Get local news delivered straight to your phone Area youth aren't shy about wanting a break from home cooking and the occasional takeout meal. "I miss being able to go out and eat food that's not cooked by us," Aden says.
Laura Hayes is the food editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper—a position she's held since July 2016. Laura previously worked as a freelance food, drink, and travel writer contributing to Washington Post, Washington Post Express, Food Network, Washingtonian, Capitol File, DC Refined, Edible, Arlington Magazine, Bethesda Magazine, and more. Laura was also the lead D.C. writer for Thrillist for two and half years and served as the editor of Dining Bisnow.
Her Washington City Paper cover story about accessibility in the restaurant industry will be included in "The Best American Food Writing 2020" coming out on Nov. 3 and won an Association of Food Journalists award in the category of "Best Story on Food Policy or Food Issues."
You've heard Laura on CNN, SiriusXM, WTOP, WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show, NBC4, Fox 5 DC, and more. She's also been a featured speaker at SXSW and is a frequent panelist and moderator at D.C. events.
The Philadelphia native studied broadcast journalism at The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University before pursuing a career in television news writing and production. She also spent two years teaching English in Japan and worked as the senior communications manager for the U.S.-Japan Council for three years. She speaks Spanish and Japanese.
Get local news delivered straight to your phone Area youth aren't shy about wanting a break from home cooking and the occasional takeout meal. "I miss being able to go out and eat food that's not cooked by us," Aden says.
True or false: If a customer who uses a wheelchair cannot access the tables in the bar area of a restaurant because the only choices are bar stools and high-tops, the restaurant should offer the customer a table in the dining room and the same happy hour prices available at the bar.
Darrow Montgomery The belief that the customer is always right is crumbling during the COVID-19 pandemic. As restaurant owners and employees move through Phases One and Two of reopening, they find themselves taking on the added stress of acting like lifeguards.
Darrow Montgomery The Independent Restaurant Coalition hired actor Morgan Freeman to narrate a haunting call for help released earlier this month. "The COVID-19 crisis threatens to permanently close 85 percent of independent restaurants," Freeman says in the ad that urges Congress to pass legislation including $120 billion in aid specifically for the hospitality industry.
Chef Ed Scarpone was running the kitchen at DBGB DC when he learned that his former sous chef had overdosed on heroin at the age of 29. "I got the call in the middle of service," Scarpone says. "I didn't believe it, to be honest with you. It's so sudden.
Darrow Montgomery/file When Krishna Matturi was growing up in a small South Indian village he couldn't know that decades later he'd be in D.C. selling chips and dips that draw upon the flavors of his childhood. The avid runner craved preservative-free post workout snacks, and saw the opportunity to start a business called Sasya Foods.
Darrow Montgomery At least 770,000 people around the world have lost their lives to COVID-19. Losing a loved one to the disease has been particularly difficult for local hospitality professionals who have already seen the pandemic decimate their industry.
Bandar the tiger gorges on his blood popsicle in private. Animal keepers at Smithsonian's National Zoo attach an oxtail to the frozen treat so he can clamp down on it and drag it into the bushes. Commissary manager Bill Clements sources the blood from a butcher at Eastern Market.
Darrow Montgomery "I feel so much safer here," Marie Figueroa confesses. "I'm not in a room full of people without masks on talking and eating and having a good time." After spending most of her adult life behind the bar, the 42-year-old now sits at a desk where she sells Volkswagens.
All photos Darrow Montgomery The change-makers who fill the pages of this year's Food Issue shape our local food system and make D.C. an exciting place to eat, even as the District is gripped by a global pandemic.
time to think or feel. I jumped into the fire. That's what we do," says Darrow Montgomery "I didn't have TAA Public Relations founder Aba Kwawu . When streets filled with people protesting anti-black racism and police violence following the killing of , restaurants and other businesses rushed to react or express solidarity on social media.
Darrow Montgomery The delivery worker who fetches your falafel has always faced a gauntlet of obstacles while earning minimal pay. Every third-party company has an algorithm that takes time and ingenuity to master. Takeout pirates can grab food that isn't theirs. Bad weather can derail a bike courier.
Darrow Montgomery For three months, COVID-19 disrupted the restaurant industry. While dining rooms were closed, some operators used their idle time to reflect on what the future of restaurants could and should look like-whether that's more equitable labor models or a greater reliance on the local food system.
Laura Hayes Nearly all food writers aspire to know about all the restaurants that exist in the city or region they cover. We might not be able to try them all because of time or caloric constraints, but should you, dear reader, ask if we've heard of a spot, the answer better be, "Yes."
Ana Cristina Plaza and her colleagues at Ayuda have been making runs to the Capital Area Food Bank and dropping groceries off at clients' houses, along with essentials like diapers. Food runs are outside the organization's usual scope of work. So is writing rent checks.
Darrow Montgomery/File Andy Arias uses a manual wheelchair to move through life. His hands regularly touch wheels that also touch the ground. "The idea of me staying safe even with gloves and a mask would be super challenging," he says. "I can't leave my house and take the risk.
Illustration by Julia Terbrock; Mockup courtesy of Graphic Pear The Cheesecake Factory's menu has more than 160 items on it, and that's before you count the varieties of their eponymous dessert. One section calls out new additions. "The world's largest menu just got bigger," it brags.
"To be a line cook you have to be a certain kind of crazy." "You get your ass handed to you. It's hot as hell back there. You're running around. The chef is barking orders at you and you're not getting a lot of help. It's stressful."
Aviva Copaken just wants some damn mac and cheese, and Kraft won't cut it. She's tried to attend three mac and cheese festivals in 2019. All three were cancelled. "The first time I was like, 'It happens,'" she says. "The second time I was like, 'Seriously?'
Laura Hayes Mollie Moore got thrown a curveball at Nationals Park on Monday morning. Even before Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented a citywide 7 p.m. curfew because of ongoing protests against police brutality, some of World Central Kitchen's restaurant partners decided to close.
Darrow Montgomery I've been dreaming about the day restaurants can welcome dine-in customers again. The energy is jubilant. Every restaurant, not just the hotspots that usually draw crowds, has a line out the door at 5 p.m.
Laura Hayes For farmers Clay and Linda Trainum, one of the most difficult aspects of the current public health crisis is not having the time to commiserate with the restaurant clients they've come to know since launching Autumn Olive Farms in the Shenandoah Valley in 2005. "Our customers are our dear friends," Clay says.
Laura Hayes The hospitality industry is full of stressors, from the racing pace of a restaurant's kitchen to the relentless positive attitude required to serve customers at the bar or in the dining room. Over the past several years, industry workers have discussed how to bring some mental health relief to those who staff one of the District's most robust employment sectors.
Darrow Montgomery If you subscribe to the idea that restaurant critics should look like the communities they cover, the D.C. region has a discrepancy. Only 41 percent of the District's population is white, according to 2019 data, yet there isn't a single dedicated critic of color at a major outlet.
When the dust settles and the country begins to reopen after the COVID-19 crisis, it will happen in phases. Mayor Muriel Bowser won't ring a literal or figurative dinner bell announcing the city's restaurants and bars are fully back in business once the city's stay-at-home order lifts.
Mohinga, seen hang, pozole, sarma, tlayuda, mentaiko, chermoula, muhammara, kajmak, natto-menus across the District feature these dishes or ingredients. You're not alone if you haven't heard of any or all of them. Chefs and operators have plenty to consider when writing their menus, starting with how to straddle the line between staying true to their cultures and alienating diners who are unfamiliar with their cuisines.
Laura Hayes "If you could go back and rewatch one scene in your life without changing it what would it be? "What moment would you have treasured more had you known it was going to be the last time? "What advice would you give your younger self?"
Darrow Montgomery Visit H Street NE today and you can get Swiss raclette, Burmese pepper water, vegan fine dining from Philadelphia, Ethiopian kitfo, po boys, half smokes, Trinidadian doubles, Taiwanese noodles, natural wine, cocktails, and canned beer. But relentless headlines about trendy restaurant openings come with asterisks of alarming closures.
Darrow Montgomery Business freezes for most D.C. ice cream shops in the colder months. "We definitely lost money every month in the winter," says Brian Lowit, co-owner of Mt. Desert Island Ice Cream in Mount Pleasant. "If you analyze the month-by-month for November through March, there was never a day with no people, but there were days with two or three people."
