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July 18, 2014
There's a New Jose in Town
Smith & Wollensky offers summer wine & appetizer specials: order any two glasses of the “Calling” wine and receive a complimentary appetizer pairing. For more info, click here.
Move over Andrés. Chef Jose Garces just opened the doors to his first DC restaurant.
The James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef was on hand for the opening of Rural Society, his Argentinian steakhouse located inside the Loews Madison Hotel. We snapped him with Chef de Cuisine Louis Goral in front of an impressive wood fire grill responsible for kissing most of the menu with its flames.
The restaurant is appointed boldly and has a bit of a masculine vaqueroedge. You get a sense that a lot of deals will be sealed here, as there are a handful of semi-private nooks. Diners can sink their teeth into everything from five different grilled sausages and an even bigger selection of grilled meat to pastas and a form of pizza called a fugazza. (Sounds like pizza hand crafted by Ian MacKaye.) The Italian touches are inspired by the commingling of Argentinian and Italian cultures in Buenos Aires.
Secret's Out About This Garden
Successfully nabbing the Rose's Luxury rooftop garden for the night is akin to getting one of Willy Wonka's golden tickets. You have to have a fast trigger finger Monday at 11am when seatings go on sale. If successful, prepare for an evening surrounded by garden vines, cozy brick, fresh air, and the feeling that you're now a part of the coolest club in town.
While one person makes the reservation, eight to ten seats must be filled and the cost is $125/person for food only. In exchange, Rose's Luxury Chef Aaron Silverman will continue to feed your party until the hungriest person taps out. Old favorites that have been retired triumphantly return, like the buttery popcorn soup, plus surprises like crab clawsdipped in a chive mayonnaise (pictured). The whole experience is like listening to a greatest hits album from your favorite band.
Now Open: Chaplin
The folks who just moved into City Market at O have a new playground located right next door. Chaplin, a bar and restaurant rife with fun quirks like flickering silent movies and a cocktail that incorporates helium gas, is now open in Shaw. It's the creation of Ari and Micah Wilder, whom we snapped, plus Armin Amin and Adrian Williams. Why the helium? “Charlie Chaplin had the ability to make people laugh in the darkest of times,” Micah tells us. “I mean, he mocked German war tactics; we want to make people laugh too.”
You know Ari and Micah most recently from Red Light on 14th Street. There are some similarities, like creative cocktails on draft, but Chaplin is far more food-focused. Chef Jeremy Cooke (pictured) features Asian-inspired dishes like a thick-and-savory duck ramen. The second floor will eventually have an “opium den” for small groups to kick back in (or whatever one does in an opium den besides actual opium).
Cava Grill fans will find a few new offerings this summer, and they're all from local producers. The Cava team—Ike Grigoropoulos, Ted Xenohristos, and Dimitri Moshovitis—teamed up with Gordy's Pickles, Whisked!, and Runningbyrd Tea to add even more of a local edge to the fast casual concept. We snapped Ike, Ted, and Dimitri at the Tenleytown location with each artisan. Gordy'sbanana peppers are a new addition to the toppings selection and Whisked! cookies will tempt you by the register. Runningbyrd Tea comes in flavors like Montgomery Mint and Spicy Thai. Also available: new flavors of fresh juice and a refreshing gazpacho.
Tiffany and Kyle do Korean
Mandu K Street upped its game by launching Anju, a monthly pop-up featuring Korean bar food. The first Friday of the month, guest chefs step in to cook alongside Danny and “Mama” Lee from 10pm-1am. The July 11 installment featured power couple Kyle Bailey (Birch and Barley) and Tiffany MacIsaac (Buttercream Bakeshop). “It's an honor to be invited into another chef's kitchen,” Tiffany tells us. Apparently, it was busy back there. “The next time a cook says they are tired, I'm going to remind them that my friend's momcan cook circles around them.” Kyle's dishes included a cavatelli utilizing rice cakes and bulgogi braised beef knuckle, while Tiffany's sweet potato doughnut holes were addictive. Daikaya's Katsuya Fukushima is up next on Aug. 1.
A Sweet Deal at The Source
Saturday Dim Sum Brunch at The Source is one of the best ways to experience the fine dining restaurant and creative cooking from Chef Scott Drewno. Five dim sum tastes are available for $32 or eight for $42, with eight amply feeding a table of two. Dumplings take center stage, but noodle dishes shine too, like these Sichuan dan dan noodles with roasted pork and crushed peanuts.
There's also some big news coming out of The Source—it'll host a James Beard Foundation Celebrity ChefTour dinner on Aug. 4. The all-star cast includes China Cafe's Peter Chang, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, Rasika's Vikram Sunderam, Cityzen's Eric Ziebold, Mandu's Danny & Mama Lee, Maple Ave/Water & Wall's Tim Ma, Toki Underground's Erik Bruner-Yang, and of course, Scott Drewno.
The Best Possible Bastille Day
Think it's tough to win a mountain stage of the Tour de France? Scoring a table at Le Diplomate on Bastille Day is just as difficult. The bistro was even more boisterous and convivial than normal: Red, white, and blue balloons lined the walls, hostesses were outfitted in berets, and unique dinner specials were on offer, like Chicken Marengo—Napoleon's favorite dish. Food personality and author of Freak Show Without a Tent, Nevin Martell, was also in a beret, though he swears it was a one-time thing. We snapped him chatting with Le Diplomate sommelier extraordinaire Erik Segelbaum.
5 Things You Need to Know About Tarara Winery
Virginia wine is elbowing its way into the wine world, and with good reason. Tarara Winery is a prime example of a success story. Here are five things we learned from Sonya Farrell, national sales manager, all of which make a visit to Leesburg to visit our sponsor well worth the trip:
Tarara Winery hosts a Fine Vine Dinner every year, but the one this fall will be especially meaningful in honor of the winery's 25th anniversary. The five-course dinner will feature five acclaimed local chefs.
Their winemaker, Jordan Harris, was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The magazine also bestowed the winery with three 90+ point rankings.
They recently launched Boneyard Wines, a line determined to have a little more fun and make wine more approachable. If you were at the RAMMYs, you probably tried it.