The DC Restaurant Buzz has been missing in action for a bit — but we’re back, baby. And this one is even more loaded than usual as a result. Check out all of the latest news, including plenty of new openings and summer specials. Dive in.


The Royal To Open This Week

The Royal is set to debut in Ledroit Park this week. From the owner of Vinoteca, the concept will be an all-day neighborhood spot, shifting from coffee and lunch to cocktails and grilled fare. Highlights will include Counter Culture espressos, wood-fire grilled meats, fresh fruit shaved ice cocktails, and housemade vermouth on draft.

Chef Lonnie Zoeller, who recently celebrated the birth of his child, hence a bit of delay in opening the restaurant, will hand make Beef and Vegetable Empanadas, Cheese Arepas, and Plantains with sweet crema. A focal point of the bar will be the restaurant’s custom-made four-foot wood-burning grill, churning out fresh meats, seafood and vegetables.

The Royal will focus on craft cocktails created by beverage director Horus Alvarez. Shaved ice cocktails will be available year-round, churned from a vintage ice shaver Carlson sourced from Guatemala. The bar will also boast an extensive vermouth selection, featuring a housemade vermouth on draft which Horus creates from start to finish, aging in 53-gallon barrels for months at a time.

Magnolia’s on King in Alexandria Coming in July

Magnolia’s on King, an intimate 60-seat restaurant located in the heart of Old Town at 703 King Street, Alexandria, will open on July 1st. With an emphasis on exceptional southern hospitality, Magnolia’s on King will serve dinner and Sunday brunch in the welcoming main dining room located on the first floor of the restaurant.

Upstairs guests will want to venture to discover the second floor bar and lounge, an oasis for enjoying craft cocktails, where no detail is overlooked, including the perfect size ice cube. On this lounge-focused level, small plates of southern-inspired dishes are server while one takes in the street views and the historic working fireplace.

Guests can anticipate classic dishes with a southern twist, with a big emphasis on what is locally sourced and firmly rooted in farm fresh practices. Menu standouts include Molasses Crusted Pork Belly with chipotle cheddar grits; Deep Fried Oyster Po-Boy Sliders; Watermelon and Local Feta Salad; Cornmeal Dusted Fried Blue Catfish; Sweet Tea Brined Buttermilk Fried Chicken; Bison Meatloaf with pan gravy; and Grilled Bone-In Pork Chop. You can also expect an assortment of specialty cocktails, along with an approachable wine list.

Hula Girl Headed to Shirlington

Hula Girl Mikala BrennanMikala Brennan, the owner and operator of the popular Hula Girl food truck is pleased to announce the anticipated September opening of her first brick and mortar space in the Washington area, located in The Village at Shirlington. Guests can enjoy their favorite Hula Girl truck dishes and classic Hawaiian fare such as teriyaki, plate lunches and Spam Musubi, as well as chef-driven dishes like LauLau, butterfish and pork belly wrapped in taro and tea leaves.

Fans of the Hula Girl food truck will now have the option to enjoy Brennan’s take on Hawaiian cocktails, as well as mix of local and Hawaiian beers. To perfect her menu, she is planning to spend time in Hawaii this summer continuing research efforts to develop new concepts and dishes for the restaurant.

Ovations at Wolf Trap

Patrons of Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts will be able to enjoy the new Ovations Restaurant this summer, with two separate dining options, including an elaborate buffet, as well as gourmet picnic baskets which are available for pick up before the show.

The buffet offers a variety of dishes to satisfy everyone in the family. The restaurant is partnering with Cuisine Solutions, a leader in sous-vide prepared foods, to add a more contemporary “flavor” to the traditional buffet. Standout dishes this summer include Asian Beef Salad; Lamb Shank with Gigante white beans; Lentil Chili; Teriyaki Salmon; Braised Top Blade Beef; Georgia Brown’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken; Paolo’s Tomato Mozzarella and Arugula; as well as J. Paul’s Roast Beef Sandwich with garlic Boursin cheese.

The buffet is priced at $32 per person, and $15 for children under 10. There’s also an extensive wine list and speciality cocktails.

Those who wish to take their meal to-go to enjoy during the show can select from four gourmet picnic baskets, each showcasing dishes from CRC’s sister restaurants: J. Paul’s, Georgia Brown’s, Paolo’s Ristorante and Neyla.

Place your order up until noon the day of the show online here. They’re priced at $21.95 including a choice of soda or water, a dessert selection, an entree and side.

Dolcezza Gelato to Launch Mom & Pop in Virginia’s Mosaic District

Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman, co-owners of Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee, are pleased to announce the July 1st anticipated opening of their latest concept, Mom & Pop, located within the Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA.

For the new endeavor, Dolcezza partnered with a variety of local DC artisans such as Nate Anda of Red Apron Butchery, to offer pre-packaged sandwiches and snacks. A freezer with pints of Dolcezza’s seasonal gelato and push pops will also be available along with several varieties of Stumptown coffee and morning pastries from Paisley Fig by Room 11.

Sandwiches available on Mom & Pop’s opening menu will include Grilled Cheese with Red Apron’s spicy smoked pimento cheese; Ham, sliced ham with salted butter and aged cheddar cheese; Smoked Chicken Salad with cranberries, celery, smoked mayo, sour cream, onions and parsley, as well as Roast Beef, shaved roast beef, Calabrian aioli, arugula and pickled fennel.

Guests can also select from a variety of antipasti items. Additionally, for the perfect pairing, Mom & Pop will offer two red wines, two white wines, three beers, and one Prosecco, all of which will be available on tap.

River Falls Tavern Now Under RW Restaurant Group Banner

River Falls Tavern in Potomac, MD, previously owned by a private enterprise, has changed hands and has re-opened with a newly expanded menu with soothing specials found at taverns to lighter choices for the health conscious by RW Restaurant Group. Its sister restaurant, Brasserie Beck at Kentlands, in Gaithersburg, MD, will transform itself from a brasserie to a new American casual dining spot, Boulevard Tavern.

