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Seeds of Belize

Posted by / Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Use all of the pumpkin by playing with pepitos.

Flavors of Belize

Photo by Sean Kuylen.

In this country, pumpkins usually fall into three categories: carved into jack-o’-lanterns, poured into pie shells and flavored into lattes. But in Central America, gourds, pumpkins and squash are cuisine staples.

In “Flavors of Belize,” native Sean Kuylen uses pumpkins to their fullest by playing with their seeds, pepitos.

Roasted and salted pumpkin seeds can be crushed into powder form and used to bread meats, as well as ground into sauces and pestos. “The smokiness and nuttiness of the pepito seeds add great texture, aroma and flavor to any dish,” says Kuylen. After charring and removing the skin of a red pepper, Kuylen likes blending the pepper with coconut oil, Gouda cheese and roasted pepito seeds.

Kuylen also suggests mixing pepitos into butter with honey. The resulting compound butter combines “sweetness from the honey [and] is divine on warm, fresh coconut Creole bread,” says Kuylen. Turning to dessert, Kuylen smokes pepitos with brown sugar to make a brittle-like candy. Think about breaking that over a serene pumpkin pie. —Nicole Bayne

(October 2014)


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Tailgate with Mint Juleps at the 2014 International Gold Cup

Posted by / Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Mint Julep

Classic Mint Julep / Photo by Kaine Gish

By Nicole Bayne

How can you go wrong with mint, sugar, ice and bourbon?

Jackson 20‘s Kaine Gish helps those attending the International Gold Cup with how to pull together a mint julep, from prepping beforehand to crushing ice a la minute

“You can bring your drink to a whole other level,” says Gish, if you can crush your ice right before making the drink. Crushed ice gives the julep an adult-snow-cone feel. Bring the ice in a cooler and have a towel to use for crushing.

If you are tailgating, don’t bother with muddling the mint.  This would originally be done per drink for maximum flavor, but Gish says preparing simple syrup beforehand is less time consuming and little mess.

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Hungry For Linkage: ‘Food: A Love Story’ + Village Sweet Bakery + Deep-Fried Candy Corn

Posted by / Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Deep-Fried Candy Corn

Deep-Fried Candy Corn / Photo courtesy of Amy Erickson

By Nicole Bayne

Thank Amy Erickson of Oh, Bite It for deep-fried candy corn.[GrubStreet]

Known as “The Food Comic”, Jim Gaffigan makes fun kale and Brussels sprouts in his new book, Food: A Love Story,” released yesterday. [Food&Wine]

Q&A with Palio‘s Ian Dieter on the lack of foot traffic in Leesburg and the opening of Leesburg Diner. [Leesburg Today]

Dawn Hart turns her online cookie business, Monster Cookie Co.,  into a new bakery, Village Sweet, opening in January in Westover.[ARL]

The pan Asian restaurant Lucky Pot opens in Clarendon tomorrow at 11 a.m. / 1926 Wilson Blvd., Arlington;  703-875-3998


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Where to Find Locally Made Syrups without a Pumpkin Spice in Sight

Posted by / Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

House-made syrup at Killer E.S.P.

The ingredients for Killer E.S.P.’s raspberry syrup / Photo courtesy of Rob Shelton

By Nicole Bayne

In today’s craft coffeehouse culture of sourcing single-origin roasts and taking many dedicated minutes to pour one serving of coffee, these delicate flavors extracted with the help from trained baristas don’t require enhancements. But that purity is over once fall hits and pumpkin spice syrup takes over the world. 

If you like to know where your coffee is sourced, where it’s roasted and exactly how, and for how long, the grinds interact with water, but still want a little sugar in your life, these NoVA coffee shops make their own syrups—none of which mimic the scents of a particular seasonal pie—and combine them with bean blends for personalized, but still pure, combinations. 

Housemade Syrups: Vanilla, Raspberry
From: Killer E.S.P. 

Order: Vanilla Latte; or White Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Latte made with Stumptown’s Hair Bender espresso blend and two pumps of syrup

Owner Rob Shelton says Killer E.S.P. is a “pumpkin–free zone” and uses certified organic vanilla beans in the vanilla syrup. A pastry chef makes the raspberry sauce-like syrup. “We’ve all just been trained to go and drink chemically induced potions,” says Shelton. “You can tell the difference immediately between chemicals and real vanilla.” 

Bonus: no-syrup-added Nutella Latte. Made with a teaspoon of Nutella it’s then followed by about 2 inches of hot milk before letting the concoction rest for a minute. Espresso is added after so it won’t sour. The rest of the milk is poured in last. / 1012 King Street, Alexandria 

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Chef Change: Will Artely Out at Pizzeria Orso; 2941′s Bertrand Chemel In Until Replacement Found

Posted by / Monday, October 20th, 2014

 

Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

By Stefanie Gans

“I can’t believe this is true. I don’t know how I’m going to tell my kids.” This is just one of the over 100 Facebook messages and 95 text messages Will Artley received after news broke that the chef left Pizzeria Orso.

Artley promised this particular parent’s child he would make a pizza with him on his birthday. “It’s just little things like this that I’m starting to think about,” says Artley about the departure, which he calls a mutual agreement. “We both decided that time was time.”

During his two-and-a-half years at the much-more-than-pizza Pizzeria Orso, Artley played with beer-infused pizza dough, represented the restaurant on Food Network‘sChopped,” and paid homage to local writer Jody Fellows of Burger Days (and Falls Church News-Press) with the epic Fellows Burger: a brunch-time item with a sausage-infused burger patty topped with maple syrup, bacon and a runny egg.

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Hungry for Linkage: Amsterdam Falafelshop Now Open in Arlington + Social Burger in ‘Super Soft Open’ Mode + NoVA Restaurants Make Global Restaurant List

Posted by / Monday, October 20th, 2014

Sierra Mar, Big Sur, California © Kodiak Greenwood / Courtesy of Barron's Educational Series ©2014  All Rights Reserved

Sierra Mar, Big Sur, California © Kodiak Greenwood / Courtesy of Barron’s Educational Series ©2014 All Rights Reserved

 Get to know Old Bust Head, Heritage Brewing and BadWolf Brewing. [WaPo]

BTW, DC’s Amsterdam Falafelshop opened in Arlington. [WCP]

The underground network of Chinese restaurant employees. #longread [The New Yorker]

Vienna‘s Social Burger is in “super soft opening” mode. [Eater]

Four Northern Virginia restaurants—Inn at Little Washington, Trummer’s on Main, Quarterdeck, Gadsby’s Tavern—made the list for the new book: “1001 Restaurants You Must Experience Before You Die.” (reviews below/click for larger image)

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Bistro 360 Market Opens Tonight at 6

Posted by / Friday, October 17th, 2014

1800 Wilson Blvd.

Bistro 360 / Photo by Nicole Bayne

By Nicole Bayne

From Georgian cheese bread to the Central Asian rice dish, plov, Bistro 360 will serve dishes inspired from countries across the globe. There will be a market too, from Cassatt’s owner Art Hauptman, and is set to open tonight at 6 p.m.

Inspired by Hauptman’s love of international culinary practices—Cassatt’s features dishes from New Zealand—Bistro 360 will showcase Mediterranean fare with an emphasis on food found in the Northern Hemisphere, specifically French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and American.

“Some dishes will be traditionally prepared, while some will be prepared fusion style. There will still be food from a number of different countries that complement each other,” says Hauptman. Since most of these cuisines share the same base, like poultry, beef, lamb and vegetables, it will be up to the spices and oils to make each dish unique. 

Hauptman is not redoing the entire 140-seat space, formerly Cafe Assorti, but says Portuguese tiles will don “wall hangings from parts of Asia and a variety of countries.” The retail market offerings include meals to-go, wine, beer, cheese, charcuterie, breads, pastries, coffees and teas. “I’ve always loved interesting and good food at reasonable prices and that’s what I’m trying to do here,” says Hauptman.

