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by Jared Holt — July 21, 2015 at 2:45 pm 105 1 Comment

Bar Pilar

A 14th Street NW bar will celebrate the 116th birthday of Earnest Hemingway the way the famous writer might have.

Bar Pilar, located at 1833 14th Street NW, will serve a special menu of Hemingway’s favorite meals and libations tonight starting at 5 p.m.

According to Pilar’s menu, Hemingway enjoyed noshing on pickled mushrooms, chilled cucumber soup, lobster salad and rabbit stew.

Bartenders will pour five different tropical and rum-based cocktails such as the “Hemingway Daiquiri,” an absinthe-based drink called “Death in the Afternoon” and two different rum slushies.

Is this really what Hemingway liked to eat and drink?

“Hemingway once said, ‘The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them,'” said Melissa Gold, a PR rep for Bar Pilar, in an e-mail. “Trust us.”

Bar Pilar will also screen movies based on Hemingway novels on both of its floors.

Image via Facebook.com/BarPilar

by Jared Holt — July 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm 227 0

Sauf Haus

A German beer hall near Dupont Circle will celebrate its one-year anniversary next weekend with giveaways, live music and cheap brews.

Sauf Haus Beir Hall (1216 18th St NW) will open its doors at 12 p.m. next Saturday to celebrate the occasion.

Five bands will perform and bartenders will pour Schofferhofer Grapefruit Radler and Radeberger Pilsner for $1 until the taps run dry. Customers will also be able to enter to win prizes.

The owners of Sauf Haus are donating a percentage of the day’s proceeds to The Yellow Ribbon Fund, which assists injured military service members.

Image via Facebook.com/SaufHausDC

by Jared Holt — July 16, 2015 at 10:00 am 398 0

NY Bagel Cafe

Construction will start soon for a new bagel shop on U Street.

New York Bagel Cafe & Deli announced via Twitter that it is going to build its first D.C. location on U Street NW.

The shop will serve bagels, coffee drinks, sandwiches,  soups and salads.

Photo via NY Bagel Cafe & Deli’s Facebook Page

by Tim Regan — July 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm 208 0

The Riggsby, photo via Facebook.com/TheRiggsbyA James Beard Award-winner will soon open a new American restaurant in Dupont.

Chef Michael Schlow’s newest eatery, The Riggsby, is set to open in the newly remodeled Carlyle Hotel at 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW next Monday.

The restaurant seats 75 people and serves steaks, seafood and “bar snacks,” such as house-made potato chips and green onion dip.

The restaurant also has a lounge area that seats 40, where patrons can order contemporary cocktails and drinks meant to invoke bygone eras alike.

Facebook.com/TheRiggsby

by Jared Holt — July 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm 302 1 Comment

A U Street landmark has expanded to H Street.

Hundreds of people descended on the H Street corridor today to revel in half smokes and go-go music for the grand opening of the new Ben’s Chili Bowl, reported Borderstan’s sister site HillNow.

Virginia Ali, who opened the original Ben’s on U Street NW with her late husband in 1958, cut the ribbon to open the restaurant at 1001 H St. NE this morning with the help of Mayor Muriel Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and others.

Ali said opening a restaurant on H Street signifies the neighborhood’s turnaround since riots devastated the area after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

“This area had a downturn after the riots in 1968,” she told Hill Now. “Now it’s in the process of growing, and we’re very happy to be a part of that growth. We’re here to serve a community, to support a community and we anticipate the community here will support us as well.”

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Bowser, Norton, Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 and other local officials applauded the Ali family’s focus on local business and community.

“This is a small, family-owned business whose owners call D.C. home and care about what happens here,” Bowser said. “This is a small business who saw other opportunities on H Street and said, ‘Ben’s Chili Bowl needs to be there.'”

Norton said she was excited that H Street not only got a Ben’s, but that they also got a chance to dance along with the go-go music of the Chuck Brown Band before and after the speeches.

