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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)


Hungry For Linkage: Virginia Named Best Food Region + Aladdin’s Eatery Closed + The Foie Gras Controversy

Posted by / Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Kitchensurfing's Chef

Launching today: Kitchensurfing / Photo courtesy of Kitchensurfing

By Nicole Bayne

Join chefs Bertrand Chemel from 2941 Restaurant and Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of La Boîte Biscuits & Spices, as they co-host  the 2nd Annual Eight-Course Spice Dinner at 2941 on Sunday, October 26 from 5– 8p.m. 

Launching today, Kitchensurfing lets customers hire local chefs to cook for them in their kitchen—and clean up. Area chefs include: Marysabel Taboada of McLean, a private chef in the residence of the French ambassador, classically French trained Nahum Jeannot of Falls Church, the southern chef Kimble Guzewich of Arlington, and Sona Creamery chef Frank Paris of Leesburg.

Foie Gras is still banned in California. L.A.’s Hot’s Restaurant Group challenged the ban based on interference of interstate commerce, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument yesterday. [LA]

Imagine a purpose for Starbucks cups without coffee. Artist Soo Min Kim turns these cups into masterpieces while filming the whole process. [GrubStreet]

Aladdin’s Eatery in the Village at Shirlington is now closed. It’s uncertain whether or not this will be permanent. [ARL]

The new app Pay with OpenTable is here ridding the world of the infamous “I’m ready for my check” hassle, and also cuts the end-of-meal uncertainty out of serving. [Washingtonian]

Virginia: Food Region of 2014. From the coast, to bakeries, to vineyards and craft beer breweries, it’s amazing this state hasn’t been given more recognition for it’s culinary endeavors. [Esquire]


Show & Tell with Buttercream Bakeshop’s Tiffany MacIssac

Posted by / Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Buttercream Bakeshop’s Tiffany MacIssac and her collection of cake stands

Photo by Mike Ramm.

Buttercream Bakeshop’s Tiffany MacIssac and her collection of cake stands.

In the history of the wedding-industrial complex, has there ever been a vendor that doesn’t encourage couples to spend wildly on this fairy tale day? Tiffany MacIssac doesn’t play into the hype.

When couples select a basic wedding cake from her new business Buttercream Bakeshop—based out of her Annandale home until she finds a commercial space—she ups the glam with props.          

“Get what’s in your budget,” she tells the bride and groom. And then, “if I have someone that orders a really simple wedding cake, you can make a big difference with a cake stand. By putting it on a cake stand it gives it this grand look.”

MacIssac, 33, the longtime former-head pastry chef for Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Vermilion, Evening Star, Buzz Bakery), sources her stands online from Etsy and Amazon and with trips to Home Goods and Mount Vernon Antique Center in Alexandria.

Milk glass, often opaque and pastel-hued, is MacIssac’s favorite material for dessert stands, but she also turns crafty by gluing wide-based candle stick holders or sturdy glassware to porcelain plates.

With a cake purchase, clients can rent from MacIssac’s personal collection of stands, because a wedding day is worth its weight in glass. Just ask Cinderella. —Stefanie Gans

(October 2014)


Hungry for Linkage: Columbus Day Brunch at Copperwood Tavern + Kiddie Breakfast + Death to Pumpkin

Posted by / Monday, October 13th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Sisters Thai

Photo courtesy of Sisters Thai

If you’re honoring Columbus, weekend brunch service extends today (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Copperwood Tavern

What children around the world eat for breakfast. [NYT]

The people who harvest bananas. [WaPo]

My Thai Place to open in Centreville and Sister’s Thai to open in Mosaic District. [Eater]

Death to pumpkin. [WCP]


By The Numbers

Posted by / Friday, October 10th, 2014

Virginia's largest pumpkin.

Photo courtesy of Klaus Kaulitzki/

The number of pounds of Virginia’s largest pumpkin during it’s seven-year reign.

Grown by William Layton in Tyro, the pumpkin, named Last Chance, won the State Fair of Virginia’s 2007 Giant Pumpkin Contest and held its title as the largest squash until Sept. 29, when Hank Houston of Spotslyvania County turned in a 1,203-pound gourd. Last year Layton’s pumpkin, Lucky, clocked in around 640 pounds and came in second place. —Nicole Bayne

(October 2014)


Hungry For Linkage: Courthouse Arts & Craft Beer Festival + Oktoberfest Reston this Weekend + Tutto Bene Closes

Posted by / Friday, October 10th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Whyte /

Food Truck, Photo Courtesy of Jeff Whyte /

By Susannah Black

This Sunday the Courthouse Arts & Craft Beer Festival will feature local breweries, including Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Port City Brewing Company and Crooked Run Brewing. [Clarendon]

Fairfax County implements new zoning rules making it easier for food trucks to do business in busy shopping centers like Tysons and Reston. [WUSA]

Fall brews, food vendors, live entertainment and a chili cook off will be at Oktoberfest Reston this weekend. [Oktoberfest Reston]

Willow Restaurant of Ballston hosts its own Oktoberfest today, complete with a beer garden, seasonal wines, sausages, sauerkraut and house-made pretzels. [Willow]

Drink wine and get educated at Sunset Hills Vineyard‘s Vine to Wine Harvest Series, offered the next three Sundays. [Sunset Hills]

After more than 20 years, Ballston‘s Italian restaurant Tutto Bene closes its doors for business. [ARLnow]


One Year In, 78,000 Pounds of Compost for Alexandria’s New Resource Recovery Division

Posted by / Thursday, October 9th, 2014

By Susannah Black

After witnessing an unstaffed waste collection station at a farmers market while on vacation in New Mexico, Michael Clem was inspired to bring composting back home to Alexandria. For the last year, four farmers markets in Alexandria (Old Town, Del RayFour Mile Run and West End) collected compost from residents. 

As an environmental planner for Alexandria City, Clem started the Resource Recovery Division this past November, adding composting to the Alexandria City government-funded recycling service. Clem and his team have dedicated themselves to compiling compost—leftover food and other natural scraps—to reintroduce it to the earth, thereby creating healthy soil.

Joshua Etim, the Division’s resource recovery station manager, describes their mission as “encouraging a habit of composting in Alexandria … and diverting the organic waste out of the trash and into a better resource.” Other cities across the country have started aggressive campaigns to enforce composting, like San Francisco’s goal of zero waste by 2020. There’s also a group of eco-minded women from the Fertile Earth Foundation who put together a racy composting calendar (see above for the Kickstarter campaign) to garner attention for a less wasteful society.  

“During the week you eat all of this good food, instead of throwing it away… at the end of the week, you give us the food scraps,” says Etim. Donating the compose is completely free at the Alexandria farmers markets. Eligible materials include: fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee grounds, egg shells, breads, pasta, cereal, rice and flowers. Do not bring: meat products, oil, dairy or pet waste. Donators may bring their composting materials in bags or bins from home, or they can purchase a $5 composting pail at the market.

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Opening Next Year: Chase the Submarine, A Joint Venture from Maple Ave Restaurant and Caffe Amouri

Posted by / Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez/ Under a Bushel Photography

Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez/ Under a Bushel Photography

By Stefanie Gans

Two of Vienna’s power players in the food-and-drink world will combine to launch a sandwich shop and butchery, set to open early next fall. Chase the Submarine, from Michael Amouri of Caffe Amouri and Tim Ma of Maple Ave Restaurant, will be what Ma calls a modern deli, plus a small butchery operation.

“I think we just started talking because we opened [businesses] around the same time,” Ma says of his partnership with Amouri. Ma began selling Amouri’s coffee at his restaurants and then the two became friends. “He’s a big idea man,” Ma says of Amouri, describing their friendly rap sessions centered around restaurant premises, finishing sentences of “wouldn’t this be cool?”

At the same time, Ma and his wife and partner Joey Hernandez we’re looking to open a fast, casual spot. “I’m not good at tacos,” jokes Ma, and so with sandwiches there’s room for creativity. 

>>Draft menu after the jump

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Hungry for Linkage: From Pops to Punch + Airport Dining + Almost Turkey Time

Posted by / Monday, October 6th, 2014

Courtesy of Whim Pop

Courtesy of Whim Pop

Summer to fall. Pops to punch. NoVA-based Whim Pop launches a new punch with apples, guava, tejocote, sugar cane sticks, dried plums, hibiscus, tamarind, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Available at local farmers markets.  [FB]

Buy tickets: Beer roundtable with DC Brau and NoVA’s Adroit Theory at Dogfish Head in Falls Church, next Tuesday. 

Airport dining at Reagan National is getting legit. [WCP]

Almost that time of year: Virginia ranks fifth in the nation for the number of turkeys raised. [VDACS]

If you were to open your fridge one night and find a measly 10 items inside, you might decide to order Chinese. But the truth is that you could craft 3,628,800 dishes simply by mixing those ingredients in various combinations.” [Fast Company]

Dan Marks, winner of Emeril Lagasse‘s new show On the Menu,” will be at Chili’s today at 4 p.m. to test out his new burger: “Winning TNT Craft Burger,” topped with slaw, fried garlic-dill pickles and barbecue sauce on a potato bun. (Coupon) / Chili’s, 320 23rd St. S, Arlington   , 6250 Inter Parcel Road, Alexandria


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