Dates. Those awkward, exciting, beautiful things we all go on at some point. I am by no means an expert in this field- quite far from it- and I don’t have a magical solution for how to make your next date the best you ever had, so unfortunately you won’t be finding the next We Love DC dating service here (sigh). The inspiration for this post really came from a conversation with a friend of mine the other day. He asked me where he should take a girl out, wanting to strike the right balance between serious young professional, trendy and casual. I realized many of us have gone through this mental exercise before. The exhausting over-planning and over- analyzing we do: choosing the right spot for that first interaction (or second or third), focusing on every detail from time, to dress code, to the big goodbye, mulling over tiny logistics as a method of defense to shift our thoughts away from the weirdness that could ensue. But enough of that.
I think a shared meal is the perfect way to break the ice, a way to bond over something simple that brings anyone, no matter what level of culinary expertise you may have, together. We all share stories around a dinner table, have memories of a favorite meal, and can reveal oneself through a dish. So for me, sharing a meal is a perfect way of getting to know someone, whether it be a sit down dinner or a casual picnic. I decided to write some recommendations for where you can break bread and the ice along the way, in case you need to outsource thinking on the next time your big date is lined up. I polled some of the We Love DC crew for their suggestions as well, as not all of us are food focused daters.
Stop playing nose goes with your friends when trying to decide who’s going to host the cookout this Fourth of July. Instead, here are a couple of places that can supply the food platters so you can enjoy the party. So pick up some good eats, kick back, crack open a cold beer and toast to the birthday of the United States of America.
Red Apron Butchery – Fourth of July Packs
Feed the whole family with Red Apron’s swine-tastic pack. For $50 ($52 if you opt for the bacon bangers sausages), you get a rack of spice-rubbed baby back ribs, a pound of sandwich-ready smoked brisket, 1 package of five all pork hot dogs, four fresh sausages (choice of bratwurst, Italian or bacon bangers) and a pint of house-made Coca-Cola BBQ sauce. And it’s all nicely tucked into an insulated Red Apron bag, so you can just show up on a friend’s door step ready to commandeer their grill. Place your order online and pick it up at the DuPont Farmer’s Market on Sunday, July 1 from 10 AM to 1 PM.
Cork Market & Tasting Room – Patriotic Picnic Baskets
Pick a pic-a-nic basket, boo boo. The first option, the sandwich basket, has options such as sopressata with roasted peppers and tapenade on house-made focaccia or smoked ham with Nancy’s camembert and pickled onions. Or go with the second option, the chicken basket which has either a Peruvian grilled chicken or the garlic-herb marinated fried chicken. Both baskets come with side salads; either a farro salad with wild mushrooms, spring onions, preserved lemons or a Mediterranean cous cous salad and Italian sweet wines. The sandwich basket is $25 ($35 if you add in wine) and the chicken basket is $40 ($55 if you add in wine). To get your picnic basket, call 202-265-2674 or email info@CorkDC.com. Continue reading →
Ah, breakfast. Some say the most important meal of the day. So why not spruce it up a bit, ditch the usual bowl of cereal and start the day off right with something a little decadent? After the jump you’ll find chef Takashi Ohseki’s recipe for ricotta-stuffed french toast that’s on the current brunch menu at Cork Wine Bar. Bring out the maple syrup and roll up your sleeves for this one.
At first glance you might not think a scientist and a chef have much in common. Sure the two follow recipes of sorts, but one gets to be creative with food while the other has to follow some pretty rigid rules, right? For Takashi Ohseki, executive chef brunch sous chef of Cork Wine Bar, the two roles coexist in his kitchen. “When you run an assay, it’s like making a recipe,” he says. “Only here in the kitchen we can adjust things more.”
The former biological science major and researcher put down the pipettes and traded them in for a chef’s knife when he realized that a career cooking sounded better than one in the research lab. While his upbringing had taught him that college and a job in an office setting was the right path, he knew he needed a change of pace. “You have to like what you do,” he says. So Ohseki studied at L’academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg and didn’t look back. Continue reading →
There’s a slew of new boozy places in town, and I’m going to be busy trying to hit them all. So I thought for this week’s edition of Drinks I’d focus on a bar that has been on my list for a while, but somehow haven’t gotten around to writing about.
Well, maybe I was being selfish!
Cork was a raging success before it even opened. Just the initial rumours of a wine bar on the 14th Street Corridor was enough to send us Shavians into a frenzy, pros and cons fiercely debated. Though owners and Logan Circle residents Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts were strongly dedicated to keeping it a neighborhood spot, the advance chat was so good that it was impossible to get in for weeks, if not months, after it opened. Suddenly the brave little wine bar that could was the toast of Food & Wine. And with Cork Market & Tasting Room opening this fall a little across the way, there’s no sign of a slowdown.
Sad to say, I still can’t recommend Cork on a weekend night. It’s just too crowded, there isn’t much space to wait for a table in the bar area (there isn’t much of a bar area for a wine bar, actually) and the decibel level is extreme. Of course if all that doesn’t bother you, go for it. It’s certainly a lively scene. But I’m more an off-night girl myself.
On a quiet mid-week night, the owners’ mission to “demystify the world of wine” really comes through, and it’s a true pleasure. Continue reading →
It’s a drink-focused round-up this week, but I think that’s because spring is in the air and all of us are practically clawing at our office doors to escape to grab a beer on the patio with friends. That said – Earth Day, jazz brunches, cocktails from the city’s best mixologists and a new team at Sonoma make up all the news that is fit to eat in the District this week. Continue reading →