Food and Drink, The District, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Hogo Preview

The info sheet handed out at Hogo’s media preview reads, “Hogo is part of a project called Temporary Works that hopes to bring new late-night dining options to Washington, D.C. by giving talented chefs a platform to cook bar food with their own twists. Located inside Hogo, Temporary Works has a dine-in kitchen that will be helmed by a cast of rotating chefs from Washington, D.C. and other nearby cities.” If you read recent City Paper coverage you might be asking, “would they really open a bar knowing that it would have to close in a year?” Your answer is thus completely out in the open, proudly announcing itself with the name Temporary Works. Hell, that’s even the name that appeared on the ABRA notice.

This cannot in any way be an impartial report. Regular readers of this site — especially the weekend posts — might by now have the idea that the Social Chair and I spend a lot of time at the Passenger, two doors north of Hogo. It should thus come as little surprise that we’ve come to be friends with brothers Tom and Derek Brown (and in the interest of the fullest disclosure possible, we have known their landlords and partners the Rupperts for even longer than we have known the Browns). We first met Tom in the company of the Rupperts after a “garage sale” at the Warehouse Theater, in the Passenger’s early days. Presented with the horrible beach cocktail book we’d bought at the sale, he admitted that what he really wanted to open was a rum bar with tiki drinks. Several years and uncounted Tiki Tuesdays later, he has realized that dream with Hogo. Not only have we known the new bar was coming, though, we helped paint the place and move the furniture.

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Food and Drink, Night Life, Penn Quarter, The Daily Feed

Cuba Libre Coming to DC

Photo courtesy of
‘Mojito’
courtesy of ‘Katayun’

Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Orlando – now DC will get its own taste of Old Havana when Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar opens at 9th & H Streets NW this May. I’m particularly excited by this news as Cuba Libre is known for its large rum selection featuring over 75 Latin American varieties. Will this mean that the naysayers who are calling for the death of the mojito will be proven wrong? We’ll see, as Cuba Libre is also known for this summery cocktail with 15 variations to choose from… at the very least, I’ll be happy to sip a Cafe Cubano after dinner!

The food menu will be overseen by Chef Partner Guillermo Pernot, 2002 winner of the James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Mid-Atlantic Region. Concept chef for the Cuba Libre restaurants since 2006, he’s said to be inspired to create dishes as if Castro had never come to power. Indeed, that pretty much sums up the restaurant’s concept – to celebrate 1950′s Old Havana in every way. Continue reading

Food and Drink, People, The Features, We Love Drinks

Drinks Special: Holiday Rum Punch

Mixing up rum punch

"Mixing up rum punch" by Jenn Larsen, on Flickr

The first in an occasional series where we ask local bartenders, mixologists and other libation lovers to show us how to rustle up some specialty drinks. As I can’t fit you all in my kitchen, I’ll bring my kitchen to you.

In just a few weeks, many of us will be joining family and friends for a relaxing, low-key little gathering known as Thanksgiving. Perhaps you’ve been asked to contribute something, and you’re racking your brain for what to do. How about punch?

Ok, not that kind of punch – I’m not advocating holiday violence! Though I know many of us feel like pulling a punch over the holidays, let’s get happy instead. Punch by its communal nature is festive, like an alcoholic water-cooler bringing everyone together as you dip and pour. To help get us in the holiday mood, Dave McCabe tested out my kitchen one afternoon with a winter rum punch. He brought the punch ingredients, we provided the cheese, everyone got happy.

Formerly a manager at Oyamel, Dave is now co-owner of Punk’s Backyard Grill in Annapolis. He explained that the restaurant is dedicated to serving healthy food at reasonable prices, and as a member of the Maryland Green Registry is an avid believer in sustainability. Dave himself is clearly a passionate proponent of honest and simple ingredients, both in food and in cocktails. This punch recipe is both easy and approachable.

But wait, let’s kick up the classic champagne cocktail first. You’re going to need it while you squeeze all those grapefruits and lemons. Continue reading