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Block parties, baguette races, and plenty of vin. By Vicky Gan, Maddy Berner
L’Enfant Cafe throws one of the biggest Bastille Day parties with a beer garden, food trucks, French maids, and more. Photograph courtesy of L’Enfant.

La Fête Nationale, or Bastille Day for all the Anglophiles, is one of the biggest national holiday celebrations in Washington (besides July Fourth, of course). While the official commemoration isn’t until Monday, July 14, bars and restaurants are celebrating all weekend long with special menus, free-flowing French wines, dance parties, and more.

Art Soirée at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown

3100 South St., NW

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown hosts a celebration of all things French. Enjoy free Champagne for the first hour, followed by cake served by a Marie Antoinette lookalike. DJ Sabeel Chohan spins the tunes all night long. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $30 at the door.

When: Sunday, July 13, 7 to midnight.

Bastille Restaurant

1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria

Before moving to a new location, Bastille Restaurant will celebrate its French holiday with a special menu for $39 that includes warm goat cheese with peaches, rosemary-lemon chicken, and crème brûlée.

When: Sunday, July 13, all day.

Bistrot du Coin

1738 Connecticut Ave., NW

Dupont’s stalwart French bistro supplies its big Bastille Day party with two deejays. Before hitting the dance floor, pick between dinner seatings at 7 or 9:30, where you’ll find an à-la-carte menu and festive specials.

When: Sunday, July 13, 5 to 2.

Central Michel Richard

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Drink like a Frenchman at Central with 20 percent off all French bottles of wine. The bistro is also serving a special menu of French favorites including escargot and roast chicken with ratatouille, along with a $12 French 75 cocktail. Complimentary gougères (cheese puffs) come with purchase of any entrée.

When: Saturday, July 12, 5 to 11.

Chez Billy

3815 Georgia Ave., NW

Petworth’s Francophiles can sip $5 glasses of wine all night long, enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and listen to deejay sets by Yann Talvez.

When: Sunday, July 13, 6 to close.

L’Enfant Cafe Bar

2000 18th St., NW

Rounding out a decade of Bastille Day celebrations, this European-style cafe is hosting its annual blowout block party on Saturday. Pay $10 to witness a French maid race and can-can dancers, taste from a beer garden and food truck pavilion, and dance the night away at a masquerade ball after. Guests also have a chance to win two tickets to Paris.

When: Saturday, July 12, 3 to 11.

Le Diplomate

1601 14th St., NW

Stop by this buzzing Parisian-style bistro for food and drink specials such as “chicken marengo,” a rumored favorite of Napoleon, and a St. Germaine-based cocktail served by the pitcher (perk: you can take the vessel home). Entertainment includes mimes, a beret giveaway, and French music.

When: Monday, July 14, regular dinner hours.


3401 K St., NW

The Bastille Day celebrations start at brunch with a special menu plus $22 bottomless Champagne cocktails, $9 specialty cocktails, and a sweet-and-savory crepe station.

When: Sunday, July 13, 11 to 3.

Paul Bakery and Café

801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

For the French chain’s fourth annual Baguette Relay Race, guests will split into six teams and speed-walk around the Navy Memorial, using baguettes as batons. Each member of the winning team gets a $25 Paul gift card—and kudos for burning off at least some of those carbs.

When: Monday, July 14, at 11 (kid race) and 11:30 (adult race).


2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church

Celebrate Bastille Day in style with a seven-course tasting menu ($75; $60 wine pairing) featuring lobster bisque, pithivier (duck and foie gras baked in puff pastry), dark-chocolate eclairs, and more. Reservations required.

When: Sunday, July 13, 5 to 8.


1940 11th St., NW

At this U Street wine bar, all French vin by the glass is half off. Think Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Chablis, and more.

When: Monday, July 14, all day.

Posted at 11:33 AM/ET, 07/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Barbecues, brunches, picnics, happy hours, and more. By Anna Spiegel, Vicky Gan, Maddy Berner
Hit Marvin for brunch, and then head to the roof deck for boozy snow cones. Photograph by Stephanie Breijo.

You don’t have to hit the beach to have fun this Fourth of July weekend. Restaurants and bars throughout Washington are celebrating with outdoor barbecues, pool parties, special brunches, all-day happy hours, and more. And if you’re planning on heading down to the Mall or the Georgetown waterfront to watch the fireworks, make sure you pack a picnic.


Poolside barbecue at Art and Soul

415 New Jersey Ave., NW

Fancy a dip? The Liaison Capitol Hill throws a rooftop pool party with all-American eats from Art and Soul—think burgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. Tickets ($35) get you all-day access to the hotel pool and a limited view of the fireworks (food and drinks are priced individually).

Patio barbecue at Cafe du Parc

1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Celebrate America’s birthday with a block party-style feast before hitting the fireworks at this French bistro in the Willard InterContinental. The kitchen grills up hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian wraps from noon to 8 on the patio, while you can also purchase $15 picnic lunches to go to from the à-la-carte menu.

All-you-can-eat cookout at Cashion’s Eat Place

1819 Columbia Rd., NW

Enjoy homestyle favorites such as slow-roasted pork shoulder, corn dogs, and coleslaw at Cashion’s all-you-can-eat cookout on July 4. Service runs from 2 to 6 or whenever food runs out, so come early and hungry—the restaurant will not be open for regular dinner service. Tickets ($40) are required for the party and include a cocktail.

No-cover party and boozy pops on the DNV Rooftop

1155 14th St., NW

One of the best roof top pool bars in DC revisits its “freedom from cover charges” bash on July Fourth. Look for the regular, individually priced menu of Asian-inspired eats from Zentan like pork belly bao buns, tamarind-beef tacos, and Jon Harris’s cocktails. Another plus: boozy red, white, and blue popsicles. There’s no direct view of the fireworks, but you can catch them on an outdoor screen. The doors open at noon, and it’s best to get there early for a space.

Boozy popsicles and deejays at the Gibson

2009 14th St., NW

Hit this 14th Street cocktail bar’s back patio for alcoholic popsicles and tunes from DJ Jazmine and DJ Eskimo from noon to 8 (no-reservation admission is free, pops are $6). You can pad the stomach with $1 veggie burgers and hot dogs.

