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Buffalo & Bergen launches the Lox'd & Loaded this weekend. By Anna Spiegel
Miniature versions of the "lox'd & loaded" still pack a punch. Photograph by Michael Bennett Kress.

Cocktail garnishes can get pretty creative—dumplings, popsicles—but the new bloody Mary adornment at Buffalo & Bergen takes the cake. Or bagel. Behold: the Lox’d & Loaded, a spicy bloody crowned with a fresh-baked bagel and smoked salmon.

Barwoman Gina Chersevani is behind the creation, which will have its first run at the Union Market bar this weekend; we first sampled it at Washingtonian’s Brunch & Bloodys event, where it took first place in the cocktail contest. The base bloody is a spicy brew that starts with cooking tomatoes to intensify their flavor, straining the mixture, and seasoning it with “everything” spices, black pepper, horseradish, celery seed, and a generous amount of Tabasco. Vodka and lemon juice add booze and a bright kick. The pièce de résistance: a New York-style bagel, baked fresh every morning, spread with cream cheese and stacked with the traditional fixings and lox from a New York State smokery. While unorthodox, a swirl stick of bacon is always an option.

The meal-in-a-glass goes for $18, or you can take an eight-serving jar of the bloody mix home for $10. L'chaim.

Posted at 12:44 PM/ET, 03/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Kristen Doerer

Happy Friday, food truck followers! It's another rainy day, but you can warm up with mascarpone polenta at Ball or Nothing or dream of summer days with a lobster roll at Red Hook Lobster.

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Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 03/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Who packs a better patty? By Anna Spiegel
The Shackburger (left) goes up against City Burger's Pit Stop (right).

Welcome back to the Great Burger Battle semifinals! Yesterday condiments flew as the Smashburger chain attempted to flatten local patty joint Buger Tap & Shake, but BTS prevailed in the end. We’ll see chef Jeff Tunks and his Six Buck Chuck in the next round.

The next pairing might seem like a burger-filled David and Goliath situation, with international phenom Shake Shack taking on local joint City Burger. Don’t underestimate the fast-casual eatery from Food Wine & Co. While CB may not have the cult-like following of the Shackburger and its crinkle-cut fries, combinations like the Pit Stop with cheddar, pepper relish, bacon, and barbecue sauce can run with the big bulls.

So can City Burger take the competition downtown, or will the Shack Attack prevail? Let us know in the polls.

Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 03/27/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The duo will join Peter Chang in the increasingly eclectic development. By Anna Spiegel
Miso Café and Samovar head to Rockville Town Square (pictured).

Rockville Town Square will have more eclectic dining options come summer. Federal Realty brings the news that two separate restaurants, Miso Café and Samovar, will make their debuts in the growing development.

Both eateries are independent ventures. Miso is the sister restaurant of a Japanese izakaya in Annandale, and will specialize in Korean-fusion fare served in a 2,265 square-foot, full-service space. Samovar comes from father-and-daughter team Solijon Nasimov and Ika Nasimova, who currently cater at the Russian Trade and Cultural Missions and Tajikistan Embassy, which represents their home country. The kitchen will focus primarily on Russian cuisine, but also draw from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Live music is also planned for weekends.

The two eateries add to the increasingly global dining scene at RTS, where chef Peter Chang is slated to open his second Washington restaurant in April. Stay tuned for more details.

Posted at 02:14 PM/ET, 03/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Seder meals, catering platters, and Pesach parties. By Harrison Smith
Matzoh-ball soup at Teddy & The Bully Bar. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant.

Passover begins at sundown on Friday, April 3, and most of these eateries will have specials for the festival's full eight days. Some are more kosher than others (l'chaim, Star & Shamrock), but wherever you go, chances are you'll have a bowl of matzo-ball soup waiting for you.

Cork Market & Tasting Room

1805 14th St., NW; 202-265-2674

Order by April 1 to take advantage of Cork’s take-out Passover and Easter menu, which includes house-made matzo-ball soup and chicken-liver mousse, as well as a farro salad with kale, pine nuts, tangerines, and feta. Kosher wines start at $15.

Details: Menu; order by April 1 for April 3 pick-up.

Equinox

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

Chef Todd Gray’s three-course community Seder features your choice of a brisket served with a balsamic-Malbec reduction, or toasted pearl-barley and forest mushroom risotto. Israeli wines and music—Tina Chancey plays the fiddle, medieval and Irish—accompany the meal, with Haggadahs provided for group readings.

Details: Menu; $50 per person, plus tax and tip; April 3, with service beginning around nightfall (6:30).

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

15th St., NW; 202-489-0140

Naturally, the seafood standby’s Passover prix fixe includes gefilte fish with red beet horseradish, as well as wild striped bass en papillote. For vegetarians, the bibb lettuce and chive salad comes with a veggie version of chopped liver.

Details: Menu; $45.95 per person, $19.95 for kids 12 and under, plus tax and tip; available April 3 and April 4, 4 to 10.

Logan Tavern

1423 P St., NW; 202-332-3710

The three-course menu at this neighborhood tavern is veggie-friendly, with vegetarian matzo-ball soup and eggplant parmesan fried in matzo meal on offer. Finish with flourless chocolate cake and meringues and macaroons for the table. Ten percent of proceeds benefit the Jewish Food Experience.

Details: Menu; $40 per person, $20 for kids 12 and under, plus $25 for optional wine pairing or $15 corkage fee; reservations required; available April 3 and April 4, with seatings at 5:30 and 8.

Teddy & The Bully Bar

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

TR’s favorite watering hole is offering a four-course menu that includes gefilte fish pavé, herring brandade, deviled eggs stuffed with chicken liver, and braised brisket.

Details: Menu; $52 per person, $21 for kids 12 and under; reservations required; available April 3 and April 4, 5 to 11.

Dino's Grotto

1914 Ninth St., NW; 202-686-2966

The prix fixe feast at this Shaw Italian restaurant isn’t exactly kosher, though it is “kosher-style.” In addition to the “Passover Trinity” of chopped chicken liver, gefilte fish, and matzo-ball soup, you’ll start with charoset and leek fritter, get all the veal breast, chicken legs, and fish-of-the-day you can eat, and finish with flourless almond cake.

Details: Menu; feast for $59 per person, $25 for kids 12 and under; available April 3 through April 10, with Passover dishes available à la carte starting April 6.

DGS Delicatessen

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

No surprise here, where the chopped chicken liver and matzo-ball soup are delicious year-round. The four-course Passover menu starts with the soup (made with bone marrow, mustard oil, and pea shoots) and moves to pan-roasted striped bass, grilled Shenandoah Valley lamb, and an apple and rhubarb crumble. Catering, with delivery, is also available for Seders at home.

Details: Menu, catering menu; $45 per person, plus $20 for optional wine pairings; available April 3 through April 11.

Star & Shamrock

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

This Irish bar-Jewish deli is celebrating Passover and its fifth anniversary with a Saturday-night party. Expect Irish twists on the usual Passover dishes, with He’brew and Harp on tap.

Details: Check back here for more info; April 4.

BLT Steak

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

The Passover menu at this steakhouse isn’t exactly traditional, but it does nod to the Seder with lamb shank, a slow-cooked “62 Degree” egg, and compressed endive served with apricot marmalade and sherry.

Details: Menu; $60 per person (dishes also available à la carte); available April 3 through April 10.

Sixth & I

600 I St., NW; 202-408-3100

Realtor-chef Renee Peres is hosting two certified-Kosher dinners at this downtown synagogue. The menu is still in the works, but “Jewish soul food” is planned for the buffet-style meal.

Details: $18 in advance, $22 day-of; available April 6 and April 8, 6:30-8:30.

Fiola

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

Five courses of Italian-Jewish cooking includes canederli in brodo: Italian matzo balls, morels, truffles, and capon consommé. An artichoke salad, grilled branzino (seabass), and rack of lamb round out the meal, with strawberry sorbet for dessert.

Details: Menu; $70 per person, plus tax and tip; available April 7 through April 11.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 03/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we'll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Noah Weiland

Happy rainy Thursday morning, food truck followers! You can stave off the wet by chowing down on some delicately seasoned jerk chicken at Jamaican Mi Crazy, or if you're near the CNN building, try spotting Wolf Blitzer in line for tapas at Tapas Truck.

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Posted at 09:46 AM/ET, 03/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A West Coast chain takes on a local competitor. By Anna Spiegel
Smashburger patties (left) go up against Burger Tap & Shake creations (right) in the Great Burger Battle.

Welcome back to the Great Burger Battle semifinals! Yesterday Five Guys attempted to take on Holy Cow, but the herd mentality was clear: the Del Rey joint beat the homegrown chain with nearly 72 percent of the votes. We’ll see the Divine Bovine again in the next round.

Today we have two very different teams: Smashburger, a Denver-based chain with 11 Washington locations, and Burger Tap & Shake, a Foggy Bottom eatery from chef Jeff Tunks. The former likes to smash its patties thin on the griddle for crispy char, the latter leans plumper on its buttered brioche bun. Both go strong on toppings, from Smash’s avocado and ranch-sauced club to the Benton’s bacon, buttermilk blue, and ‘shrooms crowning BTS’s Big Daddy.

So who packs a better patty? Show us in the polls.

Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 03/26/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
A simple French brasserie for the former Guards space. By Anna Spiegel
Maxime, a new spot for steak-frites, opens in Georgetown. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Washingtonians will have a new spot for steak-frites as of Thursday, when Maxime opens its doors in the longtime Guards location. The casual French bistro from the Bodega and Thunder Burger owners announced they’ll debut for dinner, serving a concise brasserie menu in a rustic French setting. Owners Ben Kirane, Moe Idrissi, and Joe Idrissi formerly ran an Italian eatery, Rialto, in the same space, but wanted to change over to a more casual, high-energy concept.

While classics like onion soup, mussels, and quiche are options, the focus is “La Formule,” a set meal priced at $19.95 that includes steak, “secret sauce,” salad, frites, and a baguette bread basket. The formula is similar to that of Medium Rare, or for those who remember 1970’s dining in Georgetown, Le Steak. Chef Ryan Fichter also offers a marinated portobello mushroom or salmon filet as red meat alternatives.

The 75-seat eatery aims to be a neighborhood spot, with wallet-friendly dishes and a wine list that keeps bottles at $45 and under.

Stay tuned for more details around the opening.

Maxime. 2915 M St., NW. Open daily, 4 to 11.

Posted at 01:25 PM/ET, 03/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Korean fried chicken chain with a cult-like following opens March 30. By Anna Spiegel
Bonchon opens its first DC location in Navy Yard. Photography by Jeff Elkins

One of the most anticipated openings of the spring is almost here: Bonchon is set to open its first DC branch in Navy Yard on March 30. The Korean fried chicken has earned a loyal (if not slightly crazed) following in the greater Washington area, with ten branches from Annandale to Rockville dishing up the crunchy, double-fried birds. Hour plus-long waits can form at peak times. A single branch blew through 10,000 wings on Super Bowl Sunday.

A large bar area equipped with televisions can fit 90 for pre and post-game.

New dishes, same chicken

The inaugural District location, located just three blocks from Nationals Park, comes courtesy of Thomas An and Paul Choi, who’re also behind the Arlington and Centreville branches of the franchise. The menu will be similar to Arlington’s, though the team has added new Korean-fusion dishes, such as a bulgogi steak and cheese wrap and bulgogi sliders stacked on brioche buns with homemade kimchi slaw. More traditional additions include japchae, glass noodles sautéed with vegetables and beef, and a Japanese-inspired crab rice ball wrapped in seared salmon. Crunchy wings, drumsticks, and legs are a given, slicked in spicy or soy-garlic glaze.

Dine in, or carryout boxes of chicken from a separate counter.

A large bar, outdoor patio to come

Local architecture and design firm GrizForm is behind the decor, as is the case with the Arlington shop. Though not a sports bar, drinkers can post up in the 90-seat lounge area equipped with televisions for watching the game playing out at nearby Nationals Park. A full bar is armed with 30 bottles and 16 draft beers, a blend of Asian brews like Kirin and Sapporo alongside local craft drafts such as Port City and Bold Rock Cider from Virginia. Wines and spirits mirror the mix, with sakes and sojus as well as Western liquors. A separate dining area roughly seats 65, with classic Bonchon red and black hues mixed with wood tables and surfaces. Once the weather warms next season the eatery can fit 60 to 80 guests on an outdoor patio.*

Separate takeout space

Bonchon locations are known for swift takeout business—the double-fried chicken holds up particularly well—and the DC location will be no different. A designated takeout counter is located at the back of the eatery for picking up orders, particularly handy on game days or for lunch. Though details are still in the works, the team plans for special to-go packages for home Nats games.

The kitchen stays open late on game days until 11 on weeknights, midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Happy hour, late night

The fried chicken spot is angling to be a place for all times of day. Happy hour will run Monday through Friday, 4 to 7, with discounted prices on five draft beers, select bottles, and dishes like the bulgogi sliders. While the cheaper offerings won’t be served when the Nats are playing at home, the kitchen will remain open late for post-game revelry; 11 on weekdays, and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Win or lose, late-night Bonchon is still winning.

Bonchon Navy Yard. 1015 Half St., SE.

* This post has been updated from an earlier version.

Posted at 11:41 AM/ET, 03/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every morning, we’ll let you know where to find lunch on wheels. By Harrison Smith

Good Wednesday morning, food truck followers! It's another gray day, but head outside for half smokes at PhoWheels, or the winning combination of pizza and tater tots at DC Slices.

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Posted at 09:49 AM/ET, 03/25/2015 | Permalink | Comments ()