RW Restaurant Group partner, Chef Brian McBride, has strategically tweaked each menu with the chef, Matt Newland, formerly of Wildwood Kitchen, to pay homage to its surrounding community while delivering a handsomely designed hangout for customers to come daily and not just from time to time.

The appeal to each Tavern is the discrete sense that mom flew in just to teach her favorite recipes to the skilled hands in the kitchen that have perfected them. The all day family vibe extends throughout the Tavern with both indoor and outdoor seating. No menu of RW Restaurant Group could be without its signature – Mussels and it comes in its classic presentation

Lupo Verde Opening Second Location

A second location of the popular Italian concept Lupo Verde is scheduled to open this November. The intimate 100-seat restaurant, which translates to “green wolf”, will serve authentic, rustic, Italian fare in the residential Palisades area on MacArthur Blvd. The restaurant will open with dinner service and brunch will be added at a later date.

Executive Chef Domenico Apollaro will oversee the Lupo Verde menu which will be similar to its sister restaurant on 14th Street, NW. Guests can anticipate authentic, rustic, Italian fare featuring a variety of small plates, house-made charcuteries, cheeses, breads and antipasti. The menu will also have wood-fired pizzas, eight house-made pastas, and eight entrée selections including whole roasted fish and a premiere selection of meats during dinner. Apollaro will be joined in the kitchen by two new sous chefs from Italy, who will be a part of the opening team.

Diners will also have the option to buy food to-go, as the first floor will feature a retail shop with house-made items, such as pastas, house-made jams, signature pasta sauces and other imported Italian products.

Matarazzo’s long-time friend, Francesco Amodeo of Don Ciccio & Figli, will assist with the beverage program, which will include a selection of craft cocktails, incorporating house-made vermouth and liquors made by aging fruit in oak barrels.

Burger, Tap & Shake’s 2nd Location Coming to Tenleytown

Burger Tap ShakeThe second Burger, Tap & Shake [BTS] is slated to open Monday, July 6, 2015 in Tenleytown. A colorful, counter-service spot with a family-friendly atmosphere radiating urban-graffiti style and industrial chic, BTS will anchor the corner of Wisconsin Avenue across from the Tenleytown Metro stop.

The menu at BTS is highly focused but endlessly customizable. Beef burgers, a blend of brisket and chuck, are ground in-house throughout the day to ensure optimum freshness. The house burger, affectionately known as “Six Buck Chuck” is fully loaded with Lettuce, Pickles, Onion, Tomato, and AP Sauce, an addicting house-blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard, BBQ and chipotle.

For another buck each, make your burger [or salad] your own with toppings like Lea & Perrins Mushrooms, Benton’s Smoked Bacon, Texas Chili con Carne [no beans], crumbled Blue Cheese, and smashed Avocado.

Also expect lucious shakes, such as Double Espresso, Blueberry-Pomegranate, or Tart Cherry. As an off-the-menu secret, ask for a Root Beer Float to enjoy the fizzy, bubbling combination of BTS’ own bottled Root Beer and house-churned ice cream.

Strictly for grown-ups, BTS “Shaketails” combine all that you love in a milkshake and a cocktail. Just in time for summer, Talladega Nights is a frosty blend of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, housemade Limoncello, Vanilla Ice Cream and Lemon Juice; Oreo Speedwagon gets you Kahlua, Oreo Cookies, and Vanilla Ice Cream.

Garrison Coming to Barracks Row

Chef Rob Weland will open his first independently owned and operated restaurant, Garrison, at Barracks Row. Garrison will exemplify Chef Weland’s signature cooking style of simple, clean flavors using high quality, sustainably grown ingredients whenever possible, served in a comfortable neighborhood setting. Opening is planned for mid to late summer.

Garrison will feature rustic yet sophisticated dishes like roasted meats, fish and vegetables from a wood-burning oven complemented by house-preserved cultures, vinegars and produce. Handmade pastas, crudos, and a variety of simple vegetable dishes will offer diners a la carte options to round out their meals.

Initially, the restaurant will serve dinner only with plans to eventually open for Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Art Works Now & Pizzeria Paradiso Breaks Ground on July 18

Art Works Now is pleased to announce the groundbreaking of their new home located at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue, Hyattsville, MD in the Gateway Arts District. The event, which takes place Saturday, July 18 from 10 am to 12 pm., is free and open to the public.

Through a public-private partnership between Art Works Now and Pizzeria Paradiso, Art Works Now will rehabilitate a long-abandoned florist shop and greenhouse on a blighted corner of the Gateway Arts District. The partnership’s collective goal is to support economic development and build a creative meeting place that enriches the entire community.

Art Works Now’s private partner, Pizzeria Paradiso, will add another sit-down restaurant to the growing number of dining options in Hyattsville. It will be the 4th area location for Pizzeria Paradiso.

Cava Headed to Silver Spring

Cava Grill has announced plans for a new downtown Silver Spring location, set to debut in early 2016 at 8515 Fenton St. The new location will feature an expanded open-kitchen layout; local beer and wine on tap; new menu items including seasonal vegetables roasted in Cava’s new stone-fired ovens, and rotating seasonal soups, juices, and teas made in-house daily; deeper relationships with local partners like Whisked!, Gordy’s Pickle Jar, and RunningByrd Tea; and additional community initiatives.

Keeping with Cava Grill’s opening traditions, the public will be invited to celebrate the new location with a Community Day, where lunch and dinner are free, with an encouraged donation to their local non-profit partner, City Blossoms, which champions healthy eating in the DC community. That date will be announced closer to the opening.

Blackwall Hitch Opens in Alexandria

The waterfront in Old Town Alexandria has a new dining experience, with the opening of Blackwall Hitch in the space adjacent to The Torpedo Factory.

Blackwall Hitch honors the heritage of the Chesapeake Bay with a modern interpretation of a classic coastal tavern. Blackwall Hitch’s menu draws upon classic American techniques that are regionally and seasonally inspired. Complementing the dining experience is a lively bar with a creative cocktail, wine and beer program.

