Downtown, Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features, The Hill

Restaurants Here and On The Way

DSC00028
Courtesy of Tricia Barba

It seems like there’s never a shortage of restaurants opening up in DC.

To finish out 2011, Xavier Cervera plans to open his fifth Capitol Hill restaurant, Boxcar Tavern, located in the old Petite Gourmetspace on 7th St. SE right next to Tunnicliffs. The staff is currently in training mode, and it sounds like the plan is still to open by the end of the month. The Eastern Market Metro Community Association has a pic of the inside.

Places that are open 24 hours a day always excite me. Case in point: The Hamilton located in downtown DC (same block as another Clyde’s Restaurant group favorite, Old Ebbitt Grill) opened up to the public just this week. The restaurant and live music venue comes to us from Clyde’s Restaurant Group. The 37,000 square foot space has two floors, four bars and four dining rooms. Where else can you get sushi, charcuterie, and seasonal and regional American fare? For more information and a slide show check out Washingtonian’s Best Bites. Continue reading

Food and Drink

One Year Later: Estadio

Photo courtesy of
’14/365′
courtesy of ‘ekelly80′
Estadio celebrated its one year anniversary back in July (yes, I’m a little late), and 14 months after it opened, this restaurant continues to draw in the packed crowds.

The most important part of any restaurant is, of course, the food, and Estadio shines here. It’s a member of the tapas crowd serving Spanish small plates, but unlike some other tapas restaurants you will not leave the Logan Circle restaurant hungry.

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The Features

Behind the Design: Sweetgreen

Photo courtesy of
‘Sweetgreen #14′
courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

A bit over a year ago, as I was sitting in my Institutional Design Studio, I was flipping through my favorite magazine – Metropolis – when I came across a feature story on Georgetown’s Sweetgreen.  I was in awe of the historic retrofit, the building used to house the Little Tavern hamburger ‘hut’, in conjunction with its eco-friendly and streamlined interior – I knew that as soon as class was over I would be off towards M Street in order to explore further. Could it be true? Does a piece of design paradise exist with-in a 460-square foot envelope just down the street from me?

Fast-forward a year later, to yesterday actually, where my investigation of Sweetgreen continued with Nic Jammet, one of the restaurants three owners (the others are Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru), at their newest location in Logan Circle.

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Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Vegetate

Photo courtesy of
‘Vegetate Outside’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

I have a co-worker and friend named Heather. Heather is a vegetarian. She’s one of those odd vegetarians, though, that doesn’t really eat a bunch of vegetables. She likes them just fine, and she’ll eat them if you cook them for her, or bring them to her, but she doesn’t seek out vegetables the way a stereotypical vegetarian would. In fact, she tends to eat a lot of mac and cheese, and mozzarella sticks are her favorite bar nosh. Fried food is good food for Heather, especially when it involves cheese. So when I told her about Vegetate, the vegetarian restaurant in Historic Shaw, and my experience there, she said “now that’s the restaurant for me!” – and it totally is. Here is why. Continue reading

Downtown, Essential DC, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Logan Circle

Photo courtesy of
‘Logan rowhomes’
courtesy of ‘NCinDC’

This week: Logan Circle! With a great mix of housing and retail, good connections to the city’s transportation network, and proximity to downtown, Logan Circle is one of DC’s most sought-after neighborhoods. What makes it so great? Well…

History: Logan Circle was part of Pierre L’Enfant’s original plan for DC, and was called Iowa Circle until 1930, when Congress renamed it to honor Civil War hero John Logan. After the Civil War, the area became home to DC’s wealthy and powerful, and by the turn of the century it was home to many black leaders, including Mary McLeod Bethune. Logan Circle, along with nearby Shaw, became the epicenter of Black Washington in the early- to mid-1900s. Continue reading

Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: Posto

"artwork" by ustreetgirl, on Flickr

"artwork" by ustreetgirl, on Flickr

“A modern Italian place to meet” is Posto‘s motto, and indeed its Logan Circle neighborhood has been eagerly waiting to meet it. The newest venture from executive chef Massimo Fabbri, of downtown’s lauded Tosca, it replaces Viridian next to Studio Theatre and has already escalated in popularity, evident by the full dining room on a freezing Monday night.

It’s a relief to find that Posto has warmed-up the walls of a previously minimal and rather chilly atmosphere from Viridian’s days. The decor might strike some as more Napa than Roma, with columns wrapped in glowing natural wood, but the large light installation murals of grapevines and various Italian scenes like Venice’s Campanile set the scene. Somehow these oversized murals, dancing the line between ironic and tacky, end up being rather joyous. And though many have commented on the decibel level, I found that though it was packed, our table of four could still carry on bantering without much problem.

For my first course I tried the Pesce Spada - swordfish carpaccio with tomatoes, capers and olives. I was surprised to have it come out with a heap of frisee on top (not so much a fan of twiggyness in food), but it matched well with the fish, which was delicate and flavorful. A friend pronounced the Granchio – lump crabmeat with peppers – “very yummy” – but another’s Insalata del Posto - arugula salad with fennel – was deemed “overdressed” (then again, he is a very picky German).

I’d heard pasta was the standout here, made in house by chef de cuisine Matteo Venini, and I was not disappointed. Continue reading