Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

Clementines for the Holidays

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

It’s no secret that citrus is one of the reasons I could never live on a 100% local diet — at least not without moving back to California first. As soon as the weather dips near freezing, I start stocking up on grapefruit, oranges, Meyer lemons or, my favorite, clementines. As much as possible I buy organic citrus from Florida, but for clementines it’s the real thing, all the way from Spain. (I actually spotted those newfangled California “Cuties” at Whole Foods the other day, but stuck with the Old World variety.) When I was a kid, we always got a clementine in our stocking, and devoured it while waiting for Christmas breakfast to be ready. I’ve planned to do the same for the boy, but considering how many clementines we eat in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’m not sure it’s quite as special a treat.

Today I had a meeting near one of my favorite restaurants in the city, Jaleo, so I stopped in for lunch. Imagine my delight to see the “Clementina Festival!” sign in the window. I couldn’t resist and enjoyed a three-course clementine lunch. First up, seared clementines with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and microgreens. Simple yet bursting with flavor. For the main course, seared squid with artichokes and clementines, the citrus contrasting perfectly with the silky squid. And then dessert. Clementine ice cream atop clementine curd, with some almond/graham cracker crumbs and fresh clementine slices — drizzled with olive oil. Perfection. It was like being transported to sunny Spain for an hour, and left me inspired to do more than just eat our way through the box of clementines straight up. The clementine curd in particular has me pondering a clementine tart … stay tuned.

Do you cook with clementines? What’s your favorite way to use them?

Clementina-web-banner

If you’re in DC, the Clementina Festival continues at Jaleo through December 20.

Kids Restaurant Week in the District

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

kids restaurant weekThis Saturday, June 13, Washington DC’s first Kids’ Restaurant Week kicks off with a day of kids-cooking demos and other fun at historic Eastern Market. Kids’ Restaurant Week, June 13-21, is sponsored by Cookie and Gourmet, my two favorite magazines, and took place last year in New York and Chicago. This year, they bring the fun to the District’s youngest foodies with early 5-7pm seatings and special prix fixe menus for grown-ups and kids at more than a dozen DC restaurants. Grown-ups will pay $29 and kids under 12 pay their age. And these aren’t your usual casual/chain “safety” choices, but truly some of the city’s best, including several who emphasize local, organic and seasonal ingredients such as Art and Soul, Dino, Firefly and Zola. Visit the website for the complete list and to make reservations. A portion of proceeds go to two worthwhile local charities, Miriam’s Kitchen and the Eastern Market renovation fund. I wish we could try every restaurant but I don’t want to push my luck at keeping the boy on his best behavior too many nights in a row!

Several of the restaurants have posted their menus online, so you can take a look before deciding. A few of the highlights: alphabet tomato soup at Belga Cafe; pasta with wild boar sauce (or meatballs) at Dino; a pop tart filled with Pennsylvania mushrooms, brie and asparagus at Juniper; shrimp and mushroom fried rice at Mie N Yu; lamb meatball sliders at Zola; and at Firefly, kids can decorate their own cookie after dinner. Firefly has a creative kids’ menu available anytime, that includes a side of broccoli & dip and other healthy options, if you miss out on the official restaurant week.

The kick-off schedule for Saturday at Eastern Market (225 7th Street, SE):

  • 10 a.m. – Kids’ Market Lesson: Bowers Cheese
  • 11 a.m. – Chef Demo: Travis Timberlake of Art & Soul
  • 11:30 a.m. – Kids’ Market Lesson: Agora Farms
  • 12 p.m. – Chef Demo: Greg Lloyd of Zola
  • 1 p.m. – Chef Demo: Danny Bortnick of Firefly (joined by his son Jonah)

Over at Metrocurean, you can find more kid-friendly food events and deals in her “Kids Week” series … and be sure to check out today’s post for some foodie parenting advice from yours truly!

Squash Blossoms at Oyamel

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

For local readers … if you missed Chef Raffa at market Thursday, head on over to Oyamel this weekend to catch their Sopa de Flores de Calabasa (Squash Blossom Soup) and other special treats featuring this fleeting summer ingredient!

Flor de Calabaza Rellena recipe coming soon!