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A Few of My Favorite Things

November 23, 2014

These are a dozen of my best discoveries for 2014:

1. Oh My Son CD because Marcos Galvany's operatic tableaux is The Nutcracker for Easter.

Marcos Galvany (Photo by: OMS Productions) Marcos Galvany

2. Bastille Day at the Eiffel Tower because no one puts on a sound and light show like the French.

3. Living Well Health Club at The Washington Hilton because their olympic-size outdoor pool lured me into the gym. Thank you, Chan Frazier.

4. Georgetown Heritage because they're going to bring back the boat and save the C&O Canal.

(Photo by: Georgetown Heritage)

5. A Brief Encounter because Hannah Yelland dazzles in this brilliant Kneehigh Theatre Company Production.

Hannah Yelland in A Brief Encounter (Photo by: Kneehigh Productions) Hannah Yelland in A Brief Encounter

6. Bocce at Pinstripes because it's fun and a cocktail is within arm's reach.

7. Savannah Cupcake because these little gems are best in class.

(Photo by: Savannah Cupcake)

8.The Price of Inheritance because Karin Tanabe's wit and intellect shine in her latest caper.

9. Pardi's Sagrantino de Montefalco Wine because this Umbrian grape is a reminder of Italy's warmth and charm.

Pardi's Sagrantino wine (Photo by: Pardi) Pardi's Sagrantino wine

9. POSTES because Claudine Sorel's interpretation of the French postman's bag is a modern classic.

POSTES handbag (Photo by: Claudine Sorel) POSTES handbag

11. Consider it Done because Bernardaud's Kintsugi Sarkis plates are here along with other treasures for the tableware obsessed.

Kintsugi by Sarkis (Photo by: Bernardaud) Kintsugi by Sarkis

12. sweetGreen Frozen Yogurt because yogurt isn't supposed to taste like it came out of a machine.

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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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