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Fresh options for dining and drinking around DC. By Anna Spiegel
Drop by Tico anytime on Monday for all-night happy hour deals, including pitcher margs and $4 tacos. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

All-night Monday deals at Tico

1926 14th St., NW

One good reason to get out of the house on Monday: all-night deals at Michael Schlow’s 14th Street spot. Guests in the bar and dining room can take advantage of a happy hour menu that’s available from 4 until last call. Pitchers of hibiscus margaritas and rose sangria go for $30, while other items include $4 tacos, $5 to $8 small plates, and $5 beers and wines.

Dolci Gelati dishes vegan treats

Multiple area locations

The local sorbet and gelato producer is now selling vegan-friendly treats at several Giant Foods throughout Washington. Look for a dozen new flavors such as chocolate-almond milk gelato, strawberry-soy milk gelato, and mango sorbet.

Happy hour snacks at Lupo Verde

1401 T St., NW

Looking for a snack on 14th? Drop by the sidewalk-level bar of this cozy Italian between 5 and 6:30, Monday through Friday, for a new aperitivo menu. Guests can order light bites ($5 to $8) like bruschetta alongside discount cocktails.

Fall brunch menu at Dino’s Grotto

1914 Ninth St., NW

Autumn has arrived for brunch at Dino’s, where guests can order an app and entree for $21. New dishes include a vegetarian shakshuka (eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce) with seasonal veggies, and the show stopper: bacon-wrapped, Nutella-stuffed French toast.

DC’s exclusive Shake Shack burger has arrived

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

ICYMI Shake Shake has introduced an exclusive, limited-run burger in Washington: a patty stacked with crispy shallots, Sriracha sauce, and local Gordy’s pickled jalapeños ($6.19). After some early back-and-forth, the special will be served at both the Dupont and Penn Quarter locations through Sunday.

Fall truffle alert at Pizzeria Orso

400 S. Maple Dr., Falls Church

Chef Bertrand Chemel dishes up a tasty-sounding autumn pie this week, topped with roasted butternut squash, fontina and mozzarella cheeses, and Italian black truffles.

Alaskan king crab arrives at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

750 15th St., NW

You’ll have more crab options at Joe’s starting on Thursday, when the restaurant begins serving hard-to-find king crab shipped overnight from Alaska. The delicacy comes at a price: $21.95 for an appetizer, or $84.95 for a 1.5 pound crab shelled table-side.

Posted at 03:29 PM/ET, 10/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Sweet pies are on the rise around DC. By Elizabeth Elving
Matchbox's fruit pie makes a tasty finish to an all-pizza meal. Photograph via Facebook.

We’ve noticed a growing trend with pizza toppings around Washington, and it has nothing to do with sausage and peppers. Dessert pies are on the rise, meaning you can make a whole meal of pizza, from start to finish. Here are five to try.

Fresh fruit pizza at Matchbox

Multiple locations

Anyone who’s missing summer may want to try the fresh fruit pizza from the homegrown Matchbox chain, which combines raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries. The pie is topped with mascarpone icing, fresh mint, and a sweet-savory balsamic reduction.

Osteria Marzano's Nutella and marshmallow-topped confection.

Nutella pizza at Osteria Marzano

6361 Walker Ln., Suite 140, Alexandria

This Alexandria Italian restaurant has served their dessert pie since they opened in June of 2013, but customers—especially those in large groups—have been asking for it more over the past few months. We can see why: a 12-inch crust is topped with warm Nutella, pistachios, whipped mascarpone, and baby marshmallows.

The berry-topped Lori Lane pie at &pizza. Photograph courtesy of &pizza.

The berry-filled Lori Lane at &pizza

Multiple locations

Fruit fans may like this local chain’s version of dessert pizza, which began as a Valentine’s Day special. The signature oblong crust is spread with white chocolate sauce, and then topped with a four-berry blend and dabs of ricotta cheese.

Customers can design their own sweet pizzas at Black Iron, like this s'mores version. Photograph by Eric McCoy.

DIY dessert pizza at Black Iron Pizza

1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Chef Eric McCoy makes the dessert pizza crust by caramelizing the dough with butter and sugar. Like the savory pies on the menu, the sweet pizza is customizable. Diners can mix-and-match chocolate, raspberries, toasted marshmallows, and other toppings to their hearts’ content. “If you ask for dark chocolate on a normal pizza with anchovies, we’ll do it,” says McCoy.

Menomale's savory crust stuffed with Nutella. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

La Bomba at Menomale

2711 12th St., NE

We’re never one to leave crusts on the plate, so this version of dessert pizza is a no-brainer. The kitchen stuffs batons of its regular savory dough with Nutella, bakes them in the wood-fired oven, and finishes the dish off with powdered sugar.

Posted at 11:44 AM/ET, 10/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find today’s food trucks in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. By Jackson Knapp

Happy Tuesday, food truck followers! Head to NoMa for roasted cauliflower from Ball or Nothing, or try Sloppy Mama's barbecue in Rosslyn.

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Posted at 10:40 AM/ET, 10/13/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus a pizza-making class at Graffiato. By Nelson Billington
Get your fill of oysters this weekend from Rappahannock (pictured) or Hank's during their separate bivalve bashes. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Musical barrels: The Royal highlights craft brandy and absinthe from Louisville’s Copper & Kings distillery on Monday from 10 pm to 1 am. The spirits are “sonic-aged”, and the playlists will be part of the tasting. Admission is free; eight specialty cocktails are served for $8.

Sherry pop-up: The team from sherry pop-up Redeye Menus comes to Bar Pilar on Monday at 6. The evening begins with a cocktail hour, followed by an Asian-inspired buffet upstairs. Tickets ($74) are available online.

Chefs on the move: Chef John Melfi of the Oval Room heads to Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier on Tuesday from 7 to 9 for a collaborative fall dinner. Seats for the dinner ($65) can be reserved by calling 703-894-3440.

America’s Test Kitchen in DC: Christopher Kimball of America’s Test Kitchen speaks at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium on Wednesday at 7:30, discussing the triumphs and failures of the show. The evening includes an audience participation component. Tickets ($55) are available by calling (202) 994-6800.

Museum drinking: Dupont’s Heurich House Museum is home to the History & Hops series, and partners with a different craft brewery every third Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30. This week’s guest: Evolution Craft Brewing Company, which will pour three fall ales. Tickets ($30) available online and include snacks, tastings, and a tour. Admission is 21+ only.

Beyond pumpkin beer: Zentan chef Yo Matsuzaki and bartender Matt Allred team up for a class centered around kabocha squash and fall beers on Saturday at 2. Learn how the Japanese pumpkin and autumnal brews can be matched (and even combined). Small bites are included. Tickets ($40) are available online.

Bivalve bash: Hank’s Oyster Bar in Old Town celebrates autumn an all-you-can-eat-and-drink Oysterfest on Saturday beginning at 11 am. Oysters are served in the half shell, shooters, fried, and grilled alongside onion rings, Old Bay spiced fries, and more. Free-flowing beverages accompany the food. Tickets ($80 )for 21+ only are available online.

Beer festival: The annual Northern Virginia Fall Brewfest goes down at Bull Run Park in Centreville on Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 7. Drink beer from over 50 local and regional breweries, play in a corn hole tournament, listen to live music, and try brew-friendly eats like grilled bratwurst and fried oysters. Tickets ($35) include a special BrewFest glass and six beer sample tickets; additional tickets are $2 each.

Brookland’s best: Join the merchants of Brookland on Saturday from 1 to 5 for live music and food from a number of local businesses. Participating restaurants include Halsa, Community Foodworks, Busboys and Poets, and more. Admission is free.

Pizza making class: Head to Graffiato on Sunday at 6 to work alongside chef de cuisine Jose Adorno creating delicious pizzas. A three-course meal and complimentary pizza kit are included in the event. Tickets ($55) are available by calling 202-289-3600.

Eat more oysters: Rappahannock Oyster Co. throws a fall Oyster Festival at Union Market’s Dock 5 on Sunday from noon to 5. Local breweries, distilleries, and vendors such as Pepe and Gordy’s Pickles will be in attendance for food and drinks beyond the oysters. Tickets ($35) include your first six oysters and a drink.

Posted at 12:52 PM/ET, 10/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Rise and shine, it's Monday mimosa time. By Anna Spiegel
Try the spit-roasted chicken and waffles at Kapnos's Columbus Day brunch. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Bar Deco

717 Sixth St., NW

Penn Quarter’s newest bar/restaurant opens at 10 for Monday brunch. The retro American theme carries over to the menu, filled with classic brunch cocktails and dishes like shrimp and grits or eggs Benedict.

Dacha Beer Garden

1600 Seventh St., NW

It’s a gorgeous day to sip a cold brew—or bottomless mimosas—outside and feast on Dacha’s Bavarian brunch. The menu is offered until 3.

EatWell DC Restaurants

Multiple area locations

All of the EatWell restaurants serve holiday brunches (The Pig, Commissary, Logan Tavern and Grillfish). Menus and times vary, but expect a casual vibe—and plenty of brunch libations—at all.

El Centro DF (14th Street location)

1819 14th Street, NW

Make a day of it at the 14th Street location of Richard Sandoval’s Mexican eatery, which serves their all-you-can-eat-and-drink $35 brunch from 10 to 3.


707 Sixth St., NW

Commemorate Italian-American day at Mike Isabella’s Penn Quarter restaurant with tasty brunch pizzas, tiramisu French toast, and San Marzano bloodies.

Kapnos and Kapnos Taverna

2201 14th St., NW; 4000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington

Chef Mike Isabella’s Greek spots in DC and Ballston serve their regular brunch menus. Try the killer lamb gyro or spit-roasted chicken and waffles pictures above.

Lupo Verde

1401 T St., NW

Celebrate Columbus’s roots with an Italian brunch from 10 to 3. In addition to a la carte egg dishes and antipasti, guests can opt for a shareable “social” menu for two that comes with a bottle of prosecco ($35).

Masa 14

1825 14th St., NW

Masa extends its all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch party to Monday, serving Latin-Asian dishes and bottomless brunch drinks from 10 to 3.

Station 4

1101 Fourth St., SE

Drop by this Southwest spot between 11 and 3 for an a la carte menu of American fare, or pick an entree and bottomless mimosas for $30.


1926 14th St., NW

Chef Michael Schlow’s 14th Street spot is open from 11 to 3, serving their regular brunch menu and a special bottomless deal: bloodies and mimosas for $19.


781 Seventh St., NW

Come hungry and thirsty: all-you-can-eat sushi, dim sum, and Latin small plates are on the menu, alongside brunch drinks like passion fruit mimosas ($39 per person; $10 for kids under ten).

Posted at 10:15 AM/ET, 10/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find today's food trucks in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. By Angie Hilsman

Happy Monday, food truck followers! A number of vendors are off the road today for the holiday, but you can still head to Farragut Square for salted caramel ice cream from Captain Cookie, or visit Tysons for chicken torta sandwiches aboard Tortuga.

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Posted at 09:02 AM/ET, 10/12/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Get eating around DC. By Anna Spiegel
Wicked Bloom from the DCity Smokehouse team dishes up barbecue sliders and smoky cocktails. Photograph courtesy of Wicked Bloom.

Wicked Bloom DC Social Club

540 North Capitol St., NW

We’ve often bemoaned the lack of seating—and whiskey—at DCity Smokehouse, so we welcomed the addition of this funky sister bar just steps away. Customers are encouraged to bring their carryout barbecue over, and can also order drink-friendly eats (think mac n’ cheese waffles) from a small separate menu. Barman Ben Matz is behind a curated list of craft cocktails and local beers.

San Francisco's legendary Tadich Grill opens its first-and-only spinoff in DC. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Tadich Grill

1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

A San Francisco icon lands in DC with the debut of Tadich Grill—the first-ever spinoff of the 166 year-old restaurant. Though it’s impossible to duplicate the historic space, look for many similarities: a large menu filled West Coast seafood--we're anxious to try a Dungeness crab cocktail and bay shrimp Louie--house bloody Marys, and sourdough regularly imported from SF. Unlike the original, reservations are accepted.

Find Australian specialties like savory homemade pies (pictured) or an Aussie burger at Oz. Photograph via Facebook.


2950 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington

Aussies now have a restaurant to call home with the opening of this 200-seat Clarendon spot. The menu boasts some unusual finds like grilled kangaroo, as well as a number of favorites from Down Under such as a burger topped with “the lot” (pineapple, beetroot, fried egg), and Vegemite toast come brunch. Look for house-made sodas and a Painkiller cocktail at the bar.

Chef Tony Conte brings a Neapolitan pizzeria to Gaithersburg.

Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana

12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg

Veteran Oval Room chef Tony Conte debuts his first solo venture today: an ambitious (yet cozily small) pizzeria near his home in Gaithersburg. The wood-burning oven is central to the menu, turning out appetizers such as ember-roasted beets, and a lineup of Neapolitan-style pizzas. For dessert: homemade soft serve ice cream.

Bar Deco, a retro spot in Penn Quarter, stretches over four floors of the historic Bulletin Building. Photograph courtesy of Bar Deco.

Bar Deco

717 Sixth St., NW

Penn Quarter’s historic Bulletin Building is now home to a retro, four-story bar/restaurant from Noe Landini (Landini Brothers, Fish Market). Meats and seafood from a hickory smoker are a focus of the menu, along with elevated pub fare like poutine fries with duck gravy and a wood-grilled cheeseburger. Take advantage of the rooftop bar for classic cocktail while the warm weather lasts.

You'll find more creative sushi rolls on PassionFish Bethesda's menu. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

PassionFish Bethesda

7187 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda

After seven years in Reston, chef Jeff Tunks brings his globally-inspired seafood venture to downtown Bethesda. The menus are similar—don’t miss those fried clams or Thai red curry—though the Maryland branch has a larger selection of sushi from former Nobu chef Jonathan Goh.

