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Al Lado: Richard Sadoval's New Latin Wine Bar

Al Lado: Richard Sadoval's New Latin Wine Bar


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Richard Sadoval's New Latin Wine Bar

From the award-winning chef Richard Sandoval comes a new Denver venture — and this time's it's about the wine. Al Lado, a Latin wine bar, is now open next door to Sandoval's Zengo location.

The wines set for Al Lado are primarily from South American, with an extensive wine list: about 45 reds and 50 whites. "These varietals just do amazingly well in South America, Argentina, and Chile," she says. If the wines don't lure you in, the house-made sangrias might. Take the Vino Tinto, made with Shiraz wine, mango, orange, lemon, lime, Granny smith apples, blackberry and traditional brandy, and orange liquor. Or, the pineapple sangria, made with pineapple-infused vodka, Moscato wine, agave nectar, triple sec, lemon, and pineapple juice, will make an easy summertime drink. These drinks are paired with a Spanish tapas menu. Also on the menu: wine on tap; Berger says the bar is still confirming that Al Lado can use the keg system (popular in the '70s) to serve its house wines.

Berger says the feel of Al Lado is an intimate, neighborhood experience. "[Sandoval] has never done anything on that chic, intimate, neighborhood feel," she says. Knowing the Riverfront Park neighborhood, and the number of residents that flock to Zengo each night, Berger says she's confidence Al Lado will attract a large crowd at 610 Little Raven Street.


Fairmont Mayakoba to Unveil Four Re-imagined Restaurants

MAYA, MEXICO, June XX, 2015 – Fairmont Mayakoba, a AAA Five Diamond and Rainforest Alliance Verified resort, . Through a phased approach, each of the resort’s four restaurants – Lobby Lounge, El Puerto, Brisas and La Laguna – will be renovated and redesigned ushering in a new culinary era in Riviera Maya. The project will be complete in September 2015.

“The opportunity to be back in Mexico and introduce new concepts and creative flavors at Fairmont Mayakoba is a career highlight,” commented Chef Richard Sandoval. “The resort is perfectly situated to be the culinary hub of Riviera Maya. I’m thrilled to collaborate and bring my creativity and passion for fresh, authentic cuisine to locals and visitors with our four new restaurants.”

The re-imagined restaurants will offer a completely new dining direction at Fairmont Mayakoba. From curated menus featuring modern Mexican, Latin and fusion concepts, to the actual design and styling of the spaces, guests will experience fresh and eclectic dining in a world-class resort setting.

“The partnership with Richard Sandoval brings us into a new chapter at the resort as we approach our tenth anniversary,” remarked newly appointed General Manager, Dennis Clark. “Our mission is to continue to exceed guest expectations and deliver the hospitality and service we are known for. Bringing Richard on as our partner will heighten the guest experience and provide new and exciting dining options that the destination has not yet seen.”

Lobby Lounge – Now Open
A refreshed arrival experience welcomes guests to the Lobby Lounge, where the menu features small plates and appetizers with a distinct Latin-Asian influence. An expanded covered terrace overlooking the resort’s internal waterways is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the new innovative cocktail program and listen to nightly live entertainment.

El Puerto – Now Open
The new El Puerto is an artful blend of Latin-Asian favorites sure to please any palate. The menu of Dim Sum, antojitos (Mexican term for tapas), sushi and seasonal ceviches, complemented by the regions first sake and tequila bar, featuring over 100 options, gives diners a playful and exotic experience like no other. The extended terrace for al-fresco dining in addition to a large indoor dining space and two private dining rooms ensures ample spaces for all guests to enjoy flavorful dinner and weekend brunch with views of the lush landscape and waterways.

Brisas – Early July
Located under a graceful palapa, with mesmerizing views of the Caribbean Sea, the new design of Brisas main dining area and private dining rooms are the ultimate location for coastal dining in Riviera Maya. Contemporary European and Latin design enhance the menu of fresh, locally caught seafood and fine cuts of meat
with signature sauces and spice blends. The new raw bar and beachfront stage for live entertainment, are sure to be guest favorites for a fun atmosphere of regional flavors and international cuisine.

La Laguna – Early September
The new La Laguna is rooted in tradition yet features contemporary and earthy flavors of modern Mexican cuisine from Chef Richard Sandoval. A tequileria, an open concept kitchen and Mexican inspired craft cocktails make it the ideal restaurant to get together with friends and family any time of the day. The creative menu is complimented by an exciting nightlife component.


Dessert Recipes That Take Arab Traditions in New Directions

STILL AS SWEET Based on a centuries-old recipe, this tart has a bright hibiscus glaze and a graham-cracker crust.

I WAS 23 years old the first time I tasted sticky toffee pudding. An American in London working for the BBC, I was pulling overnight shifts and, on my days off, blearily exploring the city alone. One raw, gray day, I ducked into a pub and decided cake smothered in toffee sauce was just the thing to brighten my outlook. The steaming pudding turned out to be tooth-achingly sweet, but its power to comfort, even coddle, was undeniable. The Brits don’t call it nursery food for nothing.

The truth is I always liked the idea of sticky toffee pudding better than the real thing. So I was intrigued to find an adaptation in a new cookbook on Arab cuisine, “The Arabesque Table” (Phaidon). Its author, Reem Kassis, also discovered sticky toffee pudding during a stint in London. Her version adds creamy tahini to the cake and replaces some of the sugar in the toffee sauce with a dollop of bright date molasses and more tahini. It’s a grown-up, refreshing twist on the British classic that nevertheless preserves the childlike pleasures of the original.

Refreshing is also the best word to describe Ms. Kassis’s book, which arrives in an era when the food world is engaged in a furious, often infuriating debate about who “owns” certain foods and even who has the right to cook them. Is fried chicken a Southern dish or an African American one? Can a white chef who studied in Thailand put himself forward as an expert on Thai food? For that matter, is it wrong for a Palestinian writer to mess with sticky toffee pudding—or an American one to declare that version an improvement on the original?

Ms. Kassis is not uninterested in where those lines should fall. Her previous book, “The Palestinian Table,” was her effort to record, and define as Palestinian, dishes she grew up eating that are often referred to hazily as Middle Eastern or sometimes, incorrectly, as Israeli. In contrast, “The Arabesque Table” zooms out, examining both the history and the evolution of Arab dishes, suggesting another, richer approach to understanding food. “No cuisine is a straight line stretching infinitely back in time,” she writes in her introduction. “If there is one thing I want this book to convey, it is that we are always moving forward, learning from others, adapting and evolving.”

This is true of so many dishes whose history we think we know. Steamed milk puddings such as Italy’s panna cotta or French blanc mange, Ms. Kassis points out, have roots in Arab milk puddings called muhallabiyeh, recorded as far back as the 10th-century cookbook Kitab al-Tabikh (though early versions also included meat, sheep’s tail fat and bread). Meanwhile, many of the ingredients of maqlubeh, the classic Palestinian upside-down rice dish, are not even native to the Levant. Eggplants arrived from Asia and tomatoes were not widely used in Palestinian cooking until the 19th century. “Does that make maqlubeh any less Palestinian? Absolutely not,” Ms. Kassis told me. “Food can be crucial to a national identity even as we recognize the cross-cultural journey it took to get there.”


Move Over, Margaritas

Wines are increasingly the beverage choice to pair with Mexican cuisine.

The pairing shocked me: shrimp fajitas and White Zinfandel?

And yet there I was, snug on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in Cabo San Lucas last December, sipping a varietal that was last on any American high-end restaurant’s wine list nearly two decades ago. But it worked—very well, in fact. The acidity and full body of the L.A. Cetto White Zinfandel, from Mexico’s Baja California region, cut through the spicy shrimp fajitas with ease.

In town for the ninth annual Sabor a Cabo food and wine event, I made a vow to only drink Mexican wines with each meal in an attempt to give the country’s wines a true test-drive. While Mexican wines have been made commercially since 1597— starting at Casa Madero, Mexico’s oldest winery located near Monterrey—only recently did they achieve acclaim. Nowhere was this truer than at Sabor a Cabo’s Grand Tasting, held at a sculpture garden in San Jose del Cabo. Dozens of Mexico wineries poured glasses for glam patrons dressed in suits and gowns, while food stations dished out tacos, pulled pork, and other Mexican delicacies.

Clearly, wine with Mexican food is now a popular trend.

It turns out I was on to something. Even back in the U.S., the notion of pairing Mexican foods with wine, essentially abandoning the conventional margarita or even a cold beer, is the new thing to do.

It’s a movement not lost on chef-owner Richard Sandoval, also in town for the Sabor a Cabo event. “Before, you would think of Mexican food with a beer or a margarita. Today it pairs well with wines, too. I prefer to go with more acidic, fruitier wines,” explains Chef Sandoval, who has restaurants around the world, like Pompano in Manhattan and Bahia in Nayarit, Mexico. He owns restaurants in Denver, Las Vegas, New York City, Washington, D.C., Arizona, and Southern California, plus international destinations like Dubai, Tokyo, Qatar, and Serbia. For wine pairings, Pinot Noirs and Malbecs are his top picks. This is especially true with chilies and spicy sauces, he says. “You want a clean wine to cleanse your palate.”

Given the diversity of Mexican food—driven in part by a geography that spans land-locked as well as coastal regions and that features an abundance of moles, peppers, and spices—the sheer variety of wines is a godsend.

“I really like Malbec with a nice skirt steak and chimichurri,” says Chef Sandoval. White wines also match well with coastal Mexican cuisine, he adds. “I really like Albariños with ceviche. Sparkling wines go very well with ceviche, too.”

One reason for the elevated pairings of wine with Mexican food is the transition of Latino cuisine to more upscale restaurants. Once reduced to casual hole-in-the-wall joints, diners can now order ceviche or tamales at five-star restaurants. One example is Javier’s in Dallas, where guests can order a magnum bottle of 1995 Moět et Chandon Cuvée Dom Pérignon ($925) and Puntas Rancheras ($24.95), spicy tenderloin tips sautéed with tomato, baked Serrano peppers, and garlic. Wine selections range from Napa Valley to Mendoza, Argentina, and many regions in between.

Similarly, Chef Sandoval strives to feature Chilean and Argentine wines in his restaurants, with some New World selections—especially Pinot Noirs—folded in for good measure. He estimates his wine lists are about 65 percent from Latin countries and 35 percent from other wine-producing areas.

The nature of small-production operations combined with a healthy domestic consumption unfortunately means that Mexican wines are distributed selectively north of the border and available in only a few markets. “I wish that they would make Mexican wines more accessible to us, too,” says Chef Sandoval, adding that they are often priced so high that diners who are not familiar with the wines won’t take a chance on them. As for his preferences, he’s particularly fond of wines from the Guadalupe Valley. “You get this very mineral wine, due to the saltiness (in the terroir).”

Indeed, as my tour of Mexican wines with spicy food continued, the day after my shrimp-and-White-Zin revelation I sat down with a glass of 2013 L.A. Cetto Sierra Blanca Sauvignon Blanc (Baja, Mexico) at Los Tamarindos, an organic farm and restaurant. The spice from every dish I tried—tamales ratatouille, a salad featuring exotic greens like Scarlet frills plus beets and balsamic vinegar, fish prepared Veracruz style with olives and tomatoes, and a side of green rice—all cut through the wine. In fact, the wine worked even for the final act, a difficult dessert pairing: Dulce de Calabaza, pure sugar cane, cinnamon, and squash.

Then, at Bar Esquina in Cabo San Lucas, under a sun-dappled pergola, I enjoyed the chalkiness, weight, and pineapple notes in the 2013 Casa Madero Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay blend with a ceviche that featured fried plantains, dehydrated corn, and citrus juice. Another remarkable pairing: that same winery’s 2013 rosé (made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes) with organic local chicken and mahi mahi. That same white wine popped up again at Mi Casa in downtown Cabo San Lucas. On this second occasion, I enjoyed it alongside a pickled vegetables salad, with corn chips and mustard greens, and amberjack fish, with squash purée and pickled beet stems. Both were solid matches. Neither the wine nor the food fought for domination.

Alberto Cubilla, owner of the new wine and coffee bar El Wine Shop, a first in the Los Cabos region, agrees that the notion of marrying Mexican food with wine is nouveau. Before opening his spot in Mexico, he worked for J. Lohr Winery in California’s Central Coast as its export manager. “There’s been a renaissance in Mexico with wine just in the past five years,” he says.

Chef Sandoval is also doing his part to fuel the renaissance and introduce diners to this concept. It’s not that he’s shunning margaritas or beers. Mostly, it’s about expanding beverage options and giving Mexican food the elegance it deserves. In February, he presided over a five-course wine-pairing dinner at one of his restaurants—Zengo in Denver—with Concha y Toro wines from Chile.

“ It’s a little bit challenging,” he admits, “for people to go with wine in a Mexican restaurant.” To counter this reluctance, he suggests placing emphasis on wine service. “It’s important for a server to give guests these options.”


Vinson Petrillo

Vinson’s career started at the age of 15, however his interests and love for food started much earlier. Growing up in an Italian family, there was one day that we could all sit around the table and agree on one thing, that nobody could make a better Sunday dinner than my mother and father. Roasting pork bones for bolognese sauce, slowly simmering handmade meatballs and braciole, sweating garlic and red pepper flakes in the most flavorful olive oil for the broccolini this was the true start of Vinson’s culinary career. At the age of 15, Vinson started working for the Parsippany Hilton, working in a kitchen seemed so natural he decided to make it part of his life. After graduating Johnson and Wales University in Charleston S.C. Vinson started working in the best restaurants he could find, usually one or two week stints for free to gain experience. A stage at No. 9 Park in Boston made Vinson realize his passion for fine dining food and quickly applied to Toppers at the Wauwinet in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Under the guidance of chef David Daniels, Vinson worked his way up the ranks and was quickly promoted to Sous Chef. After three years, Vinson moved on to become the Executive Sous Chef at The Bernards Inn in Bernardsville NJ. Vinson’s next step was NYC, joining Chef Kyle Mcclelland as chef de cuisine of Caviar Russe on Madison Avenue. After two years, Vinson and Kyle parted ways and Vinson took on the Executive Sous Chef role at Abe and Arthur's working for Franklin Becker. There, Vinson challenged himself every night and gained the confidence to run a successful, busy restaurant. Currently, Vinson Petrillo is the Chef de Cuisine at Prospect in Brooklyn, NY, a modern new American restaurant with a focus on sustainability, as well as local seasonal ingredients.

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone

Curtis Stone (curtisstone.com) is an internationally known chef, TV host, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author. His philosophy to cook as Mother Nature intended inspires Curtis to keep his recipes simple, using local, seasonal and organic ingredients and allowing the food to speak for itself. Curtis is recognized around the globe for his ability to help home cooks find confidence in the kitchen with delicious, doable recipes and easy cooking techniques.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Curtis first found his passion for food whilst watching his grandmother make her legendary fudge and his mother roast her perfect pork crackling. He quickly learnt to appreciate the beauty of creating -- and eating -- homemade food and cherished the way it brought people together. That early lesson would ultimately become Curtis' ethos and the foundation of his culinary career.

After finishing culinary school, he took a job cooking at the Savoy Hotel in Melbourne before heading to London, where he honed his skills under legendary three-star Michelin genius, Marco Pierre White, at Café Royal, Mirabelle. and the highly revered Quo Vadis.

Curtis opened a multi-functional culinary headquarters in Beverly Hills in January 2014, featuring a test kitchen and his dream, little restaurant, Maude (mauderestaurant.com).

While living in London, Curtis appeared in several UK cooking shows before catching the eye of television producers in Australia. At the age of 27, he became the star of a new cooking series called Surfing the Menu. It was an international hit that led to his first American show, TLC’s Take Home Chef in 2006 -- the same year the blondhaired, blue-eyed young gun was named one of People magazine's Sexiest Men Alive. Curtis broke into US primetime network television with appearances on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, America's Next Great Restaurant and The Biggest Loser. In 2012, Curtis co-hosted Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates and reprised his role as host of the network's popular culinary competition Top Chef Masters, which returned for a fifth season in 2013. In addition to this, Curtis is host of the new edition of the Top Chef franchise, Top Chef Duels, scheduled to air this summer. As a frequent guest since ABC’s The Chew's launch in September 2011, Curtis officially joined the ensemble cast as a regular guest co-host in November 2013.

As the author of five cookbooks, Curtis has shared his culinary know-how with readers around the globe. Surfing the Menu and Surfing the Menu Again (ABC Books 2004, 2005), penned with his friend and fellow Aussie chef Ben O’Donoghue, were followed by Cooking with Curtis (Pavilion 2005), a solo effort that celebrated seasonal fare and brought his chef's expertise down-to-earth for the home cook. Setting out to prove that good food doesn't need to be fussy, Curtis then released Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone: Recipes to Put You in My Favorite Mood (Clarkson Potter 2009).

Curtis launched his fifth cookbook, a New York Times best-seller: What's For Dinner?: Recipes for a Busy Life in April 2013 (Ballantine). His sixth cookbook is set for release in April 2015. Curtis also contributes to a variety of food and lifestyle magazines. He is a food columnist for the wildly popular O Magazine, contributing on a bimonthly basis. His debut column was published in the October 2013 issue.

Curtis developed Kitchen Solutions, a line of sleek and functional cookware, in 2007 after spending thousands of hours with home cooks in their own kitchens. The goal is to bring confidence to the kitchen with tools that help make cooking inspired and effortless. The first chef to debut an eponymous product line at Williams-Sonoma, Curtis has expanded the range to include close to 250 items, which in addition to Williams-Sonoma are available at HSN, Bloomingdales, Dillard's, Chef's Catalog, Belk and fine specialty retailers throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and Belgium.

Curtis' restaurant Maude (mauderestaurant.com) is the culmination of all his life and career experiences captured into an intimate setting. Curtis always dreamed of opening his own restaurant so when the perfect space in Beverly Hills became available, he jumped at the chance to make it his own. Curtis' passion project Maude, named after his grandmother, offers a market driven, prix-fixe monthly menu designed to create an intimate chef's table experience for the entire dining room, where every seat is within a comfortable distance to the open kitchen. Each month a single ingredient inspires a menu of nine tasting plates, and this celebrated ingredient is creatively woven, to varying degrees, through each course.

Curtis has fostered long-term relationships with charities around the world, including Feeding America in the US and Cottage by the Sea and Make-A-Wish in Australia. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Lindsay Price, two-year-old son, Hudson, and golden retriever Sully. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, gardening, surfing -- and cooking. For Curtis, cooking always brings fun. "There really is no better gift than a home-cooked meal and enjoying a good laugh around the table."

Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons

Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as permanent judge on Bravo’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef, currently in its 18th season. She is also the host of the upcoming series Top Chef Amateurs, giving talented home cooks the opportunity of a lifetime to test their skills in the illustrious Top Chef kitchen. A familiar face in the Top Chef franchise, she served as head critic on Top Chef Masters, hosted Top Chef Just Desserts and was a judge on Universal Kids’ Top Chef Jr. Gail hosts Iron Chef Canada and was co-host of The Feed on FYI.

Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released by Grand Central Publishing in October 2017. Nominated for an IACP award for Best General Cookbook, it features accessible recipes and smart techniques inspired by Gail’s world travels. Gail’s first book, a memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012.

From 2004 to 2019 Gail was Special Projects Director at Food & Wine magazine. During her tenure she wrote a monthly column, helped create the video series #FWCooks and worked closely with the country’s top culinary talent on events and chef-related initiatives, including overseeing the annual F&W Classic in Aspen, America’s premier culinary event. Prior to working at Food & Wine, Gail was the special events manager for Chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants and worked as the assistant to Vogue's esteemed food critic, Jeffrey Steingarten.

In 2014, Gail and her business partner Samantha Hanks, founded Bumble Pie Productions, an original content company dedicated to discovering and promoting new female voices in the food and lifestyle space. Their first series, Star Plates—a collaboration with Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and Authentic Entertainment—premiered in Fall 2016 on the Food Network.

In addition, Gail is a weekly contributor to The Dish On Oz and makes frequent appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America, and the Rachael Ray Show, among others. She has been featured in publications such as People, New York Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, US Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by the New York Post.

In February 2013, Gail was appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Babson College, a mentoring role where she works with student entrepreneurs, helping them develop food-related social enterprises. In April 2016, she received the Award of Excellence by Spoons Across America, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating children about the benefits of healthy eating. She is an active board member and supporter of City Harvest, Hot Bread Kitchen, Common Threads, and the Institute of Culinary Education.

Gail currently lives in New York City with her husband, Jeremy and their children, Dahlia and Kole.

Francis Lam

Francis Lam

Francis Lam returns to the Critics’ Table for the fifth season of Top Chef Masters. He is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter, and previously, was Features Editor at Gilt Taste, which was awarded six IACP awards and four James Beard award nominations in its first two years. His own writing has been nominated for a James Beard award and three IACP awards, winning one, but he knows all this talk of awards is a little tacky. In past lives, he was a senior writer at Salon.com, a contributing editor at Gourmet magazine (RIP), and his work has appeared in the 2006-2012 editions of Best Food Writing. He believes that, in professional football, that would count as a dynasty in ancient China, not so much. Lam resides in New York City.

James Oseland

James Oseland

James Oseland is thrilled to be returning for his fifth season of Top Chef Masters. He is the editor-in-chief of Saveur, America’s most critically-acclaimed food magazine. Under his editorship, the magazine has won more than more than 40 awards, including numerous James Beard journalism awards, and three from the American Society of Magazine Editors. His 2006 book, Cradle of Flavor, a memoir with recipes about his time living in Southeast Asia, was named one of the best books of that year by Time Asia, The New York Times, and Good Morning America and went on to win awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the also the editor of Saveur’s cookbooks, including Saveur: The New Comfort Food, published in 2011, and The Way We Cook. He is on the board of the directors of the American Society of Magazine Editors and is the editor of the forthcoming Lonely Planet writing anthology A Fork In the Road. He is writing Jimmy Neurosis, a memoir of his punk rock youth in the 1970s, for Ecco Press, a Harper Collins imprint. Additionally, he has lectured at the Asia Society, Slow Food Nation, and the Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor conference. He was previously an editor at Vogue, Organic Style, Sassy, the Village Voice, and Mademoiselle, and holds degrees in photography and film studies from the San Francisco Art Institute. Born in Mountain View, California, in 1963, James has lived in India and Indonesia and now lives in New York City with his husband, Daniel. His favorite foods are char kuey teow (Malaysian stir-fried rice noodles with shrimp and chile paste) and milk chocolate bars. Though he is very picky about the food he eats, he will consume anything and usually enjoy it very much.

Lesley Suter

Lesley Suter

Joining the Critics’ Table for Top Chef Masters Season 5, Lesley Suter oversees all dining and food coverage for Los Angeles magazine. In May 2012, Suter took home a James Beard Award, the first ever awarded for food coverage in a general-interest publication. She has lent her culinary know-how to national publications including Saveur and Conde Nast Traveler and has appeared on a number of television and radio programs, including a recurring guest spot on KCRW’s Good Food. She began her career as an Associate Editor at the music magazine Filter and later served as Editor-In-Chief of the alternative weekly newspaper L.A. Alternative. Suter’s food coverage has garnered national recognition in the form of several National Magazine and James Beard Award nominations. She currently resides in the hilly Los Angeles neighborhood of Glassell Park, where she shares a home with her husband Michael, two troublesome felines, and a backyard fruit and vegetable garden—which, if it weren’t for her neighbor, she’d likely have killed by now.

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl, author of Delicious!, a novel that will be released by Random House in the fall, returns as a critic for Season 5 of Top Chef Masters. She was Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine from 1999 to 2009. Before that, she was the restaurant critic of both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, where she was also named food editor. As chef and co-owner of The Swallow Restaurant from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, California.

Ms. Reichl began writing about food in 1972, when she published Mmmmm: A Feastiary. Since then, she has authored the best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You Mom, Finally, which have been translated into 20 languages, and The Gourmet Cookbook. She is also the executive producer of Garlic and Sapphires, a Fox 2000 film based on her memoirs to be directed by Paul Feig, and host of Gourmet’s Adventures with Ruth, a 10-episode public television series which began airing in October 2009.

Ms. Reichl has been honored with six James Beard Awards. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan and lives in New York City with her husband, Michael Singer, a television news producer.

Bryan Voltaggio

Bryan Voltaggio

Current Residency: Frederick, MD
Occupation: Executive Chef/Partner of VOLT, Family Meal, STRFSH, Voltaggio Bros. Steak House, ESTUARY

Two-time runner up Bryan Voltaggio is the only chef who has competed on Top Chef (Season Six: Las Vegas) and Top Chef Masters (Season 5). He is back for Season 17 All Stars LA to prove that he has what it takes to bring home the title. A Maryland native and James Beard Foundation Award finalist, Bryan is the executive chef and owner of VOLT, Family Meal, and has three additional restaurants with his brother Michael including Estuary, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House and STRFSH. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Bryan was a cook at Aureole where he met his mentor chef Charlie Palmer. He later was a stagier at Pic, a three-star Michelin restaurant in Valence, France, before reuniting as executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington, D.C. After working for Charlie Palmer for almost 10 years, he set out on his own opening Volt in 2008, followed by Family Meal in 2012. His latest project, Estuary, opened in March of 2019 and is the third restaurant he opened with his brother Michael. He has also released two cookbooks Home: Recipes to Cook with Family and Friends and VOLT.Ink, the latter which he co-authored with his brother Michael. As a father and chef, Bryan is a passionate philanthropist and has helped raise over one million dollars working with Chefs Cycle and No Kid Hungry to end childhood hunger. He lives with his wife Jennifer and three children in his hometown of Frederick, MD.

David Burke

David Burke

Blurring the lines between chef, artist, entrepreneur and inventor, David Burke is one of the leading pioneers in American cooking today. His fascination with ingredients and the art of the meal has fueled a thirty-year career marked by creativity, critical acclaim and the introduction of revolutionary products and cooking techniques. His passion for food and for the restaurant industry shows no signs of slowing down.

Burke graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and soon thereafter traveled to France where he completed several stages with notable chefs such as Pierre Troisgros, Georges Blanc and Gaston Lenôtre. Burke's mastery of French culinary technique was confirmed when, at age 26, he won France's coveted Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Diplome d'Honneur for unparalleled skill and creativity with his native cuisine. Burke returned to the U.S. as a sous chef for Waldy Malouf at La Cremaillere and then for Charlie Palmer at The River Café, where he ascended to executive chef and earned three stars from The New York Times.

In 1992, Burke opened the Park Avenue Café with Smith & Wollensky CEO Alan Stillman, and then, in 1996, he became vice president of culinary development for the Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group. Burke has been honored with Japan's Nippon Award of Excellence, the Robert Mondavi Award of Excellence and the CIA's August Escoffier Award. Nation's Restaurant News named Burke one of the 50 Top R&D Culinarians and Time Out New York honored him as the "Best Culinary Prankster" in 2003. In May 2009, Burke was inducted into the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America by the James Beard Foundation. In that same month, he also won the distinctive Menu Masters award from Nation's Restaurant News, naming him one of the nation"s most celebrated culinary innovators.

In February 2012, Burke was honored by the culinary school at Johnson & Wales University with the Distinguished Visiting Chef Award, which is given to the world's most influential and celebrated chefs. In November 2012, he was named Restaurateur of the Year by the New Jersey Restaurant Association. In the same month, he was honored with a Concierge Choice Award, celebrating the best in New York City hospitality, winning the best chef award. In 2013, Burke was nominated to "Best Chefs America," a new benchmark in American cooking whereby chefs name the peers who are the most inspiring and impressive in the business. In 2013, the David Burke Group was recognized by Restaurant Hospitality magazine as having one of the "Coolest Multiconcept Companies in the Land." The article highlights restaurant corporations with an enviable business concept that others can't wait to replicate. In addition, it cites the numerous incarnations of Chef Burke's creative vision, from David Burke Townhouse to David Burke Fishtail, from Burke in the Box to David Burke's Primehouse.

Chef Burke's vast talents have been showcased recently on television, including season two of Top Chef Masters, a guest spot on the Every Day with Rachael Ray show and as a mentor to Breckenridge Bourbon distiller Bryan Nolt on Bloomberg's small-business television series The Mentor. In 2013, he returned to season five of Top Chef Masters.

Burke's visibility as a celebrity chef has also led to consultant positions with hotels, cruise lines and food experts. Most recently, he was invited to join the Holland America Line Culinary Council alongside renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and Elizabeth Falkner. In this capacity, Burke will consult on the cruise line's culinary initiatives, including the Culinary Arts Center enrichment program, and provide signature recipes which will be featured on all 15 ships. In 2003, Burke teamed up with Donatella Arpaia to open davidburke & donatella (now known as David Burke Townhouse, of which he has sole ownership). In 2005 came David Burke at Bloomingdale's, a dual-concept restaurant offering both a full service Burke Bar Café on one side and a Burke in the Box eat-in concept on the other.

In 2006 Burke opened up David Burke’s Primehouse in The James Hotel Chicago. His restaurant collection continued to grow that same year when he purchased culinary career began under founders Markus and Hubert Peter. His next ventures included David Burke Prime at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and David Burke Fishtail in Manhattan, both of which opened in 2008. In February 2011, he opened David Burke Kitchen at The James Hotel New York in SoHo, bringing his signature whimsical style to downtown Manhattan.

In 2013, Burke made great strides in expanding his restaurant empire and enhancing his partnerships with other reputable companies. In the summer of 2013, he opened Burke's Bacon Bar in the James Hotel Chicago, a high-end sandwich and "to-go" concept featuring artisan and top-notch bacons from around the country. BBB features Burke's signature "Handwiches" -- palm-sized sandwiches packed with creative combinations of fresh ingredients -- as well as salads and sweets, all featuring bacon, in some form, as an ingredient. In 2014, Burke will bring his SoHo concept, David Burke Kitchen, which features modern takes on farmhouse cuisine, to the ski resort town of Aspen, Colorado.

During his tenure at The River Café, Burke began experimenting with interesting ingredients and cooking techniques. His first culinary innovations, including Pastrami Salmon (now available through Acme Smoked Fist), flavored oils and tuna tartare, revolutionized gastronomic technique. During his 12-year period at the Park Avenue Café, Burke created GourmetPops, ready-to-serve cheesecake lollipops. His Can o' Cake concept, where cake is mixed, baked and eaten from a portable tin, is used throughout his restaurants. Most recently, he teamed with 12NtM to create two non-alcoholic sparkling beverages, available in gourmet retailers such as Whole Foods and at his New York locations. Additionally, Burke is actively involved with culinology, an approach to food that blends the culinary arts and food technology. To that end, he is the chief culinary advisor to the Skinny Eats line of flavor-enhancing produtts.

In 2011, Burke received the ultimate honor presented to inventors: a United States patent. It was awarded to him for the unique process by which he uses pink Himalayan salt to dry-age his steaks. Burke lines the walls of his dry-aging room with brickes of the alt, which imparts a subtle flavor to the beef and renders it incredibly tender. Burke's steaks can be dry-aged for anywhere from 28 to 55, 75, or even as long as 100 days using this process.

Burke's first cookbook, Cooking with David Burke, and his second, David Burke's New American Classics launched in April 2006. He is currently working on his third book, due out in 2015.


Pan Latin Steakhouse Toro Toro Opens in D.C.

Chef Richard Sandoval’s newest venue, Toro Toro, opens in Washington, D.C., on March 31. The name Toro Toro plays on the Japanese word for tuna and the Spanish word for bull, indicating a Pan Latin steakhouse with a generous selection of small plates.

Sandoval and co-owner Ivan Iricanin tapped chef de cuisine Stephen Hartzell, formerly of Taqueria and Tequileria, to oversee Toro Toro’s kitchen. Hartzell will prepare a variety of hot and cold small plates, along with a wide selection of steaks. The menu will also note where meat and seasonal ingredients are sourced, with an emphasis on supporting local and regional farms. Touted as a great spot for a “power lunch,” guests can anticipate menu item ranging range from $4-16 for small plates, salads, and sandwiches, and $26-45 for steak entrées. Toro Toro will also offer a weekday lunch buffet priced at $25 per person.

The steakhouse will also showcase an innovative beverage program, spearheaded by Sandoval’s national beverage director Rob Day. Guests will find handcrafted cocktails made with premium Latin spirits, including two barrel-aged drinks, the Buena Vida, and the Manhattan de Toro, along with a well-curated collection of 130 wines from around the world, and 35 wines by the glass.

First course selections include hot and cold small plates that showcase South and Central American ingredients, and are priced from $4-16 each. Standouts include Swordfish Dip, featuring smoked swordfish, aioli, cilantro, pickled chiles, and tomato served with corn chips Seared Seafood Ceviche, with prawns, calamari, scallops, milk, ginger, aji Amarillo, leche de tigre, and sweet potatoes Causa Toro Toro, combining a potato sushi cake, tuna tartar, rocoto aioli, avocado, and sesame and Tiradito of Roasted Beets, with pickled onion, orange, pistachios, goat cheese and pomegranate.

Hot small plates include Lomo Saltado Empanada, stuffed pastry with beef tenderloin, oyster sauce, tomato, onion, and guacamole sauce Lamb Anticucho Skewers, served with a garlic-yogurt sauce, mint, and pickled cucumbers Spanish Ham Croquettes, delivered with Chinese mustard, chipotle chili aioli, and emmental cheese Short Rib Coca Flatbread, a braised short rib topped with Manchego cheese, horseradish, and arugula and Cachapas, duck carnitas with corn pancakes, Oaxaca cheese, and tomato jam.

A variety of steaks and Pan Latin specialty dishes will also be available à la carte, and include Elysian Fields Pennsylvania Rack of Lamb Dry Aged Langenfelder Farms Pork Rib Chop Marcho Farms Veal Porterhouse Chilean Sea Bass with shrimp, scallops, calamari, cau cau sauce, and mint leaves Spicy Miso Salmon with aji chiles, red miso, grilled asparagus, and pea shoot salad and Arroz con Mariscosa la Norteña, prepared with prawns, calamari, scallops, cilantro puree, pumpkin, salsa criolla, and aji mirasol. Steak and entrées are priced from $21-45.

Parties of four or more will also be able to enjoy Toro Toro’s Rodizio Experience, which includes two small plates per person, free-flowing meats carved tableside, and various side dishes for $79 per guest. Unlimited meat options include Brazilian-style Picanha Steak, USDA Prime Rib Eye Steak, Beef Tenderloin, Australian Lamb Chop, Achiote Marinated Chicken Thigh, and Prawns.

LW Design Group LLC of Dubai, UAE, designed the 12,400-square-foot space, which draws inspiration from Japanese and Latin interior design elements. The main dining room is open and organized into distinctive sections, to make the space feel intimate and inviting. The dining room is a striking contrast to the lounge space below, which features a steel and wood staircase leading to guests down to the dance floor, which is surrounded with low slung banquettes.

Read more

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.


Alfajores

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Alfajores are soft, delicate cookies from South America made, surprisingly, with cornstarch. The cornstarch gives the dough a smooth, satiny texture that makes it a dream to work with and produces a tender, crumbly cookie. Creamy Dulce de Leche holds the cookies together. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can take these to the next level by rolling the edges of the finished cookies in flaked coconut or covering them in chocolate.

Special equipment: A plain or fluted 2-inch round cutter is needed to portion out the dough.


Related Video

Wow! Finial I can make this simple recipe that brings back memories of my favorite little Cuban restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. Thank you

There are so many things you can do with plantains that the list is endless. You can basically do anything that you do with potatos and some more. You can boil them, put them in the oven until they are golden brown. You can cook with them when they are ripe or green (they taste very different). This recipe is one of the most simple ways to cook them and it is one of my favorites. In Venezuelan they even make big tostones (patacones) and use them as a kind of a bun for a hamburger. Go crazy with plantains, nothing can go wrong with them (be careful with the green one though, they are not so forgetful)

Very tasty and easy. Just what I was hoping it would taste like! I did use 2 plantains which had black spots, and one that was black, and the black spotted ones were much better. Softer and sweeter and just great-

Nice to know this recipe is so easy, but make sure that the heat isn't quite as hot as youɽ think. Mine were charred, which was interesting, sure, but not what you're used to. And contrary to the other cook who had luck with 4 minutes per side, I think 2 would do.

There's a great little rest. in Dallas called "GLORIAS" that serves this dish a little breaded and with black beans and sour cream, on the side. Anyone know the breading for the plantain? It's delicious.

This is a great, simple cuban side dish. Goes well with black beans and rice and slow roasted pork. Personally, I think the cooking time should be more like 4 minutes per side rather than 1-2 because I like the slightly carmelized consistency. -- In response to one of the other reviewers who inquired about additional plantain recipes, another common way to make plantain is called "tostones". Tostones are just less ripe plantain which are fried, then mashed flat, then fried again. They are crispier and less fruity. more like a french fried potatoe and less banana.

I have been looking for a recipe for sweet fried plantains and this is perfect. It is so simple and easy to make. I used olive oil and they came out just perfect. I will make these lots more.

These are just super! Rediscovering plantains is the best thing I've done in the vegetable (fruit?) department in some time. Prepared this way, they should be an excellent side dish for a favorite chili dish. I wonder what is another good plantain dish?


Our Seafood recipes selection

Suquet: suquet is the diminutive form of suc, or 'juice', in Catalan, which means that this wonderfully flavored dish is more correctly called juicy fish stew. The fish and shellfish used vary from cook to cook, and so does the amount of liquid - in fact, some people call this a stew, while others call it a soup - but saffron and almonds are typically part of the mix.

Atun en Rollito a la Asturiana: Whenever I ask Asturians which recipe from their region must be included in a Spanish  recipe site like this one, the answer is nearly always the same: Atun en rollito. It is originally from Cudillero, a fishing village close to Aviles, where it is prepared with the bonito that is abundant there during the summer months. The white-fleshed bonito is not easy to find in the United States, but the dish can be made with the pinker-fleshed bluefin tuna instead.

Merluza en Salsa Verde: This recipe is one of the front-runners of traditional Basque cooking. Salsa verde appears in many dishes: with clams alone, with monkfish or fresh cod, or with a combination of clams and hake, as in this recipe.

Percebes: Tube shaped, as thick as an index finger, and about three inches long, percebes (gooseneck barnacles) grow in clusters on rocks along the coasts of northern Spain and Portugal. They are expensive because of their scarcity and the difficulty and danger involved in gathering them. Harvesters must wait for low tide and then scale the sharp rocks where the barnacles are growing, always keeping an eye on the heavy surf that threatens to sweep them away. 

Vieiras en su concha: Scallops are common in Galicia and are typically sold in the shell. In the United States, scallops in the shell are far less common, but you can buy just the shells at many cookware shops. 

Marmitako: Marmita translates as 'pot' or 'casserole' in Basque, while the suffix ko is the genitive case, so that marmitako literally means 'from the pot'. Of course, just about everything in Basque cooking comes 'from the pot', but only this venerable dish goes by that name.

Tiznao Manchego: This is arguably the most singular dish of La Mancha, and it is quite different from other cod preparations in Spanish cooking. It is a little labor-intensive, too, but it is well worth the time. Here, the salt cod, in contrast to most recipes, is not desalted before it is used, but is instead held under running water to wash the salt from the surface. Miraculously, the dish is not salty. The cod simply yields its salt to the rest of the ingredients, lending the dish the perfect amount of seasoning. 

Rodaballo a la Gallega: The Galicians are the great fishermen of Spain, and the turbot is the king of the catch. Even if it is farmed, as is increasingly the case today, turbot is a great fish. But when it is wild, the flesh is firmer and its characteristic flavor is more intense. No matter how you cook it— seared, fried, baked, roasted whole— turbot tastes exquisite.

In this Galician recipe, the fish is not filleted, but rather cut crosswise through the central bone. In my opinion, the head contains the best parts of the fish and, if you sit among family members or friends, don’t be shy about nibbling on it.

Rape con vinagreta picante: Topping grilled fish with a spicy vinaigrette is one of the preferred ways to prepare fish fillets in Spain. It is specially popular in the Basque Country, where establishments known as asadores, basically grill houses, specialize in fish a la espalda, or "on its back", a name derived from cooking the fillets skin side down on a grill. Here I have used monkfish cut into medalions and pan searing instead of grilling and paired it with the same excellent vinaigrette 

Burrida de Raya.ਏish soups with names similar to this one are common in the Mediterranean, with the type of fish and the seasoning varying with the locale. For example, Provençal cooks make bourride and serve it with the rust-colored sauce known as rouille, while Ligurian cooks make buridda and accompany it with fried bread. The burrida of the Balearics calls for skate in an allioli-enriched stock and thin slices of country-style bread.

Atún encebollado is one of the favorite recipes in Cantabria. Use bluefin Tuna (Atun) for this recipe to get the best results.

Grouper a la Mallorquina: When a fish is prepared a la mallorquina you know that it will be cooked with a variety of vegetables piled on top. Ideally, the fish is a whole and weighs at least five pounds. Grouper is a good choice, but so is red snapper, striped bass, John Dory, or any other lean, white fleshed fish. The crown of colorful vegetables not only looks pretty but also infuses the fish with sensational flavor.

Caldereta de Langosta (Lobster Stew): An exceptional Lobster stew, typical from the Balearic Islands, and celebrated all over Spain.

Spiced Clams: Spanish clams, specially in the North, are much larger than clams found elsewhere, and have more succulent bodies. This modern recipe uses Arab spicing to make a hot dip or sauce. Serve with plenty of fresh bread to mop up the delicious juices!

Ceviche: You can use almost any firm-fleshed fish for this Spanish influenced dish, provided that it is perfectly fresh. The fish is 'cooked' by the action of the acidic lime juice. Adjust the amount of chilli according to your taste.

Salt Cod Fritters with Allioli: Bacalao - salt cod - is one of the great Spanish delights, adding flavor to bland ingredients such as potatoes. If you are unfamiliar with it, then this is a delightful way to try it out. Bitesize fish cakes, dipped into rich, creamy, garlicky allioli, are irresistible as a tapas dish or appetizer. 

Salmón a la Ribereña:ਊsturians cook salmon in many different ways, but salmon baked with cider, a staple of Asturian gastronomy, is arguably the most representative. Though the usual cut for this recipe is salmon steaks, I often prepare it with fillets instead.

Prawn croquettes: Croquetas are ubiquitous in Spain, although they most likely originate from the French 'croquettes'. Their beauty lies in the bechamel base which is then mixed with your particular ingredient of choice to give it a characteristic flavor. The possibilities are almost endless - here we have used prawns.

Prawn and Bacon Brochettes: The Spanish love bacon, which we cure and air-dry in the same way as our famous jamon. This combination of prawns and bacon is inspired and very popular, and can be found at most Tapas bar, as well as in many banquets and receptions. It is an ideal treat for your guests when having a party at home!

Artichokes with clams: Artichokes are a popular vegetable in Spain, especially fresh from the market. They are often served sautéed with ham or stuffed with white sauce and ham or meat, etc. Sometimes served cold, they combine well with anchovies and piquillo peppers, or with salmon and capers, or tuna fish with a good olive oil.

Stuffed Mussels (Tigres): In Bilbao, these stuffed mussels are called Tigres because of their fieriness.  I fondly remember the crowded little bars in the old part of Bilbao, where orders of tigres would emerge by the dozens from the tiny kitchens.

Empanadas:  bread pies stuffed with shellfish, fish or meats, are iconic of Galician cuisine. The crusts and fillings vary from place to place, and nearly every Galician family, restaurant, and tavern claims to have the secret formula for making the best version. Of the many empanadas I have tasted in this beautiful northwestern region, these ones are my favorites - their crust is consistently delicate and delicious.

Mussels Vinaigrette: Steamed mussels are dressed with a flavorful vinaigrette in this colorful tapa. It is an ideal treat for a party or any event with lots of people attending.

Gambas a la plancha (Pan-grilled shrimp): Spaniards love to eat grilled shrimp at the counter of a good tapas bar while sipping a glass of chilled fino sherry or cold beer. The bars are often crowded, leaving little or no space for proper eating, and I find it fascinating to watch the locals skillfully manage to eat shrimp with one hand while holding a drink in the other.

Pulpo a Feira: Though it originated in Galicia or the neighboring region of Leon, pulpo a feira, as it is known in Galician, or pulpo a la gallega, as it is called in Spanish, is now popular throughout Spain. It is usually served on wooden plates with cachelos, potatoes that have been boiled or roasted in embers with their skins on.

Boquerones en Escabeche:  Moorish Pickled Anchovies This is an old, old way of preserving small fish which has survived into modern times because it is so delicious. 

Gazpachuelo: The vinegar in this warm soup is the link wtih gazpacho. It is suprisingly good and easy to make, so is associated in Spain with emergencies!

The idea is to stretch fish for one or two people to make soup for six. It is better made with fish stock, but still good made with water.

Dorada a la sal:਍orada - or gilt-head bream- is usually prepared by baking it in a salt crust. Most Spanish food experts believe the method originated in Murcia, but it is now common practice in Andalusia as well. ਍on't be put off by the large amount of salt. It seals in the juices of the fish, resulting in a succulent dish that delivers pure fish flavour without a trace of saltiness.


DC Restaurant Guide

This is a list I helped put together while I lived in DC (up to 7/2016). A lot of the newer restaurants haven’t been added but I will update when I can.

CONTEMPORARY UPSCALE AMERICAN

• 1789 – historic residence offering seasonal fare

• 701 – continental cuisine, jazz Thurs–Sat

• Blue Duck Tavern – wholesome, contemporary kitchen

• Grill Room & Rye Bar – Capella in Georgetown

• Iron Gate – fine dining in historic Dupont Circle & carriage house

• Kinship – creative American cuisine, unique menu format by influences

• Métier – intimate chef-driven experience, creative 7-course tasting menu

• New Heights – overlooking Rock Creek Park

• Nora – organic fine dining since 1979

• Occidental – steaks and seafood, celebrity wall

• Oval Room – unique dishes near the White House

• Pineapple and Pearls – Upscale, all inclusive 15-course tasting menu at set price in back with separate casual coffee bar & café in front

• Plume – expect to be pampered at Jefferson Hotel

• Proof – food is the focus wine is the passion

• Ris – upscale yet casual by Doris Lacoste

• Rose’s Luxury – Bon Appetit “best new restaurant,” no reservations

• Sax – funky burlesque venue

• Tabard Inn – cozy English-style inn

• Unum – intimate, delicious in Georgetown

• Billy Martin’s Tavern – Georgetown JFK engagement spot

• Boss Shepherd’s – honest food & drink

• Cashion’s Eat Place – seasonal menu selections

• Cedar – Contemporary American

• Chef Geoff’s – comfort food in the heart of the city

• Clyde’s – three locations of homegrown institution

• Dabney – Mid-Atlantic Cuisine

• Del Campo – grilled and smoked South American style

• Del Frisco’s Grille – power spot

• District Commons – classic American near GW

• DGS Delicatessen – modern Jewish style in Dupont

• Firefly – whimsical and delicious

• Founding Farmers/Farmers, Fishers & Bakers – farm to table

• Garrison – Contemporary American

• Hamilton–Eat, Drink, Listen – American with sushi bar

• Kramerbooks & Afterwords – bookstore/café, late hours

• Lincoln – casual, creative American

• Matchbox – pizza and more, three locations

• Mintwood Place – eclectic in Adams Morgan

• Muze – sweeping views, East-West delicacies

• Nopa Kitchen + Bar – American brasserie near Spy Museum

• Old Ebbitt – casual and very popular – Oyster bar

• Old Glory – barbecue year round rooftop

• P.J. Clarke’s – DC location of famed NY venue

• Plan-B Burger Bar – beef, burgers, bourbon and beer

• Proof – food is the focus wine is the passion

• Range – Bryan Voltaggio’s in Friendship Heights

• Ted’s Bulletin – very casual, adult shakes, 8th St SE

• Urbana – approachable with extensive wine list

• Woodward Table – familiar comforts with a twist

• Agora – Turkish near Dupont Circle

• Cava Mezze – Greek inspired tapas in 8th St SE

• Decanter – Upscale Mediterranean at the St. Regis

• Kapnos – Northern Greece, small plates by Mike Isabella

• Kellari Taverna – fine dining Greek seafood on K Street

• Komi – Mediterranean-accented tasting-menu

• Lebanese Taverna – family owned since 1976

• Levante’s – casual near Dupont Circle

• Mourayo – casual Greek seafood in Dupont

• Pinea at the W – Chef Koslow’s contemporary European (POV for cocktails)

• Zaytinya – trendy and popular Mediterranean fusion

• BLT – upscale bistro ambiance

• Bobby Van’s – quintessential DC near White House

• Bourbon Steak – Michael Mina’s Four Season’s location

• Capital Grille – power spot

• Charlie Palmer’s – near the U.S. Capitol

• Del Campo – South American grill

• Del Frisco’s Double Eagle – City Center – award-winning wine list

• Del Frisco’s Grille – power spot

• District Chophouse – moderate and casual

• Fogo de Chao – Brazilian served gaucho style

• Morton’s – traditional and dependable – cigar bar

• The Palm – classic steaks, jumbo lobsters, Italian too

• Rural Society – Argentinian chef Jose Garces

• Ruth’s Chris – two locations of the famous chain

• Smith & Wollensky – steaks, seafood, outdoor patio

• STK – not your daddy’s steakhouse

• Prime Rib – refined, live entertainment – jacket required

• Barcelona – wine bar with year-round outdoor dining

• Bodega – a taste of Spain in Georgetown

• Jaleo – Jose Andres’ signature restaurant – authentic

• Taberna del Alabadero – fine dining from Madrid

• Al Tiramisu – small chef-owned, hidden gem

• Acqua al 2 – intimate, Tuscan elegance at Eastern Market

• Ancora – Bob Kinkead’s new place near Kennedy Center

• Bibiana – contemporary menu near convention center

• Bond 45 – National Harbor’s best upscale dining

• Café Milano – Georgetown spot to “see and be seen”

• Carmine’s – large portions served family style

• Casa Luca – younger casual sibling of Fiola

• Filomena – pastamamas make ravioli in the window

• Fiola – refined by famed chef Fabio Trabocchi

• Graffiato – casual and loud Top-Chef Mike Isabella

• I Ricchi – Tuscan-style brick oven, Christianne Ricchi

• La Tomate – affordable, friendly near Dupont Circle

• Masseria – Upscale, haute tasting-menu, cigar lounge

• Obelisk – 5-course prix fixe menu – reserve 60 days ahead

• Osteria Morini – rustic, near Nationals Park

• Pasta Mia – no reservations, expect wait, no substitutions

• Posto – casual by the owners of Tosca

• Primipiatti – traditional and cozy since 1987

• Siroc – small and understated near the White House

• Tosca – upscale, refined – Northern Italian

• DC Coast – sleek, modern cuisine by Jeff Tunks

• Fiola Mare – Mediterranean seafood on Georgetown waterfront

• Hank’s Oyster Bar – casual, no reservations, expect to wait

• Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab – name says it all

• Johnny’s Half Shell – Capitol Hill power spot

• Legal Seafood – legendary, fresh seafood flown in daily

• McCormick & Schmick’s – moderate with local menu

• Oceanaire – quintessential seafood destination

• Pearl Dive – no reservations, trendy spot, expect a wait

• Pesce – chalk board menu, seafood in display cases

• Sea Catch – Georgetown traditional, upscale dining

• Tony & Joe’s – Georgetown waterfront casual

• Bearnaise – casual on Capitol Hill

• Belga Café – authentic Belgian, very casual – 8th Street SE

• Bistro Bis – upscale, contemporary near the U.S. Capitol

• Bistro Francais – very casual, open very late at night

• Brasserie Beck – trendy casual for mussels and beer

• Bistro Lepic – small and authentic – upstairs wine bar

• Bistro duCoin – large and lively near Dupont Circle

• Café du Parc – casual, near the White House

• Chez Billy Sud – southern France in Georgetown

• Central Michel Richard – casual, chic, trendy, noisy

• Convivial – Modern French-American

• DBGB Kitchen + Bar – Daniel Boulud’s casual bistro

• La Chaumiere – romantic family owned country-style

• Le Diplomate – casual French café near U Street

• La Fourchette – moderate, Adams Morgan since 1978

• Marcel’s – upscale fine dining by chef Robert Wiedemier

• Comet Ping Pong – fun and games uptown

• Ella’s – wood-fired pizza in Penn Quarter – call ahead

• Ghibellina – happening spot on upper 14th

• Il Canale – casual ristorante Pizzeria Napolentana

• Matchbox – delicious and very popular, long waits

• Pizzeria Paradiso – gourmet pizza and quality beers

• Two Amy’s – authentic Neopolitan–no res., 30 min away

• We the Pizza – Spike Mendelsohn’s trendy “joint”

• Bad Saint – Small Filipino hotspot in Columbia Heights

• China Chilcano – Jose Andres Chinese/Peruvian/Japanese fusion

• Daikaya Izakaya – Japanese small plate upstairs and Ramen downstairs

• Doi Moi – Southeast Asian Street food

• Izakaya Seki – Traditional small plates, sashimi platter, noodle dishes

• Kaz Sushi Bistro – noted sushi chef Kaz Okochi

• Kintaro – Casual Japanese, authentic, sushi, expect a wait

• Little Serow – Thai family style $45 per – walk-ins only

• Mai Thai – Dupont Circle, Georgetown & Old Town Alexandria

• Makoto – exclusive – reserve in advance – 30 minute drive

• Maketto –casual, Cambodian/Taiwanese, coffee bar upstairs

• Mandu – Korean home cooking

• Mate – Casual Fusion sushi, lively at nights

• Mango Tree – Upscale Thai specialties

• Masa 14 – Latin/Asian fusion from Sandoval/Kaz

• Miss Saigon – casual Vietnamese in Georgetown

• Muze – sweeping views, East-West delicacies

• Oya – fusion ala South Miami Beach style

• Ping Pong Dim Sum – Chinese style tapas

• Rice – refined Thai cuisine

• Sei – modern sushi in stylish environment

• Sushi Taro – upscale authentic Japanese near Dupont Circle

• Thai Chef – casual, north of Dupont Circle

• Thai X-ing – small prix fixe – reserve week ahead

• The Source – Wolfgang Puck’s pan-Asian interpretations

• Toki Underground – Very casual, Taiwanese Ramen, expect long wait

• Tony Cheng’s – Seafood upstairs, Mong. BBQ, Dim Sum

• Zengo – give-and-take fusion by Sandoval group

• El Centro D.C. – trendy Mexican by Sandoval group

• Lauriol Plaza – popular Mexican spot – no res., expect wait

• Mio – Mine, Yours, Ours, Salud – Latin-fusion

• Oyamel – Jose Andres upscale Mexican destination

• Rosa Mexicana – table side guacamole – Verizon Center

• Acadiana – taste of N’Awlins – save room for beignets

• Art and Soul – Oprah’s chef serves chic near Capitol Hill

• Georgia Brown’s – fancy Southern fixin’s

• Hill Country Barbecue – large portions, live music

• Old Glory – barbecue with year-round roof deck

• Vidalia – “Highbrow” low-country cooking

• Bombay Club – upscale near the White House – piano

• Mehak – casual in Penn Quarter

• Rasika – small plates, modern Indian

• Rasika West End – modern Indian

• Rasoi – savory recipes, casual environment

• Das – Ethiopian in Georgetown

• Dukem – traditional old-school menus

• Etete – popular and light-filled space

• Ethiopic – trendy in H Street NE corridor

• Meskerem – Ethiopian in Adams Morgan

BREW PUBS / SPORTS BARS / IRISH PUBS

• Black Finn – diverse menu – many TV screens

• Blue Jacket – Brewery & Tavern near Nats Park

• Birch and Barley/Churchkey – small plates 500+ beers

• Buffalo Billiards – pool hall burgers, wings, etc.

• Capitol City Brewery – pub grub and house brewed beer

• Elephant & Castle – British pub, quite tasty

• Fado – traditional Irish pub

• Front Page – college-style sports bar

• Gordon Biersch – California-inspired with great beers

• Green Turtle – sports bar near Verizon Center

• Hard Rock Café – DC destination of worldwide chain

• James Hoban’s – upscale Irish pub in Dupont

• Penn Commons – Friendly eats near the Verizon Center

• Penn Quarter Sports Tavern – name says it all

• Pinstripes – upscale Georgetown

• Ri Ra Irish Pub – Georgetown

• Cava Mezze – Casual, Greek inspired tapas in 8th St SE

• Cedar – Contemporary American

• Chaia – Very casual counter-serve Vegetarian & Vegan tacos

• Doi Moi – Southeast Asian Street food

• Elizabeth’s Gone Raw – Raw-Vegan prix-fixe menu

• Etete – African, popular and light-filled space

• Garrison – Contemporary American, selection of meatless dishes

• Kapnos – Northern Greece, small plates by Mike Isabella

• Mandu – Casual, Korean home cooking

• Masa 14 – Latin/Asian fusion from Sandoval/Kaz

• Mate – Casual Fusion sushi, lively at nights

• Peacock Cafe – American, Popular for brunch

• Ping Pong Dim Sum – Chinese style tapas

• Oyamel – Jose Andres’ upscale Mexican destination

• Rasika & Rasika West End – small plates, modern Indian

• Smoke and Barrel – Very Casual barbeque in Adams Morgan

• Taberna del Alabadero – fine dining from Madrid

• Thai X-ing – small, prix fixe – 100% Vegetarian Sundays

• Zaytinya – Popular Mediterranean fusion, small plates

• Zengo – Latin-Asian Fusion, Separate Vegetarian Menu

• Agora – Turkish near Dupont Circle with over 10 gluten-free dishes

• Buca di Beppo – Casual Italian with variety of gluten free entrees

• Café Green – Offers a “full service” vegan menu with many gluten-free options

• Daily Grill – Gluten Free Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner menus available featuring favorites like their Spanish Scramble, the Classic Cobb & Filet Mignon

• Grillfish – Many items, including some cocktails, are gluten free or can be prepared as such on request.

• Ruth’s Chris Steak House – “you can eat gluten free without missing a thing”

• Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place – Mushroom Risotto, Seafood Provencal, Flounder Gratinee, Pork Chop. Mahi Mahi, Rosemary Chicken

• Tuscana West – Casual Italian, Gluten Free pastas, risottos, many dishes available

• Zengo – Penn Quarters, Casual Latin and Asian style cuisine with many gluten-free options available


Watch the video: La Tavola u0026 Wine Bar at Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong (October 2022).