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We’ve moved!!

DiningInDc has moved!  Washington DC’s premier site for dining guides, tips, food & restaurant news and trends, event coverage and happenings, and more can now be found at:


If you have somehow landed on this page we would like to apologize for the inconvenience!

Dining in DC - Connecting People Through Food


Get Your Tickets to the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show 10% off.

For the 2nd year, Dining in DC is proud to sponsor the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, the premiere consumer event in the nation for cooking and entertaining enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. Don’t miss their biggest event ever with more than 300 exhibitors, live cooking demonstrations by nationally renowned chefs, tasting and entertaining workshops, plus presentations from Food Network celebrities Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri and the Neelys.

The 2010 show will be held on November 13-14, 2010 a the Washington Convention Center. Tickets can be purchased online.

You can get 10% off on Celebrity Theater tickets with the promotion code: Blog10. Hope to see you at the event!

The Obamas Eat Their Way Through DC.

President Obama getting ready to chow down. Photo by Rick Bowmer-AP

First Eater, Chowhound-in-Chief, Executive Dining Officer, President Barack Obama has earned many o’nickname for his know how: how to dig in. Since moving to Washington, DC from Chicago, the Obamas have been out on the town quite a bit sampling new restaurants or dining out with staff and friends.  

Keeping with their tradition of Friday Night date nights, since before White House days, the Obamas have ventured out to some of DC’s top restaurants.  But when left to his own devises, it’s clear that the President prefers a juicy burger and chili considering the long list of burger joints he’s visited. Obama has also patronized local mom-and-pop places, such as the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl.

The eateries the Obamas have visited have reported an unprecedented increase of business, instantly turning local establishments into international icons. Co-owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl said, “Since President Obama came, the line may have gotten longer but the look and feel of Ben’s will never change.”  If you’re in the nation’s capital and you’re looking to learn more about the President and First Lady, what better way to do that than through food?

Check out the FULL Article on DC Metro Magazine (page 14-16).

Lisa Shapiro is the Dining Editor for DC Metro Magazine.

17th Annual Taste of Georgetown this Saturday, October 9.

Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge Paella, 2009.

Fall is the perfect time of year to savor the Taste of Georgetown, DC’s premiere food festival showcasing the spectacular cuisine of 30 of Georgetown’s finest restaurants, featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample and all for a important cause. Proceeds from a Taste of Georgetown will benefit the homeless outreach providing psychiatrist care, shelter and meals through the Georgetown Ministry Center.

On Saturday, October 9th from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. attendees will enjoy tasteful cuisine and have a chance to sip with wine, spirits, and ale tastings at the Tasting Pavilion located on the lawn of Grace Church. Tickets for beverage tasting is four tasting tickets for $10.The fall food festival in Georgetown will also include live jazz provided by Blues Alley and children’s activities such as caricature artists, balloon makers and jugglers.

See full article on Examiner.com

‘Food Bloggers Unite for a Cause’ for Slice of Life.

Slice of Life

Last year Dining in DC started a Thanksgiving tradition to support Food & Friends and the thousands of children and adults battling life-challenging illnesses in the DC community by participating in “Slice of Life”.

In 2009, a team of fellow food bloggers and friends made up a dynamic sales team, “Food Bloggers for a Cause” and together raised over $1300.00 for this very special cause.

Just think about the impact that we could have on thousands of individuals in the DC area facing life-challenging illnesses if we join together and help.  SLICE OF LIFE is the only area pie sale allowing Washingtonians to purchase Thanksgiving pies while impacting the lives of those in need in the DC community. I have committed to being a Sales Captain for Slice of Life again this year and need YOUR help to ensure that it is a success. Please consider joining our sales team! If you have friends and neighbors then you’d be a great asset to our team! It’s easy and Food and Friends provides all of the tools that we need.

Each pie that is sold will provide one full day of meals for a neighbor in need. In 2009, nearly 5,000 pies were sold. This year, with your help, we can sell even more!

Image by Brooke Smith, Mansion Mogul

Food & Friends is selling Harvest Apple Crumb, Picture Perfect Pumpkin, Southern Pecan, and Oh So Sweet Potato for $25 each, and Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake for $40 each. Each pie sold will directly impact the lives of children and adults facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more common in our daily lives. There are 22 pick up locations throughout the MD, DC, VA area.

Last year, Brooke Smith, DC’s Mansion Mogul joined the sales team and said, “I like the idea that we could be helping our neighbors, the people who make our city a special place to live. My hope is that our community be a place where people care for each other, and it’s up to all of us to support organizations that work hard every day to make that happen.”

For more information and to Join the Team, visit
www.foodandfriends.org (Pie seller registration) and Select our team page Food Bloggers Unite for a Cause.

Food & Friends home-delivers specialized meals and provides nutrition services to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Services are free of charge and offered to individuals who qualify on their health need alone. Since their beginning in 1988, thanks to the help of generous donors like you, Food & Friends has delivered more than 11 million meals to more than 18,000 individuals.

** Since Food & Friends is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions are considered tax-deductible. The fair market value for the purchase of a pie is $7.00. The remainder of your purchase, and the purchase of any pies for clients is fully tax-deductible. All contributors to Slice of Life will receive tax documentation from Food & Friends after the conclusion of this event. Thank you!

Please send me an Email at DininginDC@gmail.com if you are interested in joining our sales team!!

Thank you!

The ‘Duponada’ Top Finalist Results Are In!

Photo courtesy of Panas.

Panas Gourmet Empanadas which opened recently at 2029 P Street NW in Dupont Cirlce held a contest to create a locally sourced empanada, made from Farm Market ingredients that would be named after Dupont Circle. What better way to become part of the community than name a menu item after it? Brilliant! Two weeks ago, entrants submitted a recipe or a list of no more than four favored ingredients that can be found at the FRESHFARM Market.

Judges: Jenna Huntsberger, Olga Berman, Sylvie Hong Nguyen, Lisa Shapiro, and Robin Diener.

To create the new empanada, Panas owner Federico Garcia Lopez has enlisted the help of the locals by holding a taste test and having a people’s choice vote. On Sunday October 3rd at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market a panel of judges, including Yours Truly and Robin Diener, President of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association selected three finalists. According to the judges the top 3 are:

First Place: Black Beans, Platains with mango juice

Second Place: Yuca, Loroco, and Mushrooms with Kalamata Tapenade

Third Place: Mushroom, Onions with Pesto Sauce

People’s Choice: ??? You decide!

Right now those three empanadas will be on sale at Panas Gourmet Empanadas until October 8th and customers may vote for their favorite. The winning recipe, to be named the Duponada, will be introduced to all on Sunday, October 10, and proceeds from the sale will go to the Dupont Circle Citizens Association. The Panas menu includes $2 empanadas ranging from meat, pork, chicken and ham and other Latin inspired side dishes.

Cuba Libre Washington, DC now open! Diners to enjoy 50% off through October 7th.

Streetscape Facade. Photo by L. Shapiro

The Latin-inspired Cuba Libre Old Havana Restaurant & Rum Bar, is officially open for business, as of October 1st. I’ll be there for dinner on Friday but unless you go yourself, you’ll have to wait for my review. But as always, you shouldn’t just take my word for it, you should experience it yourself. Besides, how many times can you get away to Cuba on a weeknight?

Two weeks before the opening I got a sneak peek of Cuba Libre’s remarkably thematic design which is a collaboration of craftsman Kevin Hale and his firm, Artisan Industry of Nashville, Tennessee and Cuban American architect Carlos Sobrin, of the Orlando, Florida firm Cuhaci & Peterson (see slideshow here). With experience in theatre production, the design team created the Old Havana circa the 1950s the “Vegas of it’s time”, according to Chris Perrupato, General Manager of the Orlando, FL Cuba Libre who is in town helping with the DC opening. The restaurant’s main dining room (seats 170 total) and bar with high top tables, that seat 50 are along an intimate streetscape lined by recreations of two-story buildings with balconies, windows and doors highlighted by ornate moldings, and wrought iron railings modeled after photos of actual Old Havana buildings.

Maybe for the first time in the history of a DC restaurant opening, guests will receive half off of their opening menu. For the first week of opening, diners at the new “Nuevo Cubano” restaurant will receive a 50% discount on their dinner on opening day, October 1st til the 7th. Executive Chef Jason Kaufman said, “It’s our way of showing we’re dedicated to getting it right. People are a lot more forgiving about their food being late if it is at a discount. People are happy when they are saving money”. Then from October 8-13th, guests will be offered a 25% discount before the full price menu begins October 14th, two weeks after their soft opening. Guests can call to make reservations and reservations online can be made after September 25th.

Dining Room view from Door. 'Calle'. Photo by L. Shapiro

Cuba Libre’s menu showcases the flavors of various Latin regions featuring piqueos, or small tasting plates, ideal for experiencing a multitude of delicious flavor combinations was specifically developed for Washington by Chef-Partner Guillermo Pernot. Orlando GM, Perrupato said, “The structure of the DC menu is completely different than our other locations. The concept of small plates is different for us but that is the trend in DC and that what makes DC unqiue is so many ways. The small plates are great. You’re never having to wait for an entree to come out. There is no lag time.”

Executive Chef Kaufman said his favorite dishes are the Bay Scallop Ceviche and that most popular dish of all Cuba Libre locations, including Atlantic City and Orlando is the Churrasco a la Cubana. A Grilled skirt steak with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, parsley, lemon and onion sauce, watercress and rosemary mushroom escabeche salad. Besides its ceviche and ropa vieja (Cuban stew), Cuba Libre is known for and its expansive rum menu. With more than 75 premium and flavored varieties from Brazil, Haiti, Nicaragua and Tortola, as well as the restaurant’s six Cuba Libre branded rums by Demerara Distillers in Guyana which are aged up to 21 years. Fresh tropical fruit juices are also incorporated into the specialty cocktails. Cuba Libre’s house specialty, the mojito is available in 15 varieties and made from an authentic Cuban recipe. Fresh sugar cane juice, called guarapo and lime juice is pressed daily in-house (see photos). These are the coolest kitchen gadgets you’ve ever seen; however, the Zumex alone will run you about nine grand. In addition, the restaurant also features an extensive wine selection, primarily from Spain and South America.

In a few weeks with weather permitting, Cuba Libre will open their 66-seat sidewalk café. In addition, when the dust settles sometime in the near future, on Friday and Saturday nights after dinner hours, around 10–11 PM, the tables will be moved back for dancing and Cuba Libre will heat up with Latin rhythms as professional salsa dancers perform colorful floor shows. The resident DJ overlooking the floor in the mezzanine booth, will spin Salsa, Meringue, Bachata and other Latin dance music to keep guests heading to the dance floor well into the night. (801 Ninth St. NW, 202-408-1600).