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January 2009

Weekly Blog Round Up

The war on Roquefort cheese. Here it is in a nutshell, or a cheese wheel--if you (The European Union) are not willing to buy our hormone-laden meat, then we're effectively banning your wholesome, natural and unique Roquefort cheese (among other European luxury products) by imposing a 300% tariff on said cheese. This story was written up in the Washington Post this week and quickly spread throughout the foodie blogosphere. The story moved Jill Erber, owner of Cheesetique in Del Ray, to write a response on Cheesetique's website. Erber stated "Obviously, Roquefort is a TEENY TINY portion of imported food in the US, so why pick on this poor little cheese and, by association, the 600-person town of Roquefort? It’s called symbolism, my friends. Roquefort, like foie gras and truffles, simply says, “France”.

Erber is also responding by offering Roquefort cheese for $20.00 a pound, effecting her own culinary protest of sorts. She will carry Roquefort as long as supplies last which is "only a matter of time".

It appears the the Obamas get to have their cake and eat it too. Well, they get to retain Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, while bringing on their own personal chef, Sam Kass. Tim Carman posted this story in his Young and Hungry blog this week, and speculated that it could be one shrewd move on the Obama's part. They won't be the ones to fire the first female White House chef, yet they have on staff a talented chef who knows how to please their palettes while emphasizing healthy eating and local foods.

This should indeed please Alice Waters, who voiced concern over retaining Comerford in lieu of hiring a White House chef more aligned with the local food movement.

Speaking of eating local, D.C. food blogger and writer Ed Bruske (The Slow Cook) wrote a 2 part series on the merits of community gardens where he muses "are they obsolete?".  Bruske argues that "gardening is more than picking flowers; gardening should be taken seriously". Gardening, specifically community gardening, can be a way of fulfilling one's civic duty by utilizing the sparest of spaces to produce food that feeds a community, including those with limited access to fresh, healthy food.

Not sure what you'll be chowing on for the Super Bowl game on Sunday?  Take a look at what some local bloggers have been making. The Bitten Word has the Ultimate Superbowl Meatfest Menu, including Buffalo Chicken Dip, Simple Ribs and Cheater BBQ Pork. Capital Spice made turducken in a Big Green Egg, and Pete, of Pete Bakes, made delicious-looking Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms.

Finally, a big Hooty-Hoo shout out to our favorite local Top Chef Season 5 cheftestant, Carla. Carla's dish in the elimination challenge put season 5 in the winner's circle, beating the "All Stars" of prior seasons, including Spike. Spike hosted a viewing party at his own Good Stuff Eatery, and Mike Bober (Capital Spice, DC Foodies) was there to report on the action - and reaction of Carla's husband when he found out (along with everyone else there) that he was going to the Super Bowl!

Restaurant Week: The Wait Is Over, The Menus Have Started to Come In

Restaurant Week As promised, this year we're working to put up menus and other updates on Restaurant Week as soon as we get them so that you can make an informed decision about where to spend your dining dollars.  You'll be able to find all the updates in our original DC Restaurant Week post, so keep checking back there to see what's new.

We'll also be putting up regular notes like this one to let you know about what we're finding.  After all...knowing is half the battle.

One of the positive things we've found so far this year is the number of restaurants that are planning to extend their Restaurant Week promotions beyond the week of the 16th to the 22nd.  We've already got a list of a dozen restaurants that will allow you to take advantage of their RW deals the following week, as well.  Plan accordingly!

Menu updates this week:
Article One
Daniel O'Connell's
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse
Ici Urban Bistro
Jackson 20
KAZ Sushi Bistro
La Tasca
Le Chat Noir
Le Mistral
Melting Pot
Mie N Yu
Petit Plats
Taberna del Alabardero
The Willard Room

So keep checking in with us for alerts about new menus as we receive them, and then look for them at our original DC Restaureant Week post

And don't forget to let us know where you'll be dining this Restaurant Week!

The Hopslam Cometh!

Hopslam2  Every year towards the end of winter, with an American populous depressed and at wit's end from lack of serotonin and vitamin D, the benevolent lords of Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI, smile kindly on the piteous masses, and release one of the most delicious beers ever made: The Hopslam! Great reveling ensues, with many a sacrifice to Xenu, the God of Hops, and for a brief time, the people are happy.

I know I've never done a post on a single wine or beer before, but this one is truly special. The Hopslam is an Imperial IPA, or American Double. Taking off from the traditional recipe for Indian Pale Ale — those strong, hoppy ales that powered Britain's benevolent rule of the eponymous subcontinent — American brewers upped the ante, increasing the original's high alcohol content and throwing in a tongue-stripping amount of hops.

I am no "hop head," and have always preferred a light English Bitter or German Kolsch to nearly any Imperial IPA; most are gawky and monstrous, one dimensional and overwrought, and many taste like a bong hit of stale pot and pine needles (AKA the "Oberlin Special," which is NOT as tasty as it sounds). Likewise, sweeter beers also turn me off, as many come off cloying and chemically, and as my girlfriend puts it, they make my teeth "feel furry."

Hopslam1 Though equally potent as its contemporaries, with plenty of hops and a brain-numbing 10.0% abv, the Hopslam has that most rare and important characteristic in particularly potent potables: Balance! Fermented with a healthy portion of both hops and honey, the Hopslam is both sweet and bitter, and manages to play these often ill-employed flavors off each other with incredible grace. The beer pours a hazy golden-orange, with a full, foamy, off white head. The nose is a heady melange of honey, hops, and spice, which taken together is reminiscent of sweet grapefruit. The beer is oily textured and full from the start, carrying with it rich flavors of hops, toasty malt, cooking oil, tropical fruits and pine, all leading up to a pleasingly bitter, long lived, honey laced finish.

