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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.


Voting Ends Today! Please Vote (Again) for Dining in DC!

It’s a dreary rainy day in DC today but we’re still going to make the most of the day! Today is the very last day to vote for Dining in DC in the Express Night Out ‘Best of 2010’ Poll. If you have already voted, I greatly appreciate your time and support. Every vote counts so please vote again (and again) and tell your friends. Then after telling your friends, vote again. I know what you’re thinking … Thank Goodness that today is the last day.

Here’s what to do: Go to People and Places. Scroll down 12 categories to Blogger (Food) and Click on Dining in DC to vote! Please leave a comment about WHY you love Dining in DC!

I appreciate your support! Please show your love and support for your favorite food blog, Dining in DC!

The winners will be posted in a special Best Of issue on Oct. 22. Thank you!

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.

A Clean Life: The Case for Local Food at “Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon.

This is not your mom’s Tupperware party. Not like there is anything wrong with that but let’s be honest. Times have changed. I’m a modern woman with a family who cares about the environment, my children’s health, and even more their education but I admit that I’m obsessed with food. I read that 2/3 of the United States’ population is considered overweight or obese and food waste does more damage to the environment than the BP oil spill. With First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent Let’s Move campaign to end Child Obesity, more now than ever we realize that food plays a greater role in the well-being of our society. My kids know that when I am away from home I’m at a restaurant. I’m sure that my six-year-old son, Alex means well but he has made comments to me about my weight. I could set a better example for my kids. I plan to … and I’m going to start now.

Amy Senger. Photo by Jared Goralnick

I’m looking forward to attending my first “Ladies’ only” event this Sunday at Zola Wine and Kitchen;  however, I can say that most of the media events that I attend are predominantly female. I’m surprised that there aren’t more aspiring male food writers especially since all the big dogs in DC Todd Kliman, Tom Sietsema, Warren Rojas, are all men. I’m attending because I think the topic of discussion is interesting; however, I’m sure that there will be a handful of attendees that are going just to catch a glimpse of hearthrob Chef, Barton Seaver. I’ve met him before, so that’s not the reason I’m excited.

This event on Sunday, “Take Back Food” Ladies’ Luncheon will feature Amy Senger, (pictured above) adviser and advocate for A Clean Life. She will share her personal story of improving health through living a fresh, local food, zero-waste lifestyle and the impact it’s had on her body and personal well-being as well as the benefits it has on the environment. It’s going to be an eye-opening discussion. Senger promises to open all of our eyes about what we’re eating, what big food industry, including the U.S. government, is doing to undermine citizens personal health (and why it’s causing so many people to struggle with their weight), and the one simple change we can do to combat it.

Chef Barton Seaver. Photo by Marvin Joseph, Washington Post.

Now for the eye candy who needs no introduction in the restaurant industry. Chef Barton Seaver 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’.

For those are who are interested, the afternoon will include:

  • A special guest appearance by Barton Seaver, DC chef extraordinaire, advocate and National Geographic Fellow as he shares he personal mission to change food culture
  • Sparkling wine provided by local Virginia winery Thibaut-Janisson (featured at the first Obama state dinner)
  • A seasonal, locally-sourced meal prepared by Stir Food Group Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello
  • Limited signed copies (for purchase) of locavore leader Alice Waters’ latest cookbook, In The Green Kitchen

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online.

First Annual Curbside Cookoff with DC Street Vendors October 7-8.

The People Have Spoken! With more than 4800 votes, Washingtonians have showed their support for the great entrepreneurs on wheels — DC Food Trucks! The District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs is holding the 1st annual D.C. Curbside Cookoff. The 20 food carts/truck finalists were announced on Friday after a week of online voting.


Sweetbites Truck serving customers. Photo by L. Shapiro


The 20 finalists, chosen out of 500 registered street food vendors in the D.C.-area, will gather for two days on October 7th and 8th at the CityCenterDC, formerly known as the Old Washington Convention Center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for a celebration of art, music, and good eats. Admission is free and open to everyone. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite vendor on-site via paper ballot and via text message. More details on the voting process will be announced in the next few days on the Curbside Cookoff website.

The chosen finalists include several specialized Korean food trucks, including the Yellow Cart, Yellow Truck and Takorean. Surpringly some new comers made the list, such as Fry Captain, Lobster Truck only having been open for a few weeks. Lastly, Food Chain DC is a unique entity as it has partnered with nine existing vendors to in order to offer more variety of food to customers.

