In this edition of the DC Restaurant Buzz, we have new brunches, new menus, special charity events, pop-ups, and more. Let’s get started…
Mango Tree Launches Brunch This Weekend
Just in time for Easter weekend, Mango Tree is launching a new brunch, available Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 3pm. Chef Paul Kennedy, who originally hails from the UK, has put together a menu blending some traditional English breakfast foods with bold Thai twists, resembling a very amped up version of what you may find in Thailand at an expat restaurant or hotel.
Dishes include Green Papaya Salad, Street Style Pork-in-a-Bag, with grilled marinated pork skewers with Thai sticky rice and a sweet tamarind sauce, served in true street food fashion, Mango Tree Eggs Benedict, with a kaffir lime or green curry hollandaise; Salmon Scrambled Eggs, Thai-English breakfast, including Northern-style Thai sausages, Bacon, Bourbon & Apple Pancakes, and Mango Tree Waffles, which feature a Thai basil compote.
Drinks will include house specials like Mary in the Mango Tree with Mekhong and house-made bloody Mary mix; a Mango Mimosa with Champagne and fresh mango purée; Lychee Bellini with Champagne and fresh lychees; The Spirited Thai with Mekhong, fresh lime, lychee and pineapple, and the Thai Tea-ni with Thai tea infused vodka with star anise and evaporated milk.
Elsewhere in the Richard Sandoval Restaurants universe…
Unlimited Tasting Menu at Masa 14
Masa 14 is now offering an unlimited tasting menu with bottomless cocktails available Sunday -Thursday for dinner. Enjoy unlimited plates and drinks for $65 per person – or stick to the bottomless bites for $49 per person.
The full range of Latin-Asian dishes on Masa 14’s menu will be available, with a range of dim sun, sushi, salads, wok fried dishes and more. To drink, enjoy a selection of wine and beer, along with the house mojito, margarita and caiprinha, and strawberry vodka lemonade.
Spring Kickoff Patio Parties at Masa 14 & El Centro
Staying at Masa 14, they’ll be hosting a spring kickoff patio party on April 21st from 6 to 9pm. Tickets cost $25 per person and include two drink tickets and a selection of appetizers throughout the evening. Additional specials will be available throughout the night.
Jack Rose Teams up with Sean Brock for a “Night of Southern Hospitality”
Jack Rose and chef Russell P. Jones are teaming up with James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock for A Night of Southern Hospitality on Wednesday, April 29th from 6 to 9 pm.
The event supports charity Jeeps for Joy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in need — since 2001, they have donated nearly 10,000 toys and items to both the Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children and Children’s Choice Foster Care.
Tickets cost $125, providing a full evening of Southern-inspired fare, an open bar, and vintage Stitzel-Weller bourbon from Jack Rose’s 2,000-bottle strong whiskey list, along with the company of culinary and whiskey greats, all to benefit charity.
Every guest can enjoy one tasting flight of four vintage bottlings including Old Weller Original 7yr, Weller Special Reserve 7yr, W.L. Weller 12yr and Old Fitzgerald’s 1849 8yr, all in addition to the open war of select beer, wine and spirits.
Upgrade to VIP cellar tickets for $250, which includes an additional tasting flight of four vintage ryes and bourbons from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Choices might include iconic ryes like Mt. Vernon, Baltimore Pure Rye, Sherbrook and Old Overholt, and antique bourbons such as Old Taylor, Kentucky Bonded, Sunnybrook and Wild Turkey.
There will also be a silent auction, including the ultimate grand prize of a two-person weekend trip to Bardstown, Kentucky, featuring a personal tour of Willett Distillery by Master Distiller Drew Kulsveen, Jack Rose owner Bill Thomas, Chef Sean Brock and Bourbon GM Jared Hyman, followed by a private dinner for the group at Bardstown’s Harrison-Smith House.
Chefs Brock and Jones will each cook up their own Southern favorites, passed throughout the dining saloon. Chef Brock’s specialties include Carolina Rice Griddle Cakes, Cheerwine Glazed Pig Ears, and Husk’s famous Shrimp & Grits. Chef Jones will serve Maryland Crab Cakes, Fried Chesapeake Oysters, and Pork Head Cheese Ravioli. And both chefs will collaborate on a Country Ham & Biscuit station: Chef Brock will carve up his famous 2-year Tennessee Country Ham, to serve alongside Chef Jones’ fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits with pimento cheese and onion marmalade.
