Young and Hungry

Remixology: Make Us A Drink With Wasabi Powder

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Bartender: Joe Ambrose

Where: POV Lounge at W Washington, D.C. hotel, 515 15th St. NW

Mystery Ingredient: Wasabi powder

Bartender Response: “I was kind of relieved,” Ambrose said. “I do hot [cocktails] all the time.” Then he tried a bit of the powder and found it “a lot less potent than I thought.” So now the challenge was to make sure the drink had enough wasabi kick.

What We Got: A wasabi ginger-infused rye cocktail with pear and lemon juice. Ginger slices floated on a perfect, giant square ice cube (naturally, since Ambrose is behind boutique ice company Favourite Ice). Ambrose used an iSi Cream Whipper to instantly infuse the ginger and wasabi. Read more Remixology: Make Us A Drink With Wasabi Powder

Donburi Offers Half-Off Everything Today

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Adams Morgan Japanese rice bowl gem Donburi celebrates its one-year anniversary today with a new menu. And from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., all dishes will be half-off.

The expanded offerings include bowls topped with sous-vide chicken thigh, a medley of mushrooms, or beef brisket. In addition to the restaurant's staple donburi sauce, fried bowls can now be topped with a 40-hour Japanese curry made with chicken stock, caramelized onion, and ground beef, served with scallion and garlic chips. There are also some new sides, like a barbecue eel cucumber salad.

Check out the full menu below.  Read more Donburi Offers Half-Off Everything Today

The ’Wiching Hour: El Camino’s Chorizo Torta

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The Sandwich: Chorizo torta

Where: El Camino, 108 Rhode Island Ave. NW

Price: $11

Bread: Torta roll, a crusty, oblong white roll used for these Mexican sandwiches

Stuffings: Chorizo, pan-fried potatoes, caramelized onions, queso fresco, lettuce, tomato, housemade crema, and guajillo sauce (a syrupy red sauce made from dried, moderately spicy peppers) Read more The ’Wiching Hour: El Camino’s Chorizo Torta

Last Night’s Leftovers: Newton’s Shuffles Edition

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Bethesda Barbeque Company to replace Newton's Table. [Bethesda Mag]

Newton's Noodles closes downtown location. [PoPville]

Where to find Thanksgiving empanadas, burritos, pizza, and more [UrbanDaddy]

Adroit Theory Brewing Company will make Thanksgiving stuffing-flavored beer. [Express]

Christmas beers are coming to town. [Post]

Investors give Sweetgreen an additional $18.5 million for west coast expansion. [Eater]

Eight must-try D.C. sandwiches [Thrillist]

Andy Shallal talks about bringing Busboys and Poets to Anacostia. [Housing Complex]

Photo courtesy Len DePas

Ice Cream Shops Prepare to Battle the Polar Vortex

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Not a seat at the gelato shop remains on a recent gray,45-degree Sunday afternoon. Except no one is actually eating gelato. Instead, the tables at the Logan Circle Dolcezza are dotted with lattes and laptops.

With good reason. If you order a steaming bowl of ramen or hot tea on a blazing summer day, supposedly it has a cooling effect, turning on your body’s natural air conditioning. But ice cream on a cold day? That’s just...cold. No amount of holiday spice or winter citrus can replace a wool sweater.

It’s that time of year again when “winter is coming” is no longer just an overwrought line from Game of Thrones. Everyone has broken out heavy coats and started wearing scarves for non-fashion purposes. “Frigid Blast” and “Arctic Invasion” are actual headlines, not apocalyptic thrillers aiming to compete at the box office with Hunger Games this holiday season.

Restaurants are always at the mercy of the weather report, but perhaps none so much as the ice cream shop. And there’s a lot more of them lately: At least a half-dozen frozen treat spots opened in the D.C. area this summer, and this will be their first winter. It’s expected to be another cold one.
“Ten years ago when we first started, it was hell,” Dolcezza co-founder Robb Duncan says of his initial cold months. “Those were the days of, ‘Are we going to make it or not?’” Read more Ice Cream Shops Prepare to Battle the Polar Vortex

City Perch Now Open Above North Bethesda’s New Luxury Theater

Buttered popcorn? Psh. North Bethesda's iPic Theater, which opened at the end of last month, is fancifying "dinner and a show." The luxury theatre has teamed up with in former Wolfgang Puck executive pastry chef Sherry Yard to oversee an in-cinema menu and open up a restaurant called City Perch Kitchen + Bar, which debuted Monday, above the building.

sherryYard, a James Beard award winner based in California, is friends with iPic Theaters CEO Hamid Hashemi. "He said, 'I didn't know opening up theaters, I'd become a restaurateur,'" Yard recalls. His idea: take away the lobbies, and in their place, put beautiful restaurants. That's how she came into the picture.

In the theater, the finger foods-heavy menu makes it easier to eat in the plush leather reclining chairs with personal pillows and blankets. An iPad allows guests to order lobster rolls, short rib bao, pizzas, and more.

"No matter what, it has to be fast and it has to be good, so we've designed the menu like a Porsche," Yard says. "It's revved up and it's ready to go." Read more City Perch Now Open Above North Bethesda’s New Luxury Theater

Last Night’s Leftovers: Second State Edition

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Second State will reward "girls who wear dresses and men who wear jackets." [Post]

D.C.'s cupcake ATM has been delayed again. [Eater]

Bill Cosby still eats free at Ben's Chili Bowl. [City Desk]

The ultimate guide to Thanksgiving in D.C. [Zagat]

The Black Squirrel will offer an all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet for $7. [PoPville]

D.C.'s best new restaurants of 2013 [Thrillist]

Virginia approves booze price increase. [WBJ]

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Chez Le Commis Back at Le Bon Cafe Tomorrow

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After hosting his first Chez Le Commis supper club pop-up at Capitol Hill's Le Bon Cafe Monday, chef Tom Madrecki is already planning the next dinner. Tomorrow.

Instead of a prix-fixe menu, Wednesday's dinner will be a la carte with dishes like pork schnitzel, duck confit, root vegetable bouillon, omelettes with burgundy truffle, and grilled pears for dessert. No entree will be more than $20. Glasses of wine will start at $8 and bottles around $40.

Reservations will be available for 6:30 and 8 p.m. seatings. Email chezlecommis@gmail.com to request a spot.

Madrecki is getting closer to making the pop-ups a regular affair. "This is not the last one at Le Bon," he says. Wednesday's more casual format will probably be more similar to what the dinners are like going forward.

Photo by Scott Suchman

Catalan Restaurant Costa Brava Now Open in Bloomingdale 

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Costa Brava in northeastern Spain is one of those postcard-perfect spots with endless stretches of blue water and dramatic rocky terrain. It’s also the inspiration for Costa Brava, a new restaurant that opened last week at 1837 1st St. NW in Bloomingdale.

Owner Larry Holden—who went from working on the Hill to working in restaurants like James Hoban and The Front Page—first visited the region in 2011.

“You’ll meet people on the beach there, and they’ll invite you to have lunch with them,” he says. “I mean, who invites you to eat in their home after they’ve just met you?”

Holden wants the restaurant to have that same feel. Stone and terracotta-colored walls invite diners into the cozy 50-seat restaurant, which occupies two levels of a renovated townhouse. The 2,000-square-foot space has an additional 35 seats on the front and back patios, which will open in the spring. Read more Catalan Restaurant Costa Brava Now Open in Bloomingdale 

Chefs Mike Isabella and Jonah Kim Will Open Noodle Bar Together

Jonah Kim 1Back in August, Mike Isabella told Y&H that he believes the next frontier for dining is collaboration restaurants, where chefs aren’t just cooking with each other at events but actually opening businesses together. “There are chefs that I would like to partner up with down the road...I think it’d be cool to pair up with some type of chef that does Asian food," he said.

And so he has. Isabella announced today that he is teaming up with chef Jonah Kim to open a noodle bar and small plates restaurant in Ballston called Yona. Kim was formerly chef at now-closed Baltimore izakaya Pabu and co-hosts Mandu's monthly guest chef series Anju. Read more Chefs Mike Isabella and Jonah Kim Will Open Noodle Bar Together

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