Chef José Andrés opens a second veggie-centric, fast-casual restaurant in Dupont.

Beefsteak Dupont Circle

1528 Connecticut Ave., NW

José Andrés is all about the vegetables these days, opening a second veggie-centric restaurant in Dupont Circle. The fast-casual, customizable format allows guests to craft bowls with a garden’s-worth of ingredients—plus grains, sauces, and proteins like salt-cured salmon—or go with one of the house combinations (we like the Eden).

The Silver Diner team debuts an upscale spinoff of their popular chain. Photograph courtesy of Silver.


7150 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda

The team behind Silver Diner recently opened this upscale spinoff of their popular chain, meaning you can sip a cocktail and order small plates with that Creekstone burger. The menus differ from those at the casual diner, but around-the-clock service hasn’t changed; the kitchen opens for breakfast and all-day brunch at 7, and serves night owls until midnight (2 am on weekends).

Posted at 01:49 PM/ET, 10/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
As if you needed an excuse to eat pizza in the morning. By Anna Spiegel
The bacon and quail egg pie at Frankly...Pizza! is truly addictive. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Bacon and quail egg pie at Frankly...Pizza!

10417 Armory Ave., Kensington

The salty, smoky mess of house-cured bacon and Gruyére and Romano cheeses—plenty rich, thanks to runny quail eggs—is set on a puffy, oak-fired crust. The great news: even if you sleep through brunch, the dish is always available on the lunch and dinner menus.

Brunch potato pizza at Graffiato

707 Sixth St., NW

Chef Mike Isabella’s take on a morning pie reminds us of another favorite comfort food: a stuffed spud. The pizza comes topped with slices of potato, broccolini, cheddar cheese, and chewy bits of thick-cut bacon, plus a soft egg.

Egg and two-meat pie at Fireworks Pizza

2350 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington

Get your sausage and bacon fix at this Arlington pie joint, which heaps both breakfast meats on its pie. It wouldn’t be brunch without a little more excess, so you'll also find sliced potato, creamy white sauce, fontina cheese, and a sunny-side up egg.

Breakfast farmer’s market pizza from the Red Zebra

Sunday location: Dupont Circle farmer's market

Don’t miss this mobile wood-fired pizza oven, stationed at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm market on Sundays (among other locations). The seasonal lineup can change week to week, but one staple is a morning pie with smoky Surry Sausage from Virginia, sweet potatoes, cheddar, eggs, and a drizzle of spicy honey.

Mexican-style brunch pizza at Matchbox

Multiple area locations

Can’t decide between huevos rancheros and a pizza? Try Matchbox’s mashup pie, which combines sausage, smoked gouda, scrambled eggs, pico di gallo salsa, and chipotle sour cream.

Feta and egg pide at Cafe Divan

1834 Wisconsin Ave., NW

We’re fans of Divan’s wood-fired pides, canoe-shaped Turkish pizzas, filled with creative ingredients (spicy Turkish pastrami, smoked eggplant). Though it’s always on the menu, we’re partial to the brunch-like pita with Turkish feta and kashar cheeses, parsley, and baked eggs.

Posted at 10:48 AM/ET, 10/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Where to find today’s food trucks in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. By Angie Hilsman

Happy Friday, food truck followers! Kick off the weekend at the last Truckeroo of the year, where you'll find many of your favorite food trucks, games, live music, and cold beers. Join the party at Half and M streets, Northeast from 11 to 11.

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Posted at 09:43 AM/ET, 10/09/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Smoked short ribs with lime, guacamole, and corn tortillas at Pepita. Photograph of Pepita by Andrew Propp


4000 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (entrance on N. Quincy St.); 703-312-0200

Is there a more perfect bar snack than a plate of nachos? Never mind that at many sports bars you’d likely say, “Uh, definitely.” Here, at Mike Isabella’s Ballston cocktail lounge/cantina, the answer is no. His just-sloppy-enough rendition layers freshly fried chips with pickled jalapeños, avocado, creamy refried beans, and a mix of cheeses. It’s filling, but you’ll want to supplement it with an order of Mexican corn, rolled in spicy mayo and crumbly cotija cheese, plus a taco or two (the cauliflower and smoked-pork versions best the too-spicy goat) or a hefty lamb sandwich.

You’ll need a few dishes like those once you start traversing the cocktail menu, the most ambitious part of the whole place. The 50-plus drinks include classics (mai tais, vespers), frozen cocktails (a wonderful watermelon-and-mezcal concoction), shareable punches, and margaritas in skull-shaped pitchers. Still, while Pepita is a cocktail bar in spirit, the appeal of the snacks goes well beyond just stomach-padding. Inexpensive.

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Posted at 06:16 PM/ET, 10/08/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()