Author Archive for Sam Hiersteiner

Can Del Campo’s Vegetarian Tasting Menu Convert a Meat Fanatic?

Victor Albisu is an accomplished chef and I am not, but we do have one thing in common: Most people believe they have us pegged as bearded, smoke-shrouded cavemen who sit around fires all day eating charred hunks of meat. Albisu takes some responsibility for the stereotype, although he doesn’t love the fact that he’s […]

Meat Week Is Almost Here

Meat Week, Washington’s annual celebration of smoked and sizzled animal parts, is upon us again beginning this Sunday. As a result, I find myself confronting a question that frequently haunts the local smoked meats scene: Has D.C. made any progress toward becoming the great barbecue city it should be? By the numbers, the picture has […]

Cheese Wiz: Meet Adam Smith, D.C.’s Own Champion Cheesemonger

Staring intently at a 20-something-year-old customer at Cowgirl Creamery in Penn Quarter, head cheesemonger Adam Smith winds up for a dance he’s done many times before. “Ma’am, what can I do for you today?” The woman says she’s planning a picnic. “Great. What kind of cheeses do you usually like?” As she offers a few details […]

Bar Food Bites: The Pinch

The 13-year-old brooding freakshow in me loved the soundtrack coming out of the speakers at The Pinch, a new watering hole on 14th Street NW in northerly Columbia Heights. Giants of grunge like Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and Alice in Chains played, along with less glorious alt-rock acts like Candlebox, Marcy Playground, and Collective Soul. The […]

Bar Food Bites: Olympic Deal at Johnny’s Half Shell

Yesterday, Y&H awarded a gold medal to the Olympics-themed patio menu at Johnny’s Half Shell on Capitol Hill. The reason? Pricing. Each of the five British pub dishes printed in Old English on the special menu–cucumber sandwich, Welsh rarebit, fish and chips, ham and pork salad, and scotch egg–costs just $2.50. So, I cleaned out […]

Bar Food Bites: BlackSalt’s Happy Hour

Washington restaurateur Jeff Black has been in the news a bit lately, but the attention hasn’t entirely focused on his food. For this week's Bar Food Bites, I posted up at Black’s casual seafoodery, BlackSalt, to see if the popular boutique oyster happy hour is still high-grade. Folks like me—the kind with advanced culinary impulsivity—are […]

Bar Food Bites: Art and Soul’s Pickles

On Wednesday nights during the summer, Art and Soul on Capitol Hill hosts a Louisiana-style crab boil on its patio, where pickers crowd in at happy hour for spicy steamed jumbos, bites off the bar menu, and Flying Dog seasonal brews. But I skipped all of that on a recent Hump Day trip to the […]

The Making of the Presidential Sandwich 2012

President Barack Obama’s much-buzzed-about visit to Taylor Gourmet Italian Deli on 14th Street NW yesterday ended with an exclamation, according to Taylor co-owner David Mazza. The president took one look at the Spruce Street sandwich he ordered and said, “This is a big sandwich. A BIG SANDWICH.” The leader of the free world then took […]

Prelude To Cochon: Art and Soul’s Wes Morton Heads To The Country For Pig Practice, Cajun Style

Let's dispense with the full disclosure right away: In the aftermath of Wednesday’s gripping Reviewgate controversy, I feel compelled to note that this is not a restaurant review. It’s the recounting of a boucherie, a traditional Cajun pig slaughter and roast, which I attended on Sunday in the shadow of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, about […]

Petworth Goes Parisienne: Chez Billy Now Open On Georgia Ave.

"Chez Billy is about cooking what I love—classic French cuisine," says Brendan L'Etoile. The former sous chef at Marvin has been put in charge of his own kitchen as part of operators Eric and Ian Hilton's fast-growing empire of bars and restaurants in the District. L'Etoile's chosen French theme is a first for the Hiltons, […]