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More details on the fast-casual spinoff of Pizzeria Paradiso. By Anna Spiegel
Veloce will bring thin-crust pies to downtown DC this spring. Photograph courtesy of Veloce.

Downtown diners will have another fast-casual option when Veloce pizzeria opens in late spring. The spot at 1828 L St., NW is a spinoff of Ruth Gresser’s Pizzeria Paradiso, one of the early Neapolitan-style spots in Washington with current locations in Dupont, Georgetown, and Old Town Alexandria.

While traditional Neapolitan pies are a staple at the more formal restaurant, Veloce’s custom-designed oven from Maryland-based Marra Forni allows the kitchen to produce thin-crust rounds in a matter of minutes without live fire (fun fact: the gas-brick creation clocks in at over 6,000 pounds). The menu of personal-sized pies will be served for breakfast and lunch, and will include set creations like the Rooster—basil pesto, goat cheese, house-made chicken sausage, and peppers—as well as customizable sauces and toppings largely made in-house or sourced from small producers. Guests can also pick between four crusts: white, whole wheat, mixed grains, and a gluten-free option. Rounding out the pizzas will be a selection of calzones, sandwiches, and salads.

While an exact opening date hasn’t been set, look for a late spring debut.

Posted at 03:11 PM/ET, 03/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Norcia pie at 2 Amys. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

This leafy neighborhood in Northwest DC has a thriving restaurant scene—including cozy bistros, a modern-Indian destination, and the area’s best Neapolitan pizza shop.

1) Ripple

A cozy, gently trendy bistro where the emphasis is on great wine, nicely curated cheese boards, and chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s creative, playful spins on seasonal ingredients.

What to get: Bacon-roasted pecans; rabbit cassoulet; butterscotch pot de creme; baked-to-order chocolate-chip cookies.

2) Indique

We've long been fans of this prettily latticed Indian restaurant, where thick, aromatic curries share the menu with modernized creations such as mini-dosas and tandoori quail.

What to get: Chaat papri (a salad of potatoes, chickpeas, yogurt, and tamarind chutney); salmon sliders; Malabar shrimp curry; chicken chettinad; tandoori lamb chops.

3) Medium Rare

At this popular, Paris-inspired bistro crammed with butcher-papered tables, $19.75 buys you a set menu—a simple green salad and steak frites, with free second helpings of the dry-aged sirloin cap and skinny fries.

What to get: Hot fudge sundae with rainbow sprinkles.

4) Vace

This old-school, grab-and-go Italian deli is most famous for its excellent sauce-on-top-of-cheese pizza, available by the pie or slice.

What to get: Onion white pizza; pepperoni pizza; Italian sub; filled-to-order cannoli.

5) 2 Amys

In the shadow of the Cathedral, Peter Pastan’s clanging pizzeria turns out superlative small plates and salads and puffy-crusted Neapolitan pies.

What to get: Deviled eggs; charcuterie and cheese; Margherita Extra, Norcia, and Vongole pizzas; cannoli; ice cream.

Posted at 11:02 AM/ET, 03/05/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find brunch, all-day happy hour, hot drinks, and cheap eats. By Anna Spiegel
The benefit of snow in March: spiked hot cocoa on a Thursday afternoon. Photograph via Shutterstock.

We didn’t expect to compile list of snow day specials this late in the season. Still if there’s an upside to a frigid, icy day in March, it’s a whole lineup of all-day happy hours, brunches, dining deals, and hot cocktails. You know the long winter drill by now. We’ll keep the list updated throughout the day.

Boundary Stone

116 Rhode Island Ave., NW

Hungry for brunch? This Bloomingdale neighborhood joint opens at 11 for eggs and mimosas.

Meridian Pint

3400 11th St., NW

Brunch is the snow day game plan from 10 to 3.

Dino's Grotto

1914 Ninth St., NW

As long as the cold lasts you can get a free mug of soup with any food purchase, and a $6 lemon-ginger hot toddy. Also look for all-night happy hour when the eatery opens at 5.

Jackson 20

480 King St., Alexandria

Brunch! Happy hour! The latter begins at 11 and runs all day, while anyone craving eggs and bloodies will find them between 8 and 2.

Black Squirrel

2427 18th St., NW

The regular burger night promotion begins early at noon, so head in for 11 hours of half-price patties.

Firefly

1310 New Hampshire Ave., NW

The Dupont spot serves its Cadillac grilled cheese and soup of the day for $5, and you can add a whiskey your way and a draft beer for another $5. The deal is offered at the bar from 4 to close.

Range

5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Bryan Voltaggio’s Chevy Chase DC spot offers $8 pizzas all day, plus half-off shellfish plateaus and meats/cheeses from the salumeria.

Poste

555 Eighth St., NW

Keep it classy with the brasserie’s ongoing “Clicquot in the Snow” promo, where guests can sip $15 glasses of Veuve every time it snows.

Brabo Tasting Room

1600 King St., Alexandria

Wine lovers can head to the tasting room for “Magnum Hour” happy hour all day—the restaurant taps a magnum-size bottle, and offers pours for a discount.

Urbana

2121 P St., NW

All pizzas go for $5, which you can eat alongside $7 spiked hot cocoa or amaro punch.

DC Harvest

517 H St., NE

The restaurant offers $6 off all entrees and daily plates, though remember the fine print: you must mention the deal upon arrival, and it’s limited to parties of six or less.

Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

This atmospheric restaurant near the White House offers all-day happy hour, which includes half-priced oysters and draft beers among other specials.

Agua 301

301 Water St., SE

Snow means $2.50 tacos, $5.00 margaritas (frozen or on the rocks) and $3.50 Corona drafts at this waterfront Mexican.

Carmine's

425 Seventh St., NW

Look for happy hour all day, plus discounts on meatball sliders, antipasto plates, and certain cocktails.

Pizza Vinoteca

800 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington

This new-ish Ballston pizza joint serves meals at a 15 percent discount all day (alcohol not included). Make sure to say “snow day” when mentioning the offer.

America Eats Tavern

1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean

Get a complimentary butternut squash or cream of mushroom soup with any order.

China Chilcano

418 Seventh St., NW

The newest José Andrés eatery offers a free green apple and pisco cocktail to anyone who says “snow day specials.”

Jaleo

Multiple locations

All three Jaleos offer deals. In DC a hot chocolate and olive oil torta for for $5. The Crystal City location serves a gratis grilled cheese flauta with the purchase of any beer. Over in Bethesda, buy one lunch sandwich special and get another free, alongside half-priced bottles of wine all day.

Oyamel

401 Seventh St., NW

Diners can warm up with a special combo: a margarita, hearty black bean soup with avocado leaves, and Mexican hot chocolate for $12.

Zaytinya

701 Ninth St., NW

Mention “snow day specials” and get half-priced bottles of wine.

Tryst Restaurant Group

Multiple locations in DC

All eateries including the Diner, Tryst, Open City, and the Coupe are open as usual, and pour $10 hot drinks like mulled wine, a whiskey chai, and a minty toddy until last call.

Taco Bamba

2190 Pimmit Dr., Falls Church

Warm up with a $5 bowl of pozole soup, served all day.

Restaurant Eve

110 S. Pitt St., Alexandria

Measure how much snow has fallen and get the corresponding amount taken off your meal in the dining room or bar (though not valid with other promos, like the Lickity Split lunch).

The Brixton

901 U St., NW

The bar opens early at 2 for happy hour food and drink specials until 7: $6 mulled wine, $5 draft beers, $8 Makers punch, and $5 rail drinks.

Southern Hospitality

1815 Adams Mill Rd., NW

The Adams Morgan bar offers half-price wine all night, beginning at 4.

Pop’s SeaBar

1817 Columbia Rd., NW

The specials start at noon at this beach-y bar, which serves a Miller Banquet Beer and shot of Irish whiskey for $10.

Drafting Table

1529 14th St., NW

The pub opens at noon for happy hour, with $4 draft beers, $6 wines by the glass, and $5 specialty cocktails.

Takorean

Multiple locations

The Union Market and Navy Yard branches of this Korean taco shop open at 11 and offer $4 craft brews all day.

American Ice Co.

917 V St., NW

The bar opens at 1 with $3 pours of Astra an Bell’s Winter White beer (add a shot for $2), and $5 draughts until 5.

Chez Billy Petworth

3815 Georgia Ave., NW

The original location opens at 2 and serves happy hour until 7 alongside discounted eats like a royale with cheese ($10) and $6 French onion soup.

Marvin

2007 14th St., NW

The covered rooftop opens at 1, so bundle up and head over for $4 Stellas, $6 wines, $5 rail drinks, and half-off burgers until 7:30.

The Pig

1320 14th St., NW

Drop by for $5 bourbon flights, a $4 whiskey du jour, and $6 burgers.

Arcuri

2400 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Head in for $3 “cello” shots in seasonal flavors like artichoke-lemon, rhubarb, raspberry, and chocolate-orange.

Logan Tavern

1423 P St., NW

It’s happy hour all day at the bar and communal table.

Et Voila!

5120 MacArthur Ave., NW

Anyone in the Palisades neighborhood can head in for a free glass of house wine with an order of mussels or cassoulet during lunch or dinner.

Grillfish

1200 New Hampshire Ave., NW

Oysters go for $1 until 7, alongside $6 draft beers.

Commissary

1443 P St., NW

A rotating selection of movies plays on the projector all day along. Watch while sipping half-price hot cocktails,

$4 spiked cocoa, a $4 Natty Boh and shot combo, and $5 veggie and beef burgers.

Richard Sandoval Restaurants

Multiple locations

Masa 14, Mango Tree, El Centro D.F., Zengo, Toro Toro, and Ambar all offer happy hour specials throughout the day and evening in the bar.

Clyde’s Restaurant Group

Multiple locations

Several locations, including Chevy Chase, Tower Oaks Lodge, and Mark Center are open and serving half-price burgers.

Gypsy Soul

8296 Glass Alley, Fairfax

Chef RJ Cooper’s Merrifield restaurant serves $8 Irish coffees and specialty cocktails, $6 chicken noodle soup, and $12 fried chicken.

(Updated as of 2:15)


Jack Rose

2007 18th St., NW

Warm up with mulled wine and hot whiskey cider, both discounted to $6 from 5 to 7:30.

Scion Restaurant

Multiple locations

Both the Silver Spring and Dupont locations serve a $9 craft beer and shot combo, $5 Old Overholts, and $1 off a select brew.

Fainting Goat

1330 U St., NW

The pub opens early at 3, serving burgers and meat/cheese boards to hungry patrons alongside happy hour with $5 drafts and glasses of wine. The regular menu starts at 5.

Hill Country

410 Seventh St., NW

The barbecue spot opens with drink specials including $3 beers, $5 well drinks, and $4 wines.

Cafe Saint-Ex/Bar Pilar

1847 14th St., NW/1833 14th St., NW

The sister 14th street pubs both offer happy hour pricing until 7 (Pilar opens at 2).

Bastille

606 N. Fayette St., Alexandria

Happy hour runs all evening with half-priced wine, craft beers, and cocktails, plus bar snacks like escargots beignets and frog wings.

McClellan’s Retreat

2031 Florida Ave., NW

Take refuge in the Civil War-themed bar come 4 with specials like $5 beers, $5 shots of rye, and $7 hot toddies.

Vinoteca

1940 11th St., NW

The wine bar’s typically extensive happy hour goes all night, with 20 wines by the glass priced at $5, discounted bar snacks, and $5 beers.