As the craft beer revolution has swept the District and Bell's Brewery had garnered tons of well deserved esteem, the Hopslam has gone from being one of those beers that is abundant at a few stores to one in short supply at many. You should have little trouble finding it at your better beer stores for the next week, but the hype is high and the beer rocks, so you won't see much beyond that, and expect to pay upwards of $15 to $20 per six pack.  I know it's not cheap, but trust me when I say it is worth it. If you know the beer and love it, get it quick before it is gone; if you are a beer lover who has never had it, go buy some now!

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Bacon Corn Bread and Soup  Remember that lovely chicken with 40 cloves of garlic I made?  Unfortunately, it didn't get much use for almost a week.  I came down with a bad cold, rendering my appetite obsolete and leaving the poor chicken alone in the refrigerator.  For a few days last week, I started feeling better but I was no longer in the mood for a meal of roast chicken, potatoes and brussel sprouts.  It was freezing cold outside and that meant only one thing:  chili.  Ever the one not to let something go to waste, I decided to make it a chicken chili, using up the chicken still in my fridge.  And to make life even easier on me (because let's face it, it's not easy cooking when you're getting over a bad cold), I decided to let the crockpot do most of the work.  Considering the fact that it got even colder after I made the chili (and my cold returned...this time with a vengance), this turned out to be the perfect Winter meal.

Crockpot Chicken ChiliCarrots 2

1-4lb. roasted chicken, meat coarsely cubed
1 lb kidney beans, cleaned and soaked overnight
5 cups chicken stock
4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Hungarian (or smoked) paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced

Diced Roasted Chicken 2 Place a dry skillet on medium heat and add the cumin, coriander and paprika.  Toast for a few minutes (no more than four), until the spices begin to release their aromas.  Remove the spices from the heat and add the chili powder, cayenne pepper, ground pepper and salt.  Set aside.  Put the carrots and onions in the crockpot and turn it on low.  Add in the chicken stock, rinsed kidney beans, garlic and chicken.  Add the spices and stir to incorporate it evenly. Allow the chili to cook for 8 to ten hours, or until the beans are thoroughly cooked. 

Super Bowl Tacos

Image073 Ah, the Super Bowl.

Alas, my Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn't find their way to Sunday’s game in Tampa. Fortunately, my appetite is good to go.

Sure it may be 30 degrees outside, but this is the big game, folks! Man up (or woman up) and light that grill. Last year, I made foie gras bacon cheeseburgers with grilled onions; a sandwich so good it takes seven words to name and rivaled only by Ray’s Hell-Burger's version (I, however, serve beer). Other years it was my 24-hour Guinness chili, a deliciously rich vehicle for many a protein, including beef, goat and your neighbor's cat.

Game-day meals this season have featured grilled chicken wings and Cuban burgers (I use Bobby Flay's recipe, though I don't press the foil-wrapped burgers with a heavy pan or brick, which tends to crush the sandwich. Instead, I gently use a spatula or my hand.)

As much as I like cooking for the game, I usually get stuck watching first downs through the front window. By the time the guests arrive and I get the grill going, the game has started and I've taken my place on the outside looking in.

Not this year, my friends. Oh no, not when it's this cold outside.

Image082 Image084 To ensure I'm in front of the TV at kickoff, I'm planning a simple menu that'll make everyone happy: tacos two ways. My grilled shrimp tacos will be topped with fresh guacamole and diced tomatoes. The grilled chicken tacos will start with a cumin and adobo rub, and will be topped with roasted chilies, black beans, and queso blanco. Both are finished off with a squirt of grilled lime juice.

Compact and delicious, tacos are ideal for these types of parties. You can prepare everything beforehand and leave it up to your guests to build their own tacos.

The chicken can be grilled Sunday morning and then broken down when the meat is cool enough to pull from the carcass. The shrimp should be grilled a little closer to game time, but they cook in a matter of minutes. Either way, you're not spending much time outdoors.

Image026If you're expecting a crowd for the game consider picking up a 5 liter mini keg. Whole Foods and D'Vines carry mini kegs, including Bell's delicious wheat ale Oberon. The German Gourmet shops in Falls Church has the best selection of German beers in the area, a number of which are available in mini kegs.

And let's face it, tapping your own keg of beer at home is cool. It is.

As for the game, my heart will be with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that has known only futility, which reminds me of the Bucs. However, my head says the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to kick the crap out of them.

Good luck, Cards.

Tacos Two Ways
(Makes 8 servings)

 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (fresh shrimp only)
1 3-5 lb. whole chicken, butterflied
1/2 lb. queso blanco, shredded
2 packages of flour tortilla shells (at least 24 total)
2 tbs. cumin
2 tbs. adobo seasoning
1 tsp. crushed red peppers
8 tbs. olive oil
3 avocados, hass or Florida
4 ripe tomatoes, diced
2 limes, halved
1 lemon, halved
2 onions, diced
2 15.5 oz. cans of black beans
3 Poblano peppers, left whole
2 jalapeños, left whole
6 Thai peppers, sliced
2 strips of bacon, diced
Salt and cracked black pepper
Aluminum foil
Hot sauce, lots of hot sauce

The night before the game, coat the bird in 3 tbs. of olive oil, including under the skin, and rub it with the cumin and adobo, also under the skin. Cover and stick it back in the refrigerator until you're ready for it.

When you're ready to cook, butterfly the chicken and set it aside while you light the grill. Once the grill is hot, place the bird skin-side up on the hottest part of the grill for two minutes. Turn the bird over and grill for another two minutes. Now, move the bird to a cooler part of the grill, put the lid on and grill for an hour.

Image060 As the chicken cooks, coat the Poblano and jalapeño peppers in a couple table spoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Also, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

For the shrimp tacos, skewer the shrimp and drizzle 2 tbs. of olive oil over them. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Stick the shrimp in the back in refrigerator.

Heat a sauce pot over a medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it begins to brown and crisp up. Add one and a half onions and cook until they begin to soften and become translucent. Stir in the cans of black beans, cover the pot and turn up the heat to boil before turning it down to simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes.

 After the chicken has been cooking for an hour, remove the lid and place the limes, jalapeños and Poblano peppers on the grill over the hottest spot. When the skin begins to char after a few minutes, turn and repeat. Once the skin has softened and charred on all sides, pull the peppers, lime halves and chicken off the grill. Tent and chicken and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes. Wrap the tortilla shells in an aluminum foil pouch and stick in the oven to warm.

As the chicken rests, seed and dice the grilled peppers, and mix together. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the carcass with a fork or your fingers and place in a bowl.

Image070 A few minutes before you're ready to grill the shrimp, pull them out of the fridge to warm up some. Oil the grates and place the skewered shrimp on the hot side of the grill. They cook pretty fast so don't go anywhere. After a minute or two, turn the shrimp and grill for another couple minutes. When the shrimp have curled slightly and turned whitish pink they're ready to come off the grill.

To make the guacamole, halve the avocados, remove the pits and scoop the meat into a bowl. Mash the avocado meat together with the final half onion, lemon juice, a table spoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.

Remove the tortillas from oven and give the beans a stir and taste. If the beans are ready, you're ready.

To make the chicken tacos, take a warm tortilla, fill it with the chicken, black beans and grilled peppers. Top it all with a few Thai pepper slices, queso blanco and hot sauce. For the shrimp tacos, spread the guac on a tortilla, toss on a couple shrimp and top with tomatoes and hot sauce.

Now, squeeze the lime, pour the beer and watch the game.





German Pancakes

Who doesn't love pancakes on a cold winter morning?  They're the ultimate winter breakfast comfort food, yet if you're the one who makes them in your house, you can end up feeling like a short order cook.  I recently came across an old recipe I'm surprised I'd forgotten about:  German pancakes, sometimes called oven pancakes.  This is not the type of breakfast that keeps you chained to the stove with a spatula while the rest of your household enjoys the fruits of your labor.

Rather, this is one of the simplest and most versatile breakfast dishes you can make, impressing your guests, overnight or otherwise, and leaving you free to enjoy your paper, your coffee or your company.

German Pancakes
(Serves 2)

Set the oven to 450 degrees.  Place 2 tablespoons butter in a 10" or 12" ovenproof skillet and place in oven.  The butter will melt and brown slightly while the oven heats up.

Whisk together the following ingredients:

3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (1% or 2% is fine)

Pour batter in the skillet, return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Towards the end, the sides will puff up, rise up the edge of the skillet and turn golden brown.

Cool in skillet on rack or stove top for 5 minutes.  It will sink just a little.  Carefully loosen the edges and the underside with a silicone spatula and slide onto a plate.


Now the fun part:  dot with butter while it's cooling and enjoy the buttery, eggy result in all its simplicity.  Or sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Drench in maple syrup.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top a minute before removing from the oven.  Fill with sliced seasonal fruit.  Make a fruit sauce with frozen berries.  Add cubed cream cheese...and mandarin oranges, or cranberries, or walnuts -- heck, go for broke and add all of them.  This is the blank canvas of breakfasts.

Try a savory version by omitting the vanilla and sugar, and top with bacon and cheddar, or ham and swiss, or caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms.

Another bonus:  if you have a spare skillet or griddle, the baking time frees you up to make a side dish -- potatoes, bacon, sausage -- on the stove.


Got more than 2 people to feed?  If you also have an 8" skillet, multiply this recipe by 1.5, divide the batter accordingly, and bake the 8" skillet for 20 minutes.  Or use a metal pie pan, place it on an upper rack and keep an eye on it.  (The thinner metal of a pie pan will cause the bottom to bake quicker.)  I've even made German pancakes with 8" and 9", straight-sided cake pans; they have a tendency to rise and then fold in on themselves, but as my mom used to say, "It all ends up in the same place."

What results is an incredibly filling and difficult-to-screw-up pancake -- that doesn't ensure your place as the last one to eat after everyone else has finished.

Weekly Blog Round Up

Cheese and apple Better late than never for Washington DC's Winter Restaurant Week 2009. With reports estimating that businesses in the city pulled in a whopping 1 billion dollars on Inauguration Day, it makes sense that DC postponed Restaurant Week until Feb. 16th-22nd. The news was announced this week on blogs (Washingtonian's Best Bites) and boards (Chowhound).

Stay tuned to DC Foodies for ongoing updates on participating restaurants, menu offerings, extended deals, commentary and recommendations.

Local food blogger, Colleen, of Foodie Tots (locavorism, environment, family), along with a foodie friend from Minneapolis, has launched a new blog, called Cheese and Champange. From their website:

Cheese & Champagne is a joint project by two cheese-obsessed friends tasting our way through the Wine Spectator “100 Great Cheeses” list.* One in the ‘burbs of Washington, D.C., and one in Minneapolis, MN, we are sharing our tasting notes here twice a week.

Be sure to check out their reviews and beautiful photos (photo above credited to and courtesy of Cheese and Champagne).

The Going Out Gurus reported that The General Store in Silver Spring, Md. is expected to open Saturday for take-out (limited menu) only  business (for now) until parking issues can be squared away. Expect "Cracker Barrel with good food", states Robin Smith, partner of Gillian Clark.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2008 was the Year of the Rat. In the DC area, it was the year of the cupcake vendor. Now it's your turn. If you can bake a mean cupcake, Lauren De Santis of Capital Cooking (the Capital Cooking Show) would love to hear from you. She will be filming an episode called "Crazy for Cupcakes". You can submit your favorite recipe for a chance to appear on her show.

Since I mentioned it, 2009 is the Year of the Ox. Chowhound's DC board has a nice thread on where to go to celebrate, beginning January 26th.

I've been a fan of Where In DC's blog for a while now. I like the formula for reviewing restaurants-an honest synopsis of the food, service and atmosphere, followed by location, hours and contact information. Recently, WIDC visited Pollo Granjero in Adams Morgan (not your best bet for rotisserie chicken), and Huong Viet in Falls Church (decent Pho). The site is updated often with reviews and recipes.

DC Restaurant Week Winter 2009

It's back!

DC Restaurant Week will return for its annual winter installment next month, pushed back a few weeks so as not to fall during the week of the inauguration.  From Monday, February 16th through Sunday, February 22nd, DC Foodies will be able to enjoy this season's special meal deals. 

For those of you new to the D.C. Metro area who are unfamiliar with what DC Restaurant Week is, here's a brief summary. DC Restaurant Week occurs twice a year during the slow restaurant season in the winter (usually January) and the late summer (usually August). During this time, participating restaurants (this is key because not ALL restaurants participate in the program) will offer lunch for $20.09 or dinner for $35.09. Some restaurants will offer their full menu while others will have a special Restaurant Week menu.

Choosing restaurants to visit can be a complex decision as some restaurants do Restaurant Week very well and others just phone it in. I encourage people to do a search for past DC Restaurant Week posts on this web site where people have written comments about their experiences at different restaurants when deciding on where to dine. Here are some brief pointers to use when choosing restaurants:

  1. Avoid "special" menus unless you know exactly what the restaurant is offering and it actually sounds interesting to you. Restaurants offering mos - or ideally all - of their normal menu are the restaurants to go to, as these are the best deals.
  2. Confirm with the restaurant when making a reservation that they are in fact participating in D.C. Restaurant Week.
  3. When choosing a restaurant, consider whether or not they always have a deal similar to the Restaurant Week offer. For instance, Cafe Atlantico always has a pre-theater prix-fixe menu.
  4. Some restaurants (as you can see in our previous menu lists below) participate in D.C. Restaurant Week for extended periods - sometimes as long as the entire month!  You might want to consider booking reservations at those restaurants outside the main Restaurant Week period. For most participating restaurants, D.C. Restaurant Weeks are the busiest times of the year, so they are likely to be crowded.

To simplify the process for people every six months, the D.C. Foodies writers compile a list of Restaurant Week menus for all of the participating restaurants and for a comprehensive map of the 170+ restaurants taking part this year, check out Capital Spice.

Take a look back at some of our previous posts while we start collecting menus from the participating restaurants.  This year we'll be posting updates every few days, so keep checking in to see if your restaurants have revealed their plans!

Past Restaurant Weeks:

Summer 2008 Menus
January 2008 Menus
August 2007 Menus

January 2007 Menus
August 2006 Menus
January 2006 Menus
August 2005 Menus
January 2005 Menus

If you have any additional questions about Restaurant Week or participating restaurants, don't hesitate to ask in the comments section below or email us at your convenience.


Last Updated 2/5: Have you made your reservations yet?

As promised, here are the updates that we've gathered from participating restaurants:

Restaurants Offering Extended Restaurant Week deals:
1789 (1 additional week)
701 (1 additional week)
Adour (1 week)
Ardeo (1 week)
BlackSalt (Entire month of February)
Bombay Club (1 week)
Cafe Atlantico (1 week)
Cafe Bonaparte (Extending until March 8th)
Circle Bistro (1 week)
Dino (1 week)
Domaso (1 week)
Farrah Olivia (Entire month of February)
Hook (1 week)
Il Mulino (Entire month of February)
Jackson 20 (1 week)
Jaleo - all locations (1 week)
La Tomate (1 week)
Nage (Extending until March 1st)
New Heights (2 weeks)
Oval Room (1 week)
Overwood (1 week)
Oyamel (1 week)
Perry's (1 week)
Petit Plats (Entire month of February)
Prime Rib (1 week)
PS7's (1 week)
Rasika (1 week)
Urbana (1 week)
Vermillion (1 week)
Willow (1 week)
Zaytinya (1 week)

14K (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu

1789 (Dinner Only)
1789 will be offering its regularly available three-course prix-fixe menu for $35 during Restaurant Week (it normally runs $40).  Menus change regularly.

701 Restaurant (Lunch and Dinner)
Though they are still deciding what they will be offering at lunchtime, 701 has announced that they will be offering their entire menu at dinner.  They will also be extending their RW participation by one week.

Acadiana (Lunch and Dinner)
The Passion Food Hospitality restaurants will offer Restaurant Menus that allow you to choose any entree (some with upcharges) along with a selection of appetizers and desserts.  Download Acadiana Menus .

Adour (Lunch Only)
Download Adour Menu

Agraria (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu

Ardeo / Bardeo (Lunch and Dinner)
Ardeo will be offering its full menu with some upcharges for Restaurant Week.

Article One (Dinner Only)
Download Article One Menu

Asia Nine (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Asia Nine Menus

Bastille (Dinner Only)
First Course
Soupe du jour
Frisee and goat cheese cromesqui, cranberries, toasted hazelnuts, shallot vinaigrette
Belgium endives and frisee salad, apple, Gruyere, walnuts, Dijon-cider vinaigrette
Calamari and shrimp beignets*, sheep milk yogurt & harissa dip
Duo of foie gras on brioche toasts and seasonal chutney (Supplemental: $10)

"Coq au vin": braised chicken leg with lardons, mushrooms, onions & red wine sauce
-Served with traditional pommes puree and seasonal vegetables
Bastille Bouillabaisse: Market seafood poached in rich tomato-saffron broth,
-With potatoes, leeks, carrots, and rouille crostini
Grilled Branzino filet*, Balsamic-tomato-caper vinaigrette
Winter squash and sage risotto
Pan-roasted Moullard Duck breast* & confit leg, Port fig reduction
Canelini bean cassoulet, seasonal vegetables
Bastille signature hanger steak, shallot cabernet sauce
-Pommes frites

Cheese course (Optional Course: Add $9)
Trio of Artisanal cheeses with house made condiments

Cherry and Almond Chocolate fondant, amaretto Sabayon
Pumpkin Crème Caramel, maple glazed walnuts
Warm local apple tatin, with crème fraiche sabayon
Madagascar Vanilla bean crème brûlée

Beacon Bar and Grill (Lunch and Dinner)
Beacon will be offering their full menu during Restaurant Week

Bezu (Lunch and Dinner)
Bezu's menus are available on their website, which uses Flash so we can't provide a direct link.

