Happy Friday!

Diana and I recently declared that every Friday would be “Food Truck Friday”, only today it’s so hot in DC (116 degree heat index!) it’s not safe to be outside. So Food Truck Friday became “Oh darn, I guess we’ll have to go to Proof instead Friday”. Okay by me!

The walk over was no fun. But we made it and I’m certain the trip was worthwhile! Proof does a “Lunch Crush” special – a main and a glass of wine/other beverage for $12. They had my beloved gnocchi on the menu, served with mushrooms! A meal made just for me. But sadly it just seemed too hot for something so heavy. A Nicoise salad instead.

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It was fabulous. There are few things better than the sweet crisp of green beans in the summer.

And a fun lunch was the perfect way to kick off some weekend fun! Tonight also because of the weather we’re changing outdoor Jazz in the Park to the indoor Chocolate and Bubbles happy hour at Co Co. Sala. How amazing does that sound!? Wine and chocolate, my favorite things :).

Sunday we are fiiiinally having brunch at Tabbard Inn which has been on my to-try list since practically forever! How exciting.

What are you up to?? Stay cool and I will see you on Monday :).


GoooOOd Morning! Gosh I’m in a good mood today :).

It could have something to do with one incredible dinner last night! A friendly rep for Pizzeria da Marco contacted me earlier this week to see if I might like to try it out. Funnily enough, I had been drooling over the menu for this new place just days before! So of course I was happy to say yes.

The restaurant specializes in true Neapolitan pizza, cooked very quickly in a wood-fired brick oven so the crust comes out both soft and crispy. Is there any pizza style better in the world than the doughy chew of Neapolitan? Clearly not.

And dinner was fantastic. The service, the wine, the company and most importantly, the food! Here’s a collection of some of my favorite shots from the evening.

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Prosecco to start. Louisa and my friend Josh were my dates for the evening and I’m quite certain Louisa was extra happy to be there once this arrived! Prosecco just happens to be her favorite drink, ever.

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Now how gorgeous is that? A rosemary flatbread to start, which accompanied our antipasti board, seen below.

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Me, Louisa-Bell and Josh.

And then came the pizza. We selected three to share.

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Marco – Tomato sauce, smoked mozzarella, mushrooms, parmigiano and sausage

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Margherita – Tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and parmigiano

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Ruchetta – Cherry tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto and parmigiano

Initially, I was excited for the Ruchetta most of all. But in surprise upset, I was absolutely in love with the Margherita! It was so simple but the simplicity really allowed the quality of the ingredients to shine. Heaven.

And with our pizza, some red wine.

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As you can imagine, at this point we were getting quite full! But then our waitress delivered dessert: a salted caramel budino (which sadly, did not photograph well) and this Nutella calzone.

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The budino was outrageous. Salty caramel is already one of my absolute faves and this was salted to perfection. The nutella calzone looked so heavy, I thought I’d have a bite and be done. But oh my! It was so light – like a soft pillow of ooey gooey chocolatey amazingness. We almost totally crushed it :). Dessert was to die for, seriously.

A gorgeous dinner. We will most certainly be back! Many thanks to the kind people at Pizzeria da Marco for their wonderful hospitality. And while I did receive this dinner in exchange for review, my high opinion of this place is my own :).

We’ve had a nice break from the usual way-too-humid DC summer weather the past few days which has made dining outside a treat. On Friday Louisa and I enjoyed supper at Fontina Grille in Rockville. The reason we selected Fontina for our outdoor dining is because they serve Louisa’s new favorite wine: a Riesling heavy on the pear. Perfect for summer!

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Last time we were at Fontina I was totally jealous of her wine since mine was the house wine and just not as good. So this time I did the wise thing and ordered the same.

As for supper, I was in the mood for something light and ordered the special seared scallop salad for my entree. According to the menu, greens and scallops came with strawberries, orange, walnuts, bleu cheese and a raspberry dressing.

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As you can see, the scallops were not seared but actually fried! Sad. And the blue cheese was replaced with goat. Plus, I found it rather tiny. It wasn’t a bad salad just not really what I had been expecting. Which is a shame because I feel like Fontina is one of those not-too-expensive but consistently good places to enjoy a casual meal. Maybe next time!

And with that, my fun-meals-from-the-weekend supply has been depleted! So let’s see what creative things I can come up with for you tomorrow.

Oh good morning! How was your fourth?? Although I had to work yesterday, we did manage to enjoy a few hours of evening fun at a little holiday gathering. Plus, we did a bit of celebrating on Sunday!

