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Hungry for Linkage: Craft Beer at 7-Eleven + Sultana Grill Reopens + Boozy Ginger Beer

Posted by / Monday, March 24th, 2014

Photo by Bennett Lipscomb

By Stefanie Gans

The newly renovated 7-Eleven on Braddock Road (across from the Braddock Road Metro) sells local and craft beer. 

Moroccan restaurant Sultana Grill reopens in Arlington. [ARLnow]

Infographic: Know your knife cuts. [Food Network]

Falls Church Restaurant Week starts today. [FCNP]

Make your own boozy ginger beer. [Food 52]

Rejecting savory oatmeal. [The Amateur Gourmet]


It Takes A Village to Raze a Restaurant: Village Bistro Renovates and Changes Name to Mele Bistro

Posted by / Friday, March 21st, 2014

As Village Bistro (2013) / Photo Courtesy Frank Smiley

As Mele Bistro (2014) / Photo Courtesy Frank Smiley

 By Evan Milberg

When Frank Smiley took over Village Bistro a year and a half ago, the place needed fixing. “There were lots of problems, from the interior design to the quality of the food, everything,” says Smiley. He would often receive requests from neighbors to change the name and start off with something new. So less than two weeks ago he changed the name to Mele Bistro.

“The neighbors would say ‘You are not the same management and owner, there is no way for us to know unless you change the name,’” says Smiley. “They said we should change the name so everyone can know we are not the same restaurant.” 

To begin, Smiley started with the interior design. The ladies room has a brand new design. The kitchen will be getting a pasta machine imported from Italy.  Smiley says he will unveil the new sign outside in a few weeks. Once everything is set with the interior, Smiley says that Mele will change its interior decorations every two months so “people don’t get tired of it.”

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Hungry for Linkage: Starbucks Sells Alcohol + Agave Superfood + NoVA Brews are Contenders for Beer Madness

Posted by / Friday, March 21st, 2014


By Natalie Manitius

Reston Town Center’s BYOB (build your own burger) joint, The Counter, recently redesigned its menu. [Patch]

The coffee empire strikes again: Starbucks is launching an evening beer and wine menu in select locations. [Grubstreet]

A recent study shows that natural sugars in the agave plant could be beneficial to regulating blood glucose levels. Fair warning: This doesn’t apply to tequila. [WTOP]

Ditch March Madness and hop on board Beer Madness to help NoVA breweries Mad Fox, Lost Rhino and Port City take the prize. [WaPo]

Is Rosslyn‘s food scene on the rise? [WCP]




Thank You Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for Bracket Room’s Spiked Fruit Salad

Posted by / Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Bracket Room

By Stefanie Gans

When the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control eased restrictions on how restaurants can promote happy hour specials, the agency also started permitting bars to create flavored and infused alcohol from distilled spirits. This means that you can get drunk off of fruit.

New on the menu today, Bracket Room in Arlington sells a spiked fruit salad: watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew soaked in a mixture of vodka, triple sec, melon liquor and Malibu rum. Yes, you will be carded when ordering this salad. / Bracket Room, 1210 N. Garfield St., Arlington


Bombay Curry Company to Reopen in Del Ray by April

Posted by / Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Balraj Bahsin.

By Evan Milberg

Bombay Curry Company, which closed in 2011 due to renovations of the Calvert Building at 3110 Mount Vernon Ave., is set to reopen by April, according to owner Balraj Bahsin. The restaurant did not move far: its new location is 2607 Mount Vernon Ave. 

“We decided that because we had served the neighborhood and gotten to know the people in the neighborhood for 18 years or so, it might be prudent to continue that relationship” says Bahsin, who came to the United States from New Delhi in 1986. “We could have opened elsewhere, but we thought it might work better in the area.” 

The restaurant is going through remodeling and final inspections and is still working on new signage. Bahsin, who also owns Delhi Club in Clarendon, says the menu will stay the same, though he is looking at adding new items later this year. While most of the staff will be new with the re-opening, Sebastian Gonsalvez, who has been with the restaurant since 1997, will again work in the kitchen. While Bombay Curry Company was closed, Gonsalvez cooked at a small restaurant in Maryland.


Hungry for Linkage: Award Season + Zinburger Comes to Springfield + Ice Cream Cleanse

Posted by / Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Restaurant Eve

Restaurant Eve chef Cathal Armstrong (Photography by Jonathan Timmes)

By Evan Milberg

Check out these maps of the world made from signature regional foods. [Slate]

Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve is among the five finalists for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic. Here is the complete list of 2014 James Beard Foundation award nominees. [JBF]

Restaurant Eve was also nominated for a Rammy for best wine program in the D.C.-area. Other Virginia Rammy nominees include The Restaurant at Powtomack Farm, 2941, Mad Fox Brewing Company, Port City Brewing Company, Bayou Bakery and Buzz Bakery. Here is the full list of nominees. [Eater]

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar is coming to Springfield later this year. [Burger Days]

Brent Rose did the world’s first ice cream cleanse. Yes, really. [Gizmodo]

Chef Harper McClure will host Brabo‘s Vernal Equinox Party on Sunday, where he will be serving lamb, beer and sides. [Eater]


Corcoran Brewing Company Moves to Boozy Purcellville

Posted by / Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Kevin Bills

By Natalie Manitius

Purcellville will soon welcome Corcoran Brewing Company as the latest addition to the town’s craft drink community of Adroit Theory Brewing Company and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. Formerly located in Waterford on the same property as Corcoran Vineyards, the brewery closed in December and will reopen in its new location March 29 at 11 a.m. 

