Sakerum
,

It’s no secret that Washington D.C. has become one of the most talked-about food cities to visit. Therefore, celebrity chefs have made their way to the nation’s capital to show off their culinary talents. These D.C. gems below are often forgotten because of all the new restaurants opening up. So, I had to show them some love. Whether you’re in the mood for small tapas, comfort food or high-end dining, D.C. has it all. Here are my favorite hidden gems sprinkled throughout the city.

1. Brookland’s Finest (Brookland Neighborhood)

If you’re in the mood for comfort food, Brookland’s has got your covered. A few of my must-have starters are the brussel sprout chips and pretzel bites. The sprouts are crispy perfection alongside a tangy lemon dill sauce, which complements the chips beautifully. The pretzel bites are tossed in a delicious buttery white truffle oil. As an entree, I usually get the seared salmon and cheddar grits with tabasco beurre blanc. It is delicious down to very last bite.

For dessert, you can’t leave without indulging in the brioche bread pudding. The waitress comes out with your bread pudding in one hand and a side of bourbon sauce in the other. The table’s candle light burner doubles as the bourbon sauce warmer. After a few seconds, the delicious bourbon sauce is ready to pour over the thick-cut brioche bread pudding. If you’re looking for tantalizingly comfort food, Brookland’s Finest is the place!

D.C. gems
Brioche bread pudding is a must when dinning at Brookland’s! Don’t forget to drizzle the warm bourbon sauce over this dessert before chowing down!

2. Compass Rose (U Street)

You don’t have to travel 4,000 miles to have a unique international market food experience. Compass Rose offers cuisines from Spain, Hawaii, Malaysia, Demark, Georgia and even Mexico! The eclectic around the world menu is what sets this place apart from the others. There are no limits to how creative you can get when choosing your meal. I ordered the Georgian Khachapuri cheese-filled bread and paired it with Spain’s fried fingerling potatoes with spicy tomato sauce. Compass Rose is not like any other experience because of the flavorful international tapas available in this cozy place without packing your suitcase!

Compass Rose
Compass Rose has a menu chock full of traditional international dishes like their Lamb Kefta. Photo by Compass Rose.

3. Copycat Co. (H Street Atlas District)

Have you ever wanted tasty, cheap, authentic Chinese street food and crafted cocktails? Enter: Copycat Co., a favorite late-night, fast-casual spot. You can order potstickers for $5, one skewer for $4.50 each and $1.50 steamed boas!

The chicken skewers were very succulent and spicy. If you are mild spice lover you may want to stick with the regular spiced option. The pan-fried chicken potstickers come with a soy-based dipping sauce; perfect for the mild flavored dumplings.

Upstairs, on the second floor is where the libation magic happens! It’s similar to a chic speakeasy with dim setting. Behind the bar are handwritten drink titles and recipes on a chalkboard as a smart way to school customers on the history of classic cocktails like Martinis, Manhattans, and Mules. The bartenders are very skilled and can whip up or suggest any drink concoction. As a result, this is late night experience that will leave you very satisfied!

Copycat Co.
A tray full of dumplings, skewers and boas all for a great price! Wash it all down with one of Copycat’s signature cocktails. Photo by Copycat. 

4. Sakerum (14th Street)

Looking for a Latin and Asian inspired happy hour? Sakerum has beautiful decor and a fantastic happy hour. They serve up fresh sushi rolls, savory tapas, specialty rum and sake cocktails.Their food specials include the spicy, crunchy salmon and salmon avocado sushi rolls, grilled calamari with eel sauce, sweet teriyaki glazed chicken skewers and zesty cashew lime edamame. Best part, each of these options cost just $5!

You can’t go wrong with a menu that offers such an assortment for such an excellent price! This place is perfect to grab both drinks and tasty food; consider Sakerum for your next happy hour or weekend late night bite!

Sakerum
With half a dozen sake choices and even more sushi roles to indulge in, there’s something for every sushi lover at Sakerum! Photo by Sakerum.

5. Miracle on 7th Street (Shaw Neighborhood)

It’s beginning to looking like Christmas with this holiday pop-up bar. This themed bar is sure to put everyone who visits in the holiday spirit. The bar consists of 3 adjacent bars (Mockingbird Hill, Southern Efficiency and Eat the Rich) with different Christmas decor in each. This year’s menu consists of creative holiday drinks, spiked or topped with cookie dough bites and peppermint candy canes. All featured drinks are $14 and shots are only $5 each! Each drink name is holiday themed too. With names like Brew Dolph the Rein Beer, Cookie Dough & Snuggles and I Sleigh All Day it’s easy to get into the holiday spirit while at this bar.

Customers can wander through five themed areas, including the Chinese and a Movie room, a Hanukkah homage and a Gingerbread house that leads guests into a Candy Land inspired room. You can slay your selfie game with the decorated Christmas tree or the painted backdrop of Beyonce, inspired by her visual album Lemonade. There’s even an antique sleigh to sit in!

This Christmas bar is a local favorite and returns every year with a magical winter wonderland scenery!

Miracle DC
The Whobilation (Gin, Dry Curacao, Spiced Cranberry Soda) and I Sleigh, All Day (Calvados, Apple cola, Semi-Dry Cider, Sparkling Water). Photo by DC Nomster.

 

Miracle DC
This Beyonce inspired room is sure to get you into the holiday spirit! Photo by Drink Company. 

This article was written by BonAppéDee (D’Angela S. Moore), a Washington, D.C. food blogger. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more!

Share
Scion Mimosas
,

You have to make it your business to visit Scion in DC just for the loaded potatoes because that’s an experience worth bragging about. Scion is a bottomless brunch spot that I’ve seen people host their wedding after parties at, during regular service! Sometimes, the brunch is just too real and you have to feed those cravings. Which is exactly what I planned to do when I found myself here again.

Scion Mimosas

Fried pickles were on the menu and I’m not one to resist. If you have yet to experience fried pickles, you should make plans to visit Scion for them because they’re doing it the right way. Pickles already have a great crunch, but having them fried just adds an additional layer to the experience. The acidity of the pickle is toned down with by the fried coating but still waiting to dance across your tastebuds. At Scion, they pair it with ranch dressing but they’re good enough to eat on their own.

Scion Lobster Hash

Unable to resist the lobster hash, my boyfriend was served the loveliest looking plate. The eggs along with the all the starch from the potatoes made it for a heavy meal, not to mention, the chunks of lobster that were in between. He felt it looked better than it actually was but he did end up cleaning the plate. Must have been a little better than he leads on no?

Scion Crab Cake Benedict

In an effort to avoid getting the same dish, I went with the crab cake benedict that came with a side of potato chips. I could have went without the chips as they were over fried for me and didn’t really fit with the dish. The crab cakes however, were soft but kept up in shape on their own. I wish the dish was more filling, I found myself still wanting more food but was able to fill up on the mimosas. When all else fails I know who I can count on but maybe you’ll decide to get a dish with some more depth.

Share
bus boys and poets
,

After hearing so much about Bus Boys and Poets over the years, it just didn’t feel right to visit DC and not take the time out to dine here. I was in for the earlier half of dinner over at the K street location. I’ve been told to prepare for a different experience depending on the location you visit but I’m sure the core values are the same across the board, so I had no concerns regarding what the people’s favorite might be.

dc tap water

The staff at Bus Boy’s in Poets were all so pleasant, accommodating and honest. The restaurant is full of artwork and of course, a small book store/library when you first walk in that catches your eye. I was at a rather large location, so there was much to see and plenty of customers that had the place buzzing. It was happy hour and I was excited so I tried DC Tap Water for the first time. I am referring to a cocktail by the way for anyone who thought I was excited to try actual DC Tap Water.  I’ll take a cocktail over water on any day; that’s how I roll.

bus boys and poets

The hummus on the menus interest me since I wanted to start light but the waitress insisted on the foole dip, which she claimed was the upgraded version of hummus that included jalapeños, tomatoes, and a fava bean dip. It wasn’t spicy and I wasn’t too impressed but everything deserves a try. Besides, it was still happy hour and sangria was on the menu.

bus boys and poets

I wasn’t taking any suggestions as my heart was set on the shrimp, chicken and chorizo pasta smothered in a cajun cream sauce.  This was a spicier dish but it wasn’t overwhelmingly hot and there was plenty of shrimp and chicken to keep a girl happy. I would only go back here for a quick bite with friends or maybe for drinks if I had time to kill. Dessert was pretty good to say the least but I’m not sure if the place has won me over just yet.

bus boys and poets bus boys and poets

Share
Soulo Culinary Ambition
,

Considering I’ve been buried in my work that doesn’t involve blogging, I’ve been having a hard time getting these posts to you guys. Yikes. Though nobody said it would ever be easy, I would like to apologize for that, especially to my faithful readers. Thank you all for being so patient.

Now can we get onto the food? Because last month, I was invited to the Soulo Culinary Ambition Dinner in Washington D.C and can’t even begin to explain what a delight it was to meet Chef Soulo in person and enjoy his food. I went down there with 5 courses in mind, only to receive 8 and a food induced coma. They sure knew how to show my hungry self a good time. I was in love with these cards by the way marking everyone’s seat.

IMG_8209

The event was BYOB so I brought down some sangria I made at home but the Chef’s right hand, V, was also offering a spiked strawberry basil lemonade and a lavender iced tea. It was definitely the time to start double fisting.  The Soulo Culinary Ambition team was relatively attentive to our table which was full of interesting foodies that I had no idea I was about to fight over biscuits with. I say that in jest but Chef Soulo started us off with a batch of sour cream and onions biscuits that we couldn’t keep our hands off of. They were fresh out of the oven so the biscuits were warm and buttery with a thick consistency but still light and fluffy; to die for! Someone at my table even took some home.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Before we had a chance to finish, the chef surprised us with black-eyed pea fritters with a jalapeño aioli. While I didn’t enjoy the fritter as much on it’s own, the aioli carried it to the next level. However, I was interested in the Parmesan flan the chef prepared as a starter because I am accustomed to flan as a final course so this was a first; no pun intended. I will say that Chef Soulo, if full of creativity because each of his dishes intrigued me from reading the menu alone and boy do I love an interesting menu. While it was likely to be the most interesting of the evening, the flan was far too cheesy for my liking but I was able to enjoy the pickled grapes that accompanied it. Seriously though, it was Parmesan flan so you had to be a cheese head for this one.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Considering everyone’s tastebuds were having a party, the Soulo Culinary Ambition team shocked us with a pineapple mimosa granada to cleanse our palettes. It was absolutely refreshing and I felt prepared for the frog legs that were to come. It was my first time trying frog legs and I found them rather salty but they were over a bed of grits, which I have a newfound love for.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

I also learned something new when it was brought to my attention that trout is basically cousins with salmon because the two look like twins! Chef Soul made the trout with a pretzel crust over the top and I started to reconsider how many more plates I could handle. There were still two courses left and the trout was gone before I could blink or breathe again.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Well into my fourth drink, the most beautiful piece of lamb was brought out. The Lamb had been seared so it was extremely juicy and meaty which everyone seemed to be appreciating. If dessert was going to be anything like this, Chef Soulo just might have to come up to NYC to cook here! He surely didn’t disappoint with the layered carrot cake  that was served with some of the best ice cream I’ve had in a while. It was a buttermilk ice cream and I don’t think buttermilk can ever go wrong. I really appreciate Chef Soulo’s invitation to the Soulo Culinary Ambition dinner and would love if my DC peeps checked him out for any events you may be having or if Chef decides to make this a regular event, you should check it out.

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Soulo Culinary Ambition

You can find him on instagram @chefsoulo or on their Website so get #souloreloaded

Soulo Culinary Ambition

Share
,

negro modelo

Aside from Chicago, DC is probably next up on one of my favorite places to visit that has a growing food culture. That could possibly explain how delighted I was to be invited to a Negra Modelo Event at Union Market. Knowing a little something about event planning, I was super impressed by how they remodeled the venue to make the evening the success it was. There’s no better feeling than being at your absolute comfort level, about to enjoy some food and unlimited beer.

negro modelo event space negro modelo flowers

Even better than that, is dealing with staff that’s just a riot. One of the servers kept coming over to feed us the wild mushroom and goat cheese puffs and couldn’t stop making me laugh. It really gave me the sense that Negra Modelo is a friendly brand and I could look to really great future times over a few glasses. Amongst the passed dishes were sliders, as well as, some live food stations serving up carnitas tacos and a stuffed poblano pepper with rice. Nonstop Negra Modelo was paired with each dish in hopes to find The Perfect Complement …. I think the slider won me over  the most.

negro modelo slider negro modelo food station

The guest chefs for the evening were Chef Rick Bayless and Chef Chris Cosentino who had fairly good chemistry and it was most interesting to watch them cook together, especially since there was an overhead cam grabbing all the action. Chef Bayless is hilarious and even told us he feels sorry for anyone out there without a high speed blender as he put together his chili. Take notes chefs! Chef Cosentino prepared a steamed clams and chorizo dish and really touched on the importance of sharing food, how it brings us all together. As I grabbed another glass of Negra Modelo, I agreed with his sentiments.

negro modelo demo negro modelo clams and chickpea

As much as it was enjoyable to listen to the chefs share different ways to incorporate Negra Modelo in their dishes, I was ready for dessert. Chef Bayless had just answered my question on the most creative way he’s used the beer in a dish and his answer, a chili chocolate ice cream, had me curious. Luckily, chocolate was on the menu with a chocolate caramel cupcake with a Negra Modelo Caramel sauce. How fun are infused desserts? To add onto the evening, the event was social media powered to unlock amazing gifts which certainly left me encouraged to continue finding #ThePerfectComplement

goodies negro modelo

This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. For more information, visit @NegraModeloUSA on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Share
FFB Pretzels
,

I thought that moving from New York to Washington D.C. would still have an endless supply of restaurants to wander into for quality cuisine. While walking around Georgetown, I found Farmers Fishers Bakers and thought it would be a great place to eat since it was on the water and had a lot of traffic. It had a nautical vibe, good lighting, and waiters dressed like farmers which was interesting.

FFB Interior
Source: Farmers Fishers Bakers Facebook Page

The menu included a wide selection of food as the name of the restaurant implies. A variety from farmers, fishermen, and bakers. My boyfriend ordered calamari pizza because it sounded like a great combination of two amazing dishes. I instantly thought this would be perfect and went for seafood jambalaya because I love anything with shrimp in it. When our plates were brought to the table, his order was mistaken for just plain calamari. After we told the waiter it was incorrect, the manager came out to give her sincerest apologies, told us the calamari is free, and an order of complimentary pretzels will be right out.

FFB Calamari

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FFB Pretzels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bread was warm, soft, and came with plenty of dipping sauces to satisfy all of your taste buds: Pimento Cheese, BBQ Mustard, and Onion Dip. I was excited until I bit into the bread and felt pounds of salt in my mouth, there was no amount of raking off that could make it better, the saltiness was overwhelming and the sauces didn’t help. But what could I expect from a pretzel

with tons of salt on it? So I moved on to the calamari and salt was the main ingredient once again. It was my first time ever refusing to eat calamari, usually I can kill a whole order of by myself.

FFB Jambalaya

FFB Calamari Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the salty calamari, I was ready to be saved by my main course! I just knew the jambalaya would lift my spirits, but instead I was disappointed once again. The jambalaya was not only salty but also extremely greasy. Farmers Fishers Bakers tried to master multiple cuisines but ended up not living up to my expectations at all. When you try to be good at everything, you end up not being good at anything.

Share