My Watercolor Met My Cocktail: Marcella Kriebel x Buffalo Bergen

Words and photos by Raisa Aziz

What's not to love about craft cocktails and the craft of watercolor?  

If you have yet to experience this combination, go

Every month for just over a year now, mixtress extrodinaire, Gina Chersevani - founder and owner of Buffalo Bergen - sends over a unique cocktail recipe to Marcella Kriebel - a DC based artist known for her food-themed watercolors - and Marcella creates a one-of-kind line drawing illustrating the cocktail and recipe. 

Then, in an astoundingly simple yet brilliant move, they invite us in to learn about watercolor techniques and how to make the cocktail, all while sipping on the beverage in question. Over the next one to two hours, we sip, we paint, we mingle. It is delightful, relaxing, and surprisingly easy (for those of us worried about our distinct lack of artistic talent). 

This month, with a Valentine's inspired theme, we had the choice of two cocktails: The Love Stinger or the I'm So Lonesome I could Rye. With so many of these custom cocktail drawings in hand now, the goal is to eventually produce a cocktail recipe book combining Gina's recipes and Marcella's illustrations. Until then, we will keep coming back for more. 

Event occurs monthly at Union Market. Cocktails & art supplies included with ticket.

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Greenhill Winery & Vineyards Debuts Gorgeous New Tasting Room

Soon To Come, A Farm Store

By Susan Able

Greenhill Winery unveiled a new tasting room this winter, an airy, rustic chic space that provides more room indoors for standing and seated tastings, an expanded charcuterie and cheese plate menu and their popular music performances. In addition to tasting space, the newly constructed development at the Middleburg, VA winery includes larger space for wine making, rooms for stainless steel and French oak barrel aging, case storage and an upper-level room for exclusive use by Wine Club members.

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"We designed the space to accommodate the increasing demand for event and small meeting space and our own wine dinners which we love doing," explained Mary Long, Greenhill's tasting room manager and a enthusiastic champion of Greenhill wines. Greenhill produces 5,000 cases a year, and with ninety-five percent of their sales on premise, developing increased visitor and event space was a priority, as well as increasing ameneties for Wine Club members.

The stunning Barrel Room is lined floor to ceiling with oak paneling and has a pitched ceiling with flying wood buttresses. Greenhill has been using it for special dinner events and receptions, including a special Valentine's Day seated dinner.

The new space features rustic antiques, comfortable seating and modern artwork by artist Isabelle Truchon. Upstairs, the Wine Club members room also has a private conference room available for business meetings. Wine Club members gain access to the club by purchasing a case of wine. The Manor House, a old stone building down the drive overlooking a pond is also available to Wine Club members for tastings, outdoor space for picnics in more temperate weather and has space available for events as well.

The EdibleDC team was thrilled to hear that Greenhill's previous tasting room will have a new life as The Farm Store, which will feature grassfed beef from Greenhill's own herd of Charolais cattle, but other local Middleburg area farm products as well such as eggs, honey, baked goods and produce. Expected opening date will be in Spring 2017. Who doesn't love the idea of tasting wine, picnicking and taking home fresh food from Virginia farms?

Greenhill winemaker Sébastien Marquet and his dog, Ilus, a poodle-pointer mix.

Greenhill winemaker Sébastien Marquet and his dog, Ilus, a poodle-pointer mix.

We bumped into winemaker and native Burgundian, Sébastien Marquet, who has been with Greenhill for the past three and half years, overseeing the production, restoration and replanting of vines for David Greenhill, the vineyard's entrepreneurial new owner. An oenologist with over twenty-five years of experience crafting award-winning wines, Marquet explained that re-pruning the original 30-year old vines created a better, more focused yield and that the new owner had also put additional land in Virginia under vine near Charlottesville, a production-only facility called Naked Valley.

