I’ve been meaning to contemplate the new DC phenomenon of beer and wine bars popping up in DC grocery stores since the opening of the new Cleveland Park Giant Food on Nov. 7.
Actually, to my knowledge, Giant is the only chain offering beer and wine bars in the city so far, although Whole Foods in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, Va., has offered beer at its Arlington Pub for a couple of years now.
The Cleveland Park supermarket has been welcome by locals like myself because we’ve been without a major supermarket in the immediate 1-mile vicinity for about 2.5 years while this one was under construction. To our surprise, Giant announced that the store would offer a beer and wine bar shortly before its opening, following in the footsteps of the Giant Food located at the City Market at O.
Frenchman David Grellier’s electronica project College leapt into full view of U.S. audiences in 2011 when its song “A Real Hero” was used on the soundtrack of the Ryan Gosling film Drive, which smartly and sleekly weaved smooth italo disco sounds into a pulsing yet atmospheric mix that served the elevate the mood and action of the movie.
Grellier has his hands in a number of projects, but College recently released a new EP and an accompanying video for “Save the Day.” The collective is touring with a first stop among some 14 dates at DC9 (1940 9th St. NW, DC) on Wednesday, Nov. 26.
I’m not 100 percent certain if Grellier is touring by himself or if he’s bringing an accompanying vocalist, but he is accompanied by opening act Furniteur, D.C. visual artist and electronic musician Brittany Sims. Furniteur is wonderful accompaniment to College’s sound–synthy, lush, melancholy classic pop. And Sims is a local, so we are super-excited to check out this lineup.
Tickets are available online or at the door.
Wednesday, Nov. 26
The Esquire Network’s television series Weekend Fix will feature DC in its new episode premiering on Wednesday, Nov. 26, at 10pm on the cable channel.
Here is a description of the series from the Esquire website:
“Actor Omar Miller and fashion designer Andres Izquieta of Five Four Clothing know that the best travel experiences don’t come from following a schedule—they come from following advice. And a good Wi-Fi connection. In each episode of Weekend Fix, Omar and Andres travel to a different city, using every social networking tool at their fingertips to seek out recommendations from friends, locals and strangers alike for the go-to hotels, off-the-radar restaurants and can’t-miss local experiences that the guidebooks just can’t tell you about.”
In the clip above, Omar and Andres visit the Dram & Grain Speakeasy in the basement of Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW, DC), where they experience some rare drinks thanks to Mixologist Trevor Frye.
If you catch the episode, let us know what you think about the places featured on the show and if it did a good job of fulfilling its objectives.
Thanksgiving for many involves travel to a relative’s house outside of the DC area for a day of food and reunions.
But for some, including myself on occasion, we remain here in town, holding down the fort. And yet we may seek a festive meal in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday or simply to slake our annual craving for too much turkey and stuffing.
Fortunately, some DC restaurants realize the need to cater to folks like us, and so they offer a Thanksgiving dinner to those who want to get out of the house on Thursday.
Here are a few quick recommendations for you to consider if you’re dining out in DC for Thanksgiving dinner:
This Saturday, come out to the Washington Convention Center, for a Winter Harvest beer festival.
A cornucopia of seasonal winter beers will be waiting for you in two sessions. There will be 75 breweries serving up 2 oz tastings of 150 beers, ciders or flagons of mead.
Get your tickets now, they have sold out in the past.
Tickets are available online
DC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Saturday, November 22
Two times @2-4:30 pm and @7-9:30 pm (add 1 hour for VIP)
$49 ($65 VIP)
Joe Biden orders a sandwich at Capriott’s in DC
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, my classmates would rave about the opportunities to eat a sub from Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the first of which was established in Wilmington, DE, in 1976.
Now it seems the shop has swept the country with a surprising fervor.
And DC got its first Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop (1800 M St. NW, DC) on Nov. 21, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden, ardent supporter of all things Delaware, was in line to get a sandwich that day.
DC’s Capriotti’s will celebrate its first anniversary this Friday, Nov. 21. Starting at 11am, the shop will give a free Bobbie sandwich to the first 50 people in line.
The Bobbie, hailed by Capriotti’s as “Thanksgiving on a roll,” comes with house-roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo.
You couldn’t blame Biden if he showed up again!
Free Sub to the First 50
1800 M St. NW
Friday, Nov. 21
Stars (Photo courtesy Shore Fire Media)
Torquil Campbell is a man with something to say.
And the Canadian singer often does so surrounded by the five other members of his chamber-pop band Stars, which recently released a marvelous new disco album, No One Is Lost, last month.
I confess that I was pleasantly surprised by the band’s performance at the 9:30 Club on Thursday, Nov. 13, when I learned why they have amassed a large following over a seven-album tenure. But the standout performer among the band that night was Campbell, who put passion, grit and catharsis to a powerful set of songs, the best of which hailed from the latest album, in my opinion.
First let me say that I caught a performance of Stars only once previously at the Coachella Music Festival in 2013. In that performance, I was thrown a bit by the clear new wave influences in the band’s music, as I tend to anticipate our chamber pop bands to foray more into folk pop.
But Campbell and company weren’t interested in conforming to my preconceived notions. He and co-lead singer Amy Millan poured themselves into a 22-song set that began with the lovely “From the Night” from the new album and closed (before the encore) with the same album’s title track, a musically and lyrically mighty confrontation of loss, grappling with the concepts of loneliness and death — while remaining a stunning dance track.
Bluejacket will host its first ever pop-up beer garden, as part of the 5th Street Folly fair hosted by Union Market.
Four different beers will be on offer ($6-8). In addition, Red Apron will serve some of their famous franks.
Bluejacket Brewery Pop-up Beer Garden
Penn Ave. NE, a lot between 4th St. and 5th St. NE (outdoors near Union Market)
November 14 – November 16
Free to enter – beers ($6-8)
The winsome Meredith Sheldon opened for Johnny Marr at the 9:30 Club once again earlier this week.
Ms. Sheldon came through with Marr also in April 2013, but then she was performing in a loose band called Alamar with Johnny’s son Nile Marr. A friend compared the sound of the two together to The Sundays.
This time, Sheldon performed alone with her guitar, and she was as dreamy as that comparison would suggest, but her sound definitely smacked of a jangle pop found in other Massachussetts singer-songwriters like Tanya Donnelly and Juliana Hatfield.
Sheldon opened with “Metal Hand,” a song about the strength required to heal. From the start of her set, she had a good rapport with the audience, and it reflected in her easy, comfortable playing. In one segment of her first song, she thumps lightly on the guitar instead of strumming it, creating a unique bridge and providing ample room for her airy voice to fill the space.