Speaking of charity events, there are more exciting ways to indulge for a good cause…
Charity Off the Hook Fundraiser at Tony and Joe’s
Head to the Georgetown waterfront on Wednesday, April 22nd from 6 to 10pm for the 5th annual Charity off the Hook fundraiser, held at Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place.
Join chefs such as Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki Underground, Spike Mendelsohn, Bryan Voltaggio, Scott Drewno, Matt Baker of City Perch and others, each holding an interactive tasting station showcasing local seafood bites.
There will also be a raw oyster bar, smoked seafood station, charcuterie station, passed appetizers, and beer and wine.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt will serve as a special emcee for the event.
Tickets cost $125 per person and are available here. Supported charities include Blue Ridge Food Bank, Educated Eats, GWU Mammovan, Microgreens, Miriam’s Kitchen, National Kidney Foundation, Seafood Nutrition Partnership, The Children’s Inn at NIH and Wish-a-Fish Foundation.
Taste of Three Cities Food Truck Festival
Join 50 of the best food trucks in the city on Saturday, April 25th at Storey Park. They’re all vying for the Mayor’s Cup at the 4th annual Taste of Three Cities, formerly the Taste of Two Cities.
This year, food trucks from Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C. all compete locally at separate events, before the winners compete head to head for the Triple Crown award and a $2,500 grand prize. The final will be held on June 6th.
A portion of the proceeds benefits DC Central Kitchen.
Among the confirmed D.C. food trucks participating to date include BonMi,Korean BBQ Taco Bus, DC Slices, Burgorilla, BBQ Bus, Midnite Confections Cupcakery, Lemongrass, Captain Cookie & The Milk Man, Sloppy Mama’s, Yankee Doodle Dandy’s, Rocksalt, Sang On Wheels, Healthy Fool, Fava Pot, Red Hook Lobster, DC Taco Truck and AZ Neats.
There will also be special guest judges, local bands and performers, and more. Tickets, along with the full lineup of food trucks and complete schedule of events can be found here. The event lasts from 12 to 9pm, with VIP tickets getting you in an at 11am.
Dinner & Book Signing with Bryan Voltaggio at Aggio
Enjoy cocktails and a private dinner prepared by celebrity Chef Bryan Voltaggio to celebrate the opening of the 8th Annual DC Design House benefiting Children’s National. The event takes place Saturday, April 11th at 7pm.
Tickets cost $250 and are available online here. Tickets also include a ticket to tour the DC Design House, valid through May 10th, and Voltaggio’s new book Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends, will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
Moving onto a few other special events, new offerings and things to watch for….
STK Celebrates First Year
STK is celebrating their inaugural year with a speakeasy style party on Thursday night, April 16th. Anyone who makes a dinner reservation will receive a complimentary bottle of champagne and dessert for the table.
All guests will enjoy a complimentary champagne toast, a live DJ and saxophone performances, 1920s style touch-ups and a Prohibition mugshot interactive GIF booth. Yea, GIF booths are now a thing apparently.
Veloce Pops Up with Breakfast Pizza
Veloce, a new quick service pizza joint from the founder & chef of Pizzeria Paradiso, is opening later this spring. First, visit their breakfast pizza pop-up on Saturday, April 11th for a sneak preview.
The event will take place on the patio of Pizzeria Paradiso’s Dupont location between 9am and noon. Compass Coffee will be on hand with espresso and drip coffee.
Being served up will be The Pig breakfast pizza, with scrambled eggs, applewood smoked bacon, mushrooms, onion, and pecorino, fontina and Parmesan cheeses; The Flag breakfast pizza, with scrambled eggs, mozzarella, Italian cheeses and roasted cherry tomatoes; The Harvest breakfast calzone, featuring a whole wheat crust stuffed with scrambled eggs, garlic pesto, spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes; and The Sammy breakfast pocket, served cold, with smoked salmon, herb mascarpone, capers, red onions and cherry tomatoes.
All of the food is priced at $5 per item, including a choice of coffee drink.
City Tap House Hosting Black is the New Wit Release Party
Visit City Tap House on Monday, April 6th, as they’re releasing Black is the New Wit, a collaboration between New Belgium Brewing Company and Terrapin Beer Company. Representatives from both breweries will be on hand from 5:30-7:30 pm.
Be one of the first to try the traditional Belgian wit, Black is the New Wit, an 8.2% ABV wit beer with six different malts, lemon drop, Mandarina Bavaria and Sorachi Ace hops, coriander and bitter orange peel into the brew, and an absence of color from intensely roasted wheat and dehusked barley.
