2.28.2011

Bucket Of Chicken, Michel Richard Style




In one of chef Michel Richard's best stories, he describes how as a young Frenchman, exploring the U.S. for the first time, he discovered the culinary curiosity of Kentucky Fried Chicken and had a texture epiphany. "The crunch!" he cried out over a lunch interview with me years ago.


To this day, that first taste of KFC inspires the master chef to add crunchy textures to his cooking.


So it seems only appropriate that his downtown restaurant Central is taking on that American fast food icon of greasy goodness, the bucket of fried chicken. You can now order Central's signature fried chicken to go — yes, in a big ol' bucket — with mashed potatoes and housemade Dijon dipping sauce for $29.95. Included is three thighs, three breasts and 10 nuggets.


Also available to go: the crazy good Central lobster burger, mac and cheese, soup, loup de mer and more.


Call in take-out orders for lunch Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-2:30p.m. Carry out orders are available during regular lunch and dinner service.

2.25.2011

5 Bites: Bryan Walton

Bryan Walton is a DC native who has been in the food service industry
for over 25 years. He says, "I was once a picky eater but now with the
different cultures in the DC area, I have learned to appreciate food
from all over!"


1. Pork belly truffle rillete, pickled vegetables at 8407 Kitchen Bar


2. Grilled octopus salad, gazpacho vinaigrette, queso fresco, and black olive aioli at Ceiba


3. Bowl of mussels with housemade chorizo, tomato , garlic and fresh herbs at Ris


4. 10 ounce grilled Wagyu top cap at BLT Steak


5. Michel’s chocolate bar at Central

Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.


Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.

2.24.2011

Church and State




In many of the craft cocktails at this new H Street NE drinking establishment, you'll find a focus on small batch spirits made in the United States, like Loudon County's Catoctin Creek.


Owner and mixologist Erik Holzherr opened Church and State in January 2011, above his other bar, Fruit Bat. The bar's "Bill of Rights" cocktail menu includes classics like mint juleps, daiquiris, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds.


Head bartender Josh Berner is making sweet and dry vermouth, orgeat syrup (for the Mai Tai), ginger beer (check out the Moscow Mule), brandied cherries and grenadine.



The bar is currently open at 7:30 p.mm from Tuesday-Saturday.


Church and State


1236 H St. NE

no phone, @churchstatedc

Top Spots For Vegetarian Tasting Menus



Thanks to talented chefs
who know flavor doesn't have to hinge on meat, vegetarian diners have
more and better options than ever around DC.


And when it comes
to fine dining tasting menus, the city's tops chefs have taken the
vegetarian challenge and answered with elegant and satisfying meat-free
meals.


Take 2941, for example, where
chef Bertrand Chemel offers a nightly six-course vegetarian tasting menu
for $65 featuring dishes such as pearl onion stuffed with eggplant and
red peppers, and chestnut velouté with Armagnac custard. Hardly the veg plate du jour some chefs used to pass off as an adequate meal.


If
you're opting out of the carnivore clan, many places are more than
happy to accommodate, especially if you call ahead to let them know.


But when you haven't made that call, here's a look at some of DC's best restaurants that always offer vegetarian tasting menus.

Cafe Atlantico

At the popular Nuevo Latino dim sum brunch on Sundays, the veggie tasting menu offers 12 dishes for $25 a person.

CityZen

Chef Eric Ziebold packs as much elegant whimsy and flavor into his six-course vegetarian tasting menu ($95) as the regular menu.

Komi

Since there really is no menu at Johnny Monis' intimate restaurant, a reservation involves a conversation about food preferences,
and the kitchen can do a vegetarian version of the indulgent $135 degustazione
menu.

Rasika

At this temple of Indian cooking, vegetarians can opt for chef Vikram
Sunderam's four-course menu for $50 or a six-course menu for $60. (PS - A
second Rasika will open at 1177 22nd St. next year.)

Restaurant Eve tasting room

The
meat-less options on chef Cathal Armstrong's tasting room menu are
popular with meat-eaters as well. There's always one vegetarian choice
under each of the tasting menu's courses. Tasting menus start at $110.

Restaurant Nora

At Nora Pouillon's organic cuisine pioneer restaurant, the four-course vegetarian tasting menu runs $75.

The Source

Vegetarianism takes on Asian flavors on chef Scott Drewno's nightly veggie tasting menus, featuring seven courses for $135.

Vermilion

Tony Chittum's four-course vegetarian tasting menus win raves even among the meat-eating set. The menu costs $55.

Volt

In Frederick, Md., vegetarians will find creative options like a "study
of parsnip" with bourbon gastrique or hedgehog mushrooms in farro
risotto on Bryan Voltaggio's six-course market vegetable menu ($95).

2941

In addition to his nightly six-course vegetarian menu for $65, chef Bertrand Chemel just added "Meatless Monday" specials, priced from $8-$19, to the menu.


Had a great vegetarian tasting menu? Tell us about it in the comments.

2.23.2011

Sprinkles Mobile Brings Free Cupcakes



The restaurant: Georgetown's almost-open Sprinkles Cupcakes

The deal: Starting Feb. 28, Sprinkles' mobile truck will roam DC giving away thousands of free cupcakes for two weeks.

The deets: To celebrate the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes (and wisely ply our cupcake-laden city with complimentary confections), the bakery's mobile truck is hitting the streets Feb. 28 to deliver free cupcakes. The first week's schedule is: Franklin Square on Monday, Georgetown campus Tuesday, Dupont Circle Wednesday, Gallery Place Thursday, the Capitol on Friday, Friendship Heights Saturday, and Eastern Market on Sunday. The shop opens Thursday, March 3 at 3015 M St. NW.


For specific locations over the two weeks, follow the truck on Twitter @sprinklesmobile.

2.22.2011

Sound Bites: Tynan, Marx Cafe, Bourbon

By Kelly DiNardo
kellydinardo.com


Inspired by the musical menus being dished up, here is Sound Bites, an
occasional post featuring tasty mini playlists from restaurants around
DC.


Tynan Coffee and Tea


"All For You" (live acoustic version), Sister Hazel

"Haven't Met You Yet," Michael Buble

"Good People," Jack Johnson



Marx Cafe


Was playing The Complete Chess Masters by Little Walter, an album of 126 songs by the only musician inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame specifically for his harmonica work.


Bourbon, Adams Morgan


"Shining Star," Earth, Wind & Fire

"Jammin'," Bob Marley

"I Feel Good," James Brown


More Sound Bites:
The Gibson, Zola Wine, Hard Rock Cafe



 







Kelly DiNardo is a freelance writer and the author of Gilded Lili: Lili St. Cyr and the Striptease Mystique.












Kelly DiNardo is a freelance writer and the author of Gilded Lili: Lili St. Cyr and the Striptease Mystique.

2.21.2011

Scoop: Food News Round-Up




Keeping you updated on the city's top food news...



• Columbia Heights' CommonWealth
is being sold by chef Jamie Leeds and restaurant partner Sandy Lewis to
Terry Cullen, who is planning to change the name and tweak the concept, according to Missy Frederick. Cullen is also opening Lou's City Bar next month in the same building at 1400 Irving St. NW.


Sprinkles is bringing its first East Coast cupcake shop to Georgetown at 3015 M St. NW. Opening day is slated for March 3.


• The James Beard Foundation announced the semi-finalists for its 2011 chef and restaurant awards. The five finalists in each category will be announced March 21.


• Prince of Petworth dishes on a new project at 11th and Monroe from Tryst and The Diner owner Constantine Stavropoulos. The new space will house a coffeeshop, bar and diner.


• Wes Morton will now head the kitchen at celeb chef Art Smith's Capitol Hill restaurant Art and Soul. Morton had been the chef at the Brit-inspired Againn since it opened in 2009.


• Chef Bryan Moscatello has left Zola and Stir Food Group, reports Tom Sietsema.


• In case you missed it on Metrocurean: Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi's taqueria coming to 14th Street has been named El Centro D.F. ... Former Brasserie Beck exec chef David Ashwell and John Warner are opening Bistrot Le Zinc on across from 2 Amys. ... Have you voted for the People's Best New Chef?



Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.



Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.


Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.

2.18.2011

5 Bites: Nikki Rappaport

Nikki Rappaport says she couldn't pick just five of any kind of food, so she narrowed it down to her five favorite sweet bites. Here's to a sweet ending to the week.


1. Toasted marshmallow milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery


2. Brunch doughnut trio (toffee-bacon, lemon-poppy glazed, bittersweet chocolate) at Birch and Barley


3. Strawberry cupcake at Baked and Wired


4. Valrhona chocolate gelato at Dolcezza


5. Lizzy's goat cheese cake at Cork

Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.

