Maryland Brownies

MarylandBrowniesI'm writing this post while I'm sitting on the runway, waiting for a flight route to open to Chicago. And what else do you do when you're stuck in a plane for an hour without beer, wine or whiskey? Write about brownies of course!

There's a brownie recipe Amy and I make a lot. It's super easy and only requires one bowl. It's called "Best Cocoa Brownies". And. It. Is. THE. BEST.

I never imagined I could improve on this recipe. Then one day we were at the Beer, Bacon and Barbecue festival in Timonium and we came across this homemade chocolate shop called Parfections.  They had this decadent chocolate bark with Old Bay and peanuts. They called it Oriole Bark. Why, you may ask, would anyone in their right mind put Old Bay in chocolate? Well first, because we're in Maryland. We put Old Bay on everything. Second…well it's Maryland. Stop asking stupid questions.

It hit me one night, while eating and entire batch of brownies and then moving on to some Oriole Bark…I COULD MAKE ORIOLE BROWNIES!!

Alcohol might have been involved. Lots of it.

I was on a mission at that point. I think I texted everyone I know about this drunken brilliant idea! So this is probably not news for most of you that are actually reading this.

I tried various measurements of Old Bay: 1 teaspoon, not enough, 2 teaspoons, getting there, 3 teaspoons…perfect!

Then it came down to peanuts. How to introduce them into the batter and when. I tried mixing them into the batter in the last step, but I didn't really get the essence of the nuts (get your mind out of the gutter people, I know what you're thinking). So in the end, I just chopped them up and tossed them on top of the batter in the pan right before baking. And there you have it…perfection.

Maryland Brownies


10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cold large eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 to 3 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1/2 cup chopped un-roasted peanuts


Position rack on the second position from the bottom of your oven. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line the sides of a 8 x 8 pan with foil and apply a light coat of nonstick spray.

IMG_1619Make a double boiler. Simmer about half an inch of water in a medium sauce pan and place an aluminum bowl over the top so that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Once all the butter is melted, the mixture should be hot to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool until it's still pretty warm but not too hot to touch.

Add vanilla and stir until blended. Then add one egg at a time and stir until blended as well. After you mix in the second egg, you should have a pretty smooth mixture. It should be shiny and thick. Add the flour and Old Bay and mix until you don't see anymore flour then mix another 20 or so strokes.

IMG_1626Spread the batter in the prepared pan evenly. Use a rubber spatula sprayed with non-stick spray to spread it around if you need to. Top with the chopped peanuts. If you want an extra strong Old Bay flavor, shake a little more over the top of the brownies, about a 1/4 teaspoon.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick. The center should be slightly moist and not come out completely clean. When done, remove from the oven and lift the brownies out from the pan. Do you smell the roasted nuts and Old Bay! It's AMAZING right?! But WAIT! DON'T EAT THEM YET!

IMG_1627Once cooled, put the brownies in the refrigerator.  This is an important step, people. First, it mellows the flavor of the Old Bay and second, it will make the brownies super fudgy. Once cooled, cut the brownies into 16 squares and serve, or just eat as a single brownie.

Church! The Best Places To Watch Football

At approximately 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, Casey Brockman will walk to the line. The Murray State quarterback will look across the field to find Louisville’s stud linebacker Dexter Heyman, hoping to God the Cardinals’ won’t blitz on first. The 6’2’’ junior will lean over center Brock Rydeck, ignore the jeers of the Cardinals’ crowd, and demand the ball.

In all likelihood, it will be a bad day for Casey, Brock and the Murray State Racers, but an excellent day for the rest of us. Because on that day, when Rydeck snaps that ball and Heyman drives Brockman into the field of Cardinal’s Stadium, football will once again be with us (this NFL preseason crap doesn't count).

It’s been said that this game of grace and violence is our national religion. If that’s the case, then the sports bar is our house of worship. Being a fan of far-away teams (South Florida, Buccaneers), it took me a while to find a few decent bars and restaurants in the D.C. area to watch football. The region may be inundated with sports bars, but few offer the trifecta of great beer, good food and the promise of your team on the screen (unless you’re a Skins fan, in which case any Chili’s will do).

Well, friends, I’m here to help. Below are my top five bars and restaurants in the DMV to watch the faux-pros on Saturday and Pro Bowlers on Sunday. 

1. The Black Squirrel: The Black Squirrel has three floors, 49 taps and 11 TVs (and if you call ahead, the third floor can be your private sports bar). Owner Amy Bowman keeps this Best Beer Bar stocked with a top tier line-up of craft beers, while the talented Gene Sohn runs the kitchen (order the burger). Is it a coincidence that on game days all the TVs are tuned in? Nope, The Black Squirrel was co-founded by former sports columnist Tom Knott. (Disclosure: I’m friends with Amy and Tom. Still, The Black Squirrel is a great place to watch football.) 

