Beyond Apple Pie: July Fourth Celebrations at Washington Restaurants

From red-white-and-blue cupcake frosting to spins on classic American barbecue, Washington restaurants, markets, and bakeries are getting creative for July Fourth. Here’s how to celebrate Independence Day—with an appetite.

By: Diana Elbasha, Dustin Renwick

Penn Quarter's Hill Country is offering a slew of July 4-themed BBQ specials. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Adour
923 16th St., NW,
202-509-8000

Pastry chef Fabrice Bendano will be offering his excellent macaroons in patriotic colors and packaged in specially designed boxes. They’re available by the dozen ($20) and should be ordered 24 hours in advance. At the St. Regis bar, you’ll find the celebratory Bubbles and Pearls cocktail, an exclusive for Independence Day that features red-white-and-blue Cointreau pearls in Champagne.

A.M. Wine Shoppe
2122 18th Street, NW, 202-506-2248
On July 4, this Adams Morgan gourmet market will sell large male crabs by dozen, direct from the Chesapeake Bay and steamed in-house (market price). Call ahead to reserve a table. Also available are picnic baskets ($25 to $35; add $10 for wine) with meats and cheeses and two deli sandwiches, such as a turkey club or grilled vegetable.

B. Smith’s

50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE,
202-289-6188

At this Union Station restaurant, enjoy music and an all-you-can-eat barbecue celebration from 11:30 to 6 on July 4. The spread includes chicken, riblets, burgers, and hot dogs; and sides are baked beans, mac and cheese, corn on the cob, potato salad, and coleslaw. Iced tea and soda are included in the price (adults $25, children 12 and under $17).

Bastille
1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria, 703-519-3776
From July 2 through 14, this French bistro is offering a three-course, $35 prix fixe “Franklin” menu with pork shoulder, rock-shrimp fritters, and buttermilk fried chicken. Desserts are rhubarb-laced rice pudding and apple cobbler with fresh ice cream.

Buzz Bakery
818 N. Quincy St., Arlington, 703-650-9676

This Ballston bakery will show its patriotic side with a spin on America’s favorite traditional dessert: pie. Buzz offers pie cupcakes ($22/half dozen) and blueberry- or cherry-stuffed yellow cake topped with buttercream frosting. The sweet treats will be available for pickup on the July 3 (the shop is closed on July 4) and must be ordered in advance. (Note: The cupcakes are not available at the Del Ray location.)

Café Du Parc
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 202-942-7000
This downtown DC bistro is celebrating Independence Day with a mashup of French and American dishes. Beginning at 11:30 AM, there’ll be a special à la carte menu with such options as garlic-steamed mussels, pan-seared salmon, and a white-chocolate/raspberry crumble. They will also offer a Kobe beef hot dog and a grilled-chicken sandwich, as well as Parisian crêpes. The menu will be available until the end of the Willard Hotel’s block party, which runs from 5 to 9. Reservations are requested before 2:30.

Charlie Palmer Steak
101 Constitution Ave. NW, 202-547-8100
At the annual indoor block party, this steakhouse—spitting distance from the Capitol—lays out a summer buffet-style dinner ($45 per person, $18 for kids), with a beef-carving station, roasted pork, a variety of salads, and whimsical desserts: cotton candy and a chocolate fountain. The meal runs from 4:30 to 8:30. Reservations are preferred. (Charlie Palmer does not offer access to the roofdeck for fireworks-watching.)

City Square Cafe
9428 Battle St., Manassas, 703-369-6022
Watch the fireworks in Manassas with a three-course dinner ($49) on the patio, along with live music. Dinner starts with a house salad; then there’s a choice of barbecue pork ribs with roasted potatoes and coleslaw, pan-seared salmon filet with roasted potatoes and vegetables, or three-cheese ravioli in marinara sauce. All-American dessert is a choice between apple pie à la mode or Fruit of the Forest pie, with strawberries, apples, blackberries, and rhubarb. Seatings are from 6:30 to 7, and reservations are highly recommended.

Cork Market & Tasting Room

1805 14th St. NW, 202-265-2674
This wine shop is putting together a number of picnic baskets: the All-American ($25; $35 with wine) includes your choice of four deli sandwiches, such as a smoked-ham sandwich with pickled onions and Camembert cheese and a side of potato chips; and the Red White and Chicken basket ($40; $55 with wine) with Peruvian grilled or buttermilk fried chicken alongside Mediterranean couscous salad or ratatouille. Both baskets are good for two people and include a choice of desserts, such as a honey-mint fruit salad or house-baked cookies. Baskets will be available through the end of July and must be ordered at least 24 hours ahead of time.

