Phoenix headlined the festival (Photo courtesy Sweetlife Festival)
The Sweetlife Festival very much fulfilled the promise implied by its name Saturday, May 11, delivering la dolce vita in a well organized celebration of music and food at the Merriweather Post Pavilion.
I’m not traditionally the biggest fan of going to concerts at the DC-area outdoor pavilions — much less festivals after the chaos that accompanies the Virgin FreeFest annually at Merriweather. But Sweetlife made excellent use of the place, offering a mainstage, a “treehouse stage,” and a dance floor in the small 9:30 Clubhouse (officially, the 9:32 Club) on the grounds — all of which dissolved into an energetic performance by headliner Phoenix at the end of the night.
Food vendors, trucks and restaurants set themselves up in neat rows in various portions of the grounds and concertgoers queued up to patronize them around the clock. My companion and I parked and shuffled into the pavilion without difficulty and make our way toward lunch, pausing to check out Solange Knowles, performing an early set on the main stage. To our surprise, she struck up a cover of “I Could Fall in Love” by late Tejano singer Selena. While we didn’t really hang around to check her out, her soulful voice was crowdpleasing and the main stage attracted a sizable gathering for the time.
Ok, so if you’re the least bit familiar with restaurants and the supposed opening dates in DC, you know that they are almost never met due to permitting delays, construction delays, staffing delays…you get it. Still, the eternal optimist, these are the five restaurants I can’t wait to try when they open later this year. (Note: I better not have to wait until 2012 to see you!)
The fine dining, Italian restaurant brought to us by Enzo Fargione will join the culinary heaven that is Penn Quarter. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Chef Fargione was previously the chef at K Street’s Teatro Goldoni. Publicist Janet Donovan tells me that the restaurant will open sometime in the Fall — so I’m crossing my fingers for late September/early October. Elisir’s Facebook page is getting more and more active, which is always a good sign. You can check it out for construction and menu updates.
The weekends in DC can be an interesting phenomenon. Once the work crowd leaves on Friday afternoon, downtown can seem tired and desolate without the weekday foodie crowd. I almost thought I saw that at Fiola on Saturday, then I realized I was there at an off hour. Once it was closer to dinner, couples and parties kept coming in.
The restaurant is the a brain child of Fabio Trabocchi, who a few years ago worked the kitchen at Maestro in the Ritz Carlton Tyson.
They’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Welcome back to DC, Fabio.
Hopefully you haven’t missed it in the Shake Shack, Pinkberry, Luke’s Lobster craze…but Serendipity 3 is now open in Georgetown. There’s no way you haven’t heard of the NY based shop and its signature oversized Frrrozen Hot Chocolate and Foot-Long Hot Dogs, BUT you can also have the President’s Lobster Pasta here, a dish exclusive to DC. For the best opening story and pics head to Revamp.
Can’t wait to see what the Young & Hungry team puts out for its Of Edibles and Eminence: What Makes a Powerful Restaurant? list on June 10th. They write “Beyond the ‘power lunch’ and the often elusive ‘power breakfast,‘ the places where we eat wield influence in a variety of ways. Some restaurants change our behavior. Some change entire neighborhoods.” Send Y&H your suggestions!
Metrocurean tells us that Jack Rose, the new whiskey bar and restaurant from the team behind Bourbon, could open any day now. So if you’re looking for a place for whiskey, you might want to start walking towards 18th and Florida. It’s about time — we’ve been talking about this place forever!
Zaytinya, Bezu, Pizzeria Orso
In one of my favorite features, Best Bites Blog takes “the pulse of three area restaurants” in The Needle. Zaytinya and Pizzeria Orso do very well…Bezu not so much.
Luke’s Lobster isn’t a big space, and you could almost walk by it…that is if
it weren’t for the long line stretching out the door during lunch. The crustacean place is really all you would expect and more.
A New York import, Luke’s Lobster has done so well in its openening week that it already ran out of crab, but will be getting a delivery ASAP (so maybe by the time you read this Wednesday). You obviously can’t leave Luke’s without trying the famous lobster roll, but if you are hungry or with a friend, I would suggest going for the Taste of Maine. Logistically you place your order, get a ticket, wait and then pick it up from the Pick Up window.
Can’t argue with an institution, right? This week Esquire released The Best Bars in America 2011 list which includes favorite newcommers and old staples. Two Capitol Hill DC Bars made it on the list: Tune Inn and Hawk ‘n’ Dove. Can you guess which category they were in? The Feast caught upwith Tune Inn owner Lisa Nardelli on making the list. Congrats!
Luke’s Lobster opened up yesterday and yes those lobster rolls are good. I was almost convinced to go with the shrimp or crab instead, but that almost like cheating. Looks like this joint will be super popular with the lunch crowd (I really admire people who can wait in sch long lines). A tip: go for dinner, it’s as quiet as can be.
Againn Tavern, the restaurant people have such a hard time pronouncing is shutting its Rockville doors. The Feast spoke to Whisk Group CEO Mark Weiss, and he says there’s a possibility of reopening after Memorial Day. For now, you can always go to Againn in DC.
If you like entertaining, Metrocurean brings us some Perfect Summer Party Menu ideas. Think International Backyard Bash or No Fuss Chili Party.