Young and Hungry

Brew In Town: The Brewer’s Art Choptank’d Saison

choptankdWhere in Town: Whole Foods Market, 4530 40th St. NW

Price: $2.50/12 oz

A Taste of Summer
As much as I appreciate the change of seasons, this week I caught myself wanting to hold on to fun and sun just a little longer. My solution? Beer, of course. An easy but not so economical strategy was to pick through the singles at Whole Foods in Tenleytown, where loose 12-ounce cans and bottles range from around $2 to $4 each, enabling me to score a few last sips of summer without committing to an entire six-pack of the same beer. My mixed-sixer included solid sunshine brews like Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Union Old Pro Gose, and the Brewer’s Art Choptank’d Saison.

A Pearl in (Almost) Every Sip
The last of these is a four-percent-alcohol saison first released in June 2014 for several beer bars in Cambridge, a city on the Eastern Shore’s Choptank River, where spending a day fishing and crabbing with good beer is referred to as getting “Choptanked.” Banana and ripe peach aromas give way to flavors of bubble gum, grapefruit rind, and, most distinctly, honeysuckle flowers, which are added to the brew. The sweet, fruity character of Belgian yeast permeates throughout. Choptank’d finishes dry with a peppery aftertaste thanks to the use of rye. My only complaint is that the beer loses carbonation quickly, and as a result, diminishes in body rapidly as it sits. But overall, Choptank’d displays impressive depth for such a low-alcohol beer. Seek out the last of this year’s batch now, or if you’ve moved on to chilly weather brews, look forward to more Choptank’d (and sunshine) next summer.

Are You Gonna Eat That? Lengua de Pato at China Chilcano

duckton_chinaThe Dish: Lengua de pato (duck tongue)

Where to Get It: China Chilcano, 418 7th St. NW; (202) 783-0941;

Price: $6

What It Is: The José Andrés restaurant first peels and poaches each duck tongue before marinating it in a mixture of Peruvian aji panca chile pepper and olive oil. It is then skewered with Cape gooseberries and brushed with a sauce of cilantro, onions, and chilies. It’s cooked and served with a chimichurri sauce and roasted potatoes. Read more Are You Gonna Eat That? Lengua de Pato at China Chilcano

‘Misunderstanding’ Caused Temporary Cat Café Closure


When Kanchan Singh announced she was opening D.C.'s first cat café, the District Department of Health was taken by surprise. "Why I didn’t know about this??? Do anyone knows about the risks [sic]?" Joxel Garcia, the department's director at the time, wrote in an email to staff.

Several months later, what may have seemed inevitable to many finally happened: Georgetown's Crumbs & Whiskers received a "summary suspension" of its operations on Sept. 11, DOH records show, owing to what Singh claims was a "temporary misunderstanding."

Read more ‘Misunderstanding’ Caused Temporary Cat Café Closure

The Grass is Getting Greener for D.C. Vegetarians

Fare Well Chicken Fried Seitan

Fare Well chicken fried seitan

A crowd nearly the size of a home Capitals game is expected at Yards Park on Saturday for DC VegFest celebrating all things vegetarian and vegan (provided that Joaquin takes a right turn out to sea; the event will be cancelled if weather conditions are severe). Picture a free sample day at Whole Foods, plus dogs and an even crunchier crowd bopping to live music in a beer garden.

One of the biggest draws to the festival, however, are the speakers, including chefs Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby. They co-own Vedge, a wildly successful vegetarian restaurant in Philadelphia that has meat eaters and vegetarians alike fighting for reservations. Landau was a 2015 James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. While there’s nothing quite like Vedge in D.C., the grass is getting greener for District vegetarians. Read more The Grass is Getting Greener for D.C. Vegetarians

The Right Way to Complain in a Restaurant



It was a chicken quesadilla, of all things, that set the diner off. Satellite Room General Manager Michael Richardson, as he normally does in these situations, introduced himself to the guest and asked what the problem was.

As Richardson tells it, the angry patron called the food “the definition of bad” and said that the chicken tasted “off.”

“He wouldn’t take a free drink or anything, and I checked the ingredients in the kitchen and chalked this up to him just being weird,” Richardson says. Read more The Right Way to Complain in a Restaurant

Latin American Wine Bar to Replace Petworth Store Accused of Selling Synthetic Drugs


In July, local neighborhood blog Petworth News wondered, “What’s next for the Riyad Market?” which it described as “the inconvenience store at the corner of 8th and Upshur” streets NW. Riyad had earned the title for allegedly selling synthetic drugs; it's consequently being forced to close by Nov. 13.

We now have an answer. Justin Logan, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute—the libertarian think tank headquartered in D.C.—will open a Latin American “wine and spirits bar” with his wife Jessica and an investor, Michelle Rodriguez, once Riyad Market clears out. Though the Logans have yet to decide on a chef or the number of customers the restaurant will be able to accommodate, they do have a name: Ruta del Vino, Spanish for “the Wine Trail.” The restaurant will feature dishes from multiple countries, including Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. It’ll also serve about 20 regional wines in addition to liquors like tequila, ancho-chile, singani, and pisco. Ruta del Vino could open by next spring, at 800 Upshur St. NW. Read more Latin American Wine Bar to Replace Petworth Store Accused of Selling Synthetic Drugs

Local Breweries Bring Back Top Honors from the Great American Beer Festival

PortCityGABF2015At last week's Great American Beer Festival, the beer world's equivalent to the Oscars, several Washington-area breweries brought back bling. The brightest win belonged to Alexandria's Port City Brewing Company, which was named Small Brewing Company of the Year.

Competition was steep. Out of 1,552 participating breweries from 50 states and D.C., about one-third were in the small brewing company category (defined as breweries which produce between 1,000 and 15,000 barrels of beer per year). Only 86 of those won medals for one or more of their beers.

If that's not impressive enough, Port City was one of only four breweries of any size to win three medals, the most granted to any single brewery this year. A total of 6,647 beers were entered across 92 style categories, representing a 20-percent increase from 2014. The rapid growth of U.S. breweries, opening at a rate of two per day with over 4,000 currently active, has made it was more difficult than ever to place. Read more Local Breweries Bring Back Top Honors from the Great American Beer Festival

Underserved: Quill’s Rum Plum Pum

Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering.

Rum Plum Pum 1 (1)

What: Quill’s Rum Plum Pum with Ron Zacapa Rum 23, plum vermouth, and Amaro Averna

Where: Quill at The Jefferson, 1200 16th St. NW

Price: $16

What You Should Be Drinking
The Rum Plum Pum, whose name is a play on “The Little Drummer Boy” lyrics, is the kind of cocktail you drink on Christmas Eve when it’s time to put the eggnog away and have a real cocktail. The boozy dark rum drink carries the warming spices commonly associated with fall and the holidays. Those spices come from bartender Sophie Szych’s housemade plum vermouth. Szych started with white wine fortified with rum before emptying a spice drawer: “There’s cinnamon, juniper berries, cloves, coriander, allspice, star anise, vanilla, citrus peel, and a good dose of plum as well,” she says. Szych used gentian root as the bittering agent, which you’ve likely had before because it’s the base of Angostura bitters. The final ingredient is Averna, an ancient Sicilian amaro dating back to 1868. Read more Underserved: Quill’s Rum Plum Pum

The Sipping Point: D.C. Begins to Take Sake Seriously

Jesse Teaching

Jesse Selvagn of Bar Otsukare teaches Sake 101 at Crane & Turtle.

If you dine out enough, you’ve probably heard of a  sommelier, maybe even a cicerone, but there’s another beverage certification becoming increasingly popular in D.C., and it says something about the growing popularity of sake.

Jamie MacBain, Daikaya’s beverage director, became a Certified Sake Advisor last winter after taking a one-day, $475 course that culminated in a 100-question test at the Sake School of America in New York. Daikaya paid his way, but he took the class for personal gain, too. “Bartending is becoming a respected profession again,” he says. “There has been a need to develop certifications like Certified Spirits Specialist in addition to sommelier programs that have been around for decades, and sake is next.” Read more The Sipping Point: D.C. Begins to Take Sake Seriously

Fig & Olive Salmonella Outbreak Goes National As Second Lawsuit Filed in D.C. (UPDATE)


Trendy New York-based Mediterranean chain Fig & Olive is having a bad month, apparently on both sides of the country.

Read more Fig & Olive Salmonella Outbreak Goes National As Second Lawsuit Filed in D.C. (UPDATE)