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

Ice Cream Cake!

Summer calls for ice cream, and birthdays call for cake…so, naturally you combine them and celebrate summer birthdays with ice cream cake!

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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

Confession

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I have a confession: I am becoming disenchanted with brunch.

There are many things I still love about brunch, and it remains a frequent part to my weekends. It is still one of my favorite ways to see friends on the weekends, especially when our schedules have gotten so insane with families, traveling, etc. It’s great to be able to catch up over a two-hour brunch and still have your whole day ahead of you. And let’s not forget one of the more popular reasons to love brunch: it’s one of the few times it’s acceptable to drink before noon.

But it’s been awhile since I have had a brunch that has been worth writing home about. Last week, as I read yet another post by someone who thinks brunch is overrated, I found myself agreeing with the author. 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

Embassy Chef Challenge 2013

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One of my favorite things about DC is that, with fairly minimal effort, you can be exposed to one of the widest range of cultures you can imagine in just one place.  That’s because, in being the political center of the U.S., we have more than 175 embassies, ambassadors’ residences and foreign cultural centers.  And thanks to Cultural Tourism DC, it’s pretty easy to find ways to get a taste and feel for the many countries represented.

That’s where the Embassy Chef Challenge comes in.  The event, which is in its fifth year, brings together chefs from different embassies to participate in an Iron Chef style competition.  While the main event is at a gala on March 14 (get your tickets here), it starts a month earlier in a closed-door competition which I was invited to attend. The chefs were given the same ingredients and two hours to prepare a main dish.  And, of course, each chef added a twist that represented their home country’s flavor. Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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As much as I roll my eyes at the sugary-coated Hallmark holiday that is Valentine’s Day, I can’t deny that I love the fun things you can do with some of your favorite breakfast recipes.  With some red food coloring, a cookie cutter and a little creative inspiration, you can put together a very fun breakfast that would make just about anyone smile.  Homemade poptarts with a strawberry heart in the center, heart-shaped cinnamon rolls, heart-shaped hard boiled eggs, or even red velvet pancakes… Single or not, how could a plate of bacon and heart-shaped pancakes not make your morning happier? Continue reading

Happy Mardi Gras!

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King Cake was always a tradition in my house when I was growing up.  It was just one of many New Orleans traditions that my mom kept alive after leaving her hometown.  A few years ago she started experimenting with different King Cake recipes in hopes of recreating the New Orleans treat for friends and family in DC, and this year my sister and I decided to give it a try as well. Continue reading

2013 Inauguration Brunch Guide

Scan0001.tifHaving lived here for so long, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of inaugurations.  The last one was amazing and I am so grateful to have been able to be there (despite the many issues) but this time around I’m more inclined to and enjoy a quiet weekend away from the crowds.  But if you’re in town and need to satisfy your brunch cravings, plenty of our best restaurants have you covered.  Yes, even on Monday.

Visiting from out of town and looking for a traditional DC locale for your brunch?  I’d recommend any of the following: Continue reading

The Sweet Sweet Smell of Cinnamon Rolls

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Cross-posted on Paper Scissors Stone, my sister’s blog about her culinary adventures across the pond.

I love cinnamon rolls but my fear of bread making has always prevented me from attempting to make them on my own.  The thought of spending all that time to make them, only to have them come out dense or dry just made me sad.  And the Pillsbury ones at the grocery store are just so darn easy and tasty.  But my sister challenged me to give it a try while visiting her in London for Christmas.  She’s gotten quite good at making her own bread and dough in culinary school and was confident she could teach me enough to get me past my fear of baking from scratch.  She also thought it would be fun for us to do a few posts that we could cross-post in each other’s blogs.  How could I say no? Continue reading