The 20 Top Finalists for the 1st Annual Curbside Cookoff are the following:

BBQ Bandidos (@BBQBandidos)
Curbside Cupcakes (@curbsidecupcake)
DC Empanadas (@DCEmpanadas)
DC Slices (@dcslices)
District Taco (@districttaco)
Eat Sauca (@wheresauca)
Eat Wonky (@eatwonky)
El Floridano (@flmeetsdc)
Fojol Bros. (@fojolbros)
Food Chain DC (@FoodChainDC)
Fry Captain (@frycaptain)
Pedro and Vinny’s Burrito Cart
Pleasant Pops (@pleasantpops)
Rebel Heroes (@rebelheroes)
Red Hook Lobster Truck (@lobstertruckDC)
Sweet Bites (@sweetbitestruck)
Sweetflow Mobile (@sweetflowmobile)
Takorean (@takorean)
Yellow Cart
Yellow Truck (@yellowvendor)

As always, if you’re looking for some lunchtime fare and you want to know where they ALL are see http://foodtruckfiesta.com/

Co Co. Sala opens chocolate retail boutique.

Co Co. Sala Chocolate Boutique.

Whomever said that money can’t buy happiness — lied. The Rammy award winning Co Co. Sala, renowned as the chic fine dining place to gorge oneself on artisan coffee, gourmet chocolate, decadent desserts, and exceptional cocktails has opened a Chocolate Boutique! Yes, you read that right. A Chocolate Boutique: designed for a quick chocolate get-a-way. With a prime location in the heart of Penn Quarter, stop by on your way home from work or indulge yourself in a delicious mid-day snack. In addition, chocolate tastings & classes will also be offered to customers for both private and public events.

Chocolate Ribbon for ceremony. Photo by Revamp.com

Co- owners Bharet Malhotra and Nisha Sidhu opened the exceptional chocolate boutique yesterday, Monday, September 27th to showcase Co Co. Sala’s artisanal, handcrafted retail chocolates created by Executive & Pastry Chef Santosh Tiptur and co-owner Nisha Sidhu. On the counter for all to enjoy are pieces of their chocolate ribbon that was created for their ribbon cutting ceremony. The chocolate is delicious and took me back to the days of eating the ears off the chocolate Easter bunny.

Signature Co Co. Sala bars and bacon treats.

The new retail boutique, a 200-square-foot space was designed by award-winning architect and designer Alex Hurtado of Collective Architecture and feature luxurious finishes, including imported stone, glass and a golden wall, the boutique reflects the opulent warmth of the main lounge. It has several glass display cases to showcase the small jewel-like artisanal chocolates as well as the signature chocolate bars crafted from luxurious Valrhona chocolate. Behind the cases are voluptuous hand-sculpted chocolate and sugar showpieces created by Executive & Pastry Chef Santosh Tiptur and co-owner Nisha Sidhu.  The boutique will also offer an array of packaged chocolate indulgences such as the popular chocolate-enrobed bacon, various chocolate barks, cognac truffles, hot co co. pops (like a melt used in milk) and seasonal chocolate items to reflect the various holidays.

Co Co Pop melt for hot chocolate

The unique collection of artisanal chocolates includes intriguing flavors such as Banana Ginger, Rosemary Caramel, Chipotle, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Mango Lassi, ranging in variety from white to dark chocolate.  All chocolates are made using the finest ingredients without any preservatives or additives.

Seasonal items will include the Somethin’ Pumpkin Bar, Om chocolate bars dusted with edible gold to celebrate the Hindu holiday Diwali, and Champagne-Infused Chocolate Ganache perfect for celebrating that special occasion. The boutique has its own separate entrance and hours of operation so don’t miss the chance to get in on the goodies!

Dining in DC to host DC Food Blogger Happy Hour at Carmine’s DC.

Are you hungry? Good … join me at the next DC Food Blogger Happy Hour which will be held on Wednesday, October 6th at the new Carmine’s DC. If you haven’t been there then you’ll be shocked by the enormous space. Carmine’s DC is the largest restaurant in Washington, DC with more than 20,000 square feet and 700 seats. We will be in a private dining room and who knows maybe we’ll catch a glimpse of a high profile person sneaking in through the “secret service” entrance.

What: Special invitation to DC Food Bloggers and guests. Food will be provided graciously by Carmines. Come hungry! Their food is worth waiting for.

Note: An earlier post reported in error that complementary drinks would also be provided.  This is not correct.  Beer, wine, and specialty drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

When: Wednesday, October 6th 6-8 p.m.

Come meet, mingle, and chat with fellow food bloggers. Whether you’re a regular DCFBHH attendee or you’re interested in putting a face to a name for some of your favorite local food bloggers, come hang with us. I will be serving as the “Hostess” with the Mostest this month, so please come say hello.

Also, now the DC food bloggers have a new Facebook fan page, a virtual space to hang out, converse, and get to know each other. If you are a food blogger (or a food lover) feel free to “become a fan.” We’ll be posting future events via Facebook, so it’s a great way to keep up on what’s going on. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to the DC Food Blogger Facebook page.

Hope to see you there! If you plan to attend, if you plan on attending, please RSVP to the DC Food Blogger Facebook page. Thanks! See you there! And feel free to repost this flyer on your blog to spread the word.

For more info: Carmine’s Website for more information. Carmine’s DC:425 7th Street NW (Penn Quarter metro)
Map/Directions : Google
Telephone: 202.737.7770