Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Gift Card Giveaway to Seasons 52

Courtesy of Seasons 52

Now and then it’s nice to have someone treat you to dinner, no? Well, maybe this next one will be on us.

Seasons 52 has provided We Love DC with two $52 gift cards to give to two lucky winners. Should you win, you’ll get to check out the restaurant’s new autumn menu which launches on September 18th. Or you can also take advantage of the “flight and flatbread promotion” through September 30th, which offers a personalized wine tasting/selection and flatbread for $15 per person until 6:30 PM daily. Seasons 52 has locations in North Bethesda and McLean.

Here’s how the giveaway works:
For a chance to win a gift card, leave a comment on this post using a valid e-mail address between 8 AM and 4 PM today. One entry per e-mail address. We’ll close the comments section at 4 PM and two winners will be randomly selected and notified by e-mail. If you’re chosen as a winner, you must respond to the e-mail within 24 hours or you will forfeit the gift card and we’ll select another winner. Good luck!

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Food, Wine & Co.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Beets and goat cheese at Food, Wine & Co.
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

There are funny little ways in which you realize you’re growing up sometimes. Maybe it’s when you find yourself in a restaurant’s “wine library” and commit to yourself in your head that you really need to start investing more time (and money) in learning about pinot noir and its intricacies rather than picking a bottle based on the attractiveness of a label and how much cash is in your wallet. Or maybe it’s when you find yourself cleaning a plate of beets–and actually craving more–that you realize you and your palate are maturing in ways you didn’t realize were happening. About five tasting courses into dinner at Food, Wine & Co. I thought, “Maybe growing up isn’t so bad after all.”

If you’re not paying attention driving up Wisconsin Avenue navigating rush hour traffic, you could easily pass by the Bethesda restaurant without knowing you’re missing out on a great restaurant. Food, Wine & Co., which opened in late 2010, has found its groove as the neighborhood bistro its been branding itself as, despite some early growing pains. There’s a lively crowd on a weekday night in the main dining room, and if I were you, I’d take advantage of their small outdoor seating as the weather cools down.

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Artichokes at at Food, Wine & Co.
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

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Food and Drink, The Features

Boloco Opens Today in Bethesda with Free Burritos

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Boloco Bethesda
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

On a recent trip to Boston, an old high school friend and I were walking through town when we came across the burrito joint. “It’s Boloco! You’ve never heard of Boloco? They’re all over Boston!” he said. I felt like I was missing out on something with our burrito chains in DC. So the only reply I could muster was, “Dude, I don’t live in Boston.” A few months later the name (which stands for BOston LOcal COmpany) rang a bell when I saw they were opening in Bethesda, and I remembered the fervor with which my Bostonian friend talked about their burritos.

Before you read any further, here’s your free food alert: Boloco in Bethesda is giving out free burritos today from 11 AM to 8 PM. The small, mini burritos and bowls are free, and the original-sized burritos are just $1. Boloco is located at 4930 Elm Street, Bethesda, DC.
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Entertainment, Special Events, The Features

Summer 2012 Guide to Outdoor Movies

Photo courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie
courtesy of Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie

Summertime in the city–the daylight lasts longer, the outfits get shorter and the city has so many things to offer you outdoors. We’ve rounded up the outdoor movies in the DC area and put them into one comprehensive guide. Break out the popcorn and blankets and get ready to see what films are rolling this summer.

Washington, DC:

Screen on the Green
Where: On the National Mall, between 7th and 12th streets, NW
When: Begins at sunset
Movie Lineup:

Monday, July 16th: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Wednesday, July 25th: It Happened One Night
Monday, July 30th: From Here to Eternity
Monday, August 6th: Psycho

Follow @SOTGinDC for updates and more information.

Capitol Riverfront Movies
Where: Tingey Plaza (behind U.S. Department of Transportation), New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Streets, SE
8:45 PM/Sundown
Movie Lineup:
Thursday, June 14: National Treasure
Thursday, June 21: The Goonies
Thursday, June 28: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Thursday, July 5: City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold
Thursday, July 12: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Thursday, July 19: The Da Vinci Code
Thursday, July 26:  Muppet Treasure Island

Follow @CapitolRvrFront for more information.

