Contributions by Stephanie Breijo, Svetlana Legetic and Farrah Skeiky
Photos by Jeff Martin and Stephanie Breijo
Though we’ll miss the days of eating and drinking our way through this fine city on hot summer afternoons and temperate spring evenings, bring on cuisine in cooler nights and crisp autumn days. The spices, the stick-to-your-ribs dishes, the holidays, the seasonal ingredients–we love everything about eating and drinking in fall and winter and this year is no exception. We traversed the District to bring you the newest restaurants. We went to a farmers market with Toki Underground. We talked cold-weather cocktails with Jack Rose. We cooked our way through an entire pig with Churchkey/Bluejacket Brewery. We researched the best specials, events and more so that you can have nice things–say hello to your new favorite recipes, dining scenes, drinks and then some.
by Svetlana Legetic
It has been a monster year for restaurant openings in DC and the cooler months show no signs of that dying down. So here is a handy list of places we’re excited to check out – some are recently opened, some coming (very, very) soon.
- BLUEJACKET BREWERY – the brewery/restaurant/bar by Neighborhood Restaurant Group (the team behind Birch & Barley/GBD and more) has been one of the most talked about openings in DC for the past year. We got a sneak peak at it a little while back, and all signs point to it truly being worth the wait. Expect: 20 of their own beers and 7000 sq. feet of deliciousness.
- EAT THE RICH – when Mockingbird Hill opened, we were adequately excited for the cozy sherry and ham operation named after a Clash song (adequately=a lot), but we got EVEN MORE excited when we found out that it is only 1/3 of the concept in which Derek Brown & team will take over three identical spaces and make each one something great. Next up: an oyster bar (done in collaboration with Rappahannock team), named after a Motorhead song with cocktails poured by the pitcher. Coming right after: a southern style diner nestled between the two.
- ROSE’S LUXURY – Aaron Silverman is an alum of 2941, Momofuku Noodle Bar and McCrady’s which, in and of itself, is interesting enough. But add to that one of the most affordable tasting menu options in town ($46), a menu separated into five sections (cold, warm, pasta, other goods, and meat) and a $90 chef’s table option which has no set courses or rules and you have on your hands one of the most intriguing new players on the DC restaurant block. The first day was this Friday, October 4th and we can’t wait to drop by.
- IRON GATE – NRG is certainly keeping as busy as ever. On top of BLUEJACKET, there is still Tony Chittum’s re-imagining of Iron Gate heading our way, with Italian and Greek inspired menu, an impressive wine and ouzo list and more.
- BARCELONA – This wine and tapas concept JUST opened on 14th street and we’re really liking what we saw thus far: “The menu, curated by longtime Barcelona chef Pedro Garzon, is a combination of well worn tapas favorites (with a sturdy MEAT+CHEESE section too) but on top of Gambas Al Ajillos and Patatas Bravas, you can also spot Bone Marrow with Short Rib Marmelade and Sweetbreads a la Parilla for the more adventurous tapas eater.” Plus, there is a patio WITH A FIREPLACE. Check out our whole first look and photos here.
- SHOO-FLY – Woodberry Kitchen’s Spike Gjerde’s new creative comfort food diner, is a very good (VERY GOOD) reason to make a trip out to Baltimore this season. On the menu, expect: “such as Sourdough Pancakes with maple syrup, Hangtown Fry with crispy bacon, fried oyster, fried egg and toast, Jars of local crab salad and open-faced sandwiches such as Creamed Chipped Beef with toasted butterbread and air cured beef gravy.” (via Baltimore Sun)
- ENO – Georgetown finally gets a proper wine bar to call their own. Expect: flights curated by wine director Jeffrey Barrientos, a selection of great cheeses from Virginia and Pennsylvania and more.
- MAKETTO – the joint concept between Erik Bruner-Yang and DURKL has been talked about/previewed/discussed a LOT on BYT, and we’re READY for those doors to open. For a sample of what to expect, check out our taste test from their pop-up at Hanoi House.
- COPPERWOOD TAVERN – experience the wilderness of rural Virginia in the middle of Shirlington. The newest project by the people behind Irish Whiskey promises to be A LOT of things worth penciling in a trip to Arlington for: 30 small batch whiskeys, 20 craft beers on draft, and Virginia’s white whiskey (aka moonshine) to boot, will all be there to make the hearty, farm-to-table menu go down easy at this “woodsy retreat”. Sounds like a perfect place to hole up in during the cold months ahead.
- BABY WALE – Tom Power’s more casual younger sibling to his CORDUROY just opened and it is all we hoped it would be and more. Sprinkled with go go posters, the 9th street spot is now open for dinner Monday through Saturday (5pm till ???, according to their website) and features everything from Duck pupusas with Salvadorean slaw to Lobster rolls to charcoal grilled pork loin and roasted baby squash. . Check out our full first look and photos here.
- AGUA 301 – The team behind Barracks Row’s popular ZEST is set to open a big, modern, splashy new Mexican restaurant and tequileria inside Capitol Riverfront’s former Lumber Shed building.
- THALLY – To quote our first look story on this freshly opened Shaw restaurant: “What’s cooler than a new neighborhood spot run by some of the top names in town? A neighborhood spot that pays homage not just to classic cuisine and cocktails but also its historical surroundings. Thally Restaurant, the new modern American concept from New Heights and Cork’s Ron Tanaka, Maple and Posto’s Sherman Outhuok, and Posto and Tosca’s Pablo Sacco, has both qualities in spades.” Click here for the full story and photos.
- TORO TORO – Richard Sandoval is keeping busy. The new Georgetown location of EL CENTRO DF just opened (click here for a full first look of that) and the DC version of his upscale Miami steakhouse Toro Toro is en route.
- REPUBLIC – We will pretty much go anywhere that Jeff Black opens, and this concept for a Takoma casual bistro seems as lovely and simple of a concept as we’ve come to expect from him. And what exactly can we expect? Delicious fare and a large patio with live music and drinks.
- DACHA BEER GARDEN – and while you wait for that one to open, and to maximize on the nice, nice weather outside (almost too nice?) check out the newest addition to 7th street, open now, just in time for Oktoberfest. Click here for a full first look and photos.
- DOLCEZZA GELATO FACTORY – Well, thank God this is finally happening. The 4000 sq. ft. warehouse near Union Market is going to be designed by Edit Lab @ StreetSense (the team who brought you Red Hen, Baby Wale and Daikaya among others) and will feature soft-serve gelato, a coffee shop and more, on top of obviously being the HQ for the production of all that deliciousness they dispense at their other locations.
- DOI MOI – If it is at all possible, for all our high hopes for the new Mark Kuller/chef Haidar Karoum South East Asian concept on 14th, eating a meal there actually tends to exceed expectations. Click here for a full first look and photos.
- 2 BIRDS 1 STONE – and sitting right around the corner (in the same building, but a much more discreet next door entrance is Adam Bernbach’s quality cocktail playground. Hand-drawn menus, a daily rotating punch and a perfect respite from the jungle 14th street has become all await. Click ehre for a full first look and photos.
- AMERICA EATS TAVERN – It has not been too long since Jose Andres’ America Eats left the premises of the old Cafe Atlantico location on 8th street (making room for Azur). Now, next February-they will be re-opening the doors, this time around at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons.
- PETWORTH CITIZEN AND READING ROOM + as yet unnamed project across the street – The front part of the new operation by Room 11, The Passenger and Hogo co-proprietor Paul Ruppert is a traditional bar/restaurant, with the menu overseen by Makoto Hamamura (previously of CityZen) and a menu brimming with soon-to-be comfort food favorites like roasted beet sandwiches on pretzel buns and mac’n’cheese platters you can freely throw some chorizo on. They have their own smoker and they’re planning to put it to full use too. The cocktail menu features a drink named “Kill Bill Vol. 1” and the back is going to be an event space for literary happening and a free library. Needless to say, we are in love. Another concept by the same team is coming across the street too. Click here for a full first look and photos.
by Stephanie Breijo
When most think of sheltering ourselves against the cold with drink, minds race to the classics: Hot Toddy, Hot Buttered Rum, Irish Coffee. Check, check, and check. We have all walked down those roads and been warmed from the inside out with the familiarity of standard fare, but what about a new generation of cocktail–one that does not require heating but leaves you with that same tingling holiday joy?
The brilliant bartenders of Jack Rose Dining Saloon are paving the way with a new season of spirits designed to lift your mood and ring in those colder months, even without the heat. We stopped by to chat about their fall/winter cocktail line-up and snagged a recipe or four. Unsurprisingly, many involve whiskey.
“Especially some of the spicier whiskeys, like rye, really complement your mixers and warm you up a little bit,” bartender Trevor Frye explains, noting Jack Rose’s never-ending supply. “Whiskey’s also grown like crazy. Whereas vodka and rum used to be the top liquids, whiskey has overtaken both of them and as bartenders it’s great because it allows us to get a little bit creative with it.”
And creative they’ve gotten, from anise and apple brandy to tobacco-infused syrups.
“You look for those holiday flavors like allspice, cinnamon, maple syrup–something that makes you think about sitting inside like up in a mountain or home for the holidays,” Frye says, noting that warm temperature doth not a fall/winter cocktail make: it’s all about the ingredients. Take a peek at Jack Rose’s new seasonal offerings and if you’re brave, try your hand at home.
BACON BOURBON “PORKY’S REVENGE”
by Nick Lowe
2oz bacon washed bourbon
2 dashes angostura bitters
1/4oz of maple syrup
Garnished with orange peel
Though Manhattans and Sazeracs have existed for roughly 100 years, Lowe noticed an updated take on the classic, complete with home-inspired flavors, is the perfect holiday cocktail. (A bacon-washed bourbon drink, for instance, is a spin on a classic Old Fashioned.) “It’s Very hearty,” he says. “Bacon is definitely a big time comfort food. It adds a really different dimension to bourbon.”
On the drink’s construction, Lowe recommends rendering the fat off the meat and combining that with the liquor. Let it sit for a few hours, usually three or four, then throw the mixture in the freezer for roughly an hour and let the fat separate from the spirit. Skim the fat off the top, then strain what’s left through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove any solids.
HOT APPLE PIE
by Trevor Frye
1.5 oz. Fireball
3/4 oz. sour apple schnapps
1/2 oz. pineapple juice
Serve heated for best results
This very sweet, nearly floral concoction tastes alarmingly like a complex pie–somewhat of a feat for a cocktail made with only three ingredients. Be warned, though: its easy drinkability and high sugar content might thrust you dangerously to the limits of Hangover City.
“This is actually something that I used to drink when I would go skiing,” Frye says. “I love drinking it hot because even when it cools down, you still get a lot of the flavor in there.”
by Nick Lowe
2 oz. Laird’s 12 year apple brandy
3/4 oz. orange juice
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. maple syrup
1 dash bitter truth Jerry Thomas bitters
Garnished with star anise
“I wanted to do something utilizing one of the Lairds products with a seasonal flavor profile, without being terribly boozy at the same time,” Lowe notes. “I associate orange with nutmeg, cinnamon, and all of those fall and cold weather flavors.”
These cold weather flavors are especially prevalent in Lowe’s drink crafted with apple brandy–found in Jack Rose’s house cocktail–and Jerry Thomas bitters which both help to lend seasonal spice notes. It is simultaneously tart and lightly sweet as you inhale floral notes of anise each time you raise the glass to your lips. If ever a cocktail tasted like a crisp fall day or a walk in the leaves, this would be it.