’Cue and tunes from Hill Country

401 F St., NW; 410 Seventh St., NW

Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue at the National Building Museum opens from 2 to 9 on July 4 with the regular menu of barbecue eats and live music by Jeremy Steding and the Slim Kings (free admission; food and drink priced individually). Should you decide to head inside, the Penn Quarter restaurant serves special cocktails like a watermelon-vodka “watermelon crawl,” and throws a free post-fireworks show by Jonny Grave and the Tombstones at 9:30.

AmeriCan Drink Dependence Day at Jack Rose

2007 18th St., NW

Nothing says freedom like inexpensive canned beer, and you’ll find plenty of it during Jack Rose’s rooftop party. Flying Dog supplies $4 Snake Dog IPA and Easy IPA from noon to 5 ($5 from 5 until close) as well as $5 to $6 drafts alongside food specials. Another party July 3 features a Sam Adams tap takeover, more inexpensive pours, and $4 beer snow cones.

Unlimited punch and half-smokes at Lincoln

1110 Vermont Ave., NW

Starting early on Monday, June 30, you’ll find specials on American beers including $3 PBR, $5 Jack’s Hard Cider, and $6 Port City Pilsner. On July 4 the party includes unlimited drinks from the “emancipation punch bowl” and a barbecue menu ($30 adults; $15 kids under 12).

Roof-deck barbecue at 1905

1905 Ninth St., NW

Hit the deck at this Shaw bistro and bar for an outdoor bash from 3 to 10 featuring 3 Stars beer, and grilled fare such as burgers and ribs. Tickets ($15; $20 at the door while available) include either two gratis beers or a choice of protein and two sides. Extra beers and food are $5.

First Annual Freedom Fest at Republic

6939 Laurel Ave., Takoma Park

Republic hosts an al fresco beer and barbecue festival from 11 to 7 featuring live music from Yamomanem and Human Country Jukebox. More than 25 local brews will be on tap, along with cookout classics like slow-smoked pork, deviled eggs, and corn on the cob. Tickets include free-flowing beer and food, and run $35 for a four-hour pass (11 to 3 or 3 to 7), or $50 for the whole day. Those looking to just swing by can grab $1 oysters in the tent outside the restaurant.

Patio party at 701

701 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

The Penn Quarter restaurant opens its outdoor patio for an Independence Day cookout. An à-la-carte menu features starters and sides such as green eggs and ham and Mexican grilled corn for $4 to $8, and heartier barbecue fare like pulled-pork sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs for $8 to $15. The 701 dining room is also open for regular business from 4 to 10.

Dinner and dancing cruise aboard Spirit and Odyssey Cruises

600 Water St., SW

Skip the crowds on the Mall and catch the fireworks from the water aboard these sister vessels, which host dinner cruises on July 4. The Odyssey trip starts at 6 and includes a three-course meal, open bar, and dancing ($275). The Spirit ride involves a dinner buffet, open bar, and deejays ($200). Both offer full views of the light show and end at 11:30.

All-you-can-eat and $1 oysters at Teddy & the Bully Bar

1200 19th St., NW

Just a couple of blocks from Dupont Circle, this presidential-themed eatery has a whole lineup of specials for the holiday. Stop in between 2 PM and 1 AM for $1 oysters, happy hour specials, $8 cocktails, and an all-you-can-eat menu of grilled fare, salads, sides and desserts for $32 per person ($16 for kids 12 and under).

There’s no charge for an outdoor party at the DNV Rooftop, which serves its regular menu of Asian-inspired eats and drinks. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.


Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

1308 G St., NW

Show your stripes with Astro’s picnic basket ($36), which includes eight pieces of fried chicken, three USA doughnuts (vanilla with raspberry drizzle and blueberries), three chocolate birthday cake doughnuts, and one pint of potato salad. The picnic feeds four and is available for pickup on July 4 from 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Place your order online, e-mail, or call 202-809-5565.

Boundary Road

414 H St., NE

Take your Fourth of July feast to go with a fried-chicken bucket ($40) from Boundary Road. The picnic-ready package includes eight pieces of fried chicken, watermelon salad, potato salad, and cookies for four, and must be reserved by Thursday, July 3. Call 202-450-3265 to place your order, then pick up at the restaurant on the Fourth.

Society Fair

277 S. Washington St., Alexandria

Society’s Fair BBQ bag for four ($75) comes with cookout essentials like pulled pork, barbecue chicken, coleslaw, honey cornbread, and potato salad. Reserve online or call for availability. Bags can be picked up at the Alexandria store from Thursday at 11 until Friday at 2.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

1612 14th St., NW

Fried chicken lovers can pick up some of the best in town when preordering Pearl Dive’s crispy bird buckets. The $35 deal includes six pieces of dark-meat chicken, German-style potato salad, slaw, jalapeño corn muffins, and blueberry hand pies. Orders must be received 24 hours in advance.


3222 M St., NW

Stop by this Georgetown bocce and bowling restaurant for a game and some takeout before watching the fireworks from the waterfront. The Italian fare includes sandwiches and party platters like Italian grinders and a roast turkey cobb.

Take Pearl Dive’s tasty fried chicken to go alongside biscuits and sides. Photograph by Scott Suchman.


EatWell DC restaurants

Various locations

All five of EatWell DC’s restaurants serve brunch on July 4, including the Heights, the Pig, Commissary, Logan Tavern, and Grillfish. Offers vary by location, from $1 oysters and $5 American drafts at Grillfish to a swine-centric barbecue menu at the Pig.

Granville Moore’s

1238 H St., NE

Sip cocktails and munch on brisket hash, sourdough French toast, and eggs Benedict as part of this Belgian gastropub’s special Firecracker Brunch. At 4 PM, Granville turns into a day-drinking haven until the fireworks at 9.


2007 14th St., NW

A limited brunch menu runs from 11 to 6 for all your egg-and-mimosa needs. Hit the upstairs roof deck before or after for boozy snow cones, available starting at noon.

