DCity Smokehouse

My close friends Katie and Dan recently bought a gorgeous new home in Bloomingdale. I was very excited to visit, and Katie also mentioned that we could order BBQ for dinner from a place on their street corner. I had heard of the place she referenced, DCity Smokehouse, but I was definitely not prepared for how epic this dinner would be. It all started with us strolling up to the modest entrance which had a line out the door. I was immediately excited because they had a sign with all of their social media accounts listed on the sign. I am a sucker for a place that uses Twitter effectively.

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The line was filled with regulars, and when you finally step inside to the tiny room that houses a counter for ordering, and a counter for pickup, you are overcome by heat and the tantalizing aromas of meat, barbecue, and french fries all at once. As we waited on line I was already dreaming of The Brisket Champ Sandwich which is sliced brisket with crispy fried onions, and house made pickles on Texas toast. There was one person ahead of us, we finally stepped up to the counter, and the nice man revealed a terrible sentence: "we are out of brisket." I'll admit I didn't take the news well. The staff was friendly and playful, and coached us through ordering to ensure we made a recovery from this news. Later, I checked their Twitter account and realized they had Tweeted hours before warning that they could have a busy night. Smart.

We ended up ordering the chicken and waffles, the burger, the Brussels sprouts, and the french fries. The chicken and waffles were divine. Crispy pieces of chicken seasoned to perfection, served with a cinnamon buttermilk waffle and a cilantro ranch dressing that was the perfect dip for the chicken. The burger was juicy and flavorful with cheddar, crispy fried onions, house made onions, and a chipotle aioli on a potato bun. Enough said.

What a great spot. However, my work here is not complete. I must return for brisket. I will keep an eye on that Twitter account, get there early, and kick back and enjoy every bite of that sandwich. Stay tuned.

DCity Smokehouse
8 Florida Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20001

DCity Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

A Sea of Rosé

Those of you that know me well, know that I have a passion for rosé wine. However, rosé's can run the gamut in terms of flavor profile, varietal, and color. I lean heavily towards favoring the palest of rosé's, which typically means they are from Provence, and that they are dry and crisp in flavor.

Last night I had the pleasure of joining the Kimpton team at Poste Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco for a tasting of some of the rosé wines they are currently offering in the restaurant. The selected wines showcased a great scope and variety of rosés, which we enjoyed on the outdoor patio amidst a bustling happy hour scene. In addition to the light and refreshing flavor notes of the wine, I also couldn't help ogling over the beautiful hues of pink adorning the table. Almost too pretty to drink. Almost...

The rosé tasting included five wines, listed below:

  1. Grenache, Elizabeth Spencer, CA, 2013
  2. Temprañillo, Rosa de Arrocal, ESP, 2013
  3. Vinho Verde, Vera, POR, 2013
  4. Temprañillo, Ostaú, ESP, 2013
  5. Grenache-Cinsault, Chateau Pas du Cerf, FRA, 2013

It is no surprise that my favorite was the French rosé which is the palest in color as pictured above. However, I really enjoyed the Vinho Verde as well, which actually happens to be the darkest of the rosés pictured above. The wine was effervescent with a sparkling texture when poured, and had many similarities to a light Lambrusco.

For those of you that are looking for a nice evening of rosé drinking, Poste offers a great selection of bottles, and it's hard to beat the outdoor courtyard setting. For those of you looking to purchase some rosés for your own collection, here are a few that I recommend.

My mantra: Yes Way Rosé!

Recent Eats

Happy Summer! It's been a crazy few weeks of travel, but I wanted to share some of my rave-worthy eats from the past two weeks. No matter where I go, or how busy I am, food is always a top priority.

