Food in February: Embracing Plants

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Wake Up & Smell The Breakfast Pizza – The new &pizza at Hotel Hive will be the first and only &pizza shop in DC to serve up three new breakfast pies: AVOCADO TOAST (olive oil brushed dough baked and topped with avocado mash, spicy chickpeas, goat cheese, cilantro and lemon), ALL-AMERICAN (olive oil brushed dough baked with shredded mozzarella, grilled onions, tomatoes, sausage, bacon, egg, tater tots with a hot sauce drizzle) and CINNAMON TOAST (buttered dough spread with sweet ricotta and baked with cinnamon sugar and sliced banana topped with cereal crunch and mint leaves). Besides the new savory and sweet pies, mornings at &pizza x Hotel Hive will feature grab-and-go food items like whole fruit, yogurt, JRINK cold-pressed juices, coffee and espresso drinks. The unique breakfast menu is available from 7 to 11 a.m. every day. (2224 F Street NW; 202.849.8499; andpizza.com)

French Quickie — Bastille presents the French Quickie menu, a selection of quick and delicious dishes available in the restaurant’s bar and café. Choose any two dishes or drinks on the French Quickie menu for $15.95, including a daily selection of wine by the glass or on-tap beer; pommes frites; rock shrimp beignets with spicy guacamole and lime; salade Caesar; galette de saison, seasonal flat bread with arugula salad; moules du jour; croque monsieur; sunchoke and spinach risotto; classique crème brûlée; or crème caramel. (606 N Fayette Street, Alexandria, VA; 703.519.3776; bastillerestaurant.com)

Mardi Gras Headquarters — Native New Orleanian chef David Guas celebrates Mardi Gras with a new venture: A Pop-Up Mardi Gras Headquarters at Union Market! Through Fat Tuesday, February 28, the pop up will serve whole and by-the-slice king cake, the classic ring-shaped brioche-style cake piped with signature Creole cream cheese filling and decked out with purple, green and gold sugar-flecked icing. Guas also puts his signature sweet spin on the classic praline, with the introduction of his very own Graslines, buttery sugar cookies topped with purple, green and gold sprinkles and a freshly baked praline. King cakes are also available at the DC and Arlington Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery locations. (901 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; 202.664.5307; bayoubakerydc.com)

BLT Steak Embraces Plants – Recognizing DC’s new love of plant-based diets, BLT Steak’s first Vegetarian Blackboard menu will include several delicious and hearty options for the remainder of the winter season. Try seared and braised cabbage steak, creamy Kabocha squash risotto, and spaghetti squash with sage and brown butter as part of the restaurant’s rotating, seasonal vegetarian menu. (202.689.8989; bltrestaurants.com)

Chef’s Pick Menu –– Cafe Saint-Ex offers a new Chef’s Pick three-course menu option available Thursday through Sunday night. For $45, you’ll receive glass of sparkling wine to start and choice of a shaved apple & bacon salad or butternut squash soup starter, New York strip steak frites or pork chop with whipped potatoes, and dessert. (1847 14 Street NW; 202.265.7839; saint-ex.com)

Mardi Gras Cakes – Centrolina celebrates Mardi Gras with the traditional sweet dough King Cake with a cinnamon-pecan filling, finished with colorful purple, green and gold sugar ($24, serves 8-10) and Mardi Gras mask cookies. Order at the market or by phone 48 hours prior to pick up. Cookies will also be available in the market ready-to-buy. (974 Palmer Alley NW; 202.898.2426; centrolinadc.com)

Chef’s Tasting — Charlie Palmer Steak now offers a Friday-only chef’s tasting menu, each showcasing a hyper-seasonal or luxury ingredient in a menu of five or more courses focused on a specific theme each week. Upcoming themes include black winter truffles, Wagyu Bbef and Calvisius caviar, with future themes highlighting pigs & pinot, Chesapeake’s fabled blue crabs and eastern shore duck. The menus are priced at $85-$100 with optional beverage pairings priced at $40. Each weekly menu will be announced one week in advance on charliepalmer.com, with reservations opening that same day for the following Friday’s 20 available tasting menus. (101 Constitution Avenue NW; 202.547.8100; charliepalmer.com)

Burnt Squash Is Better Than It Sounds — At Del Campo, Albisu celebrates South American asado culture by introducing nearly every dish to some element of smoke, and this season’s squash is no exception. The natural sugars in his burnt squash salad with brown butter and squash juice vinaigrette (acorn and butternut) caramelize in the cast iron pan for a warming taste of autumn. (777 I Street NW; 202.289.7377; delcampodc.com)

Temptation For Two @ ENO — ENO Wine Bar celebrates the month of love with their Temptation for Two menu. The sharing experience for couples features one glass per person of select red, white or sparkling wines, a selection of artisanal cheese and charcuterie and a flight of three chocolates for $45. (2810 Pennsylvania Avenue NW; 202.295.2826; enowinerooms.com)

Fish Taco Brunch — Fish Taco, Bethesda’s neighborhood taqueria, now offers weekend brunch at its three locations. Huevos Racheros or breakfast tacos (chorizo, eggs, pickled onion and Cotija cheese, $6.95) are available Saturdays and Sundays until noon. At Wildwood and Cabin John, add in a Cerveza (Mexican beer, $11). (10305 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD; 301.564.6000; fishtacoonline.com)

Winter Dishes –– The Grilled Oyster Company showcases the hearty side of seafood with its new winter menu available at both locations in MD and DC. Chef’s specials include oyster stew with bacon, corn, and vermouth and sautéed monkfish with shaved Brussels sprouts and lobster cappuccino cream. New, non-seafood options include pan-seared duck with butternut squash puree and duck jus and a classic ribeye. In DC, a new bar menu features small bites like a pork cheek tostada with banana peppers and spicy crema, as well as more decadent plates like the Hey Steve burger topped with a fried patty of mac and cheese. The bar menu is 20 percent off during happy hour from 3 – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and nightly from 9:30 p.m. until the restaurant’s close. (3701 Newark Street NW; 202.362.1719; thegrilledoystercompany.com)

New Prix Fixe Lunch & Brunch – The Grill Room has added new fixed price (and affordable) lunch and brunch options. During lunch, select an appetizer and entrée or entrée and dessert for $30 per person; during brunch, select an appetizer and entrée or entrée and dessert for $45 per person, which includes a pastry and a bottle of sparkling wine for mimosas. Lunch at The Grill Room is served from daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Standouts from the new winter lunch menu include baby kale & mizuna salad with pomegranate, honey labne, spiced pumpkin tuile and a Champagne vinaigrette; dry-aged steak tartare with fennel, cornichons, capers, tomato crostini and cured egg yolk; frisée & apple salad with bacon lardons, a soft boiled egg and warm bacon vinaigrette; and Berkshire hog chop with hedgehog mushrooms, oven roasted Brussels sprouts and mustard sauce. (1050 31 Street NW; 202.617.2424; rosewoodhotels.com)

Hank’s Donates To ACLU, Planned Parenthood, NAACP & HRC – Through the end of April, JL Restaurant Group pledges to donate at least $20,000 or 1 percent of all sales from all properties to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). “As a proud citizen of this country and this district, I have been inspired by the communities that have recently stood up for religious rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights–human rights. As a community restaurant group, I want each and every one of our guests to know that we are doing our part to stand up for these human rights,” says chef/owner Jamie Leeds. JL Restaurant Group venues include Hank’s Oyster Bar locations in Dupont Circle (1624 Q Street NW), Capitol Hill (633 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) and Old Town Alexandria (1026 King Street, Alexandria, VA), as well as Hank’s Pasta Bar (600 Montgomery Street, Alexandria, VA) and Hank’s Cocktail Bar (819 Upshur Street, NW). (hanksoysterbar.com)

Joselito’s Menú del Día – New Spanish restaurant Joselito offers up new daily specials and a fixed priced, three-course lunch menu for $25. Specials include arroz caldoso de mariscos, Spain’s fisherman rice; lentejas con Ibéricos, lentil stew with Iberian meats; and fabes con mejillones, large white beans and mussel stew. Lunch includes your choice of starter, main course, dessert and drink. (660 Pennsylvania Avenue SE; 202.930.6955; joselitodc.com)

Iron Gate Goes Greek — Iron Gate has an entirely new menu that draws on the cuisines of Greece, Sicily, Sardinia and Southern Italy. Executive chef Anthony Chittum offers up dishes like Wild Ass Pony oysters with clementine granite and house hot sauce and duck yourvarlakia with Anson Mills Carolina Gold, lots of dill and hollandaise. Chittum has also added a rotating selection of platters designed for two or more guests, including an Iron Gate mixed grill with crispy potatoes, golden beet tzatziki and koulouri. A family-style tasting option offers a custom menu of four shared courses that begin with traditional antipasti. Iron Gate will continue to offer the nightly chef’s tasting menu, but it will now be fixed at six courses, culminating with petit fours and house made take-home treats, and priced at $95 per person. (1734 N Street NW; 202.524.5202; irongaterestaurantdc.com)

Showstopping Squash – Find squash throughout the menu at Kapnos Kouzina. Chef George Pagonis highlights the ingredient’s sweet and creamy flavor in dishes like wild mushroom couscous, marinated King salmon and wild mushroom pyde with parsnip, butternut squash and feta ($15). (4900 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, MD; 301.986.8500; kapnoskouzina.com)

