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Tag Archive | "Logan Circle restaurants"

Standard BBQ Reopens March 1; More Outdoor Seating Planned


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More seating planned for Standard BBQ at 14th and S Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez and and Michelle Lancaster. You can follow Gomez on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos and at One Photograph A Day. You can follow Lancaster and share your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.

Given the weather of late, restaurants that usually keep patio furniture in deep storage until April have kept them out and open. Count Standard back into the patio and outdoor eating game — the BBQ joint reopens on Thursday, March 1. Washington City Paper has a preview of what you can expect this year, and it’s all good stuff.

Your old favorites are still on the menu, and Chef-Owner Tad Curtz plans to include a similar rotating menu of special meats. In 2012, though, special means more than chicken and short ribs; we’re talking lamb shoulder, crispy cheeks and Cornish game hens as possible options. Vegetarians hoping for tofu will be a little salty at his refusal to include it on the menu, but hopefully appeased by his move to put more veg-friendly stuff on the menu as sides. Also on the menu for 2012: the return of those glorious doughnuts, gluten-free beer, wine and cider. It’s so good to have this back open in the ‘hood, and now with a 30-foot table for private parties!

The good news are not only that Standard BBQ is opening March 1 but that it will have more room for at least 30 of us to sit. We spoke to Curtz, as he was measuring the right placement for the seats, which will be located on the S Street side of the restaurant. He told us that they were still waiting for the permit but that it will hopefully be approved for the re-opening date. As for the menu, Curtz said that we will probably find more veggies. Standard BBQ is at the northeast corner of 14th and S Streets NW.

Curtz has also filed for a liquor license application the former Well Built furniture store location at 14th and Q Streets NW for an Italian-themed restaurant.

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Tortilla Coast Happy Hour, Micheladas Explained


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Happy Hour at Tortilla Coast, 15th and P Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra@borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

Tortilla Coast announced this week they’ll be open for happy hour – margaritas, sangria, two kinds of micheladas, beer and wine are all on special.

The details:

  • Monday-Friday
  • 3:30-6:30 pm
  • at the bar only

I know, you’re asking: what in the world is a michelada? Our dear fashion friend Khelan is in love with these things, and they are pretty darn tasty, I must admit! A michelada is a Mexican beverage made with beer, lime juice, tomato juice (or Clamato), and assorted sauces, spices, and peppers. Basically, it’s a beer bloody mary. Entiendes? Go get one, it’ll definitely make your day better.

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Estadio, Proof Owner Bringing Southeast Asian Cuisine to 14th Street


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Restaurateur Mark Kuller will have a new spot on 14th Street in the residential-retail project under construction between Swann and S Streets NW.(Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra@borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

The 14th Street corridor just keeps on growing. As it grows up, up and up, smart entrepreneurs and restauranteurs like Mark Kuller snatch it up for their own ventures.

You probably don’t know much about Kuller. You might have heard of his chef/partner in food crime, Haidar Karoum. But  you’ve definitely heard of his master of libations, Adam Bernbach. I’ve never met Kuller myself, but I’ve dined and drank at his restaurants many times — Estadio and Proof — and they are probably among my top 5 favorite places in DC.

Last week we heard news that Kuller, Karoum and Bernbach will be opening another spot on 14th Street NW, this time a restaurant with Southeast Asian-inspired cuisine. We can expect a 40-seat “curated cocktail bar” and a bevy of soups, noodle and skewer dishes sometime in late fall or early winter. The location of the restaurant will occupy the first-floor space of the District Condos project (although the project is now “boutique” with rental units instead of condos) on the 1800 block of 14th Street between S and Swann Streets NW.

“Chef Karoum and I, and the rest of our team, are grateful for the fervor with which our Logan Circle neighbors  have embraced Estadio and are excited to launch our second restaurant on 14 th Street,” Kuller told me via email. “Chef and I share a love for the cuisine of mainland Southeast Asia and we hope to create a unique neighborhood restaurant which showcases, on an affordable and accessible basis, the diverse styles and flavors of this region.”

When opening Estadio, Kuller and team has a keen interest in getting Spanish style, or at least inspired, food right, I have faith that Kuller and his team won’t disappoint with this new venture.

Now. What do I have to do to sell Kuller on opening a legit Mexican food joint? (And we all know how I feel about Mexican food in DC.)