Darrow Montgomery Like many eaters, I spent part of my Thanksgiving weekend elbow deep in a sink full of pots and pans soaking in sudsy water. The food-focused fall holidays have a way of forcing home cooks to employ every vessel in the kitchen to get the job done.
Restaurants are closing in D.C. Last week alone, Whaley's, Vinoteca, The Commodore Public House & Kitchen , and Philly Wing Fry announced November swan songs. The decision to cease operating is an emotional one, according to longtime D.C. restaurateurs who have both closed restaurants and operated long-tenured success stories.
Darrow Montgomery/File Leading up to the opening of the first Red Apron Butcher in Union Market, Chef Nate Anda was squeezing sausages, hoping a bright red oil would coat his palms when he unfurled his fingers. This testing method came about after José Andrés chided Anda at the Penn Quarter farmers market.
Darrow Montgomery When restaurateurs are ready to open new spots in D.C. these days, they often ask themselves one key question: What would millennials want? "We are looking for a young, fun, exciting, and very vibrant feel," Hakan Ilhan told City Paper when he announced he was opening a casual restaurant called Lazy Kate's in West End.
Darrow Montgomery When Joseph McPherson landed his first kitchen job at BlackSalt at age 19, he drew an early conclusion that his value was based on each acquired skill. "I spent three years learning how to peel a carrot, dice a potato, sauté onion," he says.
Petworth cocktail bar Dos Mamis has altered its tip strategy several times since it opened just over a month ago with the goal of providing its staff with increased financial security. At first, co-owners Carlie Steiner and Anna Bran-Leis presented customers with a standard check with a line for a tip and a place to sign.
Darrow Montgomery Chef Marcelle Afram gives herself a unique pep talk when she considers the pressure of stepping onto the stage at Capital Food Fight this fall. The D.C. Central Kitchen fundraiser that pulls in $770,000 annually to fight hunger and poverty pits four chefs against one another in front of celebrity judges like Top Chef's Tom Colicchio and Nationals foodie Ryan Zimmerman.
Darrow Montgomery When Maya Lovelace was preparing to open two restaurants in Portland, Oregon, she launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to cross the fundraising finish line. She subsequently received a text message from a male restaurateur: "Running a Kickstarter is for kids with cancer-chefs should be able to succeed and get funding based on their skills alone."
Illustration by Emma Sarappo Whether you're imitating Eddie Money or daring to try a Whitney Houston song, karaoke is one of D.C.'s favorite pastimes. The act of singing in front of strangers holds unparalleled power in this town: It can convert co-workers into friends, make a bridal party get along, and unite a whole room of overworked Washingtonians in belting out an anthem.
The green thumbs who transformed a neglected patch of D.C. dirt into a sunflower-smattered community garden weren't about to stand down against the U.S. military. "They were thinking of moving Marine barracks over here," says Hal Seitz. Better known as "Hal the Gardener," he's tended a plot at the Virginia Avenue Community Garden since even before its official creation in 2004.
All Photos Laura Hayes Read any professional or amateur review of a taqueria and you'd be hard-pressed to find analysis that doesn't touch on the quality of the tortillas. Are they corn or flour? Is the restaurant making them in house? If so, do cooks start out with whole corn kernels or a vat of masa someone else ground?
Darrow Montgomery Daniela Moreira knows what it's like to work in a kitchen where you don't fully understand what your colleagues are saying. "I experienced how awful it is not being able to communicate," says the chef and partner of casual hits Timber Pizza Co. and Call Your Mother.
Photographs by Darrow Montgomery Where would D.C.'s dining scene be without the immigrant-owned restaurants that help Washingtonians taste the world? From chewy Uighur noodles and crispy Indian dosas to Swiss fondue and torn paratha roti known in Trinidad as buss up shut, the region is an embarrassment of riches.
All photos Darrow Montgomery While she recovered from breast cancer surgery five years ago, Lelia Parker decided to find a way to fill her days. "I needed something to do because I was feeling better," she says. "People don't like giving old people jobs, so I was trying to find somewhere to fit in."
Before this May Dangerously Delicious Pies was best known for serving sweet and savory treats until 3 a.m. on weekends. But then a very public spat between the decade-old business and a resident living just off H Street NE went viral.
"It felt like there was a rubber band around my arm," Ed Scarpone remembers. The 32-year-old culinary director of Schlow Restaurant Group was back at the doctor's office in March 2018 following a harrowing episode the month before when he had trouble walking. He couldn't get up the stairs or put on socks.
Darrow Montgomery "I didn't expect it to be a thing, but I'm finding myself constantly explaining why we do what we do," says Cielo Rojo co- owner Carolina McCandless. "People are constantly asking why we don't have servers and why they have to wait in line to give their order.
Darrow Montgomery D.C. will have about two dozen carriers of "The Card" by the end of this month. They're made of metal, much like Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards. You can feel the weight of one in your pocket or purse-gravity does the work of reminding you that you're a Very Important Person.
Stephanie Kara Jordan subscribes to the theory that being exposed to cold weather can make you ill. While working as a host at J&G Steakhouse -the former restaurant inside the W Hotel-she says she was required to wear a red jersey wrap dress without tights or a sweater, even during major snow storms. "I got very sick and had to take time off," she says.
Georgetown's vegetarian taco restaurant Chaia is weighing a tough call that many of the region's fast-casual eateries will grapple with as an already swollen market becomes even more saturated with competition. Should it go cashless to streamline operations and reduce customer wait times? Or should it continue to accept cash in order to make its [...]
Darrow Montgomery/File A former Thip Khao employee sued the Lao restaurant for close to $200,000 this past weekend. The plaintiff, William, alleges that the restaurant paid him a flat salary that effectively denied him minimum and overtime wages. He worked preparing and cooking food for over three years, about six days a week, the complaint says.
In the early 2000s, Frederick Uku found himself in D.C. on an expired student visa with no degree. He calls the decade he was undocumented in the U.S. the "Dark Years," and points to one of his most desperate attempts to support himself financially-donating his bone marrow for $250.
Laura Hayes The creators of Portlandia weren't shy about poking fun at evolving restaurant culture. In the premiere of the second season, a ravenous Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein seek out a simple burger at Around The World in 80 Plates. "Have you guys eaten with us before?" the over-enthusiastic server asks.
Taronica wants a Chili's east of the river. It's not because she wants to mix and match different flavors of ribs on a Friday night. She currently works at a location of the chain in Alexandria and wishes there were more restaurants in her neighborhood to shrink her commute.
Aaron Tidman does a lot of pro bono work as an attorney, but last year he tried something different. For one day, he was a pro bono squid cleaner at Rose's Luxury, the wildly popular restaurant on Washington's Barracks Row. Tidman, 35, an amateur cook from Bethesda, had seen an appeal for kitchen help on Rose's Facebook page.
Clarence Goodman whips a tiny notebook out of his pocket, producing a to-do list. Other than seeing singer Peter Cetera at Wolf Trap, it looks pretty ordinary. Read the Bible. Tend to his late wife's cats. Find a dentist who's worth a damn. Cut the grass.
He's not the only bar owner bracing for the worst. "Businesses will shutter, the face of dining in the District will be forever changed," says Tune Inn owner Lisa Nardelli. "It will be the end of the industry as we know it." On June 19, voters will decide whether the city should eliminate its two-tiered wage system.
When it comes to where she's seated for dinner, Heidi Minora is very particular. "I always want to sit with my back to the restaurant," says the general manager of Commissary in Logan Circle. "I'll face a wall or a window ...
The D.C. fast casual sector has reached its angsty teenager phase. No longer the new kid and not quite a mature industry, these restaurants that now seem as ubiquitous as fast-food burger joints, aim to provide customizable, high quality meals for $10 to $15. Four local fast casual pioneers are growing with fervor.
Darrow Montgomery City Paper asked bar and restaurant employees what they'd like their industry to look like in five years in terms of mental health, and what they would change if they were the boss. "Healthcare for D.C.'s second largest industry." "Close the restaurant two days a week so everyone has a guaranteed day off."
"The neighbors are going to be pretty surprised to see rice growing in their backyard," says Nazirahk Amen. The naturopathic medicine practitioner and founder of Purple Mountain Organics pays $200 a year to grow dry-land rice on a sunny field at the back of a suburban development dotted with mansions in Ashton, Maryland.
Stephanie Rudig How much do you trust your coworkers? That's a question servers, bartenders, and cooks must ask themselves before joining a tanda. These informal savings clubs, known in financial circles as rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs), are part of the work culture at a number of restaurants across the city.
