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  1. Not sure if my google skills have departed, or if I have really started two threads tonight. We are always looking for a place that is open late. So one night at 10pm, we tried it. The decor is a.... melange of styles and motifs. The meal as a whole was quite nice. It was one of the more plesant dining experiences we have had recently. But when I think back to the actual dishes, noneof them stood out as superb with the exception of a pate but the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. A decent, small beer list with about a dozin an tap, more in bottle and cans. Wine list did not interest me. I asked the waiter to ahve the bartender riff on a Sazerac, and I got a pretty straightforward Sazerac, nicely done but not outstanding. Kay's Goose Island IPA was very nice. We tried two cured meats {duckbreast and fennel sausage} and the aforementioned pate {pork with cranberry IIRC.} The pate was superb and would have been better still if served with something as simple as a little mustard or mostarda to go along with the pate, a small pile of cornichons and a hunk of grilled bread. The duck breast was fine, but I have had better product from Dartagnan. The fennel sausage had a very odd, crumbly, dry texture that was borderline unpleasant. This was unfortunate as the flavors were nice. A salad of chicories seemed to be a conventional produce item, which surprised at a place that makes all their meat items in house. There was a nice smattering of very good blue crumbles from a US artisan cheese maker, candied walnuts and orange sections. The other dish we ahd was a total miss.... grilled calamari with salsa verde. Not one part of the dish worked. Desserts were a baked apple which was more of a apple shaped applesauce with a brulee crust in a creme Anglaise. I was not a fan of the texture, but the flavors were super. My maple & bacon gelato was shy on both bacon and maple, and was ice cream int he extreme and not gelato, but it was a fun, large portion. Kay's apple came with a large wad of spun sugar and my "gelato" has a stained glass dripped sugar thingie on top. There was more sugar in the garnishes than one person should eat in a week. The spun sugar shattered when I tried to take a taste and it took overnight and several applications of shampoo to my quite bushy beard to get it out. We chatted witht he GM and the Chef di Cusina who were very nice. We cut off our waiter who introduced himself with the line "I'm Jason and I am here to guide you thru the menu tonight" We said we had made our decisions and had a couple of questions... what is your favorite pate and what are your favorite two cures. He had answered at hand which I appreciated. But this is not a menu needing GPS or hand holding to understand. Appetizers, entrees and lots of charcuterie. If I had the free time, or on a night in the future when I do, we will return for a late bite. The dinner was about $70 with tip.
  2. The Cheese Monster (website), by Alice Bergen Phillips, is a cool company. She is currently making cheese displays, teaching classes, and creating cheese pairings for others. cheesemonsterdc@gmail.com She did an event for 20 people in my home last night that was just so much fun. We had a seated cheese tasting and wine pairing for the Junior Friends. She picked 5 cheese and we bought the wine to pair with the cheese. She can either pick cheese for certain wines you want to have, or she can come up with a whole tasting, whatever you like. she also mentioned she does a lot of beer and cheese pairings, which would be cool!!! I have attached a picture of our menu. We then had a social after where we ate her delicious and beautiful cheese board. I think it is a social event we might have to have again. I learned so much about cheese that I didn't know before. It was an exciting event and something just a little bit more special than the typical social event and really fun for our members. I realize some people on this board know a lot about cheese, much more than me, it was fun to gain a little knowledge, and delicious. Thanks Alice! Wishing you lots of success on your brick and mortar coming to DC!
  3. After posting a note in the Help Needed Section: http://www.donrockwell.com/index.php?showtopic=18472entry212478 about our ability to staff catered events, Don suggested I post here about the Professional Bartending School. He added that many drive by our location (w/ its large signs) on Wilson Boulevard and don't know who or what we are!! LOL..(so much for "brand recognition") So here is a little about the Professional Bartending School http://bartending-school.com : 1. We are a hands-on 40 hour, state approved bartending program. The business has been around since 1968. 2. Our group has owned/operated it since the mid 1980's. 3. Relative to about 100-150 bartending schools around the country we are pretty old, pretty consistent and pretty large....not to mention impeccably clean and respected within a sort of snarky "industry". 4. Our program consists of 10 classes in which we teach many drink recipes, opening to closing and customer service functions for bartenders, deep instruction on alcohols, mixes etc, an additional program on "alcohol management" (how to deal with drunks, potential drunks, how to identify fake ID's, etc), and give job placement assistance. We have extensive hands-on practice, which is used to get people efficient and knowledgeable as bartenders. 5. Everything is hands-on with a fully functioning built out bar, all equipment, double speed racks, two large professional ice machines, etc. The one thing that is fake is the alcohol. We use water and colored water to simulate the colors of alcohols. (works well). In 40 hours the students literally make/practice thousands of drinks. 6. We teach efficiency, and practical ways to develop bartenders and try and teach from an owners perspective. 7. We are not a training ground for advanced mixology nor craft bartending. Some of our grads are some of the craft bartenders in this and other regions. They arrive at this status through subsequent personal development and additional learning. (More power to them) 8. We have Very extensive Job Placement Assistance on behalf of graduates. In the last couple of years we've been able to confirm our grads landing about 1200 bartending jobs/year. Nothing else comes close to that in the DC region--not remotely close. 