In the new location, the brewery transitions from inhabiting a former farm house to occupying the backside of a shared medical office building.  Once characterized by a tranquil country setting, the new spot will be much larger to accommodate the growing craft beer craze. Metal walls will overtake the former wooden ones, as the new space adopts a more industrial look. To pay respects to their farmhouse beginnings, Corcoran will affix the former barn door to the new interior. Additional aesthetic adjustments include a new outdoor turf patio and a nature preserve as a neighbor. 

As for the beer prep, the Purcellville outpost will employ a 10-barrel system, an upgrade from the former three and a half barrel. Additionally, the space boasts seven fermenters and will age beers using bourbon barrels from A. Smith Bowman Distillery. For a real-time infusion, Corcoran will use Dogfish Head Brewery’s creation called the randall. The filter holds hops, fruit and other flavor enhancers. The randall attaches to a tap and infuses the beer at the time of the pour. 

Brewmaster and co-owner Kevin Bills has a broad lineup of beers ready for opening. On par with the brewery’s locavore theme, Corcoran will offer a John Champe Barleywine, named in honor of the revolutionary soldier and NoVA native who was commissioned as a double agent under George Washington. The barleywine will be made in the English style, which bears more “grassy and earthy hops” when compared to its American citrusy counterpart, Bills says. Another spring newcomer is the Waterford Wit, a wheat-based beer brewed with orange and coriander. Bills will also offer five different IPAs along with the P’ville Pale, Indian Pale Lager and Corky’s Irish Red and hopes to start canning and bottling in the future. / 205 East Hirst Road, Suite 105, Purcellville



Hungry for Linkage: Corcoran Brewing Reopen Date + Guiness Stands Up for Diversity + 24 Irish Recipes

Posted by / Monday, March 17th, 2014

Cameron Whitman/

By Stefanie Gans

Guinness, as well as Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) and Heineken, drops sponsorship of NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade because of its anti-LGBT stance. [Jezebel]

Corcoran Brewing will reopen in Purcellville March 29. [LT]

The story behind the fake brand Glen McKenna Scotch on How I Met Your Mother. [Slate]

If you’re home today, might as well read: International Association of Culinary Professionals list of food writing award winners. [Eater]

If you’re home today, might as well cook: 24 Irish recipes. [Serious Eats]

#Snopatrickday specials. [WCP]


Hungry for Linkage: Adroit Theory Releases Mexican Trifecta + A Major in Coffee + NoVA is home to Veg Favorites

Posted by / Friday, March 14th, 2014


By Natalie Manitius

Adroit Theory Brewing launches Mexican Trifecta 5 this weekend: Agave IPA, made with agave syrup, Scorpion, a black IPA, and Dia de Muertos, a double stout. [Adroit Theory]

Eater is adding restaurant reviews to its repertoire, headed by Ryan SuttonBill Addison and Robert Sietsema. Previously, the food site was hostile to restaurant critics, often publishing photos of anonymous critics. [Eater]

With the popularity of its coffee center, UC Davis might be brewing up a course of study for coffee. [NPR]

Shirlington’s Capitol City Brewing Company recently announced Springfest, an outdoor beer festival scheduled for April 26. [ARLnow]

Arlington-based Elevation Burger has a new CEO. [Biz Journals]

NoVA spots Bayou Bakery, Vermilion and Cenan’s Bakery recently made the list for favorite vegetarian sandwich shops in the DC area. [Eater]

Farewell to Gruyere? The European Union wants to ban American manufacturers from using the European name on products like feta and Parmesan. [Food Beast]

With Ben’s Chili Bowl’s new storefront in Rosslyn comes the concern that the DC landmark will lose its authentic charm. [Young & Hungry]


Why You Should Gladly Pay $10 for Dessert, By Tiffany MacIssac

Posted by / Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Tiffany MacIssac, Pastry Chef for Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Photo by Erick Gibson

By Stefanie Gans

“The city may be awash, as I’ve written before, in a happy tidal wave of artisanal bakeries, ice cream parlors, and New Age doughnut shops,” writes New York magazine’s non-anonymous restaurant critic Adam Platt, “but the grim reality is that for lovers of the old-fashioned, sit-down restaurant dessert, this is the Dark Age.”

Platt’s article incites a needed conversation on the last meal of the night, and it’s already happening on Twitter (here, here and here). Dessert is an important part of the dining out experience; it is an extra act of indulgence not always allowed at home. 

We dedicated the March cover story of Northern Virginia Magazine to desserts. I tracked down treats ranging from a fried cupcake to a classic chocolate mousse. We highlighted local bakeries, including one selling a faux cronu*t, and interviewed the area’s preeminent pastry chef and 2014 James Beard semifinalist, Tiffany MacIsaac. She explains the plight of the pastry chef and why so few restaurants hire full time dessert-makers. She also tells us why that slice of pie costs $10.

Why You Should Gladly Pay $10 for Dessert

“Being a chef is having a balance and ego and humility. Because you can’t just have an ego, that never goes well with staff and they won’t respect you. But you have to have enough of an ego to stand by what you do. It’s not only getting your name out there: The main reason you want to get your name out there is because it’s how you get more funds in a restaurant to have more assistants, more time and more equipment to do cool things. You can’t really quantify what exactly a pastry department brings to the business because you never really make your money back on pastry. But the reason you pay $10 for dessert is not because the dessert cost $10, it’s because it took two people make it. Only 40 percent of people get the dessert. Unless you do a tasting menu, it’s not a 100 percent.

The main thing [restaurant owners] look for is: Do people know of this pastry chef? And, do people know about the desserts they make here? You can’t see exactly how much money that brings back to the restaurant. You know that over time it does bring people through the door with the dessert. It’s not necessarily about becoming famous, it’s more about making sure that you’re a crucial part of the team.”
Tiffany MacIsaac, Pastry Chef for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, as told to Stefanie Gans

(March 2014)


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