Taking advantage of its riverfront location, Blackwall Hitch offers a patio overlooking the water plus a second level deck that includes a separate bar.

Designed to be sophisticated yet comfortable Blackwall Hitch offers flexible gathering spaces with both private and semi-private dining options for special events.

A live music schedule features an eclectic mix of acoustic acts and bands, with live music from Thursday-Saturday nights.

(Older) New Openings

As mentioned, we’ve been MIA for a bit with the DC Restaurant Buzz. So here are some of the openings we’ve missed in the last month…

  • Ankara, a Turkish restaurant in Dupont Circle, opened in mid May.The menu features a mix of the best of traditional Turkish foods as well as newly envisioned dishes. The lunch and dinner menus offer a wide array of soups, cold and hot meze dishes, salads, pide (flat breads), grilled kebab and desserts. Expect happy hour specials, and now, a newly-launched brunch. Their innovative Sunday brunch menu will be a celebration of the famous Turkish breakfast, Van Kahvaltisi – a broad selection of small plates of savory and sweet items including bal (honey), peynir (cheeses), zeytin (olives), recel (fresh fruit jams), tomatoes, peppers and more. Diners will also select three additional items from a range of egg, salad and pide dishes. They’ll end brunch with a sweet treat compliments of the restaurant.
  • Centrolina debuted at the end of May in CityCenter. The dual concept from Amy Brandwein offers both a mercato and osteria. The expansive space includes the market, offering a selection of imported Italian specialty goods along with meat, fish and produce from local farms, a selection of house-made items and a barista-serviced coffee program. The osteria will feature a concise and frequently-rotating Italian menu of around 15 dishes, including antipasti courses, legna courses will showcase wood-fired fish and meat like poletto (young chicken) with crostini and pan drippings, and tuna with roasted bone marrow and snap peas. Seasonal availability will be the guiding principal of the menu, and Brandwein plans to maintain a sense of interconnectedness between her kitchen and Centrolina’s retail wing.
  • Naples Ristorante brings yet another new and improved dining choice to the Westfield Montgomery mall. The restaurant opened in mid May, and offers a full immersion into the dining of its namesake – from the food and wine to interactions with native Italian servers. The restaurant offers authentic wood-fired pizza as well as a wide selection of tempting Neapolitan favorites. The restaurant is in the process of being certified by La Vera Pizzeria Napoletana, a denomination of control (DOC) by the Italian government. The new restaurant reproduces the pizza of Naples, Italy, using American spring water matching the mineral composition and pH of the water in Naples, as well as Neapolitan Caputo flour, handmade fior di latte mozzarella, and imported plum tomatoes. Naples Ristorante boasts a wine list of over 70 labels, and a cocktail lineup perfect for watching the sun set over Capri in the Bay of Naples. The restaurant is now offering an aperitivo happy hour menu every day from 4 to 6 pm. Daily drink specials include $6 cocktails mixed with a choice of spirits, $6 sangria and a $7 Aperol Spritz – a true Italian aperitif and refreshing nod to the summer months ahead, as well as Peroni, Moretti La Rossa, and Stella Artois, served on draft, along with Italian wines by the glass, all for $6. Complimentary, shareable assaggini is another reason to toast aperitivo as the best happy hour in Bethesda. They include a salumi board of Italian cured meats, crostini, and authentic Neapolitan margherita pizzas served fresh from the wood-fired oven.
  • Jug & Table opened at the end of May. The new concept from the Ripple & Roofers Union team is located directly beneath Roofers Union, occupying a cozy street-level space. Expect an entirely unique experience with a wholly distinctive wine list, cocktail offerings and food menu from its upstairs, beer-focused counterpart. Find more than 20 wines to be quaffed by the glass. Each day for happy hour, from to 7pm, Jug & Table will offer three wines by the glass for $5: a red, a white and a sparkling. In addition, groups can choose from two sharable “jug” options, over two bottles worth of wine, ranging in price from $20 to $25. Executive Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley will place her stamp on Jug & Table with an assortment of her popular grilled cheeses, cheese & charcuterie, and lux snacks served in jars such as liver mousse with toasted bread and rhubarb jam, duck rillettes, burrata with marinated vegetables, and Marcona almonds fried in lardo and sprinkled with rosemary. A few shots of what to expect:

Summer Specials & Events

Nickel & Nickel/Far Niente Wine Dinner at Joe’s

On Friday, June 26, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab is hosting Nickel & Nickel president Bruce Mooers for a five-course prix fixe wine dinner, while Joe’s features Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wines. The reception is at 6:30, with dinner beginning at 7pm. The menu costs $175 per person. The full lineup includes:

2013 Far Niente Chardonnay during the reception, followed by a 1st course with Grilled Yellowtail with heirloom tomatoes and 2013 Nickel & Nickel “Truchard Vineyard” Chardonnay; a 2nd course of  Sea Scallop with charred corn sauce paired with 2013 En Route “Les Pommiers” Pinot Noir; an entree of  Crown of Ribeye with hen of the woods mushrooms and browned goat butter, with both  2012 Nickel & Nickel “Quarry Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Nickel & Nickel “John C. Sullenger Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon; a 4th course of Hook Farms Double Cream Blue Cheese and 2005 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon, and for dessert, Dolce Roasted Pineapple with white chocolate mousse and fresh thyme, paired with 2008 Dolce.

Villain & Saint Showcases The Hollies

Welcome international musical sensation and London native Steve Lauri of The Hollies to Villian & Saint, on Friday, July 3. Steve Lauri will play those favorite tunes along with new songs off his latest album.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, The Hollies rose to fame in the 60s as one of the leading British groups with a whopping 30 chart-topping singles, including hits like “Bus Stop,” “The Air that I Breathe” and “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.”