“H Street was the heart and is the heart of this community, but it did not arrive until today because only today did it get a Ben’s,” Norton said. “Everybody here knows there will never be enough Ben’s for D.C.”

Inside, the restaurant is filled with mustard-yellow and ketchup-red decorations, a long bar, a handful of booths and a wall of well-known celebrities who have visited the restaurant. Comedian Bill Cosby, who has close ties to the Ben’s chain and helped open its Rosslyn location, didn’t appear among the photos.

Cosby, who has faced allegations that he sexually assaulted women, was in a photo on the wall before the eatery opened, the Washington Post reported. But the photo wasn’t there today.

A line to enter the restaurant began to form at 9 a.m. Mattie Callaham, who lives near the eatery, had the first spot in the line.

“I’ve been going to the U Street one for over 20 years,” Callaham said. “Since I live in this neighborhood, I could walk here, and it wouldn’t be no problem. I just can’t wait to get one of those hot dogs.”

by Jared Holt — July 6, 2015 at 1:00 pm 585 0

The tables at Olivia’s Diner (1120 19th Street NW) are already set for tomorrow’s 11 a.m. soft opening.

A preliminary peek inside the restaurant’s dining room reveals dark wooden tables and a long marble bar. The space also features cocktail seating at the front of the restaurant and a large seating area in the back.

But don’t be fooled by the restaurant’s upscale appearance; as we reported last month, the eatery will serve fried comfort food such as wings, chicken-fried steak and burgers.

“We didn’t want a traditional diner atmosphere, but we did want traditional American food,” part-owner Thomas Marr said.

Marr owns the restaurant with his business partner and childhood friend Tri Nguyen. Both also co-own Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

Olivia’s will serve customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

But Marr says the goal is to go 24 hours eventually, as long as there’s interest.

by Jared Holt — July 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1 Comment

Pie Fest (Via the Brixton)
Four local businesses are teaming up to stuff Borderstan residents full of pie.

Satellite Room, located at 2047 9th St. NW, will serve unlimited slices of pie from bakery Whisked and food truck Sage City alongside “jumbo personal pizzas” from Timber Pizza during its Fourth of July Pie Fest.

During the event, which lasts from 2 to 6 p.m., attendees will be able to watch films “Grease” and “Hairspray” on the patio while chowing down.

Pie Fest was hosted by U Street bar The Brixton last year.

“Pie is a very American food and we want to create a picnic environment for people to come out to,” said Alyssa Moody director of promotions for The Brixton.

Tickets can be purchased in advance online for $15 and $25 at the door.

Photo Courtesy of The Brixton

by Tim Regan — June 29, 2015 at 11:00 am 154 0

Congratulations to Chef Seng of @thipkhaodc, winner of the annual #AIWF crabcake contest.

A photo posted by Fritz Hahn (@fritzhahn) on

A Columbia Heights restaurant took home a big honor yesterday.

Thip Kao, a Laotian restaurant located at 3462 14th Street NW, won highest honors at yesterday’s American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) 10th Annual Crab Cake Competition.

Along with the bragging rights, Thip Kao will receive funds to support a culinary intern in its kitchen.

Thip Kao’s Chef Seng Luangrath’s crab cake was chosen over entries from the likes of Chef Spike Mendelsohn from Bernaise, Chef Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak and other award-winning chefs.

The crab cake competition is a yearly contest aimed at raising money for culinary internships, scholarships and educational programs in D.C. Each year, the contest pits eight local chefs against one another in a showdown to create the perfect crab cake with Maryland blue crab.

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm 0

Meridian Pint 5 Year PartyIt can be hard to get a craft beer for $5 around here, but that changes at Meridian Pint’s 5-year anniversary celebration next Wednesday.

The Columbia Heights bar,  known for its selection of craft beers and located at 3400 11th Street NW, will pour 24 different drafts for just five dollars per glass starting at 4 p.m.

The bar will also serve food from a special $5-per-item menu that was “created from guest favorites.”

by Tim Regan — June 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm 159 0

Pop's snow conesPopular Adams Morgan hangout Pop’s Sea Bar (1817 Columbia Road NW) will begin serving alcoholic snow cones on July 1.

