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Cravings: Deep Fried Deviled Eggs at Rustico

Posted by / Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Photo by Ariel Yong

By Ariel Yong

Dish: Deep Fried Deviled Eggs, $2

Where: Rustico, 4075 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Taste: Crunchy coating. Hints of pickle. Spicy aftertaste. Rustico turns this picnic classic into upscale bar food. A breading-like crust surrounds the firm white egg, adding a textural note to contrast the creaminess of the traditional whipped yolk filling. The egg sits atop a dollop of a caperberry remoulade—whole grain mustard, mayonnaise, pickles and capers—that brightens the fried orb. A drop of hot sauce leaves a subtle touch of heat on the tongue, not overpowering like spicy vinegar is prone to do. It’s Easter in July. 

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Summer Foodie Reading List: 3 Tales from the Plate

Posted by / Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

By Stefanie Gans, Allison Michelli and Ariel Yong

When the Food Desk isn’t writing about food, we’re reading about it. Here are three of the most recent food-inspired memoirs we’ve finished laying on beds and beaches.

Courtesy of Penguin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House

“Born Round: A Story of Family, Food, and a Ferocious Appetite”
by Frank Bruni 
This book pairs well with some Chinese takeout. In his third book, “Born Round,” Frank Bruni takes readers on an honest ride as he describes growing up with a love-hate relationship with food and eventually his experience as the New York Times’ restaurant critic. Although there are a handful of Chinese delivery discussions in the book, Bruni’s fixation with his Grandma Bruni’s fritshis mother’s chicken divan and other family recipes result in lengthy descriptions about delicious dishes that are sure to make the stomach growl. His love for his big family—parents, three siblings, grandparents, and future nieces and nephews—is obvious in his writing, as are his passion and obsession for food. His grandmother provides the title for the book with her motto: Born round, you don’t die square.

He opens up about his struggle with bulimia, detailing various diets and weight-loss strategies he employed over the years and how they affected his relationship with family members, friends and eventually, his partners. His travels to Europe and experience in covering politics are enlightening, but the best part of the book is when he accepts the restaurant critic position at the New York Times. His stories about maintaining anonymity in restaurants are hilarious, especially when he explains the few times restaurants figured out who he was and the extent to which he tried to disguise himself. Bruni loves writing as much as he loves eating, and this novel is a testament to that. (Penguin Press HC, 2009) —AY

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Hungry for Linkage: Gypsy Soul Opens Tonight in Merrifield + Soup Research + Wine Signs for the Road

Posted by / Wednesday, July 30th, 2014


Courtesy of Gypsy Soul

By Ariel Yong

James Beard award winner R.J. Cooper opens Gypsy Soul in Merrifield tonight at 5:30. It’s his first restaurant in Virginia, and the name refers to Cooper; he calls himself “the traveler, the wanderer.” He also owns Rogue 24 in Washington, D.C. 

According to NPR‘s Ari Shapiro‘s twitter, sometimes the hosts do some serious soup research

The Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless (AACH) is setting up a kid’s lemonade stand to raise money for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue at the Clarendon Truck Rally tomorrow. Proceeds will be split 50/50 between the two organizations. [Patch]

Food Network personality Alton Brown is taking his talents from the kitchen to the fashion industry with bow ties from hook + ALBERT.

On Monday, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore debuted new Southern Virginia Wine Region road signs in an effort to attract more visitors to Virginia wineries. 

The fifth season of MeatEater with Steven Rinella premieres tomorrow at 8 p.m. on the Sportsman Channel. 

Forget the cronut. Here’s a “donut pie.” [Thrillist]


24 Decadent Nutella Desserts to Devour in Northern Virginia

Posted by / Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

By Allison Michelli


  • 1. 100 Montaditos, #96 A sweet montadito featuring chocolate bread spread with Nutella, whipped cream and almonds. / Photo courtesy of 100 Montaditos.

  • 2. Bakeshop, Nutella Pie A classic cream pie that combines Nutella with whipped cream and cream cheese in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. Served chilled with whipped cream on top. / Photo courtesy of Bakeshop.

  • 3. Burger 7, Nutella Hazelnut Shake Nutella spread, organic whole milk and vanilla ice cream spun together. Try ordering chocolate ice cream as a substitute for double the chocolate flavor. / Photo courtesy of Burger 7.

  • 4. Buzz Bakery and Lounge, Nutella Cheesecake An individual serving of cheesecake with Nutella and fresh hazelnuts in a chocolate cookie crust. Topped off with a house-made Nutella whipped cream and fresh hazelnuts. / Photo courtesy of Buzz Bakery and Lounge.

  • 5. Cheesetique, Nutella Panini A brioche bun cut in half and spread with Nutella and chopped hazelnuts, grilled, sliced into quarters and served with whipped creme and chopped hazelnuts on top. / Photo courtesy of Cheesetique.

  • 6. Circa at Clarendon, Nutella Trifle House-made Nutella hazelnut mousse, whipped cream, candied walnuts and chocolate cake. / Photo courtesy of Circa at Clarendon.