Bistro Bis (Lunch and Dinner)
Thanks to Reuben for pointing out their Restaurant Week Menus.  Check out their website, then click on "Other Menus" under "Menus."  Unfortunately, more than half of the items on their menu carry upcharges between $2 and $7...including a $4 upcharge for a dessert of fresh berries!

Bistrot Lepic (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Bistrot Lepic Lunch  and Download Bistrot Lepic Dinner

Black Salt (Lunch Only)
Download Black Salt Menu

Bombay Club (Lunch and Dinner)
Bombay Club's menus are available on their website under "Events"

Cafe Atlantico (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu

Ceiba (Lunch and Dinner)
The Passion Food Hospitality restaurants will offer Restaurant Menus that allow you to choose any entree (some with upcharges) along with a selection of appetizers and desserts.  Download Ceiba Menus
Chef Geoff's (Lunch and Dinner)
Chef Geoff's, Chef Geoff's Downtown and LIA'S are pleased to offer a choice of any starter, soup or salad, followed by any entree, followed by any dessert.  Full Menu Here.

Chef Geoff's Downtown (Lunch and Dinner)
Chef Geoff's, Chef Geoff's Downtown and LIA'S are pleased to offer a choice of any starter, soup or salad, followed by any entree, followed by any dessert.  Full Menu Here.

D'Acqua (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch and Dinner Menus (and other specials)

Daniel O'Connell's (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Daniel Oconnell Lunch  and Download Daniel Oconnell Dinner

DC Coast (Lunch and Dinner)
The Passion Food Hospitality restaurants will offer Restaurant Menus that allow you to choose any entree (some with upcharges) along with a selection of appetizers and desserts.  Download DC Coast Menus .

Dino (Dinner Only)
3 courses for $35.09 including a starter of crostini & toppings and a glass of grappa, "cello" or dessert wine. We will also have a selection of wines discounted to $35.09 as well. 

Just a note: there is no free corkage, happy hour or Menu della Sera during Restaurant Week and the following week.

Domaso (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Domaso Lunch and Download Domaso Dinner

El Manantial (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch: $20.09
SOUP OF THE DAY (Please ask your server)
MESCLUM SALAD (Mixture of greens served with the house dressing)
SHRIMP IN GARLIC SAUCE (Sautéed shrimp in olive oil & garlic sauce)
Main Courses:
CHICKEN CAESAR (Grilled chicken breast served in slices over Caesar salad)
BLACKENED TILAPIA (Sautéed tilapia w/ blackened seasoning served w/ creamy cognac sauce)
BEEF STROGANOFF (Sautéed beef tips w/ onions & mushrooms, served w/ rice or pasta)
AVOCADO AND CRABMEAT SALAD (Stuffed avocado w/ crabmeat over lettuce)
TRES LECHES (Latin style cake [three milks cake])

Dinner: $35.09


SOUP OF THE DAY (Please ask your server)

SPINACH SALAD (Fresh baby spinach served w/ heart of palms & feta cheese)

CALAMARI (Lightly flash- fried squids served w/ pink marinated onions & pink olio sauce)

Main Courses:

N.Y. STRIP LOIN (Certified Angus beef steak served creamy cognac sauce)

CHICKEN SCALOPPINI (Tenderize chicken breast served w/shallots creamy cognac sauce)

BLACKENED TILAPIA (Little bit spicy tilapia served w/ creamy cognac sauce)

PORK CHOP (Pan fried pork chop served w/ light mustard sauce)

SEAFOOD PAELLA (Steamed rice w/ seafood in saffron sauce)


TRES LECHES (Latin style cake [three milks cake])



Farrah Olivia (Brunch, Lunch and Dinner)

Brunch: $20.09
Any three courses from the brunch menu

Lunch: $20.09
First Course:
Painted soup (smoky chestnut, gingery squash, beet cider)
Organic green salad
White grit cake (cinnamon cider squash, candied red cabbage)
Second Course:
Tarragon gnudi (with arugula salad)
Pan roasted chicken (pecan crusted with mushroom mac and cheese)
Arctic char (with yucca couscous)
Almond panna cotta
Chocolate espresso cheesecake
Vanilla crème brulee

sourdough beignets | caramelized apples | candied red cabbage
shocked escolar | soy pearls | pickled zucchini| shiso powder
new england style chowder | crispy bacon | potato crunch
selected organic greens | crisp shallots | carrot vinaigrette
pan roasted chicken breast | curry banana crust | soft black barley risotto
parmesan gnudi | white asparagus | butternut squash emulsion
cinnamon roasted pork loin |  sweet potato | african cabbage confit
braised beef short ribs |  cream of mushrooms | BBQ jus
wild caught haddock | lentil puree | essence of lime leaves | curry pearls
almond panna cotta | poached quince | mambrio linzer
chocolate espresso cheesecake | creme fraiche | apricot sauce
black current sorbet | champagne ice | lemon shortbread

Filomena Ristorante (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar (Dinner Only)

Appetizer: Caesar Salad or New England Clam Chowder

Entrée: Filet Mignon Vigneron, Olive Dijon butter & mushrooms forestiere; Spicy Grilled Shrimp, Tomato pesto cream sauce & crispy risotto cake; Cabernet Braised Lamb Shank, Pan jus & cannelloni beans

Side Dish: (Choice of one) Mashed Potatoes or Asparagus or creamed spinach

Dessert: Milk & Warm Cookies or Sorbet or Cheesecake


Firefly (Brunch, Lunch and Dinner) 

Download Firefly Brunch, Download Firefly Lunch and Download Firefly Dinner


Finemondo (Lunch and Dinner)

Lunch: $20.09 and $25.09

Guests will be able to choose off Finemondo’s regular menu. For $20.09, diners can select one appetizer, one pasta and one desert. For $25.09, diners can select one appetizer, one meat or fish dish and one dessert.

