Estadio, Proof Owner Bringing Southeast Asian Cuisine to 14th Street

Photo via Luis Gomez Photos

The 14th Street corridor just keeps on growing. As it grows up, up and up, smart entrepreneurs and restauranteurs like Mark Kuller snatch it up for their own ventures.

You probably don’t know much about Kuller. You might have heard of his chef/partner in food crime, Haidar Karoum. But  you’ve definitely heard of his master of libations, Adam Bernbach. I’ve never met Kuller myself, but I’ve dined and drank at his restaurants many times — Estadio and Proof — and they are probably among my top 5 favorite places in DC.

Read more about the concept over at Borderstan…

Borderstan Is For Lovers: 5 Tips For Getting V-Day Reservations

There’s no time left. Or so it seems. You’ve no plans for Valentine’s Day. No reservations and like writer’s block when you’re on deadline, the best date you can think of is “dinner and a movie.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with dinner and a movie. But you can do better. And you don’t even have to try that hard. I polled the Borderstan contributors about where they’d like to be taken for their ideal Valentine’s Day meal — and as much one would think we’d all pick mainstream spots, there were some truly great off-beat spots that made the list too.

So, just how are these plans of yours going to come together at the last minute? Because honestly, word on the street is that reservations for the night of are all booked up, and this weekend and next aren’t looking great either. Here we go:

  1. Call them now. No really, now!
  2. When they tell you there’s no reservation, hit OpenTable and City Eats just in case.
  3. Consider an off-night. Monday being the best day to start with.

Read the rest of these tips and grab a list of fun, different spots to take your luvah in the neighborhood! 

The Week In Food

Tick tock. Tick tock. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you…yeah you…do you have your dinner reservations?  Check out the CityEats Valentine’s Day Restaurant Guide because there are still a few hotspots with availability. But if you’re feeling more casual, there’s always the opportunity to find love at your local Chipotle this year.

But back to the more mundane – our morning coffee. Hi, my name is Alejandra Owens and I’m a caffeine fiend. Are you? Chances are, if you’re slurping a cup of joe from one of DC’s boutique coffee joints, you’ve probably got the itch for Counter Culture coffee. Washington City Paper exposes just how Counter Culture took over the DC coffee scene.

The battle over food truck regulations wages on in a George R. R. Martin fashion – slow moving but riveting at every turn. The DC Food Truck Association (House Stark) has launched a petition asking the citizens of DC to help them pass the proposed regulations, only with a few changes. Meanwhile, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (House Lannister) has launched a petition of its own asking citizens of DC to stand up against the regulations…as they will propagate horrific parking and trash conditions in our fair city. As if we didn’t already have parking issues?

Read the rest of the week in food news over at City Eats’ The Plate! 

The Week In Food

DC, do you want the good news or the bad news first? It’s Friday, so I’ll give you the good news first.

  • Three of our very own local breweries earned a spot to compete at the annual craft beer and food festival, SAVOR. We can officially feel bad ass when we’re drinking DC Brau.
  • Now for the bad. Gina Chersevani of cocktail/mixtress fame can no longer be found behind the bar at PS 7′s. Citing a difference in priorities, Gina and Chef Peter Smith have parted ways, leaving the rest of us a little twitchy about where and when we’ll get our next Gina drink.
  • My mother always told me the best way to catch people off guard during a potential conflict was to kill ‘em with kindess. Maybe the DC Food Truck Association has been talking to my mom? This week they publicly endorsed the DCRA proposed rules for mobile and sidewalk vendors. From the news release:

“Overall, the proposed regulations are a significant improvement to the current rules,” said Che Ruddell-Tabisola, Executive Director of the Washington, DC Food Trucks Association. “We are asking our followers and fans to express their support for the proposed rules to the District before February 18, when the public comment period concludes.”

Read the rest of the week in food news over at City Eats’ The Plate! 

Edan MacQuaid and the Pizzeria DC Almost Lost

via Luis Gomez Photos

Edan MacQuaid is fairly quiet guy. He doesn’t have the bravado or in-your-face ego that most chefs exude upon meeting them. But once you get him talking about pizza, he starts to talk with his hands, he smiles and he gets almost… humble?

MacQuaid’s passion for pizza can be found in the details — details that have been well documented by the likes of Tim Carman and Don Rockwell. The delicate crust, the charred edges, high quality toppings and olive oil are all hallmarks of Macquaid’s work at the brick oven, and that work, as we now know, is coming to 14th Street: to 1832 to be exact, just south of Room & Board.

But DC almost lost him.

To read the rest of the story about Edan, head over to Borderstan.com! 

DC’s Coffee Scene Has A Secret: Thursday Night Throwdown

Your barista has a dirty little secret. (Starbucks baristas excluded.) Or at least mine did. Until he told me all about it. DC, see, has a seedy, espresso ground littered underbelly.

It’s a little like fight club. Only brighter. And not in a basement or abandoned warehouse. And there’s no… fighting. Okay, it’s not like fight club at all, but up until DC’s hipster barista contingent issued a public challenge to their counterparts in Philadelphia, the latte art fight club that is Thursday Night Throwdown had gone largely unheard of. (This month it was at Flying Fish Coffee & Tea in Mount Pleasant.)

By now we’ve all realized, DC’s coffee scene is growing up! And growing up quickly according to Jon Riethmaier, editor of DistrictBean.com. “The DC coffee scene is really solid, and there’s a lot of evidence the foundation has been set for major growth in the immediate-to-near future,” says Riethmaier. “There are shops in DC that are neighborhood institutions. These shops have elevated DC’s coffee consciousness and deserve a lot of credit. There’s also newer ventures and soon-to-be-open shops that will continue to raise the bar. The future looks bright, for sure.”

Read the more about Thursday Night Throwdown at Borderstan.com! 

The Week In Food

How’s your 2012 shaping up so far, eaters and drinkers?

Food trucks are already off to a rough start, no thanks to a continually frustrating relationship with the DC City government. Parking tickets, ice cream truck regulations…whatever…I just want my kimchi tacos in Farragut North.

R.J. Cooper of Rogue 24 recently had his highly anticipated surgery and seems to be resting and doing well. While he’s healing and getting back into fighting form, Rogue 24 has been left in a long list of very capable hands. You can buy tickets to check out the guest chef series, Rogue Sessions, over at Gilt City DC, and then book your table at CityEats.

Just when I thought maybe DC had hit a lull in restaurant openings, a slew of new places have popped up or have announced they’ll open soon. There’s news coming from flaky-crust-wielding Pie Sisters, the Asian-inspired ShopHouse (opening a new location not far from their current one), Irish Whiskey, where you can try $177 whiskey, or maybe everyone’s favorite sandwich shop, Taylor Gourmet, where they’ll be serving breakfast at their new 14th Street location just a week after opening their doors.

Check out the rest of the week in food over at City Eats DC’s, The Plate! 

Best Thing I Ate Last Week: Burger Edition

I’m no stranger to eating my feelings, and I’m starting to see a pattern. Clearly when I’m angsty, angry or feeling anything other than my usually blissful self I crave red meat.

Last week was re-entry week. The first week back at work. The first week back on a schedule, in a routine. And man did it suck. So when fellow food blogger, friend and boss lady, @floridagirlindc said to me in a dead-pan-for-fuckin’-real kinda voice, “You wanna go to Fiola?” I was like, “YES, PLEASE!”

I adore Fiola for so many reasons but really all you need to know are two names and it explains it all: Fabio Trabocchi and Jeff Faile. There. Bam! I’ve changed your world. Fabio’s food is upscale Italian at its best, and to be honest, he’s one of the few Italian-focused chefs in town that doesn’t make me regret throwin’ down my credit card for a pasta dinner. Jeff is the bar manager and cocktail extraordinaire. I met Jeff a year ago now at a food event and fell in love with his manhattans. Since then he’s become one of my favorite bartenders in town – for both what he can do with a bottle of booze and for his upbeat, friendly demeanor behind the bar.

So yeah, two girls who needed to blow off some steam found themselves at Fiola’s bar, scarfing down a BLT burger with warm crispy, salty fries. It’s such a simple thing, but honestly, there’s a lot of shit burgers in town lately and this one now tops my list as a favorite.

If you haven’t been to Fiola yet, or think it’s out of your price range, consider a lunch trip! They have fabulous specials and combos at the bar during lunch and the bar snacks at happy hour are fabulous as well. It’s a lunch or happy hour you won’t regret – in fact, take someone with you who you want to impress, because you’re going to look so, so very good.

Photo thanks to @floridagirlindc, Tammy Gordon

The Week In Food

Happy New Year, friends! Now that we’re back in town after the holiday madness and have made it through our first week of work, I assume everyone’s ready to nosh, imbibe and start 2012 off on the right foot.

  • Fortunately for us, there’s a new restaurant to try. District Kitchen opened this week in Woodley Park and Eater DC gives readers a preview of the space and menu. While it looks like they’re still working on the website, you can check them out on Facebook and Twitter.
  • If you’re like me, you like to have something to look forward to. Enter (or is that re-enter?) Shaw’s Tavern. The restaurant has a new management team and they’re working on getting the much-talked-about spot back up and running sooner rather than later.
  • Then there’s Yo! More Sushi! The motorized sushi joint that hails from London will set up a conveyor belt in Chinatown some time this year. Because don’t you just love grabbing your food as it rolls on by?

Read the rest of The Week In Food over at City Eats DC’s blog, The Plate! 

New Year’s: Alejandra’s Complete Guide to Gettin’ All Liquored Up

New Year’s Eve. Synonymous with champagne, kisses and that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

For the cynics among us, New Year’s Eve is just another night — a night with unreasonably high expectations for merriment and finding someone at the bar to smooch with. Yet, for the hopeful, it’s about new beginnings, good times with friends and making memories. No matter which side of the coin you fall on, we can all agree on one thing: New Year’s Eve is all about the booze.

I mean, really people, those memories aren’t just going to make themselves, now are they!?

For starters, make sure you’re all set up and ready. The Bon Appetit Cocktail Party Manual has all the golden rules for throwing a boozey party — and more. Don’t forget food, Stephanie has you covered with tons of easy recipes to make, and, in some cases, make-ahead treats that you can serve. But now, on to the reason we’re all here.

Read the full run down of punch, cocktail, wine and champagne recommendations over at Borderstan.