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  1. Cheese and charcuterie plate from Lupo Verde. This presentation is dynamite. Not only did we enjoy Prosciutto di Parma, Breasaola, Burrata and Pecorino Romano, but the plate was also served with cherries, strawberries, walnuts, honey, pear jam, and walnut raisin bread. It brings a tear to my eye.
  2. Fried chicken with sausage gravy, a biscuit, and blood orange jam from Barrel. I was wowed that this Bourbon bar on Capitol Hill has a serious food menu that does not disappoint. Executive Chef Garret Fleming is whipping up one of the tastiest and crispiest fried chicken dishes I've had in some time.
  3. Grilled lamb belly at  Cork Wine Bar. This is a must-order for me. It is served over a sesame parsnip puree with baby carrots. Tons of flavor, and a beautifully plated dish.
  4. Scallops with buttered peas, bacon, wild mushrooms, and saffron cream at Park Tavern in San Francisco. This restaurant oozes "simple done right." The combination of ingredients and flavors in this dish was perfect for a cool July evening in SF.
  5. Shrimp wraps at Doi Moi. I enjoyed these while sitting outside on the patio people watching along 14th Street. A light and refreshing dish that almost looks too pretty to eat.
  6. Tortellini and brioche sandwich from Cork Wine Bar. The tortellini is stuffed with ricotta and served on a bed of sorrel cream with peas and tarragon. The brioche sandwich is one of the classic dishes that never leaves the menu. I love cracking the sunny side egg on top and letting it drizzle over the crispy bread stuffed with Prosciutto and Fontina.


A Sweet Weekend in Hershey Park

I just returned from a sweet weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania. While the restaurants might not be much to write home about, the desserts are! I enjoyed a York Peppermint Pattie milkshake at Chocolate World, a soft-serve ice cream with a chocolate hard shell, and traditional and cookie s'mores. The chocolate options are endless.

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I hope your weekend was filled with delicious treats.

Brunch at Lupo Verde

If there is one thing that most people know about me, it is that my love for Italian food runs deep. It started at a young age, but my time living abroad in Florence solidified my passion for all things Italy, and there is no type of cuisine I would rather enjoy. Just a few months ago Lupo Verde entered the restaurant scene on 14th Street, bringing authentic and rustic Italian food to my neighborhood. Brought to us by Med Lahlou, owner of other Washington restaurants including Ulah Bistro, Tunnicliffs Tavern, and Station 4, in partnership with Antonio Matarazzo, they spent over two years planning the opening of Lupo Verde, and were happy to open the doors in 2014 with Chef Domenico Apollaro at the helm of the kitchen.

Lupo Verde translates to "green wolf" in Italian, and pays homage to a soccer team back in Antonio's hometown of Avellino, Italy. I recently enjoyed dinner sitting at the bar downstairs, but on this occasion I joined the restaurant for brunch and sat in the beautiful upstairs space donned with brick walls, bottles of wine, and gorgeous fixtures. There is one round table which sits in the window bay on the top level that is picturesque, flanked by a wrought iron chandelier, and would make for the perfect special occasion spot with friends and family.

We started with the sweets bread basket which included a very memorable warm and gooey chocolate pastry similar in texture to a croissant. The cheese and charcuterie offerings are generous, and we couldn't resist building out our own plate of soft Taleggio, the semi-hard Caciocavallo, and a hard Parmigiano Reggiano. We paired these three cheeses with three meats to make the perfect Italian antipasti: Prosciutto di Parma, Bresaola, and Sopressata.

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This was one of the most spectacular cheese and charcuterie plates I have ever encountered. The selections were excellent, but they were also served on a Lazy Susan with clear labels, and the platter was decked with olives, cherries, strawberries, walnuts, pear jam, honey, and a perfect raisin bread topped with a bit of olive oil. I was wowed. The eggs in San Marzano tomato sauce was another home run. The eggs were cooked perfectly with just the right amount of runny yolk to mix with the bold tomato sauce. The bread served on the side was the perfect instrument for soaking up the sauce.

The only disappointment of the meal was the pasta carbonara. While the presentation was lovely, and the flavors and ingredients were all there, the consistency of the egg was a bit too chunky and scrambled for my liking. It was hard to twirl the pasta given the thickness, and I prefer a runny yolk with more of a sauce-like texture. I look forward to trying some of the other pasta dishes on my next visit to Lupo Verde such as the maltagliati alla norma with ricotta, eggplant, and cherry tomato. In addition to the items we ordered, the menu also offers pizzas and other brunch options including an Italian french toast, crepes, and a classic steak and eggs. Finally, Lupo Verde's beverage director Francesco Amodeo has created five specialty cocktails to be enjoyed with the brunch items in addition to offering their full wine and beer list.

This past weekend was a fun time to be at Lupo Verde as they were showing the World Cup games on their televisions at both the downstairs and upstairs bars. It's a small restaurant, but the design and architecture is stunning, and the food quality is impressive. I can guarantee you'll find me at restaurant snacking on meat and cheese again very soon. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday between 10AM - 3PM.

Lupo Verde
1401 T Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Lupo Verde on Urbanspoon