2.17.2011

14th St. Taqueria Named El Centro D.F.

Metrocurean got an update on the forthcoming 14th Street taqueria from chefs Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi.


The new spot at 1819 14th St. NW (pictured) will be called El Centro D.F.
and is poised to open just in time for Cinco de Mayo.


The D.F. stands for Distrito Federal, the naming convention in Sandoval's native Mexico City.


The taqueria is just a few doors down from the chefs' first collaboration, the Latin-Asian Masa 14.
Sandoval, whose restaurant empire stretches from Dubai to
Las Vegas to DC's Zengo, will take the lead on developing the menu,
Okochi told me last year. Okochi also owns Kaz Sushi Bistro.


More details will be released soon, but El Centro D.F. is expected to offer take-out tacos, a sit-down restaurant component and a bar or lounge in the basement.

2.16.2011

Le Zinc Brings French To Macomb

Former Brasserie Beck executive chef David Ashwell and former Beck manager John Warner are teaming up to open Bistrot Le Zinc this spring at 3714 Macomb St.


The menu promises French bistro classics like bouillabaisse, choucroute
and cassoulet alongside regionally focused dishes like pan-roasted
Maryland rockfish with braised swiss chard, and pork loin with black
eyed peas and smoked bacon.


Appetizers will run from $8-$14; entrees $18-$28.


The former Sushi Sushi space (pictured)
will be revamped by well-known designers Adamstein and Demetriou with
red leather banquettes, brass railings and French bistro style chairs
and tables. Le Zinc will hold more than 60 seats inside, as well as a
patio for about 20.


The restaurant — targeting a mid-April opening — will initially start with dinner only,
but plans include lunch service during the week.


Ashwell, a native New Zealander, was Robert Wiedmaier's chef de cuisine at Marcel's for years before transitioning to Wiedmaier's Brasserie Beck to oversee the kitchen in 2007.


Warner has worked as a manager and maitre d' in a number of DC restaurants including Black's Bar and Kitchen and Cafe Milano. But he's promising that another former profession will come in handy in cultivating Le Zinc's vibe. Warner worked for decades with Epic Records and Capital Records and plans to handpick all the tunes diners will hear at the new restaurant.

The Eating Agenda

Valentine's Day may be over, but if you didn't fill
your chocolate quota (if there even is such a thing), Kimpton has you
covered. Or marshmallows and gooseberries covered. In chocolate.


This Thursday Feb. 17, local Kimpton hotels will offer free
chocolate dishes during the hotel group's regular wine happy hour in their
lobbies. Everyone (not just hotel guests) is welcome to stop in from 5-7
p.m. for a sweet bite.


To name just a few of the offerings around the DC area: Hotel Palomar and Urbana are doing chocolate-dipped pretzels, Hotel Madera and Firefly will offer mini red velvet cakes, Hotel Monaco DC and Poste will serve chocolate-champagne petit fours and chocolate-dipped gooseberries, and the Lorien Hotel and Spa along with Brabo will feature chocolate-covered marshmallows.


Check out a full list of participating Kimpton hotels under the 'tastings' link here.


New calendar events:


Feb. 27: The Jefferson Hotel and Quill Lounge Oscar party

March 10: Food and Friends Dine Out For Life

March 13: Cochon 555

 

Visit the Metrocurean Calendar for more DC food events.

Visit the Metrocurean Calendar for more DC food events.

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

Photos courtesy onceuponachef.com


By Jennifer Segal
Metrocurean contributor, onceuponachef.com


My
mom calls this dish “a gift from the diet gods.” She’s right. If you’re
not already a convert, spaghetti squash is a delicious low-carb,
low-cal alternative to pasta. When cooked, it miraculously transforms
into golden, spaghetti-like strands.


Here, I toss it with marinara sauce and top it with crispy panko and
shredded Italian cheeses. It emerges from the oven bubbling and golden
brown, like your favorite baked pasta reinvented.


Serve as a vegetarian main course — you'll feel virtuous eating it — or as a side dish to Italian sausage or meatballs. Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Gratin

serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side


2 small or one large spaghetti squash (about 4 ½ - 5 pounds total)*

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 ¾ cups jarred marinara sauce, best quality (such as Rao’s)

salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ teaspoons fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, best quality (typically Fontina, Asiago and Parmesan)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

½ cup Panko breadcrumbs

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


* Select spaghetti squash that feel heavy for their size.



