A La Carte
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.
Studio manager LeeAnne Cress recently gave The Georgetown Dish a tour of Barre3, the hottest new fitness studio on Georgetown's waterfront.
In keeping with the philosophy of franchise founder, Sadie Lincoln, the '3' in Barre3 symbolizes balance, a core value of their business, practice and life. Classes are designed to transform the body to one of equal balance, strength and flexibility. Lincoln began teaching group exercise 20 years ago while attending UCLA, and continues today, at Barre3's flagship studio in Portland, Oregon, where she continues to be inspired by her three favorite disciplines: ballet barre work, yoga and Pilates.
Chris Coppola, project architect from Heffner & Weber design build firm, transformed the space that most recently was an open office. "Our biggest constraint was adapting to the historic site," said Coppola. "We weren't allowed to to attach anything directly to the brick, stone walls or existing beams." The decision to "use glass walls showcases these historic elements." Heffner & Weber also did the construction of Le Pain Quotidien on M Street and Ris restaurant.
"Our spot is very special," says Cress. "Barre3 Georgetown is the first east coast spot for the popular franchise," located on the ground floor of Old Dodge Warehouse (owned by RB Properties) at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and K Street, site of D.C.'s second oldest building. Dating back to the late 1700's, the structure was built by merchant brothers, Ebenezer and Francis Dodge.
Dr. James Philip Noffsinger, architect for the National Park Service, wrote this in 1966: "The Dodge Warehouse is the center building in a group of three late 18th century Georgetown waterfront warehouses. It has escaped not only excessive alteration but the seemingly inevitable destruction visited upon—in one form or another— nearly all of the waterfront structures dating from Georgetown's maritime era in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Although merely functional in design, the Dodge Warehouse possesses an architectural integrity of character that is matched by few commercial structures, large or small, in the Georgetown Historic District." For a photo of the old warehouse, click here.
Barre3 is located at 1000 Wisconsin Avenue. Tel: 202.450.3905