Young and Hungry

Sally’s Middle Name Pops Up at Boundary Road on Sunday

SMN_Pop-up_poster_webA new restaurant called Sally's Middle Name is coming to 1320 H St. NE in June. But you can try some of chef Sam Adkins' food for the first time Sunday, March 29, from 10 p.m. to midnight, at Boundary Road.

The limited menu (see below) will include dishes like braised goat with roasted fairytale squash and smoked-pepper raita as well as fingerling potatoes with sauerkraut and pork fat.

Cashion's Eat Place and Pop's SeaBar chef John Manolatos will help out in the kitchen, while former Boundary Road Beverage Director Brenden Mulder-Rosi, who will move over to Sally's Middle Name, is creating drink pairings. Allegra Guinan is doing desserts like carrot and orange ice cream with a maple pizzelle.

Read more about the story behind Sally's Middle Name's name in this previous Young & Hungry postRead more Sally’s Middle Name Pops Up at Boundary Road on Sunday

Cherry Blossom Food and Drink Specials Are The Worst

District Cherry Old Fashioned_ScottSuchmanCherry blossom season is on its way, and with it comes a barrage of terrible tasting cherry cocktails and dishes.

Now through the coming weeks, D.C.-area menus will be filled with cherry margaritas, cherry soda, cherry punch, cherry sangria, cherry-filled doughnuts, cherry waffles, cherry chocolates, cherry macarons, duck with cherries, salmon with cherries, pulled pork with cherry mustard, and gnocchi with pickled sour cherries.

And that's just a small sampling. Most of these menu items have cherries for the sake of cherries, not because they taste better—or even good—with cherries.

Meanwhile, local blogs have already begun an onslaught of tedious round-ups featuring these cherry blossom food and drink specials. (That's what happens when you have 5 million press releases in your inbox on the subject.) I have to imagine that this free promotion is the real incentive for nearly every single restaurant to have its own cherry creation, because there's actually no good reason to put anything with cherries on their menus. Read more Cherry Blossom Food and Drink Specials Are The Worst

Last Night’s Leftovers: Piratz Tavern Edition

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Pirate-themed Piratz Tavern will close after April 4. [Post]

Miso Café, Samovar Restaurants head to Rockville Town Center. [Washingtonian]

Where to eat out for Passover and Easter [Zagat]

Where to eat by the National Mall during tourist season [Eater]

Meridian Pint hosts a fly fishing "mappy hour" on Monday. [PoPville]

The best 15 spring beers [Thrillist]

Photo of a random pirate flag via Shutterstock

Nacho Mama’s Nachos: Unconventional Takes on the Classic Snack

Nachos are already the mutt of greasy drunk foods with their American-Mexican roots. So it’s only appropriate that restaurants pile on other forms of fusion. From nachos that taste like an everything bagel with the works to nachos with a Mediterranean kick, here are some unconventional takes on this Tex-Mex classic around the D.C. area.

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DGS Delicatessen

1317 Connecticut Ave. NW

The restaurant makes bagel chips from the rounds it imports from famed Montreal bagelry St-Viateur then loads them up with bits of house-smoked salmon, horseradish-sour cream sauce, mashed avocado, capers, radish, peppers, and cilantro.

Price: $8

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Right Proper Brewing Company

624 T St. NW

This meat lover’s nacho dish uses pork rinds as its base then piles up with pulled pork, roasted tomato sour cream, jalapeños, scallions, and cheese sauce.

Price: $9 Read more Nacho Mama’s Nachos: Unconventional Takes on the Classic Snack

Underserved: Wisdom’s Don’t Be Bitter, Baby

Don't Be Bitter, Baby Credit Laura Hayes

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

What: Don’t Be Bitter, Baby with Bluecoat Gin, Cynar, and Giffard Apricot Liqueur

Where: Wisdom, 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Price: $11

What You Should Be Drinking

This three-ingredient cocktail, which shares its name with classic breakup language, aims to be a stepping stone of sorts toward more bitter drinks like the negroni. Wisdom proprietor Erik Holzherr thinks the flavor gets a bad rap amongst the younger crowd.  “People who appreciate bitter have a mature palate,” he says. “Maybe I’m stereotyping, but the typical twentysomething will see bitter and avoid it.” It’s hard to blame them. Just look at the word’s synonyms: unpleasant, vicious, harsh, and rancorous. The bitter in Don’t Be Bitter, Baby comes from Cynar, an Italian artichoke liqueur, and there’s nothing rancorous about it. Rather, it provides a necessary backbone to the drink, which also contains Bluecoat Gin and Giffard apricot liqueur from France. “You need bitter to balance a cocktail. Even if you don’t like it, it adds complexity,” Holzherr says. The drink was created by his protégé bartender, Tania Morgan. Read more Underserved: Wisdom’s Don’t Be Bitter, Baby

Last Night’s Leftovers: The Wharf Edition

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​Mike Isabella, Stephen Starr, and others in talks to open restaurants at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront. [WBJ]

Where and when to find half-priced wine in D.C. [Eater]

Where to find the best fried chicken in the D.C. area [DCist]

Take a peek inside D.C.'s first Bonchon. [Washingtonian]

José Andrés is already planning to open a second Beefsteak. [Post]

Craft beer shop coming to Courthouse. [ARLnow]

Rendering courtesy of Madison Marquette

Tour de Forks: Local Restaurants Host Trips Around the World

yhillo_issue13In 2006, Sona Creamery co-owners Genevieve and Conan O’Sullivan got engaged in front of a castle in Ireland once owned by one of his ancestors. 

A year later, they returned to County Cork, Ireland to get married in one of the country’s smallest churches.

And for their eighth anniversary this September, they’ll return again—with 28 strangers.

This time, it’s all about their love of cheese. They’ll lead a five-day tour throughout southern Ireland, visiting creameries, meeting cheesemakers, and hosting cooking classes using cheeses they find along the way. (They’ll also visit the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, of course.) The group will stay in the same hotel the O’Sullivans did when they got engaged and married.

Their personal connection to the country isn’t the only reason the Sona couple chose Ireland for the trip. The Irish were responsible for helping to kickstart the small-batch artisanal cheese movement in the 1970s when the industry was dominated by big brands, Genevieve O’Sullivan explains. Every year, the couple plans to host another artisan cheese tour to different countries around the world, including cheesemaking superpowers like France, Italy, and Spain.

The O’Sullivans are among a handful of D.C.-area restaurateurs and chefs who are looking to not just transport people through food, but literally transport them to the source. Sure, it’s an excuse for restaurant folks to travel, but these tours are just as much about bringing attention to certain types of cuisine and fostering cultural exchange in a way that’s not always easy from the dining room. From Ireland to India to Cuba, there are a number of locally led culinary trips in the pipeline this year. Read more Tour de Forks: Local Restaurants Host Trips Around the World

As Chief Ike’s Prepares to Close, Owner Al Jirikowic Bemoans the Death of D.C. Funkiness

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After more than 20 years in Adams Morgan, Chief Ike's Mambo Room will close on Saturday. As owner Al Jirikowic tells it, "This is an old funky bar that time has passed by." The longtime bar owner sat down with Y&H to talk about the "strollerfication" of Adams Morgan, D.C.'s dying funkiness, and that time the Rolling Stones stopped by.

What was Chief Ike's like in the first few years? 

It had a lot of funk. It had a lot of... what's the Russian word for bearing the truth? We had a lot of Clintonites in here, and they were always talking about that. I had Stella Neptune as the DJ, and we had bands in here. We had poetry in here and readings in here. Over the years, we've had plays and musicals and recitals and weddings, and we've had bar mitzvah celebrations. It's been an all-purpose, social, creative meeting place with a lot of art. A lot of the people who painted this stuff also worked here and built this place.

Do you have some favorite memories from over the years?

A lot of things have happened. We used to have drawing classes upstairs, and they were figure drawing classes, and we were at war with the building across from us for noise. They looked through their windows and they saw a nude person, a 78-year-old man posing. And they sent the cops in here, guns drawn. As the guy looks around, I say, "Let me get you a towel." The police were so embarrassed, we said, "You guys better go downstairs and have a glass of tequila." They said, "Man, we're going to take you up on that." Read more As Chief Ike’s Prepares to Close, Owner Al Jirikowic Bemoans the Death of D.C. Funkiness

Eat With Table’s Staff During Their Family Meal Tomorrow

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Last week's Y&H column is all about how some restaurants and bars are involving the public in events and traditions that in the past have been exclusive to people who work in the industry. Table in Shaw has been a prime example by selling tickets to monthly family meals—the meals that staff eat before their shifts. The restaurant will host its second-ever "pop-up family meal" tomorrow from 5 to 6 p.m.

The early dinner will be served family-style with cooks, waitstaff, and patrons alike sitting at communal tables and sharing the same food. The restaurant has also invited the team from nearby Compass Coffee to join the feast. Tickets will cost $20 or $25 with a beer or glass of wine. Rather than having people pay at the door as they did last time, Table will sell the tickets online in advance for the 20 spots. A sign-up link will go up on the restaurant's Facebook and Twitter pages at noon today.

Read more about Table's public family meal and others who are doing similar things here.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Last Night’s Leftovers: Kid Critic Edition

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What happens when a 4-year-old and a restaurant critic review the same meal? [NoVa Mag]

Sample the Beer Madness finalists at Meridian Pint on Thursday. [Post]

Eight places to try different styles of horchata [Eater]

Where to find speculoos cookie desserts in Washington [Washingtonian]

D.C.'s first cat cafe will become a reality. [DCist]

Think you know D.C. restaurants? Take this quiz. [Express]

Red Robin Burger Works opens downtown. [PoPville]

Photo via Shutterstock

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