A La Carte
Imagine Rodman's purchased an empty planet and filled it with everyone who made, packaged, distributed and sold the international gourmet foods, beverages and accessories they offer. Add cooking demonstrations by well-known chefs, 30 languages spoken all at once, and more samples of cheese and chocolate and gelato you can dream of.
Welcome to the Summer Fancy Food Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Normally in New York at the Jacob Javits Center, but here this year while they renovate. It's put on by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, Inc. (NASFT) and they've been doing this since 1952. Their shows have helped launch household brands including Ben & Jerry's, Perrier and Walker's Shortbread.
Truly overwhelming (2,250 exhibiting companies) but lots of fun. Here's my take away after three hours:
1. The rest of the world really does love soccer.
2. Himalayan pink salt is not only pretty but better for you.
3. Belgians really do make the best chocolate.
4. Good packaging matters.
Many familiar brands like Rao's pasta sauces and Bahlsen cookies, and clever new products already on the shelf like Corkcicle, the icicle that goes inside your wine bottle.
Since former Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella opened Bandolero last month, Georgetown’s new hot spot has been packed every night. A 20-something bar crowd filled the street level main dining room Friday evening, while upstairs proved a bit lighter and quieter for small group conversation when The Georgetown Dish stopped by.
The salsa roja is hot and the beans are tipsy (frijoles borracho) at this “Mexican-inspired” small plates eatery. Dishes are filled with “flavors that are definitely global,” says general manager James Horn.
Bring a designated driver and sample from the dozen brands of tequila or mixed cocktails with clever names like 'Remember the Maine' (rye, sweet vermouth, cherry heering and absinthe) or 'Aviation' (gin maraschino liqueur, lemon juice, crème de violette).
When it comes to taco fillings, the selection is trans-continental and exotic: octopus, charred asparagus, crispy mahi mahi, skirt steak and suckling pig.
A Bandolero signature dish, the Queso Fundido comes to the table with a sunny side up egg and ready to be mixed with the duck confit, maitake and manchego cheese.
Have a Chilean Petit Sirah with the Alambres (spicy hanger steak and chimichurri). Salut!
Bandolero is at 3241 M Street. Tel: 202.625.4488
As Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy president, Rebecca Trafton says,
"We're starting with a Signature Project covering two acres of the park, but we're also planning ahead." What she means is that everyone should have a chance to experience Georgetown's enchanting 'Valley of Eden.'
"We must envision a restoration of the entire 27-acre park, in a way that is both environmentally sustainable and will capture the spirit of Beatrix Farrand's original design."
In the meantime, perhaps it's time you see for yourself how enchanting this naturalistic landscape- a magical combination of woodland, meadows, and a stream with many small waterfalls, bridges, and terraces- really is, even while beset by invasive plants and stormwater runoff.
Access is from one of three spots:
1) Lovers' Lane from R Street in north Georgetown 200 feet east of R and 31st Streets. There's a green-on-white wooden plaque pointing the way to “Dumbarton Oaks Park.” It descends to the Park entrance on the left at the bottom of the hill.
2) Off Massachusetts Avenue from Whitehaven Street near the Danish Embassy, down the dirt path.
3) From Wisconsin Avenue, on Whitehaven Street past the British School and a Georgetown University building. Turn right onto a dirt path and continue down the hill until you enter the park.
As part of the 3100-acre Rock Creek Park, Dumbarton Oaks Park is connected to trails throughout the city. But as a rare designed landscape, created as the "wild garden" component of the original 53-acre Dumbarton Oaks estate, this Park is unique. Deteriorated cultural artifacts- grottoes and a pebble path, a long stone bench overlooking the stream, an old stone pump house- tell the story of a much-loved landscape that once was. Now, once again, the Park is beginning to receive the love and attention it deserves.
With the support of the Georgetown community, this magical oasis can be saved, to reward visitors for years to come.
For more information, visit Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy.