A La Carte

Farmers Fisher Bakers

December 15, 2012

Outdoor dining with private fireplace (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Outdoor dining with private fireplace

Come for the views, stay for the food. The North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU) and The Farm, the restaurant management company behind Founding Farmers, has opened a new Georgetown restaurant called Farmers Fishers Bakers (FFB) in the spot that was formerly Farmers & Fishers, and prior to that, Agraria.

If you’ve been to Washington Harbour lately, you’ve seen the transformative power of an ice-skating rink with outdoor seating along the Potomac. At FFB, you can eat outside with your own private fireplace or be served at the Tiki Bar. As you enter the 9,500 square foot space and look around, you’ll notice “Great views of something interesting from every seat. Aesthetics are vitally important… and being really comfortable,” says Jennifer Motruk Loy, FFB’s vice president of marketing.

Acoustically-sound ship cabin booths (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Acoustically-sound ship cabin booths

Divided into “micro-climate” areas, with the accent on climate control, you immediately see that the restaurant is divided with floor-to-ceiling window seating facing the ice rink, an eight-seat reserved Baker’s Table room, railroad-style boxcar booths, ship cabin booths (acoustically-sound with carpet and individually-controlled lights), a central sushi bar, baking kitchen and even a special room where home-made pickles, jams and honey are stored in open view.

Farm diorama (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Farm diorama

No detail is too small for the designers, as every inch connotes the “true food-driven” farm-to-table theme with architectural elements reinforcing transportation motifs at every turn. Très green with artisan carpets and plenty of reclaimed wood, there’s even a wall with tire tread rubber covering. The decorative elements abound: from tables punctuated with hand-made dioramas of farm scenes to the specially made cutlery with food totems, and plates with one little red kernel of corn.

Sushi Chef K-San and the 12 reserved seating sushi bar (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sushi Chef K-San and the 12 reserved seating sushi bar

Ok, now to the food. There was a time when having indoor refrigeration and a working freezer were something to brag about. Not here. They have no freezers except for making ice cream and ice. Seriously. So there is no question about the freshness of your next meal.

The American menu, developed by Corporate Executive Chef Joe Goetze and Executive Chef Lisa Marie Frantz, is regionally diverse and intended for an ‘unstructured’ shared eating experience' From cocktails to "farmhouse sushi," pizza (remember they do their own baking on the premises), brunch or dinner the choices are uniformly fresh and inviting.

Alex Dobbs serving Martray Brouilly Cuvee Vielle Vignes (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Alex Dobbs serving Martray Brouilly Cuvee Vielle Vignes

With the expert guidance of server Alex Dobbs we started with wine and Bread & Broth served with LOTS of butter garlic and romesco dipping sauces and consommé, a “play on mussels juice” and Baked Clam Stuffies.

Next, Chicken Carolina Jambalaya and Steak Frites with Farmers Whiskey Sauce, Fries, and Green Peas Confit.

For dessert, the Spiced Apple Crisp with Government Cheese Ice Cream. Bet you're wondering about the Government ice cream. The menu is chock full of capital city references, this one translates into minuet, a triple-cream goat cheese.

Baker's Table (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Baker's Table

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with special holiday hours:

Christmas Eve – Monday, December 24
Lunch / Dinner, 11:30am-10pm
Sushi Bar, 4pm-10pm

Christmas Day – Tuesday, December 25
Lunch / Dinner, 11:30am-10pm
Sushi Bar, 4pm-10pm 

New Year’s Eve – Monday, December 31
Lunch / Dinner, 11:30am-10pm
Sushi Bar, 4pm-10pm

New Year’s Day – Tuesday, January 1
BRUNCH, 10am-2:30pm
Lunch / Dinner, 3pm-10pm
Sushi Bar, 3pm-10pm

Bread & Broth (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bread & Broth

Baked Clam Stuffies (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Baked Clam Stuffies

Chicken Jambalaya (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Chicken Jambalaya
Steak frites with whiskey sauce (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Steak frites with whiskey sauce

Spiced Apple Crisp (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Spiced Apple Crisp

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Out of the Firehouse into The Frye

December 13, 2012

"What attracted us to this spot is that our heritage matches that of the building. Frye is celebrating its 150th anniversary and this building has so much history," a Frye Company spokesperson told The Georgetown Dish. The building where the iconic American boot company plans to open in the summer of 2013 will be celebrating 150 years in 2014.

Vigilant Firehouse — at 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW  Built 1844 — the oldest extant firehouse in DC (Photo by: 1964 Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey—HABS.) Vigilant Firehouse — at 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW Built 1844 — the oldest extant firehouse in DC

That historic building at 1066 Wisconsin Avenue is the site of the Vigilant Firehouse, the oldest extant firehouse in the District of Columbia. Until May of this year, it was better known as Papa Razzi restaurant. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

In 1863, John A. Frye opened a small shop in Marlboro, Massachusetts to make shoes designed "to ease the daily working lives of the hundreds of factory workers in that small New England town."

Papa Razzi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Papa Razzi

With each generation, the company expanded. As the company explains on their website, "During a 1938 trip to Washington, D.C., John A. Frye’s grandson and namesake met a U.S. Navy Admiral who noted his difficulty in finding the Wellington styles he liked so much. As a favor, John agreed to make him a pair. Frye continued to fill these requests for boots through World War II.

Frye Harness Boots (Photo by: thefryecompany.com) Frye Harness Boots

By mail order, the company supplied thousands of brave soldiers and pilots with Frye Wellingtons, known as Jet boots. Our boots traveled the world on the feet of American servicemen, from Normandy to Okinawa – even General Patton wore a pair."

Their line still includes many styles based closely on their 1860 originals.

The Georgetown Frye is part of the company's current retail expansion plan. Their flagship store is on Spring Street in New York City.

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Michael Andrews Bespoke: Not Your Father's Custom Tailor

December 11, 2012

With over 5,000 luscious fabrics (mainly from Italy and England) to choose from, Michael Andrews Bespoke (MAB), Washington, D.C.'s newest custom men's shop is your new BFF (Best Fashion Friend). Trust is  a big part of every relationship, and when you meet Michael, you'll immediately feel you're in competent hands. This 'recovering corporate lawyer' has been suiting up New York's  most fashion forward men for the past six years before making  his way to our capital city.

Michael Andrews upstairs at MAB (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Michael Andrews upstairs at MAB

It was a love of fine tailoring and not being able to find exactly what he wanted for his own closet that prompted a career change and a wardrobe with his own private label, one you'll want to call your own.

After opening at the end of October, their new downtown location on the second floor of a Dupont Circle row house is a place for private consultation and fittings. Designed by Meg Tawes, MAB's charcoal walls and warm wood finishings is a bold and cozy private space so inviting, you'll want to ask about the dinner menu.

Focusing on the "top level of customization, especially for the hard-to-fit," Michael and his team make every effort to be their clients' "stylist, guiding them through all their purchases to make the right choices for them. While accesories are not our focus," says Michael, "we provide them as a service for clients to complete their wardrobe."

Carly Phillips and Andrew Michaels (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Carly Phillips and Andrew Michaels

As Michael told The Georgetown Dish, "We love fashion, the slim fit, and contemporary aesthetic." After going 'full-time' in August of 2008, he grew the company 40% at the height of the recession was something of a miracle. But, as he explained, "Every career coach was advising clients to get a great new suit for for interviewing. And for those who still had jobs, looking great was especially important."

And what advice would Michael give Washington men? "Guys in D.C. need to have courage," he says. "A lot of men are afraid to step outside the box. They're not going to get fired for wearing a litle color." One bold move can have a domino effect. "Soon everyone in the office is dressed to the nines."

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

The biggest trend is a slimmer fit. Moving away from 'big boxy suits,' it's most important to have the right fit. Double-breasted, heavier weight fabrics like tweed and corduroy. Michael was waring a dashing brown three-piece fine wale corduroy suit with brown-and-white checked lining during our interview.

As for shirt collars, "they should go with the face. Wide face, narrow collar."

See for yourself. Like dining in your favorite restaurant, it's best to call ahead. "After all, we're in the hospitality business. If you don't have an appointment, no one gets the service they want."

(Photo by: Michael Andrews Bespoke)

Operations manager, stylish Carly Phillips will be there to greet you. "Getting to see all our clients' different tastes makes this so much fun." Custom suits are avaialble in 'three levels of distinction': Ultimo (starting at $2,395), Primo (starting at $1,395) and Entrade (starting at $995).

Michael Andrews Bespoke is located at 1604 17th Street , NW. Tel: 202.350.9001



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