Cupcakes Actually
11944 Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax, 571-522-6315
As part of Cupcake Actually’s “10 Weeks of Kids” campaign—a summer-long event during which a different cupcake design is featured each week—this Fairfax Corner bakery will feature $4 vanilla-and-chocolate patriotic-themed cupcakes on July 4. If traditional black-and-white doesn’t suit your fancy, other selections from the week’s regular lineup—which will include apple streusel and peanut butter—will be decorated with red-white-and-blue fondant creations.

The Dairy Godmother
2310 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-683-7767
At this Obama-approved shop, July 4 cakes ($19.95) are made with layers of frozen blueberry and strawberry Wisconsin-style custard, white cake, and whipped cream. Pre-orders are recommended, and if you're one of the first 200 customers to visit on Independence Day, you'll get a free American flag.

Hill Country
410 Seventh St., NW, 202-556-2050
This Penn Quarter restaurant, which channels a Texas barbecue roadhouse, is offering the following specials on July 4: pit-smoked Texas tenderloin ($32/pound), Mexican corn on the cob ($5), blueberry bars with strawberry ice cream ($7), and a "Rocket Pop" cocktail ($9) with Stoli Razberi, Stoli Blueberi, lemonade, blue curaco, and cherries.

Jackie’s
8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-565-9700
On July 3 from 2 to 6, this Silver Spring restaurant is hosting a barbecue celebration ($20 per person) on its patio with smoked beer-can chicken, Mexican corn, watermelon, and squash kabobs. Enter your best sweet recipe into Jackie’s bake off for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Cool off with a run through sprinklers. Reservations are recommended.

J&G Steakhouse
515 15th St., NW, 202-661-2440
At this steakhouse, which sits in the shadow of the White House, there’ll be a picnic on the patio ($35 per person) special from 5 to 10 PM with such options as shrimp cocktail, watermelon-and-goat-cheese salad, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, and lobster rolls. Family-style sides are coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob. For dessert, they will offer ice-cream sandwiches or chocolate pudding. A bucket of six beers is $25, and pitchers of sangria, margaritas, vodka lemonade, and bottles of wine are $30.

Planet Wine
2000 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703-549-3444
This Alexandria wine shop is joining forces with Red Apron Butchery to create Independence Day “party packs.” The beer-and-barbecue package, which feeds 12, includes two six-packs of Port City beer, a dozen handmade hot dogs, buns, and chef Nate Anda’s special mustard. The Fireworks and Picnic pack includes two Red Apron rillettes, pâtés, or cheeses; a baguette; a bottle of wine; and sparklers. Both packs ($45) come in reusable Red Apron bags and must be ordered by June 29; call 703-549-3444. Pickup is on July 3.

Punk's Backyard Grill
2188 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis, 410-571-7744
The relaxed, backyard theme of this Annapolis restaurant will come to life on Independence Day with a number of barbecue specials. On the patio, chefs will grill dry-rubbed ribs (half-rack $15.99 with a side) and corn on the cob ($1). The outdoor specials will be offered July 3 and 4 during regular hours, 11 to 9.

See Also:

July Fourth Weekend Trips

July Fourth Hotel Deals

701
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 202-393-0701
This sprawling restaurant, just a few blocks from the Mall, is offering special dinner options from 4 to 10 on July 4. Appetizers are chilled tomato soup with grilled shrimp or bison chili with cornbread croutons ($12); entrées are a smoked Wagyu-beef basket with potato-and-bacon salad and corn on the cob ($25), or crabcakes with summer slaw ($26). Finish the meal with a red-white-and-blue parfait ($9) made with local blueberries.

Smith Commons
1245 H St., NE, 202-396-1766
At this new H Street restaurant, a special menu ($20) runs from July 1 through 10 on the patio and includes a main course, side, and dessert. Pick from entrées such as braised pork or 64-hour short ribs, paired with sides of purple-potato salad, cornbread, beans, or grilled corn. Sweet treats are bread pudding and lemon-ginger cake. The DMV Brewers Barbecue, also $20, is Sunday, July 3, and highlights area breweries including 3 Stars (DC), Baying Hound (Maryland), and Lost Rhino (Virginia). Beers from those companies are $5.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder