Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Where I’ll Eat: Elisir & More

ceniche
After spending an amazing 8 days in Ecuador and eating ceviche, patacones and arroz con menestra like I would never eat again, I want to make sure my week of food this week is just as good.

Here are the places I plan to visit this week in no special order:
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Thanksgiving 2011 Roundup

Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey
Courtesy of tbridge

You’ve been fighting off a cold. You burned last year’s turkey. You’re feeding far too many relatives than you can count on your fingers and toes. Whatever the reason may be for why you won’t be cooking this year’s Thanksgiving feast, we’ve got you covered with a handy list of what restaurants are offering for Thanksgiving. So take the apron and oven mitts off and relish in the fact that you can watch all the Macy’s Day Parade and football you want come turkey day.

Read the full list after the jump.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

One Year Later: Cuba Libre

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Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar most definitely sticks out to you as you walk down 9th Street in Chinatown. You just can’t miss the red and yellow. It doesn’t look classy by any means (which it isn’t meant to), but more like fun and perhaps a bit overzealous.

More than a year after opening, Cuba Libre has some solid dishes, while others don’t make much of an impression. My favorite thing about the Havana-inspired restaurant is the bread with mango butter. It is brought out to you warm and is a perfect free starter. See more of my recommendations after the jump.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: DC Eats for September

Photo courtesy of
‘Autumn of my Life’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

Summer may be over, but good food goes on. You can eat your sad feelings about colder weather and fewer hours of daylight coming at some of these events happening this month in the city.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: DC Eats for August

Photo courtesy of
‘Cafe Atlantico’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’
Put on your elastic waistband pants, people. There’s plenty to eat and do in the city for the next few weeks. So click on through and you’ll find where you should be wining and dining this month.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: Eat Local First Week

Photo courtesy of
‘Biutiful’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

It goes without saying that all of us on this site love DC–the people, the culture, the history, and yes, the food. Eat Local First, a local food campaign started by Think Local First, showcases local restaurants and locally grown food. From July 9 – 16, locavores can take advantage of various food events and specials at restaurants participating in farm-to-table restaurant week. After the jump, you’ll find more information about the events and restaurants.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: Fourth of July Roundup

Photo courtesy of
‘Jazz in the Park/Garden (6/11/10)’
courtesy of ‘teddien’

Fourth of July weekend–fireworks and patriotism in the air, parades and picnics abound. After the jump are some of the dining specials and options you can raise a beer to this Independence day.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Upcoming Food Events in the City

Photo courtesy of
‘Every Food Fits: Thanksgiving Edition’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

Every now and then you splurge with food, usually it being something with a lot of butter and a high calorie count. After the jump you’ll find a little roundup of some food events that are not only worthy of the extra calories but also of breaking the bank a little.
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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: Where to Eat Memorial Weekend

Photo courtesy of
‘happy for the flag’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

A human being can only eat so many hot dogs and hamburgers around the grill with family and friends. So here’s a helpful roundup of some food events that will get you out the door and give you something to do other than wondering if the steaks are done with Uncle Barry manning the grill.

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Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Outdoor Dining: Our Favorite Spots Around Town

Photo courtesy of
‘indigo landing at dusk’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

Now that the weather is starting to turn for the better (don’t mind that pesky rain), all I can think about is eating and drinking outside. And in Washington, where the appropriate outdoor dining season is about two weeks long, it pays to be organized. That is why we’ve put together our favorite spots to sip a beer or have a bite on a patio, deck or sidewalk. Enjoy them, but if you take the last table at one of our favorites, we’re going to be seriously mad.

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Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Eat Like Me: February’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
’3666-33Crop’
courtesy of ‘furcafe’

Some months I go fancy, others I don’t. I definitely erred on the side of casual this month, going so far as having a grilled cheese sandwich at not one, but three restaurants. Take note, fancy restaurants, I don’t find many things more satisfying than butter, bread and cheese cooked to gooey perfection. Did I just call the new burger? Is it the grilled cheese? I sure hope it is.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Where to Eat Breakfast When You’re Up With the Sun

Photo courtesy of
‘new morning ritual’
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′
So I know this might not be the coolest thing to admit, but it’s high time I got something off my chest — I’m an early riser. And not just in a I-go-to-the-gym-before-work way. (Because I don’t!) I am usually up and ready to rock before 8am on the weekends, and let’s be honest, I’m usually hungry. Herein lies an issue — most restaurants don’t open for weekend brunch until 11am or later, which is way past the point of a low blood sugar induced meltdown. I always have a hard time coming up with restaurants that serve actual breakfast (not brunch), especially in my pre-coffee, early morning haze. So for me and my early morning brethren, I have compiled a list of all the worthy restaurants in town that serve you coffee when you really, really need it.