2. Iron Horse Taproom: If the Iron Horse Taproom opened at noon on weekends it would be the best place in D.C. to watch football. The multi-level bar is big, filled with TVs, has a great selection of craft beers, and features the best menu in town -- by not featuring a menu at all. The Penn Quarter tavern (pictured above) doesn’t have a kitchen, so it allows patrons to bring in food or have it delivered. Want to dig into some Texas barbecue while watching the Lone Star Showdown? No problemo. Grab a pound of brisket from Hill Country or better yet, a burrito from Capital Q and head to the Iron Horse. How about some lamb vindaloo while you watch the John Beck/Rex Grossman quarterback controversy unfold this season? Mehak is just down the street. Just make sure your game doesn’t start before 5 p.m. If it does, you’ll need to head elsewhere. 

3. Frisco Tap House: What’s more American than football? Excess. The Frisco Tap House has 50 taps, a beer engine, a table where you can pour your own draft beer, an extensive bottle and can list, great burritos and eight giant flat screen TVs (with more coming this fall). Sure, the Columbia, Md., bar is a hike if you live in Logan Circle. But if you live in Maryland, you have one hell of a place to watch football.

4. Capitol Lounge: This is where it started for me. When I moved from Tampa to D.C. in the late 90s, Cap Lounge was the only place in town I could reliably catch Bucs games. It helped that one of the bartenders was a Bucs fan and wanted to watch the games, too. The Capitol Hill bar continues to be a great spot to catch a game, with a mess of TVs tucked and hung throughout the two-floor restaurant, and a stellar selection of craft beers on draft and in bottles and cans.  

41380020 5. Rustico: These days, it’s tough to write a story about beer without mentioning ChurchKey and its downstairs sister, Birch & Barley. But before there was CKBB there was Rustico, owner Michael Babin’s first crack at a craft beer establishment. While ChurchKey is unabashedly a beer bar, a fine one at that, Babin makes sure his two Rustico restaurants remain casual neighborhood spots, which makes them ideal for watching the game. Greg Engert oversaw the beer program at the original Rustico in Alexandria before heading over to ChurchKey, and continues to curate the draft and bottle lists for his original restaurant and the newer Ballston location. Although neither will be mistaken for a sports bar, the Rusticos have just enough TVs to catch most of the marquee games. And if the beer list and full menu aren’t enough to attract you, they’re offering beer specials as well. Beginning September 10, both Rustico locations will offer $3.50 cans of craft beer, including G’Knight, Dale’s Pale Ale, Old Chub and Ten Fidy (they clearly have a thing for Oskar Blues’ beers), and $2.50 cans of college beer (because you or your buddy don’t know better) during games. 

In D.C., The Only Thing More Elusive Than Statehood Is A Good Cubano

A Cuban sandwich is: ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard pressed until crispy between two slices of Cuban bread, ideally.

It’s a simple sandwich. It’s a great sandwich.

DSCN5828 You want a good Cubano, you go to La Teresita in Tampa. It’s on Columbus by the stadium. Over the years, the Cuban diner has cranked out thousands of Cuban sandwiches, each for about $4. Just look at it. The bread –- the Cuban bread –- is toasted just enough to be crispy, crunchy on the outside, while the interior stays soft and just slightly chewy. The Swiss is warm and beginning to melt. And there’s just enough roasted pork, ham and pickles to fill out the sandwich without going overboard. Simple.

Yet, in the dozen years that I’ve lived in the District of Columbia, I’ve encountered many, many bad Cuban sandwiches. Just awful ones. I became convinced that no one in D.C. could make a proper Cubano.

Before working on this article, I never actively sought out the sandwich around town. I make it back to Tampa enough to satisfy my occasional need to have one. But every time I did encounter a D.C. Cubano, I tried it. If the sandwich was a flop, I would assume the rest of the menu was as well. Why not? If a kitchen can’t make a ham sandwich, why should I assume it can make something more complicated? 

Fortunately, there are six restaurants (using the term loosely) in the DMV that make a good Cubano –- and one of them makes the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever had … anywhere.

Ceiba, the upscale Latin American restaurant, across the street from the White House and a thousand miles from Tampa, makes the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever eaten (pictured above). That said, it’s not a traditional Cuban. If you’re a purist, the best traditional Cubano is made in Arlington by a guy from New Orleans. But the ways that Ceiba’s sandwich is different are the ways that it’s better than the rest.

