Posts Tagged ‘Gut Check’

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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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; 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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Hungry for Linkage: French Perigord Truffles for Sale at Mosaic + Herndon Hot Sauce + $100 Chocolate Toothpaste

Posted by Editorial / Friday, April 11th, 2014

Photo Courtesy of Apinya Thai Food Co.

By Natalie Manitius

Celebrate truffles this weekend with Ah Love Oil & Vinegar’s truffle festival. The fetishized fungi’s Italian producer, the Brugnoli family, will be in town to share truffle honey, infused oil, salt and pate. Head to the Mosaic District for the Friday festival, and Shirlington’s location for Saturday. Also for sale: 30 French perigord truffles, a 20 gram piece is $60.  [AhLove]

A guide to finding Filipino restaurants in the DMV, with spots in Falls Church and Crystal City. [Eater]

Walmart plans to undercut its competitors by selling organic products at lower prices. [WSJ]

Herndon-based hot sauce company Apinya Thai Food Co. just released its fifth Thai chili sauce Ghost Vindaloo. The spicy concoction was inspired by a pork vindaloo dish served in southern India, which uses ghost chilies and other fiery ingredients. [Apinya Food Co.]

Chocolate flavored toothpaste exists. Don’t get your kids hooked on it because … it costs $100. [Foodbeast]

Use matzo as a coaster for Passover sangria. [Buzzfeed]



Monument Coffee Roasters to Open Next Month in Manassas

Posted by Editorial / Friday, April 4th, 2014

Monument Owners Ryan and Alycia Otte / Photo Courtesy of Monument Coffee Roasters

By Natalie Manitius

The coffee business has always been a family affair for Alycia Otte, and it’s now coming to Manassas. Otte’s Monument Coffee Roasters will open in Manassas this May, extending her family’s java obsession to NoVA.

What began as a daily trip to the local coffee house in Oregon became a career for a former Hewlett-Packard employee and the generation that followed. After her father quit his tech job to start a small coffee cart of his own, Alycia Otte entered into a bean-driven career. With a cart came a roasting facility, which blossomed into a storefront called Java Connection, located in Corvallis, Ore. Otte was hired for coffee-making by her father at 16, and is now one of two owners of Monument Coffee Roasters of Manassas. 

Java Connection’s biggest customer also happened to be Alycia’s future husband: Ryan Otte. Otte would often find himself behind the counter, and he went on to be a coffee apprentice under Alycia’s father. The java joint connected the two coffee lovers, who married, moved around for the Coast Guard and finally got settled in a place where they could carry on the trade that brought them together. Monument Coffee Roasters seeks to foster an appreciation for coffee and educate the NoVA crowd how to prepare the caffeinated cult beverage. 

Monument plans to hosts educational ‘cuppings,’ following a format similar to wine tasting. Rather than having full-fledged food options and serving coffee on the go, the Ottes wants to teach their customers how coffee is grown, how Monument roasts its beans on site (which customers can watch) and how this affects the body and flavor of a cup. Beverages will be prepared using the sophisticated methods of chem-ex pour over and syphoning.

As for the beans, the Ottes plan to source single-origin coffees that are both Fair Trade Certified as well as organic. Monument’s initial offerings will be varieties from Central America, South America and Africa. The pair has spent the last year making sample roasts to perfect the cup, and plans to roast in less-than-30-pound small batches to better manage the flavor and quality. 

Coffee education will happen both on site and at other Manassas locations. The roasters will begin with 1-2 roastings per week, and will then proceed via a posted schedule for cuppings. Alycia and Ryan are also currently working with Manassas java joints to host coffee tastings at their sites.  

Coffee snobs who can’t make it to the Monument site can expect to find the beans throughout Manassas. Though no names have been mentioned, Monument plans to serve its coffee in locally-owned restaurants, and will partner with breweries to infuse darker brews with craft coffee. 

Get a taste of what’s to come at Badwolf Brewing’s Beards, Brews & BBQ event on April 6, from 2 to 7 p.m. Monument Coffee Roasters will be onsite to do tastings and to talk coffee. / 7095 Gary Road, Manassas; monumentcoffeeroasters.com



Republic Kitchen & Bar Celebrates Grand Opening Today – See the Menu Here

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Anthony Catselides, Thanh Cao-dac and Alan Newton / Photo Courtesy of Hung Nguyen

By Natalie Manitius

Out with the short-lived Leek American Bistro and in with Republic Kitchen & Bar. The Ballston restaurant plans a grand opening today with a discounted menu and experimental cocktails, including a from-scratch ginger beer cocktail, the Republic Moscow Mule; a bacon old-fashioned; and the Ballston Yacht Club with fresh-squeezed grapefruit, vodka, lime and cucumber.

NoVA natives and cousins Alan Newton and Anthony Catselides partnered with businessman Thanh Cao-dac to open a place in which they, themselves, would enjoy eating. Says Catselides, “we just got tired of eating mediocre food, so we really wanted to open up a place of our own and offer good food at a reasonable price.” Newton, who learned to cook from his mother, spent his professional-formative years in Charleston, SC at Dragon Palace, a modern, upscale Chinese restaurant. Newton delved into regionally-inspired cuisine and “really began to make dishes of my own,” Newton says. He plans for Southern comfort-style food with an international flair. Catselides comes from restaurant background including Great American RestaurantsAngelo and Maxie’s and McCormick and Schmick’s

Continued with full menu

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8 Things to Know About Fair Winds Brewing Company

Posted by Editorial / Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Fair Winds Brewing Company's Casey Jones, Todd Parker and Shawn Johnson / Photo Courtesy of Fair Winds Brewing

By Natalie Manitius

1. Around Town
Fair Winds Brewing Company is technically a packaging brewery—at least 75 percent of beer is sold off premises at restaurants, bars or retail vendors—and plans for a fall opening in Lorton. There will also be a tasting room in the 12,000 square foot operation featuring 30 barrels. 

2. Sea Change
The nautical theme ties into founder Casey Jones‘ background: Jones has a masters in marine biology and navigated waters as a Coast Guard officer. He moved to NoVA in 2011 to work in corporate executive recruitment, all while homebrewing. 

3. Finding Fairfax
Jones’ interest in beer grew after having access to local beers while stationed in Coos Bay, Oregon. He looked into buying a Sea Dog Brewing Co. brewpub in Maine, but Shipyard Brewing Company beat him to it. The vision was accelerated once the brewer moved to NoVA, observing that Fairfax County “didn’t have a packaging brewery where you could literally have a local Fairfax brew on tap,” says Jones.

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Hungry for Linkage: Raw Bar at Kybecca + Aged Bourbon in Fredericksburg + America’s History with Fat

Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 28th, 2014

Agata Dorobek/shutterstock.com

By Natalie Manitius

Kybecca of Fredericksburg recently unveiled a new raw bar. [Kybecca]

What does your astrological sign say about your pizza style? [Buzzfeed]

Sing foodie praises for your favorite local NoVA spots and vote online in the 2014 RAMMY awards: Bayou Bakery, Buzz Bakery, and Red Apron Butcher are contenders for the Fast Bites category, Vermilion for Upscale Casual Brunch of the year, and Pizzeria Orso for Everyday Casual Brunch of the year. [RAMW]

Bourbon fans, beware: Fredericksburg’s A. Smith Bowman Distillery Double Barrel Bourbon spent seven years aging and is now ready for consumption. [A. Smith Bowman Distillery]

Try a new brunch at Water & Wall this weekend, which made Zagat’s list for DC’s 10 Must Try New Brunches. [Zagat]

Here’s some history behind America’s fear of fat. [NPR]

 

 



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

Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 21st, 2014

AtthameeNi/shutterstock.com

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]

 

 



Corcoran Brewing Company Moves to Boozy Purcellville

Posted by Editorial / 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: Adroit Theory Releases Mexican Trifecta + A Major in Coffee + NoVA is home to Veg Favorites

Posted by Editorial / Friday, March 14th, 2014

Cynoclub/shutterstock.com

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]



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