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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:

http://diningindc.net/

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

Dining in DC - Connecting People Through Food

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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.

‘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!

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).

Join me for the “Duponada” taste test tomorrow at Dupont Farmers Market.

Photo courtesy of Panas.

Panas Gourmet Empanadas which opened recently at 2029 P Street NW in Dupont Cirlce is holding a contest to create a locally sourced empanada. 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.

It’s not easy to create a new empanada. So Panas owner Federico Garcia Lopez has enlisted the help of the locals by holding a taste test and having a people’s choice vote.

Photo by onthebound.net

Tomorrow, Sunday October 3, a panel of judges, including FRESHFARM Market executive Juliet Glass, along with food writers including Yours Truly, Olga Berman of Mango and Tomato, Katie Test of We Love DC, and Robin Diener, President of the Dupont Circle Citizens Association will select the top three finalists of the entrants at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market.

Those finalist recipes will be on sale at Panas Gourmet Empanadas for one week where 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.

Come on out and cheer me and the other judges on tomorrow! The judging will commence at 11 a.m. at the Dupont Circle FRESHFARM Market. See you there! Thanks to Jill Collins, PR for including me.

Dining in DC’s Foodie Itinerary: Sept. 29-Oct.3

Looking for some foodie fun this weekend? The Dining in DC Foodie Itinerary includes food-related events for this weekend. Below is a compilation of various, food-related events, such as tastings, fall festivals, and workshops or classes throughout the DC Washington Metropolitan area.

All Weekend (Friday-Sunday)

Oktoberfest on H Street: Biergarten Haus celebrates Oktoberfest German style with eleven new festival drafts in addition to the twelve already on tap. 1355 H St. NE, b/t 13th & 14 Sts. (202-388-4085).

Greek Fest: St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church: There is something for everyone, whether you’re looking to wine, dine, shop or hop. This “Taste of Greece” has home-made traditional Greek food and desserts, arts and crafts, and live Greek music with dancing (Opa!). Open to the public with Free admission and parking. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. All weekend: Friday-Sunday. 3149 Glen Carlyn Rd. Falls Church, VA

Friday, October 1st

French Wine Fest: Ooh La La! Wine?! Mais, Oui! The Willard  InterContinental and Cafe du Parc host their annual celebration, “Les Vendanges” an Autumnal French wine harvest festival on Friday, October 1st, 5:30- 9:00pm featuring authentic dishes, different styles of regional French wine and beers. Enjoy dancing, grape-stomping, good food and wine!  Tickets for the event start at $20 for four items to be redeemed at food and wine stations set up throughout the courtyard. The restaurant and terrace will also be open for service. It will feature a 3 Course Pre-Fixe Menu priced at $35! This menu will include the choice among 3 appetizers, 3 entrees and 3 dessert dishes, all selected and prepared by our Chef de Cuisine, Angelo Galang. Cafe du Parc @ The Willard InterContinental is located at: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW DC

Saturday, October 2nd

Art on the Avenue, Del Ray’s 15th Annual multicultural arts festival, takes place this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. The event is free & open to all. Art on the Avenue features over 350 area artists & craftspeople, international food, three stages of live music, & free children’s crafts & entertainment. Artist demonstrations, a pie-baking contest & a community mural painting complete the day’s program. Pie judging begins at 12:15 p.m. Slices are $3. Free DASH transportation will be provided from the Braddock Road Metro. For more information visit www.artontheavenue.org.

Taste of Bethesda: The 21st annual Taste of Bethesda will be held this Saturday, October 2, 2010 with more than 55 participating restaurants including the new Bistro Provence by Yannick Cam, Georgetown Cupcake, Morton’s, Olazzo, and Jaleo.  Enjoy four stages of entertainment featuring a variety of music. Don’t miss the chance to sample the delicious restaurants, enjoy the live entertainment and visit the kid’s corner for face painting and arts & crafts. Admission is free and Taste tickets are sold on-site in bundles of four tickets for $5. Food servings cost one to four tickets.

An evening with Chef Michel Richard: Enjoy an evening of food and wine at Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner (Level 3) at 6:00 p.m.  with World-renown Chef Michel Richard and St. Francis Winery & Vineyards.  Bloomie’s is hosting this special event Legendary Pairings – a three course tasting with special guest and winner of the 2008 James Beard Best New Restaurant Central Michel Richard, Chef, Michel Richard with Chef, Levi Mezick.  Experience culinary cuisine at its finest, as each course will be paired with a selected St. Francis wine.  Demonstrations and courses will be prepared using All-Clad cookware.  Tix $50.00 and include a $25.00 Bloomingdale’s Gift Card.  To reserve contact:  Kit 703.556.4519 or 703.556.4500.

Sunday, October 3rd

Willow Chefs Kate Jansen and Susan O'Grady

World Fare: A Street Food-Style Festival: The local exchange of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) with over 30 participating chefs, including Nora Pouillon, Jamie Leeds, Ris Lacoste, and Carla Hall, presents a culinary extravaganza on Sunday at Willow Restaurant. This indoor “street food festival” will feature regional specialties from Europe (including crêpes made to order), Asia, Near Asia, North America, and Central/South America. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased in advance at the WCR website (womenchefs.org) or at the door. Proceeds support WCR scholarships and intern programs for women in the culinary arts. Willow restaurant: 4301 North Fairfax Drive, Arlington. Closest Metro: Ballston (Orange line) 5-8 p.m.

“Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon will feature Amy Senger, adviser for A Clean Life who will discuss ways to improve health through living a fresh, local food, zero-waste lifestyle. Special guest, Chef Barton Seaver who is credited with bringing the concept of sustainable seafood to the nation’s capitol and last year he earned Esquire magazine’s ‘Chef of the Year’. Sparkling wine provided by local Virginia winery Thibaut-Janisson and a seasonal, locally-sourced meal prepared by Stir Food Group Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello of Zola Wine Kitchen. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

Mark Your Calendars Now!

Saturday, October 9

Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge Paella, 2009.

Food lovers will flock to Taste of Georgetown, the “must eat” event showcasing the spectacular cuisine of 30 of Georgetown’s finest restaurants, featuring more than 60 delectable dishes to sample, as well as beverage pairings and the jazz talents of Blues Alley, on Saturday, October 9th from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. From live paella demonstrations, exquisite fare from a Top Chef contestant, an exciting lineup of judges and creative new categories, Taste of Georgetown 2010 will satisfy more appetites and taste buds of all ages in the DC metro area this year. Tickets are $5 for one tasting and $20 for five tastings. TOG is presented and sponsored by the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) to benefit the Georgetown Ministry Center. The event is located at Wisconsin Avenue, NW, between M & K Streets. Attendees of the Taste of Georgetown have a number of transportation options, including taking either the Circulator line from Union Station/Georgetown or the Circulator line from Rosslyn/Dupont, which runs along M Street. For more information and advanced ticket purchases, visit http://www.TasteOfGeorgetown.com. Online ticket purchases will be available through Wednesday, October 6.