Creamy dairy products maven Dolcezza Gelato is opening a combo “gelato factory + coffee lab” near Union Market at 550 Penn St. NE on Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m.
The latest entry in the turnaround of the Brentwood/Ivy City area will include a spot to taste gelato and coffee, surely two of the greatest human creations to grace the planet. Seriously, could anyone have foreseen 10 years ago that a gelato joint would take up residence in this neighborhood?
The tasting room has a bar that will look out onto the production floor for the gelato. They’ll offer tasting on a daily basis from here on out from noon to 7 p.m.
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.
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.”
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.
That chill in the air this month is even more reason to stock up on stuff to do around Capitol Hill. Dwindling light doesn’t mean dwindling cool things to do.
Hill Center’s Pre-Code Cinema Series
Hill Center debuts its series looking at the racier side of early Hollywood on Friday night with the 1933 Barbara Stanwyck flick “Baby Face.” Critic Nell Minnow and writer Margaret Talbot will lead discussions of the movies, which represent a tone and time in cinema when the Hays Code guidelines for themes and behavior the movies could portray was for the most part disregarded. Free, but register online at hillcenterdc.org. 7 p.m. at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.
The Hillys Are Here
The 2013 Hillys Award Gala, which honors the Capitol Hill area’s favorite businesses, including restaurants, health and beauty services, home and garden services, retailers, nonprofits and art venues, among many categories, are Saturday night at Nationals Park’s Stars and Stripes Club, from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. A production of CHAMPS, Capitol Hill’s Chamber of Commerce, tickets start at $125 for members. For information about attending or to buy tickets, go to champ.memberclicks.net.
Days of D.C. Dining Past
Sure things are hopping in Washington’s restaurant scene right now, a remarkable turn of events for a city that felt somewhat culinarily stagnant in the recent past. But the current boom taking hold in places like 14th Street and Barracks Row is not the first one to take hold in D.C. John DeFerrari is talking about his latest book, “Historic Restaurants of Washington D.C.” at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hill Center. In addition to a fascinating sociological look at Washington’s development, dating back to the 19th century, DeFerrari’s book is a nicely put together document that should be of interest to any dining buff or local historian. Free.
Movember, the mustachioed moniker affixed to the charity that encourages men to grow mustaches in November to raise awareness about prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health, has two big backers this week: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, and, of course, fictional newsman Ron Burgundy. What could these two entities possibly have in common? Read on.
Eat Doughnuts for a Cause
Of all the Movember fundraising efforts, this one fits perfectly. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken unveils its contribution on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at their Metro Center HQ. The Movember Doughnut is a vanilla-glazed confection with “a chocolate-pipped handlebar mustache,” according to the lucky flack who scored this account. “We want to take doughnuts to the next level,” Astro co-owner Elliot Spaisman told the Washington Flyer for a video segment earlier this year. From Tuesday through the end of the month, 1o percent of all sales of the Movember Doughnut will be donated to the Movember Foundation. To get things started proper, Astro is giving away 200 of the treats starting at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at their 1308 G St. NW store. To get one, you’ll need to put something in the Movember donation kitty. Offer limited to one doughnut per person while supplies last. And after all, what says awesome mustache like doughnut sprinkles in a lip sweater?
Ron Burgundy Exhibits Himself
Perhaps no other creature on Earth has done more for the image of the mustache than Ron Burgundy, the fictional newsman of the film “Anchorman,” a creation of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. Silly you say? Look no further than the movie industry’s efforts for the Movember awareness world. The Theaters at Mall of America Facebook page, for instance, is publicizing its Movember Movies with, of course, “Anchorman” at the fore, along with mustachioed brotherhood movies such at “Tombstone,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “The Big Lebowski.” Among others inspired by Burgundy’s ‘stache is the Movember USA blog. Lucky for Washington, D.C., that the Newseum is opening its Anchorman: The Exhibit on Thursday. Cynics might point out that with “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” due in theaters Dec. 20, and the Newseum partnering with Paramount Pictures to bring the exhibit to life, there’s a bit of commerce involved with the whole enterprise. To which we say: So what? The exhibit promises not just props from the “Anchorman” sets but also an exploration of the context of the movies themselves, where local television stations changed to attract more viewers and it really was the wild, wild West, far removed from the corporatized television news programming of the current era. It sounds awesome. The exhibit will be on display through Aug. 31 at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
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?
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.
Halloween isn’t technically until Oct. 31, but it’s always a good idea to get a head start. Lucky for us, Capitol Hill obliges a-plenty. Here are a few choice options to get ready for All Hallow’s Eve.
The Fridge, the multipurpose gallery/performance space on Barracks Row at 516 1/2 Eighth St. SE is hosting a little Halloween carnival: Alley Cats Halloween/Dia de Muertos Artists Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Fridge bills it as a place to pick up “some inexpensive, but artsy, party favors for your Halloween shindig” and a place to meet folks from “D.C.’s unique art community.”
What better place to hang out this time of year than Congressional Cemetery? Last week, the cemetery hosted its annual Dead Man’s Run 5K. This Saturday, they’ve got their Ghosts and Goblets Soiree. A general admission ticket for $60 gets you four drinks, live entertainment, a heated tent and “visits from some of the 65,000 local ‘residents.’” At 1801 E St. SE. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.
Belga Café’s Halloween plans coincide with their ninth anniversary celebration. Saturday brings their Pajama Brunch, which will provide those who dress in their jammies some free bubbly, while Sunday brings their Early Halloween Brunch. Come in a costume and the restaurant says they’ll have a surprise. Trick or treat, or moules frites? At 514 Eighth St. SE.
Union Station had just reopened, Duke Zeibert’s was one of the most popular “Red-Blooded Macho-Politico” steakhouses and The Monocle kept “legislative diners informed when it’s time to vote.” The year was 1988, and Roll Call was cataloguing “The Fine Art of Political Eating” in its Oct. 23 Fall Dining Guide.
(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)
Among the dining guide’s most interesting notes is this from long-time food critic Thomas Head in his “Head Table” column, in which he is unimpressed with the fare at Union Station and pines for the kingpin of fast food: Full story
The Barracks Row restaurant boomlet continues, and at least one newbie, Rose’s Luxury, has gotten some props from Roll Call’s own Warren Rojas, our dining critic and Heard on the Hill scribe.
The establishment, Rojas writes in his latest Food Court column, has “a much more intimate feel via a funky, come-as-you-are environment,” compared to the area’s mainstays like Ted’s Bulletin and Matchbox. The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema had nice words recently, as well: “Almost everything that follows the freebies gives us the sense that Washington is gaining another dining sensation.”
As a denizen of the area and a frequent diner on Barracks Row, any deviation from the norm is welcome on this Capitol Hill strip, which has begun to feel a little overdone and overcrowded.
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