Stars and Bars: Quick Take @ Fare Well

Vegan PierogisVegan Pierogis from Fare Well

I’m definitely not vegan. Nor much of a vegetarian for that matter (though I did sleep at a Holiday Inn once).

Near to my office and home, a new vegan bakery/diner/bar concept opened in June. Fare Well – from the makers of Sticky Fingers Bakery – certainly knows how to create good dishes with only vegetable products.

From my limited experience with vegan cuisine, mostly because I think it will taste bland or strange, I must say the food I’ve had at Fare Well so far is good. I won’t completely switch to vegan anytime soon, but good things can happen when a chef is dedicated to finding the best tastes from a particular set of ingredients.

It’s nice to see that within this approach to food, there are places in DC where it is worthwhile.

So far, I’ve tried the Chilaquiles Verdes and the Pierogis. I will need to try the bakery items next!

Stars and Bars: Quick Takes @ Big Chief and The Brig

Big Chief Roof DeckBig Chief Roof Deck

Over 4th of July weekend I had a chance to venture out and peek into a couple of the new bars that opened in the NE (Big Chief) and SE (The Brig).

The Brig
I like beer gardens as a concept, so I usually make it a point to visit new ones when they open. Sipping suds outside on a cool evening or in the shade on a hot day, I can handle that.

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Grapevine: DC Beer Week 2016, 9/24-10/1/16

DC Beer Week 2016

A reminder to mark your calendars for the 8th annual DC Beer Week coming September 24th through October 1st.

Check out what we posted for last year’s week highlighting some of cool events that typically take place throughout the week.

For more info, see DCBeer.com as they talk about changes to DC Beer Week 2016, including shifting from August to September and that the event will now be run by The D.C. Brewers’ Guild.

Stars and Bars: Grand Opening @ Buckeye + Bear, 6/21/16

Buckeye And Bear Interior 5 by Joy Asico
The Ballroom in Buckeye + Bear (Photo by Joy Asico)

A cool new rock and roll bar has opened up in an unlikely location, just south of Dupont Circle. In the spot that once housed the Huxley, you can now find the laidback Buckeye + Bear (1730 M St. NW, DC), a 280-person concert venue.

From the concert posters on the walls to the red and black decor, Buckeye + Bear gives off a good vibe. It’s almost like the place belongs in an ‘80s movie about an aspiring musician who alternates between solving his life problems at the bar and jumping up on stage to rock the night away.

You will be able to catch some bands at Buckeye + Bear, of course, including the ever-popular ‘90s cover band White Ford Bronco this Thursday, June 23 in an intimate show. (Tickets are available online! $15)  But Buckeye + Bear aims to provide a diverse range of entertainment, hosting comedy shows, trivia nights, and most importantly karaoke.

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Stars and Bars: Happy Hour Hike @ DC Breweries

3-Stars3 Stars Brewing Company tasting flight

Beer. Let’s get some local suds.

Last year, we did an evening DC brewery hike heading north from Fort Totten Metro Station and ending in Silver Spring.

With expanded hours for many of the DC breweries and the new Right Proper Production House in Brookland, we now tried a hike heading south from Takoma Metro Station.

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Stars and Bars: The Ivy Room @ Republic Restoratives Distillery

Ivy RoomThe 800-square-foot Ivy Room is a collaboration between lobbyist Vinoda Basnayake and Republic Restoratives Distillery’s Pia Carusone and Rachel Gardner. (Photo Credit: John Robinson)

Nestled next to the Republic Restoratives Distillery like a fancy sun room, a new cocktail bar opened in Ivy City.

The Ivy Room, a well-appointed and airy tasting room, will serve cocktails made with Civic Vodka. Civic is made in the distillery mere steps away. You can easily see the tanks reflecting light through the giant windows. Those windows open, giving it the perfect atmosphere on a sunny day or evening.

Cocktails featuring Civic, like the Blackberry Sour and the Moscow Mule, are refreshingly good. Republic is also distilling a batch of bourbon, which will be ready in the next few weeks. I’ll need to venture back.

There will not be a kitchen on-site, but they will plan to arrange for food trucks to park nearby.

Ivy City is a burgeoning neighborhood, with multiple distilleries and a brewery (Atlas Brew Works). Yet it is not Metro accessible. Luckily there is a parking garage next door, along with some free parking nearby. You can also find a Capitol Bikeshare station only one block away.

Ivy Room hours
Thursday/Friday: 5pm to 11pm
Saturday: Noon to 11pm
Sunday: Noon to 5pm

Ivy Room Cocktail MenuIvy Room Cocktail Menu

Ivy Room - Blackberry SourBlackberry Sour with Civic Vodka

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Adroit Theory @ SAVOR Craft Beer, National Building Museum — 6/3/16

SAVOR 05 Mark Osborne at SAVOR 2016.

The owners of Adroit Theory Brewing Co. are fond of following their musical inspirations when making beer. And that led to a beer called Black Celebration, which was born of a collaboration with New York-based DJ Dieselboy.

Dieselboy wasn’t really a “beer guy” but he’s a true foodie, having been profiled in several food magazines, explained Adroit Theory owner Mark Osborne during a salon at the SAVOR Craft Beer and Food Experience at the National Building Museum in DC on Friday. Even better, Dieselboy had introduced a cocktail called the Higgins.

“We reached out to him to make a beer that would taste like his cocktail,” Mark said.

The resulting Black Celebration, named after a song by Depeche Mode, is an Imperial porter aged in oak barrels, clocking in at 9.99% ABV. Adroit Theory likes their beers strong, and generally dark. The lowest ABV beer ever made at Adroit Theory is a powerful 7% ABV, and the lowest on tap right now at the brewery’s tasting room is 7.3%, Mark said. A range of 8-10% ABV is typical for Adroit Theory’s beers.

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Don’t Miss: SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience @ National Building Museum, 6/3-6/4/16

Beer Day 09
A Right Proper Astral Weeks sits on the handle of a Foeder oaken fermentation vessel.

Looking for weekend plans? Like beer? You’re in luck! Remarkably, limited tickets are still available for general admission to the annual SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience event at the National Building Museum (401 F St. NW, DC) for Friday, June 3.

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Stars and Bars: Cherry Blossom Season @ Chaplin’s Restaurant — 3/21/16

Kirin Ichiban Kicks Off Cherry Blossom Season in DC by Joy Asico
A Kirin beer and a shot of sake (Photo by Joy Asico)

With the assistance of Japanese beer Kirin Ichiban, Chaplin’s Restaurant (1501 9th St. NW, DC) introduced a couple of Japanese-themed cocktails on Monday, March 21, to celebrate the DC cherry blossom season.

Chaplin’s, a popular ramen house in Shaw, is known as a cocktail destination, and the introduction of its two “beertails,” both using Kirin Ichiban as an ingredient, comes as DC cherry blossoms are about to hit peak bloom on Wednesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 24.

MoKi Media Co-Founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplins Owner Ari Wilder kick off cherry blossom season with Kirin Ichiban by Joy Asico
MoKi Media co-founder Dannia Hakki and Chaplin’s Restaurant owner Ari Wilder (Photo by Joy Asico)

The two specialty cocktails available at Chaplin’s during cherry blossom season are Bread & Soda, made with Kirin Ichiban and Bulleit Bourbon, and Honzo’s Steel, a mix of Kirin Ichiban orange-blossom honey reduction and Nolet’s Gin. Chaplin’s is also offering pints of Kirin Ichiban and shots of Sakura Emaki Rose sake as a “Cherry Blossom Bomb.”

Chaplin’s offers all three drink specials — $8 Kirin beertails and $5 Kirin pints or pints-and-sake — through April 17.

By the way, we loved the Kill Bill reference, Chaplin’s, as we presume Honzo’s Steel is named for Hattori Hanz?, master swordsmith who outfitted Bill and his Deadly Viper Assassination Squad!

Here are the ingredients for the two cocktails:

Bread & Soda
Bulleit Bourbon
Kirin Ichiban
Maple ginger
Lemon
Ginger beer cake
Cardamom caramel

Honzo’s Steel
Nolet’s Gin
Tozai Plum
Ichiban Orange Blossom Honey
Lemon

For more information on Chaplin’s or to make a reservation, visit http://chaplinrestaurantdc.com.

DSC_0081
Chaplin’s barstaff put the finishing touches on Bread & Soda cocktails (Photo by Parklife DC)

Stars and Bars: Beer Sampling @ Right Proper Production and Tasting Room (Brookland)

Right ProperRight Proper in Brookland

I finally had the chance to check out Right Proper’s Production House and Tasting Room in Brookland, which opened in late November 2015.

Upon entering, you’re greeted with an eclectic mix of artwork and well-appointed wood trim around the cozy bar and long tables.

However, the first thing you notice is just how small the space is for something with the potential to draw roving bands of hipsters and beer aficionados.

And on a Saturday afternoon it was packed, indeed almost sardine-style.

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