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The surprises, ups and downs of 2015’s dining scene—and what’s to come

A lot has happened in the dining scene since we rang in 2015, and restaurateurs are making sure Northern Virginians have plenty to look forward to. Here’s the year in review, plus a taste of what’s to come in 2016.

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International cookie swap

Delectable holiday treats and where to buy them in NoVA.

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Show & Tell: NoVA nutcracker collection

There’s a chance Robert Wiedmaier’s father was Santa Claus. Now RW Group’s Executive Chef and partner, Wiedmaier has a nutcracker collection to preserve family tradition and history.

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REVIEWS

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Meat the Rich: D.C. Prime caters to particular tastes

Executive chef Brad Weideman, a former sous chef at McKendrick’s and an alumnus of The Capital Grille family of restaurants, has spared no expense in designing his menu at D.C. Prime in Loudoun County.

LITTLE NIBBLE

Aangan restaurant in Herndon

Aangan

On a cold night this winter, the restaurant was mostly empty. Don’t take that as a sign.

INFOGRAPHICS

Goats will always win eating competitions

Gastrological Signs

Despite the heavy criticisms by the more recognized Gastronomists, Gastrology is a legitimate source for weighing in on food options for any month of the year.

TOOLKIT

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Roast pumpkin seeds for the season’s best snackfood

It’s not the jack-o’-lantern that matters so much as what’s inside: seeds worth snacking on or adding to nearly every dish of the season.

AT HOME

(11-9) Wine Selection

Pair these top local wines with your Thanksgiving feast

We’ve scoured the area for the best local wineries and asked them about their Thanksgiving recommendations.

NECTAR

A Decade of Drinking in Northern Virginia

How Northern Virginia’s beverage industries and tastes have been transformed.

MUST TRY

Photo courtesy of

VA Made: Greenheart Organic

After a life-shattering event, a woman turns to juice.

LIFE BY TEXTING

Life by Text.

15 hours with a Goat Enthusiast, Farmer, Market Manager and Education Coordinator: Deb Lakowicz-Dramby

At Willowsford, Deb Lakowicz-Dramby does a bit of everything. But mostly, she loves taking pictures of and snuggling with goats.

REFRIGERATOR ART

ONLINEfridgeart

The 12 Tastes of the Holidays

This month’s refrigerator art from Northern Virginia magazine

GUT CHECK

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New, Almost Open & Closed Restaurants in NoVA

New. Almost Open & Closed Restaurants in Northern Virginia

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In season: 4MR Winter Market offers fresh Asian spinach, mustard greens and more

Four Mile Run Farmers and Artisans Market debuts the 4MR Winter Market this year

Hugo

WK Hearth opens Hugo, a pre-prohibition cocktail bar in Purcellville

Purcellville expands on its boozy reputation with a new cocktail bar.

pizza

ICYMI: Park Lane Tavern is open in Arlington

ICYMI: A week’s worth of Northern Virginia food news.

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Local love: Don’t overthink it

Don’t overthink it: A box of chocolates is always the right gift.