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Make it Or Break It: Food Worth Keeping or Destroying Your 2013 Resolutions For
January 16, 2013 | 9:00AM

all photos: Jeff Martin (unless otherwise noted)

OH JANUARY. The month of crushed resolution dreams and already ignored new gym memberships (oh wait, is that just us?). Anyway-since we all started the month with the best of intentions, we figured as we dive into the second half of the first twelfth of 2013, we may as well celebrate both the most healthy and the most decadent dishes DC has to offer. So-we we went on a hunt for both in some of our favorite restaurants in the city and this is what we came up with. FOOD PORN does not come close to describing it.

To be nice to you, we’re kicking things off with food so good you won’t even realize it is good for you. Big trend: KALE EVERYWHERE.

GOOD:

Kick things off with the most important meal of the day: ART AND SOUL’S Toasted Quinoa Granola with red and white quinoa, steel-cut oats, toasted pecans, dried sour cherries, yogurt (or milk)

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and then-dive into some delicious, colorful, seasonal salads. Birch & Barley’s Roasted Beet & Farro Salad with House made Cottage Cheese, Candied Pecans, & Mint

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up your iron content with one of these two amazing Kale salads: Farmers Fishers Bakers‘ Purple & Black Kale Salads made with fresh raw kale, hazelnuts, and dates, and you won’t be missing any of that bad stuff that you gave up.

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or Firefly’s chopped kale salad with honeycrisp apples, smoked pumpkin seeds and a light apple cider vinaigrette (photo by Scott Suchman)

Looking for a full meal on a limited calorie intake, even on a slightly special occasion? Fiola just brought back Maria light menu, a three-course, prix-fixe menu filled with healthy options for appetizers, entrees and even dessert. The menu is inspired by Fabio’s wife, Maria, who says she loves to eat but she also loves to fit into her clothes. Dishes change regularly but here are a few examples so you can get an idea: Escarole with roasted beets and La Tur cheese, Snapper with seafood brodetto, quinoa and Manila clams, and Sgroppino (Red Currant and Prosecco sorbet)

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Need something quick and healthy and very affordable? Kaiso Salad from YO! Sushi (sesame marinated Japanese seaweed, edamame and carrots) is 120 calories and just $3.50 (photo by Stephanie Breijo)

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In the vegan friendly corner:  Sticky Fingers’ Carrot Ginger Salad with soy pepper steak and fresh vegetables

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1789′s brussels sprout salad with toasted pine nuts and pecorino toscano.

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And for your protein fix: Four Seasons‘ Skillet Roast Salmon with Eel Sauce, Sticky Rice, and Shitake Miso Broth

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Now, to ease into the indulgences:

COMBO PACK: A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH

The Source is about to debut a special  that combines the best of two worlds and it involves a mix and match list of prix fixe sushi and Champagne in the lounge on the weekends (starting THIS weekend). So the healthy sushi will negate the celebratory Champagne, or that’s the plan, at tleast.

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SO BAD IT IS GOOD/ IF THIS IS BAD FOR ME I DON’T WANT TO BE GOOD stuff:

We’ll start with the savories and the most ridiculously sinful/extravagant treat for everyone: the $95 Wagyu burger @ Bourbon Steak. Only 5 are made every Monday with A5 grade wagyu, which is the highest, best quality wagyu you can get anywhere in the world (and there is plenty of other wagyu options on the menu too, in case you were wondering).

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Looking for a little bit more of an every day indulgence? Read on:

Founding Farmers Lobster Macaroni and Cheese, made with fresh lobster and with a rich gouda–cheddar gratin.

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Bandolero‘s Queso Fundido with housemade chorizo, poblano manchego with a sunny side up egg on top, just for good measure

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And sticking with the Mexican theme: Taco Bamba‘s Masa Crusted Foie Gras with butternut sage salsa, pickled heart of palm, white mole

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For hardcore meat lovers, we have 3 amazing sandwich options:
first up: The Steak & Cheese sandwich at Granville Moore’s (brisket, onions, cheddar cheese, horseradish cream on toasted baguette, served with frites – available lunch & dinner)

 

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Urbana’s Foie Brat (a mixture of chicken breast, foie gras and pork fat back) elevates the usual brat indulgence to a next level (photo by Dakota Fine)

Can’t decide whether you want a grilled cheese or a cheeseburger? Farmers Fishers Bakers Wisconsin Grilled Cheeseburger to the rescue: a beef patty sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches – the pinnacle of decadence. You have your choice of sides, but the only logical one to go with a burger of this intensity is french fries.

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Graffiato’s Glazed Pork Belly with apple and nigella chilis

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And we saved our personal favorite savory deal breaker for last. Over at PROOF there is a winter cassoulet on the menu right now that legitimately we are still dreaming of. In it: crispy duck, pork belly and housemade duck sausage with flageolet beans, baby spinach, smoked bacon and garlic bread crumbs.

 

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In fact, have one more photo of it:

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and we certainly hope you saved some (serious) room for dessert:
we may as well start with the most intense one we encountered: The Titanic-from Carmine’s – essentially a massive banana split (edible smoke stacks included) Carmine’s style. 6 scoops of ice cream over a chocolate torte cake surrounded by bananas, whipped cream, pineapple covered in chocolate sauce. And yes, they make a slightly smaller version, and yes, it is called a tugboat.

 

 

 

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Next, the cannollis from Fiola. No words, just photos:

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“Grilled Banana” & Nutella Croissant French toast with Whipped Cream and Maple Syrup from Four Seasons

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Napoleon’s Brioche Bread Pudding made with raisins, bourbon, brioche toast, and zabaglione gratinee

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And finally (omg) Evening Star‘s massive house made sticky buns with brown sugar, toffee, and cream cheese

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Feel free to let us know in the comments what some of your favorite healthy vs. sinfully indulgent dishes around town are….

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