Food and Drink, We Love Drinks

Friday Happy Hour: Holiday Gin Giving Guide

The holidays are upon us and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from tending bar, preparation is half the battle. So let’s get an early start on gift giving. It is Black Friday, after all. My holiday gift giving secret is I buy people booze and only booze. You can buy it online, have it shipped, and avoid all that normal holiday shopping madness. Everyone loves booze or all of my friends do, at least (admittedly, all of my friends are lushes or in Industry). And no matter how well stocked your loved ones’ bars, there’s always something they don’t have. So what do you get the drinkophile in your life when it seems like they have everything? More gin. And lucky for us, this month saw the release of three new gins on the DC market.

New Columbia Distillers released its Green Hat fall/winter selection, Ginavit, a hybrid spirit that is a mix of barrel aged and non barrel aged gins with akvavit. Before we continue, I owe you guys a bit of a disclaimer, I HATE akvavit. It is one of the only things that I have difficulty mixing with. Kümmel, malört, black pepper-infused belgian ale? No problem! But this esoteric, pervasively caraway-flavored spirit is my one weakness. And I really, really like caraway too. Just not in a liquid, high test medium. But I was excited to try Green Hat’s new seasonal offering nonetheless.

The Ginavit release party was held at Boundary Road, a refreshingly understated H Street bar. I started the night cautiously, opting for one of the cocktails that featured Ginavit, rather than the spirit straight up. I chickened out, admittedly. I told you akvavit scares me. The first drink I tried was a Ginarac, a gin based sazerac with malört rather than absinthe rinse. It was dry on the palate, not too sweet, a bit savory. With the bitter, herbal malört and the herbaceous Green Hat, it worked great as an aperitivo. And, thankfully, the malört helped settle my stomach (Five Guys wasn’t such a great idea afterall).

After a bit of liquid courage, I had finally built up the nerve the try Ginavit neat. Continue reading

Food and Drink, We Love Food

Infographic: Founding Farmers’ Urban Apiary at GWU

In news you probably didn’t know, September is National Honeybee Month. To pay homage to the tiny creatures that have been toiling away on the rooftop of The George Washington University to bring honey to Founding Farmers, we put together an infographic as a sneak preview of the larger feature we’re working on about honeybees.

The university and the restaurant have had a partnership for about a year and a half now. The way it works: students in the biological sciences department get to study, raise and tend to the bees. Then Founding Farmers gets to use the honey that’s harvested and bring you sweeter dishes.

Check out the stats after the jump and stay tuned for the full feature.

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Food and Drink

Food Tweet of the Week: Founding Farmers

Photo courtesy of
‘Founding Farmers’
courtesy of ‘angela n.’

This might just be cheating, since the winner is actually a retweet…but it was just that good.

Founding Farmers doesn’t mess around when it comes to food or Twitter. Anyone who’s eaten here knows the food served comes from family farms, ranches and fisheries across the U.S. Aka your dish will be full of style and color.

The restaurant actually doesn’t put up many pictures of food, but that might be because it can count on happy diners to do it FOR them. In just the past couple of days I’ve seen pictures of corn on the cob, a fab pasta fish, and a burger. Hello mouth watering.

But my fave of the week from @FoundingFarmers is something completely different.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Restaurants Love to Cook, Serve & Tweet!

barcode

“These days at a restaurant you have plates, tables, food and Twitter.”

-Barcode owner Antonis Karagounis

“People regularly ask for restaurant suggestions from other Tweeps on Twitter. When we are able to find those requests and immediately welcome them to our restaurant, they are floored by the quick response and personalized welcome. We’ve been lucky enough to gain many new diners this way.”

-Bourbon Steak Publicist Sangeetha Sarma

A recent Restaurant Week experience reminded me that you can’t always expect restaurants to be on 100% all the time, but if someone or something fails, speak up.

Like many patrons, I had an issue, vented about it on Twitter, and received a very satisfying response. SO I decided that every Friday I will write a small piece about The Week’s Winning Food Tweet. This could be a restaurant itself, a food truck, a chef, a manager, etc. The winner will be someone (something?) who puts a smile on my face for a different or interesting perspective.

The free, 140 character service has revolutionized the restaurant industry. It’s necessary for restaurants to actually engage their followers in order to create loyalty and really make patrons & potential patrons feel like friends.

I wanted to take a look at the Top 5 ways that restaurants use Twitter effectively. That means they aren’t just tweeting the daily specials, but following my rules to inform, satisfy, calm and entertain!

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Downtown, Food and Drink

We Love Food: Founding Farmers

CRW_0522
Founding Farmers by Tom Bridge

The new restaurant on the first level of the IMF Building on Penn has an amazing space to fill. Two stories, floor to ceiling glass walls, incredible internal architecture. Founding Farmers is based on some pretty simple concepts: Farm to Table cuisine, seasonally prepared and scheduled, and green engineering that defines the dining room.

And, for all of that, Founding Farmers delivers nicely on the food side of things. Their menu covers a lot of ground, but stays mostly with things you might already recognize. Meatloaf. Pot Roast. American Classics. But, with the emphasis on local sourcing, the food takes on a whole new character. One of the things we fell in love with this summer was the concept of seasonality. Broccoli when it’s fresh out of the fields, strawberries for three weeks in June, potatoes fresh from the fields. Founding Farmers captures this pretty well.

When it finally got to us.

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