Tasting through the whites and reds that speak of the Virginia terroir and a top notch French winemaker is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Make sure and try Greenhill's sparkler and Michele Obama's favorite, Greenhill's Seyval Blanc, a French-American hybrid that is well suited for the mid-Atlantic climate and makes a crisp, lively white in the style of Chenin Blanc or Chablis. Seated or counter tastings are available for walk-ins or for reservations for $14 pp, which are recommended for groups larger than 4. For more information on events or event space, contact jennifer@greenhillwinery.com and for more information overall, visit the vineyard website at greenhillvineyards.com.

The Manor House tasting room for Wine Club members at Greenhill Winery. The artwork is by artist Isabelle Truchon, www.isabelletruchonart.com

The Manor House tasting room for Wine Club members at Greenhill Winery. The artwork is by artist Isabelle Truchon, www.isabelletruchonart.com

For Valentine's Day: Things to Do, Places to Eat, & Local Gift Ideas

by AJ Dronkers

Happily coupled up, getting there or living large as a single, if you love food and food experiences, local businesses have fun specials to celebrate love on February 14th. Whether you bah humbug the holiday or embrace it, we've got a list that will meet your needs.

Things to Do

L’Academie De Cuisine has some themed cooking classes: Valentine’s Day Cupcakes and Champagne, Sweetheart Wine Dinner, and a couples Valentine’s Day dinner class.

CulinAerie has a variety of cooking classes with a Valentine’s theme.

BKK Cooking workshop Valentine’s weekend which we previously profiled on our blog.

BKK cooking classes. (Photo by David Santori)

BKK cooking classes. (Photo by David Santori)

Odyssey Valentine's Day Cruise includes options for dinner, lunch, and brunch cruises. A reservation includes a private table, great views, a Valentine's Day meal including entrees, salads, and desserts, champagne toast at dinner and bottomless mimosas at brunch, DJ and dance floor, and additional amenities.

The International Spy Museum is hosting cocktails and a briefing on sex in the world of spies.

Romantic Gourmand Experiences

Kingbird at the Watergate Hotel is offering 3-course or 4-course French inspired pairing menus in their decadent back room at the newly renovated hotel. 

Columbia Room is doing a special 'Women Rule'- themed winter menu, which pays tribute to iconic female bartenders and chefs. The tasting menu is around all winter, but for Valentine’s Day it will include caviar, champagne and canelés.

Up for an romantic overnight to Warrenton in Virginia horse and wine country? On Saturday, February 18 the Airlie Hotel and Conference Center will host a 4-course Valentine's Signature Dinner featuring the wines of Linden Vineyards, the vineyard of knowned Virginia winemaker Jim Law. The wine dinner package is $389 per couple and includes dinner and gratuity, guest room accommodations and breakfast the next morning. For more information go to https://www.airlie.com/upcoming-events/valentines-day or call 540-347-1300.

 

 

Columbia Room Audrey Sanders "Earl Grey Marteani" (Photo by Scott Suchman)

Columbia Room Audrey Sanders "Earl Grey Marteani" (Photo by Scott Suchman)

Sofitel DC has a lovely champagne and chocolate "Fondue-for-2" special in Le Bar (1/2 bottle of Laurent Perrier and fondue for $75).

Fondue & Champagne special at Le Bar inside the Sofitel DC. (Photo by AJ Dronkers) 

Fondue & Champagne special at Le Bar inside the Sofitel DC. (Photo by AJ Dronkers) 

Local Sweets Ideas for Gifts

Local chocolates such as Undone or Harper Macaw make great gifts for that lover with a sweet tooth, both are available at Glen's Garden Market and other specialty shops.

And candy lovers, always check out local confectioner Dan Burton's holiday creations at The Capital Candy Jar. He's got a great lineup for Valentine's Day, you can also find his products locally at select retailers and Glen's Garden Market, but he also has an online shop and offers flat shipping rates.

RareSweets "Breakfast in Bed Kits" include your choice of take & bake cinnamon rolls or buttermilk biscuits, bag of La Colombe Corsica Beans or a jar of signature RareSweets hot cocoa and 2 RareSweets Mugs for $70.

RareSweets "Breakfast in Bed" Kit.

RareSweets "Breakfast in Bed" Kit.

I'm Single and I'm FINE with That!

Dish & Dram has an "Anti-Valentine's" theme menu and happy hour for singles.

Buffalo & Bergen is hosting Sips & Singles this Friday, Feb 10th all night with $5 priced cocktails!

Ivy City: A New Dining Destination

Elote Loco from La Puerta Verde - corn on the cob with spicy citrus mayo, chili & cojita cheese 

Ari Gejdenson, founder of Mindful Restaurant Group, at La Puerta Verde

Words and photos by Raisa Aziz

Gone are the days when Okie street was merely a destination for clubbers looking for a great night out at Dream. With several successful restaurants like Ghibellina and Acqua Al 2 under his belt, we took notice when Ari Gejdenson of Mindful Restaurant Group opened up a trio of new spots in Ivy City this year. 

Dock FC, La Puerta Verde and Ari's Diner are located on Okie Street, just off New York Avenue in the new Hecht Warehouse development. Despite their close proximity, these are three unique restaurants in terms of both vibe and flavor. And yet they are all distinctly Ari in some way.

Guacamole from Dock FC - one of many great bar snacks, perfect while watching the game

Guacamole from Dock FC - one of many great bar snacks, perfect while watching the game

The LPV Margherita 

Dock FC borrows inspiration from Ari's days as a soccer player in Europe and South America and is a bar built for the soccer fan. La Puerta Verde is not-your-average Mexican restaurant designed around central themes of freedom and vitality and pays homage to Mexican cultural and cuisine influences present in DC. Ari's Diner is playful and casual - a lot like Ari himself. 

The spaces are beautiful, the thoughtfulness behind the design choices clear. Dock FC is open and well-lit, screens dominating the walls and plenty of shared table space to watch the game from. La Puerta Verde stands out for its elegant proportions, unusual interior container bar and colorful murals by DC artist Cita Sadeli (also known as CHELOVE). Ari's Diner is a nostalgic throwback to diners past, complete with leather booths and counter-seating. 

Chef Carlos Camacho whips out a number of delicious dishes served at both Dock FC and La Puerta Verde, which share a kitchen. Crowd favorites included the Esquites con Camarones, shrimp with smoked corn, tequila, and epazote sauce, and Carne Arrachera, a grilled meat platter with cactus and jalapeño. Ari's Diner serves all the diner classics, which you can watch being made from a seat at the counter. If you go, make sure you leave room for a milkshake - they serve everything from a traditional vanilla malt to a boozy Mexican chocolate and they had everyone smiling. 


Raisa Aziz (@raisaaziz) is a food stylist, photographer and writer in theDC Area. When not cooking, baking or eating, you can find her bopping about town in search of local adventures.

Tenth Ward Distilling: A New Craft Distillery in Frederick

by AJ Dronkers 

The tasting room at Tenth Ward Distilling. (Photo by David Amini)

The tasting room at Tenth Ward Distilling. (Photo by David Amini)

We met the Tenth Ward Distilling team at the annual Future Harvest CASA Conference for Sustainable Agriculture in January at a session called "Starting a Craft Alcohol Business: What you Need to Know!" -- and decided to swing by their distillery and tasting room in Frederick, MD to see what they were up to.

The number of local small batch distilleries across the Maryland has been nothing short of amazing, and reflects the state's past heritage of being a top U.S. producer of rye whiskey with small shop, mom-and-pop distillers dotted across the state. In fact, Maryland's craft distilling movement has grown to a point where spirit makers have formed a Distillers Guild with now over two dozen members to aid in building a top class distillery movement and help advocate for favorable legislation for their businesses. 