Just for the occasion, Villain & Saint will offer a celebratory cocktail for the 4th of July weekend dubbed with a name nodding to the beat-group: The Holli-day with Rum, fresh-squeezed Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lime and Cranberry Juice.

Republic’s 2nd Annual Freedom Fest

Freedom Fest PosterFor the second straight year, Takoma Park’s Republic is hosting its 4th of July Freedom Fest, an all-day local beer and barbecue festival, featuring live music. Chef and partner Danny Wells will prepare a spread of slow smoked pork BBQ, cheddar biscuits, deviled eggs, cookies and an array of seasonal fixings such as cole slaw, grilled corn on the cob, and heirloom tomato salad.

Brews will be served from six local breweries: The Brewer’s Art, Denizens Brewing Company, Jailbreak Brewing Company, ReAle Revival, Atlas Brewing Company, and Hellbender Brewing Company. Freedom Fest will also feature live music from local bands, Yamonamen and Human Country Jukebox.

Tickets cost $40 for 11am-3pm or 3pm-7pm sessions. Or, buy VIP all day passes for $70, including exclusive access to brewers and take home swag such T-shirts, glassware and limited release beers to take home. Buy tickets online here.

BlackSalt Hosting Wine Dinner on July 8th

On Wednesday, July 8, BlackSalt will partner with Jackson Family Estates to host a seven-course wine dinner featuring dishes from BlackSalt Chef Mike Huff and wines from the Jackson portfolio. Leading the tasting will be two educators from Jackson Family Estates, Thomas Price and Emily Papach, both holders of Master Sommelier certificates.

Thomas and Emily will each choose their own pairings for the seven-course meal, which includes seasonal highlights from Chef Huff such as soft shell crabs and other seafood dishes including oysters and Spanish turbot. Guests will enjoy both pairings with each course, and at the end of dinner a vote will determine the crowd favorite declaring either Thomas or Emily the winner.

A welcome reception starts at 6:30, and dinner begins at 7:00 pm. The meal is priced at $145 per person, excluding tax and gratuity.

Et Voila!’s Bastille Day Menu

Et Voila! is celebrating Bastille Day from July 14th-19th with a special 3-course prix fixe menu, priced at $39.95. The menu begins with an appetizer of crispy brie with a frisée salad, followed by a choice of hanger steak with green peppercorn sauce, or braised rabbit leg with Brussels sprout stoemp. For dessert Francophiles can savor Pastry Chef Alex Malaise’s apricot and pistachio tart with strawberry ice cream.

Bastille’s Revamped Summer Menu

Staying in theme here, the newly re-opened Bastille has launched an inaugural summer menu, along with a series of prix fixe options that provide easy alternatives to a la carte dining.

Early summer star ingredients include heirloom and cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, peaches, and haricots vert, showcased in a wide range of dishes; such as seared foie gras with honey-Banyuls reduction on Pain d’Epices; a Norwegian salmon fillet plated with oven-roasted tomato & corn risotto, and a basil coulis; and thick-cut “Cote de porc” accompanied by a barbecue mole sauce, summer beans, and corn succotash.

Meanwhile, there’s a new dessert menu conjuring summer nostalgia, such as the “Campfire & Chocolate”, with Valrhona chocolate brownies, peanut butter marshmallow, candied peanuts, and caramel swirled popcorn ice cream, and the “Summer Melon”, with compressed cantaloupe, Greek yogurt sorbet, sesame crunch, and mint puree.

Bastille has also revamped its Saturday and Sunday brunch menu to feature bold twists on classic favorites.

Of course, Bastille is going to celebrate Bastille Day too… so on July 13, they kick off Bastille Day celebrations with author of In A French Kitchen, Susan Herrmann Loomis. Join Bastille for a special dinner on the eve of Bastille Day, priced at $69 per preson. A reception begins at 6:30, and dinner starts at 7pm.

In a French Kitchen is a collection of tales from the kitchens of home cooks throughout France capturing the delightful celebration of French life and the cooks who turn even the simplest meals into an occasion.

Mio Offering Puerto Rican Shaved Ice Dessert

Mio Restaurant has announced the return of the refreshing Puerto Rican shaved ice dessert, Piragua, made with fresh fruit syrup, with both spirited and non-alcoholic flavors. The ice cones are prepared at Mio’s decorative Piragua cart displayed on the patio.

Guests can choose from five refreshing flavors: acerola, mango, guava, coconut and Mio’s signature Puerto Rican coffee. The flavored shaved ice is topped with a shot of DonQ Rum. This cooling libation will be available July 3rd through September 7th. Each flavor is priced at $5.

Et Voila!’s Summer Popsicles

Let’s stick with the icy-cold theme, and move on over to Et Voila! Pastry Chef Alex Malaise, has crafted a lineup of summer popsicles, with flavors that will change every two weeks based on what’s fresh and in season. Choices include Pineapple & Coconut with passion glaze and shredded coconut; Raspberry & Blueberry with sorbet almond milk and popping candy; and Chocolate Nutella with crushed hazelnut from piemonte. Popsicles are priced at $6 each.

Pop’s SeaBar Offering Booszy (& Kid-Friendly) Snow Cones

Pop’s SeaBar is bringing the beach to DC, with both kid-friendly and boozy snow cones for the season, sourcing fresh fruits from local farms and infusing bourbon, amaro and cachaca for an ice-cold summer treat. Pop’s is launching the line of summer snow cones with a week-long charity drive from July 1-7, donating $1 from every snow cone sold to local youth nonprofit Brainfood.

A refreshing warm-weather treat for both kids and adults, Pop’s will offer three classic snow cone varieties made using fruits from local Earth n’ Eats Farm in Pennsylvania (all $3), including  Baltimore Lemon Stick: spearmint and lemon, a Baltimore tradition;  Earth n’ Eats Strawberry: using fresh strawberries from Earth n’ Eats farm in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania and  Earth n’ Eats Bing Cherry: using fresh bing cherries from Earth n’ Eats farm in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.