Richard Sandoval restaurants

Various locations

Each of Richard Sandoval’s six DC establishments offer unlimited brunch for patriotic patrons, including Masa 14, both El Centro D.F. 14th Street and Georgetown, Ambar, Toro Toro, and Zengo. The $35 feast includes all-you-can-drink cocktails, wine, and beer, and never-ending dishes. Flavors vary by eatery, from Latin-Asian-style drinks and eats at Masa to Balkan fare at Ambar.

Tequila abounds at El Centro D.F., where you’ll find all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch on the Fourth. Photograph by Erik Uecke.



613 Pennsylvania Ave., SE

The Capitol Hill bourbon bar is serving up an all-American menu featuring lobster rolls, Chicago-style hot dogs, and deep-fried apple pies. Happy hour starts at 4 PM, with $3 Bud and $5 American bourbons and whiskeys.

The Heights

3115 14th St., NW

Boozy red, white, and blue floats are offered all day ($9), with cooling combinations such as gin, St. Germain, bubbly, and sorbet. The regular happy hour menu runs 3 to 7.

Capitol City Brewing

4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington

A tri-colored brew, $8 cocktails, and food specials for the entire holiday weekend will be available at Capitol City Brewery’s Arlington location. Grab a burger-and-beer combo or a wing-and-beer combo and get Capitol City Core Four beer included. Members of the military receive 10 percent off.


1904 14th St., NW

Policy starts the weekend on Thursday with an all-night happy hour, including a $5 food menu and other drink specials. On Friday and Saturday, pair a cocktail with items from the Patriotic menu: pulled-pork sliders or fried chicken drizzled in honey.

Urban Butcher

8226 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring

Kick-start your weekend with an early happy hour at Urban Butcher, starting at 3 on Thursday. The Silver Spring market/restaurant is also serving brunch on the Fourth from 11:30 AM to 5 PM, with happy hour running all day.

Posted at 03:16 PM/ET, 06/30/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Meals for every type of dad—even the hard-to-please ones. By Anna Spiegel
Treat dad to barbecue on Sunday, like these road trip-worthy ribs from KBQ. Photographs by Scott Suchman.

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 15. While not the brunch-tacular event that is Mother’s Day, plenty of restaurants host special meals throughout the day, from whiskey tastings to barbecue pop-ups. Is your dad not a special-event guy? We have recommendations for low-key feasts and high-end steakhouses, meals with the kids, and more.

Dads who love barbecue (in town):

Art and Soul

415 New Jersey Ave., NW

Celebrate a day early during chef Wes Morton’s Saturday Supper, which takes on the theme of a Texas barbecue and will be held outdoors on the patio, weather permitting. The family-style meal includes everything from deviled eggs and charred scallion hushpuppies to pork ribs and pie, plus beers from Austin’s Jester King Brewery ($65 per person).

For a more casual affair the day of, hit Hill Country (410 Seventh St., NW) for the addictive brisket and a Father’s Day special that includes a hot link, house-made Shiner kraut, German potato salad, and cornbread ($13.50).

Dads who love barbecue (in the ‘burbs):

KBQ Real Barbeque (note: reopened in a new location, below)

9100 Woodmore Centre Dr., Lanham

Pitmaster Kerry Britt makes ribs worth a drive. Bring the kids for family-style feasts that can include a slab of ribs and 24 wings, two large sides, and cornbread. You’ll also find individual children’s meals that come with a small side and juice box.

If dad is more of a Korean-barbecue guy, try Kogiya (4220 Annandale Rd., Annandale). The friendly spot is one of the best in Koreatown, and offers all-you-can-eat specials for lunch and dinner, starting as low as $21.

Dads who prefer Champagne and oysters:

Black’s Bar & Kitchen

7750 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda

Not all fathers crave meat and whiskey. Treat him to Black’s unlimited buffet of raw-bar fare (oysters, clams, shrimp, seafood salads), hot breakfast and carving stations, bakery items, and more ($43 adults; $10 kids under 12). Add bottomless bubbly for $12.

Dads with young kids:

Pinstripes Bowling & Bocce

1604 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Families can break between rounds of bowling and bocce for a canal-side barbecue with grilled steaks, burgers, ribs, sides, and more from 9:30 to 3 ($30 for adults, $15 for kids 6 to 12, free under 5). After 3 you’ll find the barbecue offerings inside at the bistro.

Dads who want to act like kids:

Trummer’s on Main

7134 Main St., Clifton

If taking shots of whiskey from a bone luge says “Happy Father’s Day,” then head to Clifton on Thursday, June 12 at 6 for Trummer’s outdoor party. Dads can sample four top-shelf bourbons, sip booze from the bone, and bring their own cigars to puff on the patio ($50 per person).

Dads who love whiskey:

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St., NW

Bring your father to the largest whiskey collection in DC/the Western Hemisphere (no joke) for the $40 “Dad deal.” The evening includes a flight of bourbon or Scotch, a three-course dinner with dishes such as beef brisket and fresh cornbread, and a cigar to finish.

If dad is more of a fancy eater, try Father's Day specials at Joe's Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab, along with the signature claws.

Dads who want free pizza:

Pizzeria Orso

400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church

The first 100 dads who dine at this pizzeria from the 2941 team can opt for a buy-one-get-one-free pie when ordering an entrée of equal or greater value. The spot is open for brunch with a variety of egg dishes and breakfast pizzas, as well as dinner.

Dads who are fans of Puerto Rican celebrity chef Wilo Benet:


1110 Vermont Ave., NW

Chef Benet, owner of Pikayo restaurant and host of Fox Latino’s Sabores De Ensueño con Wilo Benet, guest-cooks at Mio June 9 through 16. His special Father’s Day brunch menu will be served from 11:30 to 2:30 on Sunday, with à-la-carte dishes such as yellow chili tuna tartare, mini bistec sandwiches, marinated swordfish with yuzu emulsion, and more (prices range from $14 to $30).