If you want to impress your friends, order No. 32 on the Bún DC menu. A bowl of bubbling, 14-ingredient crab and tomato broth arrives filled with a tangle of vermicelli noodles, all topped with pork belly, heart, liver, blood, ear, and rounds of pork roll.
"They need to tell us who they are, what they intend to do, and what they want to offer."
If you've ever written a Yelp review and felt like you were shouting into an abyss with no one there on the other side to hear your feedback, you'd only be right part of the time.
You can go on a historical odyssey without leaving your seat at St. Anselm. The American steakhouse on 5th Street NE offers a collection of 42 unique Madeira selections, with one vintage dating as far back as 1850.
On a recent Friday, people are lined up like they would be at a famous Texas barbecue joint, waiting with bated breath and hoping the food doesn't run out before they have a chance to try it. On offer?
Bartender Zac Hoffman spent a recent Wednesday filling out his application to become D.C.'s first director of nightlife and culture. More than 100 people have applied to be the city's so-called "night mayor," a full-time job that will pay between $97,434 to $118,000 a year, according to the city's job listing.
The fried chicken wing tacos at Espita Mezcaleria are dressed with a 12-ingredient lime cashew crema, 13-ingredient "chicken salt" made from aggressively spiced crispy chicken skin, and a 24-ingredient salsa that includes five types of chiles, smoked paprika, toasted cashews, apples, golden raisins, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and onions.
"You know what I think?" Matteo Russoniello says. "Yelp sucks anyway. Who really cares. Just losers go there." The online review platform's recent decision to publish restaurant health scores in more cities and states as a part of its Local Inspector Value-Entry Specification (LIVES) program has frustrated the general manager of Il Canale.
2018 is doing a number on many people's emotional health as the punches keep coming and we attempt to roll with them. Enter aspirational eating-eating foods that make you feel the way you want to feel instead of how you actually feel-befuddled, distraught, enraged, anxious, helpless, or just plain sad.
"It almost has a catastrophic look to it-there are cops and ambulances everywhere and people are so drunk and blacked out that they're leaning against railings and trees vomiting," says a fed up Adams Morgan business owner who we'll call Frank because he wants to remain anonymous.
When The Black Squirrel opened in Adams Morgan in 2007 replacing T.S. Muttly's, it had the pull of The Great Gatsby's green light-drawing the city's nascent craft beer lovers in droves to try its list of more than 50 brews.
All aboard the Mug Bug-a six-seat, motorized golf cart that can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. The Ugly Mug uses the vehicle to transport baseball fans for free from the bar, located near Barracks Row, to Nationals Park and back again after the last crack of the bat.
Let's clear two things up. There is no one named Stoney. And Stoney's wasn't always on P Street NW across from Whole Foods. The neighborhood bar famous for its Wednesday trivia nights and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches was initially located at 13th and L streets NW. It's celebrating 50 years in business this week.
"We call her the jellybitch," Lauren McGrath says. She'd just finished recounting one of her most trying evenings working security at DC9 -a popular, three-level nightclub off U Street NW that serves up burgers alongside musical acts. It happened during the drunk olympics known as Halloween.
When you've operated a restaurant in the same neighborhood for more than three decades like the owners of Nam Viet in Clarendon, it's impossible not to notice changes, be they gradual or drastic. Located just off Clarendon Central Park, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Andra "AJ" Johnson, the general manager of Macon Bistro & Larder, looks forward to reading Washingtonian 's "100 Very Best Restaurants" issue every year. But when she sat down to read the 2017 edition, she was jolted by an unnerving discovery. "Going through it, I realized that there were no black owners," she says.
To participate in May's Taste of Arlington festival, put on by the Ballston Business Improvement District, food trucks must pay a flat fee of between $400 and $500. Festival attendees purchase tickets worth $5 each that can be redeemed at food trucks for a few bites.
Washington City Paper's food editor, Laura Hayes, shows us the District's diverse food culture.
"It's so sad," says LaShawn Lewis. "I don't see how this little bit is going to hurt anything. Why can't you leave this here? That is unbelievable." Lewis is at the K Street Farm kicking off the 2018-2019 growing season by pulling up last year's collard greens and cabbages alongside other volunteers.
After the Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016, Margaux Riccio yearned to help. It was right around the time when she learned that a Chick-fil-A broke ground for a new location near the H Street NE corridor, and as the plant-based chef at Pow Pow, she had an idea.
Diane Gross is eagerly waiting for her sign to be finished. The ones available on the internet aren't tasteful enough for her boutique wine bar and market on 14th Street NW. They have giant red letters that read "No Firearms Allowed," coupled with a picture of an exed-out gun.
Kanom jeen nahm phrik was the most popular dish at Baan Thai this past December. But Tom Healy, a partner in the northern Thai restaurant on 14th Street NW, wishes it wasn't. The rice noodle dish with shrimp, chicken, and tempura watercress only makes the restaurant 71 cents.
People hate change. Jackie Greenbaum jokes that she got death threats when she took over Silver Spring's Quarry House Tavern in 2005. "I did get letters and emails that were quite ferocious," she says. Someone even started a "Save Quarry House" website. "Meaning, save it from us. It was not nice to us."
Monday's menu pulled inspiration from France, pairing beef burgundy with egg noodles, bread, steamed zucchini, salad with a choice of dressing, fruit, and milk. The meal was served in Shaw, but not at a French bistro, and not at any of the neighborhood's new and buzzed-about restaurants.
A sticker keeps reappearing on the menu displayed outside the Russia House restaurant. In a parody of a popular children's song, the sticker reads "Tinkle Tinkle Puppet Czar, Putin Put You Where You Are." Each time co-owners Arturas Vorobjovas and Aaron McGovern find it, they peel it off.
It was one of those weird nights that are hard to forget. Amy Dunki was working behind the bar at Bin 1301 on U Street NW. A customer came in and asked for a chicken sandwich with nothing on it. "He literally just wanted chicken on bread," she says.
Occidental server Lindly Haunani has a pet peeve. "I've had people Yelp when I was still waiting on them while their food was getting cold," she says. She'll ask, "Are you enjoying this?" "Oh yes," they'll respond, before going home to type something trivial on a review site.
The grill is going, the sun's too warm for November, and some of the 32 plant beds still have vegetables worth picking. "See how much peace and harmony there is right here?" Mushin "Boe Luther" Umar asks.
The District got coffee for Christmas. The Cup We All Race 4 opened inside The LINE DC Hotel on Dec. 20. So did two fresh locations of Compass Coffee downtown. Two days later, the biggest Dolcezza to date opened at The Wharf, and New York-based Gregorys Coffee debuted at 19th and L streets NW on Dec.
"They're here for the yoga," William calls out when he spots a woman walking toward him wearing harem pants. He darts down the hall, his voice trailing off. "I'm going to go put my shorts on so I don't rip my pants." Moments later William rolls out his yoga mat, eager to begin practice.
When you step into the Brookland wine bar Primrose, the space feels lived in. The walls look like they've seen hundreds of coats of paint, vases of dried flowers feel like reminders of anniversaries and apologies past, and mirrors covered in patches of patina don't quite depict accurate reflections.
When food trucks first came on the scene, they were D.C.'s plaything. The mobile eateries were novel enough to draw long lines, intriguing enough to woo journalists, and diverse enough to leave customers scratching their heads over all of the choices. That was 2010.
Ninety-nine. That's how many times the word "pop-up" has appeared in City Paper 's food section since Jan 1. A pop-up is a temporary restaurant, and they dominated D.C. in 2017. Some were one night stands-such as a small dinner in a novel locale-while others stretched on for months in the form of a food stall or restaurant residency.
"It shouldn't have taken an article," says Yesha Callahan, deputy managing editor of African-American news and culture site The Root. "But because it went viral, they had no other choice." Callahan wrote a story over the holiday weekend describing an incident at the 14th Street NW location of , a Mexican restaurant that turns into a place to dance after dark.
To call Isabella Eatery, set to open in December inside Tysons Galleria, a game changer is an understatement. Not very long ago, mall food meant Auntie Anne's pretzels and, if shoppers were lucky, a Chinese restaurant that handed out free samples of orange chicken on toothpicks.
Local chefs, restaurateurs, bartenders, and other hospitality professionals lived through the rapid ballooning of the D.C. bar and restaurant scene, and now they're poised to apply the lessons learned to another sector growing with explosive speed: cannabis.
You could say that Orson Swindle, the former Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, is a regular customer at Nam Viet in Clarendon. "At one time I think I calculated I may have had over a thousand dinners there," says the two-time Purple Heart recipient who served with the U.S.
To understand what Chef Kwame Onwuachi is bringing to the table at his new restaurant Kith and Kin, consider his rendition of West African jollof rice. Onwuachi cooks down tomato sauce with shrimp powder, habanero pepper, ginger, garlic, red onion, and red pepper to make a paste that turns the rice the vibrant shade of a harvest moon.
"It was only a matter of time," Jody Greene of Greene & Associates says. He's been the landlord of a bevy of buildings, including restaurants and bars, on the 14th Street NW strip since the 1980s. "This particular area was so close to downtown.
You know the Netflix personalization algorithm that recommends shows based on what you've watched and rated highly? A similar matchmaking formula could be applied to the bar scene, thanks to the growing trend of cocktail consulting in D.C.
Jerry Hollinger buys beans with his eyebrows. The executive chef and co-owner of The Daily Dish in Silver Spring drives to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to fight over fruit at the Leola Produce Auction. His fellow bidders range from Mennonites in bonnets looking to stock their roadside stands to a man whose face tattoos scream, "I'm not from these parts."
Instead of celebrating or spilling gold all over the same old spots that draw lines and garner press clippings, we dug a little deeper and begged a lot harder to get writers to reveal their go-to haunts that they would prefer stay under wraps.
Not much inside Falafel Inc., opening this Saturday in Georgetown, seems particularly remarkable. Like most falafel shops, you can hear the snap and crackle of falafel balls crisping in the fryer, and the smell of warm pita makes you hungrier than before you walked in.
"I don't care if we have to put them in my kid's car seat, we're taking these meals," Jaime Rothbard says as she navigates the Tetris-like task of loading plastic containers holding everything from chicken sandwiches and lasagna to snack packs of crackers and carrot sticks.
Before you can start the nearly 300 hours of arduous training required to become a sword-fighting knight at Medieval Times, you must first pass a physical test wearing a heart monitor.
To eat the best thing on the menu at ChiKo , opening on Barracks Row Friday, use a chopstick to pierce a soft-boiled egg that's stained brown from sweet soy sauce. Then watch as yolk dribbles out, coating everything in the bowl: smoked brisket in a shiny soy glaze, a round of chilled butter flecked green with dried seaweed, steamed rice, and pickled Korean long chilies.
You've heard of Newton's third law that for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction. It applies to D.C. dining. The District has been flooded with incoming talent lately. David Chang opened Momofuku CCDC. Edward Lee will land a downtown location of Succotash. Bostonian Michael Schlow is building a mini-empire of District restaurants.
It's the day before Hyatt Centric's grand re-opening in Rosslyn. The hotel and its restaurant cityhouse are readying to make a big impression at a party. In the hotel's expansive kitchen, line cook Jose Hernandez is elbow deep in mixing bowls. He's never worked a restaurant opening before, and he channels the pressure into hard work.
"I'm not going to say we're the official bar of the resistance, but if people want to see us that way, they're welcome to," says The Green Zone founder Chris Hassaan Francke. His pop-up Middle Eastern cocktail bar, named after a safe zone in Iraq where it was once possible to find expat parties, officially debuted in May 2014.
In spring 2014, Prince Matey opened Appioo African Bar & Grill just off U Street NW to cook his native Ghanaian cuisine. Like at many West African restaurants, his walls are splashed with tropical paint colors, you can hear goat bones being snapped in the back, and the savory smell of stewed greens fills the air.
The mounds of rice that are molded for the sushi course at Kōbō aren't snow white as they are at many Japanese eateries. Instead, they're mauve. Chef Handry Tjan explains that traditional edomae sushi rice uses akasu, red vinegar made from sake lees, instead of the more familiar clear rice wine vinegar.
Nadine Brown can talk to anyone. And she does in her role as wine director fo r Charlie Palmer Steak, whose backdrop is the U.S. Capitol and where customer names fill the pages of Politico. On Feb. 9 alone, Brown was gliding across the floor pouring nips of this and that while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and Sen.
It turns out there is such thing as a free lunch. All you have to do is use your iPhone to time how long it takes for a server to deliver an appetizer. Or carefully observe a bartender to see if he is pouring free drinks.
Ari Gejdenson never felt at home in the classroom. The soccer player turned D.C. restaurateur only slogged through two years of high school. "I'm not your average learner, but I was very good at sports," he says. So at age 16 he boarded a plane to Santa Cruz, Bolivia to play for Club Florida-a second division professional team.
who's working the register at the Upscale Resale Thrift Shop in Rockville, Maryland. She's right. The strip mall store is full of cheerleading medals, a cane covered in fur, a clay jar that reads "Ashes of Old Lovers," framed jigsaw puzzles, and other artifacts that could have come from "This isn't a place for need, it's a place for want," says Sandra Betty White's basement.
Unless your dining regimen is limited to all-day breakfast at McDonald's, chances are you've heard the phrase "farm-to-table." The term's been as overplayed as "small plates" and "craft cocktails." Some restaurants are now even exercising restraint in telling diners that their meat and produce are sourced from nearby farms, simply because it's so common.
In a city of multi-talented workaholics, having a side hustle isn't so surprising. What's less pedestrian is a side hustle on the sidelines. Masako Morishita, who works full time as an office manager at Fuji TV, has been a cheerleader for the Washington NFL team for four years.
Take two hypothetical District residents who need groceries. One lives in the Cascade Park Apartments in Southeast and doesn't have access to a car. To reach the only full-service grocery store in her ward (a Giant in the Shops at Park Village), she walks 4.2 miles round trip.
Wednesday is the last day Louis' Restaurantwill serve giant pancakes, all-day breakfast, and cups of chicken gizzards. The Ivy City greasy spoon is closing after 29 years as the go-to spot for the neighborhood's cops, asphalt layers, government workers, and taxi drivers.
Story and photos by Laura Hayes Aslan and his owner, Jennifer O'Keefe, at a Paws to Read session Chemotherapy leaves cancer patients with little to smile about. But when Aslan plops his cartoonishly large head into the lap of a woman who is hooked up to an IV, she instantly lights from within.
Robb Hudson commissioner for ANC 1B11, can look into a crystal ball and determine whether a business is likely to succeed on U Street. "Unless you're mismanaged, a bar on U Street NW will do very well," he says. Restaurants, not so much.
When it comes to D.C. dining, 2016 was a year of chest-bump-worthy ascension and validation. The District's first-ever Michelin Guide dropped in October, making D.C. only the fourth U.S. city with Michelin-starred restaurants-joining Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Bon Appétit magazine named D.C.
Sgt. Major is a big player. The enormous pig with proportionally enormous balls is the male hog responsible for fathering the majority of the pigs at Spring House Farm in Lovettsville, Virginia. The property, run by farmer Andrew "Boss Hog" Crush, spans 400 acres in Loudoun County's wine country.
D.C. almost lost Johnny Spero to San Sebastián, Spain. At 29, the gutsy chef traded a salaried head chef gig at minibar by José Andrés for a passport stamp to the coastal city, where he worked nearby as an unpaid apprentice (known as a "stage") at Mugartiz.
A lot of chefs have a mantra to get them through hard times and grueling days. For George Pagonis, it's "don't screw it up," because that's the advice his father Tony Pagonis gave him at the most critical juncture of his career.
Photo courtesy of Markoff's Halfway through trail two at Markoff's Haunted Forest is a tunnel that will wreck your life-or at least send you back to the worst set of spins you ever got after drinking jungle juice at a college party.
Finding a dining companion for BLT Prime by David Burke inside Donald Trump's new D.C. hotel is like begging a friend to drive you to the airport, or worse, to help you move. And the reservation was for Oct. 3-four days before a leaked tape showed the Republican presidential nominee making vile remarks about women to Billy Bush.
Visit Central Michel Richard and you might notice a few new, peculiarly spelled dishes that lean toward fine dining-like "lobster begula" featuring lobster risotto that's puckishly served in a caviar tin surrounded by clear pebbles impersonating ice. Or, onion "carbobara" that replaces traditional pasta with slippery ringlets of onions accompanied by shiitake, bacon, and egg yolk.
You came to dinner with a game plan. The restaurant's a little more expensive than you like to spend on a meal out, but it's a special occasion, and if you and your bae stick to entrees and split a dessert, you'll avoid next-day financial regret. But wait.
Photo of deaf diners at Union Market by Darrow Montgomery &pizza founder Michael Lastoria says his rapidly expanding company wouldn't be what it is today without the District's deaf community. He's not alone. Richard Brandenburg, the Director of Culinary Strategy for Edens, which operates Union Market, says deaf diners have been a phenomenal part of the market's success.
Trevor Frye behind the bar at Dram & Grain. Photo by Darrow Montgomery/File. Trevor Frye has words for his former employer, Jack Rose Dining Saloon-1,526 words to be exact. Frye worked as a bartender and beverage director for Jack Rose and its basement bar, Dram & Grain.
Photo of Kinship's tuna tataki by Darrow Montgomery. Labels are annoying. Who can forget the head-scratching "It's complicated" on Facebook? Not to mention the overplayed refrain that was seemingly everywhere in 2015: "I'm just not into labels." Labeling restaurants, like relationships, can be tough too. A Yelp query reveals that 744 restaurants in the D.C.
drops. "It'll help people see D.C. as a food city, not just a political city, which is great for our community," says Power and politics have long dominated the national conversation about D.C., but as of late, District restaurants have stolen a piece of the limelight-in an election year, no less.
Buttercream Bakeshop's Tiffany MacIsaac knows she's tasked with bringing dessert to every party she attends, whether she's on or off the clock. The Washington, D.C. based all-star pastry chef, bakery owner and exclusive wedding cake vendor for the Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., has seen just about every kind of shindig.
Getting to sip top tipples doesn't preclude having a gastronomic experience - at least not at the country's top 40 bars for food lovers. These bars, pubs, lounges and speakeasies could have phoned it in when it came to the food menu, but instead they sought top talents to produce dishes that go far beyond cheese and charcuterie or a gourmet burger.
Many couples meet for the first time over beers. What better low-key date is there than plowing through get-to-know-you probes over suds at an easy-going watering hole? Jason and Melissa Romano, for example, met through friends, then had their first date at a brewpub-Arlington's shuttered Bardo Rodeo that was a hit in the 1990s.
Photo of Ryan Ratino by Laura Hayes Memories of meals at Masa 14 are a little hazy for most Washingtonians. Especially for those who visited on Tuesdays, when all-night happy hour pricing meant swilling vodka-spiked strawberry lemonades in the downstairs bar before texting both exes to see who would show up on the roof for a little grind time (raises hand).
If a server or food runner drops off plates with an extra serving of exuberance, it could be because they're a policy wonk, real estate agent, or financial planner whose happy place happens to be the dining room. A growing legion of professionals with day jobs are seeking (and being hired for) entry-level gigs at area restaurants.
In four minutes, I transformed an imaginary pup named Miss Piggy into a certified emotional support dog on a website called the United States Dog Registry. And it only cost $79 for a lifetime registration, ID card, and emotional support dog tag.
Angie Salame, a top player in D.C.'s hospitality industry, doesn't drink. Try having a conversation about the D.C. cocktail scene without mentioning Derek Brown. But the bar tsar behind Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Eat The Rich, and Southern Efficiency hasn't found success without help: His right-hand woman, Angie Salame, serves as CEO of their enterprise, Drink Company.
Is there someone you love?" Sarah Gaudreau asked a third grader who had just dropped a bale of hay on the first seedlings to sprout in Hendley Elementary School's new school garden. A few tender moments ticked by, but finally, he nodded.
Despite the shrinking number of Chinese restaurants in the District's designated Chinatown area, District law mandates that each business display its name in Chinese (whether traditional or simplified characters). The 80-page "Chinatown Design Guidelines Study," prepared by a private firm under the guidance of the D.C.
The "All Business" ramen at Paper Horse in Pentagon City. Photo by Laura Hayes There's little apathy when it comes to ramen. You're either part of the cult that puts the Japanese dish of piping hot noodles on a food pedestal - or you haven't tried it.
The next five months leading up to the election are going to be nail-biters as Washingtonians await who will take over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Consider de-stressing with some me-time at The Omni Homestead Resort in Bath County, Virginia. Rising out of the small town of Hot Springs like a red brick phoenix is America's first resort, established in 1766.
This Fourth of July, leave the usual suspects behind and dress your burgers and dogs with locally produced condiments that bring big pops of flavor. These five small producers wasapore nt to #MakeBBQGreatAgain with fruit ketchups, zesty relish, scorching barbecue sauce and more.
The Royal is many things to many people. It's a latte art coffee stop on the way to work; a quiet place to catch up over arepas during lunch; a no-fuss dinner pick; a well-stocked cocktail bar. But, most importantly, The Royal is a family business.
When Yesoon Lee and her son Danny Lee opened Mandu on 18th Street NW 10 years ago, they faced both high expectations and naysayers. People in the neighborhood were like, good luck, this spot has always failed, Danny says of the space that previously held a
No longer is a simple ice cream sundae considered an indulgence. Whether they're building exaggerated milkshakes that reach skyscraper heights or smooshing scoops between two churros for an ice cream sandwich, these shops are taking ice cream over the top from coast to coast. Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
South Side Classico pizza at Pi Pizzeria All photos by Laura Hayes The story Ask a Chicagoan in the know and he'll tell you the key to a good deep-dish pizza is the crust.
We asked area culinary talent to time travel back to the first time they laid eyes on their partner. Then, we prodded further to find out where they went on their first date. Feeling lucky, we even asked for photos from the early days of each relationship.
Mayor Muriel Bowser meets the Michelin Man The next time someone from fill-in-the-blank city brags that their hometown has better food than D.C., Washingtonians will have fresh fodder to counter the claim. Michelin announced today that the District will become the 4th U.S.
Chefs Michael Schlow and Michael Friedman share more than the number one baby boy's name from 1952-1998. They both grew up in Jewish homes embedded in thriving Italian-American communities where the cuisine was all about the red sauce and you ate your pizza folded in half, just right.
Duck Duck Goose exterior Andrew Metcalf The Story Bethesda's Duck Duck Goose has only been open for a month, but it already has regulars. Sitting at the bar waiting for my table on a recent evening, three people pitched their favorite dishes on the menu to me.
Sometimes, nothing else will do. You have your mind set on a grilled cheese or a gin martini or some frozen custard, and you will go anywhere, do anything just to scratch that itch. This year's Food Issue is devoted to all those cravings.
The bar at Rosslyn's Barley Mac. Photo by Laura Hayes A few sips into our whiskey drinks at Rosslyn's Barley Mac, my companion and I began to mull over the possible meanings of the restaurant's name. Could it be a nickname for the chef's ruddy-faced uncle whose affinity for mac 'n' cheese gifted him a Chris Christie physique?
There are enough quick-bite restaurants dishing out bowls to make it possible to go on a bowl-only diet for one full work week. I know this because I tried it. For five straight days, I downed a new bowl for lunch and dinner.
Mathew Ramsey has always been the creative type. "It started out as poetry, turned into photography/painting/filmmaking and, finally, food," he says. "I'm pretty sure food is my last stop." Ramsey is the author of the edgy cookbook, PORNBURGER: Hot Buns and Juicy Beefcakes, debuting May 17.
If you start at the very top of chef Matt Baker 's forthcoming restaurant, Gravitas, you'll see the focus of his first solo venture, debuting in Ivy City this winter. The roof is split between a bar located in a working greenhouse, and a garden that will supply the restaurant with ingredients for its vegetable-driven menus.
Ask a group of chefs what they really think of Yelp and you'll get dead silence. At least, that's what happened when top restaurateurs came together for a "Five Star Service," discussion presented by Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) and EventsDC.
Is it a coffee shop or a wine bar? With one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake, Northside Social is both. By day, this homespun café revs customers' engines with coffee, light fare and desserts by celebrated pastry chef Bridie McCulla.
Bring environmentalists behind the bar after last call and prepare to see their heads roll. Most bars at night's end burn their ice. It means that you take hot water and pour it over the ice until it's melted, says Derek Brown, a leader in the D.C. bar sce
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious. Picture pad Thai and a ganglion of stir-fried noodles coated in a sweet and savory peanut sauce typically comes to mind.
2985 District Ave., Fairfax; 703-280-1000 2007 18th St., NW; 202-588-7388 Sauvignon Blanc might initially leap off the page at this supersized oyster bar, but we also like pairing briny bivalves with brown liquor. Here, the whiskey library holds nearly 200 bottles, including the increasingly rare Yamazaki 18-year from Japan.