The “adult” versions incorporate summer spirits to create Pop’s unique spins on the classic mojito, strawberry daiquiri and more (all $7), including the Baltimore Lemon Stick with Novo Fogo Cachaca; the Earth n’ Eats Strawberry with El Dorado 8yr. Aged Rum and Cappelletti and the Earth n’ Eats Bing Cherry with Bulleit Bourbon and Meletti Amaro.

Sushiko Offering Exotic Trio of Ice Cream for National Ice Cream Month

sushiko ice cream month trioWe’re not done with frozen delights yet! Sushiko has perfected three unique flavors for a new ice cream dessert offering, with each featured in its own two-ounce glass. It is recommended that one begin with the opening flavor, Lychee Sorbet with Pink Peppercorn and a Mint Leaf, followed by the Huckleberry Ice Cream with a Shiso Leaf,and then the final selection, a savory Foie Gras Ice Cream with Pink Himalaya Sea Salt.

This dessert newcomer is priced at $9 and will be available starting June 26, through the entire month of July.

Nage Bistro’s Big Deal Wines

All summer long, Nage Bistro is offering a “Big Deal Wines at A Big Deal Steal” promotion, offering an opportunity to drink rare, hard-to-find, traditionally expensive wines at great prices. The wines are offered by the bottle, and will be changing throughout the summer to invite repeated visits for truly delicious exploration.

Sample unique options like 2012 Chateau de Sancere Loire, France; 2010 Domaine JA Ferret Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de cru Les Perrieres Maconnais, France; 2006 Terlato & Chapoutier Shiraz Pyrenees, Australia; 2008 Domaine Berthet – Reyne Chateauneuf du Pape Rhone, France; 2009 Sequoia Grove Cambium Blend Napa Valley, California; 2012 Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve Barboursville, Virginia; 2008 Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Alexander Valley, California; 2012 Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet/Shiraz Southern Australia, and 2009 Far Niente Cabernet Oakville, California. These hard to find wines are priced from $40 to $99 per bottle at Nage.

Pair the wines with new summer dishes from Nage’s Executive Chef Dwayne Motley such as Charbroiled Oysters with oregano, black pepper, and parmesan; Roasted Beet Salad with hazelnuts, frisee, goat cheese, orange, fennel, and brown butter vinaigrette; Ramp Bucatini with English peas, sugar snaps, green garlic, and Parmigiano Reggiano; Chicken Roulade with cippolini onion, green garlic, English peas, and chicken jus, as well as Chesapeake Crab cakes with ramps, fava beans, morel mushrooms, and spring pea puree.

Beefsteak’s New Menu Items

José Andrés is serving up a few new dishes this summer at Beefsteak. In addition to their veggie bowls, check out the new Beefsteak Gazpacho, a classic chilled soup from Andrés’ flagship Jaleo, remixed specially for Beefsteak. Made with tomato, cucumbers, red bell peppers and artisanal bread, the summer staple can be enjoyed in a bowl or on the go with a straw.

Also check out the new Seasonal Salad. The salad, comprised of romaine, cherry tomato, radish, cucumber salad, seaweed salad, scallions, toasted seaweed, and sprouts, is tossed in a bright and tangy lemon honey dressing.

Cafe Saint-Ex Showcases New French-Inspired Dishes

Chef Justin Bittner, is returning the Cafe Saint-Ex menu to its French-inspired bistro roots. The new summer menus, which are rolling out this month, feature fresh, local ingredients in simple, classic bistro preparations.

New spotlight dishes on the dinner menu include Crispy Duck Confit with Soldier Bean Ragout; Wild Alaskan Halibut with Spring Peas, Clams and Serrano Ham; and Teres Major Steak with Roasted Mushrooms and Baked Tomato.

Lunch items range from lighter fare, including Baby Lettuce & Goat Cheese Toasts or Tuna Tartine with Boiled Egg, Radish & Fries, to more substantial options, like a classic Croque Madame or Sauteed Chicken Thighs with Garlic Sauce & Rice. Several popular favorites, including the Local Dry-Aged Burger and the Fried Green Tomato BLT sandwiches, remain.

El Centro Brings Back Guacamole Festival

El Centro is bringing back Guacamole Festival, which will run June 29th through the end of September. The restaurant will feature different flavors that highlight various regional experiences of preparing guacamole.

Guests can opt for the Yucatán, with flavors from the Yucatán Peninsula including shrimp ceviche, spicy salsa habanero, pickled onion, orange, lime and sea salt; the Baja, with ingredients from Baja Californiaincluding kiwi, jicama, strawberry, mango, mint, chile arbol, lime and sea salt; the Supremo, with flavors from multiple Mexican regions such as bacon, roasted corn, queso fresco and pumpkin seeds, as well as the Norteno, incorporating ingredients from the North such as chicharrón, menonita cheese, pickled onion, lime and sea salt.

They’re also holding an Instagram contest throughout the duration of the festival. Diners are encouraged to snap a photo of the restaurant’s featured guacamole specials, and upload it to Instagram with the hashtag #GUACFEST2015 and @ElCentro_DF for a chance to win dinner for two including two margaritas, one appetizer, two entrees and one dessert.

Booze News

One Eight Distilling Debuts Ivy City Gin

one eight ivy city ginThe long-awaited Ivy City Gin has been released from One Eight Distilling. It’s an American dry gin distilled from locally-sourced grains with a mash bill of 63% rye, 26% corn, and 11% malted rye, with forward notes of Juniper and Spicebush, and a subtle bouquet of additional botanicals.

Ivy City Gin will be sold at the distillery and at participating Washington, D.C. retailers, followed by distribution to area bars and restaurants later in June. As part of its ongoing commitment to the Ward 5 community, One Eight Distilling will donate $1 from every bottle sold in D.C. this year to Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. in support of ongoing projects in Ivy City.

Suburbia to Host Nick Stefenelli

Gina Chersevani is turning over the keys of “Suburbia,” her customized mobile airstream bar alongside Union Market, to her new neighbor – Nick Stefenelli – while he is completing the home for his first solo restaurant, Masseria.

Not one to sit quietly while house-sitting, Nick has been secretly planning a little whiskey business with the help of his head bartender Julien-Pierre Bourgon and the two are ‘streamlining’ a 3-day House Party Pop-Up, for three consecutive Wednesdays through July 1st, from 4 to 10pm on each occasion, showcasing the summery spirits and cocktails for this season’s opening of Masseria.

“There Goes the Neighborhood” takeover pop-up will be a spotlight preview of the approachable craftsmanship Julien-Pierre will bring to the bar menu of Masseria, and the two will be slinging generously poured libations: Four Beers on Tap; Four Frozen Drinks; Punch del Giorno; and a specialty cocktail on draft.

Met Bethesda Showcases 30 Tap Martini Bar

Met Bethesda is excited to announce the one of a kind Met Martini Bar featuring exotic and interesting flavors made with fresh fruit purees. The innovative on-tap system, designed by restaurant owner Kathy Sidell, is currently exclusive to Met Bethesda.

The system, which can pour up to 30 different selections, also dispenses the Met’s signature Blood Orange Martinis, such as their Blood Orange Cosmo, Three Olive orange vodka, triple sec, blood orange puree, lime juice, and a selection of seasonal “flavor flights.” Seasonally focused flavors currently offered include Meyer lemon, blueberry, raspberry, lychee, prickly pear, blood orange, tangerine, green apple, white peach, lime mint, passion fruit, pomegranate, papaya, cranberry, apricot, pink guava, mango and the El Corzon blend.

Other new additions to the cocktail list, include The Beltway,Cachaca 51 Brazilian rum, elderflower liqueur, green apple puree and El Corzon puree; Crescent Run, Amsterdam gin, triple sec, Meyer lemon puree, El Corzon puree and atomized absinthe spray, as well as the Banshee, coconut vodka, mint leaves, lime mint puree, lychee puree and splash of ginger ale.

Cashion’s Eat Place Hosting a “Rickey Bar” with July 1st Green Hat Gin Kickoff Party

July 1st in DC signals the start of “Rickey Month” – 31 days dedicated to the city’s official cocktail – the Rickey. For the month of July, Cashion’s Eat Place will host a pop-up Rickey Bar, featuring specials and flights of the staff’s own Rickey creations.

Cashion’s is launching the month-long menu with a Green Hat Gin Rickey kickoff party on Wednesday, July 1 at 6:30 pm,.

To celebrate Rickey Month, three of Cashion’s talented owners and bar staff have created their own takes on the classic Rickey cocktail, which traditionally just requires three ingredients: bourbon or gin, lime and soda.

Check out the “Wild Thing”: Jim Beam Rye, a housemade “Northern Neck Farms Two-Way Tincture” and fresh lime, topped with Herout Cidre Cotentin Organic Sparkling Cider; the refreshing Blue Shrub, infusing Green Hat Gin with fresh mint, house-made blueberry shrub, lime and soda; and to get a bit bolder, the Green Shipman, with Green Hat’s Navy Strength Gin, fresh basil, mint and simple syrup.

All are available  for $10 each, or sampled as a flight of three for $12.

McClellan’s Retreat Honoring Rickey Month Too

McClellan’s Retreat is also in on the Ricky Month theme. They’re offering three original Rickey concoctions from their trio of mixologists who will be participating in this year’s official DC/USBG Rickey Competition. The 3 original McClellan’s Retreat offerings include:

Gin, Preserved Strawberries, Toasted Coriander and Ginger Tea by Megan Barnes; Bourbon, Chocolate and Orange Soda by Brian Nixon and Gin, Cucumber/Cilantro, Soda Water by James Brameyer. There will also be a traditional Rickey on special during happy hours, and several rickey-inspired snacks will be added to the food menu including a bourbon/lime pork jerky, a granita, and jell-o shots.
Also happening in July – Mick Perrigo from El Camino will be behind the bar at McClellan’s Retreat as our Guest Bartender of the Month on July 13thSave the Date: Tyler Hudgens – who will soon be manning the bar at The Dabney when it opens – will be guest bartending at McClellan’s Retreat on Monday, August 10th.

City Tap House Serving Breakfast For Dinner with Founders Brewing Co

On Thursday, July 9th, from 5pm to close, City Tap House is hosting a tap takeover with Founders Brewing Co. featuring two of their most sought drafts: Kentucky Breakfast Stout & Canadian Breakfast Stout. For the perfect pairing, the restaurant will feature pancake specials that will be available in addition to the restaurant’s full a la carte menu.

Dishes include: Lemon, Ricotta and Blueberry Pancakes with mascarpone cream and stout maple syrup; Bananas Foster Pancakes with whipped cream and stout caramel sauce, as well as Benton’s Bacon & Chocolate Chip Pancakes topped with candied pecans, whipped cream and stout maple syrup.

Let’s drink *all* the new cocktails being served up around town…

Sushiko’s New Cocktails

Sushiko has several new cocktails on the menu…

The list includes the Minka Old Fashioned, named after the Japanese word for “farmhouse,” showcasing a twist on a classic cocktail made with muddled cherry and orange, Maker’s Mark and Lindera Farms honey vinegar (right); the Sagano Saketini, named after the bamboo forest outside Kyoto, Japan, and made with Namachozu sake, cucumber liquor, green tea simple syrup and garnished with bamboo leaf; and the Shichimi Garu, made with chili-infused vodka, pineapple juice, white cranberry, lemonade and a pinch of shichimi, a Japanese seven spice powder (left).

Blue Duck Tavern’s New Cocktails

At Blue Duck Tavern in the Park Hyatt Washington, there’s a wealth of new libations on the menu featuring seasonal ingredients and themes.

