Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the District
Area restaurants offer Irish cuisine and festive drinks.
March 12, 2013
P.J. Clarke's 2011 St. Patrick's Day celebration.
The Irish have observed St. Patrick’s for more than 1,000 years, and now it’s celebrated around the world. Washington is no exception; see where you can cheerfully mark the occasion in our area.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Toast the holiday on March 17 at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, known for its extensive whiskey selection. The rooftop terrace opens at noon and features exclusively priced pints of Guinness and Irish Punch, and whiskey specials featuring Powers, Paddys, Jameson, and Redbreast. Nosh on savory wings tossed in green pesto sauce or wood-fired cheddar burgers, among other options. The dining room will also be opened for brunch from 10 am-3 pm. 2007 18th St. NW, 202-588-7388
On Sunday, March 17, the restaurant will treat patrons to specially priced Jameson, Guinness, and Bushmills beverages and offer authentic dishes such as Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and classic Reuben sandwiches. Drop by for a celebration with Redskins cheerleaders and a pipe and drum corps, as well as a charity raffle featuring a 2013 Ural-T Sidecar motorcycle. Buy festive shirts as raffle entries; raffle sales benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. 1600 K St. NW, 202-463-6610
RIS offers a three-course Luck o’ the Irish lunch club menu ($25) weekdays from 11:30 am-3:30 pm, now through March 29. The traditional cuisine kicks off with appetizers like Guinness-cured salmon, or Cashel Blue Tartine with warm wilted cabbage, bacon, rye toast, and raisin jam. Choose corned beef and cabbage with potatoes and beets or fish and chips with malt vinegar and coleslaw as your entree. Dessert options are Irish cream, vanilla ice cream soaked with Guinness and Bailey’s with a sprinkle of Irish whiskey; or Smile Pie, a key lime pie made with Samoa and Savannah Girl Scout cookies. RIS is donating $1 to the Holy Trinity Girl Scout Troop #2543 for every Smile Pie sold. 2275 L St. NW, 202-730-2500
Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats
The inventive vegan bakery and café introduces its sweet take on St. Patrick’s Day with Irish cocktail cupcakes, lucky clover sugar cookies, and Irish soda sandwich cookies. Jameson frosting ices the cupcakes and fills the sandwich cookies. The confections are available in the store through March 17. 1370 Park Rd. NW, 202-299-9700
Photography by Daniel Swartz for P.J. Clarke's
BLT Steak Offers Barrel-Aged Cocktails
Three innovative beverages hit the bar menu at this downtown eatery.
March 07, 2013
The barrel-aged Negroni cocktail, made with CapRock organic gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth.
We recently stopped by BLT Steak and enjoyed a fresh take on cocktail service. The dynamic restaurant is now aging three cocktails in charred bourbon barrels as a part of its new bar program headed by resident mixologists, Steve Oshana and Rico Wisner. Barrel-aging the spirits with house-made liqueurs and spices for weeks or months at a time gives the concoctions smoother, silkier finishes, the bar chefs note. And the mixtures pull notes of tannin and vanilla, along with smokiness and color, from the barrel’s charred wood.
Stop by this weekend (or even today!), and check out these varieties.
The Brooklyn. Cousin to the popular Manhattan cocktail, this drink is a mixture of rye whiskey, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur, and a house-made Amer Picon, a liquor typically found exclusively in France. Aged for five weeks, this so-called “perfect cocktail” (per Oshana), is the keystone beverage to BLT’s barrel-aging program.
The Negroni. If you’re more of a gin drinker, this barrel-aged beverage is a must-try (and one that we particularly liked). CapRock organic gin, Aperol, and sweet vermouth blend exceptionally well in the old-school libation, creating a round and creamy final product. And if you find it odd to describe a cocktail as round, just taste it and you’ll understand.
The Bermuda Triangle. This drink offers a new twist on the traditional Dark and Stormy cocktail. After aging Gosling’s Black Rum for two weeks in a bourbon barrel, star anise is added for an additional five days, infusing the spirit with the notable spice. And this wouldn’t be a nod to the original recipe without adding ginger beer. House-made and fermented with Champagne yeast, the ginger beer, while delicious in its own right, is combined with the infused rum to create the inspired cocktail. We’re betting you’ll want to get lost in it. 1625 I St. NW, 202-689-8999
Photography by ThreeLockharts PR
Sephora Introduces The Emerald Collection
Pantone’s color of the year takes center stage in the Sephora + Pantone Universe line.
March 05, 2013
Be green with beauty—not with envy. Sephora has partnered with Pantone, the authority on everything color, to present a beauty collection based on Pantone’s 2013 color of the year (“Pantone 17-5641 Emerald” to be exact). Revered in its gemstone form, this lush shade looks good on everything from eyes to nails.
Click through the slideshow to see our favorite offerings from the Sephora + Pantone Universe collection, then purchase your picks at Sephora in Georgetown (3065 M St. NW, 202-338-5644) or in Pentagon City (1100 S. Hayes St., Ste. G6-G8, Arlington, 703-415-4501).
Everyday Purse Essentials
Seven luxe products to carry at all times.
February 28, 2013
The Willard InterContinental Highlights Abraham Lincoln
Hot off the heels of awards season wins for Lincoln, the hotel’s package is especially relevant.
February 27, 2013
Immerse yourself in history and pay homage to the film that garnered accolades during awards season by booking a staycation at The Willard InterContinental with the Lincoln at The Willard Hotel package for two. Starting at $279, the Abraham Lincoln-themed deal features one weekend night in a decadent Deluxe King Room; a morning tour of the legendary Lincoln Cottage (round-trip transportation provided) where Lincoln spent intervals of each year during the Civil War; and an opportunity to visit the hotel’s history gallery where one can appreciate intimate Lincoln memorabilia relating to his 1861 stay at the hotel. Guests can see a copy of Lincoln’s Willard Hotel bill, and more items that chronicle The Willard's rich history.
"We wanted to create an ‘in the know experience’ as we feel many of our guests look for unique experiences that are local to Washington DC,” explains hotel manager, James Ryan. “The Lincoln at The Willard package connects our present-day guests to the historical significance of the hotel through one of our most famous guests, President Lincoln.”
Available year-round, the package comes at a time when there is a renewed interest in the sixteenth President as a result of Steven Spielberg’s award-winning film, Lincoln, which traces the President’s challenges in outlawing slavery. Aptly offered to guests is a complimentary signed copy of Harold Holzer’s Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America—a companion to Spielberg’s motion picture.
The package also includes breakfast in Café du Parc, a quaint French bistro near the hotel that is under the culinary guidance of Michelin-star chef, Antoine Westermann. Driving in? Don’t worry—the Willard’s generous package includes valet parking, too. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 202-628-9100 and the offer is available year-round. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Q&A: Spilled Milk Catering
With a new location and menu items, this company makes food fun.
February 26, 2013
One of Spilled Milk Catering's creations: spicy tuna wonton cones.
Diverse cuisine and imagination make for tasty offerings from Spilled Milk Catering (11710 Old Georgetown Rd., Rockville, MD, 202-525-6455). Co-owned by chefs Amit Gulati and Raj Bhattacharya, the company services events that range from bar mitzvahs and weddings (a specialty) to cocktail parties and galas. With their fresh, seasonal ingredients, the chefs work with clients to create custom menus and offer cooking classes to would-be foodies. We sat down with Gulati to chat about the company and what’s next for the dynamic duo.
Why did you call your catering company Spilled Milk?
AMIT GULATI: We originally didn’t have an official answer to this, so whenever we were asked, a new story would be told on the fly. The most popular theories range from a cooking accident to a typing error in our corporate filing papers. Let’s just say the truth is somewhere in the middle.
How long have you been in business?
AG: Our very first event was in May of 2009.
You say that Spilled Milk Catering is committed to professionalism and fun. How do you ensure that people have fun at your events?
AG: The best way we can make things fun is by serving interesting food. Our grilled cheese + tomato soup shooters and spicy tuna wonton cones are always crowd pleasers. Also we’re just super fun people, so there’s really no helping it!
Are you working on anything special now?
AG: We just hired a new executive chef, Kerry Nieh. She has been fantastic and has taken our food to a brand new level of excellence. We’ve recently started construction on a new office area and tasting room at our kitchen facilities in Gaithersburg, MD.
Are there any limits on what you will cook?
AG: We haven’t found any limits yet. One wedding we did wanted to combine Mexican and Irish cuisine together in each dish. Corned Beef and red cabbage quesadillas were the hit of the night!
Arena Stage Presents Metamorphoses
Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman brings her masterpiece to Washington.
February 21, 2013
You’ve got to see Metamorphoses. You’ll laugh. You’ll think. And you’ll be changed. Written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, the show now playing at Arena Stage is based on David Slavitt’s translation of Ovid’s classic work. All action takes place in and around a giant pool of water on the theater’s famous in-the-round stage. It’s a different experience—one that leaves the actors with nowhere to hide—but you’ll appreciate the setting.
“The water is used both literally, as something one sails across or bathes or swims in, and metaphorically, as the agent of change or the emblem of grief, sex, or any number of other things,” Zimmerman explains.
You’ll be pulled into tales of longing and dangerous affairs as you watch the stunning cast flit in and out of various roles (and dozens of costumes) throughout the 90-minute production. “It is sometimes very playful and funny, and sometimes very serious,” Zimmerman says. “It is not conventional in that the audience doesn’t follow a single character for any length of time…However, the stories are very accessible. Some of the myths will be very familiar, many of them won’t.”