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Foodie Roundup, The Features

Pop-Up Restaurants and the ADD Diners Who Love Them

Photo courtesy of
‘Now Open’
courtesy of ‘moleitau’
Blink and you’ll miss them, but pop-up restaurants may just be the wave of the future. What exactly is this culinary classification? Popular on the West Coast for some time now, pop-up restaurants are spots that are open for a day, a week, a month or another vague period of time and come from nowhere to dazzle diners before they disappear like that dingy snowbank outside my house this weekend. Characteristically slim on decor, these restaurants are a chance for chefs to try out something new and wacky in the name of spontaneity. Ludo Lefebvre, a Los Angeles area chef who you may remember screaming at everyone and their mother on Top Chef: Masters, has made quite the name for himself with LudoBites, a string of pop-up restaurants in Los Angeles. TIME Magazine named Lefebvre a “Chef of the Future” after his pop-up success, and D.C. is a town of the future, right? So it’s nice to see that we’re finally on the pop-up bandwagon.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup

Dining One Year Later: Ping Pong Dim Sum

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All photos by author

Snap-shot verdict: Wonderful decor and ambience, but some dishes are winners while others leave something to be desired.

Here’s the thing about small plates. I love them, but I hate them. You see, I love to eat, and 99% of the time I leave a tapas/small plates restaurant still hungry — at least I do when I’m out with people whom I can’t risk frightening. Anyway, this is my long-winded way of telling you that Ping Pong Dim Sum is (to me) one of those places. But, with the reasonable prices I can thankfully keep eating until I’m full.

Ping Pong opened up back in December 2009 and serves on average 3,200-4,000 guests per week. The best part of the restaurant is the design — think cool light fixtures, round tables, wooden benches, and mood lighting of sorts. There’s definitely a coolness factor here, especially if you’re in that young professional crowd.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Valentine’s Day for Every Couple: The Problem Solving Edition

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

It’s t minus one week until Valentine’s Day, and if you’re reading this, you’ve got problems. You haven’t decided on the year’s most romantic meal that will impress not only your significant other, but every person you’ve ever met. There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to Valentine’s plans, and there are way too many choices. So this year, we’ve shortcut it for you. For every stage or annoyance in your relationship, there is a Valentine’s Day option for it.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, We Love Food

Dining One Year Later: Bistro La Bonne

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Photo Courtesy Tricia Barba

This is the first of our “Dining One Year Later” look, where as the title suggests, we take a glance back at restaurants that have been open for one year and see how they’re doing. We will run this feature once every two weeks.

Snapshot Verdict: Great food in a relaxed atmosphere.

You could almost walk by the restaurant if you weren’t paying close enough attention. That is until you see the  “Bistro La Bonne” sign, named after the owner and chef Daniel Labonne.

The eponymous French restaurant opened at the end of 2009, taking over the space where the bar Axis once stood. With its friendly service, steak-frites, and escargot, Bistro La Bonne has been a welcome addition to this neighborhood. Chef Labonne tells me that the 50-seat restaurant serves more than 100 people on the weekdays and 200 on the weekends.

It’s a tight fit; the restaurant is narrow, though it does have a loft as well. You won’t be on someone’s lap on table next to you like you might be at Bistro Du Coin, but you won’t be stretching out either, especially if you are sitting near the bar. Speaking of the bar, it is long and perfect for watching soccer (or football as us World Cup fans would say).  Diners will like the brick walls and pictures on display.

