Monday, August 30, 2010

Sushi Taro

What better way to pep up your mood after a long day at the Holocaust Museum than to crash Sushi Taro’s restaurant week? It was hot, we were depressed and starving. I heard nothing but amazing things about Sushi Taro and I was not going to take ‘no’ for an answer when they told me there were no available reservations for the evening. It was the last day of restaurant week and I wasn’t going to miss out on this cuisine.

We braved the hostess greeting us at the front and begged for anything they had. Finally, I settled and suggested they just seat us at the bar. They were happy to accommodate and we were more than happy to eat.

We started off with a three box sampler followed by our choice of entrée and later a plate of our choice of sushi.

Our first course was a combination of three sample binto boxes.

Box 1 - Mimono simmered shrimp and eggs: The mimono simmered shrimp and eggs box was an eclectic array of fresh vegetables, tofu and shrimp. This salad was delicately immersed in a light marinade which blended well with each flavor without overpowering all the different elements.

Box 2 - Fine cuts of sashimi (Chef’s choice): This consisted of a white fish and basic tuns. These beautiful cuts of sashimi immediately cured my fish craving and left me excited for the next plate of sushi. They were fresh and beautifully sliced which allowed us to appreciate the full experience of the fish.

 Box 3- Takiawa Tofu Dashi Tofu: The tofu was a beautiful, airy, silky tofu that was followed by a slight hint of citrus. It was refreshing and delicate.

I must say, all three boxes were an adventure for my taste buds and I was constantly asking the bartender what we were eating. My motto: Eat first, ask later.

Entrée- Wild Prawn & Veggie Tempora: How can you go wrong with fresh tempra? It was perfectly breaded and fried to perfection. Prawn tempora is not something I had experienced before and, of course, I had to start with the head. Needless to say, it was an adventure I would gladly partake in again.

Sushi Platter – Fatty Tuna, Wagyu Beef, Jon Fish, Salmon Caviar: Anytime I see Fatty Tuna (Toro) I have to get it. There is absolutely nothing else out there like it and nothing compares to this cut of the tuna. It’s always the most expensive item on the fish menu but it’s always well worth it. (Just make sure it’s not frozen beforehand.) The fatty, buttery fish melts like a cloud on your tongue leaving you with a subtle hint of tuna. It’s absolute heaven to me. The Wagyu beef was something I had never tried in sushi form before and it was an interesting new twist. It was a typical piece of beef marinated and sliced thin. Very creative but not something I would order individually. The Jon Fish was a typical white fish with a bit of a stronger fishy flavor to follow. I enjoyed the simplicity of it very much. Last but not least, the Salmon Caviar. The salt was very faint and I was able to taste the eggs as they were intended, fresh and luscious. One after another they popped and I was overwhelmed with the juices. It was a refreshing and delicate experience, a perfect way to end the meal.

Overall, our dining experience was absolutely superb and we were very thankful that we were able to experience such fine dining at such a reasonable price. This would be a perfect place to take a date who can’t get enough of good Japanese cuisine and who would appreciate the chef’s careful preparation of every piece. I will undoubtedly be back for more. 

1503 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 462-8999

Mon-Sat – Dinner 5:30- 10:00
Closed on Sunday

Labor Day Party at Café Saint-Ex

Come and join the party at Café Saint Ex’s annual Labor Day block party on Monday, September 6th from 11am to 5pm. Complete with a charity pig roast and live bluegrass music, BBQ sauce competition and interactive arts for kids.

Enjoy pulled pork sandwich, fresh coleslaw and homemade potato salad for $10; accompanied with a selection of beers including Peroni, Batch 19 and Blue Moon. All proceeds will directly benefit Fillmore Arts Center, DC public school arts program.

Café Saint-Ex
1847 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show is coming to DC!!

Mark Your Calendars! The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show is the only award winning consumer event in the nation for cooking and entertaining enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

With more than 300 exhibitors, live cooking demonstrations by nationally renowned chefs, tastings, book signings and entertaining workshops. It will also include from Food Network stars Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, and Bobby Flay. Also featuring some of DC’s hottest chefs such as, Cathal Armstrong, Mike Isabella, Daniel Giusti, Nicholas Stephanelli, RJ Cooper, and Clayton Miller.

The Cooking show will be held November 13-14, 2010 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

See you there!! 

Show Hours: 
Saturday, November 13, 2010
10am - 7pm
Sunday November 14, 2010
10am - 5pm


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eastern Market

I take my first step outside, the humid summer air is fleeting quickly and I feel a sense of urgency to spend as much time outside as possible. Capitol Hill is buzzing; everyone is running amuck and enjoying this beautiful Sunday morning. I grab my bike and I’m off to Eastern Market to do some exploring of my own. The sounds of laughter, children, music and chatter fill the air. A small jazz trio is playing at the corner coffee shop and spectators stop in their tracks to enjoy. Children and dogs are running around as young couples pick out their dinner for the evening. I am in heaven.

I always start with the fenced in flea market for my first temptation. Leisurely walking in and out of the tiny makeshift shops, I’m thrown a few smiles and a “hello there pretty lady” by the incense seller. (It never fails) I grab a cup of fresh squeezed lemonade and enjoy the plethora of antiques that surround me. There is something about the smell of antiques that makes my heart flutter with a sense of curiosity. They seem so innocent to me, yet for some reason I’m always left curiously wondering where these pieces came from. What is their story?

Leaving empty handed, as I usually do, I head over to the farmers stand to check out the array of fresh produce for sale. I always make a lap or two before making my first purchase. My mind wanders with all the potential and I’m left distracted with all the wonderful selections. I often become overwhelmed with the endless possibilities and end up buying too much, or not enough. I have an idea this time, a craving. My idea grows as I slowly walk in between the people and strollers. I admire the beautiful wildflowers and talk myself out of buying some for a treat. I must remain focused this time.

Alas, I return to where I once started, this time with a mission in mind. Of course, the first stand had the best looking heirloom tomatoes so I couldn’t help but to get one yellow and one red. They were lush with beautiful color, not too hard and not too soft. I’m then sidetracked by some beautiful eggplant and my thoughts begin to wonder how they taste. Focus, Kristin.

I turn to pick up one husk of fresh sweet corn to go with my recipe and treat myself to two gorgeous peaches. I always say I’ll make peaches and cream but they never last long enough for me to get to the store to buy the heavy cream. Maybe one day…

With a smile and a quick exchange, I have my goods and I’m off to the indoor market. I quickly grab a fresh baguette from the bakery when I turn to see the display of fresh pastas. I’m a sucker for fresh pasta and hope to one day muster up enough courage to make my own ravioli. Then I see it, homemade lobster and crawfish ravioli. “I MUST try this” I think to myself. With just a quarter of a pound, I’m left with six pieces to sample for dinner. Perfect.

The clouds darken overhead and I see my time has come to an end. I have everything I need to fulfill my dinner fantasy for that day so I hop on my bike and peddle home. I grab a large handful of basil and a pinch of tarragon from my front garden and run inside just in time before the rain starts.

The front door slams shut behind me and I skip my way back to the kitchen (Yes, I said skipped). This was going to be great!!

I quickly throw the corn in a pot of boiling water and get another pot ready for my ravioli. While that’s cooking, I chop up both tomatoes, tarragon and a few leaves of basil; drizzle with olive oil and throw in a little salt and pepper. I set that aside to marinate.

Then I take out my cast iron skillet and season it with some olive oil. I slice my baguette into thin diagonal pieces and set them inside once the oil is heated.

In a blender I combine the basil leaves, pine nuts, a clove of garlic, freshly grated parmesan cheese, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. I blend them until I have a beautifully smooth pesto. I wanted just a little something to drizzle over the ravioli without taking the taste away from the fresh dough and fish.

I quickly throw the ravioli in a small simmering pot and stir them slowly. They only need about 6-7 minutes.

By this time, my corn is done. I cut it off the husk and throw into my tomato concoction to complete my bruschetta. I slap a large dollop on top of my toast and drizzle with a touch of olive oil.

I drain the ravioli, plate and trickle some pesto on each piece. I’m overjoyed with the outcome and can’t wait to dive in!

The ravioli was all I had hoped for and more. The seafood and pesto flavors married beautifully and filling was something from a dream. The chef was sparing with the salt and I was left wanting more. Next time, I’ll spend the money and get a half pound.

The crunchy, sweet, salty bruschetta was a two minute masterpiece. Left overnight to marinate, it was absolutely heavenly the next day for my lunch.

The juices from the tomatoes and the oil formed a flavorful broth at the bottom of the dish and I used the day old bread to sop it up. It was a perfect way to bring me back to that beautiful Sunday as the reality of the work week set in. As the familiar flavors danced on my tongue, I swear I could hear the music, the children, and the laughter; and just for one moment the florescent lights faded and I was standing at the market again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Farmers & Fishers

Conveniently located directly on Georgetown’s waterfront, this farm fresh restaurant is in the perfect location for the young, rich and beautiful of DC. The atmosphere was welcoming and the staff was very polite and was able to seat us right away at a table of our liking. Though it was a little warm that evening, we chose sit outside to enjoy the water fountain and to people watch. Our waitress was very kind and was able to accommodate us to no end, though the service was very slow. They seemed unable to handle the rush of diners due to the demand of restaurant week. Regardless, our meals came out correct and everyone was very helpful. I wouldn’t mind going back for a second bite and another Constitution if someone dared me. Their full menu looks a little more daring and worth the dime. Till then…


The Constitution: With a hint of soda and a touch of lemon, this cocktail is perfect for a night dining outdoors. It was very refreshing with just the right amount of alcohol. 


Fresh Beet and Warm Goat Cheese Watercress Salad: The salad was a beautiful paring of spinach, fresh beets, heirloom tomatoes, with a side of breaded goat cheese. All of the flavors melted into one another for a perfect starter to our meal. It was a little bigger than I anticipated, which was good, but it left me feeling pretty full.

Crab Cake: I have to be honest; I was a little disappointed in the crab cake. Not that there was anything wrong with it, but there was nothing really special about it. You could taste the filling right away and it lacked flavor.  

(I also had a bite of my friend’s steak it was also nothing to write home about. For the amount of money we paid, even in restaurant week, it was overpriced and not worth it.)

Dessert: Unfortunately, I’m also going to disclose my disappointment with the dessert selection as well. I had a dry, store bought piece of chocolate cake that left me scratching my head. Again, I was very dissatisfied. But wait; let me not forget the gorgeous tiny dollop of fresh homemade vanilla ice cream they served with it. Simple and well executed.  


Lunch and Dinner
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 11:30am – 11pm
Sunday:  10am – 10pm
Brunch is served on Sundays from 10am – 3pm.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hello Cupcake is Celebrating their Two Year Anniversary with Free Cupcakes on 8/24

Hello Cupcake in Dupont Circle is celebrating its second birthday tomorrow and will be handing out a free cupcake to anyone who stops by after their doors open at 10 a.m. The shop, which is located at 1361 Connecticut Avenue NW, will be passing out complimentary treats until they run out -- based on our previous experience with such giveaways, you may want to plan on getting there as close to 10 as possible.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The diner/modern ambiance was hardly unique. Walking into a dark black hole with sporadic lighting is not a good idea when attempting to present the façade for serious cuisine. It was an odd splash of diner meets night club that did not accompany the food well.

Nonetheless, the service was up to par and our waiter was patient and helpful. Though the place was small, it did not overcrowd when the 20 something’s flooded in for the evening’s happy hour specials. Overall, I would probably only go back for the cocktails and sliders.


Hibiscus Cocktail: Too sweet for my liking. The hibiscus was a refreshing new taste that was not overwhelming; however, the St. Germaine liquor was.

Champagne Cocktail: A beautiful blend of light brut champagne with a hint of brandy. Very light and sophisticated.


Madras Curry Lamb Sliders: One of my favorites of the evening. The lamb was cooked to a perfect medium rare; it was complimented with fresh bread, arugula, mint, and a slightly pickled cucumber. Two thumbs up.

Hand cut French Fries with Black Truffle Mayo: I could not get enough of the mayo. The fries were cooked perfectly and not oily at all. They were complimented with just the right amount of fresh garlic salt.

Yellowfin Tuna Tartare: Not the best tartare but not the worst either. Fresh tuna cubes with tiny dices of cucumber and shallot. It lacked original flavor but was delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: I think it’s hard to go wrong with hummus but this chef got it right. By far the best hummus I’ve ever had. It was a perfect blend of all ingredients and had us licking the bowl.

Steller Bay Oysters: Beautiful, simple, yet elegant. With only three to an order I was left wanting more. The chef didn’t take away from the oyster’s original taste by only adding a touch of onion and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cashew Crusted Jerk Chicken: This was one of the highlights of the evening; an original recipe of crispy jerk chicken satay, with apple chutney. The crisp outer cashew layer gave way to the succulent, juicy chicken. The distinct jerk seasonings married impressively with the mango chutney which carried a slight hint of curry. Beautiful.


1904 14th Street NW

5:00pm – 11:00pm Tues. –Wed.
5:00pm – 12:00pm Fri. – Sat.
5:00pm – 1:00- 2:00am Fri. – Sat. (BAR)

Everybody Deserves a Second Chance - DC Restaurant Week Extensions

If you weren’t able to make Restaurant Week reservations in time, don’t fret! Many restaurants extend their DC Restaurant Week promotion for an additional week or the entire month just for you stragglers! Below is a listing of DC area restaurants that have extended their restaurant week promotions.

So get out and start making reservations!

DC Restaurant Week Participating Restaurant Extensions:

701: 1 week thru Sunday, August 29
2941: Offers 3 course pre-fixe lunch menu for $20.10 all year round
Adour at the St. Regis: 1 week thru Aug. 28
Ardeo: 1 week thru Sunday, August 29
Art and Soul: 1 week thru Sunday, August 29
Asia Nine: 1 week thru Sunday, August 29
Bastille: 1 week thru Saturday, August 28th (Not served on Sundays)
Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar: 1 week
Bibiana: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Bombay Club: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Cafe Atlantico: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Café Dupont: 1 week thru Aug 27th
Café Saint Ex: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Cedar: 1 week thru Aug. 28
Circle Bistro: 1 week
Co Co Sala: 1 week -thru Aug. 26
Dino: Entire month of August
Dish+drinks: 1 week
Fourth Estate Restaurant at the National Press Club: 1 week thru August 28
Grillfish DC: Entire Month of August
Jaleo (All locations): thru Aug. 29
J&G Steakhouse DC – 1 week thru Aug. 29
La Bergerie: 1 week thru Aug. 29 La Porta’s: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Lavendou: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Lebanese Taverna: (Offers Kid’s RW All August. Kids Under 11 Pay Their Age)
Logan Tavern – Entire month of August.
Lima: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Nage Bistro: Entire month of August
Notti Bianche: 1 week
Occidental Grill and Seafood: thru Aug. 26
Oval Room: 1 week thru Aug. 29th
Oyamel: 1 week thru Aug. 29th
Perry’s: thru Aug. 31st
Policy: 1 week thru August 29
Primi Piatti: thru August 31st

Redwood: Entire month of August
Restaurant 3: 1 week thru Aug. 29th
Ristorante Piccolo: thru August 29
Sonoma Wine Bar: 1 week thru August 26th
Sushi-Ko: thru Aug. 29
Trummer’s on Main: 1 week thru Aug. 26th
Tuscana West: 1 week thru Aug. 29
Willow: 1 week thru Aug. 28
Zaytinya: 1 week thru August 29th
ZENTAN: 1 week from August 16th – 29th.
ZOLA: 1 week thru Aug. 29th

Did you eat??

Thursday, August 19, 2010

32nd Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for The Adams Morgan Day 18th Street Festival on Sunday, September 12th from 12-7.

They will have two large stages as well as additional arts and dance activities. The famous Columbia and Florida Stages (located strategically on 18th Street at Columbia Rd and at Florida Ave.) Get down tos some Central and South America, Latin rock, salsa, jazz, to soul, funk and American rock.

The Adams Morgan Festival was first held in 1978 and is the Longest Continuous Neighborhood Festival in DC. This nationally known regional event showcases the international and cultural diversity and creativity that is the hallmark of Adams Morgan.

AdamsMorgan MainStreet seeks different types of vendors:

•Food vendors selling ethnic and festival food;
•Vendors selling handmade crafts like clothing, accessories, jewelry, soaps, etc.;
•Vendors selling unique and/or interesting imports from around the world;
•Unique vendors such as New Age, specialty packaged gift foods, quality artificial arrangements, or green products!
•Vendors representing Adams Morgan storefront businesses (18th St, Columbia Rd, adjacent area (special preference)
•Vendors representing local non-profit, community-based organizations in Adams Morgan;
•Vendors representing city agencies, national non-profits or campaigns.

Come out and celebrate with us!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grilled Tomato, Basil, Chicken and Goat Cheese Sandwiches

Tapping my feet, pacing, contemplating, thinking of what to do for dinner. My mind goes haywire with endless possibilities yet I am restrained with the reality of my culinary skills, or should I say lack there of. So I flip open my lap top and turn to my trusty Epicurious for the answer, and then I find it.

Grilled Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches. Perfect!

Due to the rain, I had to alter the recipe's call for the grill and pan fry the sandwich instead. I also added a few slices of chicken to vamp it up a bit.

Though it's simple, it was out of this world. A crunchy, buttery, cheesy concoction with a slight salty cut of the olives gave way to the ultimate satisfaction for my initial yearning.

Without further adieu....

Grilled Tomato, Basil, Chicken and Goat Cheese Sandwiches 


1 16 oz French-bread baguette
1/2 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoon chipped mixed fresh herbs (I used tarragon, thyme, and rosemary)
3/4 cup soft fresh goat cheese (plain, peppered, or herbed)
2 large plum tomatoes, thinly sliced into rounds
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted Mediterranean olives
2 lbs. chicken breast, fillet them  to about a 1/4-1/2 inch so they cook evenly


1. On medium heat, slowly fry the chick breasts with a touch of the olive oil mixture. Cover to keep the juices in
2. Cut baguette crosswise in half. Cut each half lengthwise in half to form 4 pieces total
3. Combine oil, garlic, and herbs in a small bowl.
4. Brush all cut sides of bread with half of oil mixture.
5. Fry toast, cut sides down until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Remove from pan
6. Quickly spread cut sides of toast with goat cheese. Top with tomatoes and olives, dividing equally
7. Drizzle remaining oil mixture on top.
8. Return open-faced sandwiches to pan. Cook until bottom sides are toasted, cheese melts, and tomatoes begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
9. Cut each sandwich diagonally in half and serve.

Serve with a chilled beer and your favorite potato chips.