Posted by Editorial / Monday, April 14th, 2014
By Natalie Manitius
Celebrate the end of Lenten abstention by indulging in buffets and multiple course brunches.
Bastille Restaurant: Choose from entrees such as eggs benedict with biscuits and caviar and a three-cheese macaroni gratin for this three-course brunch. Adults eat for $49 apiece and kids under 12 are half-price. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Call 703-519-3776 for reservations. / 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria; bastillerestaurant.com
Evo Bistro: A three-course brunch menu runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with both savory and sweet options for $32 per person. Call 703-288-4422 for reservations. /1313 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean; evobistro.com
Grandale Restaurant: From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Grandale presents seared grouper, omelet provencal and Maryland crab cake Benedict as brunch offerings, with duck breast and beef rib eye for dinner. Cal 540-668-6000 for more information. / 14001 Harpers Ferry Road, Purcellville; grandalerestaurant.com
Magnolias at the Mill: Enjoy a brunch buffet at Magnolia’s at the Mill replete with baked salmon, Belgian waffles, butterscotch bread pudding and berry tarts. Adults eat for $42 each, children $19.95, and under 5 free. Call 540-338-9800 for reservations. /198 N. 21st St., Purcellville; magnoliasmill.com
J. Gilbert’s: Reward your moderation with J. Gilbert’s brunch buffet. Breakfast devotees will have waffles and quiche at their disposal, and seafood fans can indulge in maple glazed salmon and mac n’ cheese made with lobster cream. Leave room for dessert: A chocolate fountain awaits. Brunch runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. $32 per adult, $15 for children ages 5-12./ 6930 Old Dominion Drive, McLean; jgilberts.com
Salamander Resort and Spa: Head to Middleburg Easter Sunday for a family-friendly event replete with egg hunts, crafts for the kids and a brunch buffet. The egg hunt and roll will be at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m., along with brunch seatings at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday Brunch costs $85 per adult and includes sparkling wine, while children cost $34 each. View the menu here. Reservations can be made by calling 540-326-4161. / 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg; salamanderresort.com
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Posted by Editorial / Thursday, April 10th, 2014
By Taylor Ness
Now that spring is in full force our need for spring and summer handbags are as well. The perfect fix: Zoe Boutique‘s Trunk Show featuring New York designer, Lauren Cecchi. On Saturday, April 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can meet Cecchi and see her latest collection of high-quality leather, born in a tannery in Upstate New York. Dedicated to supporting her local community, Cecchi makes sure that all of her products are manufactured in the heart of the New York City Garment District. Don’t miss this amazing meet and greet opportunity.
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
By Shelby Robinson
Only a studio eclectic enough to offer soap-making and cookie-decorating classes would spend its Friday painting pets.
The Art Station, located within the Village at Leesburg, is a multifaceted, privately-owned art studio that offers a variety of lessons including: candle-making, painting, 3D art and mixed media.
Becoming a unique feature on the Leesburg art scene since opening in 2013, The Art Station’s co-owners Julie Lele and Gigi Toth say they enjoy hosting events and being part of the community.
This Friday, The Art Station will celebrate National Pets Day by hosting a fundraiser inviting people to come and paint a picture of their pet and partake in a wine-tasting. The proceeds will be going to Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, an Alexandria-based animal rescue organization that saves dogs and cats from shelter euthanasia and helps them get adopted.
“We want to make sure we are always giving back and partnering with the community so we thought it would be a great idea,” Lele says.
The Art Station requests that attendees submit a close-up photo of their pet to email@example.com by April 9 in JPEG format so the artists will have adequate time to lightly sketch the picture on a canvas.
With the outline pre-sketched on the canvas, painters of all skill levels will be sure to learn a little bit about painting and leave the studio with a pet portrait worth displaying. Artists from The Art Station will give a brief lesson about color schemes then walk around and give the painters tips about blending and shading as they paint.