Seasonal Squash — Chef George Pagonis highlights several seasonal squash varieties at Kapnos Taverna in dishes like Ora King salmon with buttermilk squash, sunchoke and pickled mushrooms ($15) and spit-roasted pork with apricot, patty pan squash and charred eggplant ($14). (4000 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA; 703.243.4400; kapnostaverna.com)

Indian-Chinese Cuisine — For the month of February, Masala Art’s SW location offers a supplemental three-course, prix fixe special menu in honor of the Chinese New Year, combining the culinary delights of Indian and Chinese cuisine. Menus include a vegetarian option at $24 and a non-vegetarian option at $27. The non-vegetarian menu begins with an appetizer platter that includes hot mango chicken, chicken lollipops and Sriracha honey fish, followed by lamb with Manchurian sauce, chili chicken or hot garlic fish. The vegetarian menu begins with an appetizer selection of spring rolls, honey chili potatoes and crispy fried vegetables, followed by chili paneer, vegetable Manchurian or garlic and broccoli tofu. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian main courses are served with vegetable fried rice and hot garlic naan. Banana fritters with vanilla ice cream are a sweet finish. (1101 4 Street SW; 202.554.1101; masalaartdc.com)

Seasonal Morning & All-Day Menus — The Royal has introduced new morning and all-day menus for the winter season. Find comforting new soups and hearty vegetarian dishes, Colombian-inspired snacks, wood-grilled proteins and nourishing breakfast fare during the cold weather months. Start your day with a brioche egg sandwich or lox tartine—then warm up at lunch with rotating house soups including porter beer & cheese and mushroom & black garlic and lobster bisque; vegetarian dishes including charred vegetable chorreadas, veggies with creamy tomato sauce and cotija cheese; and meat dishes like fried pork belly or fried chicken sandwich. (501 Florida Avenue NW; 202.332.7777; theroyaldc.com)

Limited Edition Shake Shack BBQ — Available for a limited time only, Shake Shack is grilling up BBQ ShackMeister burger ($6.39 Single / $9.19 Double, cheeseburger topped with crispy ShackMeister Ale-marinated shallots and Shack BBQ sauce), BBQ Chick’n Shack ($6.55, crispy chicken breast with Shack BBQ sauce and pickles) and BBQ bacon cheese fries ($4.69, crinkle-cut fries topped with all-natural smoked Niman Ranch bacon, Shack BBQ Sauce and cheese sauce). (1216 18 Street NW; 202.683.9921; shakeshack.com)

Sustainable Eats When You Want ‘Em — Thanks to a new freezer system, Spring House Farm in Loudoun County now offers à la carte ordering and delivery. Order sustainably-raised meats, eggs and honey through the farm’s website and pick up at multiple locations in VA and DC. Prices include a pound of bacon for $10, whole chicken for $6 per pound, beef brisket for $8.25 per pound, and one dozen eggs for $4.50. (37864 Long Lane, Lovettsville, VA; 703.728.6623; springhouse.farm)

First Annual Truffle Festival — Chef José Andrés and ThinkFoodGroup invite you to celebrate peak-season winter black truffles in bountiful supply during the first annual Truffle Festival. Find truffles at Andrés’ family of DC restaurants, including Jaleo in Washington, Bethesda and Crystal City, as well as Oyamel, Zaytinya, China Chilcano and barmini by José Andrés. Through February 27, enjoy the “fragrant and exquisite” black truffle in a variety of both new and amplified dishes and drinks, including but not limited to: Zaytinya/Truffle Pide (Turkish-style pizza topped with loads of shaved black truffle), Oyamel/Tortitas de Papa con Trufas (potato fritters with Mexican crema and black truffles), Barmini/Uni truffle toast, Jaleo/acorn-fed pork “presca” carpaccio (lemon dressing, pine nut praline and shaved black truffle served tableside) and Zaytinya + China Chilcano/Truffles & Bees (vodka, lemon juice, truffle honey, cava, $16). (855 E Street NW; minibarbyjoseandres.com // 418 7th St NW; chinachilcano.com // 480 7th Street NW; jaleo.com // 401 7th Street NW; oyamel.com // 701 9th Street NW; zaytinya.com)

Mediterranean Lunch – Go Greek for lunch at the new Tredici Enoteca at The St. Gregory Hotel. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the restaurant will offer small plates, veggies, salads, a raw bar, pastas, sandwiches and flatbreads ranging from $11 to $22. Standouts include squid ink tonarelli with cockles, Shishito pepper and white wine garlic cream sauce; fettuccine with pork ragu and Grana Padano; falafel sandwich with lettuce, tomato, hummus and tzatziki; Moroccan spice ribs; bacon-wrapped dates; and mushroom toast. (2033 M Street NW; 202.888.2899; tredicidc.com)

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