Adventures, Essential DC, Georgetown, Get Out & About, Life in the Capital

11th Annual Georgetown French Market

If you’re looking to play hooky Friday or for an outside activity Saturday, then look no further then Georgetown’s 11th Annual French Market, which brings bits of Paris to Georgetown’s Book Hill neighborhood and runs Friday and Saturday, April 25th & 26th, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For two days, this small strip of Wisconsin Avenue offers a quaint, wonderful stroll full of fashion finds, French fare, home and antique shops, as well as the opportunity to explore the art galleries and listen to live music.

The neighborhood’s delicious restaurants, in particular Patisserie Poupon, Cafe Bonaparte and PAUL Bakery, will be on hand with butter-based pastries, sandwiches, crepes and more. Macaron Bee will be offering complimentary teacakes with any purchase, while wine lovers can score 15% of all wine and enjoy wine tastings at Bacchus Wine Cellar.

There are also some serious shopping discounts to be had from DC boutiques like Dandelion Patch, Ella RueSherman Pickey and Urban Chic. If you’ve got weddings, showers or races coming up, then this is a great opportunity to score that frock you’ve been hunting for. Personally, I’m looking forward to the awesome fresh flowers from the English Rose Garden, as I’ve decided having flowers around my apartment makes me happy.

While this is not a large street fare, it’s a sweet, spring-filled, happy event definitely worth adding to your weekend itinerary.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

BlackSalt’s Oyster Tasting Fundraiser

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Jenn Larsen’

Seafood, and more specifically oysters, is the name of the game with BlackSalt. The restaurant group is hosting an oyster tasting event at BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant this Saturday, November 12th from 3 to 5 PM.

The tasting is part of chef and owners Barbara and Jeff Black’s efforts to raise money for a state-of-the-art kitchen at the Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at Children’s National Medical Center. The kitchen will help educate diabetes patients and their families about healthy cooking and how to manage a nutritious diet with diabetes. To date, the restaurant group has raised nearly 70 percent of its $200,000 fundraising goal.

The Oyster Tasting will feature more than a dozen oyster varieties from North America served raw on the half-shell, grilled, fried and more, along with wine pairings. Tickets to the tasting are $85 in advance or $95 at the door.

Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, We Love Food

Pizzeria Paradiso Celebrates 20 Years

Photo courtesy of
‘Pizzeria Paradiso’
courtesy of ‘afagen’

There’s an old friend in town who’s turning 20 next week: Pizzeria Paradiso.

Back in November 1991, the pizzeria opened its first location in Dupont Circle and over its history has not only revamped the original spot, but expanded to Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. Not too shabby of an accomplishment for a local small business, right?

“When Pizzeria Paradiso was created, the things motivating it were community, laughter and tasty food,” said chef and owner Ruth Gresser in a news release. “We were all so excited when our first customers entered the restaurant a few minutes after we unlocked the front door. And now, we’re so happy to reach our ’20 Something’ anniversary so we can celebrate by eating and laughing with our family of customers and staff.”

In honor of its 20th birthday, the restaurant is hosting a week of events as part of their “20 Something” Celebration:

  • Monday, November 7th – Get one large and one small pizza for $20 on take-out orders only.
  • Tuesday, November 8th – Receive a 20th anniversary beer glass when you purchase a beer with your meal. The 8th is the restaurant’s official birthday.
  • Wednesday, November 9th – Pay $20 for all you can eat pizza and beer (note: you can eat all the pizza you want, but there’s 2 beer maximum).
  • Thursday, November 10th – Pay $20 for a small special pizza and an anniversary beer.
  • Friday, November 11th – Your first beer is just 20 cents.
  • Saturday, November 12th – Dine in at a location and pay just 20 cents for toppings (note: 3 toppings maximum)
  • Sunday, November 13th – Round out the week with “20 Free Pizzas” Family/Kids Day from 1-4 PM. Kids can be part of a make your own pizza demonstration with owner/chef Ruth Gresser and the first 20 kid’s pizzas are free (note: Old Town location only).

Plus, Pizzeria Paradiso will be hosting a trivia contest on their Facebook pages (GeorgetownOld TownDupont) with $20 gift certificate prizes twice per day. And their lucky 2,000th Twitter follower will receive three $20 gift certificates, one for each location.

Congratulations and happy birthday to Pizzeria Paradiso for serving up tasty slices to DC for 20 years!