For the most part, I’m still right about how hard it is to find a good Cubano in D.C. This is the town of Jose Andres and Minibar, of Michel Richard and Citronell, of Frank Ruta and Palena, of Vikram Sunderam and Rasika. This town, this foodie town (mostly) can’t make a reasonably good Cuban sandwich.

DSCN5926 G Street Food shoves dry, roasted pork and prosciutto into a roll and calls it a Cuban. It’s not (allegedly, there are other ingredients, but they’re lost in the loaf). Mi Vecindad on the Hill looks like the kind of mom and pop place that should specialize in a great Cubano. The sloppy steamed sandwich (pictured left) I had was the worst of the bunch.

The Disney inspired Cuba Libre offers an Ybor-style Cuban sandwich. Ybor City is the historic district in Tampa. Hey, I grew up in Tampa! I know Ybor! I’ve been there many more times then I remember. This should be great, right?! Right? Nope. The sandwich is too small, too expensive ($16!) and the flavors are too muddled. It’s a so-so sandwich at a Holy Shit! price.

And then there’s the Cubano flatbread at ChurchKey. I know it’s not a sandwich, but Kyle Bailey is a talented chef and I’m a fan of ChurchKey. Unfortunately, the Cubano flatbread is terrible. It may have pork, pickles and Swiss, but it doesn’t taste anything like a Cuban sandwich. Frankly, it doesn’t even taste like a good flatbread.

I could go on (Banana Café, Lima), but you get my point.

DSC_0006 In a strange twist for D.C., though, Jeff Tunks, chef and owner of Ceiba, uses all the right ingredients in his Cuban sandwich (well except Cuban bread, but he gets a pass because no one uses real Cuban bread). However, instead of yellow mustard, he uses a mayonnaise and mustard remoulade sauce. Rather than cured Danish ham, or sweet Virginia ham, Tunks uses a pungent smoked ham. And the Swiss cheese is replaced by its brawnier, more flavorful cousin, gruyere.

Tunks says the real difference is the pork shoulder that he marinates in citrus, garlic, cumin before slow roasting it. When he put the sandwich on the menu 8 years ago, he used pork loin, but switched to the fattier, more tender shoulder after a few months. Since then, the sandwich has remained unchanged. These days, if the pork sits too long in the kitchen before getting sliced, his staff will pick off pieces until the shoulder looks like it was worked over by piranha.

He’s right, the pork is good. The slow-cooked shoulder is juicy and the spices he uses are delicious and authentically Cuban. To me, though, the roasted pork isn’t the difference maker: it’s the smoked ham and remoulade.

DSC_0024 As I write this sentence, I can still smell the smoke on my since washed hands, and I can still taste the remoulade despite the other ingredients. When you bite into the sandwich, the smoke hits you. It’s confusing at first, because it otherwise looks like a traditional Cubano. But the smoked ham is a new element that gives the sandwich a flavor it’s never had before. And it works beautifully.

Then you notice that the bite from the mustard has been replaced by something smoother, richer. Until I talked to Tunks, I couldn’t figure it out. Somehow, the sandwich was more savory. The remoulade, which used a grainy mustard, was the unctuous secret.

Those ingredients added to an otherwise very well made Cubano resulted in one of the very best sandwiches D.C., or Tampa, has to offer. Sure, $13 is a lot to pay for a ham sandwich, but I’d pay twice as much. And if you order it off the late night bar menu, you can get it for half price.  

David Guas doesn’t like the remoulade. A Cuban sandwich needs yellow mustard. And he prefers more pork and less ham, though the smoked ham works for him. Guas’ opinion on Ceiba’s sandwich matters because he helped put it on the menu eight years ago.

DSC_0016 Today, Guas is the owner of Bayou Bakery in Arlington, and specializes in red beans and rice, boudin and has Abita on draft. But a couple days a week (Wednesdays and Thursdays usually) the kitchen will offer hot pressed Cuban sandwiches (pictured above) along with the muff-a-lottas. Guas may be a native of New Orleans, but his father was a native of Havana, Cuba.

Guas’ grandfather left Cuba to attend Loyola University, but returned with a wife and law degree. His grandmother’s ties to Louisiana led her to send Guas’ father and uncle to boarding school in Bay St. Louis, Miss., an hour north of New Orleans.

The city might be famous for po’ boys, but Cubanos were easy to find, Guas said, thanks to New Orleans’ Cuban community. And thanks to his extended family, Guas spent a considerable amount of his youth in Miami where the sandwich is a staple.

So the man from southeastern Louisiana knows from Cubanos.