Dinner: $35.09

Guests will be able to choose one appetizer, one entrée and dessert off the regular menu.

(There may be some mark up on certain dinner entrees, but it would not exceed $40.09.)


Founding Farmers (Dinner Only)
Dinner Menu


Fyve (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch: $20.09
Creamy Chick Pea Soup (Carrot, Cumin and Garlic, Grilled Bread)
Straight from Path Valley (Local Field Greens, Blue Cheese, Grapefruit, Aged Sherry Vinaigrette)
Mini Meatballs (Homemade Veal, Beef and Pork Meatballs, Parmesan Polenta)

Beef Short Ribs (Mustard Apple Brussels Sprouts, Celery Root Puree)
East Coast Halibut (Cauliflower Risotto, Sausage Leek Cream Sauce)
Maccheroni Quattro Formaggi (Mac n Cheese Four Cheeses, Garlic Bread Crumbs)
Panna Cotta Trio (Vanilla, Raspberry, Blackberry)
Valrhona Chocolate Cake (Winter Citrus Shot)


 Dinner: $35.09

Creamy Chick Pea Soup (Carrot, Cumin and Garlic, Grilled Bread)
Straight from Path Valley (Local Field Greens, Blue Cheese, Grapefruit, Aged Sherry Vinaigrette)
Fig Fusion (Creamy Goat Cheese, Fig Marmalade, Fig Newton and Arugula)
Mini Meatballs (Homemade Veal, Beef and Pork Meatballs, Parmesan Polenta)
A Little Luxury (Seared Nantucket Bay Scallops, Grapefruit Caviar Sauce - $5 surcharge)


Beef Short Ribs (Mustard Apple Brussels Sprouts, Celery Root Puree)

Rabbit Stew (Pancetta, Onion, Tomato, Olives, Soft Polenta)

East Coast Halibut (Cauliflower Risotto, Sausage Leek Cream Sauce)

Cavatelli Al Curry (Homemade Ricotta Shells, Curried Shrimp Cream)

Fettuccine Al Burro (Homemade Fettuccine with Butter, Parmesan and Cracked Pepper)

Maccheroni Quattro Formaggi (Mac n Cheese Four Cheeses, Garlic Bread Crumbs) 


Panna Cotta Trio (Vanilla, Raspberry, Blackberry)

Valrhona Chocolate Cake (Winter Citrus Shot)

Geranio (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Geranio Lunch  and Download Geranio Dinner


Grille at the Morrison House (Dinner Only)
Appetizer: Curried Mussel Soup or Winter Green Salad
Entree: Pan-Roasted Rockfish with Parsnip Puree and Crispy Sea Beans or Braised Beef Cheeks with Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms
Dessert: Chocolate Cream Pie or Apple Cake


Harry's Tap Room - Clarendon (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu


Harry's Tap Room - Pentagon City (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu and Dinner Menu

Ici Urban Bistro (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Ici Urban Bistro Lunch and Download Ici Urban Bistro Dinner

Il Mulino (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Il Mulino Menus


Indebleu (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch and Dinner Menus

Jackson 20 (Lunch and Dinner)
Guests may choose an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert from the existing menu. Lunch: $20.09, Dinner: $35.09


Juniper (Lunch and Dinner)

Lunch: $20.09
Organic Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio (Crisp Capers, White Truffle Oil, Sea Salt)

Roasted Virginia Quail (Creamed Celeriac, Seasonal Root Vegetables)

Juniper’s Soup du Jour 


Chesapeake Bay

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (Maryland- Style Succotash, Tarragon Aioli, Organic Mache)


Amish Roasted Chicken ( Parsnip Cream, Braised


Cabbage, Marsala Pan Jus)

Steak-Frites (Black


Fig, Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad) 


Chef’s Miniature Dessert Sampler (Vanilla Crème Brulée, Strawberry Crumble with Ice-Cream, Milk Chocolate Lollipop)

Dinner: $35.09


Crab Soup (Peppered Spoon Biscuit)                                    

Organic Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio (Crisp Capers, White Truffle Oil, Sea Salt)

Baby Arugula and Black


Fig Salad (Prosciutto, Crumbled Gorgonzola, Balsamic Vinaigrette)   


Chesapeake Bay

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (Maryland- Style Succotash, Tarragon Aioli, Organic Mache)

Steak–Frites (Grass-Fed Rib-Eye steak, Fresh Herb Butter, House Cut French Fries)

Pan Seared Atlantic Rockfish (



Shoestring Potatoes, Wilted Red Chard, Horseradish Soubise) 


Chef’s Miniature Dessert Sampler (Vanilla Crème Brulée, Strawberry Crumble with Ice Cream, Milk Chocolate Lollipop)


KAZ Sushi Bistro (Lunch and Dinner)
Download KAZ_Sushi_Restaurant_Week_Menu


La Chaumiere (Lunch Only)
Download La Chaumiere 


La Tasca (Lunch and Dinner)
Download La Tasca Menu


La Tomate (Lunch and Dinner)
Download La Tomate Menu


Lavandou (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Lavandou Lunch and Download Lavandou Dinner


Le Chat Noir (Dinner Only)
"Customers will make their three course selections from our a la carte dinner menu and our daily specials."  Le Chat Noir usually sets their a la carte menu a day or two in advance, so check the website before you visit.


Le Mistral (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Le Mistral Lunch and Download Le Mistral Dinner


LIA's (Lunch and Dinner)
Chef Geoff's, Chef Geoff's Downtown and LIA'S are pleased to offer a choice of any starter, soup or salad, followed by any entree, followed by any dessert.  Full Menu Here.


Liberty Tavern (Dinner Only)
Liberty Tavern will be offering their entire menu for Restaurant Week, as they have in the past.  Any appetizer, any entree and any dessert for $35.09.  Full Menu Here.


Lima (Dinner Only)
Download Lima Menu


Melting Pot (Dinner Only)
Download Melting Pot Menu


Mie N Yu (Brunch, Lunch and Dinner)
Download Mie N Yu Lunch Brunch and Download Mie N Yu Dinner


Nage (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch and Dinner Menus


New Heights (Dinner Only)
First Courses

tuscan bean soup  house corned beef, celery

baby winter greens  goat cheese, hazelnuts, pomegranate vinaigrette

crispy chesapeake oysters  romesco sauce

smoked trout salad  arugula, grapefruit, almonds


Main Courses

pan roasted atlantic grouper  Jerusalem artichoke puree, preserved lemon, salsa verde

braised beef brisket  cocos beans cassoulet, crispy broccolini

black olive risotto  caramelized cippolini, roasted salsify

cornish game hen  rutabaga gratin, wheat berries, parsnip emulsion

grilled flat iron steak  celeriac puree, fried capers, dried olives ($10 upcharge)



rose water crème brulee

malted chocolate torte  apricot cream, toasted coconut mousse

winter fruit crisp  vanilla ice cream


Overwood (Lunch & Dinner)
Download Overwood Lunch  and Download Overwood Dinner


PassionFish (Lunch & Dinner)
The Passion Food Hospitality restaurants will offer Restaurant Menus that allow you to choose any entree (some with upcharges) along with a selection of appetizers and desserts.  Download PassionFish Menus


Perry's (Dinner Only)
One small plate, one big plate and one dessert.  Download Perrys Menu


Petit Plats (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Petit Plats Menu


Poste (Brunch, Lunch and Dinner)
Download Poste Brunch, Download Poste Lunch and Download Poste Dinner


Sonoma Restaurant (Lunch and Dinner)
Sonoma will be offering their entire regular menus to Restaurant Week patrons.

Taberna del Alabardero (Lunch and Dinner)
Download Taberna del Alaberdero Menu

TenPenh (Lunch and Dinner)
The Passion Food Hospitality restaurants will offer Restaurant Menus that allow you to choose any entree (some with upcharges) along with a selection of appetizers and desserts.  Download TenPenh Menus .

Vermillion (Lunch and Dinner)
Lunch Menu:
First Course
Cornmeal hushpuppies with bread & butter pickles & 3 dipping sauces
Butternut squash soup with gala apple, amaretti cookies & pumpkin seed oil
Davon crest blend with local salad greens tossed with balsamic vinegar & imported olive oil

Second course
Coq au vin, pinot braised chicken thighs & legs with glazed vegetables & fried bread
"Monte Cristo," batter fried hazelnut butter & spiced pear jelly sammies with waffle chips
The "Cuban," braised pork, Va ham, Tallegio cheese & pickled jalapeno

Third course
Chocolate cream pie with bananas 2 ways & smoked caramel
Buttermilk chess pie with bergamot ice cream & kumquat marmalade

Dinner Menu:
First course
Butternut squash soup with gala apple, crushed amaretti cookies & pumpkin seed oil
Crispy VA oysters with shaved fennel, red onion and tangy slaw dressing
County pate with grilled oyster mushrooms, pickled egg, bacon & sherry vinaigrette

Second Course
Scottish salmon with baby bok choy, winter citrus & ginger carrot puree
Grilled bistro filet with caraway spaetzle, alsacian cabbage & red wine sauce
Handmade fettuccini with trumpet mushrooms, mascarpone cream & garlic breadcrumbs

Third course
Chocolate cream pie with bananas 2 ways & smoked caramel
Buttermilk chess pie with bergamot ice cream & kumquat marmalade

Vidalia (Lunch and Dinner)
Vidalia's menus are available on their website: Under "Menus" click on "Other Menus."  They are offering a unique take on dinner: create your own three-course tasting menu from four courses' worth of selections for $35.09, or splurge for a five-course menu for $50.09.  The entire table must choose the same menu if the five-course option is selected.

The Willard Room (Dinner Only)
The Willard Room will be offering several selections from their standard menu for Restaurant Week, though the final lineup has not yet been decided.


Willow (Dinner Only)
Restaurant Week Menu

Zola (Lunch and Dinner)
Zola will be offering their entire regular menus to Restaurant Week patrons.

Breakfast Beer: Cuz You've Been Sober For, Like, Eight Hours.

We all know that this is a nation founded by Puritans, and that their sensibilities still influence us today. Even so, over the relatively brief span of our nation's existence, per capita drinking has gone way down. Why, did you know that the founding fathers and their contemporaries drank an average of 34 gallons of beer a year (compared to about 22 gallons apiece today)? This golden era of America under the influence came to an abrupt end in the mid 19th century, thanks in part to prohibitionist politicians' racial scare tactics, followed of course by the 18th Amendment. (For the whole story, check out the Tolerance: A History of Drink episode of "Backstory," a great American history podcast out of UVA).

