A La Carte

Via Umbria's Taste of Pardi

November 16, 2014

Augusta Pardi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Augusta Pardi

Remember the name Pardi. Soon you'll know it as the source of your favorite Umbrian wines and those beautiful woven jacquard linens adorning your table.

Via Umbria, Georgetown's new 'all things Italian made' shopping emporium held a special wine tasting event Friday evening. Guest of honor, Augusta Pardi flew in from Umbria to greet fans and friends, and share a little about her family's hundreds year old businesses.

Bill Menard describes the Umbrian region (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bill Menard describes the Umbrian region

The Tessitura Pardi weaving mill, now in Montefalco, established by three of Augusta's cousins in 1949, continues to produce home linens and interior design fabrics in the tradition of a Renaissance workshop. Says Bill Menard, "The Pardi family is synonomous with Montefalco. With Augusta, it's like walking with the mayor."

Pardi linens (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pardi linens

And the wine? Well, of course the Pardi family makes that too. Under the Cantina Fratelli Pardi label, the wines feature Sagrantino, "indigenous to the region and the most tannic of all grapes," explains Menard. Their 2008 Sagrantino de Montefalco D.O.C.G  is 100% Sagrantino, a full-bdied garnet red wine aged for 18 months in oak barrels. It has the aromas of oak, coffee bean and espresso with a smooth hint of ripe blackberries. Incidentally, the D.O.C.G. means controlled designation of origin guaranteed, Italian's highest assurance of quality similar to A.O.C for French wines.

Richard Berthon, Elizabeth Forney and Candace Karp (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Richard Berthon, Elizabeth Forney and Candace Karp

The tasting included the 2013 Pardi Trebbiano Spoletino D.O.C., a delightful golden wine with delicate herbal nuances and fresh citrus aromas.The third wine, 2008 Pardi Montefalco Rosso D.O.C. is a rich blend of Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Cabernet and Merlot that delivers ripe red cherry, white and black pepper, with a hint of orange peel.

Once you make your way past their enormous collection of colorful hand-painted Umbrian ceramics, you'll see the exquisite Pardi linens in the back of the shop. Via Umbria has holiday gifts for everyone on your list, starting with you.

Tessitura Pardi table linens (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tessitura Pardi table linens

Mark Ulep pours Golnaz Feiz a glass of wine (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mark Ulep pours Golnaz Feiz a glass of wine

Via Umbria is located at 1525 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.333.3904

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

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Mama Rouge: A Culinary Journey at Washington Harbour

November 3, 2014

Executive chef Darrell Goodman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Executive chef Darrell Goodman

"It's a completely different style of food," says Darrell Goodman, executive chef at the recently opened Mama Rouge. "I'm excited about the opportunity to expand my acument with this type of culinary."

Mama Rouge (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mama Rouge

The newest dining venue at Washington Harbour really is new. With its classic French cocktails, entrées and desserts, on the menu with exotic Asian dishes including Myanmar dumplings and Fishmonger Sriracha stew, the concept is "opening up our menu to more palates," explains general manager, Mark Underwood. "Our bistro is not French and Southeast Asian fusion, but rather "side-by-side, authentic, fresh (no freezers in the kitchen!) old-style, from scratch cooking."

Mixed Grill with sauteed spinach (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mixed Grill with sauteed spinach

Definitely French bistro-styled with 'help yourself utensils' on the tables, cozy furnishings and a relaxed bar with red leather stools, but gaze up and see a delicate bamboo one-of-a-kind chandelier from Thailand.

Pomme Frites (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pomme Frites

Starting with the cocktails, look for classic recipes inspired by the colonial period of French-occupied Southeast Asia. There's the Indo Classic 'Rose Cocktail' made with dry vermouth, cherry eau de vie, raspberry, and absinthe, and the ultra classic 'French 'Ritz 75' made with gin, Grand Marnier, lime, mandarin and bitters. On tap, be sure to try the wonderfully smooth white Belgian beer, Blanche de Bruxelles.

Lobster and Shrimp Risotto (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lobster and Shrimp Risotto

The L'Adage Saint-Emillion AOC, Bordeaux '12 was a lovely complement to the Mixed Grill (brisket, 48 hour flank steak and grilled lemongrass pork). Lobster and shrimp risotto, the 'Plats du Jour' for Thursday, was expertly prepared with a delicate dry vermouth sauce. Três French.

What's a French bistro without signature pommes frites? At Mama Rouge they are lightly crispy, thick and juicy.

Don't leave without trying the fresh, in-house made crème brûlée. Close your eyes and you'll swear you're in St. Germain..

Friendly, knowledgable service, a lively bar and a delightful journey for the seasoned palate.

Welcome to Georgetown, Mama Rouge!

Mama Rouge, located at 3000 K Street at Washington Harbour, is open for lunch and dinner. Tel: 202.333.4422

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Georgetown Friend Raiser to Save the C&O Canal

October 29, 2014

Former DC Mayor Tony Williams (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Former DC Mayor Tony Williams

Wednesday evening marked the official launch of Georgetown Heritage, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and presenting the history of Georgetown. First order of business-- raising awareness of the acute need to fund improvements to preserve the historic C&O Canal.

Nancy Taylor Bubes graciously opened her elegant home to 60 friends, neighbors and business leader who share her interest in saving this national asset. Over cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, guests mingled before the remarks.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Spearheading the efforts of Georgetown Heritage are Georgetown developer Richard Levy, Georgetown BID CEO Joe Sternlieb, Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Parks Foundation and Superintendent of the C&O Canal Kevin Brandt.

Richard Levy announced the formation of Georgetown Heritage to "protect and tell the history" of this industrial waterway turned national park. The first step in building a coalition is to engage residents, the National Parks Service, non-profit groups, and business interests to plan for the future of the Georgetown section of the C&O Canal.

C&O Canal NHP Superintendent Kevin Brandt (Photo by: Judith Beermann) C&O Canal NHP Superintendent Kevin Brandt

Special guest, and long-time supporter of Georgetown, former DC mayor Tony Williams urged everyone to support "this important cornerstone of our city."

Tony Williams looks on as Richard Levy addresses the guests (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Tony Williams looks on as Richard Levy addresses the guests

After thanking former DC mayor Tony Williams for his continuous efforts, Sternlieb explained, "One thing I've learned is that when the community comes together with city government, you can do anything." The first phase in restoring 'Georgetown's Crown Jewel' as the project is described in  the BID's Georgetown 2028 15 Year Plan  is to fix the lock and build a new boat. "That will cost $9 million, he explained "and why we're here having this friends raiser."

A short film was shown. From a commercial port started in 1828 by George Washington to open up the country to the west, to the creation of the C&O Canal National Historical Park by Richard Nixon in 1971, the Canal has been an integral part of Georgetown life. "For 40 years, the one mile section of the Canal in Georgetown was a popular destinations for visitors, residents, and school field trips, with mule-drawn boat tours providing an authentic, immersive experience."

Georgetown BID CEO Joe Sternlieb looks on as C&O Canal Film shown (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Georgetown BID CEO Joe Sternlieb looks on as C&O Canal Film shown

Georgetown Heritage plans to raise $3 million each from the community, the city and the park service.

Nancy Taylor Bubes with David Romm and Jennifer Altemus (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nancy Taylor Bubes with David Romm and Jennifer Altemus

For more information, visit Georgetown Heritage.

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