Look, this isn't easy... but I need to apologize. Sometimes, a city needs to grow up and tell a state how deeply sorry it is.…
The chef's counter at Kapnos Kouzina in Bethesda Laura Hayes The Story Restaurateur Mike Isabella makes his Maryland debut with Kapnos Kouzina, completing his Greek hat trick with Kapnos and Kapnos Taverna already thriving in D.C. and Arlington, respectively.
There's always an occasion to splurge in the District, whether it's a promotion, political victory or just another ring on the birthday tree. While it's not hard to find a table with a white tablecloth and spoonful of caviar, what if you want to spoil your
Chef Michael Schlow plans to fire on all cylinders at Conosci, despite a lack of flames. "We have to be very inventive with the way we cook because we just have induction burners, steamers, and toaster ovens," Schlow says of his first crudo bar, which opens Friday in City Vista.
Brent Kroll has some choice words to describe the wine at The Sovereign. "In an endearing way, this is a Euro-trash list with rustic, hippy, dirty-in-a-sense wines that are great for beer drinkers," says the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) wine director.
Boxed Out: Virginia's Winery Elite Posted by / Thursday, October 15th, 2015 Why You Might Not Be Trying The Best Virginia Wineries Have To Offer. By Laura Hayes here's a reason first-class passengers board first-it's so every coach passenger can bump along taking extra care not to knock over elite passengers' plastic glasses of VIPinot Noir en route to the back of the plane.
Preserving meat and fish was once a necessity, and now it's a trend - so much so that chefs are expanding their charcuterie programs by subbing pork for poisson. Bites like salmon pastrami, swordfish prosciutto and tuna 'nduja are filling boards for diners to share at the start of the meal, and the typical accompaniments of jams and mustards are finding apt replacements in small jars of creme fraiche.
If you dine out enough, you've probably heard of a sommelier, maybe even a cicerone, but there's another beverage certification becoming increasingly popular in D.C., and it says something about the growing popularity of sake. Jamie MacBain, Daikaya's beverage director, became a Certified Sake Advisor last winter after taking a one-day, $475 course that culminated [...]
Sometimes chefs hate cooking. Just like the rest of us, they have days they'd rather gaze at an online menu than a frying pan. Kitchen fatigue isn't the only reason restaurant folk order out. Maybe they're having a sick day, crave a taste from home or want to indulge in something they wouldn't normally make themselves.
Looking for a fun way to spend the day in Washington without breaking the bank? You are in luck! Laura Hayes of Thrillist shared ten of her favorite fun, inexpensive activities to do in the city with fox5dc.com. Here they are: 1. Be very impressed by a man with a sword Stop by the The St.
The Scotch-producing island of Islay gets a lot of attention from devoted whisky drinkers because of its peaty reputation. Chest-thumping loyalists -- many of whom can't even pronounce the place -- make a beeline for it when their planes touch down in Edinburgh.
Four months of separation has been the best thing for my marriage, and not because of that cliche about absence making the heart grow fonder. I'm not pining for my husband, Tom, who's on a four-month Navy deployment in Asia. I'm not getting misty-eyed over memories of us together.
Food from PornBurger's Mathew Ramsey qualified as food porn Saturday night, but the dishes didn't get a rise out of the evening's nude model Tyler Kelly. The Lemon Bowl event, dubbed " Forkplay: An evening of nude drawing and sexy eats," was far more serious than silly thanks to guidance of Martin Swift -a painter and illustrator who also bartends at Left Door.
Photo credit Laura Hayes and Glenfiddich. The independent Speyside whisky distiller remains true to its roots. By Laura Hayes, CSX Contributor The defining ingredient in Glenfiddich single-malt Scotch isn't the water from the Robbie Dhu Spring or the malted barley. It's tradition.
It's a good thing Nick Sharpe, 34, likes beer-he's just been named the new executive chef at Birch & Barley and ChurchKey. The Rockville native's first night in the kitchen at the Logan Circle beer destination-overseen for six years by Kyle Bailey -was yesterday.
The woodear mushroom salad with sweet potato noodles and peanuts is worth seeking out at Hula Girl. Hula Girl Bar & Grill may be nestled in the Village at Shirlington, but the newcomer feels straight from the Waikiki Beach Walk. The Story Flip-flop decor at Hula Girl.
David Sax's book Save the Deli sounds the alarm about the decline of Jewish delicatessens. But a lot has happened since the best-selling book's 2009 copyright. There's new energy - delis are drawing lines that rival ramen spots - and it expands beyond the Big Apple.
"My ego is bigger than these heads," Heidi says to me with the confidence of DeSean Jackson. The former cheerleader is one of 50 people trying out to be one of the beloved Racing Presidents.
You wouldn't feel out of place if you wore a Santa suit with a whole smoked salmon in your scraggly beard at Winthorpe and Valentine's Community,coming to Bethesda in late summer. The restaurant from Mark Bucher of Medium Rare is named after the lead characters in the 1980s cult classic, Trading Places.
The Bird's Nest, made of squid noodles, sea urchin, potato and truffled soy sauce Falls Church netted a new sushi spot with the opening of Takumi Sushi in December. The restaurant offers an alternative to the kind of paint-by-numbers, predictable Japanese that doesn't reach beyond basic sushi, sashimi, tempura and soba.
Tommy Joe's grilled cheeseburger with salt and herb fries Laura Hayes The Story When fries are a starter instead of just a side, it's a sign I've found a place to soak up workweek woes with cheap drafts and bar food.
Like a team captain after a big win, Aaron Silverman is quick to give his teammates shared credit. The chef/owner behind Rose's Luxury-and Pineapple & Pearls, set to debut April 7-says everything under his new restaurant's roof is a collaborative effort.
Freshly shucked oysters arrive on a rock bed smoking with dry ice. A truffle pairing is offered alongside an eight-course tasting menu. Pork belly hides under teriyaki foam. These are sexy touches I'd expect from a name-dropped chef or at least a restaurant with a line out the door.
Bartender brothers Tom and Derek Brown, who grew up in Olney, are behind two of the year's most exciting drinking spots. In January, Tom opened the Deco-cool Left Door in the 14th Street corridor. A month later, Derek revived the bar that was once DC's most serious cocktail destination- Columbia Room -in a leather-and-gilt Shaw space three times the size of the original.
D.C. restaurants like to brag that everything from their baguettes to barbecue sauce is made in house. Never mind that nearly every restaurant makes its food from scratch these days, the menu one-upping suggests we have a housemade arms race on our hands.
Nostalgia and love bring 1500 Pez collection to life Posted by / Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 October's Show and Tell By Laura Hayes When parents pass on, it's natural to hold on to some of their treasured earthly possessions. When Andrew Kim-founder of matchboxfoodgroup, which has 12 restaurants in the Metro-D.C.
There's never been a better time to be thirsty in Washington, D.C., where craft brewing and distilling are booming simultaneously. The city has an undeniably strong bar scene - not only do hardworking locals like to kick back with a cocktail, but District denizens also consume the most wine per capita in the country.
Bitter and herbal, these liqueurs are just the antidote for overindulgence. By Laura Hayes, CSX Contributor It was the second helping. No, the third. However many times you dipped back into the stuffing or asked mom to slice some more dark meat, chances are you have a stomach in need of settling after Thanksgiving dinner.
No one can slow DC's roll. 2016 will be another electrifying year for restaurant openings. But a restaurant is nothing without the people running the show. These are the 10 most important chefs to know for next year, especially because many are flying solo for the first time, enabling Washingtonians to really get a taste of what they're all about.
Fact: the number of items you've tried on this list directly correlates to how well you're doing at life...
No matter what international flavor you're craving, find yourself a top option in the DMV that'll leave your wallet in tact.
From seaside towns and gastronomic delights to a hiker's paradise, here are nine places you should go when you leave DC.
Washington bartenders put a delicious spin on the official drink of the holidays.
Chances are if you breathe air, you know about Great Falls, Skyline Drive, and the wild ponies at Chincoteague, but what about Virginia's lesser-known places of beauty that will take said breath away? Get that chrome filter ready because you're going to want to snap a lot of pics of these 18 spots across the state of Virginia that you didn't know existed.
How you dress up a fried chicken sandwich matters, but nothing is more important than the chicken itself. An audible crunch should create love at first bite, but once your teeth permeate the crispy exterior, they should meet moist, juicy meat that tastes like it has taken a Rip Van Winkle-length nap in buttermilk.