Guas’ sandwich is fat with pork (that’s a good thing), but not so much so that the other ingredients get drowned out. Although Guas also uses a smoked ham, the flavor is much subtler than the ham Ceiba uses.

Both Guas and his former boss Tunks are big on the French bread they use for their Cubanos (Tunks’ comes from Cardinal, Guas’ comes from the French Bread Factory), but Guas’ roll carries the day thanks to the prodigious amount of butter he spreads on it before toasting it in panini press. The sandwich is crisp and almost flakey on the outside. Unless someone starts using Cuban bread, you’re not going to do better than Guas’ French roll. And at $7, you’re not going to find a better Cuban at a better price.

6 Tunks and Guas may make great sandwiches, but they are not alone in the Cubano trade. Within D.C., there’s also the El Floridano food truck. Parked along a curb in a neighborhood near you (maybe), the El Floridano offers up The Fidel (pictured right).

The Fidel is about as close to a traditional Cuban sandwich as you’ll find in the District. The El Floridano doesn’t do anything fancy (which is also good) and makes the sandwiches fresh. At the order and pick-up window, you can see the small flat-top lined with Cubanos held down by sandwich presses. For $7, you can get as good a sandwich as you’ll find in Tampa or Miami.

Fast Gourmet reminds me of some of my favorite Cuban sandwich spots in Tampa: gas stations. However, gas stations in Tampa don’t look this nice. The Cubano produced in the small kitchen near the corner of 14th and U streets is just as attractive. The crispy, panini pressed bread is stuffed with succulent, slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss and pickles. Although the menu says the sandwich also comes with mustard and mayo, which isn’t uncommon, skip the mayo. It’s applied too liberally and drowns out whatever mustard is on the sandwich. For $8.50, you also get a side of shoestring fries. Don’t let that deter you from ordering the plantains (maduros). They’re soft, sweet and hot, and come with crème fresh.

Outside D.C., Cuba de Ayer is Havana via Burtonsville. The little Cuban restaurant hidden in a shopping center off Old Columbia Pike offers a great Cuban sandwich. What makes the drive to Burtonsville worth while, though, is the mojo you can order on the side. Dipping the warm and crusty Cubano into the garlic and olive oil mixture makes a good sandwich phenomenal.

Closer in is Cubano’s. What the Silver Spring restaurant lacks in polish and focused service it makes up for in a good Cuban sandwich (skip the fries and get the sweet maduros on the side). I wouldn’t go too far out of my way for Cubano’s, but if I was in the area, I’d be in the dining room.

There may be a lot of great restaurants, and food trucks, in the D.C. area, but there are only six that can make a proper Cuban sandwich. They are:

Ceiba: 701 14th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 393-3983; Cubano: $13
Bayou Bakery: 1515 North Courthouse Rd., Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 243-2410; Cubano, a once a week special (Wednesdays and Thursdays usually), $7
Cuba de Ayer: 15446 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville, Md. 20866; (301) 476-8013; Cubano $7.50 (mojo $0.75)
El Floridano: moves daily; Cubano $7
Fast Gourmet: 1400 W St N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009; Cubano $8.50 (plantains $2.50)
Cubano’s: 1201 Fidler Ln., Silver Spring, Md. 20910; Cubano $14.95 (maduros $4.95)

DC Restaurant Week January 2011 Menus

Well, here we go again! It feels like Summer Restaurant Week just ended and here we are starting all over again with Winter Restaurant Week. As you're probably already well aware, January Restaurant Week in 2011 will be from January 17th through January 23rd. As usual, we at are contacting all of the restaurants gathering all of the restaurant's menus in a single place for your convenience. We will make this reference as conclusive as possible so our readers have all the details they need to make a decision about where to dine. As we receive more menus, we'll continue to update this throughout the month. 

If you are looking for advice about where to go, or are wondering "What the hell is this Restaurant Week that everyone's going so crazy over?" please refer to our guidelines on DC Restaurant Week.

Also soon to come is our list of restaurants that are extending DC Restaurant Week!

DC Restaurant Week Menus

1905 Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

15 Ria - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

2941 - Lunch Only
2941 will be offering the Restaurant Week price for a three-course lunch from January 10th to January 31st. There lunch menu is here.

701 Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner
Menus for Lunch and Dinner are posted on their web site at Click on "Events" and then "Restaurant Week". Their lunch menu features a Chestnut and Mushroom Soup and Duck Confit. For Dinner you will find a Beef Cheek appetizer with Truffled Sweet Potatoes and Caramelized Apple. Sounds yummy!