Dads who like a fancy steak (and crab) house:

Joe’s Seafood Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

Treat dad to an upscale meal near the White House, where both bone-in steaks and crab are king. In addition to the regular menu you’ll find two “Joe’s classics” options for Father’s Day, with either filet mignon or Alaskan king crab, sides, and pie, plus a gift of Joe’s Steak Spice.

Dads who prefer a low-key steakhouse:

Ray’s the Steaks

2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

An oldie but a great-y, where you can still find those steak-tartare-filled deviled eggs, sherried crab bisque, and a wealth of meats (many around $25) in a no-frills atmosphere.

Dads who love porchetta:

Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd., NW

There’s no lack of swine in this town, but for pork-wrapped pork, we’re fans of chef Cedric Maupillier’s Sunday-only porchetta dinners (availability based on local supply). You can also stop in earlier with Dad for brunch, with swine-heavy dishes such as a Basque-style pig hash and wood-fired heritage ham with poached eggs.

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 06/11/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
A crawfish boil and barbecue to go are among the delicious options. By Vicky Gan
Society Fair in Alexandria is offering a “BBQ bag” for your holiday weekend cravings. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

Looking to indulge in a leisurely brunch (or crawfish boil) this weekend? Plenty of restaurants are serving up everything from Benedicts to boozy specials.

Bar Charley

1825 18th St., NW; 202-627-2183

Sample a new selection of tiki cocktails every Sunday night starting May 25, and dig into half-price burgers and $5 orders of wings from 10 PM to midnight Monday through Thursday and from 11 PM to 1 AM on Friday and Saturday, now through the end of June. Both Bar Charley and its sister restaurant, El Chucho, will open for brunch at 10 on Memorial Day.

Bayou Bakery

1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington; 703-243-2410

Chef/owner David Guas channels his New Orleans roots with a crawfish boil this Saturday starting at 4. The Louisiana mudbugs will be served for $12 a pound with corn and new potatoes. Also look for Abita beer specials.


1443 P St., NW; 202-299-0018

Try the pastrami Benedict, available only on Memorial Day, along with other brunch staples such as omelets, scrambles, and pancakes. With the restaurant’s new Breakfast Club app, you can also get a free coffee or tea with your entrée. Sister restaurants The Pig, Grillfish, Logan Tavern, and The Heights will also serve brunch on Monday. The Pig’s bourbon happy hour will run from 3 to 7 PM.

Copperwood Tavern

4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington

Enjoy $1 oyster happy hour from 4 to 7.

Irish Whiskey Public House

1207 19th St., NW

Champagne is $1 a bottle with any $10 food purchase from 10 AM to 4 PM Saturday through Monday.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St., NW; 202-588-7388

Dress like a pinup to win prizes at Jack Rose’s Memorial Day party, which will feature a cookout, $5 Fordham & Dominion beers, and Sloop Betty vodka cocktails. The winner of the pinup contest gets a trip to Delaware’s Dover Downs casino and a spot on Fordham & Dominion’s pinup calendar, while runners-up take home a boozy gift basket or tickets to Rams Head Live or Pier Six Pavilion in Baltimore. The fun starts at 2 PM.


1904 14th St., NW; 202-387-7654

In the mood for Old Bay? For $45, indulge in an all-you-can-eat crab feast this Sunday at Logan Circle hangout Policy. The restaurant’s fourth annual Crab Festival also includes hushpuppies, corn on the cob, and hot dogs, along with live music and $5 Atlas Brew Works drafts. Space is limited, so buy tickets in advance online.

Shake Shack

1216 18th St., NW; 800 F Street, NW

In a Memorial Day tradition, Shake Shack brings back its seasonal Shack Corn Dog ($4.50), served with Rick’s Picks sweet corn relish. Chase it with the pecan-pie concrete ($4.25/$6.50), a vanilla frozen custard blended with an entire slice of pecan pie.

Society Fair

277 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-683-3247

Take your weekend feast to-go in a “BBQ bag” that includes pulled pork, kielbasa, potato salad, and honey cornbread. Each package is $75 and serves four; for an additional $38, you can get a strawberry-swirl cake that serves six. Call to reserve one for pickup on Friday or Saturday.

Also open on Memorial Day:

Kimpton Hotel restaurants—including Firefly, Urbana, Poste, and Jackson 20—are open for brunch on Monday.

Richard Sandoval’s DC eateries—El Centro D.F. (Georgetown and 14th Street locations), Ambar, Zengo, Masa 14, and Toro Toro—are offering bottomless brunches on Monday.

Posted at 11:31 AM/ET, 05/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
From whole hams to brunch quiches and feasts for a crowd. By Anna Spiegel
Take home a selection of goodies from Society Fair to make your own feast. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

No restaurant reservations yet for Easter? If you don’t want to whip up a spread from scratch this Sunday, consider turning to local chefs for help. Several butcheries prepare oven-ready hams, lambs, and more, while restaurants can provide entire carryout meals. Note that several require orders to be placed by Wednesday or Thursday.


Locations in McLean and Bethesda

Many chain-market-catered meals can be ho-hum, but from this writer’s personal experience, Balducci’s stands out from the rest—particularly for its honey-glazed ham and citrusy salmon. Most locations offer menus for party catering, as well as à-la-carte dishes in the bistro section.

Butcher’s Block

1600 King St., Alexandria; 703-984-5253

You’ll find a special selection of meats for Easter, including local smoked ham legs and domestic racks and legs of lamb. Not in the mood to cook? Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s adjoining restaurant, Brabo, hosts its first-ever Easter lunch with a three-course menu ($60 per person).

Carolina Kitchen

Locations in DC, Hyattsville, and Largo, MD

The newly opened District location of this Southern spot and its two Maryland siblings offer several to-go feasts for a crowd. The “silver” and “gold” packages serve 12 to 15 ($249 and $325, respectively), and include whole turkeys and hams, mac and cheese, collards, and more; the “diamond” goes for $625 and feeds 20 to 30. À-la-carte turkeys, hams, sauces, and sides are also available. Orders must be placed by Thursday, April 17.