Newcomers include Cherry Quina, Plymouth Gin, house-made cherry tonic with Bittercube cherry bark bitters and club soda; Lose The Tie, El Dorado Gold, Gosling’s black rum, house-infused banana rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, lime and orange; The Best of Everything, Laphroaig 10 Year Scotch, Hennessy VS, NV Blandy’s 5 Year Bual Madeira and lemon bitters; Paulista, strawberry infused Leblon Cachaça, lime, brown sugar and rhubarb syrup; Kiss From a Rose, Hornitos Tequila, Los Nauhales Mezcal, peppercorns and lemongrass wild rose syrup, as well as the Pepperoiska, Belvedere unfiltered vodka, cilantro, cucumber, black pepper and lemon.

Other go-tos on the menu include the District Snap, Mt. Gay Rum, fresh snap pea juice, mint, lime, brown sugar and soda; Mellomaro, George Dickel White Whiskey, Aperol, orange, mint and sparkling wine; and the Bayside, Absolut Elyx vodka, dry curacao, orange, house-made carrot vanilla soda.

Lupo Verde’s New cocktails

Lupo Verde is getting into the seasonal fun, too, with all of their drinks carefully crafted to be paired with Chef Domenico Apollaro’s authentic rustic Italian fare…

Cocktail newcomers include the Alexis, with bourbon, nocino, amaro delle sirene, orange bitters; the Stregone, with singani, pear williams, lemon juice, blueberry, tonic; Amore, pisco, hibiscus liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, egg white; the Rickey Italiano, gin, fennel, lime juice, suze, soda, thyme; Peppino, gin, limoncello, lemon juice, peychaud’s, prosecco; the Principessa, blood peach puree, grapefruit bitters, prosecco; the Piccolina, fresh raspberry, prickly pear, spicebush shrub, bitters, prosecco; the A’Malafemmina, mezcal, aperol, prickly pear, grapefruit, basil; the Fragolino, tequila, mezcal, mandarin liqueur, strawberry puree, bitters; the Bella Mora, vodka, sloe gin, fennel liqueur, blackberry puree, lemon, tonic; and the Toto’, vodka, mandarin, cocchi americano, lemon, basil.

1789 Restaurant’s New Summer Cocktails

We’re not done with new cocktails list. At 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown, there’s a new seasonal lineup of libations as well…

Check out the District (Red) Rickey, with Beefeater 24 gin, blood orange, lime, Campari, bitter lemon soda; the Rhubarb Bellini, with lemon-rhubarb syrup, Prosecco; the classic Sidecar, with Hennessy VS Cognac, Lazzaroni Triplo, fresh lemon juice; Basil White Sangria, basil infused Spanish white wine, citrus; the French Collins, with Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain, sweet and sour, ginger ale; Bob’s Back Porch Lemonade, with Tito’s vodka, muddled fresh mint, lemon, club soda; the Georgetown Sour, with Maker’s Mark bourbon, Brachetto d’Acqui, sweet and sour; and the house special 1789 Sazerac, with Bulleit rye whiskey, simple syrup, Peychaud’s and Angostura bitters, absinthe-rinsed glass.

Barmini Celebrating Tiki Week with Ten Tiki Cocktails

The 2nd annual Tiki Week is underway at barmini by José Andrés, featuring a selection of over ten tiki-inspired cocktails running now until July 11. A few highlights include…

The Polynesian Vacation: citrus vodka, aloe liqueur, pineapple, lime, ginger, yellow chartreuse; the Tikaly: carpano antica, luxardo maraschino liqueur, grappa bottega, velvet falernum, orange juice, passionfruit puree; the Aloe Vera Chu Hi: shochu mizu, absolute elix vodka, aloe vera syrup, clarified yuzu, fever tree soda water; the Mohan Travels to Peru and Gets a Haircut: appleton vx rum, machu pisco peruvian pisco, chicha morada, lime, ginger syrup, don ciccio & figli walnut liqueur, vanilla syrup; the Iz Kamakawiwo’ole: bacardi white rum, don ciccio & figli limoncello, simple syrup, lime, pernod rinse, guava ice; Childhood in Paradise: bacardi 8 rum, mezcal vida, velvet falernum, simple syrup, mango puree, lime juice, chat masala, gram chipotle and many others.

A few more choice names include the Thai Vacation, Treasure Box (Trader Vic’s – the Original from 1944), Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai, and the Muy Bueno, with José Andrés’ own recipe.

Macon Bistro’s New Summer Sipping Lineup

Macon Bistro & Larder’s beverage team made up of General Manager/Sommelier Gene Alexeyev, Assistant General Manager and Beer Director Andra Johnson (known to all as AJ) and newly appointed Lead Bartender Chris Martino, who joined Macon in April 2015, all have new things in store for the restaurant this summer.

There’s a wide range of carefully selected and curated wines and beers, made to match the season and the restaurant’s menu. For the cocktail lineup, there are new offerings such as…

The Vespertine, Square One Cucumber Vodka, Lillet Blanc, pickled ramps, lemon and orange bitters; the Eat A Peach, tequila, apricot, lime and anise hyssop syrup; the Bouton, Hendrick’s Gin, apple shrub, vanilla honey, lemon and soda; Mr. Brown, Zacapa, Campari, hum and Aztec bitters; the More Bark Than Bite, Jim Beam Bonded, Maurin Quina and grapefruit soda; Don O-Owney’s Rum, nepeta (catmint syrup), lime and orgeat; the Bon Vivant, Tanqueray, lemon, Crème Yvette, Angostura bitters and sparkling wine; The Candy Striper, scotch, Dubonnet, Chioggia beet and lemon, as well as the Pisco Punch, Macchu Pisco, pineapple syrup, lime and Herbs de Provence.

In other Macon news… the restaurant is debuting lunch beginning on Tuesday, July 7th. The new seasonally sourced lunch menu will be served Tuesday through Friday, from 11:30 AM to 2 PM.