To keep up such a prodigious rate of consumption, our ancestors had to start pretty early in the morning, and it was not uncommon to enjoy a porter with one's porridge, or an ale with his eggs. At the time, beer, whiskey and wine were the common drinks because the water was not safe, and spirits were considered healthful. While we now know that this isn't universally true, I think that we can all agree that the occasional beer with breakfast is not going to kill us, particularly if said beer enhances the meal. With that in mind, many brewers have started making beers for the most important meal of the day, a great idea in that wine, our go-to beverage for food pairing, does not take kindly to most breakfast foods. Broadly defined, breakfast beers are any that incorporate traditional breakfast flavors, such as coffee, maple syrup, oatmeal, etc. Below are a few nice examples of the most accessible and easily found, coffee influenced ales.

Kona The Kona Pipeline (about $8.00 per 6/pack) is a limited release porter from the big island of Hawaii. This seasonal brew is made with a healthy portion of 100% locally grown Kona coffee beans. The beer pours a dark coffee brown with a short, long lived, chocolate-milk head. On the nose this beer is full of roasty malt, bitter coffee, and earth aromas, along with a slightly hoppy lift on the end. More earthy and roasty elements persist on the front of this very milky, creamy beer, which finishes dry with a combination of coffee bitterness and creamy sweetness. If you drink your morning coffee with just a dash of heavy cream, this beer will taste very familiar to you, and you'll love it. Try it with chocolate chip pancakes.

Mikkeller, a small upstart craft brewer (founded 2006) in Norway has quickly become Mikkeller a favorite of beer geeks the world over for its focus on unique, "challenging" beer styles. Though mild compared to some of its offerings, the Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast (about $12.00 / 500 ml bottle) is still more thought provoking than your average "morning beer."  The BGB pours nearly black, with a very long lasting, very dark brown head rarely seen in a bottled beer. On the nose this beer is intense, displaying copious amounts of espresso, bitter chocolate and roasted malts. On the attack it becomes almost puckeringly bitter, reminiscent of chewing on coffee grounds. The beer is definitely creamy on the mid-palate, though less so than the Kona, with an ample body thanks to a hefty 7.5% abv. After swallowing the BGB hangs out for a long time, leaving behind slowly dissipating flavors of black espresso and cured meat. As one might expect, this beer makes a great foil to bacon, and would balance out perfectly with some Grade A maple syrup.

Pechmort1 Though known mostly for the ubiquitous Unibroue, Quebec, Canada is a hotbed of brewing activity. Brasserie Dieu du Ciel! is a tiny outfit out of Montreal making some of the most intense (and beautifully labeled) beers in North America. The Peche Mortel (French for "Mortal Sin"), an imperial stout brewed with fair trade coffee, pours nearly black with a thick brown head. Like the Mikkeller, this beer is wickedly intense on the nose, though sweeter, with notes of malt, grains and chocolate. The chocolate quality dominates the front of the palate, accented with a mild bitter earth quality. The beer is heavy on the palate, but extremely flavorful and balanced, with more chocolate and fig flavors melding seamlessly with espresso scorched earth. Though strong (9.5% abv!) and quite expensive (about $6.00 / 12 oz bottle), this beer is super balanced, offering up just the right combination of sweetness and bitterness. Perfectly delicious on its own, the Peche Mortel would pair nicely with anything from a blueberry muffin to a full out Irish breakfast.

The nice thing about breakfast beers is that they represent a very loosely defined genre; anything goes, from Beer Geek Breakfast to Beamish. Try one tomorrow with your Nutella and toast before you head off to work. Screw it, have two. Then, you should totally tell that girl in HR she reminds you of your mom (she wants you, dude!), and I think it's high time you showed Mr. Think's-He's-So-Great- Giving-Me-Two-Poor-Performance-Reviews-In-A-Row Jerkass what you really think of him! Yup, that's just what George Washington would have done...

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

40_cloves_of_garlic_chicken After my first visit to the Takoma Park Farmer's Market, I wanted to go back for a whole young chicken from Smith Meadows Farm.  I have been on a quest to make a perfect roast chicken for a while now with little success.  A fellow foodie friend suggested using a whole young chicken as opposed to a standard roasting chicken from the supermarket.  I was told a young chicken is more tender and lends itself better to a  juicy roast as opposed to the leathery, dry meat I often produce.  I begun searching online for an exceptional roast chicken recipe before remembering this Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic recipe.  I altered it very slightly so that everything I used for the recipe came from my CSA box or my visit to Takoma Park. 

This is the perfect dish for a cold Winter's day.  It's a beautiful chicken seasoned with fresh herbs and enough garlic to kill a village of vampires!  And it's all done in the crock pot, resulting in the most delicious aromas wafting through your house.  Add some roasted rosemary fingerling potatoes and you have the bounties of Winter right there on your dinner plate.  Dishes like this are exactly why I choose local, fresh and in season ingredients.  When you use such quality ingredients, you don't need to do a lot to make them great. 

Chicken with 40 Cloves of GarlicYoung_chicken_and_garlic_cloves
1 4-lb young whole chicken
1 fresh sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
1 fresh sprig of rosemary, whole
1 fresh sprig of thyme, finely chopped
1 fresh sprig of thyme, whole
2 fresh stalks of micro Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 fresh stalks of micro Italian parsely, whole
40 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
Fresh ground pepper

Pat dry the chicken and set it on a plate.  If not already done, remove the innards from the cavity of the whole chicken. Place the whole rosemary, thyme and parsley inside the cavity of the chicken, along with the five peeled cloves of garlic.  Place the chicken in the crock pot but do not turn it on yet.  Wash your hands and then grind the pepper over the chicken (the amount of pepper depends on your personal taste level - I added almost a 1/2 teaspoon).  Then evenly sprinkle the finely chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley over the chicken.  Add in the 40 cloves of garlic around the chicken, cover the crock pot  and turn it on low.  Cook for 8 to 10 hours. 

When the chicken is thoroughly cooked, carve and serve with a pound of roasted fingerling potatoes tossed with fresh chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of good olive oil.  The roasted garlic cloves can be used in other dishes calling for roasted garlic.