All in DC

Exploring Chilean wine - Valdivieso

Valdivieso winery dates back to 1879 when they introduced the first sparkling wine in South America – the “Champagne Valdivieso”. And yes, they could call it champagne back then because the whole ‘champagne from Champagne only’ laws only came about after that! They focused on sparkling wine for the longest time and introduced still wines in the 1980’s. Even now, they are mostly known for sparkling wine in South America, and the majority of their still wines are exported, although the production of both is pretty much split evenly now.

Easy gift ideas for the DC food lover

The holidays are here, which means parties and cookie swaps and endless wine and ugly sweaters and what not. More often than not, I wait until I’m rushing out the door to the party to think of what to take with me. I normally end up stopping at the closest grocery store and picking up a bottle of wine or flowers. I guess that’s better than showing up empty handed, but I figured I can be a bit more thoughtful! And in order to do that, I started with a list of some of my favorite local “foodie” gifts that I’d like to share! These are convenient and in all price ranges really, and of course most of them are food related! 

Brickside Food and Drink - much more than bar fare!

I never really think of Bethesda as a dining destination and almost never venture out there. But just away from the main Bethesda downtown is Brickside Food and Drink -  a sports bar with upscale refined food that had me wondering why I didn’t make the visit earlier!

Chef Matthew Smith has come in and elevated Brickside to a place where “the sport fan and foodie intersect”.  Chef Smith, who has previously worked at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in Las Vegas,  in Italy as  the sous chef at critically acclaimed CarneVino, and then moved back to his native Maryland to oversee the kitchen at Baltimore’s Salt Tavern, has really raised the bar on the food at Brickside. I really don’t want to call it “bar food” since it’s so much more than that!

Ottoman Taverna - A true Turkish delight!

Ottoman Taverna is the latest restaurant by restaurateur Hakan Ilhan in the Mount Vernon triangle neighborhood, where he also runs Alba Osteria and L’Hommage Bistro. Hakan runs over 20 restaurants, eateries, and gourmet markets in the area, but he waited a long time before opening one fashioned after his own Turkish roots. Why, you ask? He wanted to get it right.

And get it right he did!

Takoda DC - Rooftop beer garden, whiskey bar, and modern American food

It seems as if there is a new restaurant opening in Shaw every other day! I’m definitely not complaining. The newest addition to the scene is Takoda –  a rooftop beer garden a modern American menu.

What’s in a name? TAKODA is a Native American name that means “Friend to Everyone” – and that’s what they are aiming to be and based on my first experience there, I am definitely happy to be their friend!