5 Things Our Food Editors Are Talking About This Month

The king of zero-proof cocktails, our favorite new NYC import, and more.

Cornhole is one of the diversions at Bronson Bierhall.

You’ve Got Game

Want your Belgian trippel with a side of competition? Two bars pairing brews with games have you covered. In Ballston, the recently opened Bronson Bierhall (4100 Fairfax Dr., Arlington) offers ping-pong, shuffleboard, and cornhole along with beer cocktails and 16 drafts. Astro Beer Hall (1306 G St., NW), a collaboration between Astro Doughnuts and Tin Shop—the group behind DC’s Franklin Hall—features Ms. Pacman and a pinball league.

What We’re Reading

Frederick resident and pie obsessive Cathy Barrow just put out her third cookbook, When Pies Fly. In it, she stretches her medium in wonderful ways, boosting a slew of pie-like comfort foods—stromboli, kolache, knishes, empanadas—with unexpected combinations. We’ll start with a lox-and-schmear tart, then move on to a bánh mì–inspired caramel-pork tart and a round of brandied-peach-pie poppers.

Ditch the Hangover

The biggest surprise at Minibar these days isn’t a foie gras bomb—it’s the zero-proof “virtue” drink pairing, which can outshine the wines. Credit, in part, Bruce and Tammy Blosil, whose Bristow, Virginia, nonalcoholic-beverage company, Delmosa, supplies refined bottles to the country’s top restaurants. (You can snag them at Like a fine-wine importer, Blosil curates a selection from boutique producers—largely European—that are crafting terroir-driven beverages using heirloom fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Think a German Jörg Geiger “PriSecco” made with old-vine fruit that drinks like a Champagne.

Bruce and Tammy Blosil photographed on location at Mirabelle.

New Favorite Lunch Spot

Taim, NYC’s beloved Israeli-style falafel shop, has expanded beyond Manhattan with a sixth location, in Georgetown (1065 Wisconsin Ave., NW). Its secret: filler-free falafel—just herbs and chickpeas—ground daily and fried to order. (We’re also fans of the crispy eggplant sabich.) It’s the start of a big DC-area push: The owners are planning to add three locations within a year.

Bar to Watch

Bill Thomas, the whiskey fanatic behind Adams Morgan’s Jack Rose, turns his sights to vintage spirits at his new restaurant/bar next door, the Imperial (2001 18th St., NW). He’s amassed a 400-plus-bottle collection that runs both rare (pre-embargo Cuban rum) and esoteric (1900s California brandy). Sip them solo or in cocktails made with century-old spirits. The other house specialty: wine, displayed in a 1,000-bottle “showquarium” flanking the Southern-accented dining room.

This article appears in the November 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

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.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.