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Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

FREE FOOD ALERT: Taylor Gourmet Bethesda

Photo courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi
9th Street Italian @ Taylor Gourmet, DC
courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi

Oh yeah. You heard me right. Free food (read: hoagies!) at the Taylor Gourmet in Bethesda in honor of their one year anniversary. If you stop by anytime from 11 AM til 8 PM today, you’ll get a free six-inch hoagie or pastina salad. Plus, Taylor Gourmet is really upping the ante by raffling off free hoagies for a year, a catered office party for up to 30 people (note: your office must be in Bethesda or Chevy Chase), 4 tickets to a Washington Capitals game and a paid Bethesda parking ticket.

So get yourself over to the deli. I’ll bet the line I gonna be pretty long…

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Quanta Robinson of Black’s Bar and Kitchen (Part 2)

Black's Bar and Kitchen-10
‘Black’s Bar and Kitchen-10’
‘courtesy of spiggycat

Summertime rolls around and if you’re like me and have a kitchen that turns into a sauna from June through September, you want to spend as little time as possible over the stove. That’s not to say that you’re willing to sacrifice having a good meal. After the jump, you’ll find chef Quanta Robinson’s recipe for Malt Mussels with Frites (read: french fries). It’s straightforward and doesn’t take a ton of time to cook. Plus who doesn’t love a brothy bowl of mussels with a good chunk of crusty bread or frites?
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Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: Quanta Robinson of Black’s Bar and Kitchen (Part 1)

Black's Bar and Kitchen-17
Black’s Bar and Kitchen-17
‘courtesy of spiggycat

A lot of people will say that food can open up a whole new world for a person, be it a new world of flavors and ingredients or insight into a foreign culture. Quanta Robinson, executive chef at Black’s Bar and Kitchen in Bethesda, sees it as her job to open people’s minds with cooking.

“It’s rewarding to hear, ‘I would never have tried ‘blank,’ but I did and I liked it,” she says. Quanta says that sometimes it’s as easy as changing the seasoning or the approach to a dish or particular ingredient, in order to get people to try something new (and like it). “I’m horrible with change, so I know it’s hard to break out of a comfort zone,” she jokes. But when a server or a guest at Black’s tells her that they enjoyed a dish they never thought they would, that’s when she can smile and cherish a “small victory.” “A lot of people aren’t chance-y or they’re picky, so it’s about making those people leave happy,” she says.
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Fun & Games, Interviews, Music, Night Life, People, Technology, The Features

DJ ReOffender: A Beat Refinery DJ

Pictured: Shea "DJ ReOffender" Mulcahy // Photo by Rachel Levitin

While a lot of us were off at the beach, visiting family, or at weddings this Memorial Day Weekend, Shea “DJ ReOffender” Mulcahy was busy turning a hobby into a professional freelance career.

ReOffender is a self-proclaimed “Man of Music.” When he’s not at his day job, he finds himself singing or at the keyboard writing songs. And him and his iPod? Well forget about it! If you saw him, you’d think they were permanently attached.

“Basically, music is my life. I love that anybody could express themselves through music,” he said. That’s what got him hooked on learning to DJ. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

We Love Food: Vace Italian Delicatessen

Photo courtesy of
‘Vace Italian Deli’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

Vace in Cleveland Park isn’t just an Italian market, it’s a way of life. The best way to explain this is with this little story. A friend of mine loved the pizza from Vace so much that every time he ordered it, he never made it home without eating a good portion of his order mid-commute. Not so interesting? Well, let me set the actual scene. He would order a large pizza while on the train at Metro Center, head up to Cleveland Park and spend the walk down Connecticut Avenue to his place in Woodley Park chowing down on half his pizza. I certainly hope some tourists leaving the zoo snapped a picture of this crazy dude, box top askew with pizza down his face. Now THAT is love.

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Business and Money, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, The District, The Features, They Make DC

They Make DC: Dolcezza

Dolcezza Robb and Violeta

This They Make DC marks the first entry in a series that will profile the various small businesses manufacturing their products in the DC Metro area. In these features, we’ll tour the facilities and shops where these goods are made and sold, with the ultimate goal to gain a deeper understanding of what it’s like to own, run and operate a business in our beloved capital city. So without further adieu, let’s kick this bad boy off.

Robb Duncan and his Argentinian wife Violeta met by chance in 2000 at a conference in Brazil. Two weeks later Robb flew back to Portland, Oregon, sold everything he had and moved down to Buenos Aires and they were married. While living in Buenos Aires, Robb fell in love with gelaterias. Having toured Italy, Duncan was very familiar with Italian gelato, and while he liked it, he was never blown away by it. So he was surprised when he discovered that Argentinian gelato, made by Italian immigrants and their descendants, tasted a lot better to him.  When Argentina’s economy crashed in the early 2000s, Robb and Violeta moved to DC, where he could get a job as a software engineer for the federal government and where Violeta could finish up her degree at American University. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Celebrate Redwood’s Second Birthday Tonight

Photo courtesy of
‘happy birthday, Amanda!’
courtesy of ‘staceyviera’

It’s Wednesday night. You’re tired. Your big plans are to watch Top Chef with your good friends Hint of Lime Tostitos and Diet Coke. Maybe you’ll even invite some guacamole along if you’re feeling extra social.

While that does sound like quite the party, there’s an even better option on tap for tonight: Redwood Restaurant & Bar’s second birthday in Bethesda. In addition to free hors d’oeuvres, you’ll also enjoy happy hour specials and live music from Donato Soviero and Latin jazz band Trio Caliente. At 9pm, the restaurant will show Top Chef on a jumbo 16′ by 18′ screen, allowing you to get your weekly fix of Tom Colicchio after all. The fun starts at 7pm, and the kitchen will stay open late until 11pm.

Redwood Restaurant & Bar is located at 7121 Bethesda Avenue, Bethesda Maryland 20814. Closest Metro: Bethesda (Red line). For more information, call (301).

The Daily Feed, WMATA, WTF?!

Would You Climb Up A Metro Escalator?

Photo courtesy of
‘La luz al final’
courtesy of ‘ndutzan’

Here’s an interesting find I read from my co-worker Meggiepoo: a man climbing up the escalator partitions at the Bethesda Metro Station after a Caps game back in May 2009. The video was found and posted over at Unsuck DC Metro and makes me wonder if he was over-served at the game, couldn’t take people standing on the left, or unwilling to walk up a broken escalator.

As a relatively new daily Metro commuter I can understand the rage we all get from overflowing rail cars and broken down elevators and escalators. I do have to give this crazy Marylander some credit, I’ve always wanted to slide down the partition but Metro smartly put metal bumps on them to prevent that kind of crazy behavior. Of course they now make good climbing grips for those willing to scale an escalator.

Of course we here at We Love DC are not endorsing this sort of behavior but I hope it gives you a smile during your lunch.

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The Features, Where We Live

Where We Live: Bethesda

Photo courtesy of
‘Monday Afternoon’
courtesy of ‘SWP Moblog’

It’s time Where We Live ventured into Maryland. And where better to start than Bethesda, the DC suburb that feels more like a city than many parts of DC. Bethesda is the perfect balance of city life and access to suburbs for its residents, and it has so much to offer that it’s a destination for even downtown DC residents. Read on for Bethesda’s best kept secrets and what you should check out next time you’re in the neighborhood.

History: Bethesda originally was a small settlement along a trade route that connected to Georgetown.  It got its name from Bethesda Meeting House, a church built in 1820.  There wasn’t much in Bethesda until the streetcar system connected the neighborhood to DC in the early 1900s.  The streetcar encouraged a boom in suburban development in Bethesda, which continued throughout the twentieth century.  The area got its office boom during World War II, when the NIH and National Naval Medical Center relocated here.  Bethesda continued to grow, and in 1984 the Bethesda Metro station opened, which led to even more high-density development and redevelopment.  Building on the office and residential concentrations located here, Bethesda has recently defined itself as a retail destination and lifestyle center with projects like Bethesda Row.

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Alexandria, Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, We Love Food

We Love Food: The Burger Joint

‘DSCF3611.jpg’ courtesy of ‘joelogon’

The Burger Joint (BGR) is the latest in a line of local hamburger shops trying to muscle in on DC-area institution Five Guys by offering a gourmet twist on this American staple. I went to their new Old Town Alexandria location to put these burger peddlers’ wares to the test.

There is no better food than a hamburger. A good steak comes close but really hamburgers take the title with their myriad of configurations. Easily a sit-down meal or a perfect eat-on-the-go, with a few toppings tweaks the hamburger offers all things to all comers (except maybe vegetarians). I have long been a fan of DC hamburger establishments and have been putting new offerings to the test for many years. I guess it all began back when I was accepted to George Washington University back in 1993. While quite happy to have got in, I was secretly celebrating the fact that I would soon be living less than a block from burger heaven, Lindy’s the Bone. Back in those days DC was a tale of two burger shops; Lindy’s Bon Appetit and Five Guys pretty much had you covered. For specialty burger creations it was Lindy’s and for the purist burger experience there was none better than (the now overly-franchised) Five Guys.

In the time I have lived here there have been many new burger contenders. Most notably Hamburger Mary’s (now defunct), ZBurger (not bad), Elevation Burger (yuck), and Ray’s Hell Burger (omfg!). Of those four, really only Hamburger Mary’s and Ray’s Hell Burger stand out and for good reason; Hamburger Mary’s offered truly excellent specialty burgers in a fun and funky sit-down dinner environment; while Ray’s continues to serve-up over-the-top, gourmet burgers in a real, walk-up-order, ‘burger joint’ setting.

The Burger Joint now enters into a field beginning to feel a tad cluttered. After all, Five Guys has expanded all over the city like a fungus, Lindy’s is still quietly rocking the Red Lion basement, and Ray’s is all the rage after the Obama/William’s visit. So how does a new burger shop stand-out amongst such stiff and varied competition? By offering the best pure burger in town, that’s how.
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Farm Fresh, We Green DC

Farm Fresh: Redwood Restaurant and Bar

Photo courtesy of
‘Cherry Tomato & Watermelon Salad’
courtesy of ‘snapzdc’

Here’s another feature where WeLoveDC authors Donna (greenie) and Katie (foodie) have paired up to tell you about local restaurants that take on the challenge of being green. Donna will explain the logic behind the environmentally friendly trends, and Katie will tell you if the food tastes any good. It’s a rough life, but someone has to do it, right?

Katie: Located in the heart of Bethesda Row, Redwood Restaurant and Bar is sleek, clean and stylish. With high ceilings and unsurprising wood decor, it’s a huge modern space with some seriously tasty food. And not only that, they do a great job of sourcing their products from local farmers, and utilizing the Bethesda farmer’s market, conveniently located right outside their door. Donna and I were invited to explore Redwood’s local food, so we went one Thursday night and sampled the fare and heard from Executive Chef Blake Schumpert exactly how he chooses the produce and meats he uses.

Donna: I like that at Redwood, they spell out their philosophy toward local foods up front, with a statement from owner and CEO Jared Rager posted on the Web site and a shorter message printed on the menus, so there’s no mistaking: “We are an independent, locally owned restaurant that showcases a seasonal menu featuring the best mid-atlantic ingredients available. Our produce, cheese, meat, and seafood is naturally-raised, organic, or sustainable whenever possible and is sourced from local growers. We’ve assembled a wine list from around the world with a particular focus on small production vintners who practice sustainable viticulture – making wine in a way which is economically viable, socially supportive and ecologically sound.” Hooray!

Katie: So with a clear mission, and a farmer’s market right outside their door, Redwood is an excellent place to eat some savory fare while feeling good about your meal’s carbon footprint. Continue reading

We Green DC

Making Bethesda Green

Cutting the vine

When most organizations celebrate an opening, they cut a ribbon. The folks at nonprofit Bethesda Green, which launched its new Education Center and Green Business Incubator yesterday morning, had a different idea. Shiny ribbons made from petroleum aren’t good for the planet, so they strung an invasive vine across the building’s entrance and chopped it up with giant shears.

In doing so, they opened Maryland’s first green business incubator, which will provide offices and support to entrepreneurs and create green jobs for the community. So far eight start-ups are involved, focusing on everything from rain barrels to sustainable food to charging stations for electric cars.

In addition, the new center will be a hub for people like you and me who may like to volunteer for planet-friendly projects. It’s off to a great start. Since forming just last year, this group has led a variety of projects, including adding 15 recycling bins to downtown Bethesda, hosting a local farms tour, researching ways to turn local restaurants’ used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel, collecting 180,000 pounds of used electronics, recycling toner cartridges for businesses and even reusing crayons for kids.

The celebration continues through Saturday, with an open house from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. focusing on sustainability in the community.
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The Daily Feed, WMATA

What’s Your Favorite Suburban Metro Station?

Photo courtesy of
‘Bethesda at night’
courtesy of ‘InspirationDC’

BeyondDC has a great post up today about the best suburban transit-oriented development (TOD) in the area.  The Washington region has some of the best examples of TOD, and places like Arlington and Bethesda have become national examples of how to create walkable, mixed-use districts in the suburbs.  BeyondDC thinks that Bethesda deserves the number one spot, with its great mix of uses and walkability.  King Street takes the number two spot, and Clarendon is third.

I’d argue that Clarendon deserves the title of the best TOD in the region– not only does it have a great variety of restaurants, offices, retail, and housing, but since it’s in the middle of the Rosslyn-Ballston Metro corridor the whole area is transit-oriented.  From Clarendon, you could easily continue walking to Courthouse or Virginia Square, but you can’t walk to any other Metro station from Bethesda, which makes it seem more isolated and car-dependent than Arlington.

What do you think?  What’s your favorite suburban Metro stop?  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Daily Feed

Don’t Miss the Big Green Bus

Photo courtesy of
‘school bus’
courtesy of ‘unai pascual’

The Big Green Bus is coming to Saturday’s Bethesda Big Train baseball game. This summer, 15 Dartmouth students are driving this bus, powered by waste vegetable oil, across the country to raise awareness and spur action on climate change.

You can see them at the 7:30 p.m. game at Shirley Povich Field in Cabin John Regional Park. Wear your Bethesda Green t-shirt, or buy one there, and you can get a free ticket as long as their supply lasts.

Downtown, Entertainment, News, People, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Fierce Fashion

Photo courtesy of
‘Christian Siriano in person’
courtesy of ‘sue blue’

It is physically hurting me that I will be missing seeing Christian Siriano in Bethesda on Friday, I almost cried when I had to turn down my invitation to his fashion show at Redwood.

The Project Runway star is coming to town as part of The Front Row, a three-day, five-block fashion event including runway previews, in-store style and beauty events, designer appearances, trunk shows and more at the fabulously fashionable retailers and restaurants at Bethesda Row.

But even if I won’t be there, you can go and make me jealous. For a full list of events happening this weekend at The Front Row, click on through to the event listing (PDF).

Food and Drink, Night Life, We Love Food

We Love Food: Black’s Bar & Kitchen

Black's Entrance BEST

Known as  one of the best happy hours in the northern Metro area, Black’s Bar & Kitchen is situated a few blocks from the Bethesda Metro station. WLDC author Acacia and I were headed to Bethesda to review Menopause the Musical (which you can read all about) and we decided we could make it a double feature – a We Love Arts and a We Love Food, all in one trip.  I would recommend you replicate our Bethesda trip, I enjoyed the play, but I will probably look back with even more fondness on our eats.

We stepped into Black’s and basically halted, it was absolutely packed. The interior is sleek, stylish and clean. The bar features two and four-seater booths are built into the back wall with a few free standing tables between the booths and the bar. Large windows look out onto Woodmont Ave. and the patio featuring a small modern pond. We couldn’t find a seat in the bar area, and it was one of those pre-spring days too chilly to sit outside, but we had plenty of time to waste before the show so we decided to wait it out. Soon thereafter a table opened up, but the wait gave us time to survey the crowd. Around 6 p.m., we were bringing down the median age – it was mostly a 35-55 aged crowd, complete with power suits and ties. But by the time we left around 7:15,  the average age had lowered considerably, and there were plenty more jeans and after-work twenty-somethings mixed in the crowd.

Black’s is also an oyster bar, with the goods laid out on display when you walk in the door. I was eager to try the seafood, so we grabbed beers and gave our order. Continue reading