Eat, read, drink and watch movies. Sounds like a pretty good week.
Eat for a Cause
A quartet of deliciousness is teaming up on Monday to feed not just D.C.’s discriminating palates, but the needy as well. Toki Underground, Maketto, Buffalo & Bergen and Rappahannock DC have put together a nice four-course meal at Rappahannock Oyster Bar at Union Market, with proceeds going to benefit Miriam’s Kitchen. Full story
Writer and public health activist Marion Nestle drops by CQ Roll Call HQ tonight for the finale of 2013′s Roll Call Book Club. She’ll be discussing her latest book, “Eat Drink Vote,” a brisk and funny read about food politics that helps make its message with political cartoons.
So drop by for some wine, some cheese and a free copy of the book. Roll Call resident food maven Warren Rojas will introduce Nestle, who apparently has a few things to say about how, why and what we stuff in our mouths.
Come fall, cult bourbon enthusiasts across America give thanks to the handful of establishments fortuitous enough to slide a few bottles of Pappy Van Winkle onto their shelves by proceeding to gleefully drink those places dry.
(Courtesy Redman Communications)
Having scored his annual allotment of old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’s prized product line, Bob Materazzi, owner of Shelly’s Back Room (1331 F St. NW), is not only looking forward to the bourbon purge, he finally gets what all the fuss is about. Full story
Boundary Road is going to put an egg on Black Friday.
If you’re looking for a watering hole on Thanksgiving night or a place to re-engage your taste buds the day after Turkey Day, the H Street bistro is opening up the bar at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving and open for its Black Friday FRANKENLunch.
Along with booze, wine and beers on Thursday, some sort of sandwich-like endeavors will be available for purchase, just in case you didn’t get enough turkey, dressing, yams, cranberries, green beans, etc., in the hours before. It won’t be the regular late-night bar menu, staff says, but something of the moment.
Then on Friday, the full lunch menu is available, with the option of putting an egg on everything for one dollar. Make sense? Lunch, plus an egg, mixed up … maybe. It does, though, remind us of the timeless Portlandia skit, “Put a Bird On It.”
Anyone looking for a cheaper ride back and forth to Baltimore on the weekends cheered earlier this year, when Maryland announced it was extending MARC service on Saturdays and Sundays come December. And to sweeten the pot even further, Kimpton Hotels is offering up a deal that scores weekend MARC riders a discount at one of the their hotels at either end of the terminus, as well as some free vino.
The “MARC a Night of It” deal involves 15 percent off the room rate at the Hotel George in D.C. and the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore. It also comes with a free bottle of wine. All you have to do is wait for Dec. 7, book for Thursdays through Sundays and show your Penn Line MARC ticket when you check in. You can book online (rate code “MARC”) or call 1-800-Kimpton.
For some reason, it brings to mind the Destination DC “Get a Room” ad campaign from earlier this year.
Good news, Southernphiles: The date for the 2014 Taste of the South has been set, and it comes with a bigger venue.
The next good-time go-round will be March 29, and it will be moving from the classy but slightly snug DAR Constitution Hall to the more spacious Washington Hilton, home to, among others, the White House Correspondents Dinner.
(Courtesy Taste of the South)
It seems like a long time ago the event was held at the D.C. Armory. But the 2010 event, which took place during a sweltering June weekend there, featured a decided lack of air conditioning. Although everyone knows it gets hot in the South, this was a bit of verisimilitude even die-hard Southerners did not need. DAR Hall was the next stop, and now the charity and nosh-festival looks like it’s got itself a new home.
Swing by Kelly’s Irish Times on Saturday anytime from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a fundraiser for Metro D.C. Police Officer Scott Williams, who was injured in the line of duty on Sept. 16 at the Navy Yard shooting.
Williams was shot in both legs after he entered Building 197 and, while he’s making progress, he’s still got a ways to go, according to a release from the IT. A $20 donation is requested. Go for the cause. Stay for the beer and music. 14 F St. NW.
Kelly’s Irish Times — Roll Call approved. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Tortilla Coast might have been destined to become an icon on Capitol Hill.
Bartender Mike Cumming serving lunch and drinks back in 2002. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Twenty-five years before Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, assembled conservative House firebrands in its basement to discuss shutdown strategies, Tortilla Coast opened to diners on the Senate side of the Capitol, at the location that now houses Union Pub at 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE. The reaction to the then-exotic idea of Mexican food played out in our own pages, under Thomas Head’s “Head Table column” on Nov. 6, 1988.