SIX TO MIDNIGHT
by Trevor Frye
1.5 oz. Bulleit bourbon
1 oz. Sweet Lucy’s bourbon cream liquor
1/2 oz. Dancing Pines chai liquor
1/4 pz. Benedictine
1/2 oz. lime juice
Topped with grated nutmeg
Frye’s frothy, full, slick eggnog is a bourbon-based cocktail balanced evenly with six different ingredients. It’s hearty and slightly bitter due to Benedictine bridging the gap between citrus and chai, proving that not all eggnogs are created sugary-equal. The trick, he tells me, is to dry-shake the egg white as much as you can; the more it’s frothed up, the more it maintains its consistency and as it’s a boozier drink, you’ll want to be able to sip for a while.
“It’s a spin on eggnog but it’s also got a lightness to it,” Frye mentions, “So it will transition really well into winter.”
If you’re trying this at home, start with egg white–dry shake with blender ball (no ice), then pour in all remaining ingredients at once. Add ice, then shake everything with a blender ball.
RUNNIN’ FROM THE LAW
by Amy Russell
2 oz. knob creek rye
1 dash Jerry Thomas bitters
(Undisclosed amount) Tobacco Syrup
This cocktail not only encompasses a bold and spicy burn but the flavor of pipe tobacco as well. To experience the smokiness, be sure to head to Jack Rose and try it for yourself.
by Stephanie Breijo
If ever there were a DC-based dining behemoth worth tracking, it’s Neighborhood Restaurant Group. If you live in or around the District, chances are you’ve lingered a bit too long (and a bit too full) after a delicious meal at Birch & Barley or felt gleefully overwhelmed by the beer selection at Churchkey. Perhaps you’ve grabbed a signature breakfast biscuit at Buzz Bakery or wandered past a large warehouse around the corner from Nats Park–if you’ve glanced at the space’s glass doors covered in butcher paper, you’ve witnessed the collective’s newest venture, the ever-anticipated, ever-impressive Bluejacket Brewery. Though Bluejacket’s beer selection is thrilling, seasonal and an absolute treasure to D.C. craft beer enthusiasts, diners shouldn’t overlook its tavern with a menu from none other than NRG superstar Kyle Bailey. The tavern’s fare will utilize seasonal root vegetables with a focus on whole animals, especially throughout fall and winter.
Because pigs reproduce in the spring, theses months through late fall make for a perfect time to eat pig and as the weather cools, longer cooking methods like braising and roasting become ideal. “It’s great all the time but it’s hearty,” he tells me. “Besides, it’s the tastiest animal.” Bluejacket’s executive chef is quick to mention he can’t wait to utilize every cut and points out he’s already accustomed to working with all parts–over at Birch & Barley they receive a 350-pound pig, 36 ducks, 12 rabbits, multiple chickens, and one full quarter of cow every week. “The idea is to use everything.” With a late-fall opening just around the corner and cooler months setting in, we naturally spent an afternoon in Chef Kyle Bailey’s world, learning some tips and tricks for hearty whole-pig cooking at home.
- What’s Bailey’s biggest piece of advice? Know the farmer. “You wanna make sure that he’s not giving it hormones or antibiotics,” he tells me, noting hormones are especially rampant in pig and turkey farming. If you’re looking for whole animals or particular cuts, halves or quarters in the D.C. area, try Red Apron or the 14th and U farmers market.
- Another essential tip: Know your cuts before beginning. “Make sure that you have a plan to utilize every single piece. There’s nothing you can’t use except the hair or the hooves,” he pauses. “Well, I guess you could serve pickled pigs feet. Everyone wants the loin, everyone wants the chop but there’s so much meat to go around.”
- When you get your pig from a butcher, do not be alarmed. Butchers will bleed it and cut it–your animal might not, in fact, have any eyelids. While the butchering varies from one professional to another, chances are your pig is normal.
- “If you get a whole pig you can’t freeze it so be sure you’re going to use it.” (See again: Know Your Cuts.)
- If an entire pig, half, quarter or shoat (a 40-pound piece) is too much to suit your needs, talk to your local butcher in advance and they’ll usually be able to help you. “Don’t be afraid to know what cuts you want and just order those,” Bailey stresses.
- When cooking short ribs, Bailey swears by mantra “Long and Low.” Seal in the moisture by wrapping your ribs and cooking for 12 hours at a very low temperature (at Bluejacket, they’re prepared in a a vapor controlled convection oven). When it comes to seasoning, our chef recommends a simple rub of paprika, cayenne, garlic, oregano and salt.
- When it comes to the shank, Bailey stresses the cut is delicious any way you slice it, be it on its own or as a component. “Pork butt is the most versatile cut. Great for long cooking times, great for sausages.” Today, Chef Kyle slowly braises two shanks on very low heat for a very long time (at minimum four hours), until the meat literally falls from the bone. He’ll be including it in his stellar baked rigatoni, recipe below.
- And what about chops? “These are great because you can grill all year long.” Kyle recommends grilling and brining with a simple mixture of olive oil, salt and pepper–just be sure they’re cooked all the way through. For a perfect tenderness, start by charring your chops on the grill, then baking them in the oven to finish, so they’re never overcooked or dry.
For those far from H Street, Bruner-Yang recommends the farmers’ market at 14th Street and U, conveniently located across from Hanoi House–Maketto’s pop-up home. “It’d be nice to have that farmers’ market inside of Maketto so it could be year-round,” he mentions and adds with a wry smile, “That might not be too far off in the future.”
Grilled Yellow Wax Bean “Edamame”
• Be sure to save every drop of liquor as you open the oysters. That highly flavored liquid will enrich and deepen the stew’s basic structure.
• Don’t ever boil the stew. The oysters will become tough and you’ll end up with ‘bubblegum’ stew.
½ pound unsalted butter
¼ cup thinly sliced leeks
¼ cup thinly sliced celery
2 dozen shucked oysters and their liquid
4 cups heavy cream
to-taste kosher salt
to-taste fresh ground pepper
1 t chopped chives
1 t chopped parsley
2) Add oysters with their juices to the pan.
3) Add cream and season with salt and pepper.
4) Keep the pan on low heat and allow the flavors to blend together as the cream warms and the oysters cook. (Approx. 4 minutes) Do not boil cream.
5) Divide between four bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley and chives.
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges)
2 cinnamon sticks
½ cup brown sugar
1 lb butter (cold), chopped into Small Pieces
1 lb All Purpose flour
4 oz. cake flour
1 oz. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
2 oz. Apple Sauce
2 eggs and 2 tbsp. milk, combined
1) In a sauté pan, melt butter, add brown sugar and cinnamon sticks.
2) Cook until caramelized, and then add apples. Cook just until they are soft but retain their firmness.
TIP: chill the apples before cooking.
1) In a mixer with a paddle, mix butter, flour, sugar and salt until combined. Do not overmix.
2) In a bowl, mix egg yolks and cream together. Add to the flour mixture.
3) Mix very quickly just until everything comes together.
4) Chill dough before using.
1) Roll pie dough to 1/8 inch thick and line the pie tin with it.
Add apple sauce at the bottom, spread it out with a spatula, then fill up the pie with the cooked apples.
3) Cut out one round piece of pie dough and place on top. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top.
4) Bake in 350° F oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- We know this weather has been crazy-hot and sporadic so ease into fall with the Iced Irish Coffee from Black Jack — made with concentrated cold press coffee, Jameson and and a Bailey’s/Grand Marnier whipped cream.
- If you’re into seafood, be sure to stay warm with the new Mussel Pots at Farmers Fishers Bakers served in cast iron pots with grilled ciabatta bread. Choices include Spicy Sausage Provencal, Coconut Green Curry & Pickled Cucumber, and White Wine & Garlic.
- If you’ve got a sweet tooth, GBD just launched its Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts with ginger glaze and candied pepitas, as well as some other seasonal treats like the Concord Grape Fritter.
- Fans of sweets and football should check out Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken‘s fall tailgate special on Saturdays and Sundays during football season. Snag one dozen doughnuts (3 maple bacon, 3 crème brûlée, 3 pb&j, 3 vanilla glazed), plus a dozen sriracha or spicy garlic wings for $42. You can also check out their seasonal maple-glazed pumpkin doughnuts with crushed gingerbread cookies, or the cinnamon-dough-filled doughnut with apple compote.
- Need a stiff one? Founding Farmers DC just launched its Bobby’s Spiced Swizzle, a rum-based drink made with Cruzan Single Barrel Rum, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, housemade falernum, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, and Angostura bitters.
- If you’re feeling bold, Range’s new Bloody Mary incorporates a consumme of pig’s blood with other aromatics–drink up.
- 10/10 – On The Rocks: Whiskey and Fine Spirits Festival: Washingtonian’s second annual celebration of whiskey returns, featuring varieties of scotch, malt, bourbon, rum, vodka and more.
- 10/12 to 10/19 – DC Wine Week: The Coupe, Vinoteca, Vida Fitness, Veritas Wine Bar and more all host DC Wine Week events and highlight a variety of pairing dishes and regional wines.
- 10/13 – Taste of H: The neighborhood everyone’s watching celebrates local cuisine and community through the Atlas Arts District with 10 restaurants, auctions, and entertainment.
- 10/15 – Oktoberfest Beer Dinner: Farmers Fishers Bakers is hosting a five-course tasting menu paired with some of fall’s best beers.
- 10/16 – The Georgetown Shuck It! Oyster Festival: Tony & Joe’s at the National Harbour set a summer tone with a surf rock band to celebrate 12 varieties of local oysters served raw, grilled and fried– all paired with beer and wine.
- 10/19 – Snallygaster: With every fall comes one of D.C.’s greatest beer events and on October 19, Snallygaster strikes again with over 150 craft drafts, this time housed in Union Market. Bring your appetite (and wherewithal) to eat and drink your way through delicious eats and drinks, both in tasting portions and full sizes. The best part? It’s for a great cause.
- 10/19 – Thanksgiving Bootcamp: Ready for Turkey Day? Whether you are or not, Art & Soul is hosting its very own Thanksgiving Bootcamp. Head out to a day at the farm and get cooking tips and demonstrations from Chef Wes, including turkey two ways, some stellar pie recipes, how to make the perfect stuffing and even a cocktail or two. Tickets are $100.
- 10/20 – Politics & Prose Bookstore and Union Market Present Jancis Robinson: The World Atlas of Wine celebrates its 7th edition with a conversation between Master of Wine Jancis Robinson and Washington Post Wine Columnist Dave McIntyre.
- 10/31 – Spirits In Black: Halloween Edition: D.C.’s best bartenders from TNT Bar, Tabard Inn, and Rappahannock Oyster Bar pour genius metal-themed cocktails set to a soundtrack of holiday appropriate DC Metal.
- 11/2 to 11/3 – MetroCooking DC: The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show combines vendor and catering expos, seminars by guest personalities, and a master tasting.
- 11/2 – Maryland Brewer’s Harvest Baltimore: Over 125 Maryland brews are celebrated at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, with bites by Bryan Voltaggio and Spike Gjerde.
- 11/6 – InnovATE Food Festival: Goodies Custard & Treats, Los Verracos, I Heart U and more show off DC’s most creative cuisine, with proceeds benefiting the DC Social Innovation Project.
- 11/7 – Duck, Duck, Goose Dinner with Hank Shaw: The author visits Bryan Voltaggio’s Range to collaborate on a five-course dinner to celebrate his new book. Dinner options are available with or without wine.
- 11/22 and 11/23 – Oyster Riot: The area’s most prominent oyster (and general dining) event hits Old Ebbitt Grill with three different sessions due to popularity. Proceeds benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership.
- 11/22 – The Whiskies of Scotland: Nat Geo Live plays host to a celebration of scotch whiskey, with James Beard award-winning guest speakers, and plenty of tastings.