Adventures, Entertainment, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, News, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Ginormous Cupcake Spotted At Georgetown Waterfront

Photo courtesy of
‘The Cupcakes For The Humans ~ Yummy’
courtesy of ‘Dan Dan The Binary Man’

Georgetown Cupcake has unveiled the world’s largest cupcake for the Guinness Book of World Records at the Washington Harbour.  Post record keeping/awarding administration, the 1000 lb cupcake will be sliced up, so head on down there for a taste of the world’s largest cupcake while it lasts.

Business and Money, Fashionable DC, Life in the Capital, News, The Features, Ward 2

Brooks Brothers Opens On Georgetown Strip

This year’s latest addition to the Georgetown shopping scene is New York based Brooks Brothers which takes over the former Pottery Barn and Smith Hawken spaces on the corner of M & 31st Street NW. When I attended their grand opening party last week, I had completely underestimated how large this combined location would be. The new store offers three floors of retail space filled with ready-to wear suits, sports jackets, wool sweaters, shirts, etc.

Unlike other two DC Brooks Brother stores I’ve been to (Chevy Chase and Dupont), which have a prim, proper and country club-esque sterility to them, the Georgetown Brooks Brothers is a complete departure; the shop plays heavily on a hunting lodge or Adirondack cabin vibe with dark wood paneling, heavy uses of flannel and tweed fabrics in the drapery, carpeting and upholstery. On the lower level, you’ll find a pool table and bar lounging area that companion shoppers can relax in while tailoring takes place. Continue reading

Essential DC, Life in the Capital, News, The Daily Feed, The District

DC Mourns Steve Jobs At Apple Store

If you walk by the Georgetown Apple Store, you’ll find that to left of the store’s entrance, DC Apple lovers have created an impromptu memorial to Steve Jobs filled with posters, letters, flowers and many apples. Personally, I found these tributes to be the purest and most genuine expressions of how Mr. Jobs and his company have inspired so many people and how the DC community is mourning the loss, and solidarity with the Apple community and Jobs’ family and friends. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Bourbon Steak’s Cheese Program

Photo courtesy of
‘Cheese wheels at Bourbon Steak’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

I can think of few simple combinations that go together as well as meat and cheese–philly cheesesteaks, charcuterie and cheese boards, chicken parmigiano, heck, even the simple breakfast sandwich combines the super powers of a sausage patty and melted cheese. So it made sense when Brenton Balika, the executive pastry chef at Bourbon Steak, started a cheese program at the meat-centric restaurant in Georgetown.

The cheese program, which was officially launched in May of this year, has opened up a whole menu featuring eight to 10 cheeses at any given time. While the cheeses can take anywhere from a few hours to a few months to complete, depending on the type, the restaurant typically goes through an average of 200 wheels of cheese per week and 169 gallons of milk, according to Balika.

I met with Brent to learn more about Bourbon Steak’s cheese program and to find out what goes into making cheese.

Continue reading

Business and Money, Essential DC, Fashionable DC, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features

CB2 Fall Line: Space May Be Limited, But It Can Still Be Chic


Continuing on the heels of my Etsy Round Up: Washington DC feature apartment decorating finds, I ventured over the CB2 in Georgetown recently to check out their Fall 2011 collection. The latest and greatest from this Create&Barrel and Land of Nod, “affordable” sister shop centers on providing innovative, space saving options for DC’s small apartment, loft and efficiency occupants.  Although that is not a revolutionary concept (see IKEA, West Elm, etc.) and was not chosen to meet the particular needs of DC urban dwellers, it is well executed. Continue reading

Adventures, Business and Money, Entertainment, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, News, People, The Daily Feed

DC’s Dolcezza On Today’s The View at 11am

Photo courtesy of
‘Dolcezza 6156′
courtesy of ‘yospyn’

Huzzah! DC’s very own Dolcezza will be on ABC’s “The View” today at 11am and we’ll get to see owners Robb and Violeta Duncan chumming it up with Whoopi, Sherri, Joy, Elizabeth and Babs. I can only assume they’ll be talking about: 1) Gelato–in particular their seasonal summer flavors (Peach, Pineapple Cilantro, Mojito…) and 2) Dolcezza’s focus on locally produce ingredients and their collaboration with local area farmers.

If you’re not familiar with Dolcezza, you can read about how They Make DC or visit them at their three area shops in Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Bethesda.

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Mallory Staley of 1789 (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of
‘Mallory Staley of 1789′
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

A lot of people like to say they’ve been cooking since they were a wee one who could barely see over the countertops. But unlike Mallory Staley, few people can say they were promoted to executive pastry chef at a restaurant when they were just 15 years old.

