Category Archives: Gastronomy

Coming Soon to Glover Park

While searching the Twittersphere tonight for “wine dc” I came across a most exciting handle: @SlateWineBar.  I have been scouting out wine bars in the area for years and had never seen this one so I immediately followed the link to Slate’s full profile which led me to their blog.

Slate Wine Bar is set to open some time THIS MONTH in Glover Park, just north of Georgetown.  This new wine bar will be moving into Kitchen‘s recently-vacated building at 2404 Wisconsin, NW.  According to Hyper Local Glover Park, “An investment group headed by a wine-loving lawyer bought Kitchen 2404 … Along with daily wine specials, tasting seminars, and winemaker’s dinners, Slate will feature cheese plates, charcuterie, a rotating seasonal menu, and daily and weekly food specials made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, [Elizabeth] Banker says. General manager Mark Krieger, a veteran of Chef Geoff’s (3201 New Mexico Ave.), is “developing the menu with the advice of various chefs,” Banker adds. “The food will be American, drawing on various global influences and flavors, since our wines will be from around the world.”

I’m very excited about potential wine-tasting classes and clubs mentioned in some of the recent press that has come out since Slate purchased Kitchen in mid July.

Image created by eater dc, July 11

Slate is going right to the top of my list and I will be pacing the sidewalk outside their door until they let me in.  I will keep you posted as to when that happens!

Salute! Mariesa

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Out of the Bucket Part II

To continue this week’s tour of Chinatown and Penn Quarter, and to keep going down the list, we’ll visit one of my other favorite places.  As promised, this is my spot for wine when I find myself anywhere close to the Verizon center.

Welcome to Proof

The wine Bar at Proof – photo from

Nice atmosphere + good wine = Proof you should add this to your list

I found myself Proof’  for the first time a few years ago when I had just missed getting into the National Portrait Gallery, one of my all-time favorite DC museums, and Proof was right around the corner.  I sat at the bar, pictured above, and to my great delight, the current exhibition from the Portrait Gallery was on display via the four flat screens above!  Not only could I view the art I’d intended to see, but I could do it in the company of big, jammy glass of red poured for me by elegant staff into even more elegant stemware.

If Benjamin Franklin said it, there must be something to it! 

As posted on Proof’s Website

In true wine bar fashion, Proof has over 40 wines by the glass.  Their selection of over 1,000 bottles includes both Old World wines from Europe and Mediterranean basin and New World wines from Australia and New Zealand, to the Americas.  The food menu is also worth a gander and I can vouch for its cheese and charcuterie selections which boast a number of my Italian favorites like cured meets bresaola and finocchiona as well as uber-delicious cheeses morbier and gorgonzola dolce, to name only a few of many.

Need I say more? Andiamo!

Salute, Mariesa

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Out of the Bucket

I was thinking about my DC Bucket list.  Full disclosure, there are all sorts of things I’d like to do in this wonderful city, but I can’t say I actually have a list.

I’m hoping to pull a few good ideas out the bucket this week and next to explore some new ‘hoods along with some old favorites.  One of the things I like best about our Capital is how different each neighborhood feels.  I’ve lived in the metro area for four years now and have had the pleasure of getting a “new DC life” each time I’ve moved or changed jobs.  Living or working in a new area is the best way to get to know the city.  Since I can’t possibly live everywhere, it’s time to go on a day trip to another part of the city and lose track of time for a while.

This week, it’s No Time O’Clock in China Town and Penn Quarter!

The bustle and throng of China Town and Penn Quarter is exciting and fun with its diverse mix of restaurants, theaters, tourists, museums and federal buildings.

China Town Arch – Photo compliments of

There are two places I LOVE in this neighborhood — one on either side of the Verizon Center, around which this neighborhood is centered.  The the first has great food, the second has great wine.  Walk between and around the two and you’re bound to check off a few items on your bucket list, too!

1. Graffiato

Chef Mike Isabella cutting hand-made pasta raviolli

Graffiato is located in Penn Quarter at
707 6th St NW Map.7b3d4bf
Washington, DC 20001

Chef Isabella is truly gifted.  I consider myself a real snob when it come to anything Italian (I blame my family heritage as well as the year and half I spent living in Italy’s gastronomic capital city, Bologna).  The food here is fantastic, the open kitchen is great to watch and the wood fires in the huge pizza oven are always hot.  They’ve also got a good little wine and beer list that changes regularly.  If you’ve not been, you’ll want to make a date with Graffiato.

Tune in next week for my second recommendation especially for wine and let me know what you think about Graffiato.


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Cool Off with Jazz Surrounded by Art

Now that it’s safe to venture out of the safe confines of the air-conditioned indoors, I’m really looking forward to relaxation outside.  One of my all-time favorite things to do in DC only happens during the steamiest months of the year: Jazz in the National Sculpture Garden.  The Jazz in the Garden concert series, at the National Gallery of Art takes place every Friday evening from May 25 – August 31.  Shamefully, I must admit I’ve not yet been this year…. Excuses aside, I plan to go this Friday after work and sit amidst the beautiful, the strange, the eclectic and unique art that provides a most alluring backdrop to pre-sunset tunes.

Last year we snagged a great spot near the bandstand on the edge of the reflecting pool where we could keep our feet cool

And of course, you can’t very well loose track of time on an empty stomach, so to tide me and my fellow jazz-goers over I’ve planned  a picnic I’ll pair with the Pavilion Cafe’s red wine sangria.

Picnic Menu for Friday, July 13 at the National Sculpture Garden

  • Any Stinky Cheese = sun-warmed goodness (I like Camembert)
  • The Dubliner Sharp Cheddar with Trader Joe’s Multi-Grain Pita Bite Crackers (a recent obsession)
  • Salted, Skin-On Marcona Almonds, also available Trader Joe’s
  • Farmer’s Market White Peaches, quartered
  • Dark Chocolate, salted: a very nice contrast with fruity Sangria.  I HIGHLY recommend Salazon which you can find at WHOLE FOODS
  • Sparkling water (always a good idea, especially when it’s warm).  Try one with citrus (lemon/lime/orange)

Packing List

  • Picnic blanket or beach towel
  • bug spay (non-aerosol, too many people sitting too close together, please)
  • Though this is an EXCELLENT “me-time” activity, this is a great place to bring old friends and new alike
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Retreat to Nature Without Ever Leaving the City

Winding through the city is a shaded lane most commuters know only as a shortcut.  Leaving the road behind, a 2.7 square mile (over 2,000 acre) park awaits gentle exploration of meadows and forests packed with deer, wildflowers and babbling brooks.  Image

Rock Creek Park is filled with walking trails and picnic areas.  Without ever leaving the city, you can find peace and quite in this shady oasis.  On the weekends, a number of the roads are closed to vehicular traffic in order to allow cyclists and pedestrians use the paved roads as recreation trails.

Check out this video from National Geographic to get a glimpse of what I mean then read below for my favorite addition to any activity (wine).

Lakes and Rivers: Rock Creek Park

Here’s another peaceful, if slightly less-interesting video just in case you can’t make it in-person

My Recommendation

Since we’ve been experiencing some extremely high temperatures lately (heat indices of over 100F) I recommend taking an easy stroll to any semi-private shady area near the creek bank (where it will be naturally cooler) and setting up your picnic blanket.  Pack plenty of water, of course I prefer sparking, and the following ingredients for your picnic basket:

  • 2008 Bandit Pinot Grigio, California – This won the Huffington Post’s runner-up award and is quite nice and perfectly-packaged in juice-box-sized packages!  It’s described as having a flowery aroma, well-balanced acidity and a refreshing, lemon finish.
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  • Home-made Crostini: Cut your favorite baguette into thin slices on the diagonal (I like sourdough or ciabatta).  Spread onto a cookie sheet and generously drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt (I like the large, Kosher crystals) and any Italian spices you have on your rack (basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.).  Bake at 350F until golden brown – watch carefully! They burn easily so start with 10 minutes and increase time as needed.
  • Burrata Cheese: This may well be my FAVORITE cheese in the entire world.  Burrata is an Italian Cheese made from cow’s milk.
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  • Fresh Ricotta Cheese: Cool and refreshing, this fresh Italian cheese is recommended as a good pairing for Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris) by the Wine Monger. You will want to bring a little salt to sprinkle over this (try Truffle-infused salt – delicious).  Fun Fact: Ricotta is a very healthy cheese – offers good calcium and protein with little fat and is actually recommended as part of the South Beach Diet. 
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  • SALT and OLIVE OIL (good ones will make a difference) to sprinkle and drizzle over your cheese-loaded crostini as shown above.

Saluti! Cheers to enjoying a few moments of decadent relaxation and forgetting, at least for the duration of this picnic, the time.  My personal mantra: There’s no time like No Time O’Clock!  

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