9. We reach out to up to several thousand bartending employers (everything from the ugliest crudest bar/club you wouldn't want to send your worst enemy to --to the regions finest fine dining. We have had some of the region's most revered restaurants hire from us over the years. Our placement services are free to the food and beverage industry. 10. Currently I believe we reach out to around 1,000 or so grads, recent and past who stay in active touch with employment opportunities. We could probably reach out to a couple of thousand more if need be. 11. We are able to reach out to grads with extensive experience if required and can work with F & B employers in many different ways to satisfy staffing needs. 12. Of note: if anyone has ever read anything about bartending schools and the commentary they get (often from people who claim to be bar managers) our school has gotten thousands of people jobs and we specifically have responded to and targeted certain niches in the big industry. Now here is why I responded to the Help Wanted request referenced above for catering suggestions. We provide up to thousands of graduates to caterers. They staff many of the caterers, both well known and little known throughout the region. (By example, Ridgewells, which still hires many of our grads, used to visit on site to recruit.) We direct provide bartenders for parties, catered events, weddings, special events, corporate events, birthdays, bar mitzvah's, funerals, charity events, you name it. The school does not charge for this service, nor do we tack on overhead charges. Since many of our grads already work for these caterers, you can get people at "probably" below catering charges, who might have been staffing your event anyway....Its a good deal. All costs and pay go directly to the bartenders/staff who work your event. We arrange for these people to work the events but do not get involved in contractural agreements concerning the staffing. 13. We do have staff and graduates who are "experts". My expertise probably falls on the "quantity side" 14. Oh yeah....we earn our living by providing that 40 hour program. New classes start every week. Our phone number is 703 841 9700. Our job placement line is 703 841 9757. Placement email is pbsplacement@gmail.com Main contact email is info@bartending-school.com Cheers: Everyone.
  4. I don't pretend to the cocktail connoisseur status that many here have achieved, but I do enjoy a comfortable room and enthusiastic mixology, particularly if it's provided by a pair of frighteningly attractive bartenders. We finished off the fall, pumpkin-spiced cocktails the other night, went through a good bit of rye (which we all agreed is officially the hippest liquor around these days) and sampled the barrel-aged concoctions. Unsurprisingly, memories are a little blurred, but one strong impression is that Last Exit -- a semi-autonomous province of Tonic -- is under-patronized. I don't think their bartenders are quite up to the level of, say, a Derek or a Gina, but they're learning fast and clearly delight in the trade. If any of DR's cocktail snobs (Jake, Weinoo, xcanuck...) are willing to make the journey and give their impression, the first round is on me.
  5. Food Photography Class (to benefit Arcadia Food, Inc) That Instagram of your delicious dinner somehow always look like a dog's breakfast? Join professional food photographer Molly M. Peterson for a late lunch and photo session at a D.C. restaurant where she'll guide you through the right way to photograph food -- so it looks as good as it tastes. (And then dig in!) She'll share quick styling secrets, general photography advice, and will review your shots on site to give you immediate feedback -- and Arcadia will feature yourphotos online! Ticket price covers the food and props. Bring your DSLR, Lenses, and iPhone, too. Date: Sunday, March 23, 2014Time: 1:00 PM Location: Washington, DC; Details provided upon registration. Price: $60 Tickets Available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-photography-tickets-9865040602
  6. Join master butcher Nathan Anda at the soon-to-open D Street location of Red Apron for a personal hands-on demo in breaking down a whole pig. Red Apron is the nation's first and only butcher to offer 100 percent Animal Welfare Approved pork -- from which Nate makes more than 100 varieties of charcuterie. Nathan will discuss the importance of sustainable practices, touch on the traditions and trade secrets of old world butchers, and lead a guided tour through the anatomy of the pig and all the delicious possibilities. Attendees will also be treated to a tasting of Red Apron charcuterie and a craft beer. The class will also include a question and answer period with Nathan. And: come prepared to bid on the pork chops, ham, shoulder and secret butcher's cuts carved to take home and enjoy! Sales benefit Arcadia (and your freezer, and your dinner!) Your ticket price includes food and beer, and an afternoon with one of the leaders in American butchery. Date: Sunday, February 23, 2014 Time: 3:00 PM Location: Red Apron, D St NW, Washington DC Price: $75 Tickets Available here http://www.eventbrite.com/e/whole-pig-butchery-tickets-7708154297
  7. Cheese: The Art of Calculated Decay (to benefit Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture) Join the two visionary cheesemakers behind FireFly Farms award winning goat cheeses for a hands-on, educational and delicious dive into cheese. First, you'll start with cheesemaking 101 where you will learn not only the history of cheese, but the chemistry. Next you'll move into a tasting session where you can expand your cheese vocabulary, assess texture, pair with wine, and discover the flavor profile wheel. You'll end by cultivating your own cheese that you can take home. For you chemistry nerds, this class will make your pinwheel spin, while cheese lovers will get to taste and make cheese that will make your toes curl with delight. Date: Monday, January 27, 2014 Time: 6:30 PM Location: Hill's Kitchen (713 D St SE, Washington, DC 20003) Price: $60 Buy tickets here - http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cheese-the-art-of-calculated-decay-tickets-7707941661
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