Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Fall 2011 Comings and Goings of DC Chefs

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Plantains & Kimchi’

A lot has been happening in the DC chef community in the last month or so. Here’s a recap on the comings and goings of local chefs across the city.

First up, after 12 years Equinox’s chef and owner Todd Gray is passing the torch on to a new chef. Karen Nicolas, Equinox’s new executive chef, recently came from Simon Pearce restaurant in Philadelphia and Soul restaurant in Chicago. Nicolas also had a stint as executive sous chef at Tom Colicchio’s Gramercy Tavern in New York City. While Gray said in a press release that he will continue to work with Nicolas on dishes at Equinox, he added that her “culinary vision will be reflected in the menu.”
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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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Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Best Of: Drinks 2010

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

We Love Drinks authors Kirk and I were really spoiled this year. In 2010 with wine, beer and cocktails alike we saw a resurgence of the desire to enjoy and educate ourselves in the world of libation. Sure we still like a shot from a dive bar but we also love craft cocktails. It’s not a drunk town, it’s a drinks town!

In addition to the old favorites, a number of new places opened up. We found ourselves covering everything we could despite busy day jobs (it certainly improved my tolerance level. shut up, pesky liver, wine is good for you!). There was the continuation of the wine bar explosion with cosy Dickson Wine Bar, DC’s raging beer love with Biergarten Haus and the promise of DC Brau, luscious cocktail smoothies at Fruit Bat, the rough-and-tumble American Ice Co. – I know we missed a few, and I’m going to do my best to stay on top of 2011. We’ve got burning questions in the coming year – will the winter opening of Jack Rose get me to hang out in Adams Morgan again, or will the Bier Baron successfully revive the faded Brickskellar space (and reputation)?

Anything you’d like to see covered? Interested in joining our merry drinks band? Drop me a line, I’d love to know.

Now, on to my favorite Drinks moments of 2010!

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Alexandria, Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Smackdown! Beer vs. Wine

Remnants of Beer vs. Wine

Remnants of Beer vs. Wine, by Jenn Larsen on Flickr

Thor Cheston is the beer director for Brasserie Beck, while Leah Dedmon is the wine director for BRABO. They may both work for Robert Wiedmaier (Rammy’s Chef of the Year last June), but they are passionate rivals on the merits of beer vs. wine, especially when it comes to which will pair best with food.

Oh, they’re also engaged.

Fellow WLDC author Kirk and I aren’t engaged. We aren’t even really rivals, he just happens to be partial to beer while I prefer cocktails. But we are committed to bringing you the very best in drinks! So when we learned Thor and Leah would be going head-to-head in a battle to prove whether beer or wine would win as best for food pairings, we jumped. Four courses crafted by Robert Wiedmaier, paired by Leah and Thor with both wine and beer? There was even a tie-breaker course! It’s a rough life, but we suffered for you.

Most importantly, the loser of this ancient struggle has to do the other’s laundry for a month (that would be Thor or Leah, not Kirk or I!). Along the way we learned a lot about interesting ways to do food pairings with different types of beer and wine. All took place Wednesday night over at Wiedmaier’s “foodie trifecta” partnership with Kimpton’s Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town, Alexandria – BRABO, the Tasting Room, and the Butcher’s Block.

It was a tough crowd of fervent wine and beer lovers. So let’s kick this battle off with some oysters, a strong golden ale, and a chablis…. Continue reading

Adventures, Food and Drink, Fun & Games, Night Life, The DC 100

DC Omnivore 100: #78 Snails

Photo courtesy of
‘Brasserie Beck’
courtesy of ‘webjedi’
Originally, this Omnivore update was for another topic, which was “Beer above 8%” (and will show up soon), but after taking a look at the menu at Brasserie Beck, the Belgian-styled gastropub downtown, I figured I’d better shift focus.

So you ask, “snails?”, what is the most joked about cuisine when you’re trying to gross-out friends doing as a willing entry here rather than on a dare. I have to honestly admit, if it weren’t for my wife, there would be a lot of things, cuisine-wise, I’d never have tried, and snails (not to be confused with their brethren, “escargot”) would not have been the highest on my list. But, figuring this is a top notch establishment, and an unlimited supply of good beer to wash everything down, I said “what the heck!”. For goodness sake, the meal and establishment share most of name (Gastropod vs. Gastropub).

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