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[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
When it comes to best/worst lists, DC always seems to find a place. In 2010 we were among the fittest cities in America thanks to all you crazy running people. We were also one of the happiest cities according to a Gallop pole. Not surprisingly, we were also among the most expensive cities to live! But last week we topped another list – this time coming in as the 9th Drunkest City In The US!
So here’s the break down: according to The Daily Beast, the average DC adult consumes 15.6 alcoholic beverages a month (rounding up, that’s four drinks a week, give or take), 14.5 percent of us are binge drinkers and 5 percent of us are considered heavy drinkers.
I mean, are we really surprised? DCers have a penchant for rooftop drinking, patio drinking and dirt-cheap-happy hour drinking. We bestow our finest bartenders with a demi-god like status. We even have classic cocktail death matches! Bottom line: cheap, neat, classic, it doesn’t matter, we like our booze!
So it got me thinking, where did I drink the most in DC this year? In no particular order:
- Fiola – I’ve lauded Jeff Faile’s manhattan for awhile now.
- 1905 – Lyn and Joel serve up cocktails with a friendly “in your living room” kind of vibe.
- Estadio – They serve my favorite rose in the whole city.
- Stoney’s – A favorite spot to meet friends and have a bourbon & ginger.
- Iron Horse Taproom – A regular after work spot, any bar with a $5 Makers Mark night is a bar I’ll like.
- Cork – Wine flights. Enough said.
Then there were dinner parties – many, many dinner parties. So that means weekly visits to Connecticut Avenue Wine & Spirits where I pick up a bottle or two for those “just in case” moments. So Borderstanis, where do you booze… or buy your booze? It’s really not hard to imagine how one might get to four drinks a week – at minimum. Or, dear lord, is it?
According to French law, every year’s harvest of Beaujolais Nouveau cannot be uncorked until the third Thursday of November. Well that day is finally here, and 1905 is throwing a party to celebrate the occasion.
On Wednesday, November 14, 1905 is teaming up with Brightest Young Things for the fifth year in a row to uncork bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau once the clock strikes midnight. The party starts at 10 pm and will include a D.J., a dance-a-thon and free Beaujolais Nouveau wine from midnight until 2 am. Tickets for the evening are $10 and can be purchased online.
1905 will host normal dinner service (with some additional French specials beforehand), but will stop seating tables around 8:30 pm to make room for the party. 1905 Bistro & Bar is located at 1905 9th Street NW.
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. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]borderstan.com.
Spring and summer practically beg for a rooftop high enough to enjoy a whisp of a breeze that can cool you down. A view of something other than the black top of another rooftop is a bonus, not necessary but a bonus!
I’m an unabashed fan of 1905 – especially the lamb sandwich – and their rooftop has only enhanced my love for the place. To the south you see the Washington monument. To the north you see dappled skies and the outline of apartment buildings. It’s up high enough for that breeze I mentioned earlier, and with a bar to service just the higher up crowd you won’t be lacking for a cocktail or glass of wine to go with it.
If I had to tell you one thing, it would be go, go now! And consider it your premier 4th of July spot because with views like this you won’t be missing a thing! Like the name says, the restaurant is at 1905 9th Street NW.
The soon-to-be rooftop deck at 1905 Restaurant is actually a garden, according to owner Tony Lucca. With views of the Washington Monument and the neighborhood, Lucca expects to open the rooftop deck-garden before May 1.
In line with the concept of 1905 as a comfortable space — like your living room–‘the Garden,’ as it will be known, is a great outdoor space. It makes use of reclaimed wood and old metal sheets, and has details with lights and colorful glass. From the bar, windows allow a peek of the Washington Monument.
1905’s Chef Matthew Richardson is still working on a small plates menu based on comfort food for the outdoor space. As for the drinks, in the Garden, you will be able to enjoy the Hot Kentucky, which is a combination of 1905’s house-made Cayenne ginger lemonade and bourbon, as well as the rest of their cocktail menu. Lucca also expects the Garden will have a few specialty drinks of its own soon after opening.
The Garden will have the same hours as the restaurant. Eventually, Lucca hopes to open both the restaurant and deck on Sundays, and to begin offering Saturday brunch as well.
For Lucca, creating a space that is enjoyable for his neighbors is a must: “It should show how much 1905 values its relationship with the community,” he says.
The following story originally ran on Alejandra Owens’ food blog, One Bite At A Time.
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 [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
So, as you can assume, I’ve been eating out a lot lately. I mean, like, four days a week a lot. I know, I know, it’s not healthy. For me or for my wallet. But I swear it’s pretty awesome.
I’ve been eating some insanely good food. It’s impossible to name my all-time favorites so I’ve decided to check in with you weekly and report back on the best thing I ate the week before.
Braised Lamb Sandwich. Last week’s winner clocked in at the 11th hour. Literally, I ate it around 11 pm on Saturday night at 1905 Restaurant on 9th Streets NW (just south of U Street) here in DC. The braised Colorado lamb sandwich on Asiago bread with gruyère which is served with red wine demi-glace is blo-ho-ho-w your mind amazing. Tender, juicy, pull-apart hunks of meat doused in that demi-glace had my eyes rolling in pure bliss.
I don’t have a pic of that sandwich. It lasted about 10 seconds.
