Entertainment, Special Events, The Features

Summer 2012 Guide to Outdoor Movies

Photo courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie
courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

Summertime in the city–the daylight lasts longer, the outfits get shorter and the city has so many things to offer you outdoors. We’ve rounded up the outdoor movies in the DC area and put them into one comprehensive guide. Break out the popcorn and blankets and get ready to see what films are rolling this summer.

Washington, DC:

Screen on the Green
Where: On the National Mall, between 7th and 12th streets, NW
When: Begins at sunset
Movie Lineup:

Monday, July 16th: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Wednesday, July 25th: It Happened One Night
Monday, July 30th: From Here to Eternity
Monday, August 6th: Psycho

Follow @SOTGinDC for updates and more information.

Capitol Riverfront Movies
Where: Tingey Plaza (behind U.S. Department of Transportation), New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Streets, SE
8:45 PM/Sundown
Movie Lineup:
Thursday, June 14: National Treasure
Thursday, June 21: The Goonies
Thursday, June 28: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Thursday, July 5: City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold
Thursday, July 12: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Thursday, July 19: The Da Vinci Code
Thursday, July 26:  Muppet Treasure Island

Follow @CapitolRvrFront for more information.

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Alexandria, Food and Drink, The Features

A Look at the New Menu and New Chef at Evening Star Cafe

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Shrimp & Grits at Evening Star Cafe
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Anytime a long-standing restaurant with an already stellar reputation “revamps,” I have to hold my breath a little and scrunch my face waiting to see what the outcome is. That’s not to say I don’t trust the judgment of the fine folks over at Neighborhood Restaurant Group, because I do. But there are so many variables that go into renovating a space and renovating a menu. The result at the new and improved Evening Star Cafe? Fantastic.

For starters the newly decorated digs are eclectic, funky and inviting. The warm yellow, textured wallpaper make this neighborhood gem feel cozy, while remaining completely cool. And I’ve already mentioned the mason jar light fixture in the back bar at the Majestic Lounge that I’ve fallen in love with. If you’ve been to other NRG restaurants, you’ll feel right at home in the new Evening Star Cafe.

Under the direction of executive chef Jim Jeffords, the Del Ray restaurant has definitely augmented its southern feel with dishes such as boiled peanuts, shrimp and grits and of course, a buttermilk fried chicken. I’d describe Jeffords’ menu as elegant southern with a twist–the portions are southern-sized, but the presentation is beautiful and nothing falls into the stereotype of southern food being oppressively heavy and over-fried. The menu is organized so there are a few snacks (think kind of like bar bites), small plates (appetizers), entrees and then there are sides available to share if you’re really craving more grits or sunchoke mash.

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Alexandria, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Evening Star Cafe Remodels and Reopens with New Chef

Photo courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie
Evening Star #1
courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

The first restaurant in the Neighborhood Restaurant Group got a major facelift over the last few months and officially reopened last night on December 8th. Evening Star Cafe now has a newly redesigned and refurbished dining room and bar which was led by Hailey Designs, LLC. The same company also designed Rustico and Buzz Bakery, two other NRG establishments.

The remodeled space combines retro furniture, such as chrome-accented tables, along with a double-sided banquet for a little bit of a 1950s diner feel. In the neighboring Majestic Lounge attached to the restaurant, staff and neighbors in Del Ray have donated trophies which line a case from the floor almost to the ceiling. When you go, also check out the cool lighting fixture made out of about 180 mason jars. Washingtonian has a slideshow with pictures of the newly renovated space.

In addition to a new space, the restaurant is now being led by executive chef Jim Jeffords who is incorporating a stronger southern flavor on the menu. Jeffords recently came from CityZen in Washington, DC. Some highlights on his new menu include a moultrie sausage dish, a risotto with housemade tasso ham, mustard greens, black eyed peas and parmesan, as well as a classic buttermilk fried chicken.

There’s no word yet on where the previous executive chef, Will Artley, has decided to go, though Twitter confirms he’s staying in the area.

Looking ahead to the new year, the restaurant plans to offer brunch as well as open a 2,000 square-foot rooftop garden where Jeffords will grow herbs and other produce for his menu with the help of Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture.