Cuba Libre’s New Cocktails

Cuba Libre has revamped its summertime drinks list, including three new variations of the classic Rum & Coke cocktail. Check out The “Original” Cuba Libre, Bacardi Gold, Coca-Cola and lime; the Cherry Cuba Libre with Bacardi Torched Cherry, Coca-Cola and lime, and the Coconut Spiced Cuba Libre, Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum, Coca-Cola and lime.

Cuba Libre also offers an expansive rum menu includes over 95 premium and flavored varieties along with the restaurant’s own brand of the liquor.

Cuba Libre has also revamped its menu, too. For lunch, find the Naked Burger Salad; Ropa Vieja Ravioles, as well as the Rancho Luna Chicken Salad. At dinnertime, check out the Bruschettas de Tostones; Coconut Crab Fritters; Bay Scallop Ceviche; Chinita Chop-Chop Salad; as well as the addition of baby Brazilian lobster tails to the Seafood Plancha Mixta. To complete the meal on a sweet note try the Key Lime Tart with pistachio crust and burnt meringue.

Station 4’s New Cocktails

Station 4 has unveiled a refreshing list of summer cocktails, each named after a famous metro stop or train station to emphasize the restaurant’s namesake. All seven libations were crafted to be pair perfectly with Executive Chef Orlando Amaro’s modern Mediterranean cuisine. The cocktail newcomers include…

the Silver Line, Plymouth gin, lemon juice, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, simple syrup and cava; the Grand Central, Dewar’s White scotch, Amaretto and orange peel; the El Paso Depot, Corazón Agave Tequila Reposado, Kahlua, blue agave nectar and grapefruit juice, garnished with a salt rim; the Tri Rail Mojito, Bacardi, blueberries, simple syrup and mint; the Copley Square, Ciroc, Grand Marnier, lime juice and cranberry juice; The L, Jägermeister, Ciroc, Milagro Silver and raspberries; and the Kentucky Railway, Maker’s Mark, lemon juice, peach schnapps, simple syrup and bitters.

Fans can also get 10% off your bill with a ticket stub after attending a Nationals game.

More News & Notes

Rasika West End Launches Sunday Brunch

Rasika West End is now offering Sunday Brunch service, offering a selection ofa la carte dishes from Vikram Sunderam’s modern and authentic Indian fare prepared on the Tawa (griddle), Sigri (open barbeque), as well as Tandoori. There are also tempting regional dishes including Sunday curries and brunch specials.

Standout dishes include Palak Chaat, crispy baby spinach, yogurt, tamarind, date; Kedgeree, basmati rice with egg, ginger, mango chutney; Rockfish Curry with coconut, green chili, ginger and curry leaves; Eggs Kejiriwal, a Wellington Club special cheese chili toast with sunny side eggs; Spinach Egg Curry with onion, tomatoes and baby spinach; Coconut Jaggery Pancakes with fresh coconut, cardamom and caramel.

To complement the dishes, bottomless Mimosas, Bloody Mary’s or Prosecco are available for $15. For a sweet finish, diners can also choose from dessert selections including Indian Bread & Butter Pudding and White Chocolate Rice Kheer.

FRESHFARM Markets Names New Executive Director

Freshfarm Markets has named Mike Koch as their new Executive Director. Koch, a recognized change maker and local food innovator, will take the place of Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors Ann Harvey Yonkers and Bernadine Prince, who announced their retirement earlier this year. Yonkers and Prince will remain involved in the organization to ensure a smooth transition. A local food advocate and award-winning entrepreneur with a distinguished track record of innovation, Koch has a depth and breadth of more than two decades of experience.

“We are excited to launch the next era at FRESHFARM Markets with one of own food producers at the helm,” remarked board of directors Chairperson Susan Buffone. “Mike brings a wealth of business experience and extensive knowledge of our markets and programs. His leadership will ensure that the legacy of our founders and the mission of FRESHFARM Markets will continue to contribute to the economic health of the Chesapeake Bay Region bringing fresh local foods to a wide range of consumers.”

Capital Restaurant Concepts Names New Corporate Chef

Neal Langermann has been appointed corporate chef of Capital Restaurant Concepts. Langermann is returning to CRC bringing his wealth of experience and talent. In this new role, he will once again serve as executive chef of the landmark southern restaurant Georgia Brown’s, a position he held for eight years, as well as serving as the corporate executive chef of CRC, overseeing the menus at J.Paul’s, Old Glory Bar-B-Que, Paolo’s Ristorante, Neyla in Reston, Virginia, and Ovations, the on-site restaurant for Wolf Trap.

Macon Bistro Hires New Pastry Chef

Macon Bistro & Larder has appointed Jameela Hassan as pastry chef for the French/southern-inspired neighborhood restaurant located in the Chevy Chase. She brings to her new position 12 years of professional experience.

New to the menu are White Peach and Blackberry Cobbler with Whiskey and Cinnamon Ice Cream. Hassan has also recently introduced a Smoked Pecan Pie, Chocolate-Cream Pie, Vinegar Pie, as well as a Cheese Pie and Cinnamon Sugar Donuts with Chocolate Sauce. Desserts range from $7 to $9, and if one is looking for gluten-free or dairy-free desserts, Hassan weaves them seamlessly into her menu. One can indulge in dessert at the restaurant, or buy confections to take home from the Larder including seasonal mini-pies such as Honeyberry-Rhubarb and Sour Cherry-Blueberry, as well as tempting Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Passion Food Hospitality Raises $55,000

passion food charity golfLast but certainly not least, Passion Food Hospitality partners, chef Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo and David Wizenberg, are proud to share their hole-in-one moment – presenting a record-breaking check of $55,000 from their tenth annual ComPassion Golf Tournament to the Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Children’s National Medical Center.

The annual golf tournament was held this past April 27 at the Reston National Golf Course. Since Passion Food Hospitality’s dynamic trio spearheaded the tournament in 2006, the group has successfully raised more than $416,000. The proceeds directly benefit children’s health facilities in the Washington, DC area – including the Children’s National Medical Center, which is the only health system in the Mid-Atlantic region dedicated to the care of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.