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Borderstan Is For Lovers: 5 Tips For Getting V-Day Reservations


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 You’ve still got time to make Valentine’s Day reservations! (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra@borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

There’s no time left. Or so it seems. You’ve no plans for Valentine’s Day. No reservations and like writer’s block when you’re on deadline, the best date you can think of is “dinner and a movie.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with dinner and a movie. But you can do better. And you don’t even have to try that hard. I polled the Borderstan contributors about where they’d like to be taken for their ideal Valentine’s Day meal — and as much one would think we’d all pick mainstream spots, there were some truly great off-beat spots that made the list too.

So, just how are these plans of yours going to come together at the last minute? Because honestly, word on the street is that reservations for the night of are all booked up, and this weekend and next aren’t looking great either. Here we go:

  1. Call them now. No really, now!
  2. When they tell you there’s no reservation, hit OpenTable and City Eats just in case.
  3. Consider an off-night. Monday being the best day to start with.
  4. Go early. Way early. You might feel like an AARP member eating dinner at 5:30 pm, but hey, you’re eating dinner.
  5. Screw dinner. Hit the bar and just do cocktails/appetizers. A boozey, long brunch is always fun.  Or how about a coffee/dessert outing after a well thought out dinner at home.

And now, where will you do these things? Coming in at the top of the list, with multiple votes each:

  • Hank’s Oyster Bar
  • Bistro Du Coin
  • Tabbard Inn
  • Thai X-Ing
  • 1905
  • Little Serow
  • Home (no, that’s not a restaurant, that’s your couch)

Still high on the list:

  • Birch & Barley
  • Rice
  • Sette
  • Al Crostino
  • Level One
  • Floriana
  • Veritas

The ones in green? They’re all in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.

Consider your predicament an opportunity to try somewhere new together. Or take a walk on the wild side and put together a date that doesn’t start at 7 pm! After all, eating good food and spending some ooey gooey time together is the goal.

And remember: If you can’t get into any of these great V-Day date restaurants on Tuesday, they are still great places to take a date — or on any other occasion.

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5 New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Neighborhood


"Borderstan""Skate PArk"

Try skateboarding at the Shaw Skate Park, 11th and Rhode Island NW. (Luis Gomez Photos).

From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie@borderstan.com or on Twitter @maggiebarron.

I haven’t picked a New Year’s resolution yet. Not because I’m so perfect, obviously, but because I haven’t found one that’s the right combination of virtuous and achievable, yet is also fun. For people in the same boat, I decided to come up with a list of five resolutions that are good for you and good for your neighborhood:

1. Go to a neighborhood meeting.

 My first neighborhood meeting was an eye-opener — it made me realize how little I knew the goings-on in my small section of DC. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to one, check out the associations for U Street, LeDroit Park, Logan and Dupont. Don’t forget your Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC – find yours here) and your local Police Service Area (PSA – find yours here). No need to go nuts, but resolve to check out at least one or two this year, and impress your friends with all your insider knowledge. Also, check out these two Borderstan articles on ANCs: What Exactly Do ANCs Do? and ANCs Part 2: What Do Commissioners Do?

2. Try a new restaurant.

It’s easy to get stuck in a restaurant “rut” when your local options include places like Cork, ChurchKey and Estadio. Why branch out? Because we’ve got a ton of new restaurants coming. Two of those restaurants, Boqueria and Herringbone, made Washingtonian’s list of “10 to Look Forward To.” This should be an easy resolution to keep. Remember to keep an eye out for reviews from Borderstan’s team of food writers — get an RSS feed for our Food & Drink section.

3. Move your money.

Do you know what Citibank, Wells Fargo or Bank of America do with the money you deposit? Me neither. By moving your money to a local bank or credit union, you can ensure that your money goes towards investments in local development and small business loans. Banks such as City First Bank of DC may not offer all the online perks of the big players, but many still offer free checking and no ATM fees, along with a sense of doing more for your neighborhood.  Find out more information, and a list of local banks near you, at the Move Your Money project.

4. Use the other side of your brain.

If you, like me, have a typical DC job that’s more analytics than art, start an activity that gets your creative juices flowing. There are Capoeira dance classes on U Street, improv and stand-up classes at DC Improv and drawing and painting classes at the Washington Studio School. If you’re not into a class, channel your inner high-schooler at the skate park on 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it’s different from your 9 to 5.