Some gossip here — Labonne tells us he’s going to expand physically, but won’t divulge if it will just be an addition to the existing restaurant or a completely new concept. Ugh, ANC, ABRA boards here I come.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Making the Most of Restaurant Week

Photo courtesy of
‘leave the gun…………’
courtesy of ‘LaTur’

I used to go blindly into Restaurant Week. All willy-nilly about where I wanted to eat, randomly picking places that had open reservations and were on my list of restaurants to try. And while this strategy served me well, I feel compelled to advise you all to form a calculated and informed plan for this upcoming winter 2011 DC Restaurant Week. Continue reading

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Eat Like Me: December’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
‘Waffle House’
courtesy of ‘Steve Snodgrass’
I learned a lot about myself this month. I learned that white anchovies are the way to my heart if maybe not the best way to a second date. I finally, officially learned that there is a reason I’m not stick thin — because fatty food tastes good. I learned I like whiskey more than I thought (sorry parents!). And I learned that eating at a Waffle House and a Hooters in the same day does not spring me in to spontaneous white trashedness. I also ate a whole lot this month, so it was pretty tough to narrow down everything I loved. As a result, you’ll notice the honorable mention category down at the bottom for those few dishes that came in a close second in the race to the top.

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Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup

Thanksgiving Options for Every Eater

Photo courtesy of
‘happy Thanksgiving cupcake toppers 2′
courtesy of ‘AForestFrolic’

Between stressing out about whether to attack the stuffing or the mashed potatoes first, or hoping that your stupid brother doesn’t clothesline you in the family football game again this year, Thanksgiving prep can weigh heavy on the mind. And in a town like D.C., everyone’s Thanksgiving is not the same. Parents coming in town to shower you with love in the form of cornbread and sweet potato casserole? Or did your family book a trip to Maui and conveniently forget to tell you, forcing you to find some Thanksgiving pals via Craigslist and the cork board at your office? There is thankfully (Thanksgiving pun alert!) an option for everyone this year.

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Capital Chefs, Foodie Roundup, The Features

Capital Chefs: Dan Giusti of 1789 (Part I)

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I was having one of THOSE days last Saturday. I woke up to get ready for 1789, hopped in the shower, and the shower head flew off the spout and hit me in the head. Hard. Then I was running late, after the appropriate amount of panicking and curse words and feeling my head for a bump and wound up forgetting my wallet. Then I couldn’t find a parking spot that wasn’t metered, but I had no money. After finally parking, I burst into 1789′s bakery, which isn’t actually attached to the restaurant, and asked for Cathy, who I knew was already there. Everyone looked at me like I had five heads. Was I not at the right place? 1789 is located a block from Georgetown’s campus, right near The Tombs, and intermingles with the other restaurants located next door. I got flustered and tried to explain in a rush of words, “I’m having the worst morning ever, I got hit in the head, forgot my wallet, there’s no parking, you think I’m crazy right? I’m a writer, I’m here to do a story on 1789, I’m looking for Cathy…” Pastry Chef Travis Olson stood up from putting house made crackers on a rack, looked mildly amused at my storm of words and shook my hand and introduced himself. I unleashed the hurricane again. “I’m sorry, I know I’m crazy, I’m just supposed to be meeting Cathy in here, you probably think I’m insane, is this even 1789?” I trailed off. Thankfully, the kind soul of a woman baking bread in the window turns around, and volunteers that there was in fact, a girl dressed in street clothing who was writing an article that came in a few minutes ago looking for the chef. And then, as if on cue, Cathy walked in the kitchen to find me.

So after that sort of an entrance it was only appropriate that Executive Chef Daniel Giusti throw an egg at me. We were waiting for the potatoes to bake for the gnocchi he was going to show us how to make, and he was gathering up our necessary ingredients. Flour, a bowl, a knife, a cutting board, and eggs. He leaned back against the counter holding the two eggs for our pasta and all of a sudden an egg comes flying out of his hand and hits me in the knee, falling to the floor with a huge thwack and busting open. “Why you gotta throw an egg at me?” I laugh. “Haven’t I been through enough today?” Dan dissolves into laughter. “DID YOU EVEN SEE THAT? That was some Houdini shit right there! I didn’t even do anything! I didn’t even move my hand! We better get you out of the kitchen, this is like the worst place for you to be, there are knives in here.” And that’s what I love about the kitchen at 1789, Cathy and I were automatically comfortable there – we wound up having a really fun morning. I can tell why such good food comes out of the kitchen there. Continue reading