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Vintage 51 Closes, Looking to Relocate; Vintage 50 Releases New Bar Menu

Posted by / Thursday, September 27th, 2012

vintage 51 lunch special
Vintage 51, Vintage Restaurant Group’s South Riding restaurant closed earlier this month. Owner Anthony Cavallo is looking to relocate the restaurant in October to Ashburn, in a facility that has enough space for brewing beer and catering private events, two things Cavallo was unable to do in the previous location.  
While you’re waiting, Vintage 50, in Leesburg, started a new brew lounge menu. 

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Boom Choco-lotta: Pairing Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bars with Assorted Booze

Posted by / Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Photo by Melissa J. Lyden

Go ahead and cancel your plans for dinner tonight, and try Chuao Chocolatier specialties (available at Wegman’s), recently discovered by and the latest obsession of this girl.  With a few classy pairings, it won’t even feel like you ditched dinner for sugar and booze. 

Firecracker: Dark Chocolate Bar with Chipotle, Salt and Popping Candy
Pair it with a peppery Virginia wine, like a Cabernet Franc and be disappointed about anything you will ever try to pair together in the future.  The bar is high, folks. 

Panko: Dark Chocolate Bar with Toasted Panko Breadcrumbs and Sea Salt
Reminiscent of chocolate covered pretzels, this is a great sidekick to a White Russian for a combination of salty and sweet.

Potato Chips in Chocolate: Ultra Premium Milk Chocolate Bar with Kettle Cooked Potato Chips 
Amazeballs and ready for a tailgate because the work is done for you: salty and sweet.   Pair it with a stout for a heavy duty pregame treat. 

MORE: Boom Choco-lotta



Get Your Grilled Pork Neck: New Laotian Menu at Bangkok Golden

Posted by / Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Two years ago, Chef Seng Luangrath dialed back to her childhood roots and introduced her new Laotian menu to Bangkok Golden, where she now cooks both Thai and Laos cuisine in Falls Church. (Although word is already out: Eater DC readers named it a cheap eats destination.)  

Now, she offers a new Laos tasting menu which includes a combination of dishes like tangy lettuce wraps, steamed tilapia in banana leaves and avocado sticky rice. From Sunday through Thursday (by reservation only), you can pick and choose from three $25 tastings (aharn pod, aharn pi seth, or vegan), or taste individual dishes ($8-$11 per dish). At the bottom of each menu is a three part scale denoting each level of spiciness beginning with ‘mild’, ‘Thai hot’ and for the heat fiends – ‘Lao hot’.

Photo by Jennie Tai

 The two neighboring countries of Laos and Thailand share similar characteristics in their cuisine and are known to bring the heat. The use of exotic flavors like lemongrass and coconut are both seen in Laos and Thai cuisine, but while Thai food is known for being both spicy and sweet, Laos cuisine stands out as being both spicy and tangy. “I decided to bring out a new concept to Bangkok Golden, because I wanted to share my native food of Laos,” Luangrath explains, “at first I was a bit nervous about how it was going to work, so I decided to introduce a few new dishes at a time.”

Pictured above is a new Laotian appetizer, sai oua, a spicy sausage made with pork, herbs, fresh dill and lemon grass and a special Laotian chili dipping sauce ($8.95). Each dish comes with a bamboo basket of warm sticky rice that offsets the bold Laotian flavors. 

A few other tangy-salty combinations include the yum marg muang, a mango salad with dried shrimp and the ping moo, a grilled pork neck salad.  

As our server pointed to her neck in an attempt to describe where the meat was located on the pig, I had to conceal a slight wince. I was imagining the huge textural difference between chicken wings and chicken gizzards. I’ve never had pork neck before, but after tasting it for the first time it wasn’t any different from biting into a few grilled slices of ham. Just a little softer than usual.

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Hungry for Linkage: Chef Geoff Tracy Is On the Move and On the Side of a Bus; Bastille Offers Discounted Bar Dining; Tickets Still Available for Mount Vernon Farm Dinner

Posted by / Monday, September 24th, 2012

Owner of Chef Geoff’s, Chef Geoff’s Downtown, Chef Geoff’s Tysons, Lia’s and, this fall, Chef Geoff’s Rockville

Nando’s Peri-Peri will open in Old Town on October 24th. Same menu, different design firm, 140 seats, two floors. [NVMwire]  

17 Hours With a Restaurateur: This is what Chef Geoff Tracy’s life was like before he decided to move to New York to support his wife Norah O’Donnell in her new position as cohost of CBS This Morning. He’s also now on the side of a bus. [NVM, Eater, WCP]

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye and Copper Fox Distillery‘s Copper Fox Rye were awarded gold medals from the‘s  “Best Rye” awards. [NVMwire]