Yes, you should 100% check out all of DC's best new openings when we tell you about them, but just 'cause something's not bright and shiny doesn't mean you should ignore it like the season two premiere of The Affair.
By Laura Hayes, CSX Contributor A growing number of distilleries are bidding adieu to middlemen and taking on the responsibility of sourcing their own base ingredients. Growing and harvesting barley, sugarcane and agave comes with tremendous responsibility because it immediately inserts producers into the agriculture industry, but it also results in spirits that stand out.
A crowd nearly the size of a home Capitals game is expected at Yards Park on Saturday for DC VegFest celebrating all things vegetarian and vegan (provided that Joaquin takes a right turn out to sea; the event will be cancelled if weather conditions are severe).
DC is stuffed with frill-less wonders. You know the type -- places where you can hide out and forget the world over cheap beer, the occasional Jell-O shot, and the drone of…
Friends and now business partners Rahul Vinod, 25, and Sahil Rahman, 24, ditched their fresh-out-of-college office jobs to bring D.C. their take on Indian food. It's a dream not uncommon in their families: "We came back home and were having dinner with both our families when we told the moms, and they were like, 'Here we go again,'" Rahman says.
You know what's hotter than a sexy female bartendress? A bartender who knows her stuff. That's what we're focused on here -- the 17 most skilled gals behind the stick in the District. Where you can find her: Compass Rose Specialty: Drinks made with fresh juice and unique spirits like chacha from Georgia (the country).
Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering. What: Kazbegi Sunrise with chacha, Perun pear brandy, St. Germain, peach puree, lemon, and a Pirosmani wine float Where: Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW What You Should Be Drinking Forget tchotchkes-the best souvenir from a trip around the world is inspiration.
Every once in a while a restaurant comes around that leaves a King Kong-sized impact on the DC dining scene. From catalyzing new dining neighborhoods to starting food trends that are impossible to escape today, these are the 16 most important restaurants in the District.
Virginia is having a banner decade -- the craft beer scene is going full tilt, wineries can't plant enough vines to keep up with demand, and restaurants are reeling in national accolades while winning the hearts and stomachs of locals and visitors alike. Here are a dozen restaurants that are helping the Old Dominion State dominate.
José Andrés opens China Chilcano. Drops mic. The Penn Quarter restaurant is THAT huge of an addition to the DC dining scene. Like a Peruvian census report, the menu has Peruvian, Chinese, and Japanese influences. These three types of cuisine are excellent on their own, but even better together (like The Beatles).
Brent Kroll didn't know he had increased the value of his Eckington two-bedroom condo by $5,000 to $10,000 when he converted a coat closet into a wine cellar until his realtor, Graham Grossman, delivered the good news.
Eating seems simple enough. Get food, bring to mouth, chew, swallow, repeat. No problem, right? WRONG! Here are 18 common DC restaurant mistakes you're probably making. No one will judge if you knife and fork your way through this beast, especially if you're wearing something stupid like seersucker.
Kaz Sushi Bistro veteran to open Takumi in Falls Church Posted by / Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 By Laura Hayes Jay Yu may have 13 years of experience behind the sushi bar at Kaz Sushi Bistro in downtown D.C., but his sushi beginnings are much more humble.
If anyone has an ear to the ground in DC it's Dan Silverman. In fact, the guy has both ears to the ground... even though it's anatomically impossible. You know him as the Prince of Petworth, and we solicited him to identify the secret-est spots in town.
Looking over a beer list, it can often feel like the brewers used a foreign language or an online hipster name generator to label their creations. But not all beer names are devoid of meaning. Here are six local brews named for real-life muses.
When you're craving authentic Italian food there's simply no substitute (looking at you, hot dog-crusted pizza). From extremely fine dining to rustic neighborhood gems, these are the 13 best Italian eateries in DC. Please note that we honed in on restaurants that don't specialize in pizza.
It's in restaurants' best interest to keep quiet about their love/hate relationship with Restaurant Week, but that doesn't stop employees from rolling their eyes behind the scenes during the seven-day promotion that often means uninitiated or deal-crazed diners are filling seats.
Natty Boh is the little beer from Baltimore with the big cult following. These iconic suds have created some of the most loyal fans alive for the past 129 years. Prove you're part of the club by spouting some serious knowledge next time you're in Bohtimore, or just about any decent DC bar.
Tarver King's hidden talent isn't in the kitchen Posted by / Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 You won't find the executive chef of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville at Michael's or Hobby Lobby buying the materials he needs to carry out his hidden talent of etching impressive charcoal drawings.
When it comes to improving the taste of food, proper seasoning is critical. But many would argue that landing a coveted outdoor table is a close second. Perhaps the experience of eating outside takes our brains somewhere primal, or maybe it triggers happy memories of childhood picnics and family vacations.
Things that are repetitive: Lil Jon's song "Turn Down for What," playing the slots, and the constant noise about the same new restaurants. What about places that are a little older (wiser?) or less buzzed-about? They deserve some love too, especially because you might actually be able to get a table there.
Ahhh, Franzia. Everyone recalls the intimate joy of ripping open that cardboard box and fumbling around for the plastic spout like some kind of strange foreplay, before pouring it into definitely-not-wine-glasses. But now that we're not broke college students, and maybe even have classy standards -- how does "The World's Most Popular Wine" stack up?
To Westerners, Japan borders on the bizarre, with familiar allusions of weird foods, bat-sh*t game shows, and even game shows where people might actually eat bat sh*t. But in reality, the country's unbelievable coolness will leave you wondering whether all the stuff you experienced there was real, or just your imagination.
WASHINGTON - There's a lot to look forward to at the start of a new year, and for hungry Washingtonians, new restaurant openings top the list. D.C.'s dining scene continued to boom in 2014, and it's not slowing down. Which restaurants will likely make the biggest splash?
DEPARTMENT OF HOMEFOOD SECURITY
Look elsewhere if you're seeking outrageously complicated sushi rolls that assault tradition with ingredients like cream cheese, foie gras, and fried chicken. Every time someone orders a roll with these whacked ingredients, a Hello Kitty loses her bow.
Dram & Grain bartender Trevor Frye has been talking up The Flip-a cocktail heated by a hot metal rod known as a loggerhead-since the 20-seat den in the depths of Jack Rose Dining Saloon opened in February. But it took a few months of dealing with fire codes, fumes, and logistics until the drink could [...]
What do Donald Trump, Dave Matthews, and the founders of AOL have in common? They all own wineries in Virginia. That should be a sign that the fifth largest wine-producing region in the country is exiting puberty and coming into full-on awesome.
Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering. What: Feel Better and Get Well with Rhum Barbancourt, Powers Irish whiskey, falernum, and lime bitters Where: PX, 728 King St., Alexandria, Va.
There are few things in life that are both legal and awesome. A taste of home is one of them. Fortunately, the DC area has a few gems that feed the need of recent transplants to teleport back to wherever by way of a few really tasty bites.
When you raise a glass of craft whiskey to your lips, you're not just sipping some potent amber alcohol. You're also consuming centuries' worth of history, countless aroma compounds, and the immeasurable fruits and labors of a hard-working distillery. And that bottle of sake you're drinking alongside your California roll?
Because we're hungry AND nosy, we invaded the homes of seven of DC's best chefs to see what we could find in the fridge. We expected all sorts of gourmet goodness (and to be sure there was some), but you might be surprised to find out they have some of the same guilty pleasures as the rest of us.
Spooky Sips Posted by Lynn Norusis / Thursday, October 8th, 2015 Three haunted wineries with built-in Halloween spirit. By Laura Hayes Combine manors as old as ancestors with Virginia winemakers who have active imaginations and you get three haunted wineries.
You may know Mathew Ramsey for his image-rich website, pornburger.me, which has garnered national attention for its epic ingredients and perfect puns. Take the Melon Monroe burger: a stack of fried pig ear, mini cucumbers and compressed watermelon sandwiched between two beautiful, blonde goat cheese beignets. Ramsey does more than burgers.
Commercial real estate news, live events and education.
D.C.'s Green Thumb Renaissance Brings Chefs and Farmers Together
Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering. What: Fernet About It with Fernet Branca, Green Chartreuse, Lazzaroni Maraschino (cherry liqueur), and lime Where: Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE Price: $13 What You Should Be Drinking The Fernet About It is Osteria Morini's take on a classic cocktail called The Last Word.