Aprons will be available while painting, but it is still encouraged that participants wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Although part of The Art Station’s mission is to provide art education to kids, this is an adult event. Young adults between 15 and 18 may attend with an adult but only painters 21 and over may participate in the wine tasting. Please arrive 15 minutes early to pick up your canvas and get settled.
Painting & Wine Tasting: Paint Your Own Pet
April 11, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The Art Station: The Village at Leesburg
1601 Village Market Blvd., Suite 112
Includes pre-sketch, paint, canvas, and two tasting vouchers
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
By Taylor Ness
This Wednesday, April 9, The Shoe Hive is taking shopping and giving local to a whole new level. Enjoy light refreshments while raising money for Spring2ACTion, Alexandria’s Giving Day. The 24-hour event serves the local community by encouraging everyone to contribute to Alexandria’s nonprofit organizations. In the spirit of giving, The Shoe Hive will donate 10 percent of your purchase to the YMCA Alexandria or a charity of your choice. The event, taking place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 127 South Fairfax St., will also feature local stylist and personal shopper, Kathryn Martin. Martin will answer your personal style questions and even share her favorite spring shoes available at The Shoe Hive.
By Micaela Williamson
We’re glad that spring has finally sprung. Soon, the Easter Bunny will be hopping down the trail delivering treats and goodies to lots of boys and girls in NoVA. These fun local events offer families so much more than just searching for eggs.
Spring Easter Festival at Ticonderoga Farms:
April 5-20 (weekends only)
Ticonderoga Farms is always a favorite for fun with activities such as giant slides, tractor rides, live animals, playgrounds, a bamboo maze and more. Visit the farm during the weekends in April to search for candy filled eggs and visit with the Easter Bunny.
Great Country Farms Easter Egg Hunt and Marshmallow Harvest:
April 5 & 6
Guess what the first crop of the season is on this farm? Marshmallows! All the fun regular attractions on the farm such as the cow train, tractor ride, slides, animals, jumping pillow and more. Plus, attendees can “harvest” marshmallow Peeps and search for eggs. The folks here at Northern Virginia Magazine are providing each child with their own bucket to collect eggs and keep for the “u-pick produce” all season. Live entertainment will be available on the weekend. Check their website for details.
Easter Egg Hunt at Colvin Run Mill
Young children can hunt for treats and treasures through the grounds of Colvin Run Mill Historic site and make an egg-cellent craft. Then, enjoy the beautiful grounds with a hike, shop at the general store and enjoy a tour of the restored mill. Pre-registration is required for this event. Please register for a specific time slot.
Bunny Bonanza at Heritage Farm Museum of Loudoun County
The Heritage Farm Museum’s annual Bunny Bonanza event is back with live rabbits, a meet and greet with the Easter Bunny, crafts, and hands-on kids’ activities. Volunteers will be on hand to teach families about live rabbit care. This event is included with museum admission.
Morven Park, Easter at the Park
Morven Park is known for it’s beautiful landscape, historic buildings, and three acclaimed museums. At this event, kids can seek out hidden eggs in the formal gardens, participate in a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn, make crafts, and take a photo with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are available online.
Lee-Fendall House Easter Egg Hunt:
Get tickets to visit the famous Lee-Fendall House in Old Town for this popular event. Families can play games, make crafts to take home, enjoy refreshments, and visit with the Easter Bunny. Tickets and more information available on the website.
Micaela Williamson is a co-author of local travel guide, Kid Trips Northern Virginia, an extraordinary resource that provides descriptions, useful information and insider tips for hundreds of local destinations. Micaela is also an award winning blogger who enjoys supporting area businesses and scouting out family-friendly venues with her two young sons.
Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
By Stefanie Gans
Is Polish food trending? “Not that I’m aware of,” says Chef Jim Jeffords, “but it’s something different.” The chef of Evening Star Cafe reopens the summertime pop-up, The Front Porch, tonight at 5 p.m. with a new menu of the Polish street food staple zapiekanka.