Joelle’s boyfriend James was in town visiting and we planned to do a brewery tour in his honor. However, we didn’t think of important details like booking the tour ahead of time, or that the brewery we meant to go to was only open Thu-Sat. Oops! So instead, we did lunch at Dogfish. As long as good beer is involved, right??

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Lunch was good as it always is, although they were out of a lot of beers and wouldn’t accommodate James’s order for a beer sampler as a result, due to pricing. You would think they could sort something out, no??

But never mind, we all ended up with something. I had a 90 minute IPA for Round I.

And the grilled chicken and shrimp club with salad – a very dreamy sandwich if you ask me!

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The best part was the grainy mustard vinaigrette which I must try to recreate myself. Round II was a Raison d’Etre – which went unpictured. The “red wine” of beers! Yum.

After 2 beers and a lot of time in the hot sun, the pool could not have sounded more appealing! So Joelle and James parted ways while the rest of us headed over to enjoy some poolside relaxation before the storms began.

A good pre-fourth celebration if you ask me! What did you get up to this weekend?

Good morning and Happy Fourth! It’s my holiday to work today (boo hoo) but at least that means we can keep up with regularly scheduled blogging :).

After last Friday’s fun lunch, we decided to keep the tradition going and think of something fun and Fridayish to do this most recent one. Food trucks have become a big thing in DC over the last year or so and especially in the summer they’re everywhere! On Friday there were a million parked all around Farragut Square and so we ventured over to check them out.

Sadly, when we got there the two particular trucks we had in mind were no where to be seen! But thanks to a useful real-time iPhone app (not mine) we quickly chased down our top choice a few streets away :).

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Oh hi Sara! What a celebrity.

Sabora Street is Latin inspired street food including staples such arepas and tacos. They source all of their ingredients from local farms and small sustainable producers.  And the meat is all natural, grass-fed, and hormone-free. I’m telling you, what comes out of these little food trucks can be seriously impressive! And I’m really glad we walked a little longer to track down the one we had our hearts set on :). It was SO worth it!

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I had the pulled pork arepa, served with a delicious rice. It was so fresh and so delicious! One of my favorite food truck experiences to date. We’re starting to think “Food Truck Friday” has a nice ring to it, no?? 🙂

So there you have it! Lots more catch up to do from the weekend so I’ll be back soon with more to share. HAPPY FOURTH! I hope you have something extra fun planned for today.

Good Friday morning!

My old roomie Nicole and I haven’t seen each other in a few months now and we needed to catch up. And if you’re going to catch up, I say it should be somewhere totally delicious and fun :).

Nicole was kind enough to let me pick the restaurant for our reunion. I’ve been wanting to try Birch & Barley forever now and felt pushed to do so after seeing that their chef has been named “Rising Culinary Star” in the 2011 Rammy’s. So last night, Birch & Barley it was!

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The restaurant is known for their impressive beer menu, which is treated at B&B the way most restaurants treat their wine. So of course beer is what you must order! We had one 10-oz and one 4-oz pour each over the course of the evening in order to taste a delicious few.

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And of course right after I say that bread isn’t so interesting to me at restaurants, I’m proven wrong twice in a row! Just look at this yummy selection. I tried one of each :).

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And for the main, seared hake with orzo. It. was. gorgeous! The fish tender and flaky, the orzo rich and so full of flavor.

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At the start of the meal I was SO into ordering dessert but after the beer, bread and main I was quite stuffed! And so we went without. However, there is one very clever “Ants on a Log” dessert featuring peanut butter cheesecake and celery vanilla ice cream that I am most certain I’ll have to return for one day soon. Perhaps you’d like to be my date?

Good food, good drinks and especially good company made for one very lovely evening indeed! Happy July 4th weekend! What are you up to??

Morning! Today, I cooked for you :).

In keeping with our new quinoa-salad-for-lunch series, this one is certainly my favorite yet! Sweet, juicy mango, plump blueberries and crisp, clean cucumber. So summery, so refreshing! Plus, unlike the others, this recipe is more sweet than savory. Perfect for anyone with a non-stop sweet tooth (me!).Cooking School 017

The recipe is adapted from the blog Dash of East, which I spotted on foodgawker not long ago. My version is as follows:

Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad:

Serves 4

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • pint of blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1.5 tbsp. EVOO
  • 1/2 a lemon’s juice
  • 1 tsp. berry jam
  • salt and pepper

Rinse/drain quinoa and combine with water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. When quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and prepare mango, blueberries and cucumber. Stir fruits and veg into the cooled quinoa and add cranberries.

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In a small bowl, whisk EVOO, lemon juice, jam and S&P together. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and stir to combine all ingredients.

Serve! Eat! Love. Cooking School 027

I have been all week :).