Acadiana - Lunch and Dinner
Acadiana's menus are on their Facebook page 

Adour at the St. Regis - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Againn DC - Lunch and Dinner
Againn is extending restaurant week from January 10th to the 30th. Here are their restaurant week menus

Agora - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Argia's Italian Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu     

Ardeo - Dinner Only
Ardeo is offering their full menu for DC Restaurant Week. You can choose one Item from their Vegetables, Small Bites, or Soup & Salad Selections; one Item from their Pasta, Meat or Seafood Selections; and one Dessert

Assaggi Osteria - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Bangkok Joes - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus

Barcode - Lunch and Dinner
Barcode is extending DC Restaurant Week for an additional week until January 30th. They're also mixing things up with the offer. For lunch you get 3 courses instead of the usual 2, with free coffee or tea.  For Dinner you get 4 courses instead of the usual 3. In addition, for dinner during the first week, you will get a free glass of any wine on the menu  up to $9. For dinner the second week, all bottles of wine are half off (Barcode usually offers this on Tuesday nights). 
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Belga Cafe - Lunch and Dinner
Belga Cafe has a very limited menu for both Lunch and Dinner.

Bibiana - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Bistro Bis - Lunch and Dinner
Bistro Bis is offering their full menu with some up charges for a few items.  

Bistrot Lepic - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Blacksalt - Lunch Only
Lunch Menu

Bombay Club - Lunch and Dinner
Bombay Club's menu is on their web site now. After entering the site click on "events" and you will see the option for the Restaurant Week menu. 

Buddha-Bar - Lunch Only
Lunch Menu

Cafe Atlantico - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th. There is no menu available yet, but we will post it as soon as it is available.

Cafe Berlin - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Cafe Promenade - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menu 

Casa Oaxaca - Dinner only
Extending Restaurant Week until January 30th.
Dinner Menu 

The Caucus Room - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner menus are on their web site. 

Ceiba - Lunch and Dinner
Ceiba's menus are on their Facebook page

Charlie Palmer Steak - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Restaurant Week menus are here

Chef Geoffs - Lunch and Dinner
Chef Geoff's offers their whole menu during DC Restaurant Week. 

Co Co. Sala - Brunch and Dinner
Co Co. Sala is extending the DC Restaurant Week offer until the 29th.
Brunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Columbia Firehouse - Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Extending until January 30, Columbia Firehouse is also offering Brunch on Sundays.

Cuba Libre - Brunch, Lunch
Brunch Menu
Lunch Menu 

Darlington House - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week an extra week until January 30th.
Lunch and Dinner Menu 

DC Coast - Lunch and Dinner
DC Coast's menus are on their Facebook page

Dino - Dinner Only
Dino is NOT participating in Restaurant Week for the entire month like they have in the past. They have extended it until January 31st though and they offer their full menu.  During Restaurant Week, they offer their "Wine Madness" program where you can get 33% of all wines over $50. This makes Dino an especially good deal during this time of the year if you appreciate fine wines. Also, on Sundays during Restaurant Week, they will be participating for Brunch as well.

District Chophouse - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Domaso Trattoria - Lunch and Dinner
Domaso is offering 4 courses for dinner instead of the usual 3 for DC Restaurant Week.
Lunch Menu (soon to come)
Dinner Menu

El Manantial - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus 

Eola - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Evening Star Cafe - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Extra Virgin - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Farmers and Fishers - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th and starting every table with a complimentary three cheese pizza. They will also offer their Sunday brunch for the Restaurant Week lunch price of $20.11.
Lunch and Dinner Menu

Firefly - Lunch and Dinner
Firefly is offering a their full menu with a few upcharges. Below are their current menus.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Flemings Steakhouse - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Georgia Browns - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

The Grill at Morrison House - Dinner Only
The Grill is participating in Alexandria Restaurant Week (the week following DC Restaurant Week) with the same menu so technically, they are extending the offer. 
Dinner Menu

Harry's Tap Room - Lunch and Dinner 

Hudson Restaurant - Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner
Hudson is extending until January 31. Here are their menus:

Indique - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

Indique Heights - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Jackson 20 - Lunch and Dinner
Jackson 20 is participating in Alexandria Restaurant Week (the week following DC Restaurant Week) with the same menus so technically, they are extending the offer. Also, their beverage specials will be available during Restaurant Week including bottomless mimosas for brunch, Wine Down Mondays and their 20/20 wine list (20 wines for $20).   These are their current menus on their web site.

Jaleo - Lunch and Dinner
Jaleo is extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th. There is no menu available as of yet. We will post it as soon as it is available.