Here's a restaurant and bar for every occasion.
A new dinner club debuting July 27 is asking diners to sip sherry instead of sake with their Japanese food. "Geography doesn't have to keep you in the same place anymore," says Mockingbird Hill's Chantal Tseng says. The sherry enthusiast is making a case for pairing Asian cuisine with fortified wine from Jerez.
Arlington Magazine explores and celebrates life in Arlington, McLean and Falls Church.
WASHINGTON -More and more, D.C. is being recognized for its exciting food scene, and it's all thanks to a handful of movers and shakers who are leading the way in tastes and trends. To recognize these trail blazers, Dining Bisnow is out with its list of the 20 most innovative people and companies in the D.C.
The burgers you're about to meet are anything but boring. Some come with a side of history, while others are so gut-busting that you'll require a week to feel hungry again. But enough jibber jabber, there are 20 amazing Commonwealth burgers just waiting for you to eat them! Get to it.
It's Saturday night, and you're trying a new restaurant. The server launches into a dramatic monologue about how they cure, pickle, brine, smoke, and bake everything in house. You tune out a bit. Yeah, yeah, the chef made the gravlax and ground the wheat for the bread by hand; you've heard it before.
Laura Hayes, a Washington food writer and Thrillist.com contributor, offers her pick of five of D.C.'s newest restaurants worth trying: Rose's Luxury: "An enchanting secret garden kind of place with chef Aaron Silverman at the helm. I'm convinced that he's the hardest-working American after Obama. Menu items range from pork lychee salad to barbecue brisket."
An Edible Gift Guide for Foodies
What you need to know about the eight movers and shakers in the kitchen, including what they would request for their last meal in prison. (We don't think they'll end up there, but try asking a chef for his one favorite food!)
A Day in the Life with Brand Ambassador Chad Robinson
Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering. What: Diablo 14 with Fidencio Mezcal, house-made grenadine, apple bitters, celery bitters, aromatic bitters, habanero tincture, lime juice, and a grapefruit twist, $12 Where: Eat The Rich, 1839 7th St. NW What You Should Be Drinking This cocktail was born out of [...]
If walls could talk at these 13 bars, they'd have stories FOR DAYS. That's because they're the DC area's oldest and most storied establishments (and whether that means the late 1800s or the 1940s, you KNOW there were stories going down). Many have been passed down from generation to generation.
One of the D.C. area's most promising professional bakers can't even purchase the main ingredient in her Champagne Delight cupcake. Breana Britt, 16, is the lead chef at Bree's Sweet Treats in Accokeek, Md., just 20 miles south of D.C. She's one of two budding teen chefs in the D.C.
RMA Limo's new app, version 2.808: for pickups and drop-offs, you can now enter names of places as well as street addresses; airport selection list is now sorted by proximity to your current location. Download here Diners today want to know more about what's on their plate and in their glass, so we went to food school this week.
There's a reason Baltimore is called "Charm City." There's no need to seek out "good service" because everyone's default is set to not-a-jerk. And around every bend is a cool corner bar staffed by bartenders with impressive facial hair, mixing stiff drinks at even more impressive prices.
The Dish: Tuna Natto Price: $5 Where to Get It: Izakaya Seki, 1117 V St. NW; (202) 5885841; sekidc.com What It Is: Fermented soybeans paired with tuna sashimi What it Tastes Like: Natto is an acquired taste, even in Japan. That's because it tastes like a sweaty dorm room or a dish sponge that's scrubbed one [...]
Want to get a real taste of the South, sans roadtrip? Trust these 14 recommendations from bonafide Southerners living in DC. We assembled a hungry panel of folks hailing from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana. They may live in DC, but they know Southern charm when they see it.
Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering. What: An Ode to an Appletini with Calvados apple brandy, Imbue vermouth, lemon, and sparkling cider Where: Ripple, 3417 Connecticut Ave.
Hot is the best word to describe Northern Virginia's restaurant scene. From fine dining to casual joints, there's something for everyone across the river. These eight are worth a visit. Inventive seafood towers from a raw bar sets Kapnos Taverna apart from Kapnos, the DC version of the Mike Isabella restaurant that opened in 2013.
Get to Know One Eight Distilling
DC isn't just about half smokes (it's definitely all about the half smokes, but that's different). The dishes that define our burgeoning culinary scene range from old-school to cutting edge, from spicy to sloppy. How many of these 15 signature DC dishes have you eaten your way through?
"The whole world is drunk and we're just the cocktail of the moment. Someday soon, the world will wake up, down two aspirin with a glass of tomato juice, and wonder what the hell all the fuss was about."
Burgers. Everyone loves 'em. But have you ever noticed the same names come up again and again when people list off DC's best? Palena is great and all, but how about a little variety?
It's Friday night at 9 p.m. and a group of guys are game-planning their night out. But they're not headed to dinner or drinks. Rather, they're slated to clean the kitchens at food incubator Union Kitchen. They do this every Friday as employees of a new D.C.
RMA Limousine's new app, version 2.808: for pickups and drop-offs, you can now enter names of places as well as street addresses; airport selection list is now sorted by proximity to your location. Download here. Fact: DC consumes more wine than anywhere else in the country: 25.7 liters per capita, according to Business Insider.
If Jennifer Nguyen has 10 free minutes at work, you won't catch her texting with pals. Instead, the executive chef of Zentan, a modern Asian restaurant in Thomas Circle, is likely leading an impromptu lesson on slicing sashimi as inquisitive sous chefs look on.
Morbidity is no one's favorite topic, so let's just call this exercise what it is: the ultimate DC bucket list of must-try foods. They're delicious, iconic, and most of all, memorable. So make sure you try them before you punch out of life, or more realistically, until you get tired of being stuck at a GS-8 pay grade and make the bold decision to move to San Francisco.
A new Georgetown bakery does so much more than coffee and cookies—they train, hire, inspire and educate disabled veterans and their families. Named accordingly, Dog Tag Bakery opens in December.
It was breaking news this summer when the Silver Line opened, making it possible for folks further out in Virginia to plug into nightlife and not worry about driving. Or parking. Or traffic. But what we have here is EVEN MORE BREAKING. We've made the first ever WMATA-fied restaurant map.
The Dish: Cod milt and salmon roe Where to Get It: Sushiko; 5455 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; (301) 961-1644; sushikorestaurants.com Price: $15 What It Is: Fertilization in a bowl: sperm from cod (shirako), eggs from salmon (ikura), and a tongue of sea urchin (uni) just for fun.
DC's dining scene has had a big year (bigger than Brazil, anyway). Hundreds of restaurants opened, new dining destinations emerged, and celebrity chefs like Daniel Boulud and Jose Garces set up shop. But what are the driving forces shaping how we eat and drink?
Feel that spring fever? It's time to hit the DC area dining scene for date night. With so many options, we turned to people who know a lot about love. Each of the following 10 date night picks are owned by husband-and-wife teams. They range from casual to proposal-worthy.
It's hard to dispute that Sushi Taro, Kaz Sushi Bistro and Makoto are championing sushi in this city. Unfortunately for some, their hefty prices can put them a chopstick's length out of reach. Here are three lesser-known Japanese eateries that keep check tallies down and authenticity up, making sushi more accessible.
Pulling up to the expansive, 165-acre Calleva Farm, you are greeted with warm smiles, fresh popcorn, beaming red barns, friendly livestock, overwhelming rustic charm and a sense that, at least for the evening, you're family. The summer series of Dirty Dinners at Calleva Farm provides locals and urbanites alike the opportunity to escape for an...
Meat gets a lot of attention, as evidenced by the latest foodie trends, from nose-to-tail cooking to complicated charcuterie. But there's also good news for the herbivores among us. It turns out that area chefs are just as deft at expressing remarkable flavor from fruits, veggies and vegetarian proteins.
There's never been a silver lining to getting a parking ticket-until now. The aptly named Shaw restaurant Caribbean Citations will discount your meal if you show up with a parking ticket or moving violation. Michael Sterling, formerly manager of Big Chair Coffee & Grill in Anacostia, opened the 16-seat restaurant replacing Azi's Cafe in January.
The only thing that kept the spectacle of Dîner en Blanc from looking like a scene out of HBO's The Leftovers was the lack of cigarettes and the silent treatment. Close to 1,200 Washingtonians descended upon a secret location last night wearing white from head to toe; an additional 7,000-plus wanted to attend, but found themselves on the wait list.