Weekend plans: Resolved. Tomorrow, the team behind some of your favorite beer-havens including Birch & Barley, Churchkey and Rustico, are throwing a one of a kind festival at Yards Park that you won’t want to miss. This isn’t your regular solo-cup and pump festival, rather one filled with the best craft beers in the city and artisan food to match. So what’s with the name (other than being really fun to say)? Snallygaster is a mythical dragon-like beast, said to have terrorized the Maryland region at the turn of the century, looking somewhat like a half-bird, half-reptile with a metallic beak. While they won’t be promising any mythical dragons (except maybe feeling like one after a few good brews), the festival promises 100 unique crafted beers, all handpicked by beer director Greg Engert.
I’m practically drooling at the thought of this pasta dish. Had I been dining in the privacy of my own home, I would have picked up the bowl and proceeded to slurp down the sauce that was on it. And it was heartwarming to see Kyle and Tiffany make this dish together, each executing the part of the dish that they knew best.
Below you’ll find the recipe for homemade ricotta cavatelli with slow-roasted pork, broccoli rabe and pine nuts. Before you go running for the hills, screaming, “Make pasta from scratch?! I caaaan’t!” let me assure you that it’s really easy, will only take about 15 minutes, and will taste far better than the pre-packaged, chemical-laden crap at your local grocery store. I have faith in you, dear reader. And if you’re here, you’re probably not the type of person looking up Rachael Ray recipes for burgers with hotdog bits in them (yes, folks, that happened). Put in a little effort, and you will be rewarded with a savory, memorably delicious meal.
It’s rare to find one person who is doing exactly what they want in life, let alone two. But chefs Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac are doing just that: cooking food they love in a restaurant geared towards their tastes and styles. They’re all about serving homemade food, no pretensions and you can tell neither one of them is the type to cut corners in the kitchen.
The married pair came to DC in 2009 after working at the now closed, Allen & Delancey in New York City. Michael Babin, one of the co-owners of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, approached Bailey about coming to work at Birch & Barley. “He said he wanted to open a beer restaurant, and he was like, ‘I hope that’s not going to be a problem for you.’ Are you kidding? That’s like my dream,” says Bailey. “It wasn’t about dumping Miller Lite on fish. I wanted to cook my food and prepare dishes with awesome beers. I take the long way home every time. It’s about quality and cooking from scratch.”
Talk about an empire. DCMud.com reports that restaurateur Ashok Bajaj, the man behind Bombay Club, 701, Rasika, and Ardeo + Bardeo could soon sign a lease for the retail space at 22 West in West End. Bajaj somewhat hinted at a new project in a chat last month with my fave food critic, Tom Sietsema.
My favorite news of the week comes via The Washington Post: Whole Foods Market and a D.C. real estate firm want to build a new store in Navy Yard, “but the developer says that luring the grocer would require $8 million in tax breaks.” WaPo reports that William C. Smith and Co. is proposing a 39,000-square-foot Whole Foods in the 800 block of New Jersey Ave. SE as part of a building that would also include 375 apartments.
In other Navy Yard news, JDLand writes that a beer garden might soon be on its way to Southeast. The ANC6D (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) voted 6-0 “to support the Bullpen’s plans to open an additional 632-seat beer garden at Half and M, across from the Navy Yard Metro station’s west entrance just north of Nationals Park.”