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Found 8 results

  1. I wasn't quite sure where to put this, so @DonRocks please move this topic where you feel it is most appropriate. I know since moving back to Pennsylvania, I most look forward to supporting small businesses whenever I can. I guess living in the District, I was groomed to always support operations to which mainly included the chef owned restaurants, along with the small gift stores dotted along main street. As I get older, the only big shops I shop at are H Mart or Target to get everyday items, but when it comes to procuring gifts, I seek out handmade gifts created by local artists. So if you happen to know any artists and or shops that I should visit in and around the beltway please list them here, and I will do the same. When you support a small business owner, you are actually supporting a person's dream and they often do a happy dance. I have witnessed it on several occasions. When we support one another, everything seems to work out. At lease, that is what I continue to believe. Shop small, kat
  2. I recently had a chance to visit Bottega Louie, a bright, cavernous space in The Brockman Building on South Grand that is both a gourmet market and restaurant. The large open floor and high ceilings plan gives the place a certain vibrancy, with an accompanying noise level that you might expect from such a large room. I took a seat at the 10 stool bar in the front closer to the market and quite enjoyed the Cioppino, which also cost $30. It was a full bowl of succulent seafood, that contained perhaps the most plump mussels I have ever been served. Truly satisfying.
  3. Flying Fish Coffee and Tea is now open (and has been for a few weeks in Mt Pleasant). It's excellent- very friendly, straightforward and good coffee and espresso. Haven't tried the teas just yet. Their iced coffee is terrific. Fantastic addition to the street . Counter Culture beans, they have the usual drip, pour over and mixed drinks. Worth a stop if you are in the neighborhood.
  4. I started Saturday and Sunday mornings here this weekend at the 20th Street location in Chelsea. Their cappuccino was creamy coffee goodness. The shop was narrow, sleek, very well kept, and adorned with interesting artwork that appeared to be for sale. It is on a nice tree lined street right down the block from the NYPD 10th Precinct Station (which was about the only thing to remind you you were in the middle of Manhattan). The only negative for me was that they do not open until 7:30am on weekends which means I had 45 minutes to wander the streets passing probably a dozen open Starbucks in the process (NYC must have the highest concentration of Starbucks per square mile of any place I have been). Nevertheless, I kept my resolve and was glad I did. This is a coffee worth the wait.
  5. Apparently New Yorkers go nuts for these hockey puck sized cookies. It's a good cookie, I would even call the oatmeal raisin a very good cookie. Would I line up for one? Probably not. I guess you can consider Levain to be the Georgetown Cupcake of New York City cookie stores. Levain Bakery Upper West Side and Harlem
  6. I've been meaning to post about Jessie Mann Porcelains (also known as Boxes By Jessie) for over a year. Some dear friends had a child on Dec 1, 2013 , and I didn't have a clue what to get them. So I hunted and pecked, looked around at Etsy, and then Google, and I searched and searched, and then a few minutes later, I found the perfect keepsake: a hand-painted Limoges porcelain box, custom-made for their baby. I went over to Jessie's studio and met with her personally, and there was a whole variety of Limoges boxes to choose from - plain, ivory-colored boxes in their native, unpainted state. But she had catalogs of her work, so I could see where this was going to go - her finished products are *beautiful*. Look at these, and these, and these. She not only paints them, but applies the French enamels in multiple layers, firing the box in an oven after each layer. The entire process takes about a week, and it's well-worth your time (no, I'll say it's imperative) that you go over there, in person, to select your box. Jessie sat down with me for about thirty minutes, sketching out what I wanted right in front of me, so I had a pretty good idea of what the finished product would be like - but when I actually saw it, I couldn't believe how vibrant it was. These are gifts for people who have everything, and you don't know what to buy them. Obviously, they're not cheap (they start at $100 and go up - you can expect to spend $200-300 for even a modestly sized box). But man, are they worth it. And then when your box is ready, she doesn't just hand it to you and say bye; she includes photos, and presents it in a really nice gift bag. If you have a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or other special occasion (she even has one that says "First Tooth"), I can't imagine there's anyone who wouldn't appreciate receiving one of these as a gift. I cannot recommend Jessie Mann highly enough - she was a pleasure to work with, and the quality of her artistry is amazing. Don Rockwell
  7. Given the unseasonably warm weather, I decided to try the bubble tea at the Barracks Row Capital Teas today. It was a nice day to sit in the courtyard. I'm not sure what the event was at the Barracks, but I encountered a motorcade on the way over and was serenaded by the Marine Corps band as I drank my tea and read a book. The tea I ordered was the featured flavor: blood orange pu-erh. They have another half a dozen or so standing flavors. I had tried the hot version of the blood orange at the outside urn and wasn't sure about it. The staff member I was dealing with assured me that it's really good iced, so I went ahead. It had more flavor than it did hot. I thought the bubbles were good--firm and kind of gummy and chewy, but I don't have experience with bubble tea that enables me to give an expert opinion.. The mixture seemed a little too sweet to me, but I don't typically consume sweet drinks. It wasn't overpoweringly sweet, so someone who likes a moderate amount of sweetness would possibly think it was fine. I believe they sweeten with agave, but I didn't confirm this. The amount of milk seemed good, but it could have used more ice. The serving was very generous. A small was $6.25 ($6.61 with tax).
  8. Not only have I been to this "restaurant" which celebrated the Grand Opening of Jolie Feuille, I'm proud to say that I was Jolie Feuille's first customer, ever! For those of you who haven't yet met Celia Laurent-Ziebold, she's currently the GM of Sou'Wester, and has recently decided to take the plunge and put her artistic talents to work at Jolie Feuille ("Pretty Paper" in English) - beautiful little collages which Celia makes from antique French newspapers - she sees potential beauty and greatness in things many people would overlook and discard, and has the ability to turn them into precious little artistic jewels - not unlike what she did with her husband. Not only was I Jolie Feuille's first customer, I also put in two custom orders in for Valentine's Day. They make perfect presents, and are surprisingly inexpensive considering the thought and craft that goes into making them. Count me as a repeat customer and a fan. Celia is not only artistic, she apparently has also inherited her lovely mother's cooking skills (refer to Eric's picture up above). Here is a picture of Celia and her charming mom, whom I had the privilege of meeting the last time I was in France: The works of Jolie Feuille can be found at the artists' co-op website, etsy.com, specifically at http://www.etsy.com/shop/JolieFeuille (notice the prices which are remarkably reasonable). Guys, if you get stuck for a last-minute gift, here's where to turn (you'll be in the doghouse if you show up with a box of Whitman's Samplers, and definitely *do* *not* do what I did!)
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