Known as zapi on the menu, Jeffords created six versions of what is essentially French bread pizza. A classic zapiekanka is simply ham and cheese with ketchup, but says Jeffords, “I just couldn’t bring myself to call that delicious and put it on the menu.”
Instead, there’s a Greek version with tzatziki, cucumbers, olives, feta and a red onion salad; duck zapi with pulled duck confit and brie; a vegetarian version with spinach pesto and carnival cauliflower; and a meat option with pepperoni, sausage, bacon and mozzarella.
The Front Porch, an outside space next to Del Ray’s Evening Star, will also feature hush puppies with harissa aioli, skillet jambalaya, pulled pork sliders and a double cheeseburger. For drinks, there’s a bourbon slushy, yuzu margarita and a Hurricane. Say Jeffords, it’s “a college bar situation for adults.” / The Front Porch, 2006 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria
Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 28th, 2014
By Evan Milberg
Blue Sea Seafood and Bar in Shirlington is set to open April 9, according to manager Jonathan Theriault. They will occupy the space, at 4251 Campbell Ave., that was once Bear Rock Cafe. According to ARLNow, the space was originally going to be a vegan restaurant.
“We’ll have a lot of Cajun-influence dishes that can’t you find anywhere else in the Village [at Shirlington] here,” says Theriault. One such dish, the Étouffée, is a Cajun/Creole stew traditionally made with shrimp or crawfish and served over rice. Other dishes Theriault recommends are the pecan-crusted catfish, the black and red fish, the BBQ salmon, the “Big Easy” shrimp and grits, the cajun crab artichoke dip and the Creole BBQ shrimp. Blue Sea Seafood will also serve “gator tots,” which are made from actual alligator. The two big dishes are The Little Skipper (six oysters, six clams, six shrimps, half pound crawfish, three stone crabs) and The Blue Sea Titanic, which is a double portion of The Little Skipper.
Shortly after Blue Sea Seafood opens, Theriault says the restaurant plans on having daily specials and will eventually expand into brunch. The chef will be Daniel Marteny, who has a Cajun background and over 15 years of experience cooking in Northern Virginia, most recently at T.J. Stone’s in Alexandria.
This post has been updated.
Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 28th, 2014
By Stefanie Gans
Last March, Gut Check reported: “Asad Sheikh is on the prowl.” And the owner of the Curry Mantra family of restaurants hasn’t stopped. This week Sheikh signed a lease for Curry Mantra 4 London Curry House to open in Alexandria, off Duke Street across from Landmark Mall.
After multiple trips to London last year, Sheikh discovered the difference between the curries made in this country and London-style curries. “The dishes might be the same,” says Sheikh, “but the taste is completely different. They use a lot of spice, not heat-spice, but very aromatic.” Although Shiekh also found London-made curries spicier than those here.
Planned for an August debut, London Curry House will be the biggest Curry Mantra yet: 5,000 square feet with 170 seats. The first Curry Mantra opened in Fairfax three years ago, Curry Mantra 2 in Falls Church opened in March 2013 and Curry Mantra 3 opened in Vienna last September. To celebrate the first anniversary of Curry Mantra 2, Sheikh is offering complimentary lunch and dinner to all guests this Sunday.
Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
By Shelby Robinson
Sometimes there’s a Beethoven in your midst when you least expect it.
Lawrence Ries is a retired federal employee, having worked for the General Services Administration and government agencies for more than 25 years, but his passion lies as a self-taught composer and orchestrator.
This weekend Ries’ masterpiece will debut as the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association will perform his composition, “Sea Surface Full of Clouds,” which he first began composing almost 30 years ago.
“Poetry is one of my great loves,” he said. “I always liked Wallace Stevens, and when I came across his poem ‘Sea Surface Full of Clouds’ in the 1980s I immediately wanted to compose something for it.”
As an English major in the 1970s, Ries developed a strong love of music, which stemmed from his love of the melodic quality of poetry. Around this time, Ries also became inspired by Claude Debussy and began teaching himself piano and, shortly after, composing his own works.
Ries’ moved to the D.C. area in the 1980s and got married. His wife noticed his talent for composing, so they decided that when they had kids, he would stay home with them and work on composing.
“Whenever the kids would take their naps or watch TV, I would work on music. So I ended up composing a great deal of music during that time.”
The choir director at Ries’ church encouraged him to orchestrate a few of his compositions and put him in touch with Ulysses James, the music director of the Mount Vernon Orchestra, now the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association. In 1988, the Mount Vernon Orchestra performed Ries’ composition, “Three Poems by Wallace Stevenson.”
While Ries was working with the Mount Vernon Orchestra in the 1980s, his composition of “Sea Surface Full of Clouds” was originally born as a piece for two pianos. But it was never heard by an audience because shortly after composing it, Ries went back to work, which took time away from his orchestral inclinations.
After his retirement in 2009, Ries purchased notation software, which allows the user to hear the composition as if it’s being played by a group or orchestra.
Now the acting president of the WMPA, Ries began copying some of his old sketches into the program and found “Sea Surface Full of Clouds.” After orchestrating his piano piece, Ries brought it to the WMPA.
This weekend, you can hear the debut of “Sea Surface Full of Clouds” performed about 30 years after it was first written.
The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association performs “Sea Surface Full of Clouds”
Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3 p.m.
T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., Alexandria
www.wmpamusic.org, tickets: $20 for adults, free for 18-and-under
Adrien Cotton, co-owner of Alexandria-based Fitness on the Run, has put together a high-energy, fat-blasting workout to get you toned in no time. No need to leave to hit the gym, in less than 35 minutes you can get this complete workout done right at home.—Angela Bobo
Warm-Up: 15 minutes
1) Begin on all fours and crawl (yes, crawl) on all fours around a room. 2) Repeat three times. 3) Crawl around a room again, this time with your knees off of the floor. 4) Repeat three times.
1) Stand with feet shoulder distance or more apart. 2) Hinge from your hips, and bend over. 3) Place hands palms first on the floor (placing fingers first is very hard on your fingers) as close to your feet as you can. 4) Walk your hands outward until you get in a push-up position. 5) Walk your hands back toward your feet, bending your knees only as soon as you must. 6) Repeat five times.
Walk-Out + Push-Up
1) Perform walk-out move. 2) Once you return to the top of the push-up position, add a push-up (or two). 3) Walk your hands back to your feet bending your knees only as soon as you must. 4) Repeat five times.
1) Lie on the floor face down. 2) Place your elbows directly under your shoulders on the floor, curl your toes under. 3) Lift your body to a flat position where your body is parallel to the floor. 4) Hold for 20 seconds. 5) Rest for 10 seconds. 6) Repeat 8 times.
1) Stand with a wall 6 to 8 inches behind you. 2) Stand with feet positioned hip distance apart, toes facing outward. 3) Hinge your hips back toward the wall (bending your knees as much as you need to in order to hit the wall with your bottom). 4) Pause at the bottom for 2 seconds and then jump up. 5) Repeat 10 times.
1) Lay on the floor face down. 2) Extend your arms outward like a ‘T.’ Lift your arms as high as you can, keeping your head resting on the floor. 3) Repeat 10 times. 4) Extend your arms outward like a ‘Y.’ Lift your arms as high as you can, keeping your head resting on the floor. 5) Repeat 10 times. 6) Extend your arms outward like an ‘I.’ Lift your arms as high as you can, keeping your head resting on the floor. 7) Repeat 10 times.
1) Find something heavy and hold it at your lower chest squeezing your elbows against your ribcage. 2) Hinge your hips back. 3) Pull your hips forward explosively and squeeze your buttocks. 4) Repeat 10 times.
1) Stand and make your body tight. 2) Place hands with palms—not fingers—on ground as close to your feet as possible. 3) Jump back to position like going to do push up on your toes. 4) Do a push up on or off your knees. 5) Jump back so feet meet your hands. 6) Stand up tall and squeeze your bottom hard. 7) Repeat 10 times.