Web site,

On Thursday, March 6th, 150 restaurants in the Washington metropolitan region will join together to raise awareness and funds for men, women and children facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses.

These 150 restaurants are offering some of their profits for Food and Friends — and a few are offering 100%.  To see who’s participating, visit here.

The ones donating 100% are:

  • Blacksalt
  • Carlyle
  • Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant
  • Ristorante Tosca 

Please make sure to support all the participating restaurants and to say thanks for supporting such a cause.  Considering one in 20 adults in DC has HIV, this is something that affects us all. 

Also, don’t forget about the AIDS Walk October 4!

**Update 3/7 – I went to Chop’t.  Here’s my review.** 

Over the last couple of months, a marginal noodle shop has closed at 1300 Connecticut Ave NW.  While I didn’t shed a tear for their departure, I did just get an email from Dani stating that a Chop’t restaurant will be opening in that location tomorrow. 

To celebrate their opening, they’ll be offering free salad from 11 AM-2 PM (or until they run out of food).  Hey, when I get an email about free anything, I have to let you guys know right?

While I’ve never been to a Chop’t before, free food can’t be bad right?  I don’t think you have to print out the invite below, but the details are below.

If you go, let me know what you think!  And if you take a photo and want to share it, even better!

Free Salad at Chop’t

Do you love the Washington Post’s Taxi Fare Estimator as much as I do?  Now you have an estimate on how much the new system will cost you when it starts in April. 

As I mentioned previously, what now costs $8 for me to go 3 miles and 2 zones, will now cost approximately $5.75.  I like it!

Not aware of the new taxi fare system that’s going to be implemented?  Check out my post here that gives you the details.

After hearing on the news that DC’s Mayor Fenty was holding a press conference this morning to announce the price of the taxi meter fares, I was eagerly awaiting the results.

As you know, I’ve been a HUGE supporter of changing from the ridiculous meter system to the time-and-distance system. 

Here are the changes that Fenty announced this morning which will start Sunday, April 6th Thursday, May 1:

  • Minimum fare will be $3 (not the proposed $4)
  • No additional fee for “rush hour”
  • No additional fee fore extra passengers Now $1.50 per person
  • Snow emergency fare will be reduced to be only a 25% increase (instead of the current double fare charge)

The Taxicab Industry Association is against this move and has said that the cabs will go on strike starting Monday, February 4 until Sunday, April 6th.  According to the Washington Post, the strike “will rotate through the days of the week — with drivers striking on Tuesday the following week, Wednesday the week after, and so on — until at least the start of baseball season, Wright said.”

I think the fear that this will cause cab drivers to lose money will quickly subside when they realize that people are going to be much more apt to take a cab with these new lower fares. 

For example, for me to go a mere 3 miles (from my office to my house), cost $8 under the current system because it’s “two zones.”  Under the new one, it’ll probably cost $5-6.   

Yay Fenty!

You may not know the name, but I guarantee you know his restaurants — Ceiba, DC Coast, Arcadiana, and TenPenh.  Jeff Tunks was featured in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal Chefs at Home section.

In the story, he provides a couple of recipes (Black-Eyed Pea Soup and Cilantro Chimichurri) and tips on how lost 100 pounds in five years.

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