Juniper Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and dinner menus 

Kellari Tavern - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week from January 10th through January 30th. From their web site, it looks like they're offering the same menu for both lunch and dinner.(

Kinkead's - Lunch and Dinner
For lunch, Kinkead's is particpating in DC Restaurant for all weekdays during the month of January (starts January 3rd and ends January 28th.) For Dinner, Kinkead's is following the standard Restaurant Week days.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu (TBD)

Kushi Izakaya - Lunch and Dinner
This is the first time Kushi is participating in Restaurant Week, and they are extending it another week until January 30th. They will offer a four-course progression including the pork belly and duck sausage kushiyaki, wood-grilled maitake mushrooms, and sea-salt gelato.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

La Bergerie - Lunch and Dinner
La Bergerie has extended DC Restaurant Week until January 30th.
Lunch Menu (Their web site only has the dinner menu)
Dinner Menu 

Le Chat Noir - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

La Chaumiere - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menu

The Landmark at the Melrose Hotel - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Legal Seafoods DC - Lunch and Dinner
Dinner Menu
No lunch menu posted on their web site yet

The Liberty Tavern - Lunch and Dinner
Liberty Tavern is offering their full menus for Lunch and Dinner

Lima - Dinner Only
Lima is extending until January 30th and the full menu is available. Guests can make their own 3 course menu! (Current dinner menu is at

M Street Bar and Grill - Lunch and Dinner
For both Lunch, M Street Bar and Grill is letting you choose any appetizer or entree from it's lunch menu. For Dinner, they are letting you choose three courses from their normal dinner menu.   

Masa 14 - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

Me Jana - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus are posted on their web site.

Mie N Yu - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

Morton's Arlington - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

Morton's Reston - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus

Morton's Tyson's - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

The Monocle Restaurant - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Mourayo - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner menu 

Nage Bistro - Lunch and Dinner
Nage is extending DC Restaurant Week the ENTIRE MONTH! Some example dishes include Smoked Chesapeake Perch Salad, Ricotta Gnocchi with Buffalo Mozzarella, and rich Doubleshot Espresso Tiramisu. Here is their full dinner menu.

Neyla - Lunch and Dinner
Dinner Menu 

Occidental Grill and Seafood - Lunch and Dinner
Occidental is extending DC Restaurant Week until January 31st.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Odeon Cafe - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menu

Open Kitchen - Dinner Only
Restaurant Week menu will be posted here when it's available. 

Oval Room - Lunch and Dinner
Oval Room's menu is now on their web site. Click on "Event" and you will see a link to their Restaurant Week menus. 

Oyamel - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th. 
Lunch Menu 
Dinner Menu

PassionFish - Lunch and Dinner
At PassionFish for DC Restaurant Week, you get your choice of appetizers listed on the menu below and any entree on the normal menu. Lunch and Dinner Menus are here:

Perry's - Lunch and Dinner
Perry's is extending Restaurant Week until the 31st.
Dinner Menu 

Policy - Dinner Only
Policy's dinner menu

Rasika - Lunch and Dinner
Rasika has their Restaurant Week menus on their web site now. Click on "Events" to see them.

Restaurant 3 - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week an additional week until January 30th. Also offering a complimentary glass of house wine or draft beer during dinner. For Lunch, choose from dishes such as Southern-style Savannah Wings or the Cuban Sandwich with Slow Roasted Pork, Tasso Ham and Fontina Cheese. Or for dinner, choose from dishes like Fried Green Tomatoes with Goat Cheese, Green Tomato Relish, and Creole Remoulade, 16 ounce Bone-In Rib Eye with Mashed Potatoes, and Chocolate Bread Pudding with warm white chocolate sauce. 

Ris - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Ristorante Piccolo - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus 

Rosa Mexicano - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Sette Osteria - Lunch and Dinner
Dinner Menu 

Smith Commons - Dinner Only
Smith Commons is extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th and offering a complimentary draught beer to each RW guest, 21 and over.
Dinner Menu 

Smith & Wollensky - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Sushi Taro - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menu 

Taberna del Alaberdero - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menu

Tagolio - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu 

Tallula - Dinner Only
Tallula is offering their full menu. Check their web site for the most current menu.

Please note that Tallula always offers what they call the Neighborhood Nosh all night Sunday and Monday, and  Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 - 6:30. From their web site, "Enjoy a Three Course Dinner for only $35. Our entire menu is available for you to sample and discover!"

TenPenh - Lunch and Dinner
TenPenh's complete Restaurant Week menu

Tosca - Dinner Only
Tosca is having a very large menu for DC Restaurant Week. They often fill up quickly because they are a popular option for Restaurant Week.  