The beers are identical with the exception of how they were aged. New Belgium’s version is being aged on cedar, while Terrapin will include sassafras in the aging.
City Tap House will also be showcasing a dozen-tap takeover from the two breweries. Beers include Oscar Worthy Coffee, the Slow Ride Session IPA, Ranger IPA, Wild2 Dubbel, the Abbey, and The Skinny Dip from New Belgium Brewing Company, as well as the Hopsecutioner IPA, HI-5 IPA, Rye Pale Ale, Liquid Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, Mosaic Red Rye IPA, and the Hop Selection IPA from Terrapin Beer Company.
City Tap House Honors Earth Day
Head back to City Tap House for Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22nd, as they showcase environmentally-friendly Vermont breweries including Long Trail Brewing Company, Otter Creek Brewing, and Wolaver’s Organic Ales.
Between six and nine of City Tap House’s draft lines will be occupied by these Vermont-based environmentally friendly breweries with prices ranging from $5 to $8 each. Reps from Long Trail Brewery will be present giving away reusable shopping bags, Earth Day pint glasses, and t-shirts.
DCanter Discounts Wine for Equality
Did you know that there’s a 22% pay difference between men and women? Well, DCanter wants to help fight back by offering all female customers a 22% discount off any wine purchased on Tuesday, April 14th, known as Equal Pay Day.
You can also donate new or gently used professional female clothing at the boutique to help women in need enter or return to the workforce in confidence.
Turkish Cuisine Coming to DC in May at Ankara
Opening this May in Dupont Circle, Ankara is set to bring Turkish cuisine to the capital. They’ll be offering an upscale-casual dining experience celebrating the cultural and culinary diversity of Turkey.
The menu will feature the best of traditional Turkish foods as well as newly envisioned dishes. The Aslanturk family, owners of Ankara, tapped Chef Jorge Chicas to oversee creation of the menu and training of the kitchen staff. Chef Chicas’ resume includes top positions in Jose Andres’ kitchens.
Cold and hot meze dishes include Sigara Borgei (feta cheese and herbs in crispy phllyo), Roasted Eggplant and Peppers with Garlic Yogurt Sauce, Karides Guvec (baked shrimp in tomato and garlic sauce), Midye Tavasi (fried mussels in a walnut tarator sauce) and favorites such as Imam Bayildi (classic stuffed eggplant and olive oil).
Entrees include grilled kebabs featuring sustainably raised chicken, beef and lamb; grilled branzino and salmon; braised lamb shank, as well Ankara Tava (Turkish pilav served with lamb, peppers, onion and tomato sauté). A rotation of regional Turkish specialties will also be available. The heart of the restaurant features a wood-fired oven that will bake the house-made fresh breads and pide, which are Turkish style pizzas.
Upgraded Champagne List at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Oysters and Champagne go hand in hand, right? That’s why Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is unveiling a revamped Champagne list, featuring 25 different Champagnes in total, including two by the glass.
They’re focusing on small grower Champagnes from boutique producers across multiple styles. Sommelier Josh Pauley’s goal has been to keep the menu accessible, and encourage diners to try different options, with recommendations and pairings whether you’re enjoying oysters, fried chicken, or po’ boys.
Bastille’s New Spring Menu
Bastille, now in their new location, is debuting a new Spring menu with lighter options heavily influenced by France’s Mediterranean coast. Find seasonal ingredients such as artichokes, asparagus, young turnips, radishes, and espelette peppers.
Meanwhile, 2015 RAMMY finalist pastry chef Michelle Poteaux has rolled out a new dessert menu. Try “Strawberries and Crème”, with fresh strawberries and vanilla bean crèmeaux, chiffon croutons, strawberry puree, Valrhona white chocolate and crème fraiche ice cream. All the components of the traditional British afternoon break are in her “English Tea,” complete with Earl Grey custard, sablé, lemon marmalata, honey ice cream and gin gelée, plated to look like ice cubes.
They’re also offering a series of prix fixe options, with every service having at least one prix-fixe. Lunch on weekdays and brunch on weekends include a choice of three courses for just $29 in addition to a la carte menus. Dinner prix fixe options include $39 for three courses, $49 for four, and $59 for a decadent five course feast.
Spring/Summer Gin from Green Hat
The best thing about spring? How about Green Hat Gin’s Spring/Summer distillation?
Their spring/summer gin will be unveiled this Saturday at the distillery, with distribution starting next week.
This is their lightest and most citrusy and floral gin. They use cherry blossoms, clover flowers and four kinds of citrus zest in addition to more traditional gin botanicals.