Preheat oven to 425 degrees.


Fill a large pot with about 2
inches of water and bring to a simmer. Place spaghetti squash in pot,
cover with lid and simmer, turning once, for about 30 -40 minutes, or
until squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Let cool.


Cut
squash in half and remove seeds. Use a spoon to scoop out flesh, being
careful not to shred the strands. (It is best to go from side to side,
rather than lengthwise.) Place strands in a large bowl.


Add extra
virgin olive oil, marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and thyme to
bowl and toss gently until squash is well coated with sauce. Taste and
add more salt if necessary. (I usually add quite a bit more but salt to
your own taste.)


Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle grated cheese
evenly over top. Combine melted butter with panko and sprinkle evenly
over top of cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until top is golden.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.








Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef,
a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her
blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back of
the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including
L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.



She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations.
Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at
L'Academie de Cuisine.













Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef,
a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her
blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back of
the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including
L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.



She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations.
Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at
L'Academie de Cuisine.








2.15.2011

Vote: Food & Wine People's Best New Chef



In a move that hands over power to the people, Food & Wine has announced a nationwide competition for the title of The People's Best New Chef. Like the magazine's coveted annual Best New Chef awards, this new honor recognizes the most talented up-and-coming chefs in the country.


Diners can vote on 100 chefs from 10 regions. Representing the Mid-Atlantic region, four chefs are from the DC area: Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley, Dan Giusti of 1789, David Guas of Bayou Bakery and Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana. (Disclosure: I report for Food & Wine.)


You can vote until March 1 on CNN's Eatocracy, when the top vote-getter will be named the People's Best New Chef. Who do you think deserves the title?

2.14.2011

Scoop: Food News Round-Up



Keeping you updated on the city's top food news...


P.O.V., the W's prime rooftop perch, is getting into DC's rapidly growing pizza pool. Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new menu features a selection of thin-crust pies including a decadent truffle and fontina, a classic mozzarella and basil, and one topped with wild mushroom and goat cheese.


• Local Tex-Mex chain Austin Grill is getting into the food truck business, reports Food Truck Fiesta. Washingtonian has more details and a photo of the new wheels.


• Speaking of food trucks, Missy Frederick reports in the Washington Business Journal
that Alexandria will test a pilot program with a set of mobile vendors
in Market Square. Bread and Chocolate, Columbia Firehouse, Fontaine Caffe, Grape and Bean, and Union Street Public House will all get in on the program with food carts.


• Georgetown's Mendocino Grille closed last week after getting into some tax trouble, the Georgetown Patch reports.


Adams Mill Bar and Grill has closed in Adams Morgan. Prince of Petworth says a Panera Bread may be on the way.



Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.

Keeping you updated on the city's top food news...

Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.


Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.

2.11.2011

5 Bites: Angela Spicer

Angela Spicer is an eco-makeup artist who has been in the beauty industry for over 20 years. She is the resident eco-makeup artist at The Still Point
holistic spa in Takoma Park. A devout pescetarian and animal lover,
Angela supports restaurants that think "big picture" and serve local,
organic and certified humane food.


1. Hot chocolate and beignets at Bayou Bakery


2. Copper Pot Food Co. apricot rosemary jam with Trickling Springs sea salt butter on Atwater's Bakery sourdough toast, all from the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market


3. Seared Norwegian salmon with gingered lentils and oranged carrots with smoked gouda at Jackie's


4. Fried Ipswich clams at BlackSalt


5. Chocolate covered Spanish figs at Biagio Fine Chocolate

Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.

2.10.2011

10 Ways To Spruce Up A Salad














We've made it to the home stretch of winter, and I don't know about you, but I'm craving the glorious vegetable bounty of summer. But there are plenty of ways to spruce up a salad mid-winter without reaching for lackluster out-of-season tomatoes.


I joined TBD's Let's Talk Live to chat about ways to add flavor, crunch and spice to salads. Here are some ingredients to wake up that bowl of greens:


1. Wasabi peas or wasabi edamame:
For heat-seekers, wasabi spiced peas and roasted edamame make a great topper.

2. Speck, prosciutto or other cured meats: I love a few thin slices of good quality speck or prosciutto draped over greens.

3. Pomegranate seeds: They're like little jewels of antioxidant-rich juice.

4. Nuts and seeds: From roasted pumpkin seeds to spiced pecans, they add flavor and protein.

5. Fresh herbs: Sprinkle basil, thyme, oregano, cilantro, whatever you have on hand, on top.

6. Fennel: One of my go-tos for winter crunch, slice the fennel bulb thin and pair it with orange or grapefruit segments, a classic pairing.

7. Pickles: Inspired by Sweetgreen's seasonal salad of pickles, portobellos and goat cheese, I'm topping my salads with pickled beets, green beans and cucumbers.

8. Little fish: Try Spanish style boquerones, the tasty little anchovies sold in the fridge section at good markets and some grocery stores. Sardines or herring are also good choices.

9. Fried egg: Taking a cue from the classic French frisee salad, I'm all about a fried egg with a slightly soft yolk as a delicious salad topper.

10. Walnut oil: I find myself reaching for toasty walnut oil over olive oil these days for dressing a salad. It adds a nice nutty flavor and it's a great source of good fatty acids.

2.09.2011

Bourbon Steak's $7 Smoke & Stout



The restaurant: Bourbon Steak's bar and lounge

The deal: Ask for the Smoke n' Stout special, and you'll get an artisanal Red Apron half-smoke with a pint of Moo Thunder Stout from Butternuts Brewery for $7.

The deets: In a wintry version of its popular hot dog special from last summer, Bourbon Steak is offering the $7 Smoke n' Stout deal daily throughout the month.


This is about as foodie as a beer and hot dog get. The Red Apron half smoke is made with local dry-aged beef and pork, black pepper, white cardamom, garlic, nutmeg, smoked beer and bacon.


New head chef Adam Sobel tops the half smokes with either venison chili with charred jalapeno and cheddar cheese whiz or “NY Cart Style,” with sauerkraut and spicy ketchup onions.


The Moo Thunder Stout comes from New York microbrewery Butternuts Beer & Ale.



The special is available in the bar and lounge Monday-Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Saturday 5:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The Eating Agenda

Attention chocolate lovers. Here are a few events you'll want to know about.


Every Thursday this month, the Corcoran is hosting Date Nights
from 5-9 p.m. You'll get two-for-one gallery admission and two glasses
of Champagne with chocolate covered strawberries (pictured) or a fruit
and cheese platter in the cafe. Print out this coupon to take advantage of the date night promotion.


In other chocolate-covered news, the Ritz-Carlton
will fill its lounge this weekend with enough candy and confections to
make Willy Wonka proud. The hotel's Chocolate Decadence Buffet, offering
chocolate cakes, macaroons, puddings, martinis and more, will be
available Feb. 11-14.


The buffet is $35 for five items, and if you're not in sugar shock by
then, additional desserts are
$5. Add on a Champagne flight for $38. Reservations are required for
seatings at 6, 8 and 10 p.m. Call 202.835.0500 to reserve.


The National Museum of the American Indian is hosting The Power of Chocolate,
a two-day celebration with plenty of free activities this weekend. Stop in on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. for
a food demo featuring the museum cafe's hot chocolate and chocolate
history discussion.


Also on the eating agenda:


Feb. 13: Winter Wonderland Party at Bourbon Steak (did someone say pork mac and cheese?)

Feb. 14: Cuisine Contra with Mike Isabella

Feb. 24: The Moles of Oaxaca with Patricia Jinich


Visit the Metrocurean Calendar for more DC food events.

2.08.2011

Eat Your Heart Out



Move over sweetbreads, there's a new organ meat sweetheart on the menu.


As nose-to-tail cooking becomes de rigueur in the very best kitchens, more
chefs are turning heart into enticing dishes. In the past month alone,
I've sampled tender local lamb heart, sliced thin and marinated in
juniper, red chile, bay leaf and garlic, at a Bibiana media event and puffy rounds of warm flatbread topped with veal hearts and salsa verde at Proof.


In countries the world over — like Peru where skewered heart anticuchos are a specialty — diners wouldn't bat an eye at supping on
these innards. It's an admittedly new thing for most American palates,
but chefs say diners are receptive.


"There are a lot more people who are trying new things," says Bibiana
head chef Nicholas Stefanelli, who has cooked goat, lamb and veal
hearts.