  • 7. Clifton Cafe, Claudia's Classic Nutella Crepe Fresh banana slices and Nutella topped with powdered sugar. / Photo courtesy of Clifton Cafe.

  • 8. Fontaine Caffe and Creperie, Marathon Crepe Bananas or apples with Nutella and peanut butter topped with chocolate sauce. / Photo courtesy of Fontaine Caffe and Creperie.

  • 9. Mad Fox Brewing Company, Fried Nutella Cheesecake A New York-style cheesecake with a layer of Nutella inside, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla that has been spread on the inside with a layer of bananas and Nutella, then deep fried. / Photo courtesy of Mad Fox Brewing Company.

  • 10. Northside Social Coffee and Wine, Nutella Poptart Flaky pie crust dough filled with a Nutella based ganache and glazed with Nutella. / Photo courtesy of Northside Social Coffee and Wine.

  • 11. Pizzanese, Dessert Pizza Customers can make their own dessert pizza by choosing from creamy peanut butter, strawberry jam, Nutella, marshmallows and more. / Photo courtesy of Pizzanese.

Whether spread on a piece of toast or shamelessly scooped out with a finger, Nutella is perfection right down to the 48 individual hazelnuts packed into each jar. This addictive spread has a cult-following on Pinterest that touts its versatility in recipes like Nutella s’more bars, Nutella cookies and cream pie, baked Nutella donuts and banana Nutella quesadillas. This summer Carvel debuted its own version of Nutella ice cream available in stores from now until September 30.

Enjoy Northern Virginia restaurant’s contribution to the Nutella craze with desserts milkshakes, soft-serve ice cream, cheesecake, dessert pizzas and more all using Ferrero’s infamous chocolate-hazelnut spread. 

Breads & Sandwiches
A sweet montadito, a small roll, featuring chocolate bread spread with Nutella, whipped cream and almonds at 100 Montaditos. / $3 each or five dessert sandwiches for $10; 1776 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Nutella Cream Bread
A round loaf of bread made with crushed Oreo cookie pieces baked into it, sliced in half and smeared with Nutella at Breeze Bakery Cafe. / $2.95; 4125 Hummer Road, Annandale

Nutella Panini
A brioche bun cut in half and spread with Nutella and chopped hazelnuts, grilled, sliced into quarters and served with whipped creme and chopped hazelnuts on top at Cheesetique. / $6; Locations in Arlington and Alexandria

Nutella Buns
Brioche dough that has been coated with a thick layer of Nutella, rolled up and baked to resemble a cinnamon roll and served with a chocolate glaze at Ovvio Osteria. / $9; 2727 Merrilee Drive, Merrifield

Nutella Cheesecake
An individual serving of cheesecake with Nutella and fresh hazelnuts in a chocolate cookie crust, topped with a housemade Nutella, whipped cream and fresh hazelnuts at Buzz Bakery and Lounge. / $5.45; Locations in Arlington and Alexandria

Fried Nutella Cheesecake
A New York-style cheesecake with a layer of Nutella inside, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla that has been spread on the inside with a layer of bananas and Nutella, then deep fried at Mad Fox Brewing Company. / $7.50; 444 West Broad St., Suite I, Falls Church

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Behind the Brew: Wiping Down, Getting Wet and Bottling Beer at Old Bust Head Brewing Company

Posted by / Monday, July 28th, 2014

Photo by Allison Michelli

Editor’s note: There’s a bottling tomorrow at Old Bust Head Brewing Company, see below for how to volunteer.

By Allison Michelli

While I frequently spend more than my budget allows on expensive IPAs, I’ve never been to the source of my hopped concoction, let alone helped bottle beer at a brewery. That was all about to change, as I traveled down the back roads of Fauquier County to Old Bust Head Brewing Company in Vint Hill. The brewery is nestled in an industrial park located on the old Vint Hill Farms Station, a former Army base established during World War II. Many of NoVA’s breweries are located back in these types of industrial parks because of strict zoning laws. After dodging a pot hole, I saw Old Bust Head’s tower rising above the metal warehouse buildings. I parked my car, opened the door and stepped way out of my element into the overbearing summer heat.

Old Bust Head Brewing Company began brewing in January of this year, and officially opened for business in February, with husband-and-wife team Ike and Julie Broaddus and head brewmaster Charles Kling. This 30,000 square foot brewery produces four batches of craft beer a week, roughly equating to 700 cases and 18 kegs per batch. Big news is on the horizon for the brewery, on August 15-17, the brewery will host the grand opening of their new 6,000 square foot tap room that will feature 48 taps and can accommodate up to 300 guests. Ike Broaddus says, “everything changes, we go from being a warehouse that’s open only on weekends to being a tap room that is open five days a week, Wednesday-Sunday with expanded hours on Friday-Sunday.” 

Old Bust Head’s facility for the most part is ambiguously marked, aside from the tower outside and a door I found marked Production Room. When I opened it, the smell of hops and barley hit me like a Mack truck. I just walked into what looked like Willy Wonka’s factory, if Willy Wonka made beer that is. Several tall metal drums rose out of the ground, almost touching the ceiling of the large warehouse. A machine to my right was whirring with energy, interspersed every couple minutes with a hissing sound, like air escaping a pipe. A tall man, maybe in his late twenties, welcomed me and said we would be starting in the next half hour. There was already a small group of volunteers, most of them men in retirement with beer bellies, and a few middle-aged women. With the promise of free lunch and free beer, I was surprised to be the only college-aged bottler.