Hank’s on the Hill

633 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

Drop by the Capitol Hill location of Hank’s Oyster Bar—maybe after some illicit sledding?—for $1.25 local oysters, $5 punches, $4 canned beer, and a $12 shrimp and grits lunch special.

Cork Wine Bar

1720 14th St., NW

The cozy restaurant offers their cinq à Sept happy hour throughout the night, while the nearby market sells bottles of sparkling wine for ten percent off (buy two bottles of any wine and get a 15 percent discount).

BLT Steak

1625 Eye St., NW

Hot cocktails go for half-off at this downtown steakhouse, such as a Hennessy hot toddy for $6.

City Tap House

901 Ninth St., NW

Head in for happy hour all day: $5 craft beers, $6 house wine, or a shot-and-beer combo for $7. Snacks include bacon popcorn and duck fat fries with truffle aioli.

J. Paul’s

3218 M St., NW

More all day happy hour! Look for $5 appetizers and discount 23-ounce draft beers.

Old Glory

3139 M St., NW

Find chili for half-off all day and night.

Mio Restaurant

1110 Vermont Ave., NW

Happy hour runs all day with $5 beers, wines, and select cocktails, and snacks such as ancho chile chicken wings and Puerto Rican fritters.

Posted at 07:28 PM/ET, 03/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Bourbon, butter, and a brown-sugar rub? Yes, please. By Ann Limpert
A beacon of grilling-season hope.

Union Market’s Test Kitchen series—a lineup of free demos from stalls like the District Fishwife and DC Dosa—happens every Wednesday, from 6 to 8 PM, tonight through April 8th. On March 25th, BBQ Joint chef/owner Andrew Evans will show off his stuff, including these smoked, brown-sugar-rubbed wings.

Grilling season might seem far, far away on a dreary day like today, but at least this recipe gives us all something to look forward to.

Applewood-Smoked Chicken Wings with a Bourbon Glaze and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Makes two dozen

12 chicken wings, tips removed and split in two parts (should have 24 pieces)

½ cup BBQ seasoning rub, divided (see recipe below)

cup bourbon

¼ cup unsalted butter

3 celery stalks, sliced into thin 3-inch strips

Ranch dressing, for dipping (see recipe below)

1 cup applewood chips

Small disposable aluminum pan

Lump charcoal

Build a lump charcoal fire on one half of your grill. Fill the aluminum pan of the way with water, and place it next to the charcoal—the bottom of your grill should be divided by lit charcoal and water pan. Let the charcoal burn for 20 minutes, then close the lid. You want a 275 degree cooking temperature.

Meanwhile toss the wings with ¼ cup of the rub. Lay them on the grill grate over the water bath. Add the applewood chips to the coals and close the lid. Maintain the 275 degree temperature by adjusting the valves of grill (more air equals hotter fire). After 45 minutes, lift lid and check the wings’ temperature with a meat thermometer. You want the wings to reach 175 degrees (if they’re not there yet, close the lid and check the temperature every 15 minutes).

In the meantime, reduce the bourbon by ½ in a small pot. Whisk in the butter and set aside. When the wings are done, toss them in a bowl with the bourbon butter then sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of rub, and toss again until they are well coated.

Serve with ranch dressing and celery sticks.

Barbecue Rub

cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon celery salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Place all the spices in a food processor and pulse to combine. Sift through a medium strainer and store in an air tight container.

Ranch Dressing

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, minced

2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced

1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon white vinegar

¼ teaspoon paprika

teaspoon cayenne pepper

Dash hot sauce, like Tabasco

½ cup buttermilk

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine, preferably the night before. Season to taste.