“Tortilla Coast, Capitol Hill’s newest Mexican restaurant, is located on the culinary map equidistant from Houston, Acapulco, and Walt Disney World,” Head wrote. His reaction to the name and decor suggested a mixed review might be coming. Full story
Union Market continues to proceed with what can only be regarded as a plan to take over the world. Need evidence? How about its plans to be open six days a week and having The Walkmen play at the buzzy food and food-stuffs market.
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Starting Nov. 12, the market will expand from being open five days a week to six. Currently, the market is open Wednesday through Sunday with current hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. On Nov. 12, the market will open on Tuesdays from here on out.
But the new hours are just the latest expansion into the D.C. consciousness. They pick people up for lunch with their Roadie shuttle, host a pop-up Toki Underground stall, project drive-in movies, provide a landing zone for Crafty Bastards and are even clearing some space for The Walkmen to help inaugurate the new second-floor performance space, Dock 5, on Nov. 30.
The indie-rock faves, all of whom are D.C. natives, will perform with Sunwolf and DJ Will Eastman.
Tickets start at $25 for the gig and can be purchased at Ticketfly. Doors open at 7 p.m., tunes at 8 p.m.
So, now that the “My word” and “Well, I do declare” reactions to the Nevada Host Committee’s bid to land the 2016 Republican National Convention in Las Vegas have subsided a bit, it’s a good time to take stock of how likely a Vegas-bound GOP might be. And according to All-Nevada Political Journalist Jon Ralston, it’s quite a serious bid indeed.
“Is there so much fear and loathing of Sin City that this move by Nevada’s GOP elite to secure the convention is more like the hallucinations of a Strip drunk at 3 AM than a sober proposition by a smart, committed group of people? I don’t think so,” Ralston wrote in a Ralston Reports post today.
Ralston points out that Vegas patriarchs such as Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn “will open their checkbooks for this” and the city’s experience with conventions and its inventory of hotel rooms would help grease the skids.
And for the record: Even though Roll Call After Dark has cued the Sin City jokes about what such a locale could wrought, it’s worth pointing out that same column extolled the virtues of having such a convention in a prime-time city like Vegas, as opposed to places like Denver, Colo., and Charlotte, N.C., where hotel rooms were sometimes more than hour away from the convention site and transportation systems were lacking. As for the adult entertainment angle, there’s a reason prostitution is referred to as the world’s oldest profession (because it’s everywhere), and last time we were in Tampa, another convention site, there was no real shortage of strip clubs there, either.
And why shouldn’t Vegas feel free to make a bid that places like Kansas City or Cleveland do? Ralston’s headline sums it up well: “GOP 2016 in Las Vegas? Why not?” That harks to one of the best political slogans of all time, from Kinky Friedman’s Texas gubernatorial bid: Why the hell not?
Happy Day of the Dead! There’s no way around it now: We’re firmly in the grip of fall, hurtling toward winter. Before we get to the really cold stuff, there’s time to do some autumn-appropriate stuff right here on Capitol Hill.
An Almighty Drive-In Experience
Union Market continues its fall season drive-in series on Friday with an All Saints Day showing of “Evan Almighty” at the Union Market Drive-In encore series. God, played by Morgan Freeman (no one else is allowed to play the big guy), asks Rep. Evan Baxter (Steve Carell) to build an ark in anticipation of a flood. The congressman obliges. In 2007, when the movie came out, this seemed far-fetched. In 2013, after observing the last few collections of freshman who have been elected, it seems feasible.
Gates open at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30. Free, at 1309 Fifth St. NE.
Pottery on the Hill
Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital is hosting Pottery on the Hill this weekend, starting with a reception on Friday and extending into the weekend. The exhibit will showcase 16 artists, and folks will have the opportunity to both view and buy. Among the potters is former Washington Redskin fan favorite and renaissance man Chris Cooley, who seems to be holding up just fine in his post-NFL life.
Tickets to Friday’s reception are $25 and available here. That shindig starts at 6:30 p.m. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Cooley will also be giving talks at noon and 2 p.m. on Saturday about his life as a sportsman and artist.
Street Level View
If you’d like your art in a different medium, check out the new exhibit Above the Radar III at The Fridge on Barracks Row. The exhibit shows off 25 artists from Los Angeles, New York and abroad, starting on Saturday. Curator Luna George brings many facets of the urban art experience, from street art to surrealism and more, for a month-long show. Among the artists showing are Cat Cult, Peeta, Robots Will Kill and XIST. Saturday’s opening reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. and is free; Sunday’s neighborhood reception is from noon to 4 p.m. and is also free, all at 516 1/2 Eighth St. SE.
