A La Carte
Like kisses and swimming in the ocean, you always remember how it felt the first time. Park it anywhere, kickstand down, dash off in flip-flops to play with friends, never worrying it would be there for the ride home.
My trusty Raleigh (almost exactly like the one pictured here) even played a key role in my first sexual encounter.
When briefly dating a professional biker, I was inspired to get one with a bunch of speeds, and toe clips. Alas, after a childhood spent without them, on the first day out, I crashed into a brick wall and broke my arm. That bike spent most of its 15-year life safely cloistered in the basement.
After years of vowing to get back in the saddle, last spring I bought myself another one, with all the requisite gear, including helmet and two locks (Kryptonite and cable).
Within three weeks, it was gone. Stolen from a locked garage, where it had been secured with both locks around a metal pole. Snatched along with five other bikes during a two week crime spree.
No one was hurt, and given the rash of neighborhood assaults lately, that's the good news.
Unless you spent the winter on another continent, you know it's been bike weather since, well, last spring. Nostalgia for the bike I hardly knew makes me yearn to recapture the joy and freedom I felt riding as a kid.
This time, size really does matter. So, after much research, I've found the coolest folding bike ever, equal parts living room sculpture and urban transport.
Awaiting its arrival, I avidly watch chic Georgetowners maneuvering through traffic, many on bright red ones thanks to Capital Bikeshare, gliding safely along newly paved bike lanes, cruising along Georgetown Waterfront Park, and hitting the Capital Crescent Trail. Georgetown, you're a biker's paradise.
Inspired by the tapas bars in Barcelona, and named after the famous Boqueria market, the popular New York eatery, Boqueria has opened on the corner of 19th and M Streets (formerly Penang restaurant). The space, spectacularly transformed into a multi-level, wine and bar dining room, is warm and inviting from the moment you peek through the glass wall at the entrance to watch chefs prepare your next meal.
"We ventured out of Georgetown to discover this gem," said Jennifer Altemus. "This place has a great vibe with excellent, informed service. It's going to do great."
As server Adam Diaz, explained, "There's a culture here that promotes team work ... a love for the food and respect for each other." Focusing on market fresh specials that are local means the menu changes daily.
It's been almost a week since we were there, and I'm craving the carne a la plancha (hanger steak) and datiles con beicon (dates stuffed with almonds and Valderon, wrapped in bacon). If you only have time for dessert, you must try the churros con chocolate (fried dough with thick hot chocolate) and café con leche, but I'm jumping ahead.
We started with a glass of D Ventura "Pena do Lobo" 2010 and the croquetas cremosas. Delicately crunchy and filled with puréed mushroom and Serrano ham, the croquettes were a mellow pairing with the earthy red wine.
Next, the txipirones, elegantly served with a salad mix of crispy scallions and tomato confit. "Delicate without being overpowering," is how Jennifer described the succulent baby squid.
The espinacas a la Catalana (sautéed spinach, garbanzos, pine nuts, garlic and raisins) arrived with flatbread.
There are three kinds and we chose the coca de seta (wild mushrooms, Idiazabel cheese, Porcini mushrooms, artichokes, green bell peppers and garlic).
The carne a la plancha (hanger steak with fingerling potatoes, Shishito peppers and mojo verde) called for a more robust wine. General manager, John Barry suggested the La Tremenda 2008, Monastrell. Excellent choice.
There wasn't room for dulces (dessert) but we couldn't resist the Spanish doughnuts. As authentic as I've ever tasted, the churros were light and sweet.
The "House" coffee is La Colombe's Nizza blend, which I was delighted to discover is carried at Whole Foods. So my mornings now begin with the aroma of Boqueria. Delicioso.
Boqueria is located at 1837 M Street, NW. Tel: 202.558.9545
What better place to hold the first annual Writer's Block Party of The Georgetown Dish than everyone's favorite Georgetown bistro, Puro Café. First order of business was the return of the Armani jacket. Ever since the group convened at Puro for a Twitter workshop, "Off the Tracks" Constance Chatfield-Taylor had been holding onto what she knew must be the beloved garment of someone from The Dish, but who?? Minutes after her arrival Tuesday, a very grateful "Runaway Spoon" (Janet Staihar) embraced her long lost friend ... and Constance too.
Journalists and neighbors caught up over a selection of mini paninis, a Puro house specialty (ham and cheese, chicken, roasted vegetables and prosciutto, fig and parmesan) and Pinot. A bit too nippy for the outdoor patio, but owner Rashid Hassouni assured guests that the "freshly redone tented gazebo is the perfect spot for the next Dish gathering, and for upcoming graduation parties."
A chance to connect the faces with the columns, and chat about The Village. "Nesting Eggs" Sean Randall came with Lyndsey Granville of Washington Fine Properties. There was Leslie, "I Know It When I See It" Maysak, Alchimie Forever's Ada Polla ("King Cake"), interior decorator Tricia Huntley ("The Luxe Life"), nutritionist Katherine Tallmadge ("Living Lite") and activist "Community Palette" Peter Rosenstein.
Coco arrived with her new BFF Sara Mokhtari of (next door) Tari DC. If anyone recognizes the breed, please tell us and Sara.
"The Ruined Capitol" architect Simon Jacobsen along with friend Brian Quintenz raved about Uber and introduced us to "Vanished," his upcoming map app which will point out demolished D.C. buildings wherever you are.