Zimmerman first created Metamorphoses at Northwestern University, and it ran at Chicago’s Lookingglass Theatre Company in 1998. In 2002, the show opened on Broadway, running for almost a year and earning Zimmerman the Tony Award for Best Direction. It features several of the original Chicago cast members, including Raymond Fox (Midas), Doug Hara (Phaeton), Chris Kipiniack (Cinyras), and Louise Lamson (Alcyon). Buy tickets on arenastage.org from $40 to $85; the show runs through March 17. 1101 Sixth St., SW, 202-554-9066
Photography by Teresa Wood
'Bound for Freedom’s Light' Exhibit
Smithsonian showcase honors role that African-Americans played during the conflict.
February 19, 2013
Between two rooms dedicated to the Civil War on the first floor of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, there lies a nook. Tucked within this nook is the gallery’s new exhibition, “Bound for Freedom’s Light: African Americans and the Civil War,” a display that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The showcase runs through March 2, 2014, and covers the war from its opening days to the surrender of Richmond, says Ann Shumard, the museum’s curator of photographs. It features vintage pictures, drawings by artists who witnessed wartime events, and historic documents such as newspaper articles from Harper’s Weekly.
The portraits—which vary from small, black-and-white photographs to large, colorful chromolithographs—represent well-known pioneers such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. But the beauty of this exhibition can be found in its lesser-known images, like one of Robert Smalls, the South Carolina bondsman who took control of a Confederate ship and delivered it safely to the Union, thereby freeing himself and his family. And Abraham, the man enslaved by Confederate soldiers who, during an explosion, was blasted into the air and landed unharmed in Union territory, where he remained and found work.
Shumard believes these “human-scale stories” will give visitors a better understanding of the war, especially with regard to the fact that black Americans also fought for the country. “It’s great to be able to open a show like this during Black History Month, but the Portrait Gallery focuses on [black history] year round,” she says.
In addition to the main exhibit, check out “The Black List” through April 22, which features images of 50 African-Americans who are dynamic and influential in the fields of politics, music, and beyond. Eighth and F Sts. NW, 202-633-8300
Photography Courtesy National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
DC Applauds Alvin Ailey
Celebrated dance company opens its annual engagement at the Kennedy Center.
February 15, 2013
DC area native Alicia Graf Mack dances with Alvin Ailey at the Kennedy Center.
The illustrious Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returned to the Kennedy Center for its 14th annual opening night gala benefit and performance on February 5. The celebrated company grew from a historic 1958 engagement during which Ailey and a group of young, African-American modern dancers performed in New York City. Now helmed by artistic director Robert Battle, it has performed for millions of people around the world (including notables and enthusiasts in our area) and continues to celebrate the traditions of African-American dance.
At the opening show, inspiring dancers performed various selections including Ohad Naharin’s inventive piece Minus 16—which showcases the performers’ improvisational skills with music from mambo to techno—and Revelations, the signature Ailey masterpiece that tells a story of faith from slavery to freedom.
Company dancers from our area include renowned District native Renee Robinson, who gave her farewell performance on February 6 after 30 years of dancing professionally, and Columbia, Maryland native Alicia Graf Mack.
“The Kennedy Center definitely holds a special place in my heart,” explains Mack, who has performed with the company for five years. “It’s the place where I was exposed to concert dance as a kid, so to be able to go as an adult and perform there is sort of like a magical experience.” Tickets ($30-$120) are very limited. Call the box office at 202-467-4600 for availability. 2700 F St. NW
Photography by Andrew Eccles
Sweet Gourmet Treats for Valentine's Day
Singles and couples can enjoy these great offerings throughout the day.
February 14, 2013
Grab Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats' raspberry almond linzer tarts as an on-the-go V-Day treat.
We know you already have your Valentine's Day dinner reservations. But where do you grab a quick bite outside the evening hours of 6 to 9? We’ve got you covered (dieters, beware!).
Bring a little romance to your lunch hour with a quick picnic of gourmet edibles from Robert Wiedmaier’s Butcher’s Block. The European-inspired market in Old Town Alexandria is offering “His & Hers” Valentine’s Day baskets ($55 each). Ladies will like the French chocolate cookies, DP Confections black cherry truffles, DP Confections 85 percent dark chocolate bar, and Williamette Valley Pinot Noir, while gents will appreciate Fresh Crunch spicy dill pickles, Antigoon by Robert Wiedmaier (a Belgian pale ale), Mama Zumas Revenge potato chips, and a DP Confections bacon sea salt bar. 1600 King St., Alexandria, 703-894-5253
Or pick up an adorable heart-shaped cake from PAUL ($15) to surprise your significant other. We hear it’s made of two layers of vanilla sponge cake, filled with raspberry mousse that’s infused with fresh raspberries, wrapped with honey syrup, and topped with chocolate ganache. The French bakery infuses more cuteness with the inscribed expressions of love: “Toi & Moi,” “Je t’aime,” or “You & Me.” Valentine’s Day goodies are available through February 16. 801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 202-524-4500
For a small but satisfying treat, stop by Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats and indulge in the raspberry almond linzer tarts ($4). Bonus? The bakery focuses on vegan, dairy/lactose-free, and otherwise healthier confections. 1370 Park Rd. NW, 202-299-9700
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.