2201 14th St., NW; 202-234-5000

Those looking to go Greek for Easter have two options at this Mike Isabella spot: a three-course Sunday brunch ($39 per person, with à-la-carte options for kids) or items to go. Dishes include dips and spreads; spit-roasted lamb, chicken, and pork shoulders; apricot baklava; and more. Orders must be placed by April 16.

Red Apron Butchery

Locations in Penn Quarter, Union Market, and Merrifield, VA

Those looking to serve an unusual dish for the holiday can try the “lambchetta,” a whole side of lamb loin and belly stuffed with ground shoulder and seasoned with fennel pollen, garlic, and rosemary. More traditional offerings include smoked and brined hams and yogurt-marinated legs of lamb. Note that orders must be placed by Wednesday, April 16.

Society Fair

277 S. Washington St., 703-683-3247; 2413 Columbia Pike, Arlington, 703-920-0315

Easter baskets aren’t just for sweets—here you’ll find brunch bags filled with a ham-and-Gruyère quiche, citrus salad, house-cured bacon, scones, coffee, and sparkling wine ($55). More in the mood to cook? You’ll also local lamb and pork from the butchery, fresh biscuits from the bakery, and more.

Three Little Pigs

5111 Georgia Ave., NW; 202-726-0102

You’ll find oven-ready meats such as marinated legs and racks of lamb, porchetta, and prime rib roasts from this local shop, which emphasizes house-made charcuterie and salumi.

Posted at 02:20 PM/ET, 04/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
From festive prix-fixe meals to casual brunches. By Anna Spiegel
Mintwood Place dishes up its regular delicious brunch for Easter, including a killer smoked salmon Benedict. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Spring has arrived in Washington, and Easter is hot on its heels, coming up on Sunday, April 20. With tons of restaurants hosting celebratory brunches, it can be difficult to decide where to go. We checked in with the top 25 eateries on our 100 Very Best list, which are serving everything from festive multi-course brunches to regular delicious meals. Note that not all 25 are open for Sunday afternoon.

Barlett Pear Inn 

28 S. Harrison St., Easton; 410-770-3300

Take the family on an Eastern Shore day trip for brunch at this charming Easton inn. 

Details: Brunch 10:30 to 2:30

Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St., NW; 202-419-6755

Head to this New American spot for buffet-style appetizers and desserts, plus a choice of entrées and sides including jumbo lump crabcakes and local asparagus from the main menu.

Details: Brunch 10:30 to 3:30; $95 for adults, $42 for children 6 to 12, free for kids 5 and under

Bombay Club

815 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-659-3727

Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj’s elegant Indian eatery near the White House features a buffet menu with classic dishes you can sample alongside optional bottomless Champagne. 

Details: Brunch 11:30 to 2:30; $28 per person, $40 with bottomless Champagne


1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-626-0015 

Michel Richard’s French bistro hosts an “eggceptional” brunch, with a special menu alongside the traditional lunch offerings.

Details: Brunch noon to 2:30; à la carte 

Inn at Little Washington 

309 Middle St., Washington; 540-675-3800

Chef Patrick O’Connell offers a surprise (and rare) special for Easter dining: the ten-course dinner tasting menu for a discounted $138 (typically $218). If you were looking for an excuse to head out to Washington, Virginia, this is a great one. 

Details: 4 to close


633 D St., NW, 202-637-1222; 1190 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 202-466-2500

Chef Vikram Sunderam prepares a special three-course menu for the holiday at both the Penn Quarter and West End locations. 

Details: Brunch 11:30 to 2:30; $35 per person


701 Ninth St., NW; 202-638-0800

You’ll find one of the biggest Easter celebrations in DC at this Penn Quarter spot, which hosts a Greek Easter festival April 20 through May 3. Holiday brunch includes traditional dishes such as honey fritters and lamb soup. Look for an outdoor market on the final day. 

Details: Dishes are priced from $7.50 to $10 each



1520 14th St., NW; 202-319-1404

Brunch is often one of the calmest times at this popular 14th Street spot, ideal for splitting traditional tapas as well as brunch specialties like foie gras scrambled eggs with truffle butter. 

Details: 11 to 2 

Jaleo Penn Quarter

480 Seventh St., NW; 202-628-7949

José Andrés puts on the big Easter celebration at sister eatery Zaytinya, but you’ll still find the regular brunch menu here with plenty of Spanish specialties. 

Details: 11:30 to 3

Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd., NW; 202-234-6732

Expect a boisterous brunch at this Adams Morgan neighborhood spot, with dishes such as smoked salmon Benedict and suckling pig hash. 

Details: 10:30 to 2:30.

Palena Cafe

3529 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-537-9250

Spring dishes abound, such as house-made testa with a poached egg and a market vegetable sandwich. And there’s always that burger. 

Details: 11 to 2:30 

Woodberry Kitchen

2010 Clipper Park Rd., Baltimore; 410-464-8000

Sunday brunch brings an array of dishes, from sourdough waffles to breakfast-sausage-studded flatbreads. 

Details: 10 to 2

Posted at 10:45 AM/ET, 04/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Start planning your Pesach. By Anna Spiegel
A Passover favorite gets an upscale twist with truffled matzo-ball soup at BLT Steak. Photograph courtesy of BLT Steak.

One of the biggest Jewish holidays of the year is upon us, with Passover starting at sundown on Monday, April 14. Whether you’re observing for religious reasons or just love the related foods, you’ll find an international spectrum of dishes and drinks; think anything from traditional brisket to Italian-style feasts and Mexican sangría charoset.

BLT Steak

1625 I St., NW; 202-689-8999

You’ll find plenty beyond just red meat for this steakhouse’s first Seder menu. Guests can opt for a three-course selection or order dishes such as deviled eggs with challah croutons and pike “gefilte” fish with English-pea velouté à la carte.

Details: Menu; three courses for $60 or à la carte; available April 14 through 19.


1443 P St., NW; 202-299-0018

Chef de cuisine Ben Tenner creates a three-course meal around his family’s recipes. Expect classic dishes—matzo-ball soup, brisket, sweet matzo kugel—which can also be ordered individually.

Details: Menu; three courses for $28 or à la carte; available April 14 through 18.

DGS Delicatessen

1317 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-293-4400

Pesach commences on “Passover eve” Sunday with a family-style dinner from 5 to 9, starring spit-roasted lamb, latkes, and more. Starting April 14 you’ll find a weeklong Seder dinner with modern riffs on traditional dishes, such as matzo-ball soup with bone marrow and roasted bass with spring vegetable ragout and bitter herb broth.

Details: Menu; Passover eve dinner Sunday, April 13, for $35 per person; Seder through April 21, for $45 per person ($20 wine pairing).


818 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-331-8118

Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray throw a farm-to-Seder party on Monday based on recipes from their book, The New Jewish Table. The kitchen collaborates with the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture on the meal.

Details: Monday, April 14, at 7; $90, inclusive of tax and gratuity.


601 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-2888

Celebrate Passover Italian-style with a multi-course Seder menu from chef Fabio Trabocchi. Dishes include a salad of baby artichokes, fennel risotto with red mullet, and grilled branzino with tomatoes and capers, all of which can be paired with wines.

Details: Menu; April 15 through April 22; $105 per person ($60 wine pairing).

Georgetown Cupcake

3301 M St., NW, 202-333-8448; 4838 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, 301-907-8900

Looking for a sweet finish to your Seder? Try the monthly special: kosher macaroon cupcakes, which come in a toasted-coconut flavor and can be drizzled with chocolate or caramel sauce.

Details: Menu; available through April.

Parkway Deli

8317 Grubb Rd., Silver Spring; 301-587-1427

This Silver Spring institution offers an array of dishes to go (which must be ordered this week). Vegetarians, take note: There’s a meat-free matzo-ball soup option.

Details: Menu; orders must be placed on or before Wednesday, April 9.

Ridgewells Catering

5525 Dorsey Ln., Bethesda; 301-652-1515

Want to host a Seder but daunted by making gefilte fish at home? Ridgewells can deliver a three-course menu or à-la-carte items such as charoset, butternut squash soup, and roast chicken.

Details: Menu; orders must be placed by Thursday, April 10, for the first night and April 11 for the second; $45 for a set menu for ten diners, or à la carte. Delivery and pickup available.

Rosa Mexicano

Multiple locations in Penn Quarter, Friendship Heights, and National Harbor (MD)

This Mexican chain celebrates its 12th annual Passover with Latin twists on traditional dishes, such as sangría charoset, matzo-ball posole, and barbecue beef brisket wrapped in banana leaves.

Details: Menu; April 14 to 22; à-la-carte pricing.

Star & Shamrock

1341 H St., NE; 202-388-3833

Festivities are always a little nontraditional at this Irish bar/Jewish deli, and Passover is no exception. While plans are still in the works, expect a party like an “untraditional third-night Seder,” according to a bartender.

Details: Details will be posted on the bar’s Facebook page when available.

Posted at 11:29 AM/ET, 04/08/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Proof sommelier Jennifer Foucher busts bubbly myths and shares tips for choosing your own. By Anna Spiegel
Properly toast your honey for Valentine’s Day with true Champagne—preferably in a white wine glass. Image via Shutterstock.

Champagne is the go-to beverage of Valentine’s Day, but many myths surround the bubbly beverage. Here to help is Champagne master and sommelier Jennifer Foucher, who has sourced 103 different Champagnes for her menu at Proof. You’ll find an extended by-the-glass selection in the restaurant for Valentine’s Day—celebrated Friday through Sunday—as well as 25-percent-off bubbles in the lounge area. Want to pop a bottle at home? Foucher offers tips for buying, storing, and serving Champagne, and helps to demystify the drink. Our favorite takeaway? There’s no need to save it for a special occasion. “Champage is for Tuesday. Champagne is for the morning. Champagne is for lunch,” Foucher says. Read on for more of her advice.

Myth: All sparkling wine is Champagne.

We’ve all seen the ads touting bottomless “Champagne” brunch. But unless you’re at a swanky spot like the Four Seasons, chances are you’re drinking Spanish Cava, Italian Prosecco, or American sparkling wine, the three other most common kinds of bubbles. True Champagne must come from the Champagne region of France and follow specific production methods dating back centuries. Even non-experts can often taste the difference. Basically Champagne is to sparkling wine what Kleenex is to facial tissue: a particular brand (or in wine’s case, designation) whose name is often misused to describe the product as a whole.

Myth: All Champagne is expensive.

Unlike other sparkling wines, you won’t find many Champagnes offered in the $10 to $20 range, but you also don’t need to drop $75 to $100 for a good bottle. Foucher loves producers from the Aube “department” (or area) of Champagne, which is less well-known but offers top-quality wines from smaller estates. One of her more moderately priced favorites is Dosnon & Lepage, which you can find for $40 at MacArthur Beverages. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, look for Coessens Champagne Blanc de Noir and Jacquesson Cuvée 736, which generally retail between $50 and $60.

Myth: Veuve Clicquot is as good as it gets.

The bottles Foucher likes from Aube tend to be “grower Champagnes,” which means they’re produced by the same vineyard that grows the grapes. Like meats or cheeses from smaller farms, these wines tend to have more individual character than mass-produced labels like Veuve. Foucher doesn’t consider the latter a bad buy, but advises staying away from budget-y large-production bottles such as Moët Imperial and Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top, which are priced similarly to the suggestions above but offer a lower quality. One of the larger producers she recommends: Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, which you can find in many liquor stores and wine shops for around $90.

As with the Champagnes themselves, Foucher gravitates toward smaller wine shops for her purchases. Some of the best for Champagnes she’s found in the area: MacArthur Beverages in the Palisades, Arrowine in Arlington and on K Street, and Cork Market on 14th Street.

Myth: Champagne pairs well with strawberries.

“Champagne is great with just about everything except dessert and spicy food,” says Foucher. Though Champagne and strawberries are a frequent pairing, brut (dry) bubbly doesn’t taste as good after biting into a sweet berry or hunk of chocolate. “You don’t want the wine to be drier than than the food,” says Foucher. If you’re planning to pair sparkling with desserts, go for demi-sec (semi-dry) or Prosecco, which runs sweeter.

