Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Urbana Hosts November Lamb Feast

Photo courtesy of bonappetitfoodie
Border Springs leg of lamb
courtesy of bonappetitfoodie

Move over poultry, beef and pork. Lamb is taking over.

Following his victory at the Lamb Jam Finale this past September, chef John Critchley and Urbana are hosting a Lamb Feast. On Sunday, November 11th from 5 to 8 PM, you can get your fill of lamb dishes including Critchley’s 2012 winning dish, a lamb leg pupusa with queso blanco and lamb tongue curtido. Other dishes at the event include leg of lamb nachos with welsh rarebit sauce, slow roasted leg of lamb with white polenta and gypsy peppers, lamb pizzas and bruschettas, meatballs, tartare, as well as various sheep’s milk cheeses. Your ticket also gets you some sips of bourbon, beer and wine.

Tickets are $40 per person and can be purchased here.

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Features

We Love Food: July 2012 Events Roundup

Photo courtesy of yostinator
Pie eatin’ contest
courtesy of yostinator

The summer: a time when life in general is meant to slow down, so that you have that warm, fuzzy feeling of relaxation that you enjoyed so much as a kid when school let out. But rather than slowing down, the food scene in DC is picking up in the month of July. Here’s our roundup on what’s happening for the remainder of this month. Get your forks ready.

PAUL’s Bastille Day Baguette Race
Saturday, July 14
Break out that French maid costume. PAUL Bakery in Penn Quarter is hosting their 2nd annual Baguette Relay Race where the baton is replaced by the baguette. Racers will be split into four teams of six people, each led by a PAUL employee. The kid’s race starts at 10:30 AM, and adults get to race starting at 11 AM. Be the first team to finish the race around the U.S. Navy Memorial and each member of your team will receive a $25 PAUL gift card. You can sign up for the race on PAUL’s Facebook page.

All-You-Can-Eat Oyster Festival at Pearl Dive
Saturday, July 14, 2 PM to 4 PM
Natalia says: It’s Bastille Day Saturday, and what better way to celebrate the French than slurping oysters and some bubbly? Lucky for you, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack are having an all-you-can-eat oyster festival.  Priced at $65 per person (tax and gratuity not included), you can down unlimited oysters along with two varieties of beer and Argyle Sparkling Wine. Rappahannock Oysters and Stingray Oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters, LLC as well as Broadwater Oysters from Broadwater Oyster Company will be featured. If you need some visual motivation and want to become savvy on oyster farming, check out Marissa’s story on the Rappahannock River Oysters here.

Tickets to the oyster fest, starting at 2pm, are available at the door only. Shuck away.

Urbana’s Sixth Birthday
Friday, July 13 to Saturday, July 21

Happy sixth birthday to Urbana! You celebrate your birthday for a whole week, so why shouldn’t they? Starting with an oyster and beer happy hour on Friday, July 13th from 4 to 7 PM, you’ll get to hang out with chef John Critchley and slurp oysters for 50 cents each and drink Port City Revival Oyster stout for $4 per pint. After the happy hour, from July 14th through 21st you can get half a dozen War Shore oysters and a pint of the Port City oyster stout for $6 during happy hour from 4 to 7 PM, $10 glasses of Veuve Clicquot during dinner and at the bar during happy hour. And of course, a birthday wouldn’t be complete without something sweet: during the week all guests get a complimentary ice cream cone with dinner.

Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: John Critchley of Urbana (Part 2)

Photo courtesy of
‘Shellfish stew at Urbana’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

With spring finally in the air, chef John Critchley’s shellfish stew with coconut and lime is great for this time of year. The coconut milk and lime keep it light, but it still has a rich and creamy broth. For all you seafood wary cooks, this isn’t a difficult recipe to make, so it’s good for taking the plunge into cooking with shellfish. The flavors are great and it’s a dish that will definitely impress your friends.

Click through to find the full recipe after the jump.
Continue reading

Capital Chefs, Food and Drink, The Features

Capital Chefs: John Critchley of Urbana (Part 1)

Photo courtesy of
‘John Critchley of Urbana’
courtesy of ‘bonappetitfoodie’

Like many chefs, John Critchley, the new executive chef of Urbana, is cooking because he says, “I don’t know anything else.” Cooking, albeit his full-time job, doesn’t even feel like work sometimes. John started working in a kitchen in his freshman year of high school where he learned that many times your kitchen staff becomes like a family.

“I try to promote that same feeling in my kitchens now,” he says. “You spend 60 hours a week working with each other so it becomes a family. It becomes what you grow to love doing.”

While working in the kitchen creates a family of sorts, he does admit that it’s a challenge to balance everyone’s different cultures, attitudes and work habits. However, John strives to bring his team together and says that he likes seeing people reach their goals because it helps the development of his team in the kitchen. “I want to see my line cooks move up to sous chef. I want to see that they’re motivated to improve,” he says.

Continue reading

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Features

Eat Like Me: March’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘furcafe’
This month got off to a bit of a slow start food-wise. I had a few lackluster meals and a few blah-worthy chain restaurant lunches that didn’t bode well for a month of culinary excellence. I ended strong though, with trips to Bar Pilar, Urbana and my new love of my (edible H St.) life, Ethiopic. If it wasn’t for a superb crab cake at J&G, the lamb tibs at Ethiopic would take the cake as my favorite dish of the month. I also ate at a lot of old favorites, but tried to branch out. Sometimes it worked (the rice bowls at Surfside), and sometimes I didn’t (why I ever stray from the T.U.B.S. sandwich at Ted’s I’ll never know). But as always, I ate well, and I ate plenty.

Continue reading

Eat Like Me, Food and Drink, The Features

Eat Like Me: January’s Best Dishes

Photo courtesy of
‘264/365 – estadio’
courtesy of ‘dracisk 365/365’
It was a big month for me food-wise this January. I ate at a lot of new to me restaurants that treated me well (Estadio, Masa 14, Againn, Room 11) some new to me restaurants that didn’t treat me so well ([redacted]), and some old favorites that stayed my favorites (Tackle Box, Ted’s Bulletin, Market Lunch, Sticky Rice). And it was a big month for favorite dishes, so much so that some of my standards aren’t making this month’s best dishes list. Fear not, Brick sandwich from Market Lunch and tater tots from Sticky Rice, you’re still numero uno in my heart. Especially you, duck confit from Cork, Mommy loves you most of all.

Continue reading

The DC 100, The Features

DC Omni 100: #80 Bellini

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘quinn.anya’

It’s time for another item from the DC Omnivore 100 list of the top one hundred foods every good omnivore should try at least once in their lives.

As a huge fan of champagne based drinks, I was super pumped to take on the Bellini for this week’s DC Omni 100. Invented by Giuseppe Cipriani in Venice Italy, the Bellini is a refined take on the brunch staple Mimosa (orange juice and champagne) whose main difference is swapping out the OJ for peach puree/juice. This sweet, but slightly acidic cocktail can be both a fantastic addition to brunch (and can help ease Friday night’s hangover) or can be a great night/dinner starter.

Originally the Bellini was a seasonal beverage of puréed white peaches and Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine similar to France’s Champagne or Spain’s Cava. According to Cipriani sources, the original version could also include bits of raspberry or cherry in replacement of the seasonal peaches giving the drink a pink glow and making it a year round favorite.

When ordering a Bellini at a restaurant, it’s important to ask your server about the ingredients available behind the bar. If they have both Prosecco and peach puree, amazing! Order away. However, it can be a little difficult to find both ingredients at your local DC neighborhood bar. If you’re looking to enjoy a quality Bellini with the proper ingredients, then I suggest you try the bars at Urbana in Dupont, or Sonoma on Capitol Hill or Two Amy’s near the Washington Cathedral. At all these locations, they serve a fantastic Bellini made from top notch peaches and a high quality sparkling wine. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Urbana’s Repeal Day Soiree

Photo courtesy of
‘Gin Fizz’
courtesy of ‘Charles Haynes’

This Saturday, December 5th will see several celebratory events to mark the 76th Anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. If you’re in the mood to gussy up in vintage togs and drink gin out of an actual bathtub bar, then Urbana may have the right party for you.

Located in the super swank Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle, Urbana will feature a $33 prix fixe three course menu (1933, get it?) deliciously designed by chef Alex Bollinger (bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with polenta? now that’s the bee’s knees) beginning at 5:30pm and going through the evening. 1920’s music will complete the theme.

Classic cocktails like the Sazerac and the Gin Fizz will be available for $8 – and if you are in vintage attire, your first Gin Fizz is the “1920’s price” of 25 cents. Golly. If only I could get a cocktail dress for the 1920’s price.

Dupont Circle, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

$3 Pizzas? $3 sparkling wine? I’m There.

Photo courtesy of
‘Urbana Interior’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

One of my favorite Dupont lunch and happy hour spots, Urbana, is turning 3 years old! Next week, July 20-26, they’re running some badass happy hour specials – most of them for only $3. This is a recessionista’s heaven!

First, they’re running happy hour specials (4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) featuring rotating $3 small plate specials featuring dishes from Chef Alex Bollinger’s new summer menu. (Monday’s $3 small plate will be three bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with Laura Chanal goat cheese.) They’re also doing $3 Peroni, Estrella Galicia, Prosecco and house red and white wine, and $3 half-portion pizzas! The regular portion is enough to share, so you should be set for two drinks and dinner for $9!

Second, in celebration, Chef Bollinger is running a $30 three-course tasting menu featuring his newest summer items, with a selection of appetizer, entrée and dessert. The menu will be offered daily from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the restaurant’s dining room. All dinner guests can toast to and blow out candles for Urbana, and will receive a complimentary glass of Prosecco and a cupcake (with birthday candles of course).

Cheers to that!

Food and Drink, Night Life

Happy Hour Food: Health Kick

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘marciadc’

A few weeks ago, I put together a happy hour food guide for particularly yummy fried food in the DC area. This was easy. Almost too easy, if you will, because every bar in the world has fried happy hour food, most of it yummy because it’s fried. Duh.

So I decided to stretch my skillz, and put together a list of healthy happy hour food for those of us doing Operation Hot Summer Bod 2009, or just those of us who like to eat on the lighter, healthier side.  Cause there is still delicious food to be had at happy hour, just without the added saturated fat. Continue reading

Food and Drink, Foodie Roundup, The Daily Feed

Foodie Round-Up (April 13-17)

Photo courtesy of
‘The Pour’
courtesy of ‘maxedaperture’

It’s a drink-focused round-up this week, but I think that’s because spring is in the air and all of us are practically clawing at our office doors to escape to grab a beer on the patio with friends. That said – Earth Day, jazz brunches, cocktails from the city’s best mixologists and a new team at Sonoma make up all the news that is fit to eat in the District this week. Continue reading

Downtown, Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

Truly Thrifty

Urbana Interior

Recently, I had lunch in Dupont Circle with my work BFF. We chose Urbana as our spot because of the “Urban Lunchbox” deal they have going on – a full three course meal (+ coffee) for 11.95, with a dollar of that going to Arc of DC. (The Arc is a great organization that aims to improve the quality of life of all persons with developmental disabilities and their families.)

At Urbana, diners get a choice of the salad or soup of the day, plus any of the sandwiches or personal pizzas on the menu, and they’ll finish you up with a cookie for dessert. I LOVED it. The portions were very generous, and the fare healthy and well done. Urbana is chic, the service was impeccable and the deal was a complete steal. Normally, my pizza alone would have cost $13, but with the lunchbox I got salad, said pizza, dessert and coffee for that price.

Plus, I have a crush on every Kimpton Hotel, and Urbana is located in the Hotel Palomar on P street so I even got a peek at the stylish hotel lobby. Everything in that hotel is designed immaculately. Even the plates and dishware were trendy. Click through for a peek at my super-sleek coffee cup. Continue reading