It’s the time of year for zombies, ghoulish pranks, copious amounts of candy corn and wondering how you can be the one sporting the best costume this year. So to keep building on that spirit, we’ve rounded up some of the places and events you should be checking out to get your trick or treat on. Click through for the full list after the jump.
I think it’s the combination of it being Cinco de Mayo week and my love for Mexican food that has El Centro D.F. as our Tweet of the Week winner.
So far it has less than 150 followers, but the restaurant is only one day old! It’s a good number if you look at it that way. El Centro D.F. (or @ElCentroDF)bills itself as DC’s “Premier Taqueria & Tequileria,” and according to my friends who tried it out yesterday, it just might be.
Just Because I Love Burgers
LOVE this post. EaterDC gathered three chefs and had them duke it out to see who could “create a burger that would make the presidential mouth water.” The brave participants were Chefs Todd Gray (Equinox), Victor Albisu (BLT Steak) and Brian McBride (Blue Duck Tavern). Albisu won the challenge, but all the burgers looked to die for.
Washingtonian tells us that New York-based Luke’s Lobster co-owners Ben Conniff and Luke Holden have signed a lease for a 700-square-foot space in Penn Quarter. They hope to open by the end of May. The menu will include, of course, those buttery lobster rolls, as well as clam chowder and Empress crab claws.
Prince of Petworth has the scoop on the old Post Office Building at 1407 T St. NW. According to the liquor license application, this would be a “casual and relaxed bistro restaurant serving an extensive Saturday & Sunday brunch.”
WeLoveDC Marissa got to baking this week at PAUL, a new bread shop and bakery in DC. PAUL officially opens May 2nd and will offer pastries, soups, quiches, French macarons, sandwiches and salads. So head down to 801 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
Cinco de Mayo!
Looking for a fun place to celebrate? How about sitting down (or standing up) at Masa 14′s 74-seat Tequila Lounge? Masa will celebrate Cinco de Mayo by offering five different flavors of margaritas for just $5 each on Thursday, May 5th. Just make sure to pair them with Latin-Asian tapas.
We Love Drinks authors Kirk and I were really spoiled this year. In 2010 with wine, beer and cocktails alike we saw a resurgence of the desire to enjoy and educate ourselves in the world of libation. Sure we still like a shot from a dive bar but we also love craft cocktails. It’s not a drunk town, it’s a drinks town!
In addition to the old favorites, a number of new places opened up. We found ourselves covering everything we could despite busy day jobs (it certainly improved my tolerance level. shut up, pesky liver, wine is good for you!). There was the continuation of the wine bar explosion with cosy Dickson Wine Bar, DC’s raging beer love with Biergarten Haus and the promise of DC Brau, luscious cocktail smoothies at Fruit Bat, the rough-and-tumble American Ice Co. – I know we missed a few, and I’m going to do my best to stay on top of 2011. We’ve got burning questions in the coming year – will the winter opening of Jack Rose get me to hang out in Adams Morgan again, or will the Bier Baron successfully revive the faded Brickskellar space (and reputation)?
Anything you’d like to see covered? Interested in joining our merry drinks band? Drop me a line, I’d love to know.
Now, on to my favorite Drinks moments of 2010!
Masa 14 – 3 by maxedaperture
Happy Cinco de Mayo, DC! 148 years ago, Mexico was able to defend an attack lead by a much larger French army. To celebrate their victory they drank margaritas, cerveza, and ate chips and salsa. I’m joking of course, but when it comes to drinking margaritas, I don’t kid around. That’s why I feel the need to tell you about the Cinco de Mayo drink specials being served at Masa 14 tonight from 5pm to 2am.
Priced at just $5 each, the flavors include hibiscus, blueberry, tamarind, coconut, and the signature house margarita. Additionally, the restaurant will be pouring a “Banderita,” or tequila tasting sampler, which will include three separate shot glasses filled with lime juice, homemade Sangrita, and El Jimador Silver Tequila.
Save me a seat at the bar, DC. These are not your father’s margaritas.
We Love Drinks continues our series where we look behind the bar, profiling the many people – from mixologists to bartenders, sommeliers to publicans – who make your drinks experience happen.
When Ivan Iricanin first tells me his favorite drink is tequila, I don’t quite believe him. After all, as beverage manager for Masa 14 with its 100+ tequila collection, doesn’t he have to say that? But the care is evident as he lines up a flight showcasing some exquisite ultra-aged tequila. And once I sample his simple margarita, I definitely believe him.
Ivan’s originally from Serbia, spending the past five years in DC and previously working with Richard Sandoval at Zengo. When I ask how a Serbian came to love a Mexican liquor, he mentions rakija, a fruit brandy usually made with plums. The best varieties are homemade and difficult to get. Traveling to Mexico as part of his stint with Washington Wholesale, he was reminded of his national liquor when trying the micro-tequilas – and of course Sandoval’s Mexican heritage was a huge influence as well.
Most Americans never get past mixto tequila, artificially colored and only 50% or so of it actual agave – the remainder coming from other sugar sources. “You’ll get a headache if it’s mixto,” Ivan says strongly, “all our tequilas served here are 100% agave.” This is serious stuff, with a regulatory council and bottle identifiers similiar to wine regulation. Ivan suggests starting your exploration with a flight – and what better way to completely wipe all memory of previous bad tequila choices than to go with a micro-tequila flight. Masa has six on the menu, and you won’t find them anywhere else.
As he lines up the gorgeous bottles with a card explaining each one, I’m thinking this could be dangerous, even though Ivan says the quality is flawless. I’m still relieved that fellow WLDC author Max is also along for the ride to help me with the tasting! Continue reading
You will not find a Washingtonian more grateful for the warm-ish weather that we’ve had this fall. I’m decidedly NOT a winter girl, and I’ve been known to curse coats and whine incessantly about the cold. While winter in DC is just something I must tolerate, sometimes I can assuage my pain with a really great bone-warming dish. I was lucky to run across a lot of those in November, and without really meaning to, my list of favorite dishes wound up being a list that could double-time as a ‘great winter dishes’ list as well.
So when you head out to spend your hard earned dollars on a meal, here are some dishes that are best bets for spending wisely. And to boot, they’ll even keep you warm. Continue reading
Unless you live under a foodie rock, you’ve noticed that 14th street has exploded lately. Eatonville, Policy (though Jenn says don’t go there), Birch and Barley, and, of course, Masa 14. Masa 14 is the new small plate concept by Kaz Okochi (Kaz Sushi Bistro) and Richard Sandoval (Zengo). The kitchen is led by Chef de Cuisine Antonio Burrell, who used to be at CommonWealth Gastropub.
Masa 14 has a large, industrial feel. Sleek and trendy, noisy, and totally packed. Fritz Hahn was right when he said it is the new thirty-something destination on 14th street. The crowd wasn’t the typical young quasi-hipster crowd I’ve grown accustom to at places like Eatonville or Saint Ex. But don’t for a second think this isn’t a stylish crowd – red lipstick, cuff links and afros all made statements there Friday night when Jenn and I stopped by to check it out. Continue reading
I’ll be honest with you, reader. I just didn’t feel like putting together foodie round-up today, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging. So instead, like a good food blogger, I decided to write about the flurry of restaurants expected to open this month. So on with you, we’ve got greek, latin-asian fusion, a gastropub, and beer drinker’s heaven coming atcha in October. Continue reading