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Hungry for Linkage: Heavy Seas Alehouse’s Beach & Beer Dinner + Take a “Cheesy Selfie” for Free Nachos + Coffee Cost Calculator

Posted by / Monday, July 28th, 2014

Photo by Stuart Monk /

By Allison Michelli

Tonight, Heavy Seas Alehouse in Arlington hosts “Beach and Beer” dinner ($65 pp) with owner Hugh Sisson

Pack your bags! Local Clifton winery, Paradise Springs makes plans to open a Santa Barbara, California location. 

Pollo Campero‘s “Beat the Heat” promotion offers free Latin drinks, like Horchata, Jamaica and Tamarindo, to customers at their Woodbridge location today from 11 a.m.— 9 p.m.

Take a “cheesy selfie” (#RegalCheesieEntry) and get free Nachos at Ballston movie theater until August 11. [ARL Now]

Guatemala’s prime coffee crop destroyed by rust plant fungus. [NPR]

Learn how much your coffee habit is costing you with this handy calculator. On second thought do you really want to know? [USA Today]





Hungry for Linkage: Free Cookies at Silver Line’s Monday Commute Debut + Rules for Restaurant Photography + Old Bay Fried Chicken Doughnut

Posted by / Friday, July 25th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Reminisce

By Stefanie Gans

Monday won’t be as terrible as normal when DoubleTree‘s global Cookie Care campaign will give riders of the Silver Line‘s commuting debut chocolate chip cookies from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Revel in your modernity by chuckling at vintage ice cream ads. [Reminisce]

Doughnuts jump the shark: Old Bay fried chicken doughnut by Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. [Eater]

Why are people malnourished in the richest country on earth? [NatGeo]

Farm-to-table is real at Loudoun’s Farm-to-Fork restaurant events. [WaPo]

Rules in cell phone photography at restaurants: “6. Post your photos on social media after you leave the restaurant. Yes, you want to remember your meal, but you also want to enjoy it. There’s really no urgent reason to Tweet your photos right away. Dig in instead of logging in, and when you have a few spare minutes later that day or the next, upload away.” [WCP]


It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time: Sprelly to Open As Nut Butter Haven in Fredericksburg

Posted by / Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Sprelly's nut butters / Photo by Mike Ramm

By Allison Michelli

The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is getting a makeover with the help of Sprelly, a new nut butter company from Fredericksburg sales director-turned-entrepreneur, Adrian Silversmith. The brand, which already sells a variety of nut butters at Northern Virginia farmers markets, is now branching out with the opening of a brick and mortar location in downtown Fredericksburg. 

Starting in October, Sprelly will have a permanent counter space in the Made in Virginia Store, offering both retail, fresh-churned butters and jellies from Fresh Batch Jams and a cafe with sandwiches, crepes, coffee and dessert. 

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Mount Defiance Cidery & Distillery to Open in Middleburg Next Month

Posted by / Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Nicole Nicastro, Mt. Defiance Cidery manager, at the sample bar / Photo Credit: Peter Ahlf

By Ariel Yong

For Marc Chretien, cider is not only his beverage of choice, it’s his business of choice. With craft beer booming in Northern Virginia, Chretien is instead turning to a less crowded industry. “Cider is more unique, yet it’s a classic craft beverage where we’re not competing with 2,800 other micro-breweries. And producing a good cider is every bit as difficult as producing a good beer.”

In August, Chretien will open his second cidery—his first in Northern Virginia—named Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery in Middleburg. It joins Winchester CiderworksBold Rock Hard Cider and about a dozen others in the state. He says he prefers cider due to its “lighter, crisper taste,” especially when hoppy micro-brews can be “a heavier drink.” 

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Hungry for Linkage: Ben’s Chili Bowl at Reagan + New Bar Crawl Regulations + Fairfax County Making Life Easier for Food Trucks

Posted by / Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Chili Cheese Fries at Ben's Chili Bowl / Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Ariel Yong

Ben’s Chili Bowl will open its first airport location at Reagan National Airport later this morning. Jack Potter, President and CEO of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, says, “It is fitting to have Ben’s at the airport, welcoming travelers and giving them their first taste of the region.”

Bar crawls in Clarendon may be changing after the Arlington County Board approved new event regulations Saturday. [ARLNow]

Eater asked readers to name their favorite local ice cream shops, and half of the nominees are in Virginia. Favorites include the Nicecream Factory of Arlington, The Creamery of Alexandria and Moo Thru of Bealeton. [EaterDC]

Fairfax County considers easing up on food truck restrictions. [FairfaxCity Patch] 

A handful of Virginia restaurants, such as Huong Viet in Eden Center and Taco Bamba of Falls Church, made the “12 Restaurants Guaranteed to Make You Leave the District” list. [Thrillist] 

Would you rather date a vegetarian or a vegan? [Yahoo]


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