Myth: Buy Champagne chilled and store it in the fridge.

It’s tempting to grab a cold bottle from the wine-store fridge, but Foucher warns that the bottles may have been sitting in there for months. That means the fragile corks may have dried out, which will make the bubbly taste stale. The same thing can happen at home, so store your bottle away from light, heat, and vibration (read: not the kitchen). An hour in the fridge won’t hurt once it’s time to chill, or fill an ice bucket.

Myth: Champagne should be served in flutes.

Flutes may feel festive, but Foucher prefers drinking quality Champagne from white-wine glasses. Flutes make it difficult to smell the wine or swirl air into the glass, which allows the wine to breathe and develop its flavor. (Yes, you can swirl Champagne just like a fine Cab.) Coupes are another common vehicle, but Foucher finds that the wine loses its bubbles faster. If you do find yourself sipping from a coupe, here’s a fun Valentine’s Day legend: The glasses were originally modeled after Marie Antoinette’s breast.

Posted at 03:30 PM/ET, 02/13/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to say hello to 2014 (preferably with bottomless mimosas). By Anna Spiegel
Welcome in the new year at the recently opened Agua 301 in Navy Yard for New Year’s Day brunch. Photograph by Andrew Propp.

Who says the bubbly has to stop flowing on New Year’s Eve? Plenty of spots around Washington offer New Year’s Day brunch on an unconventional Wednesday, whether you’re looking to stave off a hangover with bottomless mimosas or toast 2014 with a celebratory meal. Read on for pig roasts, all-day brunching options, and a cold pizza special (yes, that’s a thing).


1527 17th Street, NW; 202-332-6767

Bottomless is the word at this Dupont Mediterranean spot, where you can sip endless mimosas, bloodies, and booze, and eat your fill of hot and cold mezze, egg dishes, sandwiches, and more. The price tag is fairly gentle at $33 (a la carte is also available).

When: 11 to 3 (last seating at 2:30).

Agua 301

301 Water St., SW; 202-484-0301

This Navy Yard modern Mexican spot just opened, and is serving its first brunch on New Year’s Day.

When: 10:30 to 3.


523 Eighth St., SE; 202-813-3039

Ring in 2014 with bottomless brunch cocktails and plates like the Balkan burger, eggs Benedict, and more for $35 (here’s a menu). Extra good news for night owls: the “morning” meal runs until 4.

When: 10 to 4.

Bar Pilar

1833 14th Street, NW; 202-265-1751

Late-risers can get brunch all-day at this 14th Street staple. Given you may have over-indulged, dim lighting and ample bacon are draws.

When: 11 to close.

Blue Duck Tavern

1201 24th St., NW; 202-419-6755

If you’re bouncing instead of dragging out of bed, why not treat yourself to an elegant meal at the Park Hyatt? The short rib hash with poached eggs with a side of gouda grits is hard to pass up (here’s a sample menu).

When: 11 to 2:30

The Coupe

3415 11th St., NW; 202-290-3342

This Columbia Heights spot is open 24-7, so it’s no surprised they’re dishing up New Year’s Day brunch. The special of the day is bubble and squeak, a pub staple of corned beef, fried potatoes, and brussels sprouts topped with two eggs.

When: All day.

The Diner

2453 18th St., NW; 2-2-232-8800

It’s a casual affair at this Adams Morgan staple, with pitchers of mimosas ($22 vats serve six), and brunch specials like pumpkin pancakes and a Reuben benedict.

When: All day, but Benedicts end at 3.

El Centro DF

Both Georgetown and 14th Street locations.

The only thing better than Mexican brunch? Unlimited Mexican brunch. These twin cantinas pour bottomless micheledas and agua frescas and offer endless plates of ceviche, huevos rancheros, tacos, and more for $35 (check out a sample menu).

When: Georgetown (10:30 to 4), 14th Street (10:30 to 3).


1310 New Hampshire Ave NW; 202-956-6650

Cheap cocktails may be in order after a night of splurging. Head over for $3 mimosas, $4 bloodies, and dishes like eggs with country sausage and red eye gravy.

When: 9 to 2.

Farmers Fishers Bakers

3000 K St., NW; 202-298-8783

A big night out calls for a big meal the next day. The Farmers Market buffet brunch should do the trick (and it’s a good deal at $30 per person).

When: 10 to 2:30

Founding Farmers

Both Downtown and Rockville locations

We think 2014 should be the year of more brunch. Sister Founding Farmers spots agree, offering their weekend afternoon menus on both New Year’s Eve and Day.

When: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 to 2.

Granville Moore’s

1238 H St., NE; 202-399-2546

It’s a no-frills New Year’s Eve at this no-cover spot, followed by a casual “hangover brunch” the next day.

When: 11 to 3

Masa 14

1825 14th St., NW; 202-328-1414

Masa serves its usual decadent brunch: an unlimited selection of small plates, lychee bellinis, bacon bloodies, and more for $35. You can order a la carte, but what's the fun in that?

When: 10 to 3 (last seating at 2).

Mussel Bar & Grille

Both Bethesda and Arlington locations

Start the year off with a warming bowl of mussels and some grilled bread for dunking at Robert Wiedmaier’s sister restaurants.

When: 10:30 to 3:30

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace / Black Jack

1612 14th St., NW; 202-986-8778

The regular brunch menu is in effect at Pearl Dive, while Black Jack is throwing it’s great all-day happy hour starting at 3 (half-price beers! two-for-one oysters!). A hangover special may prove handy: a dive burger and Shiner bock for $10.

When: Pearl Dive (11 to 3); Black Jack (3 to close)


555 Eight St., NW; 202-783-6060

Start 2014 with a pig roast (why not?) and bloody Mary bar during an all-day brunch-tacular. The aforementioned swine is served starting at noon, but early-risers can order from the normal brunch menu at 8.

When: 8 to 4.


2121 P St., NW; 202-956-6650

Here’s something different: a $10 cold pizza special that includes a chilled margherita pie and bloody. If you prefer something less leftover-like, the regular menu is served.