Hauptman hopes to have the restaurant and wine bar of Bistro 360 open late next week. You can already view the bar menu on their website, bistro360.net, which should be live very soon. / Bistro 360, 1800 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703- 522-3600

 


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Hungry For Linkage: Port City Releases Limited Edition Black IPA + Yoga in the Taproom + Paradise Springs Harvest Wine Dinner

Posted by / Friday, October 17th, 2014

Long Black Veil Black IPA/ Photo Courtesy of Port City Brewing Company

Long Black Veil Black IPA/ Photo Courtesy of Port City Brewing Company

By Susannah Black

The Whole Ox Butcher Shop of The Plains hosts farmer Judd Culver of the Britain-based KellyBronze® turkey farm from Fort Valley for a free turkey tasting today and Saturday beginning at 11:30 a.m. [The Whole Ox]

Port City Brewing Company releases Long Black Veil, a limited edition Black IPA, today in their tasting room. The brew will also be available on draft in bars and restaurants. [Port City]

Alexandria-raised chef George Pagonis is the first of 16 contestants eliminated from this season of Top Chef. [WP]

Yoga instructor and Old Bust Head Brewing Company employee Jaimis Huff leads a detox/retox yoga class in the brewery’s taproom on Sunday ($12; does not include beer). [Old Bust Head]

Danny McFadden, former owner of Kitty O’Shea’s in Courthouse, plans to open The Celtic House on Columbia Pike in the next few weeks. McFadden says that the Irish pub’s menu will be broad, including both Irish and American fare. [ARLNow]

Paradise Springs Winery of Clifton celebrates a successful harvest with the annual Harvest Wine Dinner on Saturday. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with the winemaker and learn about the wine making process, followed by a five-course meal and wine pairing. [Paradise Springs]

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub in the Village at Shirlington hosts a Balvenie Scotch Dinner on Monday that will include a three-course dinner paired with Balvenie 12, 14 and 17 year and a tasting guide presented by a Balvenie Brand Ambassador. [Samuel Beckett's]

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery in Goochland releases their bourbon barrel aged Virginia Black Bear Russian Imperial Stout on Saturday. [FB]


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Celebrating Virginia Wine Month: 10 Northern Virginia Farmers Markets Selling Local Wine

Posted by / Thursday, October 16th, 2014

 

Central Farm Markets, Photo Courtesy of Debra Moser

Ballston FreshFarm Market / Photo Courtesy of Debra Moser

By Susannah Black

It’s not all apples and pumpkins. During Virginia Wine Month, check out these 10 farmers markets across Northern Virginia that host wine vendors in addition to providing a week’s worth of produce.

Arlington County
Two to three local, regional wineries will be participating in Ballston FreshFarm Market‘s wine and beer garden for a special Halloween market on October 30th. Guests can expect free admission with one free tasting and then may buy individual drink tickets for $5. / 901 N. Taylor St., Arlington. 

Fairfax County
Mosaic Central Farm Market, open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday through November, rotates hosting Barrel Oak Winery and Chateau O’Brien At NorthPoint. Participants may do tastings or buy full bottles. / 2910 District Ave., Fairfax.

Fabbioli Cellars alternates visiting the Smarts Market, Inc. farmers markets: Oakton Smart Markets Farmers Market and Springfield Smart Markets Farmers Market host the winery on rotating Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with the Oakton location continuing every other weekend through December. The winery visits Reston Smart Markets Farmers Market on Wednesdays 3-7 p.m. and the Chantilly Smart Markets Farmers Market on Thursdays 3:30-7 p.m. Samplers may get tastes of five different wines or buy full bottles to take home. / Various Locations.

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Two NoVA Chefs Star in Season 12 of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef’

Posted by / Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

By Stefanie Gans

Joy Crump, owner of FOODĒ in Fredericksburg and George Pagonis, an Alexandria native, join the newest cast of Bravo’s culinary competition “Top Chef.” FOODĒ started as a catering company in Atlanta, and in 2010, Crump brought it to downtown Fredericksburg as a small, counter operation with an emphasis on local food. This December, Pagnois, along with “Top Chef” alum Mike Isabella, will open Kapnos Taverna in Arlington. The restaurant is an offshoot of Kapnos in Washington, D.C, where Pagnois is executive chef. Season 12, shot in Boston, airs tonight at 10 p.m. 

(October 2014)


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