Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Sugar and Champagne Affair

Photo courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
chocolate custard, cocoa crumble with roasted banana ice cream @ Watershed- Washington, DC
courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
It’s almost time for the Sugar and Champagne Affair — back next month for the eleventh year. As the name implies, Sugar and Champagne is a dessert and bubbly reception that benefits the Washington Humane Society.

Once again hosted by Chef Todd and Ellen Gray, the event highlights all things sugary and sweet, with chefs showcasing their confections. Of course, leashed dogs are welcome and encouraged to attend. So walk around with your favorite four-legged friend and eat desserts and doggie hors d’oeurvres respectively.

Chefs on-hand for the VIP reception include:

New this year: you can also meet contestants from TLC’s show Next Great Baker. Held Wednesday, February 1st, at the Ronald Reagan Building, the event begins at 6pm with the VIP Chefs’ Tasting Room followed by the General Reception at 7pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Food and Drink

First Look: Watershed

ws 003
You have to admire people who take a risk. Opening up a brand new restaurant in a brand new hotel in a growing neighborhood is exactly that. However, if successful, you’ll not only reap the rewards, you also might be part of the force that helped reinvent a neighborhood. In this case, it looks like Chef Todd and Ellen Gray, along with their Watershed in NoMa are doing just that.

NoMa, of course, stands for “North of Massachusetts Avenue,” north of Capitol Hill and Union Station. It has one successful BID too; you can check it out on Twitter at @NoMaBID. The Grays are currently calling NoMa and the Hilton Garden Inn home as they work to get their second restaurant up and running. If you don’t know the restaurant is there, you’ll definitely miss it, but it doesn’t seem like that’s hindered anything thus far and there’s still a Grand Opening to come.

In what I found perhaps most interesting, Ellen tells me that Watershed is the only independent restaurant with Hilton.  What I found funniest is that Chef Todd is working on controlling his language (typical chef cooking) in the kitchen, as it’s an open kitchen and no one wants to scare away the customers. But now, on to the food.
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The Daily Feed

This Week in Food

Photo courtesy of
‘Pound the Hill’
courtesy of ‘Samer Farha’

Watershed is open! Finally. Chef Todd and Ellen Gray’s second restaurant opened its doors last week. Not only is it one of the few restaurants that has actually managed to open on schedule, its menu also looks fantastic. So head to NoMa for some baked oysters and Carolina Style Barbequed Shrimp. I love that it also serves a “continental” breakfast…it is in the Hilton Garden Inn after all.


El Centro, D.F., aka taqueria & tequileria is opening up at 1819 14th St. next month. The restaurant actually spans three floors and will serve authentic Mexican comfort food. El Centro D.F. is a collaboration between partners Richard Sandoval, Kaz Okochi, and Ivan Iricanin, who also partnered on the neighboring Masa 14. I can’t wait to try the Tacos al Pastor with adobo marinade pork belly, cilantro, onion and grilled pineapple.


I wonder how many Toki Underground profiles have been written up so far. Either way, in this one, Washington City Paper’s Chris Shott writes: “Most chefs would profess to pouring a little heart and soul into every dish they make. Erik Bruner-Yang adds something more: a dash of DNA. ‘I taste every single bowl of ramen that leaves the kitchen,’ he says. Consider it a kiss from the cook. ‘Everyone gets a little backwash,’ he laughs.” So if you want to stand around for hours waiting for ramen…do. Worth it.

Pound Event

Pound the Hill will host an author talk with Garrett Peck, author of the newly-published Prohibition in Washington, DC: How Dry We Weren’t, on Wednesday, May 4 at 6:00 PM. Go here for more information.

Happy Eating!