Sunday, January 31, 2010

C is for cookie

D. and I were out enjoying the sunshine, mushing our way through M street. A friend had told me that a chocolate shop had taken over the old Chez Mamma-San location by Cadey's Alley, so we decided to check it out. J. Chocolatier smells wonderful, even from the outside. The truffles gave me palpitations, but D. spotted the lovely cookies. Another patron, who heard our dilemma over whether to try the hot chocolate or something else, recommended the chocolate chip cookie. He appointed himself a cookie connoisseur, and at 2 for $3, they seemed a great deal. We ordered the chocolate chip and chocolate sparkle (still wonder what made them twinkle). The man behind the bar offered to warm them up. There's plenty of drink options, including milk, several kinds of coffee, and a small selection of teas. I had a very ripe and fruity coffee, which went well with our cookies.

Having grown up Bambi-eyeing people out of their Danish cookies (ah, the days of import substitution), I have impossibly high standards. These are definitively a chocolate lover's cookie - the chocolate sparkle is dark and gooey, a brownie with a cookie texture, earthy but not overwhelmingly rich. The chocolate chips do not compete with the butter, and are just a touch salty. Get there early - patrons kept ordering two at a time, and by the time we left the store they were gone but not forgotten.

J Chocolatier, Georgetown
1039 33rd St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take-Out Tonight...

If you noticed some commotion on 14th Street today--balloons, a tent, a line down the block, and some friendly folks manning a grill in January--you've hopefully already been introduced to HomeMade Pizza Co.'s new Logan Circle location. Open "for real" beginning Thursday, HomeMade is offering free pizzas, salads and samples from 4-7 tomorrow, and free samples from 3-9 on Thursday.

We dropped by today around six, and despite the crowds, not only got to have a nice chat with founder Eric Fosse--he's the guy grilling the pizzas--but also got to sample several tasty topping combos. Made with all natural ingredients and as much local sourcing as the seasons allow, HomeMade prepares your pizza fresh when you order it, and turns it over to you ready-to-bake.

So, how is it? Really quite good. We sampled cheese and pepperoni on a whole wheat crust that is thin while still maintaining its crispy-chewy consistency. The traditional crust provided a delicious, thin and crispy base for an earthy wild mushroom pizza with fontanella cheese, and our new favorite, the winter special Casbah, featuring a mildly spicy harissa sauce, Moroccan spices, broccoli, yellow peppers, red onions, black olives, shitake mushrooms, and fresh garlic.

In addition to the basics and a number of (mostly vegetarian friendly) signature pies, you can create your own pizzas with anything from poblano peppers to nitrate-free pepperoni to proscuitto to pine nuts. The bubbling cheeses--mozzarella can be gussied up with any of seven other traditional (asiago, ricotta) or not so (blue, chevre) choices--and savory sauces are balanced and flavorful. Basically, we were standing in the street stuffing ourselves with fantastic little slices of pizza.

Then we tried it ourselves at home in the oven with a pepperoni, sausage, mushroom and the Georgian--poblano peppers, chicken sausage and ricotta cheese. Both were big hits and came out crispy and yummy from my little home oven in about ten minutes, and go down a treat with wine on a Tuesday night.

Bottom line, we ate way too much and will certainly be adding HomeMade to our pizza/quick dinner rotation--they also have salads, desserts and individual pizzas for kids/not stuffing yourself.

It's good stuff.

HomeMade Pizza Co
1522 14th St NW
Washington DC
(and four other metro area locations)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

... and we're back

I'll be the first to admit that a blog that isn't updated isn't much fun - the whole point of desktop publishing is staying current, and I've seen way too many go to limbo without explanation, a conversation stopped mid-sentence.

Excuses, we have more than a few: International travel; The ease and expediency of Twitter; Illness; Dishes at family meals that defied any attempt at rational description; Crunch time at our respective offices; DVD box sets; Games won and lost. We love food, and enjoy sharing our experiences and reactions to the considerable work put into the meals we enjoy by professionals and enthusiasts. Alas, urgent is often at odds with important.

It is fitting that we return on this, the Foodie High Holiday. We're hitting Art & Soul, 701, Rasika, Hook, Fishers & Farmers, and West End Bistro (to start).

If you need more suggestions, our friends at the Kimpton restaurants are doing lots of things, including
Firefly: lunch and dinner. The restaurant is offering about 75% of its regular menu; Jackson 20: brunch, lunch and dinner. The restaurant is serving their full menus at both lunch and dinner; Poste: lunch and dinner. In addition to the RW menus, there will also be a wine flight pairing menu available (at both lunch and dinner) for an additional $11.01 The Grille @ Morrison House: dinner (they do not open for lunch. Urbana: all day brunch/lunch and dinner. They are also offering their full menus with supplemental charges on a few items, and extending the offering through the 24th of January.

And if you are over food by next week, Brabbo is having a fortified wine class on January 19th, featuring sherry, port, Muscat and Madeira, paired with small bites, the class is $35 per person, runs from 6 to 7 pm. For more information, contact Martina Buenaventura 571-482-3308.

Looking forward to frequent updates in 2010!