Tuscana West - Lunch and Dinner
Tuscana West is extending an extra week until January 30th.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu 

Urbana - Lunch and Dinner
Urbana will be offering their full menu. Menus coming soon.

Vento - Dinner Only
For Restaurant Week, VENTO is offering four courses with your choice of Appetizer, Pasta, Entree, and Dessert.  Here is their full menu. 

Vermilion - Brunch, Lunch, Dinner
Brunch Menu
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Vidalia - Lunch and Dinner
Vidalia is offering their full menu with some up charges for a few items.

Vinifera - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner Menus 

Westend Bistro - Lunch and Dinner
Lunch and Dinner menus

Wildfire - Lunch and Dinner
Wildfire's menus include your choice of soup or salad, a Wildfire signature main course with choice of a side, and dessert for $20.11 at lunch and $35.11 for dinner per person. 
Lunch Menu 
Dinner Menu 

Willow - Lunch and Dinner
Willow is extending DC Restaurant Week until January 29th.
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Zaytinya - Lunch and Dinner
Extending DC Restaurant Week until January 30th. 
Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu

Zengo - Lunch and Dinner
For Lunch, Zengo is offering a selection of Bento Boxes and a Signature Dessert. For Dinner, choose from One Small Plate, One Large Plate, and One Signature Dessert from their dinner menu

Zentan - Dinner Only
Dinner Menu

Zest Bistro - Lunch and Dinner
Citrus Fennel Salad
Oyster Stew
Homemade Lamb Sausage with Tzatziki Sauce

Lunch Entrees:
Peking Duck Tostados with Cabbage and Plum Sauce
Tuna Nicoise Salad, Frisee, Olives, Green Beans, Cherry Tomato, topped with a Quail Egg
Tagliatelle Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Asparagus, Over Roasted Tomatoes, Pesto, and Pine Nuts

Dinner Entrees:  
Pan Seared Scallops with a Bacon and Mushroom Risotoo and Tomato Cream Sauce
Veal Scallopini with Truffled Root Vegetables and Madiera Sauce
Tagliatelle Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Asparagus, Over Roasted Tomatoes, Pesto, and Pine Nuts 

Upside-down cherry chocolate cake with hot fudge
Winter Fruit Crumble
Sage, white pepper crème brulee 


Old Ebbitt Oyster Riot alternative?

If your like me and you're someone that loves oysters but has a pregnant wife and just can't justify the expense of two tickets to the Old Ebbitt Oyster Riot...ok, there probably aren't that many of you, but I was chatting with a the chef at Addie's, Nate Waugaman, (his daughter and my son go to the same school and are in the same soccer league) about my frustration and he had this other suggestion.

"Come to the Addie's Oyster Roast this Sunday!" he told me. 

"What's that?!" I asked him, "and why don't I know about it?!"

He went on to explain that Addie's Oyster Roast will have oysters every way, roasted, fried, and of course, on the half-shell, so I can eat all the oysters, raw or otherwise that I want. But in addition, My wife would also be able to gorge herself on all the roasted Chesapeake clams, BBQ chicken, chili, hot dogs, cornbread, roast suckling pig, deviled eggs, coleslaw, caramel apples, cookies and brownies she could eat.

There will also be live music, beer and wine (for me of course). And, unlike the Old Ebbitt Oyster Riot, which is not something you would take your kids to, this will be a very kid-friendly event with face painting, bobbing for apples, temporary tattoos, and a moon bounce, so I don't have to pay for a baby sitter. Score!

Even better is that all the profits support juvenile diabetes and the Diabetes Care Complex at Children’s National Medical Center. 

So if you aren't doing anything this Sunday afternoon (November 14th) between 12 and 5 PM, come by Addie's in Rockville. Tickets are $60 at the door, or $50 if you order them off the Addie's Web Site or call 301-881-0081. Kids under 12 are $20 and kids under 5 are free. 

A Trip to St. Michaels: Local Beer and Wine on Maryland's Eastern Shore

BREWERYFRONT1 After a long and arduous summer of work and family obligations, Eliza and I found ourselves with an oh-so-rare free weekend recently. On an only moderately planned "whim" (which is as whimmy as we get these days), we took a trip to St. Michaels, a small resort community on Maryland's Eastern Shore, or, the Riviera of the Chesapeake! Or something! Located about an hour's drive down the shore from Annapolis, St. Michaels has all the trappings of your usual sleepy bay-side tourist town; antique shops, cafes, purveyors of $200 critter pants and... a winery and a microbrewery? Hells yes, they do.

