Posts Tagged ‘Arlington’

Don’t Wait for The Italian Store’s New Market in Westover: Here’s a Dessert Preview Available Now

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Photo Courtesy of the Italian Store

By Stefanie Gans

After five years and several failed offers, Robert Tramonte found another location for The Italian Store: in Westover, between Arlington and East Falls Church. “It’s going to be The Italian Store on steroids,”  says Tramonte, with the new location—expected to open this fall—complete with an onsite bakery, espresso bar and coveted in-store and patio seating.

Besides sandwiches, there will be charcuterie boards and gelato, from former Laboratorio Del Galileo (D.C.) pastry chef Gianluigi Dellaccio who studied gelato-making in Italy and started his own company, Dolci Gelati.  

While the construction continues in the former 7-Eleven space (which used to be a Safeway), a few of the Italian desserts are now available at The Italian Store on Lee Highway. “You see them in Italy in the mornings,” says Tramonte about his in-house pastries, which started to be available under-the-radar for the last few months. 

1. Cannoli
The most recognizable treat, a pastry shell rolled like a cigar filled with sweetened impastata ricotta and chocolate chips. This thicker ricotta stays better within the shells, and says Tramonte, makes “ours are a little more authentic.”

2. Genovese
A dome-shaped pastry filled with custard, chocolate chip bits and orange blossom, “it has more cream in it than all the rest,” says Tramonte. “I think we’re the only place I’ve seen it” in Northern Virginia.

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Repurposed Upgrade in Arlington

A 1944 home gets a new look with a high-efficient renovation.

Todd Ray, Studio TwentySeven Architecture.

Photo courtesy of Studio TwentySeven Architecture.

It is easy to find the home of Todd Ray and his wife Diane. No address needed. One only needs to seek out the modern structure amongst the traditionally remodeled 1944 builds.

For twelve years Ray and his wife lived in the original structure that was compromised of three floors equaling approximately 900 square feet. And the now 2,800-square-foot, high-efficiency renovation, which started with simply wanting to add on a porch addition, is a showcase for thoughtful living.

An architect at Studio TwentySeven Architecture by trade, Ray let the site of the home lead the decisions. “The situation is what we call it. The situation took into account the landscape as it is; the exact boundaries, site and conditions; the global orientation of the building; and also its place in time.”

The remodel encases the old structure and uses all of the building; they salvaged hardwood, interiors and the masonry. “We put a big hole in the house and then built around the hole,” says Ray. Another important aspect was how the house would fit within the neighborhood. “Diane and I were concerned about maintaining the contextual appropriateness. In 1944 all [of these]houses were identical, but now have had many idiosyncratic expansions. The common thread in these additions, including ours, is the building scale and that they are diagrammatically consistent.”

But the house is unique. The modern vision of the exterior is carried inside with personal touches that draw from the history of the neighborhood. An old, dying silver maple—which was one of two every site had in the 1940s—has been repurposed into a screened divider wall between the front library/study and the main living space. Harvested pieces of the raw maple were threaded with a rod and aluminum standoff in a Fibonacci series—spacing varies as you go up.

The three-year design and renovation process went through 12 iterations before designs were finalized. (far left) The upper level will customized staircase and sculptural niche; exterior of the home; (below) master bath; lower level looking into back garden. Photo courtesy of Studio TwentySeven Architecture.

Stepping down into the main living area, you pass through “four different steps that talk about time and transition from old to new,” says Ray about the meeting of the visible old masonry with the new structure.

The main area, consisting of the living and dining rooms and kitchen, is a sun-filled space due to the above windowed ceiling and windowed back wall that looks into the garden. The kitchen, with its energy-efficient appliances, low-flow faucet and flat-packed cabinetry, is anchored by an island made of EcoStone (recycled bathroom sinks mirrors and ceramic tile) and suspended in epoxy resin.

The showcase: The staircase to the upper level, taking inspiration from the silver maple trees and the light dappling through. A photo was pixilated then converted to a line drawing. Ray then created CAD output drawings for a CNC routing machine that cut the rails. The effect emulates the leaf patterning on the upstairs hall as sun drenches through.

Ray says the upper level is the private space complete with a home studio/guest space, guest bath, master bedroom with bath and an open-to-below sculpture niche.

Everything evolved through question and answers, says Ray. “We established privacy but stay connected to the neighborhood.” Windows throughout the house are optimally placed, drawing in light and looking onto the outside environment that is pleasing to see; no looking into other neighbors’ houses. “Windows [in traditional builds] aren’t optimally placed for views, for light. What is their purpose? It’s a hole in the wall.” In this Arlington home, the lower-level windows are placed taking in curtains of greenery or rows of maples. The upstairs guest bath has a window in the shower facing the front of the home. Its twofold purpose is to bring in southern light and show the gathering of the old and new structure.

“Looking for architecture about the time in which it is existing and trying to design accordingly versus reaching back into history and trying to find something that is appropriate for today, usually the translation never makes it,” says Ray.

What today’s typical remodels encounter is looking back, not at how we use spaces today; guest rooms used maybe four times a year, tablets replacing PCs.

“What modern architecture allows you to do, particularly with more fluid and convertible space—if you can begin to think of space as purposeful—then you can dual-purpose space, triple-purpose space, and that gives you an efficiency of plan.

“People don’t think about [style difference] enough. People assume the norm.” –Lynn Norusis

(April 2014)

Absinthe-Soaked Cheese from Brooklyn and More Cheeses to Know, Curated by The Curious Grape’s New Cheesemonger Katie Carter

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Cheesemonger Katie Carter at The Curious Grape / Photo Courtesy of Christopher Byrne

By Natalie Manitius

At age 11 Katie Carter visited a creamery in the Savoie region of France, “back in the ’80s when brie was a big deal,” she says, and from there, became hooked on the ways of cheese. Before being named earlier this month as the new cheesemonger at The Curious Grape in Shirlington, Carter: dropped out of college to work at McLeod Creamery of Oak Grove Farm in Marshall and with just six months of cheese-making experience was recruited to work as the cheese buying manager for Arrowine Cheese in Arlington, while attending artisanal cheese classes in New York. She also helped open Cowgirl Creamery in D.C. and started her own cheese-making company. 

Carter says she plans for “a more intelligent, thought-out cheese plate that will kind of mimic what’s coming out of the kitchen,” like pairing cheeses with a spring strawberry basil compote. She also wants to hold tastings to teach the science behind beer and cheese pairings, offer cut-to-order cheese for retail (instead of letting wedges sit in “plastic, [the] enemy of cheese,” says Cater) and debut housemade cheese for the kitchen’s use. 

Here, Carter walks through new cheeses from  The Curious Grape:

Absinthe-Soaked Cheese from Brooklyn
A cheese called the Miranda, initially made and aged in a Brooklyn apartment, will be part of the new cheese menu. Bringing in his Dutch background, Jos Vulto crafts a half-pound wheel using raw cow’s milk, washing it after production in absinthe. Carter describes it as “beautifully sweet, it’s amazing. Like you would think it would take on that liquor-ish quality, kind of really super strong, but it actually sweetens the cheese. It’s so lovely. The texture is this semi-soft, silky, really smooth texture.”

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Beat the Monday Blues: Bobby Bare, Jr. is coming to IOTA Club

Posted by Editorial / Monday, April 14th, 2014

By Katie Bowles

Photo courtesy of Bobby Bare, Jr./Joshua Black Wilkins.

Bobby Bare, Jr. was raised by country royalty and nominated for a Grammy at the age of six. Impressed yet? If not, learning that Shel Silverstein was a close family friend and critiqued/helped write many of his songs might do the trick. Silverstein was actually the author of the Grammy-nominated song, a duet with Bare’s father (Bobby Bare) called “Daddy What If”.


For all that he has to be proud of, Bobby Bare, Jr. remains close to his fans, often playing smaller venues (like IOTA Club) and even house parties. He’s also the father of three children and appears to be passing on the music gene to them just as his father did for him–he recently recorded a cover of “Daddy What If” his own daughter, Isabella.



Bare, Jr.’s Americana-style music isn’t quite as country as his father’s, but it’s just as catchy. This tour celebrates the release of his newest album, “Undefeated” (recorded with his band, the Young Criminals’ Starvation League). Come see Bare for yourself in NoVA this coming Thursday, April 17, at IOTA Club in Clarendon. The show’s at 8:30 but you’ll want to get there early since IOTA only sells tickets at the door

Bobby Bare, Jr. at IOTA Club
2832 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington
Thursday, April 17
Tickets $12 

Brunches, Feasts and Desserts for Easter Eats

Posted by Editorial / Monday, April 14th, 2014

Robin’s Egg Milkshake / Photo Courtesy of Ted's Bulletin

By Natalie Manitius

Celebrate the end of Lenten abstention by indulging in buffets and multiple course brunches.

Sunday Brunch

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;

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; 

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; 

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;

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;

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;

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Arlington expands tax breaks for tech companies; Fire destroys historic Shenandoah house

By Shelby Robinson

Authorities investigating the fire that destroyed a historic Shenandoah house Sunday
(WTOP News)


Lubber Run boosters aim to keep housing, school out of Arlington park


Arlington County board expand tax breaks for Technology Zones


Va. Republicans aren’t blinking in showdown over Medicaid expansion
(The Washington Post)

Synetic Theater to offer childcare for parent patrons

By Anjelica Michael 

Synetic Theatre's upcoming show "Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog)".

Synetic Theatre's upcoming show "Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog)" begins May 8. Photo by Johnny Shryock. Courtesy of Synetic Theatre.


Have you ever been dying to see an upcoming theater production but can’t find a babysitter in time? Synetic Theater in Arlington is offering a new service so that this problem won’t even cross your mind.

For $5 per child, your children will be entertained during the show with theater games led by the certified instructors who teach the the theater’s camps and classes. The child care service will be featured on May 18 for the show  “Three Men in a Boat (To say nothing of the Dog).”

“This is the first time we are offering this option for our audience. We have heard from patrons in the past that lack of childcare is often something that hinders them from seeing our productions.,” Alysa Turner, Synetic’s marketing manager said. “We hope that by offering this option, more people can experience our shows.”

If the service is popular, it could become a regular feature at Synetic. When asked why Synetic thought to offer the service, Turner said, “We offer kids classes and camps year round, so it just made sense to use our unique resources this way, especially now that our studio space is located just down the hall from our theater.”

Synetic Theater
1800 S. Bell St.
Arlington, 22202
Box Office:  (866)-811-4111

Airbags stolen in Arlington; Bomb squad and Army called to Ashburn home

By Anjelica Michael


Arlington‘s Fairlington crime report cites how a number of cars had their airbags stolen earlier this week
(ARL Now


The DC cherry blossoms have reached their prime moment
(McLean Patch


Broad Run High School team competing in a NASA challenge
(Loudoun Times)


Bomb squad and U.S. Army called to Ashburn home
(Leesburg Today)

Streetcar proposal stirs Arlington special election; Local woman’s Civil Rights struggle inspires a new film

By Janeé Williams

Streetcar proposal could boost special election turnout in Arlington

Local woman’s Civil Rights struggle the subject of the film ‘Ordinary Heroes’

Renovated Rocky Run Park Re-Opens

Column: Why wasn’t Relisha Rudd taken from her home before vanishing? It’s complicated
(Washington Post)

Now Open: Yayla Bistro in East Falls Church, Happy Hour Starts Today

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Mutlu Kaya

By Evan Milberg

Yayla Bistro has only been open for eight days, and manager Mutlu Kaya already has countless stories about the restaurant’s rabid fanatics. 

“The reaction from the neighborhood has been amazing,” says Kaya. “This one guy came in and ordered two items to-go. Thirty to forty-five minutes later, I saw him running back toward the restaurant and happily yelled out ‘I LOVE YOU GUYS AND I LOVE YOUR FOOD.’ He didn’t say anything else. He just took off. It was the best feeling ever. “ 

According to Kaya, “Yayla” is Turkish for for “high land.” He says it was inspired by a vision of his home in Turkey where “a lot of villagers go to this high land to get fresh produce, fresh milk.” Kaya takes pride in the fact that 90 percent of the food is made from scratch and that more than half of the menu is gluten- and peanut-free. In particular, he says the moussaka— the Turkish answer to lasagna, with roasted eggplant and ground beef topped with bechamel sauce—is the best in town. 

The head chefs, brothers Imam Gozubuyuk and Abuzer Gozubuyuk, are both originally from Turkey and have a combined 20-plus years of experience. Both brothers have worked at Agora and Levante’s in DC. Kaya met them a little over a year ago and thought the three of them would be a good match to start a Turkish restaurant. 

“It’s like a tango, and we’ve got a nice dance going,” says Kaya. 

Kaya says that by late May, Yayla Bistro will serve Saturday and Sunday brunch and in the future will offer weekday breakfast. Starting today, Yayla celebrates happy hour, which runs weekdays from 4-7 p.m., with a Visne mojito, (a Turkish spin with sour cherry, $5), cold dips ($4), flatbreads ($4.50), house wine ($4) and beer ($3.50).  / Yayla Bistro, 2201 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington; 703-533-5600

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