All bar dining is 20-percent off at Bastille in Alexandria: “Every day. No reservations required. No need for Happy Hour.” [NVMwire] 

 Chick-Fil-A will no longer donate money to anti-gay causes. [Atlantic]

Happy hour, now at Whole Foods in Clarendon. [WaPo]

Saturday’s Mount Vernon Farm to Table four-course dinner (hoecakes, beet salad, filet mignon, figs and cheese) with wine pairing still has seating available ($175). [NVMwire]

Sante Fe Cafe in Rosslyn closes. [WBJ]

Confirmed: a $17 cocktail exists at TNT. [WaPo]


Food Preview: Mosaic’s Angelika Film Center & Cafe Opens Today

Posted by / Friday, September 21st, 2012


The Junk, it all its glory. Photo by Jenna Makowski.

I was prepared for The Junk.

“Do you want chocolate on that?” the server asked, pointing at my bowl of potato chips, pretzels and other sundry snacking items.

Correct answer: yes.

“How about some caramel?”

Silly question. Pour away.

And bacon?

The guy standing next to me in line grimaced. Apparently he hadn’t been briefed by Chef Lee Anne Wong, of Top Chef fame about The Junk in all of its three-topping glory.

“The Junk,” Wong had elucidated, “is a late night movie-going fantasy.” The bowl of potato chips, popcorn, pretzels and rice crispie treats topped with dark chocolate ganache, salted peanut butter caramel and bacon bits is a junk food junkie’s dream. “It’s basically what I used to eat in high school,” laughed Wong. Weren’t those the days? 

It may sound like nothing more than a bizarre twist on your typical artery-clogging cinema fare (that’s the point). But The Junk is actually an outlier on the menu at the Angelika Film Center & Café.

Angelika opens today as one of the first retail outlets in Fairfax’s new Mosaic District. The Angelika sprawls across three levels of a sparkly, glass-enclosed complex. Sandwiched between a ground-floor café and a chic third-floor lounge, the 8-screen cinema complex will follow in the Angelika tradition of offering art, independent and specialty films, as well as food and drink to enhance and enrich the experience. Say they’ll be showing a special French film series; expect some French fare in the café.

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5 Oktoberfest Events in NoVA

Posted by / Thursday, September 20th, 2012


Photo Credit: Pro

In recent years, the Munich Oktoberfest set records for beer consumption and missing items.  Festival-goers raised the bar in 2010 by consuming 7 million liters of beer and losing dentures, a live rabbit and 37 children.  Want to get in on the fun but can’t make it to Munich this year? Grab your stein for these local Oktoberfest events.

Sunday, Sept. 23; 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Mad Fox Brewing Company: Get ready for a little bit of Munich in the heart of Falls Church.  Mad Fox will host their second annual Oktoberfest festival on their restaurant patio and Market Square.  With an IPA-inspired menu, those who love hoppy brews are to sure to be happy.  The event will feature their housebrewed Hitzig Frau Oktoberfest Lagerbier in addition to their Orange Whip, Molotov Hoptail and Dingo IPAs.  Other regional beers will also be available.    
444 West Broad St. Suite I, Falls Church

Saturday, Oct. 6; noon-7 p.m.
 Capitol City Brewing Company: This is an event for true beer lovers since more than 50 breweries will be in attendance.  For $25, you will receive 10 four ounce samples of your choice. 
4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington

Saturday, Oct. 6; noon-9 p.m.
Lost Rhino Brewing Company RhinO’festThis day-long extravaganza will feature music from Mateo Monk, Bad Influence Band and Covered with Jam.  This is your chance to indulge in RhinO’fest (German Märzen beer) and Hop Harvest Ale.  Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to visit their website for details.
21730 Red Rum Drive Suite 142, Ashburn

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DC Beer’s Michael Stein to Host Beer Pairing at Maple Ave

Posted by / Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Photo courtesy of Nitr

Join local DC Brewmaster, Michael Stein from DC Beers as he hosts Maple Ave‘s beer pairing Wednesday, September 26th at 7 p.m.

“When you visit a different city… you learn a lot about the culture through the food,” says Joey Hernandez, General Manager at Maple Ave. “Some even say that the soul of the city lies within street food, so our dinner will feature street food from around the globe paired with local beers.”

Beer pairings include hand-picked selections from local brewers like: DC Brau Citizen, Victory Prima Pils, Port City Porter, Evolution Jacques Au Lantern, Lost Rhino and more. The six-course dinner is $59 per person.

Course 1: Sliced Argentinean sausage, smoked creme fraiche, chimichurri sauce
Course 2: Steamed bronzini filet, seasonal Tuscarora vegetables, foil steaming pouch
Course 3: Beer braised beef cheek tacos, tomatillo salsa, housemade tortilla
Course 4: Seared chicken liver and gizzards, cucumber tamarind salad
Course 5: Churros, bittersweet chocolate sauce
Course 6: Chef’s choice dessert


Free Greek Yogurt at Pinkberry Every Wednesday

Posted by / Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Photo courtesy of Pinkberry

Every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (until October 3rd), Pinkberry stores in the DC area will offer free greek yogurt topped with fresh, hand-cut fruit, granolas and purees for a limited time.

With 18 grams of protein per serving, Pinkberry Greek is a low calorie snack that can be paired with both sweet and savory toppings. Guests can choose from sweet pairings, like: kiwi, chocolate, berry and strawberry; or savory pairings, like: caprese, pesto and cucumber.

Never had greek yogurt before? Grab a free cup and see what the buzz is about at any of these Pinkberry NoVA locations: Tysons Corners, Clarendon, Leesburg and Fairfax Corner.


7 Fall Beers to Enjoy During Oktoberfest

Posted by / Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

OktoberfestCookies Hansen

What does Oktoberfest have to do with a wedding?  Everything. History buff, beer aficionado and Munich Oktoberfest survivor (and my friend) Hope Flanagan laymanizes the origins of the holiday. 

“For one thing, it actually mostly takes place in September despite the name.” This year’s Oktoberfest runs from September 22-October 7.  Annually, millions of people descend upon Munich for Oktoberfest, making it the one of the largest festival in the world.

Oktoberfest origins were cultivated from more than drunken merriment.  Before there was the celebration of beer and bratwurst, there was the celebration of love.  “Back in 1810, Prince Ludwig—sweet name—was getting married to this chick named Therese…the first Oktoberfest was basically a community celebration of their holy matrimony. Horse races used to be a part of the celebrations.  Between the beer, food and horses people deemed the wedding a success and wanted the festivities to come around annually.” 

The festival traditions gradually shifted focus from horse races to food tents and “awkwardly giant heart-shaped cookies with loving German phrases iced on them” and, Flangan, says, “nauseating carnival rides.” 

Historically, Oktoberfest marks the red-carpet roll out for Märzenbier.  A 16th century law stated that brewing could only take place from the end of September to the end of April.  Oftentimes beer was cellared and served at Oktoberfest. Märzenbier typically had a higher alcohol content in an effort to preserve the beer.  Additionally, Märzenbier now characterizes a variety of beers, as opposed to the original dark-bodied brew.  (For more information about the history of Oktoberfest, check out this photo essay.)

 For those of us who can’t make it to Germany, NoVA brewmasters created their beers to celebrate Oktoberfest.  Here’s a list of seven beers, with descriptions from each brewing company. 

Oktoberfest Lager
Blue and Gray Brewing Company: Oktoberfest is brewed several months in advance using Munich and Vienna malts and imported noble hops. Months of cold conditioning result in exceptionally smooth amber beer that is medium bodied and well balanced. Oktoberfest is a great session beer to be enjoyed all day.
3300 Dill Smith Drive, Fredericksburg

Capitol City Brewing Company: Unfiltered German ale brewed with 50 percent German wheat malt.  A unique yeast strain lends a banana and clove aroma. Flavor is of bread with a pronounced yeast flavor. Hazy and awesome.
4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington 

Padawan Pumpkin
Corcoran Brewing Company
 : In the Jedi religion, a “Padawan” is a pupil who is being trained by a Jedi Knight.  Our brewer’s padawan, aka his then five year old son, helped him grow the first pumpkins and crush the grain for the first version of this recipe. 
14635 Corkys Farm Lane, Waterford

Lost Rhino Brewing Company: 
 With a full body, malty flavors, and a clean dry finish this amber lager is the perfect companion to Autumn’s first chill. Available in sixtels, halfs, 22oz. bottles. 
21730 Red Run Drive Suite 142, Ashburn

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Hungry for Linkage: McDonalds’s Reveals Calorie Counts; Smashburger to Open in Fairfax; Cider Festival This Weekend

Posted by / Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Smashburger enters the DC market with a Fairfax location (10160 Fairfax Blvd.) next month. Not exactly sure how “smashing” burgers will “sear in the juicy flavor” but I’m willing to investigage. [NVMwire]

Are you ready for calorie counts at McDonald’s? Check it at 3031 Columbia Pike. [ARLnow] 

Thomas Jefferson: Founding Foodie. [Girl Meets Food]

#oldnews The Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mashstaff  enthroned Robert Wiedmaier, chef at Alexandria’s Brabo, as an honorary knight during last month’s Belgian Beer Weekend.  [NVMwire]

Cilantro: love it, hate it, the debate continues. [NPR]

Alegria in Vienna scored a “satisfactory” under Candy Sagon. [WaPo]

Ten apple cider recipes. [Endless Simmer]

Great Country Farms Cider Festival, this Saturday. [NVM]


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