5. Remember to try other neighborhoods.

Last year, I went to New York City more times than I went to Georgetown. We are so lucky to live in a neighborhood that has everything we want, I sometimes forget the other places in DC that can make a short trek worthwhile. That’s why one of my resolutions this year is to leave home and see what’s new around H Street, Eastern Market, Waterfront, Woodley Park and maybe even Georgetown.

Got any other neighborhood resolutions that you’re trying to keep this year? Let us know in the comments.

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Readers’ Picks: Most Popular Food & Drink Stories of 2011


Saturday Night Sips, Alejandra Owens, Borderstan

The most popular food & drink story in 2011 was Alejandra Owens’ “Saturday Night Sips: Fighting Hunger in DC.” (Alejandra Owens)

Following are the top food and drink stories each month on Borderstan in 2011. The top story each month was the one that was read by the most readers. The writer’s name is next to each story.

Top food story for the year in terms of reader views? The run-away winner was Saturday Night Sips: Fighting Hunger In DC from Alejandra Owens.

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Tortilla Coast Announces Mid-December Opening


Tortilla Coast, Logan Circle restaurants, P Street NW

Tortilla Coast will open in mid-December at the southwest corner of 15th and P Streets NW. (Borderstan file photo)

Tortilla Coast announced yesterday that they plan to open their Logan Circle restaurant at 1460 P Street NW in mid-December. They currently have a Capitol Hill location.

According to Katie Tyson, managing director of Clover Restaurant Group, the menu at the Logan Circle location embraces the unique ingredients and culinary styles of the Yucatan, Puebla, Veracruz, and Baja regions.

The Logan Circle Tortilla Coast will be open for lunch, dinner as well as offering a weekend brunch. It will seat 152 people and have a 48-seat patio area opening in the spring.

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Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is the Real Deal


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Pearl Dive at 1612 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Ashley Lusk. Check out Ashley’s blog Metropoetrylis and find her on Twitter at @arlusk. You can email her at ashley@borderstan.com.

I am pescetarian, hear me roar.

Finding a casual dining experience where seafood gets pushed to the front of the menu is hard to do in the District. Luckily for all of us, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is doing a really good job of making seafood the star for once.

The glowing blue sign for Pearl Dive hanging above the front door appropriately spells out the kind of vintage nuances you’re about to enjoy. The décor is casual with wooden booths and tables that will make you happily sigh “breathing room.” There is a very New England vibe to the restaurant although it sits perfectly in its urban home. If there is a line — and trust me, there soon will be — the hostess will hand you a number and you can watch for the number on the ticking neon counter.

Our waiter was more than friendly — he looked happy to be there. Nostalgic metal tins of biscuits and jalapeño cornbread arrive and they have soft butter to go with them. But the bread isn’t meant to distract you because hardly one beer into a good conversation our six raw oysters arrived with two sauces, a classic cocktail sauce and “dive sauce,” a mix of vinegar, cilantro and peppercorn.

The waiter explained the kind of oysters we had (California, Raspberry and a third neither me or nor my dinner companion could remember). The sound of cheerful slurping around the restaurant — including our own — let’s you know that Pearl Dive is legitimate.

A few moments later our oyster po’boy sandwiches and fries arrive — a meal we were hoping would stave the chill off our rainy day. My companion tried the CEBLT po’boy — a fried egg on top of catfish, with bacon lettuce and tomato. I tried the traditional oyster po’boy — fried oysters with pickles and aioli sauce on Ledenheimer bread. Both sandwiches were messy and difficult to eat, and I found the Dive fries to be short on flavor and oddly crunchier than my fried oysters.

When the dessert menu came around, I desperately wanted to try the Derby pie to see how it stacked up against my mother-in-law’s version. But I had little room left for the rich slices I saw being inhaled at other tables. You can bet I’ll be back soon with my eye on a slice of pie.

Pearl Dive is showing its heritage very well — owners Jeff and Barbara Black have a dedicated legacy of delivering quality seafood to restaurants in Maryland and D.C. like BlackSalt, Addie’s and Black’s Bar and Kitchen. Bottom line: You’ve done good, this one shines.

