Best Thing I Ate Last Week: Hunter’s Stew

I was in New York most of the weekend visiting my friend, and Friday night’s dinner was at Freemans restaurant. This little spot is tucked away, quite literally, at the end of Freeman’s Alley off Rivington between Chrystie and Bowery on the Lower East Side.

To say the menu is rustic is an understatement. Dishes are meat-centric and with a clear focus on game. When venison, elk, wild boar and various fish appear on your menu, simply prepared and seasoned with a variety of herbs, I know I’ve found my restaurant version of home.

“The idea of the restaurant was to make a rugged clandestine colonial American tavern. The cuisine was also imagined to be early American: simple, rustic and inspired by old world traditions.”

Yes! Yes, I can get behind your colonial American tavern! I had the Hunter’s Stew that night, while my friends had the Arctic Char and Five-Cheese Macaroni and each dish was robust without being complicated and definitely not fussy.

We weren’t there for the cocktails, but I can easily see how plopping down at the tiny bar for a nosh and a drink could become a habit if I lived in the city. The drinks menu features 9 hand crafted cocktails, divided into wine-like categories such as “light and easy” and “dark and complex” making it easy to pair a cocktail with your mood.

The decor carries the rustic/American colonial theme to create a dark and cozy mood for the spot. If you don’t like the visual of a stuffed geese poised to fly off its wall placard or deer heads and antlers hanging as a reminder of what you’re about to eat – then this might not be your spot. It might sound rough, but Freeman’s seems to also have procured every last piece of reclaimed wood, tea light candles and woodsy vegetation for its decor, which softens up the “honey I’m home with a deer on my hood” feeling.

You can follow Freemans on Twitter, but the next time you’re in New York City I definitely recommend putting this on your to-do list.

Catch Up: Traveling Edition

I’ve started a marathon of traveling adventures. It involves a lot of bopping around the country for work and a little time at the end for myself. New York, DC, Boston, DC, Austin, Phoenix and finally DC again! I’m looking forward to the miles earned and the work outs (I always work out more when I travel) but the packing and the lack of sleep will suck!

I was in New York City this weekend and there was a trip to The Met. I felt so sophisticated…if not for some Game of Thrones references in the armor room and a Stargate mention in the Egyptian wing.

So a couple of weeks ago something really fun happened. You guys know I like my kitchen porn, but did you know I’m a pretty avid Pinterest-er? So much so that Refinery 29 actually featured me on a list of 15 Top-Notch Local Design Bloggers (And Pinners!) To Follow Now! My “I want that in my house” board was featured in some really great company. D’awww! Thanks guys!

I also bought a new 13″ MacBook Pro and a new couch. Despite having budgeted for these items I still had a chest-clutching moment of fiscal regret. I’m already over the cost of the computer – as I sit here typing on it I’m already in love. The couch. Hopefully I’ll feel the same about it when it arrives.

What have you guys been up to? Next week I have a great “best thing I ate last week” for you. Not that I haven’t been eating great food lately, but nothing’s been much of a stand out. What eating adventures have you been on?

xo-Alejandra

PS – Don’t ya just love my new little piggie ring?! It’s from Madewell.

The Week In Food

Well, it’s a little gloomy out there folks, now isn’t it? Know what hits the spot? Grilled cheese. Bowl of tomato soup to accompany preferred, but not required. Washingtonian has a round up of the best grilled cheese the DMV has to offer.

It looks like the food truck regulations have moved to the next step in the process – the public commenting period wrapped this week. Meanwhile, PORC, the Purveyors of Rolling Cuisine truck, announced that they’re going all brick and mortar on us. So much for that myth that food trucks hurt the restaurant industry. And then there’s the new food trucks popping up…err…rolling around? A new gourmet popcorn truck will satisfy our flavored popcorn wants, and a frozen custard truck opening mid-March brings a little scoop of Americana our way.

Food folk around DC are practically chomping at the bit for Bar Pilar to start serving food again. Huffington Post got a preview of how the new space is looking and Washingtonian gives us a run down of five new things to expect of the expansion and changes.

Get the rest of the scoop over at City Eats DC’s The Plate! 

The Week In Food

It’s been a sad week for the Toki Underground family. Earlier this week it was announced that Montserrat House would host a Vietnamese pop-up called “Pho U,” which featured Toki Underground chef Thang Le.When the event was suddenly cancelled, announced via Twitter, we learned that there’d been a sudden and tragically loss in the family. While we still do not know how or why we lost Chef Le, there’s been an outpouring of support from the food community. While Toki Underground has reopened, “Pho U” has been postponed for the foreseeable future. City Eats sends our love and condolences to Le’s family, friends and colleagues.

If ever there was a time for comfort food, it appears that time is now. The Washington Post has a run down ofcomfort dishes reinterpreted by DC chefs. Head cheese sliders anyone?

Oh, Mike Isabella. How you love to tease us so! The Top Chef-er is playing coy again — this time in response to rumors that he’ll be opening a Greek joint on 14th Street.

Read the rest of the week in food news at City Eats DC’s blog, The Plate! 

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!