Posted at 02:25 PM/ET, 03/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The steakhouse celebrates its 50th anniversary with Veuve Clicquot--and we have your complimentary seats. By Anna Spiegel
Ruth's Christ Steakhouse celebrates their "golden anniversary" with Veuve Clicquot bubbles, and you can go for free. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Ruth's Chris Steak House celebrates its 50th birthday this year, and marks the "golden anniversary" with a series of Champagne pairing dinners starring bubbles from Veuve Clicquot. The first is held on Thursday, March 19 at branches of the restaurant throughout the US. Here's the great news: we have two free seats to give away at the Washington Convention Center location (a $240-plus value).

The menu is pretty luxurious: lobster bisque, filet mignon with truffle-foie gras butter, vintage Champagne. How do you get it all for free? Tell us about your dream luxury meal. Cost isn't a factor, and reality doesn't apply--go ahead and fantasize about sharing a 150-ounce Kobe porterhouse with Ryan Gosling and/or Katie Perry and your childhood dog. Just give us plenty of (PG) details in the comments below, or on our Facebook page. We'll pick the best this Friday, March 6 at noon and send the winner information on how to claim their two complimentary seats.

Details: Ruth's Chris Steak House - Washington Convention Center

Thursday, March 19 at 6:30 PM

Two free seats, $240-plus value.

Deadline: Friday, March 6 at noon.

Question: what is your dream luxury meal? Answer in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Posted at 12:46 PM/ET, 03/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
His name was Kabocha. Here are his papers. By Anna Spiegel
The Certificate of Authenticity at BLT Steak lists name, date of birth, and carcass number.

Kabocha was born in Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture on May 10, 2012. His father's name was Mizuterushige, and mother Dai112hatsumi. I know, because I ate him.

In a Portlandia-esque sequence of events, BLT Steak has begun presenting diners with the Certificate of Authenticity upon request that verifies the meat on guests's plates is pure Japanese Wagyu. A dinner hosted by the restaurant last night centered around slices of Kabocha (the steer, not the Asian variety of squash he's named after), which arrived alongside a document listing a full range of statistics that one might find on a human birth certificate--name, sex, a little nose print instead of a foot--as well as those more particular to cattle: radioactive inspection results (none), harvest date (January 19, 2015), and carcass number. Diners aren't encouraged to visit the farm where Kabocha was raised, but this is the closest to Portlandia-style dining you can get in Washington.

Is it local? No, that's the point. "Wagyu" designates several breeds of cattle known for well-marbled (i.e. deliciously fatty) meat. The term is thrown around pretty loosely in the restaurant industry. There's premium Japanese Wagyu, which includes the highest A5 grade that BLT Steak serves. There's also American Wagyu, a domestic breed, Australian wagyu, and so on. The pure Japanese product is the most prized by chefs and steak connoisseurs--who pay royally for it, $35 per ounce at BLT--so a Certificate of Authenticity makes sense. Besides generally authenticating the meat, the document also confirms the Beef Marbling Standard (BMS)--BLT's is 11 out of 12, which rarely leaves Japan--and production area; the Miyazaki Prefecture where Kabocha hails from is generally considered one of the best.

Sadly, no one can vouch for the hazelnuts.



Posted at 11:15 AM/ET, 03/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By John Scarpinato

Happy Wednesday, food truck followers! The rain isn't keeping the trucks off of the streets, so grab an umbrella and pick up tequeños (cheese sticks) from Arepa Zone, or bulgogi aboard AZN Eats.

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Posted at 09:30 AM/ET, 03/04/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
An opening date is set for the downtown Red Robin spinoff. By Anna Spiegel
Red Robin Burger Works replaces Boloco downtown.

Burgers replace burritos at 1028 19th Street, Northwest, where a second branch of Red Robin Burger Works is set to open in the space that once housed a struggling Boloco. The fast-casual spinoff of the predominantly suburban Red Robin chain made its Washington debut in L'Enfant Plaza last year--other branches exist in Colorado and Chicago--and offers a menu of grilled beef, turkey, mushroom, and veggie burgers alongside salads, fries, and shakes.

