Category Archives: restaurants

Brunch at Bistro Cacao

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On a recent rainy weekend I found myself on the northeast side of Capitol Hill with a friend, and we were in need of a comfortable place to sit and catch up on lots of business and life updates. With the exception of H Street, the choices around the northeast side of the Hill are a bit slim. But there is one place that deserves some more attention, especially for brunch – Bistro Cacao. Continue reading

Wine, Cheese and Bacon Jam at Sona Creamery

imgresTwo of my favorite things are wine and cheese, especially paired together. So I was quite excited to hear about the opening of Sona Creamery on Capitol Hill at 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Little did I know that the wine and cheese were only the start to what my neighborhood’s newest restaurant has to offer.

I noticed their menu posted on the window shortly before officially opening and found my mouth watering as I read the descriptions of some of their small-plate offerings. The dishes featured dates, sweet potatoes, duck, grilled sirloin and more.

On our visit we started with the duck prosciutto salad, the steak and cheese éclairs. The éclairs were stuffed with pimento cheese and topped with a thin slice of steak– very interesting and tasty. The big standout for us was the Sona Fries, which were extra crispy and covered in a house-made mumbo sauce with aioli and house-made cheese curds. Continue reading

Brunch at Tel’veh

Tel_vehBottomless brunches are one of my favorite trends in the city right now. But, I recently ran into a snag with one of my favorites, which will remain unnamed. I will just say that it is part of a restaurant group so this policy is likely in effect at several of our favorite DC brunch locations.

A large group of us were running a race together and wanted to go to brunch after. We wanted a fun atmosphere and a set price so we didn’t need to worry about splitting the check in different ways. I called one of my favorite places and was told that I had to coordinate with the events group since our group was more than eight people. That was fine with me until they asked that I put down a 50% deposit. Then they doubled the price because we wanted to come a half hour later than they wanted us (11am instead of 10:30). I understand the need to turn over tables, but to double the price? And I have never seen this particular restaurant filled for brunch.

Enough about where we didn’t go. Where we ended up – Tel’veh – could not have been more perfect. They had no qualms about letting me make a reservation for 12-15 people, immediately brought our table of hungry and cold runners bread and water, and kept out plates and glasses full while we enjoyed the music, great views and fun company. Continue reading

First Bite: Osteria Morini

Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

Photo courtesy of Osteria Morini

Cross posted on The Hill is Home

The first Lumber Shed restaurant is officially open and already the space is seeing crowds. Osteria Morini brings upscale, Italian dining to the neighborhood, not far from a few other neighborhood favorites.

As the website explains, Osteria Morini is named after Chef Michael White’s mentor Gianluigi Morini, the owner and founder of acclaimed restaurant San Domenico in Imola. The restaurant draws strongly from White’s personal experience in Emilia-Romagna, where he worked under Chef Valentino Marcattilii for seven years. And in Italian, “osteria” means a place where the owner “hosts” guests.

Osteria Morini approaches its menu in a way that encourage guests to order a little bit of everything by offering an array of small plates. I personally love that approach over a massive bowl of pasta that leaves me feeling stuffed at the end of my meal. Continue reading

The Best Bottomless Brunch Deals

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In the absence of amazing brunch menus that seriously stand out among the rest, there is a growing brunch trend that I want to give a nod to: the ones that offer bottomless food AND drinks. And I’m not talking about buffets of ordinary pastries and rubbery eggs. I’m talking about unlimited ordering from the menu, especially when said menu offers some unique and tasty dishes that step outside of the typical brunch menu formula.

Masa 14 was one of the first to start the trend, but many soon followed. It’s the most gluttonous approach to brunch possible, and effectively kills all hopes of a productive afternoon. But, damn, every once in a while I love a brunch where I end up saying “I cannot eat one more bite but wow that dessert looks too good to pass up.” Continue reading

brunch at District Taco

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Cross posted at The Hill is Home

Until a trip to Austin, Texas in 2012 I didn’t know what I was missing by never having tried a breakfast taco. It just makes so much sense! And now I can get them right up the street from my house, thanks to District Taco, which opened up this last spring at 656 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

I first heard of District Taco when I was working in Rosslyn; they were one the first, if not the first, food truck to serve the VA crowd. They eventually opened a brick-and-mortar location in Arlington and their popularity started to spread. And this last spring, they opened their third DC location in the space formerly occupied by Yes! Organic Market. Continue reading

Dinner at Pulpo

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Local food writers were abuzz last spring when news broke that Café St. Ex’s Billy Klein was heading over to Pulpo in Cleveland Park. Since his move, he has been working with General Manager Dave Hansen to overhaul the menu. I was recently invited to check out the new menu and must say, it’s worth a visit.

The tapas menu has a mouthwatering mix that left us at a bit of loss on how to not over-order. When I am overwhelmed with choices and do not know what to order, I do two things: take out the items I could likely make at home; and then ask the server for recommendations. However, in this case, we were treated to just about everything the General Manager was hoping we would try. It was way more food than I could handle but it was all spectacular. Continue reading

Brunch at Beuchert’s Saloon

logo@2xOne of my favorite new additions to the Capitol Hill restaurant scene is Beuchert’s Saloon, located at 623 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE. The building used to be owned by John Ignatius Beuchert, a German immigrant and prominent Capitol Hill businessman. He opened Beuchert’s Saloon in 1880 and his son reportedly ran the Saloon through Prohibition as a speakeasy “behind such fronts as a Singer sewing machine store and a gramophone shop,” according to the website.  The owners of the new Beuchert’s Saloon pieced together the history by working with the Capitol Hill Restoration Society and researching at the Library of Congress. Continue reading

Brunch at Table

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It has been a while since I have had a brunch that really impressed me. A brunch where every dish served to me was clearly created with a lot of care and pride on the part of the chef.

I had heard bits about Table here and there but it’s tucked away in a neighborhood I don’t often find myself in, so I would keep forgetting to make a trip for brunch. I saw something recently about Table’s new pre-fix brunch menu and decided to make reservations for the first Sunday the new menu was served. Continue reading

Brunch at Zengo

zengodcSometimes you want a quiet and sophisticated brunch.  And sometimes you want a boozy feast.  I thought Masa 14 was the best deal in town for such an event with their $35 all-you-can-order food and drinks.  Well it seems they have some competition: Zengo.  Just like at Masa 14, for For just $35 you can order as much as you want off of the menu and have bottomless brunch cocktails.  You’re not going to find many traditional brunch dishes here but there is plenty to love.

These brunches are best enjoyed with a group of friends who are not afraid to stuff themselves like it’s Thanksgiving.  Don’t like a dish? Then just order something else.  Really like a dish? Order more!  Want simple eggs and bacon and trying to watch how much you eat?  This is not the place for you. Continue reading