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

  • Where Am I Going? 1612 14th Street NW.
  • When Am I Going? Sunday-Thursday 11:30 am to 11 pm; open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
  • Delivery? No, but it’s a nice walk.
  • Paycheck Pain? Appetizers $6 to $15, entrĂ©es $13 to $27.
  • Say What?  You can hold a comfortable conversation here.
  • What You’ll Be Eating: Raw oysters are the star here, but you can find solid creole food such as gumbo and fried po’boy sandwiches.

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Standard BBQ Shuts Down for Winter After Dec. 4


Borderstan, Standar, 14th Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos

Standard BBQ closes for the winter after December 4 and reopens March 1. (Luis Gomez Photos)

We’ve taken a liking to Standard BBQ as a great place for Borderstan team happy hours, so we are a bit saddened by the joint’s inevitable winter closing for for three months after December 4.

The 14th and S NW has become one of those neighborhood places where you just might run into people you know. Basically, we like having a beer garden in the hood… the variety of fried and grilled food options (including pickles) are at reasonable prices… and the very nice selection of beers is, of course, important.

We will also miss the fresh donuts (and the smell of them frying in oil at the entrance of the place). But fear not, donut, beer and BBQ lovers as Standard will reopen on March 1, according to Tad Curtz. After a Thanksgiving hiatus, the 14th and S NW place reopened for a fall last hurrah.

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Tad Curtz: Not Your Standard Chef


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Standard BBQ chef and co-owner Tad Curtz cleans the grill in preparation for an evening at his 14th Street NW eatery and beer garden. Curtz says it’s all “just part of owning a small business.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

Read Alejandra Owen’s July 8 review of Standard BBQ.

The Stats

Name: Tad Curtz
Restaurant: Co-owner and chef at Standard BBQ, 1801 14th Street NW
Age: 31
Hometown: Kingstown, NY
Current Residence: DC
Tattoo Count: 0

The Q&A

Borderstan: What brought you to D.C? How long have you been here?
Curtz: I moved to Logan Circle in 2003 to work for an organization that invented simple technologies used for agricultural production and processing. Our work was focused in Africa and Asia.

Borderstan: Tell us about your previous history as a chef and experience in the restaurant business?
Curtz: I worked at 2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria for four years. I certainly was not a “chef” there. I did a little bit of everything that needed to be done, including some cooking and a lot of serving as the staff handyman. There is an amazing amount of stuff that breaks in a restaurant.

Borderstan: What’s the toughest part about owning your own business… how many hours a week do you log?
Curtz: There are a million things to keep track of, and I’m really poorly organized. Luckily my business partner, Dave Rosner, takes care of lots of that kind of stuff and helps keep me on track. It’s not like working for someone else and knowing you are getting a paycheck at the end of the week. It’s draining to constantly worry about keeping the business afloat. We’ve been really lucky to have people keep showing up… and I work a lot of hours.

Borderstan: What was it like trying to get the permits and licenses to open? How long did the total process take?
Curtz: It took a while. This was our first project, and it was a learning experience. We had a lot of help along the way. I always found that the folks responsible for issuing permits and licenses at DCRA and ABRA were very patient and happy to help us out.

Borderstan: Favorite dish on your menu?
Curtz: I like the “Texas short rib” — a gigantic beef rib that’s dry rubbed and smoked for 16 hours. It’s totally delicious, but I just get a kick out of seeing the look on someone’s face when a dinosaur bone shows up at their table.

Borderstan: Favorite dish on someone else’s menu you admire?
Curtz: The Filetti at Una Pizza Napolitana.

Borderstan: Advice for home cooks or folks who are afraid to get into the kitchen?
Curtz: Always taste whatever you’re making before you serve it to someone else. Salt and pepper will get you a long way. Practice. 

Borderstan: Worst kitchen injury, any scars?
Curtz: I cut the tip of my finger off on a meat slicer.

Borderstan: Favorite place to eat in Borderstan, other than your own restaurant?
Curtz: Thai Xing.

Borderstan: Favorite joint to get a drink?
Curtz: Tabard Inn.

Borderstan: You have a whole day off — what do you do?
Curtz: Skip town.

Borderstan: What’s your comfort food?
Curtz: Wood-fired pizza.

Bordestan: What do you like best about the Logan Circle neighborhood?
Curtz: The vibes are incredible!

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