Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wanderlust | Washington DC

Over our anniversary weekend this year, Marcus and I took a trip down to Washington D.C. to explore its food and drink scene, and boy, did we come back with many winners. We had a fantastic time getting to know the Capital City, so here's a summary of what we ate, what we drank and sipped, and what we saw -- essentially a little guide of sorts for those wondering what's good in the District.

Upon our arrival, we got these amazing burgers and hand-cut fries at Good Stuff Eatery (see review here), over on Capitol Hill as our late lunch. Good Stuff had some of the most unique condiments I've ever seen offered at a burger joint. I even dare say that I like this burger better than New York's Shake Shack.

As we were already in the Capitol Hill area, Marcus and I did our touristy bidding and saw the United States Capitol Building, up close and personal. That dome is certainly a sight for sore eyes!

It started to rain that afternoon, so we didn't get to walk around all too much, so we just relaxed at our Airbnb space until it was time for our late dinner at Brasserie Beck.

Brasserie Beck (see review here) proved to be a whimsical microcosm of a Parisian brasserie in the heart of DC. The restaurant put us under some captivating spell, whether by way of its refreshing cocktails, its scintillating selection of Belgian beers, or its meticulously prepared fare. Though a little on the pricier side, I say the premium was for the heartwarming experience.

The next morning, we got our caffeine fix at the highly regarded Peregrine Espresso (see review here). Come here if you're a coffee aficionado -- it offers many micro-brews of its single-origin coffees. Also, the mocha lattés here are kickass.

For lunch, we were going to go to Hank's Oyster Bar, but we had so much shellfish at Brasserie Beck that we wanted something a little different. So we opted for Kushi Izakaya & Sushi.

{5} Marcus had the bara chirashi don with diced pieces of sashimi over rice, while I had the {6} ocean's oyako don -- the "Parent and Child" rice bowl with sashimi grade salmon and salmon roe along with a quail egg. For a lunch set that comes with soup and salad, it was a pretty good deal for some decent sushi. The robata grill wasn't really fired up for lunch, so we didn't get to try the "izakaya" part of Kushi, so we're curious to try that for dinner next time we're in town!

After lunch, we found ourselves in the neighborhood of Adams Morgan, checking out the local watering hole of Tryst Coffeehouse & Bar (see review here). Really nice vibe going here -- plus the biscotti aren't anything to dismiss.

That evening, Marcus and I made our way to Birch & Barley for a relaxed anniversary dinner. Some solid dishes on Chef Kyle Bailey's menu (OMG at the sweetbreads) -- and from what I hear, the ridiculously long list of artisanal beers (555 in total!) isn't anything to huff at. Sad we didn't get to sample anything (you'll see why below), but again, a future trip to DC isn't lookin' too shabby! :P

Following dinner at Birch & Barley, we attended an intimate, two-hour cocktail tasting at The Columbia Room (see review here), a "hidden" bar inside The Passenger. The two-hour tasting walked through three different cocktails with some small food pairings and was unlike any cocktail experience I've ever had. The Columbia Room is undoubtedly a must if you're in town for the evening -- the super knowledgeable yet very approachable barstaff are exceptional crafters of spirited beverages. You will have your socks knocked off for sure.

That Sunday morning, we made our last stop for a cup o' joe in DC at Chinatown Coffee Co. (see review here), where you can find a great cup of coffee as well as a well-rounded chai latté. Pastries are nice as well.

Before our brunch, we took a stroll past 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, home to The White House.

Marcus and I met up with Krystal and Angela for a late brunch at Founding Farmers. Unfortunately, we thought the brunch here was a bit overrated -- the dishes we tried weren't all that outstanding. The saving graces were the homemade sodas and anything from the beverage menu, really.

I had a late afternoon pick-me-up before heading back to New York City at {1Pitango Gelato, which had framed flavors on the wall, including gelatos sorbets. Some notable varieties include bacio (chocolate hazelnut with hazelnuts and chocolate chips), pistachio di Bronte (made using pistachios cultivated on the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano, which has different characteristics than the common pistachio;, having a longer shape and an intense flavor that cannot be imitated), black tea, créme fraîche, and quince. I wanted to try them all, but I resorted to the orange dark chocolate sorbet (easier on my semi-lactose intolerance), which embodied what an orange Milano would be in churned form. So, so, so good.

Other Recommendations from Past Visits
  • Hello Cupcake (see review here): Decent cupcakes -- though I prefer the next two over this one.
  • *Sprinkles Cupcakes (see review here): Red velvet and dark chocolate are my favorites!
  • *baked & wired (see review here): Definitely try the chai cupcake if you can!
  • *Oyamel (see review here): Great for a lively dinner.
  • *Firefly (see review here): A brunch must -- order the challah French toast.

Price point: $13-15 for each lunch set at Kushi Izakaya & Sushi, $4.99 for a small gelato/sorbet (up to two flavors) at Pitango Gelato.

--April 19-21 2013

*Good Stuff Eatery (Capitol Hill)
303 Pennsylvania Avenue Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

The United States Capitol (Building)
Capitol Hill

*Brasserie Beck
1101 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005

*Peregrine Espresso
1718 14th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20009

Kushi Izakaya & Sushi
465 K Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

*Tryst Coffee House Bar & Lounge
2459 18th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20009

*Birch & Barley
1337 14th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20005

*The Columbia Room
The Passenger
1021 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

*Chinatown Coffee Co.
475 H Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20001

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500

Founding Farmers (DC)
1924 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20006

*Pitango Gelato
413 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004

1 comment:

  1. Last month I went to washington bus tours with my entire family. There we visited its many attractive places like the United States Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. We stayed there at my friend’s house so I can’t taste the foods of the restaurants. After reading your lovely experience and read about these yummy foods now I want to go there again to taste these dishes.



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