Young and Hungry

Zero Degrees Zero Minutes Pop-Up Continues Every Sunday This Summer

SOUP1

Chefs J.J. Basil and Chris Wolff are still searching for a location for their restaurant, Zero Degrees Zero Minutes, but in the meantime, they’re gearing up for a new round of weekly pop-up dinners. After a brief hiatus due to an air-conditioning malfunction, the duo will continue to cook multi-course meals for up to 12 diners at Darnell’s Bar off of U Street NW. The pop-ups will continue every Sunday, beginning this week, throughout the summer.

In case their names aren’t familiar, Basil and Wolff are alums of New York modernist restaurant wd~50. Basil, a D.C.-area native, has also worked at McCrady’s in South Carola, while Wolff was a sous chef at Viajante in London before moving to the District. As for the kind of food they’re cooking now? Basil describes: “Visually, it’s very simplistic, but there’s a ton of work that goes into each dish.” A hanger steak, for example, takes a day and a half to prepare; it’s cooked in aged bone marrow over natural coals. “It just builds this really intensely beef flavor that you’re not going to find in many places,” he says.  Read more Zero Degrees Zero Minutes Pop-Up Continues Every Sunday This Summer

Dupont Circle’s La Tomate Adds a New Casual Cafe

la tomate-31_hdr

La Tomate has been a fixture in Dupont Circle for nearly 28 years. But with the increasing dining competition, owner Natalina Koropoulos knew she needed to make a change. “Things have gotten very difficult for restaurants, at least in my case,” she says. “There’s so many restaurants, so many things to try. I think diversification is definitely the way to go.”

So she’s carved out a section of her existing bistro to form La Tomate Caffe, a more casual, less expensive spot open from breakfast through late-night with its own separate entrance. The cafe will celebrate its “grand opening” on July 25, but it is technically already open. The menu includes a number of small prosciutto plates and a few varieties of mozzarella with different types of accompaniments and pestos. There are also pastries, salads, panini, and tramezzini (Itay's answer to English tea sandwiches). Desserts include gluten-free options like a ricotta cheesecake with anise-flavored liqueur Sambuca and a fennel marmalade, as well as a chocolate espresso cake with a touch of rum.

Guests can get their orders to go or grab a spot at one the three stools along the window or at one of the four tables. La Tomate Caffe will also offer coffee plus wine, beer, and Prosecco and Aperol spritzes in the evenings.

Koropoulos eventually wants to package La Tomate's sauces and soups to sell on-site. She's also looking at adding a gelateria in the future.

Check out more photos of the cafe below.  Read more Dupont Circle’s La Tomate Adds a New Casual Cafe

Last Night’s Leftovers: Barbecue and Booze Edition

IMG_1315

Top five spots for barbecue and booze in the District [Drink DC]

Nine secret menu items in D.C. revealed [Zagat]

Bardo Brewpub will begin brewing this week. [Eater]

Arlington County is tightening the regulations for pub crawls. [ARLnow]

Three Little Pigs launches Kickstarter for new event and class space. [PoPville]

Help O'Sullivan's Irish Pub decide which teams to officially support. [Post]

Check out these food events this week. [Washingtonian]

What sumo wrestlers eat [VICE]

Photo from Garden District by Jessica Sidman

Sauf Haus Bier Hall Opens in Dupont Circle This Week

dsc_0187-1-2ab

The owners of Public Bar are expanding next door with an upscale German-ish tavern called Sauf Haus Bier Hall. It will open above Shake Shack on July 24.

The two-story bar with a 2,000-square-foot rooftop patio will have 16 beers on tap, plus some cans and bottles, predominantly from Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Sauf Haus's website boasts: "Gone are the frilly cocktails and in is a cold simple pint." Paradoxically, a press release for the same place promotes "specially designed cocktails, inspired by German influences."

Bavarian-style pretzels will be the only food served for the first two weeks. The menu will eventually expand to bratwursts, frankfurters, and… oysters. Because, why not?

Check out more photos below. Read more Sauf Haus Bier Hall Opens in Dupont Circle This Week

No Gimmickry or Overpriced Beers for Brightwood Bar & Restaurant

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.28.22 PM

A no-frills neighborhood spot called Brightwood Bar & Restaurant is on its way to 5501 14th St. NW this fall. "This is not going to be a destination place. Kids aren't going to come from Potomac and McLean to swill from expensive beers," says first-time restaurateur Michael Stone, who’s background is primarily in law and in government. "This is people and their kids walking over to have a good meal in a good environment."

Stone plans to serve standard American fare "done right" at reasonable prices. He wants to have plenty of options for vegetarians, plus some healthier alternatives to the typical deep-fried foods. As for drinks? Expect something equally simple. "I see bars and they've got every bourbon under the sun," says Stone. "I think we'll have a couple." Stone isn't setting anything in stone yet; he wants the place to adapt to whatever the neighbors ultimately want.

The two-story space will be made up of exposed brick, steel, and "cool lighting." The first floor will have a dining room with a community table, banquettes, tables, and an open kitchen. Upstairs, there will another bar and skylights—"light and easy and comfortable," Stone says. He anticipates he'll be able to sit more than 100 people inside and an addition 100 outside. He's looking to have a bar that's integrated into the window downstairs to help serve the patio. He's also considering a play area outside for kids under five, so parents can entertain their children while they have a beer.