For $7, patrons can order a color-coded cone in three boozy flavors: Baltimore Lemon Stick, Strawberry and Bing Cherry.

Non-alcoholic versions of the flavors will also be sold for $3.

Between July 1 and 7, $1 from each snow cone sold will be donated to Brainfood, a local nonprofit dedicated to teaching youths food production skills.

Photo via Facebook.com/PopsSeaBar

by Tim Regan — June 23, 2015 at 10:30 am 0

Photo via Twitter.com/TheRoyalDC

The Royal, a much-anticipated cafe in LeDroit Park, is now open for business.

From this morning until 1 p.m., patrons can visit the eatery, located at 501 Florida Avenue NW, for “limited coffee service,” which includes light food and free samples of its cold brew coffee.

Additionally, the cafe’s bar will open at 5 p.m. today.

As reported in the Washington Post, The Royal will serve Colombian fare such as arepas, empanadas, blood sausage and plantains in addition to South American wines and shaved ice cocktails from the bar.

Photo via Twitter.com/TheRoyalDC

by Tim Regan — June 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

Cherries at 14th and U, Photo via Facebook.com/14UFarmersMarket

The popular farmers market at the corner of 14th and U streets NW will stock its carts with cherries, and several types of berries as well as pasta from local producer Cucina Al Volo this weekend from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.

Other newly added foods include apricots, red currants, spicy amatriciana sauce, fennel, and radish kimchi.

The market will also stock its normal supply of local fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and herbs.

The market’s director, Robin Shuster, says the market will additionally sell a large number of freshly harvested whole carrots that can be used in a wide variety of dishes.

“Don’t throw away fresh carrot tops,” says Shuster. “You make pesto and other things from it.”

Photo via Facebook.com/14UFarmersMarket

by Jared Holt — June 18, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

Cork and Fork

Wine lovers can tour the Rhone river valley in southern France without leaving the District tonight.

Tom Savage, Cork & Fork‘s resident wine expert, will lead participants’ taste buds through flavors from the region’s vineyards during his “Les Vins de Vienee of the Rhone Valley” wine-tasting class at 7:30 p.m. inside Cork & Fork, located at 1522 14th St. NW.

Tickets can be purchased online for $15 plus a $1.82 fee.

Image via Facebook.com/CorkandForkva

by Tim Regan — June 18, 2015 at 11:40 am 470 0

Jessica Alba at Pearl Dive

Jessica Alba ate at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace on 14th Street last night, confirmed employees at the restaurant this morning.

Alba posted to Instagram about her experience last night:

Great din in DC at #pearldive w my @honest homies @jamilvmoen @jkroogr – excited for tomorrow -going to Capitol Hill lobbying for chemical reform

Photo via Jessica Alba’s Instagram. Thanks to reader M. Torpey for the tip!

by Tim Regan — June 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm 221 2 Comments

Olivia’s Diner, the hotly anticipated greasy spoon at 1120 19th St. NW, will open July 1 with a menu of burgers and breakfast items.

“We hope to serve the typical diner fare,” says Olivia’s co-founder Thomas Marr, who’s also part owner of Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza.

“Burgers on cast-iron plates the old-fashioned way, eggs, hashes, several different benedicts,” Marr adds. The diner will also serve liege-style Belgian waffles in waffle irons ordered from Belgium and a handful of dinner items such as steaks, hand-cut fries, meatloaf and fish and chips platters.

Marr says he also plans to include draught beers from local brewers such as DC Brau, Lost Rhino, and Port City.

But, there’s a catch: The diner won’t be open around the clock as previously reported, at least not at first.

When it opens in July, Olivia’s will serve customers from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

However, Marr says the goal is to go 24 hours eventually.

“We feel like there’s a good likelihood that we’ll be able to be 24 hours over the weekend [in the future],” he says. “Once we get into September and October we’ll have a good idea of what to expect.”

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