781 Seventh St., NW; 202-393-2929

Richard Sandoval is all about bottomless brunch. You’ll find more of the same at his Latin-Asian spot, this time with drinks like passion fruit mimosas, ceviche, sushi rolls, dim sum, and more.

When: 10:30 to 2:30

Posted at 10:00 AM/ET, 12/23/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to eat, drink, and dance the night away. By Anna Spiegel
Feast on unlimited tapas and then get dancing at all three locations of Jaleo. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Trying to decide between feasting and partying on New Year’s Eve? Luckily you don’t have to. The following restaurants mix both, offering special eats, live music, bottomless bubbly, costumed soirees, and more. Just make sure to book reservations before it's too late.

Al Dente

3201 New Mexico Ave., NW; 202-244-2223

Roberto Donna whips up a four-course meal (think Buffalo mozzarella with caviar and lobster gnocchi) starting at 9:30, while a DJ starts spinning at 10 for dancing until the early morning. [Event page]

Details: The dinner and party is $60 per person (otherwise a la carte until 8). Wine pairings are pretty affordable at $25 and $35.

City Tap House DC

901 9th Street, NW; 202-644-9433

Penn Quarter’s newest beer-heavy restaurant pairs a four-course menu with an open bar after-party from 10 to close. Dishes include the likes of kale-pomegranate salad and bucatini with rabbit bolognese. [Event page]

Details: Those who opt for the menu ($50 per person) from 5 to 11 can add the $50 open-bar option (regularly $75 without dinner).


2121 14th St., NW; 202-332-9672

Channel Bourbon Street on 14th Street with a New Orleans-inspired fete that includes three or four-course menus, a DJ, and a gratis glass of bubbly for the second seating. [Event page]

Details: The 6:30 seating with a three-course menu is $39 per person, while the second at 9:30 offers four courses for $59.


All three area locations in Penn Quarter, Bethesda, and Crystal City

All three locations of José Andrés’s Spanish spot serve unlimited tapas from the New Year’s tasting menu after 8 (earlier seatings are a la carte). After 10 a DJ starts spinning in DC, while those in Bethesda and Crystal City can dance to a live band. [Event page]

Details: The tasting menu is $90 in DC, and $85 in Bethesda and Crystal City.

Old Ebbitt Grill

675 15th St., NW; 202-347-4800

Go old-school with a Love Boat Cruise-themed party with live music from Yacht Rock Schooner, an international buffet, open bars, and more. [Event page]

Details: Tickets start at $125.

Mari Vanna

1141 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-783-7777

You'll find Russian Santa Claus, karaoke, a costume contest, caviar, and President Putin's official New Year's address all under one roof. [Event page]

Details: Three package options for bubbly and caviar start at $150, with a 9 o'clock New Year's dinner menu included in all.

Masa 14

1825 14th St., NW; 202-328-1414

Book after 9 for a prix fixe menu with dishes like duck confit steamed buns and drunken adobo pork. What makes this a party? The option of bottomless Champagne service for $40. [Event page]

Details: There’s more casual options early on, but the post-9 pm “premium” menu is $75, with the option of bottomless champagne.

Nopa Kitchen + Bar

800 F St., NW; 202-347-4667

Ashok Bajaj’s American brasserie celebrates 2014 with a three-course menu for the second seating, including dishes like butter-poached lobster and roasted duck, plus a DJ for dancing.

Details: The set menu is $100 (it’s a la carte before 8).


5335 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 201; 202-803-8020

Chef Bryan Voltaggio hosts a supper club with an Italian-style feast, never-ending punch bowl, and music from Brooklyn’s Blue Vipers. [Event page]

Details: Tickets start at $175 per person.


7121 Bethesda Ln., Bethesda; 301-656-5515

Head to Bethesda row for a Speakeasy Soiree, including a three-course dinner, poker, live entertainment, and more. [Event page]

Details: Packages vary, starting at $78 for a reservation after 6:30 (early-birds can get dinner for $45, but it doesn’t include the party).

Satellite Room

2047 Ninth St., NW; 202-506-2496

This retro diner-bar tucked behind the 9:30 Club goes punk rock for New Year’s eve with a DJ, Champagne toast, and regular dinner menu (including boozy milkshakes!) until 2.

Details: That’s it! No cover here.

Sonoma Restaurant

223 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-544-8088

Get a taste of Venice on the Hill with this Venetian Masquerade, which includes a three-course menu with dishes like truffle-ricotta ravioli and foie gras-topped veal tenderloin. Head up to the lounge after for the masked party and roulette. [Event page]

Details: You can opt for just dinner or the party (which starts at 8:30), but the combination is $79.

The Source

575 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-637-6100

Those looking to feast will find five and seven-course tasting menus at 6 and 8:30, plus "live action stations," a DJ, and Champagne toast. [Event page]

Details: The two menus are $125 and $150 per person, plus optional wine pairings.

Teddy and the Bully Bar

1200 19th St., NW; 202-872-8700

Party presidentially with unlimited cocktails, dinner and dessert buffets,  and DJ Huck Finn (Tom Sawyer is jealous). [Event page]

Details: Packages vary by ticket, but you’ll have to buy “gold” ($110 per person) for dinner.

Trummer’s on Main

7134 Main St., Clifton; 703-266-1623

La Fête Rouge (i.e. Red Party) brings options of three and six-course menus, red-hued everything, and surprise entertainment. [Event page]

Details: The first seating, 5:30 to 6:30, is for the three-course ($84 per person), while the second from 8:30 to 9:30 includes the more elaborate menu ($145 per person).


1940 11th Street, NW; 202-332-9463

This U Street neighborhood bar does it up for New Year’s with an open-bar Champagne party on the (heated) outdoor plaza, and a five-course menu with optional wine pairings in the restaurant. [Event page]

Details: Seatings for the dinner are at 6 and 9 ($65 and $75, respectively). The party is regularly $75, but is $50 for dinner guests.

Posted at 12:34 PM/ET, 12/20/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()