Growing up, she worked at a bed and breakfast in Maryland where the pastry chef was also in charge of the cold plating station for salads. When that pastry chef left, Mallory found herself in charge of desserts after only working there for four months. “I always knew I wanted to cook and as soon as I knew I wanted to cook professionally, I never looked back,” she said.

Before returning to the DMV area and starting at 1789, Staley earned her certificate at The French Culinary Institute in New York and most recently worked as the pastry chef at the renowned Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel. She felt maxed out in New York, she said. That’s when she saw the job ad at 1789 for a new pastry chef, following the departure of the restaurant’s long-time pastry chef, Travis Olson.

Continue reading

Adventures, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, Special Events, The Daily Feed, The District

WeLove BabyLove DC

Photo courtesy of
‘Pink Knit Baby Booties’
courtesy of ‘[F]oxymoron’

Based on a successful charitable model, BabyLove DC provides clothing, products, gear and other necessities to pregnant mothers and their children in DC’s inner city. The group hosts monthly drives to collect new and gently used items, such as baby monitors, crib bedding, bottles, clothing, toys, diaper carriers, etc. All donations must have been purchased within the last 3 years, with certain items (diapers, breast pumps, bottles, cribs and feeding supplies) accepted as new only.

BabyLove’s next drive takes place this Saturday, April 9th from 9am-1pm at Hardy Middle School (34th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW) just across from the Social Safeway.

In addition to donations, BabyLove needs volunteers to help sort and repair clothing, and help coordinate and run their drives and charity events. If you’re interested in volunteering or donating, you can contact BabyLove DC at

Business and Money, Essential DC, Food and Drink, News, The District, The Features

Sprinkles Cupcakes Comes To DC

There is a new edition to the saturated DC cupcake scene and it comes to M Street in Georgetown in the form of a pink and brown row house. Sprinkles Cupcakes, started in 2002 by Candace Nelson and her husband Charles, opened  in 2002 in Beverly Hills, is the Magnolia Bakery of the West Coast and has been featured on Oprah, Entourage and The Today Show.

With the proximity of so many other cupcake options (Baked & Wired, Georgetown Cupcake, Scoops, etc.,) offering high quality cupcakes and all priced relatively equally at $2.50 – $4 per cupcake, the principal question is: what makes Sprinkles’ sugary treats different? Continue reading

Business and Money, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed, The District

Homemade Pizza Co. Comes to Georgetown

Although the Homemade Pizza Co. has five other locations in the DC area, I’ll readily admit to never hearing of them or even noticing that I’ve walked by one. That was until they opened their latest shop in my neighborhood and a held three day long celebration featuring free pizza, salad and the owners grilling (yes, grilling) up their za and chatting the locals.

Unlike most pizza joints, Homemade Pizza Co. doesn’t serve you hot out of the oven pizza. Instead they sell bake-at-home pizzas made to order. Yes, that’s right, you’ll be ordering (either in the shop or order your pizza online for delivery or pick up) uncooked pizzas that you then have to (gasp!) cook yourself. The horror!

However, these unbaked pizzas are above and beyond the Whole Foods or Safeway premade pizzas. These pizzas are custom made on-the-spot with the dough is rolled out specifically to meet your needs. They use the freshest, highest quality all-natural ingredients like specialty meats, terrific cheeses, and local produce because we all know that our farmers have greatest fresh-from-the-farm products. Once home, the cooking is simple and every pizza is labelled with the uber simple 5 step instructions, where total cooking time takes about 10-15 minutes.

Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Surfside

Photo courtesy of
‘Surfside for lunch’
courtesy of ‘vincentgallegos’

I’ve never been big on take-out. By the time I decide what I want, find the menu, call it in, wait forty-five minutes, go pick it up, almost drop it on the way home, and finally get home and realize they got my order wrong, I’m not really hungry any more. And the truth is that on most occasions, I can make food that tastes better than what a restaurant lets sit for 20 minutes in a Styrofoam container. And did I mention I’m cheap? All that makes for a pretty tough road for take-out purveyors everywhere.

But as we all know, there is an exception to every rule. In this case, it’s Surfside. It might have a little something to do with its proximity to my house, but what puts it above and beyond the rest of the many take-out options in Glover Park is the food. And don’t worry, people of not Glover Park, eating in at Surfside is even better than trying to eat it off my lap in front of a TiVo-ed episode (or two) of the new 90210.

