Posts Tagged ‘Vienna’

Q&A with George Pagonis; Opening New Restaurant Kapnos Taverna Tomorrow

Posted by Editorial / Monday, January 26th, 2015

Kapnos Taverna's George Pagonis.

Photo courtesy of George Pagonis.

From summers in the olive fields of Greece to making toast at his dad’s restaurant in Alexandria, George Pagonis was born into a life of food.

Even though his dad tried to talk him out of the family business—his uncle owns Nostos in Vienna, his great uncle started Amphora diners and bakeries and his dad owned Four Seasons—Pagonis knew he belonged in the kitchen. 

After attending culinary school, working in New York and  staring on this season’s “Top Chef,” the 31-year-old is back in Virginia and opening Kapnos Taverna tomorrow with “Top Chef” alum Mike Isabella. A spin-off of D.C.’s Kapnos, the Arlington menu will highlight Greek seafood. —Stefanie Gans

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Warm Up this Winter with Paint-Your-Own Pottery

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 9th, 2015

Pottery painting in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of Brian A Jackson/

By Micaela Williamson

Your house is already too messy from snow days and delayed openings. Bring the kids to one of these great paint-your-own pottery places in Northern Virginia to create one-of-a kind treasured gifts to last a lifetime and get the creative spirits flowing.


Art from the Heart
325 Garrisonville Road
Stafford, 22554

No appointment is needed at this creative little studio. Try your hand at the great paint-your-own pottery selection or glass fusing. There are also “Pottery to Go” kits that allow customers to paint their pieces at home and bring it back to the studio for glazing. Refer to their website to learn about special events, such as a monthly homeschool days, preschool story hours, ladies’ nights and much more.


Clay Cafe Chantilly
13894 Metrotech Drive
Chantilly, 20151

Clay Cafe Falls Church
101 North Maple Ave.
Falls Church, 22046

These award-winning pottery studios continuously offer the largest selection of pottery and glass fusion pieces in the metro area. Plus, all materials are non-toxic, lead free and safe for the environment. Besides pottery, young artists can participate in origami, bottle cap magnets, scrapbooking, beading and card making. Always check the website for special events, coupons, and promotions.


Color Me Mine Ashburn
22855 Brambleton Plaza
Ashburn, 20148

Color Me Mine Fairfax
4209 Fairfax Corner Ave.
Fairfax, 22030

So much at the Color Me Mine locations is geared towards families. There are frequent kids’ nights out and pajama paints on the calendar. All the paint used is non-toxic and safe for kids. Both studios are in great locations (Brambleton and Fairfax Corner) near lots of shops and restaurants.


Jimmy Potters
6504 Williamsburg Blvd.
Arlington, 22213

The motto at Jimmy Potters Studio is “there are no mistakes in pottery,” and they strive to create a fun, artistic space for people of all ages.  Jimmy Potters offers open studio time for clay work and paint-your-own ceramics, as well as parties, workshops, and special events. Their special handprint pieces make the perfect keepsake, and a staff member will even come to your home, upon request, to capture your little one’s handprint.


Kiln & Co.
132 Church St., NW
Vienna, 22180

Artists of all ages are invited to work with pottery, sculpture, painting and other mediums at this new whimsical studio in downtown Vienna. Special classes and workshops are offered like Mommy & Me (ages 12 & under), Cupcake Sundays, Daddy-Daughter Date Night and Come Play Footies Fridays.

Paint This
1013 King Street
Alexandria, 22314

Situated in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Paint This is a great outing. Families can select to paint pottery products such as dinnerware, ceramic pieces, and picture frames, or have a go at mosaics or glass fusion. Please check the website or call ahead for special events and promotions.


Paint Your Own Pottery
10417 Main Street
Fairfax, 22030

With a selection of over 600 pieces, everyone is bound to find something they want to paint. All their glazes are lead free and non-toxic. Studio hours, coupons, and updates are constantly updated on the website.


Courtesy of Tiffany Brown, Mamaratzy Photography

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.

Jazz Flows in Vienna

Jazz Workshop Music instructor, Paul Pieper, has built a space to harbor the soulful music while helping aspiring musicians find their groove through improvisation.  –Michael Balderston

The Jazz Workshop

Walter Walls (tenor saxophone), Joe Costa (soprano saxophone). Photo courtesy of Paul Pieper.

It has been said that jazz is America’s only true art form. Ever since its emergence in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century, there has been an alluring quality to jazz that makes it stand out. It is that quality that musician Paul Pieper seeks to instill in his members at The Jazz Workshop in Vienna.

A D.C.-area native, Pieper started The Jazz Workshop in the summer of 2007 and has since seen it grow to 75 passionate  jazz musicians of varying skill level. Doctors, lawyers, and geophysicists makeup the regulars, but a good many have played instruments at some point in their lives, though that is not a requirement.

Paul Pieper, The Jazz Workshop.

Paul Pieper. Photography by Charlie Shin.

“I actually enjoy working with beginners more than anything because I feel like they need that push to get going and need an environment that is friendly and supportive to get started,” says Pieper. “I enjoy helping people understand that jazz is not as complicated as it seems, and not as difficult as it seems. It’s a lot like speaking … helping people understand the parallels between language and music perhaps can help people get started.”

Most notably, Pieper believes in teaching his members the importance of improvisation in jazz.

“Jazz is a music that celebrates improvisation more than any other,” he says. “It’s really the heart of jazz. It offers its practitioners sort of an unusual amount of freedom.” However, Pieper says “it’s equally important to understand the structure and the rules, if you will, in order to really achieve the maximum freedom. Helping people understand that balance, helping people understand the rules and conventions around jazz performance is a lot of what I do here in the workshop.”

Workshop members John DeDakis, John Cox and Mary Ann Brundage are starting to find their groove. And they are happy that there is a place that allows them the “vital contact with other people” to grow as jazz musicians.

“I can play and fail, and it’s all right,” says DeDakis, an author who plays the drums.

Pieper hopes to continue to expand his workshop with clinics, retreats and hopes for a new space that could recreate the classical café backdrop for which jazz is famous. But most importantly, he hopes to keep America’s art form alive and well just outside of our nation’s capital.

(January 2015)

A Food-Inspired Gift Guide

Posted by Editorial / Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

NoVA shopkeepers reveal the hot items of the season. —Nicole Bayne & Susannah Black

Northern Virginia Magazine Foodie Gift Guide 2014

Photo by Mollie Tobias.


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Global-ish: Curry Puffs at Pilin Thai

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Photo by Ann Hsu Kaufman

Photo by Ann Hsu Kaufman

Finding worldly bites for $12 & under.

By Ann Hsu Kaufman 

Curry puff (ka ree pop) fans never had it so well. At Pilin Thai, a family-owned joint in Tysons Corner streaked with LED lighting only slightly reminiscent of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the three fist-sized puffs ($5.95) are cooked to order, arriving as flaky, hand-rolled pastry wrappers.

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32 New and Almost Open Restaurants, Breweries and Coffee Shops in Northern Virginia

Posted by Editorial / Friday, November 7th, 2014

New and Almost Open restaurants in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of 360b/

Need a new spot to nosh? Here is a list of new restaurants now open and soon-to open.

&Pizza Arlington, Reagan National Airport, Pizza, $; Expected Nov.

The Beer Joint Brewing Leesburg, Burgers, Bourbon and Beer, $$; Opened Sept.
| MORE: Vintage 50 is now The Beer Joint

Belly Love Brewing Company Purcellville, Beer, $; Expected Nov. 

Bistro 360
Arlington, Mediterranean, $$; Opened Oct. 
| MORE: From Georgian cheese bread to the Central Asian plov, a global dining room.

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On Newsstands Today: Northern Virginia Magazine’s 50 Best Restaurants Issue

Posted by Editorial / Friday, October 31st, 2014

Photo by Jonathan Timmes / Design by Mike Ramm

Photo by Jonathan Timmes / Design by Mike Ramm

By Stefanie Gans

I screamed a curse word really loudly. That act, actually, is not all that uncommon in my office. Those whom I share a space with—my editor, the online editor, the fashion and beauty writer and the millions of people who pop in every hour—have gotten quite used to these swollen swear words. I cursed, this time, because as I’m editing the 50 Best Restaurants issue, I find out that Tallula is closing.

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Curry Mantra 2 and Curry Mantra 3 Closing; Asad Sheikh Opening New Indian Restaurant in Arlington

Posted by Editorial / Monday, October 27th, 2014

Curry Mantra & Curry Mantra 2

Curry Mantra & Curry Mantra 2

By Stefanie Gans

“My goal is to go big now,” says Asad Sheikh. The owner of the Curry Mantra chain of Indian restaurants is closing Curry Mantra 2 in Falls Church and Curry Mantra 3 in Vienna to open a bigger, more upscale restaurant in Rosslyn.  

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Hungry for Linkage: Oh Hi Pumpkin Panang Pizza + Plaka Grill to Open Second Location + Tallula and EatBar Close

Posted by Editorial / Monday, October 27th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Astro Doughnuts

Photo courtesy of Astro Doughnuts

By Stefanie Gans

Pumpkin + Panang Chili Sauce + Pizza. Thank Ashburn‘s Apinya Thai Food Company. [WJLA]

Vienna‘s Plaka Grill to open second location in Falls Church by early next year. [FCT]

Hollywood loves food too: 11 foodie movies from the last three years. [Atlanta]

The 2015 trend-casting starts, with visions of “spicier and funkier” Asian food; “cannabis will move beyond pot brownies”; and hop-free beers. [Food Navigator]

Tallula and EatBar closed on Sunday. 

Be everyone’s best friend when you pick up (October 30-31) a dozen Halloween-themed min-doughnuts ($20) from Astro Doughnuts food truck stationed in Arlington, flavors include: crème brûlée, PB&J, Nutella glazed with jimmies and vanilla glazed with candy toppings of Kit Kat, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and Snickers. 

*This post has been updated

Opening Next Year: Chase the Submarine, A Joint Venture from Maple Ave Restaurant and Caffe Amouri

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez/ Under a Bushel Photography

Photo courtesy of Rey Lopez/ Under a Bushel Photography

By Stefanie Gans

Two of Vienna’s power players in the food-and-drink world will combine to launch a sandwich shop and butchery, set to open early next fall. Chase the Submarine, from Michael Amouri of Caffe Amouri and Tim Ma of Maple Ave Restaurant, will be what Ma calls a modern deli, plus a small butchery operation.

“I think we just started talking because we opened [businesses] around the same time,” Ma says of his partnership with Amouri. Ma began selling Amouri’s coffee at his restaurants and then the two became friends. “He’s a big idea man,” Ma says of Amouri, describing their friendly rap sessions centered around restaurant premises, finishing sentences of “wouldn’t this be cool?”

At the same time, Ma and his wife and partner Joey Hernandez we’re looking to open a fast, casual spot. “I’m not good at tacos,” jokes Ma, and so with sandwiches there’s room for creativity. 

>>Draft menu after the jump

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