The organ meat sells well when he puts it on his Italian menu as a special. "Once
people eat it, they're surprised by it. It's not overpowering."


I'd say it's surprisingly meaty. I'd also say if you're a meat eater,
the less of an animal that goes to waste the better. "We're getting in
whole animals, and it's about being thrifty and utilizing everything
that we can," says Stefanelli.


Here's where to find chefs cooking heart around DC:


Bar Pilar: I'm a big fan of what chef Justin Bittner does with offal and extremities (like his crispy fried pig ears). He serves beef heart Peruvian-style, spiced with coriander, chili powder and garlic.


Bibiana: When chef Nicholas Stefanelli brings in a whole lamb from Border Springs Farm
in Virginia, he'll prepare the heart as a menu special and lets the
season dictate the dish, like a recent accompaniment of vanilla turnip
puree.


Butcher's Block:
At Robert Wiedmaier's Alexandria shop, the butchers get whole Randall
Lineback cows, and the organs including the heart are sold for $7 a
pound.  But if you want to try cooking it at home, know that the organs
sell fast.


Las Canteras: At Peru native Eddy Ancasi's Adams Morgan restaurant, you can try the traditional beef heart anticucho.


Poste: On his 20 Bites menu, chef Rob Weland has featured veal heart cooked in duck fat and served with sliced radishes.


Proof:
Chef Haidar Karoum will put heart on the menu when he has it. The
grilled veal hearts last month were served atop warm flatbread with
buttercrunch greens and salsa verde.

2.07.2011

DC Scene: Sugar & Champagne




Check out Metrocurean's video report from the 10th annual Sugar & Champagne Affair, held last week at the Ritz-Carlton. The event raised important funds for the Washington Humane Society while stuffing guests silly with incredible sweets from DC's top pastry chefs and plenty of great bubbly and cocktails. The canines were treated to "pupcakes" topped with ham, fresh baked dog biscuits and lots of attention.

For more videos featuring top chefs, check out the VIDEO page.

Scoop: Food News Round-Up


Keeping you updated on the city's top food news...


• First a little piece of website news. Comments are back! Let me
know how you've been liking the new site, where you've been eating,
whatcha been cooking. Talk to me!



DC's Meat-Free Week kicks off today, featuring veggie-friendly events at spots like Nage, Sunflower, Dangerously Delicious Pies, a handful of food trucks and more. Check out DCVegan.com for the full meat-free schedule.



Capitol Hill coffee haven Peregrine Espresso finally secured a building permit to get construction started on its new location at 1718 14th St. NW.



A new pop-up restaurant concept is launching in DC this month. The Number 68 Project will host its first dinner Feb. 20 with food by Graffiato/Top Chef All Star Mike Isabella and cocktails by Derek Brown of Columbia Room and The Passenger. Through April 17, Number 68 will host a weekly dinner with a rotating cast of chefs and mixologists.



Health-focused, New Orleans-based is headed to 2140 L St. NW. WBJ's BizBeat reports the company also has leases in Bethesda, Reston, McLean and Pentagon Row.

• Buddha-Bar has a new head chef: Simon Volante comes from Red in Vegas.
Years back he cooked in DC at the Willard, Aquarelle and the
Jefferson
.



Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.



Photo: flickr user Kevin H.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.
Check out SCOOP for more of the food news you need to know.

2.04.2011

5 Bites: Nevin Martell


Nevin Martell is a food writer, pop culture archeologist and travel
junkie. His new book, Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, is out now in
paperback. These are the dishes he turns to when seeking some edible comfort.


1. An Etna pizza at 2 Amys (hold the capers and throw on some buffalo mozzarella, please)


2. Beignets at Bayou Bakery


3. Duck fat fries at Blue Duck Tavern


4. Chicken bento box at Teaism in Penn Quarter


5. Croissant at Patisserie Poupon

Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.


Metrocurean wants your bites! Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.
Share all the delicious things you've
been eating and drinking by e-mailing five of your favorites and whether
you'd like your name and a picture included to metrocurean AT gmail.com.

Browse all delicious 5 bites in one place.

2.02.2011

Chicken & White Bean Chili



By Jennifer Segal,

Metrocurean contributor,
onceuponachef.com


Forget about all those chili recipes made with ground beef and store-bought seasoning packets. This is a healthy chili you can actually feel good about eating. It’s loaded with veggies, lean ground chicken and beans but, don’t worry, it’s still hearty and delicious — even your manly football fanatics will love it.



At first glance, the list of ingredients looks long but it’s really just a lot of spices. While it simmers on the stove for almost two hours, active cooking time is only about 30 minutes. It’s important to use regular ground chicken — not the extra-lean all breast meat — and same goes if you're substituting ground turkey. Use Pomi brand boxed chopped tomatoes if you can find them…they’re better than canned and lend good texture. Serve with tortilla chips or cornbread. Enjoy!



Chicken Chili with White Beans



serves 6-8


3 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (about 2 medium onions)

1 red bell pepper, diced

6 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground chicken (not extra lean breast meat)

2-26 oz. boxes Pomi* chopped tomatoes or two 28 oz. cans chopped or diced tomatoes

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use Swanson organic)

1 teaspoon sugar

1-15 oz. can small Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


Make spice mixture by combining chili powder, cumin, coriander, red
pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in small
bowl. Mix well and set aside next to stove.


Heat oil in a
large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive** pot over medium heat. Add onions and
red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10
minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring to prevent garlic from burning,
about two minutes more.


Increase heat to medium high and add
the ground chicken and spice mixture. As the chicken cooks, use a wooden
spoon to break the meat into very small clumps; cook until no longer
pink, about 5 minutes.


Add tomatoes, chicken broth, remaining
teaspoon salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and
simmer, partially covered (set lid ajar so steam has a few inches to
escape), for about one hour, stirring occasionally.


Stir in
white beans and let simmer, uncovered, for about 50 minutes more, or
until meat is tender and flavors are well combined. For a soupier chili,
you can add additional water. For a thicker chili, simmer uncovered
until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if necessary.


*Pomi boxed tomatoes are available at some regular grocers, Whole Foods and gourmet food shops.


**A
nonreactive pot is made of a material that will not react negatively
with acidic ingredients. Stainless steel, enamel, glass and nonstick (as
long as there are no scratches in the nonstick coating) are all safe to
use. Do not use cast iron or aluminum.







Jennifer Segal is the founder and publisher of Once Upon a Chef, a cooking blog featuring easy and elegant recipes. Before launching her blog, Jennifer earned her culinary stripes working front and back of the house at some of DC's top fine dining restaurants, including L'Auberge Chez Francois, Sam & Harry's and The Caucus Room.



She has also done private catering and restaurant public relations. Jennifer is a graduate of the professional Culinary Arts Program at L'Academie de Cuisine.




Crackle Bar Debuts Happy Hour


Tackle Box's new Crackle Bar.
Photo by Dave Phillipich



The restaurant: Tackle Box's new Crackle Bar

The deal: Happy hour brings $1 oyster shooters, 50 cent wings, $3 calamari, $1.50 Bud and Bud Lights, and $2 frozen margaritas.

The deets: The new bar over Georgetown seafood joint Tackle Box has debuted its happy hour deals, which run Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. Mentally escape from icy city streets and channel a beachy sea shack with oyster shooters ($1), fried calamari ($3), hot wings (50 cents each) with Tackle Box's own tomato chipotle sauce, and cocktail shrimp ($5). Drink specials include
Bud or Bud Light for $1.50
and frozen margaritas for $2.

2.01.2011

Sweet Gifts For Your Valentine



A round-up of unique Valentine gifts for the food-obsessed...


1. For the cook you hold closest to your heart, pink Himalayan sea salt is perfectly colored for Valentine's Day gifting. St. Helena Olive Oil Company's simple packaging gives it a homemade feel. St. Helena Olive Oil Company, $12

2. A heart baker, so much sweeter than a heart breaker. The fluted edges are reminiscent of paper cupcake wrappers. Crate & Barrel, $4.95

3. I don't know what it is about these precious marzipan elephants but they're too darn cute. Pop them on top of a cupcake or your Valentine's dessert. Dean & Deluca, $24

4. This decoupaged glass tray reminds me of a note someone might have passed in middle school. Jayson Home & Garden, $78

5. J'adore the packaging on Askinosie's single-origin sipping chocolate. They recommend mixing it with heavy cream. I say, if you insist. Askinosie, $15.50

6. Channeling vintage romance with calligraphy doves, Thomas Paul's melamine dessert trays would look fetching on a Valentine's Day table. Velocity, $32 set of four