Continue reading

Business and Money, Entertainment, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed, The District

Madewell Opens Today

Madewell opens

Today at 10am, DC’s first Madewell opens its Georgetown doors. The clothing shop offers wears that meet hobo, hipster and preppyster fashion needs alike and is sure to be a big hit with Georgetown college and young professionals scene. Originally found in 1937, Madewell started out as a true-blue American denim company. Now the label is owned by J.Crew and has been reinvented to target women ages 18 to 40.   Madewell debuted in 2006 with a flagship store in New York City and up until the Summer 2010 launch of its ecommerce site, was only sold through its 18 nationwide stores.

Adventures, Business and Money, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Unleashed By PETCO Opens

Photo courtesy of
‘How to Braid Three Leashes’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

Over the weekend, the Glover Park/Burleith/Georgetown neighborhoods got a new addition to pet-owner mania with the opening of Unleashed by PETCO at 1855 Wisconsin Ave NW. The shop is a smaller version of the pet supply mega store and sells the natural, organic, and higher-end pet products. The store also offers pet training courses, grooming, vaccination and preventative services, a treat bar and adoption events.

Business and Money, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features, They Make DC

They Make DC: Dolcezza

Dolcezza Robb and Violeta

This They Make DC marks the first entry in a series that will profile the various small businesses manufacturing their products in the DC Metro area. In these features, we’ll tour the facilities and shops where these goods are made and sold, with the ultimate goal to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to own, run and operate a business in our beloved capital city. So without further adieu, let’s kick this bad boy off.

Robb Duncan and his Argentinian wife Violeta met by chance in 2000 at a conference in Brazil. Two weeks later Robb flew back to Portland, Oregon, sold everything he had and moved down to Buenos Aires and they were married. While living in Buenos Aires, Robb fell in love with gelaterias. Having toured Italy, Duncan was very familiar with Italian gelato, and while he liked it, he was never blown away by it. So he was surprised when he discovered that Argentinian gelato, made by Italian immigrants and their descendants, tasted a lot better to him.  When Argentina’s economy crashed in the early 2000s, Robb and Violeta moved to DC, where he could get a job as a software engineer for the federal government and where Violeta could finish up her degree at American University. Continue reading

Adventures, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, The Daily Feed

Ben & Jerry’s Giving Away Ice Cream in Support of Dreamgirls

Photo courtesy of
‘ice cream sandwiches!’
courtesy of ‘urban farmgirl’

Get your buttocks out of your seat and run over to the  Ben & Jerry’s of Georgetown (3135 M St, NW) so you can test out their new handmade ice cream sandwiches, “Dreamwiches,” in honor of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts’ December production of Broadway’s Dreamgirls.

Pose for a picture with “The Dreams,” post it to any social network with information about the Duke Ellington School of the Arts’ December production of Broadway’s Dreamgirls and get free ice cream. This is one of several appearances that students from the school are making around DC during November to promote the show.

Business and Money, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, News, The Daily Feed, The District, We Green DC

Capital Bikeshare Opens In Glover Park

Photo courtesy of
‘Do my nails clash with the red?’
courtesy of ‘fromcaliw/love’

After a lengthy community discussion about where to place the new Capital Bikeshare station, the latest addition to the operation has opened in the Northwest neighborhood of Glover Park in the parking lot of the Guy Mason Recreation Center.

According the Glover Park resident listserv, residents are hopeful that bikesharing will get a lot of use as an alternative to pokey buses and single-occupant car trips.

Adventures, Business and Money, Life in the Capital, The Daily Feed

Commander Salamander Removes “Closing” Signs

Photo courtesy of
‘Commander Salamander, so it goes..’
courtesy of ‘Photos by Chip Py’

It’s been 8 months since we heard word that Commander Salamander was shuttering. Unlike its sister shop, Up Against The Wall, which closed super fast, the Wisconsin Avenue punk/hipster/preppy/raver shop has chugged on, despite keeping the “Store Closing” signs in its windows. This has left shop fans and area residents confused and perplexed about the store’s future. Was the shop still closing? If so, how could it take 8 months to liquidate the merchandise? Is Commander Salamander just playing tricks and using the signs as a gimmick to increase store traffic?

Then, like it had never happened, a few days ago the signs disappeared. But the questions still remain. Does the removal of the signs mean it’s really the end? Or has a crisis been averted and the shop will remain?