BREWERYFRONT2 On Route 33, right at the beginning of town in the "Old Mill Complex" reside St. Michaels Winery and Eastern Shore Brewing. Though unaffiliated, the two work in tandem as the perfect one-stop-shop for the vacationing lover of local fermented treats. Sticking by the old axiom "Beer before Wine, your Feeling Fine; Wine before Beer, towards This you Shouldn't Steer," we visited the latter first.

BREWERYPADDLE1 It's no coincidence that these two establishments find themselves so close together; Adrian and Lori Moritz, avid homebrewers from upstate NY, founded the Eastern Shore Brewing right next door to the young winery in 2008, rightfully thinking it a perfect complement. Using their two sizable fermenters, Eastern Shore puts out about 450 gallons of beer every 10 days, according to The Star Democrat.

BREWERYBAR3 The tasting room is an unpretentious, sparsely furnished space featuring an eclectic selection of tables and seats, and, why not, a number of trophy animal heads. The wood and marble bar featured five brews on draught for sampling: The Lighthause Ale, Duck Duck Goose Porter, Magic Hefeweizen, St. Michaels Ale, and Knot-So Pale Ale IPA. $8.95 gets you a five ounce pour of each of the beers, which equates to a little over two full beers, which ain't too shabby.

BREWERYBEERS1 All in all, the beers tasted of pretty high quality, with a propensity towards cleaner, crisper, dryer flavors. The St. Michaels Ale (which, unbeknownst to me, I had sampled earlier at a local crab smashery) is a fantastic session beer with low alcohol (5.2%), and just a hint of hops. The Magic Hefe, though not my bushel of BREWERYBAR2 crabs, is a great example of the style, with just the right amount of banana and yeasty flavors. Far and away the best of the bunch was the Porter, which had a classic British porter texture, a hint of hops, a slight note of burnt coffee, and a pleasing, dry finish. This is just the perfect local brew to have in oyster country.

Unfortunately, licensing does not allow Eastern Shore to sell by the pint -- they do, however, sell all their beers by the six-pack, and will gladly let you pick and choose your sampler, even to include 5 pours of the same. Though production on this stuff is far too low to make it to this area, the barman told me they sell heavily up and down the shore and have recently made inroads across the bridge, so who knows what the future holds?

MICHAELSSIGN1 A quick stumble behind the brewery is St. Michaels Winery. Founded in 2005, the winery uses a combination of local and Cali grown grapes, which they vinify on premise into a staggering number of wines -- 19 in total were available the day we visited!

MIACHELSOUTSIDE1 The big, barn-like structure houses a small four-seater bar and a half dozen or so tables, situated in a quaint, high-ceilinged, nautically themed room. Though it took a bit longer than we would have liked to be seated, the staff was lovely, and the wait gave us plenty of time to plan our tastings. As I said before, St. Michaels has almost 20 wines available to try, ranging from well-known French varietals like Pinot Grigio and Syrah, to more obscure native varietals and hybrids like Niagra, Seyval and Concord. Unlike some wineries I have visited, they make it pretty simple for you, offering up everything for $1 a taste.

MICHAELSBAR2 My experience with Maryland wines, previously limited to a handful of fruit wines, was greatly expanded that day, and what I found was generally pleasant. The 2007 Chenin Blanc -- made from grapes from Lodi, California -- had some nice floral notes, and ample acidity. The Sangiovese, made from local grapes, was also amply acidic, with the high MICHAELSAWARDS1 cherry notes of a light Chianti. We brought home a bottle of 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, which had great balance, and pleasing, tropical fruit notes. I wish I had had a chance to try more of the native grape wines, but what we had were generally quite good. Prices were pretty high at $16 to $35 a bottle, but that is not unexpected of a small winery that, because of Maryland's draconian wine-shipping laws, must rely almost exclusively on on-site purchases.

MICHALESFERMENTERS1 An interesting side note on both locations is that they were MUCH more free and open with their production space that any other brewery or winery I have ever visited. Eastern Shore's brewing tanks are right there to see and touch, and the winery staff were more than happy for their patrons to wander about their facilities, completely unsupervised! Maybe its a function of looser health codes, but I like to believe it is indicative of the laid back, relaxed atmosphere of the place. The Eastern Shore is a beautiful place to spend a long weekend, particularly for that leisurely attitude. Though I don't think Eastern Shore Brewery and St. Michaels constitute in and of themselves enough to draw a visit, they certainly make for a fun stop while you're there.

Eastern Shore Brewing Company
605 S Talbot St
St Michaels, MD 21663
(410) 745-8010

St. Michaels Winery
605 South Talbot Street, #6
St. Michaels, MD 21663
(410) 745-0808