Kyle pfalzer and Monica Pearce, founders of Tenth Ward Distilling. (Photo by David Amini)

Kyle pfalzer and Monica Pearce, founders of Tenth Ward Distilling. (Photo by David Amini)

Opened in July 2016, the distillery was founded by Monica Pearce and Kyle Pfalzer to primarily focus on whiskey and brandy. For their apple brandy, they source their cider from local McCutcheon's Orchard in Frederick, MD. Their whiskeys and rye are made from grains and malts from Ripon Lodge Farm in West Virginia. 

Tenth Ward Distilling line of spirits in the tasting room. (Photo by David Amini)

Tenth Ward Distilling line of spirits in the tasting room. (Photo by David Amini)

Edible DC: Why did you decide to start a distillery?

10th Ward: We definitely wanted to get into the craft distilling industry, especially as it's been rising on the tails of the craft brewing boom. Kyle started with a love of craft beer, then learned distilling by transitioning into an internship at Copper Fox Distillery. I also had been in the bar and restaurant industry for a long time so it was a smooth transition for me. The rest was just having the willingness to jump off the cliff and go for it!

We are located in what has long been an industrial area of the city called "the 10th Ward", (a long-established industrial area of Frederick), hence our name. It reflects how the city was originally divided up and the names given to each section. Tenth Ward Distilling Company loves everything Frederick and we're committed to sharing the history of our region, including info on famous Frederick bootleggers and historic distillation techniques.

EDC: What are your plans after getting the distillery started?

A: We definitely want to grow, but starting here to make our name. We are marketing on a grass roots scale as we build our customer base locally first in the Frederick area and surrounding communities. I'd love to be supplying most of Frederick by the end of 2017, so we can start to branch our sales further out into DC and Baltimore.

You can visit, sample, and buy Tenth Ward spirits Wednesday-Sunday 12-6 pm for only $5 on your next trip to Frederick, MD. 

Barmini or the Ministry of Innovative and Craft Cocktails

Words and photos by David Santori 

The discrete door on the corner of 9th St NW & E St NW transports you from Chinatown/Penn Quarter into a world of expert cocktails. 

The discrete door on the corner of 9th St NW & E St NW transports you from Chinatown/Penn Quarter into a world of expert cocktails. 

If you’re invited to a cocktail tasting at Barmini by José Andrés, you should not even hesitate one tiny second. Run there and grab a friend on your way while you’re at it! Have you heard of their cocktail flight experience? Word on the street is that the modern techniques, ingredients, and artful skills with which their cocktails are created will take you on quite a tasty adventure. Foam, fire, nitrogen, air, and other molecular phenomenons will leave you speechless yet wanting more. So what are you waiting for?

Our expert bartender, Al, making our liquid nitrogen course, the LN2 Caipirinha. 

Our expert bartender, Al, making our liquid nitrogen course, the LN2 Caipirinha. 

When you step inside Barmini, you step into a different world - Palm Springs meets Anthropologie meets art déco. It’s sophisticated, it’s whimsical, it’s innovative.

The floral cocktail changes colors as it is prepared. 

The floral cocktail changes colors as it is prepared. 

But the real treat awaits behind the long white bar with enticing and inventive names such as Espuma, Infusion and Spherification - truly the type of cocktails you will visually appreciate being crafted in front of you and let’s not forget enjoy sipping all night long.

Delicious bites from minibar can be ordered like these grilled cheese sandwiches with truffle, cheddar, and caramelized onions. 

Delicious bites from minibar can be ordered like these grilled cheese sandwiches with truffle, cheddar, and caramelized onions. 

Tuna tartare with quail egg to quell our mounting appetites. 

Tuna tartare with quail egg to quell our mounting appetites. 

Learn more and make reservations for barmini at their website here


Photographer, blogger, Instagram addict and Parisian expat, David Santori has spent 17 years in the country before recently settling down in our nation’s capital. David’s musings are sprinkled with food, colors, lifestyle photos, travel experiences as well as humorous cultural differences. Follow his adventures @frenchieyankee on Instagram. And no, David does not own a béret.