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Zaytinya Hosts DC Brau Beer Pairing Dinner


José Andrés’ D.C. restaurant celebrated local craft beer and innovative cuisine

José Andrés’ D.C. Restaurant Zaytinya hosted a craft beer pairing dinner highlighting cuisine from the eatery and brews for local purveyor DC Brau.

Beer was the focus during dinner at José Andrés’ Washington, D.C. restaurant Zaytinya, noted for its Turkish, Lebanese and Greek cuisine, on Feb. 11. Decanters filled with Hellenic wine were temporarily set aside to make way for local craft beers from the capital’s very own DC Brau. Executive Chef Michael Costa constructed the five-course menu that was paired with five distinct signature ales from the brewery with each dish highlighting the unique character of its match. Costa mingled with guests and explained his preference for using flavor harmony rather than contrast to showcase the variety of DC Brau products. What resulted was a happy marriage between the Zaytinya kitchen and Brau’s brews. Also in attendance were DC Brau CEO and Co-Founder Brandon Skall and co-owner–brewmaster Jeff Hancock who guided guests through the tasting and explained the production process behind each of their fizzy creations.

Dinner started with two bite-sized starters — a single fried mussel served in a spoon on a fluffy bed of garlic yogurt and a juicy mouthful of beef kibbeh nayyeh smeared between two paper-thin slices of spicy radish. Both of these paired well with a frosty glass of Model Citizen American Cream Ale. The brew’s round, buttered biscuit flavors provided a great alternative to the classic bread basket.

Next came a carpaccio of salt cod. Thin but juicy slices of fish were laid over a creamy potato skordalia — a thick purée flavored with crushed garlic and vinegar — which is a traditional accompaniment to cod in Greek cuisine. Cubes of local root vegetables, most notably spicy kohlrabi, were sprinkled over the top. The dish was served with a glass of The Citizen Belgian Ale and its powerful hop added a spicy note that harmonized well with the salt cod and garlicky skordalia. The beer was packed with flavor, yet stayed relatively light in body so as not to overpower the delicate textures highlighted in the dish.

A heartier course was the Papiatopita, house-made phyllo wrapped around braised duck meat and foie gras and fried golden brown. The duck-roll was served on a tender mound of braised wild greens (traditionally referred to as horta in Greek cooking), which tasted of garlic, minerals, and tannin. This dish needed a beer with a backbone and that is just what it got — a glass of DC Brau’s world class Imperial IPA, On the Wings of Armageddon. The latter was intensely hoppy with a mounting bitterness that complemented the woodsy flavors of the greens and the richness of duck Papiatopita very well.


All Restaurants from Burgers, Brew & 'Que

Chef-Owner Billy Durney offers his unique spin on classic barbecue that&rsquos inspired by the mix of cultures found in his home borough of Brooklyn. "It really is a melting pot," says Jonathon Sawyer, who is a fan of the Korean Sticky Ribs and the Lamb Belly. Michael Symon was won over by the inventive Lamb Belly Banh Mi. A buttery baguette comes slicked with a honey-tinged hot sauce and loaded with cilantro, pickled vegetables and smoked lamb belly that Michael says &ldquoliterally melts in your mouth.&rdquo

Left Bank Burger Bar

Burgers are the name of the game at this restaurant, which features innovative between-the-bun creations. A standout is the Ghostface Burger: A brisket-short rib patty comes smothered with smoked Gouda cheese, topped with sweet potato-bacon tots and finished with ghost chile jam for a fiery kick.

Black Swan

There are dining options aplenty in Brooklyn, but it’s this British-style spot that Michael Symon heads to when he wants a creative take on pub food from across the pond. “What sets Black Swan apart is the unbelievable comfort food,” Michael explained. He’s a fan of the Maine Lobster “PLT,” an amped-up version of the BLT that comes stacked with succulent lobster meat, crisp pork belly and a fried egg.

Sugarfire Smoke House

A smokehouse may seem like an unlikely choice for a fine-dining chef, but owner Mike Johnson’s passion for barbecue shines through in dishes like the Big Muddy. The smoky-sweet sandwich comes piled with smoked brisket, jalapeno cheddar sausage and housemade sauces that make for “great layers of flavor,” Michael Symon says.

Pizzeria Vetri

Sink your teeth into doughy goodness at this pizzeria that offers a tantalizing array of seasonal pies adorned with sauces and salumi created from scratch. Keep it classic with a margherita pizza, which Michael Symon describes as “the true expression of simplicity (and) great ingredients.” Housemade dough is slicked with red sauce, then topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Another standout is the Rotolo, a roll-up of dough, ricotta and mortadella that’s finished with pistachio pesto.

Oak and Embers Tavern

Dig into creative dishes here like the Smoked Chorizo Meatloaf. This new take on a classic starts with a blend of spicy Mexican sausage, beef and pork. A bourbon-based barbecue sauce is added to the mix, which is baked, smoked and seared in bacon fat, then topped with melty cheese and onion straws.

Fowling Warehouse

Beers and bowling pins are the main draw at this cavernous space, where you can work up a sweat playing the spot’s namesake game (a bowling-football hybrid known as fowling) and then grab some drinks at the fully stocked bar, which features more than 180 brews. “Fowling is much harder than I thought it would be, but it is tons of fun,” Michael Symon said after a friendly match here against Kendra Wilkinson.

Mighty Quinn's

Iron Chef winner Ken Oringer satisfies his sandwich cravings at Mighty Quinn's. “Why settle for a ham and cheese when you can have thick slices of brisket with cucumbers, pickled onions, pickled chilies, on the most delicious bread?” he asks, describing the brisket sandwich. When he’s craving chicken, the transcendent chicken sandwich is a must. “Once you have a bite of this, it will kick all others to the curb,” says Chef Oringer.

If you are craving a succulent short rib that is as massive as it is mouthwatering, try the imposing Brontosaurus Rib.

Bistro Byronz

The siblings behind this chain of casual restaurants have taken the Parisian bistro concept and given it a uniquely Louisiana twist. Michael Symon and Jay Ducote met up at the Baton Rouge locale for an indulgent meal that included the Croque Madame Burger, which features a slab of griddled ham and a poached egg stacked on a ground turkey patty, then drenched in a bacon-studded Mornay sauce.

DC Brau Brewing Company

“This is awesome! It’s like a treehouse with beer,” exclaimed Michael Symon when he stepped into the taproom at the DC Brau Brewing Company. Owners Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock draw upon both North American and European techniques to produce their beers, most of which are pale ales. Michael was left impressed by the On the Wings of Armageddon Double IPA, which he described as hoppy yet balanced.

Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill

Past meets present at Moonshine, which serves updated comfort food classics in a 19th-century space. Executive Chef Danny Kievit’s culinary passion shines through in creative offerings like the Peach Glazed Pork Chop. A center-cut chop is cooked sous-vide style in a brown-sugar-and-chile-laced brine, resulting in a flavorful dish that’s finished with a sweet-and-tart topping of peach chutney.

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Satisfy your comfort food cravings with a stop at Plan Check, where you can pair creative burgers with craft brews. The PCB (Plan Check Burger) features a beef patty dressed up with eclectic condiments like dashi-flavored cheese and chewy ketchup leather (think homemade-ketchup-as-fruit-roll-up).

Dooby's

This brick-walled spot may have a minimalist appearance, but the Korean-inspired dishes are all about comfort. A standout is the house burger: A hefty Black Angus beef patty is blanketed with cheddar cheese and crowned with housemade kimchi for a bit of crunch and acidity. The kimchi also adds some zing to another stellar dish, the pork belly buns. Slow-roasted pork belly is topped with the pickled cabbage, then doused with spicy and sweet sauces before being nestled in a steamed bun.

310 Bowery Bar

This spacious spot can fill up fast, particularly on the weekend, so snagging a table often means arriving on the early side. Patrons without a seat can mingle by the rustic-chic bar that stretches along one wall. Head here to order wine, cocktails and beer, including suds from local brewers like Long Island-based Montauk Brewing Co.

Wurst Bar in the Square

Michael Symon headed here to fill up on two of his favorite things: beer and sausage (most of which is locally made). He couldn’t get enough of the U-Betta Goetta, a hearty sandwich that features a Cleveland classic: the pork and beef Goetta sausage. It comes nestled on a four-grain bun and topped with hash browns, maple bacon gravy and a poached egg, making for a “meaty meal on a bun,” Michael declares.


The Best Beers to Pair With All Your Favorite Holiday Snacks

The emergence of &ldquocraft&rdquo beer in recent years means it&rsquos no longer uncouth to bring beer to a fancy holiday party. Regional microbrews and fancy imports are often every bit as complex (and expensive) as a decent bottle of wine, and readily available at most liquor stores.

But as is the case with wine, you should still make an effort for the beer you choose to pair well with the food your host will be serving.

So we recently swung by NYC beer haven Treadwell Park West &mdash where they&rsquore hosting a seasonal &ldquoaprès ski&rdquo pop-up bar through March &mdash to connect with beverage director and certified cicerone Anne Becerra on the best beers to pair with 11 popular holiday comestibles.

Below, her selects. Ask your host what&rsquos for dinner and pick one up on the way to the festivities this week.

Charcuterie and Cheese Boards
&ldquoSince the specific ingredients on a cheese/charcuterie plate vary so greatly, a versatile style like a French Bière de Garde is perfect. Bières de Garde have bready, honeyed notes (we already know bread and honey belong on a cheese plate), yet finish dry and effervescent &mdash ideal for scrubbing out any residual oils from the charcuterie.&rdquo

Examples: Castelain Blonde, Jenlain Ambree, Two Brothers Domaine du Page

Turkey
&ldquoI love nutty brown ales with turkey. The caramelized malt flavors are a great match for the crispy skin and dark meat, yet they&rsquore light bodied enough not to overpower the more delicate white meat.&rdquo

Examples: Newburgh Brown, Sam Smith Nut Brown, Black Hog Granola Brown

Frosted Sugar Cookies
&ldquoA German Helles lager (or golden lager) is delicious with classic sugar cookies. Helles is light, crisp and clean, balancing the sweetness of the cookie and leaving your palate cleansed and refreshed.&rdquo

Examples: Hofbrau Original, Stoudts Gold Lager, Jack&rsquos Abby House Lager

&ldquoWith gingerbread, you can choose something a little bigger to stand up to that spice. My pick is a Belgian Christmas Ale &mdash they have these great spicy, fruity, fermentation-driven flavors, plus they&rsquore strong and warming (generally what gingerbread season calls for).&rdquo

Examples: Delirium Noel, Gouden Carolus Christmas, N&rsquoice Chouffe

Baked Ham
&ldquoI love a classic Hefeweizen with Christmas ham. I use a lot of cloves in my recipe and the natural clove-like spiciness in a hefeweizen latches right onto those flavors. They&rsquore light-bodied and refreshing while still being extremely flavorful so they can stand up to the ham without overpowering it.&rdquo

Examples: Ayinger Brau Weisse, Schneider Weisse, Troegs Dreamweaver Wheat

The Grinch’s Roast Beast (Ed. note: We’re assuming it’s similar to prime rib)
&ldquoEven though something like prime rib may seem rich, it&rsquos a relatively light meat that goes incredibly well with an English-style ESB (extra special bitter). ESB&rsquos are delicately hopped with soft herbal, floral notes &mdash amazing with a rare slice of prime rib.&rdquo

Examples: Fuller&rsquos ESB, Morland&rsquos Old Speckled Hen, Strong Rope Exceptionally Sentient Beings

Tamales
&ldquoThere are a ton of great beer options to pair with tamales, but it really depends on the filling and the sauce. For this pairing, we&rsquoll choose a savory version with a spicy mole sauce and with these, I love a roasty porter. The rich, dark chocolate notes from a porter are great with mole, plus they&rsquore nice and hearty without being too heavy.&rdquo

Examples: Anchor Porter, Founders Porter, Bells Porter

Latkes
&ldquoAmerican Pale ales are fabulous partners for latkes. The citrusy, herbal flavors brighten up the dish, while the hoppy, bitterness on the finish is an ideal way to cut through the oiliness of fried foods.&rdquo

Examples: Sierra Nevada Pale, Half Acre Daisy Cutter, Maine Beer Co. Mo

A Mixed Popcorn tin
&ldquoA Vienna or Amber lager actually works with all three flavors in a popcorn tin. There&rsquos just a touch of toffee&rsquod sweetness, but the body is lean, the finish is crisp and they&rsquore very easy to drink.&rdquo

Examples: Great Lakes Elliot Ness, Brooklyn Lager, Abita Amber

Chinese Food
&ldquoOne of my favorite styles to eat with Chinese food is a Flemish Red. These oak-aged beauties are the perfect combo of sweet and sour. Think of them as an extension of your favorite sauce.&rdquo

Examples: Duchesse de Bourgogne, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge

Fruitcake
&ldquoA bubbly Belgian tripel &mdash the complex flavors of white fruit, vanilla and spices are a great match, plus they&rsquore strong enough that you&rsquoll forgive whoever brought the fruitcake in the first place.&rdquo

Examples: St. Bernardus Tripel, Victory Golden Monkey, Unibroue La Fin du Monde

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Beer & Bacon Fest = Fun..

Gee wiz..after seeing this Video, I Gotta go to Bacon & Beer Festival – Must be Fun Video – Save some money out of your Piggy Bank by purchasing Discount Tickets at TasteUSA’s Site – Beer & Bacon Festival All-Inclusive VIP Tickets (Save $10 Ticket)

Ohh, and if you can’t make it, the same people who organize this – the Trigger Agency – we also have discounted tickets to Beer, Bourbon & BBQ – Tysons VIP Tickets on Saturday, Sept. 20th, 2014..Cheers!

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler


BadWolf DC

DC Brau Dinners
Brookland’s Finest will partner with DC Brau on a series of weekly beer dinners every Wednesday throughout the month of December, starting Wednesday December 2nd, and continuing during regular dinner service on December 9th, 16th and 23rd and 30th. Chef/co-owner Shannan Troncoso will prepare a $35 prix fixe, three course menu with DC Brau pairings, including new seasonal releases, which will change each week. A sample menu is available here

DC Brau Beer Dinner

FIRST COURSE
– Stone Charcuterie –
Sloppy Momma Smoked Meats with Local Cheeses and Accoutrements
Paired with Stone of Arbroath Scotch Ale 8% ABV

SECOND COURSE
– Mama’s Lamb Shank –
Smoked Lamb with Spicy Curry Sauce, Pearled Cous Cous, and Seasonal Vegetables
Paired with Alpha Domina Mellis American Double IPA 8% ABV

THIRD COURSE
– Smoked Float–
Smoked Chocolate Ganache, Salted Caramel Ice Cream Paired with Penn Quarter Porter 5.5% ABV

Pies and Cakes To Go
Additionally, for the month of December, Chef Troncoso will prepare and sell whole pies from her arsenal of family recipes, such as red velvet cake with 'Grandma Q’s icing' which incorporates flour, butter, milk and vanilla as opposed to the traditional cream cheese frosting and a cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin infused cheesecake with an oreo crust.

Pies: chocolate chip pecan pumpkin-ginger seasonal fruit
Pies are $19 and serve 6-8 people

Cakes:
Triple chocolate with pecan-coconut chocolate icing
Fall cheesecake with oreo crust
Red velvet cake with Grandma Q’s icing
Cakes are either 8” (serves 10-15) for $50 or 10” (serves 16-20) for $65

To order, please call please call (202) 636-0050.
72 hours notice for ordering is required, and special requests are welcomed.


Craft Beer From the Nation's Capital

Spring is bustling time in DC. Tourists by the busloads are here to see the famous cherry blossom trees blooming along the Tidal Basin. Visitors on spring break enjoy long walks around the National Mall and locals get to cheer on the Washington Nationals as baseball season starts anew.

With so many people in town, it’s time they got to know some of the fine local breweries. These breweries can be found in some of the fastest growing areas of the city including Shaw, Brookland and Navy Yard. Brewery visits have become a popular activity among locals and visitors, prompting brewery owners to build large and inviting taprooms. Better yet, many of the locally made beers have become a staple at bars and restaurants across the region.

To help make selecting my six favorite brews a little less difficult, I have excluded limited releases. Most of these beers below can be found in cans and on tap across the city all year long. I have also tried to seek a wide spectrum of beer styles, which reflects the diversity available in the district.

The Public by DC Brau

As no trip to Washington DC is complete without at least a drive by of the Capitol building, neither can a list of the district’s top beers leave out The Public. This 6% ABV pale ale was the inaugural beer from DC Brau which helped set off the craft beer revolution in the city. DC Brau in 2011 was the first package brewery in the city since Heurich Brewing closed its doors in 1956 at a location that would later house the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Public, which won a silver medal in the 2019 NY International Beer Competition, emits a sweet caramel and floral aroma accentuated by mild citrus notes fortified by Centennial hops. Sipping The Public brings a rush of bitterness at first, amid hints of orange peel and grapefruit flavors. But a malt backbone imparts sweetness that makes for a nicely balanced brew.

District Common by Atlas Brew Works

This 5.1% ABV lager is anything but a common beer. It’s made with just the right amount of Czech Saaz hops, but with a crisp lager mouth feel. Its well balanced with some modest fruity ale notes, making it easy drinking without overpowering the palate. Yet with the Common you don’t sacrifice taste. While Atlas makes a wide variety of beers from West Coast IPAs to sours, the District Common always gets my vote—particularly when inviting new friends to craft beer. Atlas Brew Works is in the city’s burgeoning Ivy City neighborhood in Northeast DC, which means one can tie a visit to the brewery with a visit to Ivy City Smokehouse for some of best smoked fish anywhere.

Bare Bones Kolsch by Hellbender Brewing

At 4.7% ABV, this beer is one of best American Kolsch style beers you’ll ever have. It has a mild aroma but with full flavor and a light, fruity sweetness that balances a mild hop bitterness. It’s a great beer to sip when you want something more than just a lager. With a foamy head, you’ll taste some bready malts that go with almost anything on your plate from pizza to steak. I spent New Year’s Eve at Hellbender brewery in Northeast DC and the Bare Bones Kolsch was a great way to toast the memories of 2018 and bring on 2019.

Häxan by Right Proper Brewing

This roasty, full-bodied 4.25% ABV porter has a wonderful aroma and taste of dark chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. Named after the silent era Scandinavian documentary on witchcraft, Häxan is brewed with assortment of roasted malts and oats. It’s a relatively light porter but still velvety smooth. Right Proper also has a Coffee Häxan made with Honduras coffee beans from Backporch Coffee in Bend, Oregon.


DC Restaurant Buzz: Drink Cocktails for Charity, Wine Dinners & Events, Seafood Specials & More

After a brief hiatus, the DC Restaurant Buzz is back today. It’s a libation-heavy edition, including charity cocktail events, a number of different wine dinners and promotions, tap takeovers, new drink spots and much more, along with some seasonal springtime and seafood specials thrown in for good measure. Take a look.

Chefs Behind Bars on Thursday, May 28 at Stanton & Greene

On Thursday, May 28 from 6 to 8 pm, Stanton & Greene is hosting seven local chefs for a charity cocktail event benefiting No Kid Hungry.

The participating chefs include Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley), Hamilton Johnson (Vidalia), Adrian Salazar (Mango Tree), Louis Goral (Rural Society), Doron Petersan (FareWell and Sticky Fingers Eats & Sweets), Russell Jones (Jack Rose) and Mariah Tysz (Juniper at The Fairmont Washington, D.C.).

Enjoy signature drinks from all the chefs, along with small bites from host bar Stanton & Greene, for $45 in advance, or $50 at the door. Buy your tickets online here.

The Chefs Behind Bars happy hour will be hosted by DC’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry volunteer committee, hot off the heels of the April 2015 tasting benefit that raised more than $230,000 to help feed children in need more than two million healthy meals.

RAMMY Wine Program Finalists Hosting Specials May 25 to 29

Finalists for the 2015 RAMMY Award for Wine Program of the Year have exciting promotions planned for the week of May 25-29.

Iron Gate is hosting a Greek white wine tasting on the patio on Friday, May 29 from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The tasting costs $25 per person.

At Fiola, find special “Fiola Sparkles” deals on half bottles of Krug, Grande Cuvée, Reims, Champagne NV for $150 — which is a bargain, compared to the normal $195 price.

Proof is featuring six specialty wines by the glass, never to be listed again, and discounted at one time only pricing.

The Red Hen is offering several eastern European wines by the glass at special prices, including selection from Albania, The Republic of Georgia, Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia.

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the RAMMY Awards Gala by using #RAMMYSWine and mentioning @RAMWdc on Instagram with photos from the finalists.

Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine Events

On May 30th, from 2 to 5pm, the Park Hyatt Washingtonian will host its latest Masters of Food & Wine event. This time though, it’s taking place aboard Liberté, a 74-foot schooner departing from Annapolis and cruising around the Eastern Shore. Enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Blue Duck Tavern Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, along with wines and cocktails. Tickets cost $150 per person, and the experience lasts three hours.

On June 13th, visit the Park Hyatt’s Blue Duck Tavern in DC for a mini-Masters of Food & Wine event, this time inviting budding young chefs, ages 8 to 12, to don an apron and join Pastry Chef Naomi Gallego for an interactive cake decorating class. Tickets here cost $35 per child, including ice cream and snacks.

New Spring Cocktails at Blue Duck Tavern

But there’s always a good reason to head to Blue Duck Tavern, including their new spring cocktails.

The new lineup includes Cherry Quina, with Plymouth Gin, house-made cherry tonic with Bittercube cherry bark bitters and club soda Lose The Tie, with El Dorado Gold, Gosling’s black rum, house-infused banana rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, lime and orange The Best of Everything, with Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch, Hennessy VS, NV Blandy’s 5 Year Bual Madeira and lemon bitters Paulista, with strawberry infused Leblon Cachaça, lime, brown sugar and rhubarb syrup Kiss From a Rose, Hornitos Tequila, Los Nauhales Mezcal, peppercorns and lemongrass wild rose syrup, as well as the Pepperoiska, with Belvedere unfiltered vodka, cilantro, cucumber, black pepper and lemon. All cocktails are priced at $15.

There are also new seasonal “mocktails” on the menu, priced at $9. These include the District Ricky, with snap pea juice, lime, brown sugar and soda the Lavender Lemonade, with lavender tea, lemon and sugar, as well as the Soda and Spice, with house-made carrot vanilla soda and orange.

New Underground Cocktail Bar The Speak Opens

Seth McClelland has opened up The Speak, an underground cocktail bar which debuted this week on K Street. Find a seasonal wine and beer list, along with craft cocktails. What you won’t find is food – the only nosh is Lay’s potato chips.

You’ll have no choice then but to focus on the well-made libations, and the prohibition era decor for the 100-person basement bar. Find classics such as a Negroni or Moscow Mule, but plenty of new takes, such as the Bobby Burns, Scofflaw, New York Sour and Old Cuban. All cocktails on the menu cost $11, beers cost $5 and vodka shots are priced at $8.

The Speak is located downstairs at 1413 K Street NW. The bar will be open until 2 am Tuesday-Thursday, and 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights.

Cashion’s Eat Place Going Groovy for the 1960s For Next Decades of Cocktails Night

Head to Cashion’s on Sunday, June 7 for the latest installment of the Decades of Cocktails series, this time getting groovy for the 1960s. Bar Manager Dustin Beruta and Roofer’s Union’s Erin Goodman will take over the bar from 10 to midnight, while Chef John Manolatos will take the kitchen back in time, offering a special menu of 60s-inspired snacks.

Goodman has created her take on a classic Blue Hawaiian cocktail – the China Cat Sunflower. Goodman combines a housemade Port City Maniacal Hops tincture (using citra and centennial hops) with One-Eight Vodka, El Dorado Blanco Rum, Orange Curacao, Fresh Pineapple and Lime Juices, and Simple Syrup, for a current take on the tiki classic.

Beruta is reviving the old Three Martini Lunch tradition, throwing back to a more sophisticated time when business executives could enjoy leisurely afternoon cocktails during the work day. Beruta has created a trio of miniature (2 oz.) variations on classic martinis, all served on a tray in mini martini glasses:

Goldfinger: Absolut Elyx Vodka and house Rhubarb-Infused Dolin Dry Vermouth. Shaken, not stirred.

Silver Bullet: Deepwells Dry Gin, stirred, and poured into an Uncouth Vermouth Serrano Chile and Lavender Vermouth-spritzed glass.

Aquavit Martinez: Gambe Ode Celebration Aquavit, Yzaguirre Rojo Reserva Vermouth and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

Chef Manolatos has created a special menu of nostalgic snacks, such as Madison Avenue Deviled Eggs with Caviar ($9), “Stuffed Celery Sticks” with braised local Celery, Gorgonzola and Pancetta ($7), Shrimp Cocktail with house-made Cocktail Sauce and Avocado ($12), “Chicken a la King” with braised Poussin, Carrots, Peas and Chicken Veloute over Biscuits ($11), and Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon with Baguette ($13).

Next, it’s the 1970s on July 12th with Rico Wisner of Ambar (drinks) and Brad Walker of Boundary Stone and Sam Adkins of Sally’s Middle Name (food) and the 1980s on August 2nd with Duane Sylvestre of Bourbon Steak and Megan Coyle of Hank’s Oyster Bar.

701 Restaurant Hosting Wine Dinner with La Follett Wines May 28th

Join 701 Restaurant and La Follette Wines on Thursday, May 28th at 7 pm for a four-course wine dinner priced at $95 per person. Winemaker Greg La Follette will orchestrate pairings of La Follette’s North Coast Chardonnay, Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Pinot Noir, and Van Der Kamp Pinot Noir.

Food includes a first course of old bay poached shrimp with charred avocado, celery slaw and fried peanuts followed by a sunflower seed risotto with morel mushroom jam, parmesan and spring herb pesto an entree of dry aged New York strip loin with root vegetable gratin, royal trumpet mushroom and caramelized pear butter and a “variations of chocolate” dessert.

Ambar Hosts Balkan Wine Dinner June 7th

Ambar is hosting a Balkan wine dinner with their neighbors from Chat’s Liquors, on Sunday June 7th from 6 to 7:30 pm. The five-course meal will feature Balkan wines, focusing on pairings of unique and affordable wines imported from the Thracian Valley region of Bulgaria. Guests will sample Bulgariana Cabernet Sauvignon, Thracian White Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah, and the Imperial Red Blend.

To eat, start with a mezze platter including a chef’s selection of Balkan meats Prokelj Sa Slaninom, Brussels sprouts with bacon, and topped with a lemon and garlic yogurt Manastirska Piletina, almond crusted chicken with walnut, green apple, chive and wasabi mayonnaise Grilovane Kobasice, homemade sausage and for dessert, a reforma cake with walnuts, Dolcela chocolate icing and passion fruit espuma, served with baked apple ice cream.

City Tap House Hosts Tap Takeover with Wicked Weed Brewing & New Belgium Brewing June 6th

Switching from cocktails and wine to beer, join City Tap House on Saturday, June 6th, for a tap takeover with Wicked Weed Brewing and New Belgium Brewing from 7pm to close.

They’ll feature 10 draft lines dedicated to each brewery, including some exclusive offerings for the market. Also expect to find some special food pairings on the menu, including fried pulled pork mac & cheese with BBQ ranch, and a North Carolina pulled pork shoulder sandwich.

Macon Bistro Launches Sunday Supper Series

Recently appointed Chef de Cuisine Jenna Pool has reunited with Executive Chef Daniel Singhofen and will lead the Sunday Supper experience at Macon Bistro & Larder in Chevy Chase.

The dinner series will debut on Sunday, June 7, and will feature a three-course prix fixe at $55 per person. It’s an intimate experience enjoyed at two eight-seat tables adjacent to the kitchen, with Pool introducing each course as it’s served.

The menu will focus on fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Each Sunday there will be two seatings, at 6pm and 8pm.

Joe’s Offering Buttermilk Fried Soft Shell Crab

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is getting into the fun with soft shell crabs this season. They’re offering a buttermilk fried soft shell crab for both lunch and dinner for $14.95. You can also get it on a sandwich with fries for $17.95.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace Hosts Bottom Blue Catfish Fridays

Due to the recent surge in population of invasive Blue Catfish, the Chesapeake Bay is facing a major threat to its ecosystem. Species such as Blue Crab, Rockfish and Flounder are now struggling to survive due to the invasion of the Blue Catfish, which feeds on native Chesapeake fish and wildlife.

With that in mind, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace chef owner Jeff Black will be offering a Bottomless Blue Catfish special every Friday beginning June 5th. The Beat the Blues and Save the Bay special, which will be available for $23, includes a bottomless serving of cornmeal crusted fried catfish with guest’s choice of spicy cole slaw or bacon braised collard greens, along with hushpuppies with cayenne aioli, and a pint of local Denizen’s beer.

Dragon Creek Oyster Festival at Bastille

Join Bastille for a patio party on May 27th from 6 to 8pm featuring Dragon Creek Seafood & Oyster Company. Bruce Wood, owner of Dragon Creek, will be shucking his fresh Chesapeake oysters while they last, along with an available feast from the menu, including peel and eat shrimp, clams and other seafood, paired with Champagne, Muscadet and beer.

Met Bethesda Hosts Lobster Wednesdays

The new Met Bethesda, located in the Westfield Montgomery Mall, is offering a special promo starting on June 17th. Join them on Wednesdays for Twin Lobster Wednesdays, with four different lobster dishes available at $24.99.

The lineup includes the Twin Maine Lobsters, steamed or grilled Salt & Pepper Fried Twin Maine Lobsters, served with stir-fried vegetables and a house-made ponzu sauce Lobster Roll with freshly shucked Maine lobster and green leaf lettuce, served on a buttered roll, and the Lobster Mac n Cheese with four cheese and buttery bread crumbs.

The dishes are available every Wednesday through September 2nd, starting at 5pm each week.

Fish & Chips Around the District

More seafood specials and spotlights … several spots around the District are showcasing Fish & Chips for the season…

At Penn Commons, Fry-day night is celebrated at 10pm with a Wisconsin Fish Fry, featuring beer-battered fish with sides of fries, coleslaw and house-made tartar sauce. Sister restaurant District Commons is offering beer battered fish with the District Common ale by Atlas Brew Works, served with chips and sweet pickle remoulade.

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Arlington is offering Mexican-style fish & chip specials like the Pacifico beer-battered local Blue Catfish with yucca fries. The special dish comes with Valentina Salsa Picante, direct from Guadalajara.

Acadiana is offering thinly sliced catfish lightly coated with cornmeal and golden fried, offering a delicate crunch. Served with hearty, thick fries and smothered in a tangy house-made tartar sauce.

New Seasonal Lineup from DC Harvest

DC Harvest is presenting a brand new seasonal menu from snacks and cocktails to main courses in the dining room.

New cocktails include Springthyme – Green Hat Navy Strength Gin with grapefruit, thyme, dry vermouth and Riesling Rising Sun – Pritchards Silver Rum, Leopold Bros. Maraschino liquer, grapefruit and lime Pink Headed Stepchild – basil infused vodka, lime, ginger beer and Peychaud’s bitters and Virginia Kolsch and Creek Happy Hour special–a VA duo of can of Champion Killer Kolsch beer and shot of Catoctin Creek Rye.

Happy hour snacks include Pepperoni Parmesan “Doughnuts” with creole mustard and micro herb salad.

For entrees, find new dishes such as Wild Chesapeake Bay catfish with grilled asparagus, carrot basil puree and pistou sauce cornmeal crusted Langenfelder farms bone-in pork chop with herb farroto, carrots and pickled green tomato/cucumber relish Roseda Farms house-made, house-Hickory smoked boneless short ribs with cheddar grits and grilled asparagus Homemade Semolina Garganelli with baby Swiss chard roasted carrots, basil and creamed leek sauce finished with toasted breadcrumbs spelt linguine carbonara with house cured Cherry Wood Smoked Bacon, duck egg and pea shoots and pan roasted scallops with a trio of peas English peas, snow peas, and pea shoots, finished with Chermoula sauce.

Cava Grill’s 9th Location Opens in Fairfax on May 26

In its first opening of 2015, with four more on the way this summer, Cava Grill will debut in Fairfax on May 26. Enjoy free lunch from 11am to 2pm, or free dinner from 6 to 9pm, with encouraged donations to their nonprofit partner City Blossoms.

Later this summer, Cava Grill will debut at Reagan National Airport and in Ashburn, and then head out west, with two Cava Grills in Los Angeles, CA set for the fall.

Cava Grill Fairfax is located at 11046 Lee Highway.

Mango Tree Names Adrian Salazar New Executive Chef

Mango Tree DC General Manager Robert Hall is pleased to announce that Adrian Salazar has been appointed executive chef of Mango Tree DC, open since the start of the year in the chic new CityCenterDC.

Since his promotion, Salazar has wasted no time enhancing his reputation as a local sourcing and farm-to-fork fanatic, having persuaded local farmers to start growing Thailand aubergines for Mango Tree. Next month he plans to visit Chesapeake Bay’s oyster and soft-shell crab fishermen to foster a closer relationship and get the inside track on the best and freshest seafood, with a view to offering two or three locally-sourced seafood specials to Mango Tree diners daily.

Salazar first came to Mango Tree’s attention during his 2013 stint at Zaytinya, as sous chef working with Michael Costa at Jose Andrés’ bustling Penn Quarter landmark. Then in December 2014, he was tapped to join Mango Tree as sous chef for the restaurant’s January 2015 launch, becoming a vital member of its opening team.

Salazar said when he dared to dream, it was that one day he might be renowned for helping advance the art of Thai cuisine in the manner of Andy Richter of Pok Pok or David Thompson of Nahm.


Seared Halloumi Cheese

Fan favorite for more than a decade. Our oldest had her 12th birthday dinner there. The giant White bean and Kale salad is amazing.

Fattoush
Crispy Eggplant
Labneh
Seared Halloumi
Warm Pita Pockets

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  • Jordan A.
  • Rosslyn, Arlington, VA
  • 379 friends
  • 35 reviews
  • 49 photos

José Andrés, you have done it again. When I walked into Zaytinya and was pleasantly greeted by the restaurant's bustling but upscale vibe, I knew I was about to experience exquisite dining and service that was out of this world.

Food (9/10): Zaytinya takes your classic Greek and Mediterranean favorites to the absolute next level--gourmet but still honoring the classic recipe--while also offering upscale, prepared-to-perfection dishes. Every single spread was so rich with stunning Mediterranean flavor and the flawless texture. Spreads and tapas, like their Hommus Ma Lahm, Baba Ghannouge, Spanakopita, and Seared Halloumi Cheese , are must-gets! At most Mediterranean restaurants, lamb is a staple, and here at Zaytinya, it was no different. Zaytinya's lamb was actually out of this world-- I recommend getting any and every lamb dish you can!! Zaytinya's Keftedes Kapama (beef and lamb meatballs) were melt-in-your mouth and some of the best lamb meatballs I've had. As our entree, we shared Zaytinya's Lamb Shoulder, which was so perfectly braised and juicy with stunning flavor. The Trio of Assorted House-Made Ice Creams and Sorbets is the perfectly light ending to our fabulous meal.

Atmosphere (8/10): Zaytinya's modern, chic, and super upscale atmosphere only added to my dining experience here. It is the perfect spot for any type of celebration, big or small.

Service (8/10): Our server was so on-top-of-it. The second my wine began to dwindle, our server was back with the bottle to offer me more. She was quick to take our orders and bring our food out at the perfect time. She was also funny and super sociable and knew more about the menu than we could have asked.

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  • Juliana K.
  • Washington, DC
  • 145 friends
  • 61 reviews
  • 60 photos
  • Elite ’21

The menu should be a little more curated. There were so many items on the way, some of them sounding very similar to each other. It was hard to know what to order and how big the portions would be. It could have been a 5/5 experience if we had ordered all the right things, but ultimately, it was a mixed bag.

standouts - Tzatziki, Crispy Brussels Afelia (big portion)

mediocre - Spanakopita, Octopus Santorini,

letdowns - Seared Halloumi Cheese , Sea Scallops (slightly rubbery), Shish Taouk (super small portion)

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  • Lauren G.
  • Denver, CO
  • 103 friends
  • 155 reviews
  • 112 photos
  • Elite ’21

This is an unfortunate, yet seemingly common, example of an overhyped restaurant.

The seared Halloumi Cheese ( with dates, pomegranate, citrus, mint, pistachio) was the highlight of our meal, but even it fell a bit flat. The cheese wasn't particularly hot or melty, which I suppose is as-described if it's only " seared ," but it just wasn't great. I couldn't detect the citrus, and the pomegranate was also scant.

The Bantijan Bil Laban (crispy eggplant, roasted garlic yogurt, pistachio, barberries, mint-cardamom spice) sounded amazing - I mean, who could resist that menu description? But literally none of those flavors were detectable. It was a battered and fried piece of eggplant and really nothing else. It wasn't even adequately salted.

The Chicken Youvetsi - described as "chicken braised with tomato and cinnamon, kefalograviera cheese , kritharaki pasta," was a bowl of overcooked mushy orzo with some ground chicken mixed in. It tasted of tomato and cinnamon as promised, but the texture was one-dimensional (mush) and it just kind of sucked.

The tzaziki sauce was fine, but I've had better from take-out counter divey kebab joints.

The warm pita that was served with the meal was fresh/hot and delicious.

The bartender also started sharing his political opinions about issues that had nothing to do with anything after I mentioned I respected Jose Andres for his philanthropy. (We're in DC - don't bring politics into it. You don't know who we are or who we could work for, what we believe, whether we agree, etc. I didn't come to dinner to hear the bartender talk about who he hates, etc.). This was totally off-putting and really ruined the rest of our dinner. The service was also slow and inattentive prior to this, even with a 95% empty bar.

Sadly, these celebrity chef restaurants often disappoint us. Zaytinya was no exception.

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  • Winnie L.
  • Toronto, Canada
  • 2 friends
  • 59 reviews
  • 289 photos

Was in Washington DC with a colleague for a conference and found this restaurant on Yelp. It was about a 9 minute walk from our hotel and given the high ratings, we thought we would try it. It was a Sunday night so we didn't have to wait for a table but the restaurant was busy. The inside of the restaurant was very bright and airy with high ceilings and very modern. It is tapas style so we ordered 6 dishes to share between the 2 of us. We ordered the Octopus Santorini, Eriste (traditional Turkish pasta cooked in a rich shellfish broth, shrimps, squid, octopus, with grated walnut), kibbeh (beef and bulgar wheat fritters, almonds, pine nuts, currents), cauliflower tiganites, seared halloumi cheese , shish taouk, and for dessert, we had the Galatopita (semolina custard, crispy phyllo, almonds, raspberry sorbet). The octopus was so tender and flavourful. The Eriste was my favourite-the pasta was just the right amount of chewiness and the broth was very tasty and seasoned well. The cauliflower was also seasoned well and very tasty. The Halloumi cheese went well with the dates and the shish taouk chicken was very tender and very tasty. While the kibbeh was good, it was not my favourite dish as it was a bit too dry for my liking. The Galatopita dessert was really good after a full meal as it was very light. The phyllo pastry was very crispy and went well with the custard and raspberry sorbet. We both had a Turkish coffee which was really good - it was strong but not bitter. We both really enjoyed the dinner and would definitely come back again next time when visiting DC.

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  • Danny Y.
  • Beverly Hills, CA
  • 37 friends
  • 901 reviews
  • 104 photos
  • Elite ’21

Service is outstanding. Food is great. I love the fresh pita they bring and the oil olive and what I think is balsamic. This is a tapas place so each person should get about 2-3 items and everything should be shared I recommend the labneh, falafel, and seared halloumi . I got these items but I would probably swap them out for something else, not cause they are bad but because I want to try something else: bantijan bil laban, spanakopita (heavy and strong flavor), and bronzino. Ice cream is not your typical ice cream but still yummy.

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  • Lindsey M.
  • Washington, DC
  • 234 friends
  • 113 reviews
  • 241 photos
  • Elite ’21

I could eat at Zaytinya everyday. I practically do. Lunch and brunch specials make it affordable and the food cannot be beat. The hot pillowy bread will change your opinion on what a pita should taste like. I have my go-to dishes I have to order every time: the mushroom couscous, seared Halloumi cheese , the crispy eggplant, and dill shrimp. The labneh is imported from a dairy farmer in the Middle East that makes proprietary yogurt just for Jose Andres. So you literally can't eat this food anywhere else. Also Jose is often eating at a table right next to you. My ultimate fan girl moments.

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  • Betsy L.
  • Tucson, AZ
  • 66 friends
  • 141 reviews
  • 345 photos
  • Elite ’21

This is a great place to go with a group! The plates are all small and the best thing to do is order a wide variety and then share everything. Everything my group got was absolutely delicious, but I particularly recommend the bantijan bil laban (crispy eggplant), seared halloumi cheese , and eriste (pasta in a seafood broth with shrimp, octopus, and squid).

The atmosphere is very lively and fun here, and the decor is lovely. Our server was highly attentive, and hot pita bread is regularly delivered to your table throughout the meal.

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  • Sarah-Bradley D.
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 689 friends
  • 237 reviews
  • 532 photos
  • Elite ’21

Honestly it's probably for the best I didn't discover this gem while I was living in DC because it's where all of my money would have gone. Seriously it's that good. We went for brunch but chose to follow the lunch menu and had the best experience. The ambiance is light and airy, service gets 10 stars - our waiter was so knowledgeable and helpful. There were three of us and we all ordered the margarita, it was fun and different with a salty foam instead of rim that had a bite to it. For food we went with the sausage flat bread, seared halloumi cheese , spanakopita, gambas and lamb kleftico and it was all absolutely incredible. I don't think I could narrow down a favorite. Five tapas was perfect for our group of three and given most our food was made of cheese , we didn't feel heavy or too full upon leaving. Highly recommend this as a stop while in the city!

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  • Ji H.
  • Seattle, WA
  • 1 friend
  • 13 reviews
  • 5 photos

I finally got to try this place. I went for dinner and ordered 6 dishes and shared with another person.

- Baba Ghannouge
- Mushroom Saganaki
- Seared Halloumi Cheese
- Octopus Santorini
- Sea Scallops
- Keftedes Kapama

My favorites were Seared Halloumi Cheese and Sea Scallops. The most disappointing dish was Octopus Santorini. I was so excited to try this because I read so many positive reviews on Yelp. First, I was surprised at how tender the octopus was but then I could only taste the saltiness afterwards. We could not finish because it was SO SALTY, and it ruined our taste bud for rest of the dinner. We had to just keep eating the pita bread and drink water to get rid of the saltiness. Also, our octopus pieces were TINY compared to pictures I've seen online. Everything else was OK, nothing too special about them. If the restaurant was not so busy and hectic, I would've probably talked to our server.

I had a pretty high expectation but I was pretty disappointed after the dinner. Also, there was a huge timing gap after we received our first four dishes. We were waiting for awhile without anyone checking up on us until we got our last two dishes.

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  • Erik B.
  • New York, NY
  • 319 friends
  • 196 reviews
  • 444 photos
  • Elite ’21

For years, I've been coming to this restaurant with friends and family due to their ambient atmosphere and delicious tapas dishes. The environment is conducive to eating home-cooked, well mixed dishes on a lively Friday or Saturday night prior to visiting the surrounding nightlife. This time around, our group of 6 people ordered

2-3 dishes per person including favorites like the Fattoush salad (cucumber, tomatoes, pita chips), seared halloumi cheese and the kotopoulo youvetsi (chicken orzo mixed with spices).

Overall, the food was delicious. Each dish was hand crafted with even the hummus spread across the dish in a purposeful matter. But our issue was the service and timing. We received dishes in piece-meal fashion, one after another, without a clear flow. Getting the check was another challenging feat with our waitress. Granted, our table was tucked away in the top corner (second floor) of the restaurant making it harder to access.

Zaytinya is not super fancy. It's owned by a top chef in the DC area (Jose Andres) and has the reputation of always providing superb quality. I agree with this reputation and our dining experience certainly mirrored that but the 3-stars falls in line with their service and timing.

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  • Kavisha S.
  • Saint Paul, MN
  • 15 friends
  • 76 reviews
  • 7 photos
  • Elite ’21

My family and I love middle eastern food. We decided to try Zatinya on our most recent vacation to DC since it had a great vegetarian option in tapas style. Therefore we ordered multiple plates for the whole family to share.
I loved that they brought us warm pita at the beginning of our meal it was simple but delicious. We started with hummus and baba ghanoush. The hummus was a bit sour but the baba ghanoush was delicious. WE also had the chilled persian cucumber soup. It had various ingredients which all complemented each other in the yogurt based soup. My only complaint is that the food overall came out rather quickly that we were not able to enjoy our appetizers.
For the entrees, we had Ímam Bayildi which was delicious however, we also had a second eggplant dish which was Bantijan Bil Laban a bit bland. I love halloumi because it reminds me of the indian cheese paneer which is a bit more salty. The seared halloumi cheese was delicious and very filling. The ottoman pilaf was very simple but tasty with great Mediterranean flavor.
This was quite filling for a family of 4, but since we are on vacation, we had to have dessert of course. We had the Turkish Delight which was ridiculously good. It was made with walnut ice cream accompanied with honey gelee and orange caramel sauce. I would order this dessert hundred times over. We also had a trio of ice cream which included baklava and rose ice cream which were amazing. The baklava ice cream had small pieces of baklava. The third ice cream was not good and we left it at the table. There are four options for the trio of ice cream, and if you are going to order it I would to do the two above and the walnut. We didn't order the walnut because it was part of our first dessert.
I would definitely come back here for the entrees and the dessert, and I would recommend it to others especially if they are vegetarians since they are plenty of options.

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  • Yasmin A.
  • Rockville, MD
  • 298 friends
  • 261 reviews
  • 633 photos

Came here for the first time for Mother's Day brunch and it was absolutely delightful. They have valet parking but I didn't have any trouble finding (free) street parking. My mother was instantly greeted with a red rose from the host which was lovely. Lots of Mediterranean decor around the entire restaurant. You can also see lambs/chicken roasting in the kitchen which I thought was really cool.

Our server was nice and attentive. The menu is tapas style, so we ordered about 2-3 dishes per person. We had fresh baked pita bread and olive oil brought to the table as well.

We ordered menemen, hummus, beet salad, maroulosalata, Lebanese French toast, seared halloumi cheese , octopus santorini, and a dish with braised lamb, tomatoes, and peppers (can't remember the name). Everything was pretty delicious. My favorite by far was the octopus santorini. I wasn't a fan of the braised lamb or the cheese (although the accents that came with the cheese were the perfect flavor combinations). We also ordered a special Mother's Day dessert which was absolutely fantastic!

Would love to return to try many of the other dishes on the menu!

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  • Alexis B.
  • Nashville, TN
  • 2487 friends
  • 2911 reviews
  • 9425 photos
  • Elite ’21

Another disappointing Jose Andres experience, which is too bad, because I had made a point to visit a few of his restaurants when I was visiting DC last week, because I really respect his humanitarian work. However, nothing was very good, and I left underwhelmed and a little bit poorer.

Our group of four started with the Htipiti (marinated roasted red peppers and feta thyme) and the hummus. The Htipiti was fine, but didn't really seem balanced at all. The hummus was also all right, but not great, and was a very small portion.

The Mercimek Koftesi (traditional seared red lentil patties, preserved lemon yogurt, pomegranate, and lettuce leaves) were fine as well. Not very good, but not terrible either. This dish is really a lettuce cup with a slightly mushy patty inside (the flavor didn't wow me either).

We also tried the seared halloumi cheese (dates, pomegranate, orange, and mint). For $10, you get one slice of seared halloumi . The accouterments to the dish were very good, but it was hard to justify spending $10 for a single slice of halloumi .

Another dish we tried: the Biftek Muhamara (grilled sirloin steak, sweet pepper walnut pomegranate spread). I chose this dish, because I love muhamara (LOVE IT). This wasn't a great version of it (very chunky). But the real problem with this dish? The meat. This cut of steak is the reason I was vegetarian for ten years of my childhood and early adulthood: so sinewy and chewy and just an awful cut of meat. (Chew, chew, chew, should I start thinking about spitting it out soon?) Really a terrible piece of meat.

To be honest, the best thing we ate at our lunch was the free bread that they bring by the bucket throughout your meal. It's mostly air, but what beautiful bread. However, the meal was somewhere between unmemorable and so bad it's memorable. Definitely a meal I don't want to repeat. Mediocre and overpriced at best, I'm afraid to say.

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  • Shannon P.
  • West Bloomfield Township, MI
  • 0 friends
  • 13 reviews

I came here with my sister and a friend before a show at Capital One Arena, right around the corner. We chose the restaurant for its location and decent-looking menu, but we were pleasantly surprised by the more-than-decent (read: delicious) food and environment.

We ordered several dishes:
- hommus (basically required, especially if you're a hommus fiend like I am, plus they give you seemingly never-ending baskets of pita bread which pairs perfectly)
- fattoush (slightly spicier than expected, which got mixed reviews at our table, but I would recommend)
- crispy brussels afelia (I love how brussels sprouts have taken over menus and I really enjoyed how this dish was prepared slightly differently, with garlic yogurt)
- seared halloumi cheese (again, I'm a big fan of halloumi , and the pairing with dates and oranges was excellent)
- spanakopita (this was a bit richer than I would have expected but very flavorful and a hit at our table)
- shish taouk (as the vegetarian at the table, I didn't try this, but my friends say the "chicken was very tender, the onions were so good, the garlic sauce was A+, 10/10 would get again")

Overall we really enjoyed the food and dining experience. The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed a lovely evening. If I'm back in the area, I would definitely dine at Zaytinya again.

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  • Sarina V.
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 773 friends
  • 588 reviews
  • 1429 photos

Hommus (4 stars)- Pretty good Hommus!

Hommus Ma Lahm (5 stars)- Surprisingly I liked the one with the meat better! It comes with the following which is different than the plain hommus: spiced ground Jamison lamb, pine nuts, house pickled vegetables, mint

Karpuzi Me Feta (5 stars)- Watermelon and feta salad, I love this combo, so refreshing and tasty especially with the feta they had, reminded me of being in Greece!

Seared Halloumi Cheese (5 stars)- One of my favorite dishes, seems so simple and basic but that cheese has amazing flavor, paired with the sweetness they had on the plate that went with the sour saltiness of the cheese , it was amazing.

Spanakopita (4.5 stars)- Yummy I love spanakopita and this one was delish and nice and crispy and hot!

Falafel (4.5 stars)- I don't normally like falafel but this is amazing!

Greek Fries (4 stars)- Yummy fries with the best seasoning. I loved it with the yoghurt.

Knisa Lamb Chops (5 stars)- Amazing, super tender and the yoghurt that came with the lamb chops were so good, I could have ordered another if I wasn't so full!

Lamb Kleftico (5 stars)- Another star, crispy phyllo with ground lamb and amazing spices, this was also another one of my favs!

Crispy Brussels Afelia (4 stars)- Good brussel sprouts!

Kibbeh (3.5 stars)- Not the best but not bad, just a chunk of ground meat with yoghurt I would prefer to have something else alongside it since it can get a little much.

Summer Vegetable Saganaki (4 stars)- Didn't try this but others said it was good.

Shish Taouk (5 stars)- Just some chicken kabobs, but damn so good with the tomatoe, garlic sauce and super tender, another hit!

One other meat dish I can't remember what it was called but I would give it 3 stars, just some kebabed lamb or beef, not the best and not tons of flavor.

Blue Catfish Skordalia (2 stars)- My least favorite, others said this was good, but I found it to be fishy and just not good, I love fish and chips and this just didn't do it for me at all, pass on this one!

Scallops (4.5 stars)- Amazing scallops, perfectly cooked and amazing flavor! The dill yogurt sauce is bomb!

Galatopita (4.5 stars): Yummy dessert with crispiness and some sorbet, I enjoyed this to finish my meal!

Turkish Coffee Chocolate Cake (5 stars): My cousin devored this so I think he liked it!

Overall I would definitely come back here, I love trying a bit of everything and wish we had something like this in LA since normally the Mediterranean you see here in the stated compared to greece are all large plates, in Greece they have both but they do have a huge selection when it comes to cafes and places that serve cold and hot mezze. I'm def more of the mezze type of woman ) Next time i'm in Washington I'll def be back here! One of my fav places in Washington!

All the drinks we had were also very good, we had 8 people so they gave us their own little section and the waiter was awesome, super nice and gave us a taste of some wine too so we knew which ones to order.

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  • Eric L.
  • Chevy Chase, MD
  • 160 friends
  • 190 reviews
  • 299 photos

If you live in DC and haven't been to Jose Andres' Zaytinya yet, your missing out. This restaurant has been one of the top restaurants in DC for over a decade, and for good reason. They offer some of the best quality and executed Mediterranean styled tapas with excellent service. Most impressive in my opinion is the consistency that the food and service is on point. Make your way here for brunch, lunch, dinner or restaurant week.

Our first time here was for restaurant week, which is an amazing deal for two. $35 nets you 5 small plates each. Your different small plates are chosen from multiple categories. The first four being savory and the last one is the desert. We had the hummus, seared halloumi cheese , beef tartar, chicken orzo, chicken kabob, seared salmon, lamb kebab and octopus. The desert options are the Turkish delight and the Greek yogurt and apricot.

First off, if your concerned about portion size. Stop. It's so much food. If you reallllly need more they keep bringing bread. Second, everything is delicious. I'm still trying to figure out how to get my hummus to be that creamy. I'm a huge fan of beer tartar and this was a delicious one, where the fat melts in your mouth. All of the kabobs are perfectly cooked and juicy. To finish it all off, the deserts were on point. I particularly loved that apricot Greek yogurt with pistachios over it. It's hard to find any faults in this meal.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food/drink:5/5
Cost: 3/5 (5/5 at restaurant week)
Service: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

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  • Alexander L.
  • Washington, DC
  • 45 friends
  • 152 reviews
  • 151 photos

Had a great dinner here earlier this week. We were a few minutes late for our reservation and were seated right away, greeted with water and freshly made pita and oil. To drink, I ordered the Deep Roast, which is Batavia Arrack with a few different types of pepper, chamomile, and lemon - it was definitely unique and I enjoyed it, though I couldn't really tell you what it tasted like.

To eat, we ordered a variety of the different mezze. We really liked everything and I was impressed with how consistently good everything tasted. Standouts were the seared halloumi , spanakopita, and beef and lamb meatballs. The moussaka special was particularly good. We also ordered the hummus, brussel sprouts, and ottoman pilaf we were totally stuffed by the time the pilaf came out, so we didn't end up ordering dessert, though the photos on here look really good.

Service was good - our water glasses were kept full, and the plates were timed well (we weren't overloaded with everything at the same time, nor did we have to wait a long time between dishes).

All told, this was probably one of the best dining experiences I've had in months, and I look forward to coming back.

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  • Bailey Z.
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • 1205 friends
  • 1359 reviews
  • 2481 photos

While looking for a place for lunch, I was at first hesitant to try Lebanese food as I was unsure how adventurous my friends' palettes were. After stepping inside, everyone was excited. The interior space is beautiful that had large windows letting in natural light to illuminate the blues within. The blue and white interior had to have been Santorini-inspired. To my surprise, this was a José Andrés dining concept, which completely deviated from his usual Spanish-influenced cuisines. However, I was excited to try what Mediterranean fare he had to offer.

While looking at the menu, the $25 mezze lunch caught everyone's attention. A limited selection of 3-4 small plates would have been the easy way out, but I convinced them to trust me with ordering a bunch of small plates so that we could all share and try multiple things. The complimentary "bread" was a puffy pita bread that was soft and warm and made perfectly to dip into the hommus. I love hummus, but this one was outstanding with strong hints of mint. We also tried the hitipiti, which was marinated roasted red peppers, feta, and thyme on the recommendation of our waitress.

While looking through pictures online, the one that caught my eye of the vegetable mezze was the seared halloumi cheese . It was beautifully plated and even more delicious. This was my favorite dish of the meal and the creamy cheese with seared crust melded wonderfully with the sweet dates, orange and refreshing mint. The crispy brussels afelia also came highly recommended. If all brussels sprouts came slathered in garlic yogurt, people would eat brussels sprouts more often. Another favorite was the spanakopita, which unlike tradition, the phyllo was wrapped like an egg roll.

For the seafood mezze, the garides me anitho (sauteed shrimp) and sea scallops were some of a favorite dishes. The shrimp was perfectly sauteed and I loved the dill, shallots, mustard, and lemon juice sauce. The scallops were perfectly seared , but a little bit overpowered by the what appeared to be a tzatziki-like sauce.

Under meat and poultry mezze, we tried the kibbeh nayeh (veal tartare), hunkar begendi (braised lamb shank), and the shish taouk (grilled chicken skewers). Of those, I thought the chicken to be excellent. The tartare actually would've been a nice appetizer with the crunchy pita chips. The braised lamb shank was tender, but as a puree, it was difficult to discern the eggplant flavor.

As a kid, everyone who read the Chronicles of Narnia probably wondered what the hell Turkish delight was. I know I did. After finally trying it here at Zaytinya, it is no wonder those kids went into that damn closet in the first place. The walnut ice cream mixed with the yogurt mousse was a nice and creamy combination. The caramelized pine nuts gave it a nice textural contrast. The Turkish coffee chocolate cake was a great version of a flourless chocolate cake. The dessert was perfectly complemented with Turkish coffee. It comes in sade (no sugar), orta skerli (semi-sweet), or tatli (sweet). If you're like me, you might opt for the sweet version, otherwise semi-sweet might be more for you.

When everything was said, tasted, consumed, and done, everyone had a smile on their face. We had an amazing lunch, and we were all glad we opted to be a little more adventurous that day. After having tried The Bazaar, I think Zaytinya is my favorite José Andrés concept thus far!


Homemade Peeps at Restaurant 3.

This Easter, luscious melt-in-your-mouth marshmallow delights topped with a sweet sugar crust await customers at 3. Executive Chef, Brian Robinson is making his own version of the perennial crowd favorite- Peeps. The marshmallow confections are molded into creative shapes and rolled in colored sugar. The treats will be served complimentary to diners as part of 3’s Easter Sunday Low-Country Brunch from noon to 3 pm on Sunday, April 4, 2010 or try your hand at making your own at home (see the recipe below).

The Low-Country Brunch featuring an extensive selection of breakfast favorites including Babes in the Woods country sausage, asiago grits, breakfast muffins, cinnamon brown sugar French toast as well as a made-to-order omelet station. Low-Country favorites such as fried chicken & waffles, gumbo and shrimp & grits add southern flair. Traditional Easter dishes such as Honey-glazed ham, Dijon-crusted leg of lamb and Slow-roasted prime rib are also offered. The Easter brunch is served buffet-style and is priced at $27 per person for adults and $12 per child, for children under 12.

3’s Homemade Peeps –By Executive Chef Brian Robinson
Ingredients:
Powdered sugar, as needed
2/3 cups cold water, divided

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Colored sugar, fine granulated, as needed
Decorating icing, as needed
Preparation:
Oil the sides of a 13x9x2 inch pan and dust with powdered sugar.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 1/3 cup cold water then sprinkle gelatin in water.
In a pot, add 1/3 cup water, the granulated sugar, the corn syrup, and salt, stir and cover until the syrup bubbles lightly. Use a candy thermometer to reduce the temperature to 240 degrees.
Slowly whisk the syrup into the gelatin and water mix. Mix on high for about 10 minutes. (It should look like white marshmallow). Add in the vanilla at the last minute.
Pour the marshmallow mix into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and sprinkle with colored sugar.
Let sit to dry for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Cut peeps into the shapes you want and decorate.

ENJOY!
3 is located at 2950 Clarendon Blvd. in Arlington, VA, across the Clarendon Metro Station. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. and for dinner and brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., 3 is a neighborhood Clarendon eatery featuring Southern cuisine with imaginative twists, an impressive beer list and specialty cocktails. For more information or reservations please call 703-524-4440 or visit the website at www.restaurantthree.com.


Beer for Breakfast

For hundreds of years prior to the early 1800s, the English drank beer for breakfast. In fact, beer was known as the breakfast drink. That was because plain water was usually contaminated, and coffee, tea, and hot cocoa were not widely available. And beer delivered carbs you needed to get through the day.

So we stake our claim: For any morning drinking, from breakfast to brunch, beer should be your choice. Its flavors, which range from malty to tangy, are a more subtle and dynamic complement to eggs, pancakes, and bacon. You just have to know what to pair with what. Beers served at breakfast should be low in alcohol (in our opinion) so you don’t actually get drunk before the day has really started. For that reason, all the beers we paired with our breakfast foods are around 5 percent alcohol (that’s why the style known as breakfast stout isn’t here: It’s usually too high in alcohol).

For a Spicy Breakfast
We paired with our Harissa-Pancetta Breakfast Pizza

The intense spiciness of the harissa (a North African chile paste) in this breakfast pizza required a strong-flavored beer. Berliner Style Weisse from Bayerischer Bahnhof Brau & Gaststättenbetrieb, a puckery, lemon-tasting beer in a style originating in Berlin, was a nice foil to the heat in this dish, but it did not work with any of the other breakfast foods. Another Berliner Weisse–style beer that we did not taste this time, Dogfish Head Festina Pêche, would probably also do well. Thiriez Extra, a hoppy golden ale from France, had an earthy, slightly smoky taste that went nicely with the pancetta and stood up to the harissa, although one taster thought the hops were too strong: “Too skunky. Weed with pizza.” Weihenstephaner Original, a Bavarian lager, was also a solid pairing, with enough of a hop backbone to not be a pushover. You could try these same beers with other spicy breakfast dishes, like those featuring hot sauce, salsa, or green chile.

For an Eggy Breakfast
We paired with our Egg and Smoked Salmon Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich

The fishiness of the salmon made this pairing a challenge. However, when we began trying the sandwich with the wheat beers in our lineup, it all came together. Wheat beers are often matched up with citrus flavors, where their sweet, spicy crispness mimics that of lemon or orange. In our recipe, the crème fraîche contains lemon zest, which made the sandwich taste good with Pinkus Organic Hefe-Weizen and Kapuziner Bavarian Hefe-Weizen. If you have a favorite wheat beer, it would probably pair well with this dish, or with another savory-citrus dish like Eggs Benedict (which typically contains lemon in the hollandaise sauce). Additionally, a Kölsch-style beer in our lineup, Kent Lake Kölsch, was a fine pairing, probably because though it isn’t a wheat beer, it has a wheaty flavor.

For a Meat-and-Potatoes Breakfast
We paired with our Chorizo and Potato Breakfast Tacos

This classic taco dish cried out for beers that are light in body and unobtrusive in flavor: lawn-mower summer beers. In our lineup, the clear winner was Twilight Summer Ale from Deschutes, which was crisp and refreshing but had enough flavor to keep it interesting (one taster noted a “nutty, almondlike finish”). A good Mexican beer, such as Bohemia, would have been another nice pairing for the tacos, as would other not-too-hoppy-or-fruity seasonal summer beers. The Weihenstephaner Original worked here, too, because it’s well balanced with a great overall-refreshing profile. And Mahr’s kellerbier, a malty lager from the esteemed brewery in Bamberg, Germany (wonderful if you can find it), was another friendly, not too spicy partner.

For a Starchy, Sweet Breakfast
We paired with our Basic Pancakes

Any really hoppy or yeasty beer tasted nasty with the mild, sweet breadiness of pancakes. The most dynamite pairing with this dish was the delicious Fraoch Heather Ale from Williams Bros Brewing Co. in Scotland. Heather ale is an ancient style of beer in which heather takes the place of hops as the herbal preservative. The effect is a far less bitter beer with a subtly sweet, herbaceous flavor. Also good was the Mahr’s kellerbier: Its caramelly maltiness mimicked the cereal-grain taste of the pancake batter. Although some of the tasters found Midnight Sun Brewing Co.’s Arctic Rhino Coffee Porter a bit overwhelming, others liked it: “Tastes like drinking your morning coffee with pancakes, only it’s beer.” Other not-specifically-coffee beers that are made with dark-roast malts (Einbecker Schwarzbier, Guinness) often contain coffee notes, and would probably work well with pancakes or sweet breakfast pastries.


Zaytinya Hosts DC Brau Beer Pairing Dinner - Recipes

I've just received this press release from DC Beer Week:

The 5th Annual DC Beer Week takes place August 11 – 18, 2013, all across the National Capital Region. Local distributor Jeff Wells and chef/beer aficionado Teddy Folkman started DC Beer Week in 2008 to celebrate the small, but enthusiastic craft beer community in the Federal City. Since then, the event has grown each year attracting thousands – from self-proclaimed beer geeks and home brewers to the casual beer drinker. In 2012, the event included nearly 200 different events throughout the District and surrounding area.

[This year's DC Beer Week] is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, with sponsor-driven flagship events taking place at different venues around the region throughout the week of August 11 – 18, 2013. The official calendar of events, which will continue to grow as the week gets closer, went live on the rebranded DCBeerWeek.net website this week.

“This year’s festival is going to be epic, and it’s thanks in large part to the local beer community and organizations around the region that are fans of good beer,” says DCBW Director and Managing Partner of Smith Commons Miles Gray. “In addition to restaurants, bars, breweries and distributors participating in this year’s DC Beer Week, we have an outrageous line up of sponsors who have come out in support of the event, including several heavy hitters, like Destination DC, Evian, Uber and the Washington Nationals, who you might not naturally think of when you think of beer.”

    Sunday, August 11 – Brewery Ommegang & Washington City Paper present “HOP CHEF: SPECIAL EDITION” – Because Great Beer deserves Great Food made by Great Chefs, Brewery Ommegang is bringing its popular beer-pairing chef competition back to the District on Sunday night to officially kick off the 5th Annual DC Beer Week. Brewery Ommegang and the Washington City Paper have invited eight of the area's most talented chefs to cook with and pair a unique dish with the brewery’s beers to earn the title of Hop Chef DC. The event will be held at the Longview Gallery, located at 1234 9th Street, NW, starting at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $55 per person (21+ only), and will go on sale soon.

For more information about DC Beer Week, visit www.dcbeerweek.net. Also be sure to “Like” the DCBW Facebook page, and to follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@dcbeerweek), for the latest updates. The official hashtag for DCBW is #DCBW2013.

I'm crossing my fingers here, folks! Compared to Philly Beer Week and Baltimore Beer Week, DC Beer Week, in the past, has been less Homerically 'epic' than just plain disappointing. Despite good people, good intentions, and some good events, there's been disorganization, too many self-congratulatory back slaps, little reach-out to non-craft beer venues, and pig-headed (no porcine offense meant) exclusion of the greater metropolitan area.

This year, there may be a paradigm shift: notice the first sentence in the press release above which includes the phrase: "all across the National Capital Region."


Watch the video: DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon Best East Coast DIPA?. Beer Geek Nation Craft Beer Reviews (November 2021).