Best of Summer Food

Last Monday, Labor Day, marked the unofficial end of summer, so we pulled together some of our favorite foods that embody everything the season stands for: sweet fruit, frozen desserts, and ballpark eats. The official end of summer—the autumnal equinox—doesn’t come for another couple of weeks, so you still have a chance to savor heirloom tomatoes and cocktails on outdoor patios (and Marvin’s heat lamps keep crowds happy outside until winter!).

Outdoor patio: The treehouselike second floor deck at Marvin.

Summer cocktail: Gina Chersevavni’s frozen Tuscan Sangría at EatBar, made with vin santo ice cubes.

Nationals Park food that’s outside the park: Spicy turkey chili at the On the Fly cart between the Metro and stadium entrance.

Japanese food that’s not sushi: Mochi topping from Mr. Yogato.

Pickled condiment: House-made Piccalilli relish—a British pub staple made with pickled cauliflower, carrots, green peppers, and green beans—at CommonWealth.

Restaurant that closed: Butterfield 9.

Fro-yo topping: Coconut, pineapple, and almonds (get it at Sweetgreen, TangySweet, or Mr. Yogato).

Afternoon cocktail: The Gin Sin, with Hendrick’s gin and muddled cucumber, at Vermilion.

Taco that transports you to the beach: “Maui” fish tacos stuffed with grilled fish of the day, black-bean-and-corn salsa, avocado, cabbage, and cilantro-lime sour cream at Surfside—eaten on the roof deck.

Unexpected place to find a good lobster roll: BGR Burger Joint in Bethesda—the lobster burger, on three slider-size potato rolls, is heavy on hunks of fresh lobster and light on the mayo.

Afternoon snack: Smoked-mackerel rillettes on the patio at Blue Duck Tavern.

Use of tomatoes: Mosaic of Path Valley tomatoes with verbena gelée, buffalo mozzarella, and sourdough tuiles at Vidalia.

Addition to the charcuterie plate: Surrey ham at CommonWealth.

Gazpacho alternative: Cold tomatilla soup at BreadLine.

Bakery’s use of summer fruit: Classic cherry pie at Baked and Wired.

Drinkable dessert: Toasted-marshmallow milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery.

Reason to skip the cookout: Ray’s Hell-Burger—ten-ounce patties of Michael Landrum’s prime beef served with buttery corn and juicy watermelon for $7. Enough said.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.