Young and Hungry

Eat Some Testicles This Weekend

festicleThree D.C. chefs will see how their balls stack up this weekend at carnival-esque testicle festival The Festicle on Sunday. Toki Underground’s Erik Bruner-Yang, Bearnaise and Good Stuff Eatery’s Spike Mendelsohn, and Water & Wall and Maple Ave Restaurant’s Tim Ma will compete in a cook off using lamb testies. (Full disclosure: I’ll be one of the judges.)

Mendelsohn’s new event company Spike’d Events will sell “elevated carnival food” like sushi popcorn and chicken and waffles on a stick, while Bruner-Yang’s forthcoming market Maketto will host a pop-up. The festival (from 1 to 9 p.m.) will also feature aerial artists, contortionists, and bands including Tennis System, White Ford Bronco, Black Masala, and Supreme Commander. And because taste has already been thrown out the window with the testicle theme, there will be wrestling matches between little people from the Micro Wrestling Federation. Read more Eat Some Testicles This Weekend

Union Kitchen to Open Market and Cafe in Capitol Hill


Union Kitchen's kombucha, pastry, and hot sauce makers will have a new place to sell their foodstuffs next summer. The NoMa food incubator plans to open a cafe and market in Capitol Hill that will highlight its members' products. Co-founder Jonas Singer says the lease is still being finalized, so he doesn't want to reveal the exact location of the yet-to-be named storefront just yet.

This market and cafe will actually be the second from Union Kitchen, which also plans to open a shop in its second production facility at 1369 New York Ave. NE early next year. Among the members whose products you might find at both places: Capital Kombucha, Blind Dog Cafe, Chups, Glover's Pepper Sauce, Banana Love Muffins, Teeny Pies, Thunder Beast Root Beer, and more. 

"It gives our members an opportunity to know they have essentially guaranteed sales, which helps them to grow their brands and also get some cash flow," Singer says. "It's a beautiful location. It's a historic building. We're really excited about just having another place."

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Last Night’s Leftovers: Oktoberfest Edition


Where to celebrate Oktoberfest [Post]

Best food porn Instagram accounts [Thrillist]

Dram & Grain is back with more space and drinks. [Eater]

The 25 best food trucks in Washington [Washingtonian]

The best restaurants for wine pairings [Zagat]

Seven Virginia rosés to try [NoVa Mag]

Daniel Boulud isn't sure what "fanny" means. [Express]

Photo via Shutterstock

Arlington’s Bar TNT and Society Fair to Relocate to D.C.


The joint Bar TNT and Society Fair on Columbia Pike will close after Sept. 25. But Arlington's loss is the District's gain. Co-owner Todd Thrasher tells Y&H that they're scouting locations in downtown D.C. to relocate the two concepts, or possibly just the cocktail bar. The move will be the first D.C. venture for Eat Good Food, which also operates Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, PX, and Eamonn's. (The restaurant group's owners also include Thrasher's wife Maria Chicas, chef Cathal Armstrong, and Armstrong’s wife Meshelle.)

Thrasher says about three months ago, a national restaurant chain—which he couldn't disclose—came to their landlord looking to take over Bar TNT/Society Fair's space as well as an empty storefront next door. After some back and forth, the chain offered to buy the restaurant and bar out of its lease. The timing was actually the "perfect storm," Thrasher says, because they weren't doing as well as they wanted. "We're not losing money, but we're not making any money," Thrasher says. "And we're in the business to make money." (ARLnow first reported that the restaurant was expected to close.) Read more Arlington’s Bar TNT and Society Fair to Relocate to D.C.

Bacon and Vegan Festivals Face-Off This Weekend—Within Wafting Distance


The Capitol Bacon Festival and DC VegFest will not only take place on the same day (this Saturday), but coincidentally, in the same place. The two very opposite events are located only half a block from each other near Nationals Park—close enough that those sampling seitan will no doubt get a whiff of pig.

Organizers for both camps say the proximity wasn't intentional. Compassion Over Killing executive director Erica Meier, whose nonprofit organizes the annual vegan festival, says she only learned about the bacon bonanza yesterday. "We certainly welcome anyone attending that event to also stop by the DC VegFest," she says. She points out that they will have their own veggie "bacon" in addition to meat-free sausages, dairy-free ice cream, and more.

Meanwhile, Capitol Bacon Festival will be serving up bacon-and-cheddar-filled hot dogs, grilled bacon tacos, candied bacon, and much more. Organizer Evan Weinstein says he likewise only just found out about the nearby VegFestDC within the past week. This is the very first Capitol Bacon Festival, although Weinstein also hosted a bacon fest in Baltimore this spring.  Read more Bacon and Vegan Festivals Face-Off This Weekend—Within Wafting Distance

The D.C. Dining Scene’s Most Prolific Tweeters

Chef José Andrés announced to the “people of tweeter” last week that he would no longer send out personal tweets from his @chefjoseandres account, even though it will remain active. While no other local chefs match his following (more than 252,000), a few have sizeable Twitter clout. Here are some other top bar and restaurant industry tweeters in the D.C. area ranked by their audience as of Sept. 12. No surprise: The ones who have been on TV lead the pack.

Bryan Voltaggio
Twitter bio: Husband, Father, Chef/Owner, VOLT, LUNCHBOX, FAMILY MEAL, RANGE, AGGIO
Followers: 233,962*
Tweets: 6,143
Joined Twitter: June 2009
The feed: Sure, there’s plenty of self-promotional stuff, but the chef also throws in adorable anecdotes about his kids and gems like “Fuck @MonsantoCo.” Read more The D.C. Dining Scene’s Most Prolific Tweeters

Remixology: Make Us a Drink With Doritos


Bartender: Duane Sylvestre

Where: Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Mystery Ingredient: Doritos

Bartender Response: Upon seeing the bag of Doritos, Sylvestre ran away from the bar, returning a few minutes later with a gallon of milk. Uh oh. Is he a Doritos fan? “Years ago, I used to be. I haven’t had Doritos in a long time,” he said.

What We Got: A creamy, milky vodka and Peat Monster whiskey cocktail with a bit of chipotle kick to it called “All That and a Bag of Chips.” (Milk and chips, together at last!) Sylvestre’s first instinct was tequilla, but he was afraid of making a drink that was too “taco salad,” and instead decided to riff on the cheesiness of the Doritos. Read more Remixology: Make Us a Drink With Doritos

Last Night’s Leftovers: Trucks Edition

Lobster-5vThe best food trucks for every craving [Washingtonian]

Indian spice market, cafe, and cooking school opens in Dupont. [PoPville]

Three places to try during Turkish Restaurant Week [Zagat]

Old Ebbitt Grill customers eat about 3,000 oysters a day. [Eater]

SnoCream Shavery serves up a different kind of frozen treat from a school bus. [Express]

More of the city's best pizzas [DCist]

Tom Sietsema finds plenty of wholesomeness at DC Harvest. [Post]

Chupacabra is hosting an eating contest this weekend. [Frozen Tropics]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Daniel Boulud Looks to Ingratiate Himself in D.C. in a Way Other Celebrity Chefs Haven’t


A band played as guests walked a red carpet into DBGB Kitchen and Bar’s VIP-studded opening party last weekend. Upstairs in the first restaurant in the new CityCenterDC complex, an ice sculpture of the Washington Monument towered over platters of complimentary lobster, just-shucked oysters, and shrimp. Elsewhere, guests with flutes of sparkling wine or rosemary-lemon-vodka cocktails in hand nibbled on pistachio macarons or slices of a seven-layer duck and foie gras tourte. It was the most decadent restaurant opening D.C.’s seen in recent memory.

But all that was just the backdrop for the man of the hour: Daniel Boulud. Midway through the spectacle, the famed New York–based chef and restaurateur took the mic to thank friends and blowtorch a six-foot-long baked Alaska. Invitees crowded around like paparazzi snapping photos on their phones as if Beyoncé herself was in the center of the huddle.

Even though it was a Friday evening, when most chefs would be locked down in their own restaurants, many made a point to be there: Nora Pouillon, Ris Lacoste, Mark Furstenberg, Bertrand Chemel, Carla Hall, Patrick O’Connell, and José Andrés, whom Boulud personally waited on with an enormous plate of bread and charcuterie. They will also have a permanent home in the restaurant, thanks to plates lining the walls that more than 100 chefs decorated in red and black paint. The plates, which all have placards with the chefs’ names below, feature self-portraits, animals, messages—even an actual footprint from O’Connell. They come from big names like Emeril Lagasse and Anthony Bourdain, but mostly locals like Proof’s Haidar Karoum and Range’s Bryan Voltaggio.

The over-the-top party and crowd-sourced decor were just a part of Boulud’s efforts to ingratiate himself with the local culinary community. A rash of big name out-of-town chefs and restaurateurs have opened places in D.C. in the past year or two, including most recently Osteria Morini’s Michael White, Rural Society’s Jose Garces, and Tico’s Michael Schlow—not to mention the forthcoming arrival of David Chang, who will open one of his Momofuku restaurants in CityCenterDC next year. But Boulud is unique in the extent to which he’s gone out of his way, at least in these early days, to try to make D.C., and especially its chefs, fall in love with him. Read more Daniel Boulud Looks to Ingratiate Himself in D.C. in a Way Other Celebrity Chefs Haven’t

$10,000 Bottles of Wine and VIP Entrance at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House

Yet another steakhouse is opening in D.C. on Friday, aiming to serve the District’s most posh residents.

As the second restaurant to open in the luxe CityCenterDC (following the recent debut of Daniel Boulud's DBGB Kitchen and Bar), Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House includes houndstooth curtains, an elevator between the restaurant’s three floors, and a secret underground entrance into the lower dining room for “certain VIPs.”

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House also has locations in cities like Boston and Las Vegas, and the restaurant group's more casual Del Frisco’s Grille already resides on Pennsylvania Ave. NW and in Rockville.

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Executive Chef Scott Kroener sits at one of the dark walnut tables.

One offering unique to the CityCenterDC location is a $160 surf-and-turf for two: a 16 oz. cold-water Australian lobster paired with a 16 oz. barrel-cut filet mignon—“an ungodly piece of meat,” says chef Scott Kroener—carved tableside.

For appetizers, the steakhouse will also serve caviar, chilled octopus with gigante beans, tomatoes, olives, capers, and lemon ($18), and wagyu beef carpaccio ($16). On- and off-the-bone filet mignon, prime ribeye, and prime strip are Del Frisco’s three most popular steaks.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House aims to live up to the motto “Do right, fear no man,” Kroener says. “If you do the right thing by the beef and you buy great product, cook it with care, you serve it in an immaculately clean dining room, with great hospitality, how are you going to beat that? It seems like really low-hanging fruit that would be easy for everyone to get, but it’s not.”

The 1,200-bottle wine selection, overseen by Wine Director David O’Day, features a number of unique direct imports, in addition to a section that reflects what O’Day calls a “who’s who of Napa” and a rack just for the $8,000 to $10,000 bottles. Read more $10,000 Bottles of Wine and VIP Entrance at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House