An opening date has been set for March 23. The patty competition is tough in the area, with spots like Shake Shack, BGR, Bobby's Burger Palace, and Burger Tap & Shake in the neighboring vicinity. Red Robin is on the wallet-friendly side of the spectrum, with most patties prices between $5 and $7. Tried it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Posted at 01:11 PM/ET, 03/03/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Smoked beets, meaty 'shrooms, and roasted veggies fill these melty sandwiches. By Anna Spiegel
Chef Bryan Voltaggio makes a veggie Reuben with smoked, spiced beets. Photograph courtesy of Family Meal.

Reubens are the best classic sandwich to turn vegetarian, hands down. Griddled rye, sauerkraut, melty Swiss, Russian dressing--who cares what else you put in there? All right, a few smoky slabs of corned beef or pastrami make for an addictive combination. But if you're vegetarian, or just overloaded with meat after this long winter, these riffs hit the spot.

Pastrami-spiced tempeh Reuben at DGS Delicatessen

1317 Connecticut Ave., NW

DGS makes one of the best Reubens in the city, and the meatless version isn't too far from the original. The kitchen treats tempeh the same way it does pastrami: rubbing it with mustard, black pepper, and coriander, smoking it until tender, and stacking it on buttery rye with local No. 1 Sons sauerkraut and Swiss. House-made Russian dressing spiked with pickle juice drives the flavors home. Try it any time of day in the deli, or take it to-go from the lunchtime counter.

Smoked beet Reuben at Family Meal Ashburn

20470 Exchange St., Ashburn

Chef Bryan Voltaggio loves a classic Reuben, but as he says of his new meatless riff: "If my doctor told me I couldn't have pastrami anymore, this would be the cure." The kitchen pressure-cooks beets to intensify their flavor, smokes the rounds, and crusts them in pastrami spice. The sandwich is finished with kraut and Meunster, plus an umami-rich version of thousand island kicked up with soy.

The Reuben is also served in DC at G by Mike Isabella during the second round of the Sandwich Madness competition, where guest chefs compete to make the best creation. If you're not in the mood for beets, Isabella crafts a tasty wild mushroom version that's a staple on shop's menu.

Portobello Reuben at Ris

2275 L St., NW

This is one of our favorite veggie Reubens around, even besting some of the meat and fish dishes on chef Ris Lacoste's menu. The sandwich is comfort food at its best: a hearty roasted 'shroom, tangy Russian dressing, and bright slaw, all heaped on rye that tastes like it's griddled with a generous amount of butter.

Vegan "tofu Reuby" at the Randy Radish

Food truck locations in Virginia (@therandyradish); 506 Shaw Rd., Sterling

Taking the meat and dairy out of the equation definitely makes for a different sandwich, but this self-described "compassionate cousin" of the Reuben still delivers the salty, spicy, creamy notes we crave without any animal-related products. Baked tofu is infused with spices for a corned beef-like flavor, and topped with caramelized kraut and a smoky house dressing before getting stuffed between slices of toasted marble rye.

Grilled veggie Reuben at Corned Beef King

Food truck locations in Maryland (@cornedbeefking); shop inside Exxon at 18000 Georgia Ave., Olney

Though the King (a.k.a. chef/owner Jon Rossler) reigns true to his name, he can still whip up a vegetarian version that deserves its own crown. Unlike most meatless riffs that pick one beef substitute, here you'll find marinated eggplant, zucchini, seasonal squash, and pickled cabbage atop toasted nine-grain bread. The sandwich isn't particularly healthy--all those veggies lay under a blanket of melted Swiss, Provolone, and creamy Russian--but it's one of the tastier ways to eat your vegetables.

Posted at 11:55 AM/ET, 03/03/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By John Scarpinato

Happy Tuesday, food truck followers! Brighten up the gloomy day with chicken souvlaki from Habebe, or chicken fricassee at Borinquen Lunch Box.

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Posted at 09:34 AM/ET, 03/03/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()