Assuming all goes as planned, Stone aims to open Brightwood Restaurant & Bar by Thanksgiving.

Photo via Google Maps

Nationals Park Ranked Among the Best Ballparks for Vegetarians

0923nats

Buy me some peanuts and cauliflower sandwiches? People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has named Nationals Park the No. 5 most vegetarian-friendly Major League ballpark in the country.

Among the reasons cited in the decidedly unscientific ranking: the roasted cauliflower sandwich from Mike’s Isabella’s G, the vegan crab cake and vegan cheesesteak from Field of Greens, the veggie sloppy Jane from Grand Slam Grill, falafel from Schwafel, and veggie quesadillas from El Verano Taqueria. Many of these meat-free options are new as of this season: Field of Greens, for example, is the first vegetarian-only concession stand at the stadium.

Nationals Park was beat out by the ballparks for the New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and in first place, the San Francisco Giants.

You can find a full list of the vegetarian options at Nationals Park here. Granted, a lot of them are French fries.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Last Night’s Leftovers: Cake-Pop Edition

shutterstock_189265673

Washington's first cake-pop boutique could open in November. [Post]

14 hours eating endless mozzarella sticks at TGI Friday's [Gawker]

Fed Restaurant in Adams Morgan "closed for repairs." [PoPville]

Veritas Wine Bar will close in August. [Eater]

Try the skate wing tempura at Crane & Turtle. [Zagat]

28 next-level ways to eat ice cream [BuzzFeed]

Photo of random cake-pops via Shutterstock

Where to Find Burgers and Ice Cream Galore This Weekend

D42_9298

It's a good weekend for gluttony: two Saturday events will allow you to overindulge in either ice cream or burgers. (Or, ya know, both.)

From 1 to 4 p.m. tomorrow, head to Dock 5 at Union Markets for the annual DC Scoop festival featuring ice cream, gelato, ice cream sandwiches, popsicles from more than a dozen different vendors. Among the participating purveyors: Dolcezza, Ice Cream Jubilee, Milk Cult, Shake Shack, and Gifford's Ice Cream. The free event will include ice cream-eating contests, raffles, and other giveaways, as well as a competition to see whose frozen treats reign supreme. And if you need a break from the sweet stuff, Timber Pizza Co. and Luke’s Lobster will also serve food. 

Meanwhile, the D.C. BRGR Bash from noon to 6 p.m. at the former District Flea lot (945 Florida Ave. NW) will pit burgers from 10 restaurants against each other. The participants include Willow Restaurant (the defending champion), Burger Tap & Shake, Old Ebbitt Grill, Fainting Goat, and Granville Moore's. A $27 ticket includes five pre-selected "not-so-mini-burgers" from the competitors plus access to games and live music. A $47 ticket buys access for two people plus burgers from all 10 competitors. (Tickets are $30 and $50 the day of the bash.) There will also be beers from DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, and New Belgium. Get more info and purchase tickets at dcbrgrbash.com.

Photo courtesy DC Scoop

Americans Finally Forced to Say “Gyro” Correctly

gyro GRKMarking a small loss for strict spellers, but a huge gain for right-thinking people everywhere, a fast-casual Greek restaurant opening near Dupont today will insist on the correct pronunciation of its main menu item by spelling it phonetically.

"'YEE-RO,'" says Alex Alevras, principle partner of GRK Fresh Greek. "You know it as 'JAI-RO.'"

Americans have been slaughtering the name of the classic Greek dish, which typically consists of meat roasted on a spit and served in a pita, more or less since gyros arrive on U.S. soil in the mid-20th century. Unlike some people (possibly including the writer of this post, who may or may not have gotten into a dozen rageful arguments on the topic despite possessing no knowledge of the Greek language and no connection to Greece whatsoever), Alevras doesn't take the mispronunciation personally.

"I always thought it was funny," says Alevras, who hails from the suburbs of Athens. "Especially when fellow Greeks called it 'jai-ro.' It's not a huge deal, obviously."

Still, accurate pronunciation was important enough for GRK to spell "gyro" as "yeero" on the menu. "It's the correct way to do it," says Alevras.

GRK, a New York import making its first expansion into D.C., will feature traditionally roasted yeeros that have been marinated in spices, Greek yogurt ("Greek Greek, from Greece," Alevras clarifies), and Greek olive oil. Customers can choose from lamb, beer, chicken, pork, or portobello mushroom yeeros, served in a pita, over a salad, or plain on a plate. Frozen Greek yogurt and a variety of Greek sodas will also be on the menu.

GRK Fresh Greek, 1140 19th St. NW; grkfresh.com

Photo by Kelsey Duke

Last Night’s Leftovers: Brunch Edition

IMG_46611

Why wine prices vary at small specialty stores [Post]

Where to eat brunch around town [Eater]

India Gate opens in Dupont from former Bombay Club cook. [Barred in DC]

Cafe du Parc welcomes a new chef. [Zagat]

How long meats are cooked at Fat Pete's Barbecue [Express]

CityCenterDC restaurants are hiring. [WBJ]

District Doughnut opening approaches. [PoPville]

Photo by Jessica Sidman

...