New Columbia Distillers, the team behind the District’s Green Hat Gin, releases its new gin for the season, “Ginavit,” at the Ivy City distillery at 1832 Fenwick St. NE on Saturday. The portmanteau of two excellent spirits, gin and aquavit, suggests an interesting flavor. “This is a hardy and savory cool weather gin,” John Uselton, the co-owner and distiller said in a release, promising a mix of “Scandinavian aquavit botanicals” and gin botanicals. They’re only making 100 cases, so drink it while you can. Suggested retail is $40, and your first chance to get it is on Saturday. Whatever’s left over heads to restaurants and retailers the next week.
Of all the stories about Winston Churchill relayed at Wednesday’s Statuary Hall ceremony dedicating his bust, it was great to hear the one that truly never gets old, which is best referred to simply as “Old Drunk and Ugly.”
Kerry got to relay the Churchill “Old Drunk and Ugly” story Wednesday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call.)
Secretary of State John Kerry got to recount it, and he did a pretty good job as part of his speech taking note of Churchill’s “withering” retorts to friends and enemies alike:
“It was Churchill, after all, at a late-night party long past its rightful expiration date, who encountered a scold from his own party, who exclaimed in horror, ‘Winston, you are drunk. You are very drunk. You are very, very drunk.’ And Winston, without missing a beat, went back and said, ‘You. You are ugly. You are very ugly. You are very, very ugly. And what’s more — tomorrow, I shall be sober.’”
This is just one version of “Old Drunk and Ugly.” Another one has the scolder identified as Lady Astor, and it omits the “verys,” going somewhere along the lines of this:
Lady Astor: “You, sir, are drunk.”
Churchill: “Yes, madam, I am. And you are ugly. But tomorrow I will be sober.”
It brings to mind another statement attributed to Churchill, that a gentleman is only rude intentionally.
Please, please, please make this happen: the Nevada Host Committee’s effort to bring the 2016 Republican National Convention to Las Vegas.
The group, which trumpets the involvement of Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki as its figurehead, wants to lure Republicans from across the land to Sin City to nominate the party’s presidential standard-bearer in the next election.
“Las Vegas is the number one convention destination in North America. We do it better than anyone else in the country,” Krolicki said in a release.
They have a point, noting that Vegas hosted more than 21,000 conventions last year and has almost 150,000 hotel rooms. For those of us who have suffered through Charlotte, N.C.; Tampa, Fla.; St. Paul, Minn.; and Denver, the thought of not having to drive 50 miles from a hotel to the convention site is quite appealing.
And, for journalists, at least, what could possibly go wrong when you have public officials that close to gambling, 24-hour drinking opportunities and, ahem, adult entertainment, complete with ready-to-go wedding chapels? If you’ve seen “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “The Hangover” or “Mars Attacks,” you can rest assured nothing but good can come from a visit to the desert.
Is it a coincidence that both chambers of Congress return for the first time since the shutdown during Halloween week? Trick or treat! Here are a few things to do around Capitol Hill this week in case things just get too scary around the Dome.
Get Arty The Fridge is teaming up with Fantom Comics to throw a “Halloween Arty Party” at the gallery/performance space. This seems like a natural fit to marry the edginess of street art found at The Fridge and the vibe of comic books, which are sure to inspire a few costumes here and there on Halloween. DJ Oso Fresh will spin the tunes. The party’s costume contest is scheduled for 10 p.m., with a $100 Fantom Comics gift card as a top prize. The best part? No cover. Starts at 7 p.m. at 516 Eighth St. SE.
The Witching Hour Rock and Roll Hotel has a full slate of acts and parties all week long culminating in Halloween night’s Halloween Happy Hour Show, presented by Brodown Throwdown and DCPACC. Getting in on the Triple H Show are The Queens of Noise, Accidents and Burn the Ballroom. And how appropriate is it for dress-up night that the headliner is a Runaways cover band? Five bucks to get in at the door, which opens at 7 p.m. for a 7:30 show. Before Halloween, though, the Hotel is hosting Sir Sly on Monday night, along with Magic Man and Bel Heir. Twelve bucks in advance and at the door. Doors at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. show.
The Dirty Guv’nahs drop in with the Federal Hillbillies on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. show. Doors at 7 p.m. Twelve dollars in advance and $15 at the door. Nothing like some knucklehead practitioners from the Dirty South to get things going on All Hallow’s Eve Eve! Everything happens at 1353 H St. NE.
Not Your Usual Gala And what to do for All Saints’ Day on Friday? How about head to the Atlas Theater at 1333 H St. NE for the Atlas Underground: Not Your Usual Gala, a fundraiser for the neighborhood anchor that features performances from a host of local D.C. artists such as SynchroniCity; Nistha Raj, Christylez Bacon & Wytold; Akua Allrich; Cheick Hamala Diabaté; Bio Ritmo; Backbeat Underground; Balti Mare; and the No BS! Brass Band. Black tie optional. Tickets start at $225.
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick