Posts Tagged ‘Gut Check’

Farm-to-Table Turns Corporate: True Food Kitchen Opens Today in Mosaic District

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

True Food Kitchen

Photo Courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts.

By Susannah Black

The restaurant’s concept is simple: “farm-to-table, organic, local foods,” says Sam Fox, owner of True Food Kitchen. It’s the same ethos which has been driving the modern mom-and-pop shops and now is showing up in corporate America.

The East Coast’s first True Food Kitchen, based on the Mediterranean-leaning anti-inflammatory diet developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, opens today in Merrifield‘s Mosaic District.  

Weil, a renowned doctor, professor and author, collaborates with Fox to create this nutritional menu. With Weil’s assistance, Fox says “all of the food on the menu has been thought out about how it reacts in your body.”  For example, Fox says “a lot of our dishes are gluten-free or dairy-free” and added are “special spices and herbs to reduce inflammation,” as “Andy believes that inflammation is the root of a lot of diseases.” 

Also behind the menu, Michael Obermeier, Fairfax’s True Food Kitchen’s executive chef, relocated to the D.C. area from West Palm Beach after becoming connected with Fox: “Fox found me … I was looking to broaden my horizons and when this opportunity came my way, I kind of jumped on it.” Obermeier reiterates Dr. Weil’s and Fox’s dedication to a menu with nutritionally high standards. “Everything that we do is supposed to be natural … introduce nothing but good products.”

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Hungry For Linkage: Pig Roast + Historic Manassas Restaurant Week + Good Year for Virginia Apples

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 19th, 2014

Courtesy of

successo images /

By Susannah Black

River Bend Bistro hosts Port City Brewing Company’s first pig roast on Sunday: a whole hog from Serenity Farms in Maryland will serve as the main course along with side dishes like balsamic-braised swiss chard, applesauce, corn on the cob and fried pig ears. ($45/pp) [Port City]

Historic Manassas Restaurant Week begins this Sunday, with such restaurants as Malones, City Square Cafe and Carmello’s participating. [Historic Manassas Restaurant Alliance]

Society Fair and TNT on Columbia Pike are expected to close its doors for business by the end of this month. [ARLnow].

Eat BBQ and drink Mad Fox Brewing Company’s Keller Kolsch, Defender APA, Stir About Oatmeal and Saison on Saturday at the Beer Bourbon BBQ Festival  in McLean. [Mad Fox]

Experience an authentic German food buffet, drink beer by not-yet-opened Portner Brewhouse and play board games in Alexandria today at Okto-Board-Fest. [Portner Brewhouse]

Stephens City apple farmer Dudley Rinker says that despite this summer’s “dry spell,” apple pickers can expect “a fairly large crop for 2014.” [NVDaily].

Technically, It’s Still Summer: 7 Season-Spanning Chambourcin Rosés from Northern Virginia Wineries

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Photo By Susannah Black

Rappahannock Rose Fizzy 2013/ Photo By Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

What is a dedicated drinker to do while moving from summer to fall? Jim Livingston of Hartwood Winery suggests that a a chilled Chambourcin Rosé is “naturally good for transitioning” from summer to fall because of its “dry, lighter…. and very refreshing” tasting notes. This rosé, a medium-bodied, fruit-forward, off dry, wine with mild earth tones and herbal notes, will satisfy summer’s dedication to drinkable, light wines while providing the richer, fuller notes of a colder-weather wine. Here are seven wineries in Northern Virginia that offer a noteworthy Chambourcin Rosé. 

Dry Mill Winery 2013 Chambourcin Rosé
Winemaker Karen Reed describes this $20 rosé as “reminiscent of summer’s first strawberries,” finishing with noticeable acidity and mild sweetness. / 18195 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg.

Hartwood Winery 2013 Rappahannock Rosé
This $19 French-style rosé won the bronze metal at Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.  General Manager Beverly Livingston suggests the “soft cherry-like flavors” and “hints of citrus” are well-suited to “light foods.” / 345 Hartwood Road, Fredericksburg.

Hidden Brook Winery 2010 Rosé
Tasting room manager Ken Strasberg suggests “this is not your typical rosé;” it is “very spicy” and collaborates with a “blend of lemon, blueberry, grapefruit and blackberry.”  This $20 wine pairs “great with Thai and Mexican.” / 43301 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg

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From City Bartender to Country Farmer, Gary Hall Opens Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Cafe

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Photo by Stefanie Gans

By Susannah Black

For the last eight years, Gary Hall worked at various establishments in various positions: bartending and cooking at Local 16 in D.C., bartending at Rocket Bar in Chinatown, and bartending and managing at Chi-Cha Lounge on U Street. While Hall’s work history gave him experience within the industry, he says he eventually became “interested in growing ingredients locally.”

Last year, Hall’s desire in “providing fresh, healthy, seasonal food in an accessible way” inspired him to temporarily move from D.C. to Loudoun County in order to open Brassicas Farm Fresh Market & Café. “I decided to give it a shot,” says Hall. 

Opened last month in Aldie, Brassicas is both a restaurant, market and farm. The locally sourced ingredients on the menu are as close by as the restaurant’s backyard, where a large garden provides much of the menu’s produce and the chickens living on the land provide the eggs. Other products are sourced from Quarter Branch Farm, with cheeses from Oak Spring Farm and George’s Mill Farm and smoked bacon from Spring House Farm, all in Lovettsville

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Hungry For Linkage: Debating the Family Dinner + Fall Culinary Trends + Cheesetique’s 10th Birthday

Posted by Editorial / Friday, September 5th, 2014

Photo by Susannah Black

Photo by Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

Men’s Journal names Catoctin Creek Distilling Company’s Roundstone Rye 92-proof one of the top five Great American Craft Whiskeys. [Men's Journal]

New bill guarantees more rights for Virginia farmers and agro-tourism industry. [Fauquier Now News]

This weekend Cobbler Mountain Cellars of Delaplane offers the chance to camp on the vineyard with a three-day-tasting pass during Wine Under The Stars. [Custom Adventure]

Unusual cauliflower concoctions, seafood charcuterie, and Ancho Reyes (a Mexican chile liqueur) cocktails are just a few food trends happening in New York. Expect to see them in NoVA in … [NYT] (Also NSFW food trend list.)

Trummer’s On Main hosts the Clifton Farm Dinner featuring locally grown ingredients and wine from Paradise Springs Winery. [FB]

 Cheesetique celebrates its 10th birthday by hosting events in Alexandria and Arlington. [Cheesetique]

#ModernDebate: Is there value in a home-cooked dinner?
It’s expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway.”  Amanda Marcotte [Slate] 
Soccer moms driving their kiddos half a day one way to a tournament, stopping at the drive-by for “chicken” nuggets, and then dismissing the kitchen as “too stressful” is an upside-down value system.” Joel Salatin [Mother Earth News] 

Cravings: Danny Deco Roll at Flying Fish

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Photo by Susannah Black

Photo by Susannah Black

By Susannah Black

Danny Deco Roll, $14

Where: Flying Fish, 815 King St., Alexandria

Taste: Named after Flying Fish’s first (and former) sushi chef Danny Simmavong, the Danny Deco roll doubles the tuna, with the pink fish both inside and outside a ring of rice. Avocado contributes to the richness, tobiko (fish egg) brings a briny tang and fried tempura bits—and a mound of crispy potato straws—add crunch. Forgo the soy sauce and dip the Deco into a house-made creamy, tangy, sweet and spicy sauce decorating the plate. 

MORE | Cravings

Hungry For Linkage: Eat A Hop, Win A Pint + Port City’s Oktoberfest Brew Releases Today + Restaurant Industry Gender Pay Gap

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 29th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Supertrooper/

By Susannah Black

Heritage Brewing Company throws a hop eating challenge tomorrow. [FB]

new report reveals the gender pay gap is “particularly pronounced” within the restaurant industry, with some disparities being “nearly three dollars per hour.”  [WaPo]

Port City Brewing Company releases its popular Oktoberfest brew, a traditional German-style lager, in the tasting room today. [Port City]

Sunset Hills Vineyard offers live music between 1:30-4:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday and weekend festivities include 40 percent off Sunset’s whites and rosés. [Sunset Hills Vineyard]

Trend alert: healthy fast food. [FirstWeFeast]

Beltway Brewing Company of Sterling hosts the Fidelis Beer Company launch party on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with the release its first brew: Farmhouse Ale, a rye saison. [Beltway Brewing Company]

Town of Herndon celebrates Labor Day with a festival including live entertainment, wine and microbrewery tastings and cooking demos with O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, Aanga and Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern. [Town of Herndon]

What’s in Our Lunch Boxes

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

By Allison Michelli

What one brings to lunch at the office can say a lot about a person. The foodie’s always bring some “trending grain” or organic piece of fruit. The more practical crowd brings in leftovers or a cup of yogurt.

Then there is always the dreaded feeling of lunch envy. “Why can’t I make salad look that good in a Tupperware container?” or “What smell’s so good? I wish I had brought baked mac-and-cheese.

All of that aside, lunchtime is that moment of freedom to do and eat what you want and to express a part of your personality through your food. From a ham and cheese sandwich to truffle ravioli, the staff and interns at Northern Virginia Magazine opened their lunch boxes to show readers what they like to eat. 

MORE | What’s in Our Bags?

  • 1. Stefanie, Food Desk. Fairy tale eggplant, Sungold tomatoes, farro and parsley with a pickled labneh and smoked paprika tahini dressing./ Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 2. Elke, Arts and Entertainment. Skinny popcorn, ham and cheese sub sandwich, Hershey kisses, carrots and water. / Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 3. Allison, Food Desk. Fried chicken, cucumber salad, Chobani coconut yogurt with dark chocolate and almonds./ Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 4. Ariel, Food Desk. Peach from the Arlington Farmers' Market, Ambrosia apple, yogurt, cold chocolate chips for the yogurt, crunchy peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread, Gushers./ Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 5. Lynn, Editorial. Starbucks turkey and havarti cheese sandwich, V8 Original juice, yogurt and granola. / Photo courtesy by Mike Ramm.

  • 6. Jess, Arts and Entertainment. Plain bagel with plain cream cheese, Doritos and Tropicana orange juice. / Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 7. Stuart, Art and Design. Linguine with homemade red sauce and hot Italian sausage. / Photo by Mike Ramm.

  • 8. Jennifer, Marketing. Mushroom truffle ravioli with brussel sprouts tossed in olive oil./ Photo by Mike Ramm.

Seven Boozy Milkshakes to Try This Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 22nd, 2014

By Allison Michelli

Whether stepping out for a night on the town or enjoying with burgers and fries, adult milkshakes are the ideal way to turn up while also satisfying your sweet tooth.


  • 1. FANFARE eatery, Spiked Shakes Add a shot of Kahlua, Frangelico or Bailey's Irish Cream to any regular milkshake on their menu for $4.00 more. Coming soon to their menu will be “Specialty Adult Milkshakes” like Hot Fudge Bourbon and Salted Caramel. / Photo courtesy of FANFARE eatery.

  • 2. Joe's Amazing Burgers, Bourbon Caramel Adult Milkshake A strong blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. $10/ Photo by Jill Laroussi.

  • 3. Ray's to the Third, Shake and Bake Vanilla ice cream blended with caramel and chocolate sauce and a shot of Jim Beam bourbon. Don't forget the bacon on top! $10. / Photo by Cristian Cguilar.

  • 4. The Counter, Salted Caramel Adult Milkshake The best of both worlds: salty and sweet. Vanilla ice cream blended with Stoli Vanil, Baileys caramel and pretzels. $9. / Photo courtesy of The Counter.

Still feeling thirsty? Three more places for adult shakes.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 20575 E. Hampton Plaza, Ashburn.

Ted’s Bulletin, 11948 Market Street, Reston.

Vivefy Burger and Lounge, 314 William Street, Fredericksburg.



Linda Greenlaw of ‘The Perfect Storms’ Brings Her Own Line of Swordfish to Virginia

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Photo by Allison Michelli

By Allison Michelli

Linda Greenlaw—made famous by the movie The Perfect Stormknows a thing or two about working on a fishing boat. Since gaining notoriety from her character’s portrayal in the 2000 film , Greenlaw has gone on to author nine bestselling books and distribute her own brand of swordfish and tuna, Linda Greenlaw Select

Four years ago Greenlaw partnered with a large grocery store chain in New England to put her name on the swordfish she was catching. The demand was so high for her swordfish that she made the decision to work with Great Oceans, LLC to distribute swordfish sourced from around the world but that still met her strict standards of quality.

Last week, Greenlaw took time away from her busy lobster season in  Maine to speak to Clyde’s chefs, representatives from Congressional Seafood and media at a luncheon in Clyde’s Gallery Place. Since last year, Greenlaw has paired with Clyde’s  to feature her swordfish as the August monthly special on their menu. The dish features a grilled swordfish steak on a bed of roasted corn and green been succotash with a chimichurri sauce for $18.95. The thick swordfish steak is quite hearty and the roasted corn in the succotash adds a pop of sweetness while the chimichurri sauce ties all the components of the dish together. 

“This is a sustainable fish by everyone’s standards now,” says Greenlaw. / The swordfish special will be available at all Clyde’s locations though the month of August.


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