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Will Artley of Evening Star Cafe (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Chopping tomatoes’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

It’s summertime and if you look around, you’ll notice that tomatoes are ripe and abundant. They’re in salads, they’re on sandwiches, they’re in your gazpacho. They’re everywhere! So here’s a recipe for something a little different from Will Artley: a tomato jam. The chef suggests serving it on scallops, on toast, and I think it would even go quite well on some roasted chicken. Plus, if you are a little more advanced, you can can the jam and have it last for months. Click through to find the full recipe.

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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Will Artley of Evening Star Cafe (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of
‘Will Artley of Evening Star Cafe’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Will Artley greets me with a bear-claw handshake, wearing bright Nantucket red pants and a matching hat that succinctly and accurately states, “No Farms, No Food.” After a quick cup of coffee, the executive chef of the Evening Star Cafe suggests we head out to the restaurant’s small “farm,” a gorgeous and overflowing vegetable patch about a mile away. “I put the doors on my Jeep since I knew you were coming,” he laughs. “I figured you wouldn’t want to ride on the motorcycle!” Will takes the opportunity to educate me on the “Jeep wave,” which has different protocol depending on the varying degrees of Jeep-ness.

I had met Will before at a few food events, but it quickly became clear that Will is a character in the best sense of the word. He’s incredibly friendly, but if you saw his serious face, you probably wouldn’t want to mess with him. “I like the instant gratification of cooking,” he says. “You can change people’s mood with food. They can have sat in traffic and be in a bad mood. But if you give them one taste and it changes their attitude, that’s rewarding.” Will adds that he also volunteers time each Monday at the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority teaching low-income families how to cook and eat healthy. “Cooking can change lives. If you’re in this business, you should be in it to make people happy,” he says.

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The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Old Town Alexandria

Photo courtesy of
‘View down King Street’
courtesy of ‘CathyLovesDC’

Alexandria is an independent city in Virginia that measures 15 square miles and includes over 100,000 residents (which is much larger than the typical neighborhood that we profile in Where We Live), and includes distinct neighborhoods like Arlandia, Rosemont, North Ridge, Del Ray, and West End.  This profile will mostly focus on the civic and commercial heart of Alexandria in Old Town, but it should be noted that Alexandria is made up of charming neighborhoods outside of that area that are definitely worth a visit.

History: This is a town with a lot of history.  Here’s the short version– Alexandria was originally a Native American settlement, then a major port, then part of DC in 1789 (only to be retroceded in 1846), then a quiet southern town frequented by tourists in the early twentieth century, then a growing suburb, and finally in the 1960’s the Old Town area was reborn as a commercial center and civic heart of the city (though many original historic buildings were demolished to make room for this ‘progress’).  The long version can be found on the Lyceum’s website about Alexandria history.

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Music, The Features

We Love Music: Quest for Glory Tour

Photo courtesy of
‘The ladies of the Quest for Glory Tour knight someone’
courtesy of ‘dcjasmine’

Let’s be honest with each other, DC. I love concerts, and sometimes there’s nothing better than being smashed up against other screaming people that love a band as much as you do. But sometimes I find myself thinking, I wish I could feel the A/C in this joint. And sit. And be able to set my beer on a table. And have the concert be free. There aren’t many music venues like this in the DC area, but Wednesday night Fireflies in Del Ray hosted three ladies on the Quest For Glory Tour: Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and Allison Weiss. Continue reading

Alexandria, Entertainment, Food and Drink, Inaugupocalypse, Life in the Capital, News, People, The Daily Feed

Obama at Dairy Godmother!

Photo courtesy of
‘Fresh & Frozen’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
Obama hit the Del Ray creamery (well, custard-er-ry, or whatever you call it) Dairy Godmother this afternoon. Good thing I snuck in last weekend for the Bordeaux Cherry,  ’cause after seeing what happened to Ray’s Hell Burgers, lord knows Dairy Godmother will be a packed house for the rest of the summer.

Dairy Godmother tweets “President Obama and his daughters just left. Pres. had a hot fudge sundae and daughters had vanilla cone and brownie sundae with sprinkles.” and “Malia had a brownie sundae with a housemade brownie, van.custard, hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry. Then she gave her whipped cream to dad.”

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. President.