Escargot. I do however have a pic of my second most favorite thing I ate this week: the escargot at 1905. I don’t eat a lot of snail, so I wouldn’t call myself an expert. But this escargot was better than the escargot I had at Bistro Du Coin. Yeah. I said it. 1905 does snail better than the iconic French restaurant in town. They’re jam packed with garlic and butter and… parmesan! You just reach right in there with the little fork and yank ’em out. It’s perfect. More perfect than you would think.
So there you have it. Get your butt to 1905 for some snails and lamb and brag about it all to your friends. Cause you will totally have bragging rights. Totally.
From Alejandra Owens. You can find her on Twitter at @frijolita or at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Email her at [email protected]
You know his lobster meat balls and tuna tartar with wasabi whip. He’s the man who makes steak melt in your mouth at 1905 on 9th Street NW.
Name: Matthew Richardson
Hometown: Mathews County, Virginia
Current Residence (neighborhood): Columbia Heights
Tattoo Count: 0
Borderstan: What brought you to DC? How long have you been here?
Matthew Richardson: To play guitar in a band and get out of the restaurant biz.
B: Favorite dish on your menu?
MR: Toss up. Lobster Meatballs and Spanakopita
B: Favorite dish on someone you admire’s menu?
MR: I love squash blossoms at Tabard Inn. I love Chef Daniel’s Frisée aux Lardons at Bistrot La Bonne
B: First thing you cooked that made you be like, “damn, I could be a chef”?
MR: Crispy cod in Duvel batter with crispy leeks. Came up with that about 17 years ago when I first discovered Belgian beer.
B: Favorite season to cook during? What ingredient gets you fired up?
MR: Late spring : soft shell crabs and shad roe. Summer: tomatoes. Autumn: oyster stews
B: Advice for home cooks or folks who are afraid to get into the kitchen?
MR: Loosen up. Have a drink and experiment after reading an inspiring recipe. Use recipes for inspiration and go on your own.
B: Worst injury-still have a scar? Pics welcome.
MR: No scar anymore but stupidly decided to dip my finger into boiling butterscotch when I was about 21.
B: Are you a yeller in the kitchen?
MR: No. That’s such a sign of weakness to me. Have to keep things in perspective. Its food, not heart surgery.
B: Favorite place to eat in Borderstan (other than your own restaurant)?
MR: Bistrot La Bonne is my regular eat spot and hangout.
B: Favorite joint to get a drink?
B: You have a whole day off-what do you do?
MR: Poetry and falconry.
B: What’s your comfort food?
MR: Braised falcon.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and tell her your news on Twitter @MichLancaster.
Lanier Responds to Columbia Heights Hate Crime
According to DCist, D.C. Police Chief recently responded to the allegations that some of D.C.’s finest disregarded two women’s reports of verbal and physical assault near the Columbia Heights Metro station last weekend. A group of five lesbians say the officers refused to take a report; no action was taken until these women went to the Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit. Chief Lanier says the officers in question could be fired. This is not the first time that the force has come under fire for its handling of GLBT hate crimes — even though no more than a month ago the The Washington Blade ran a story in which Chief Lanier reinforced the force’s commitment to fighting hate crimes.
It’s great to finally be back in D.C. for a weekend! This weekend’s going to be PACKED, due to a high volume of awesomeness happening all weekend. Here are your best bets for eating, drinking, and dancing in and around Borderstan this weekend. Enjoy!
Thursday, June 16
1905 just announced a new addition to their “Neighborhood Nights” (which include Taco Tuesday [$3 lamb tacos, $4 Pilsener Ace beer and $6 taco/Pilsener combos] and Burger Wednesday [half-priced burgers]) called Thursday Nights Nines. Every Thursday they’ll offer off-menu, seasonal small plates at the bar for $9 each. They change every week so you won’t get bored!
After dinner, do NOT miss Moombahton Massive IV at U St Music Hall tonight, hosted by Dave Nada and featuring sets from Nadastrom, Sabo, Jen Lasher and more. Come celebrate DC’s OWN Moombahton at it’s best; Nada pretty much created the genre, which is best described as a combination of house, dubstep, and reggaeton, right here in DC so it’s gonna be legit. Here’s a preview of Nada’s latest Moombahton mix, Blow Your Head Vol. 2. The best part is that entry is FREE if you sign up in advance. Doors at 9.
Orrrr, you may have snagged a ticket to the sold out Yeasayer show at 9:30 Club. Lucky duck.
From Alejandra Owens at One Bite At A Time
Sometimes you hear of a place, but for whatever reason — maybe it’s too far from home, maybe no one has told you it’s worth going — you just never make it over to try it. That would be the case for me and 1905. I’d heard about their Taco Tuesdays. I’d heard about their dark, New Orleans-inspired dining room. But no one I knew had gone lately… until Matt and Luis (co-founders of Borderstan) insisted I try the place out. Not long after that, @FloridaGirlInDC told me it was worth the trip to the far side of U Street.
From Berrak Sarikaya
Here’s an event a day, starting tonight through Saturday.
Wednesday, Nov. 17: Join 1905 for a Beaujolais Nouveau Party, a night of food and festivities including a $50 prix fixe, three-course French dinner (tax or gratuity not included). There are still reservations available for two-seatings: 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. Doors open to the public at 10 pm.
Thursday, Nov. 18: Loaves and Fishes, a local meal program serving low-income and homeless individuals in the Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights communities, will be holding a fundraiser at Caramel from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items and purchase the work of local artists and photographers throughout the space. No cost to attend.
Friday, Nov. 19: You’re invited to the opening reception for Bodyscapes, the Art of Bill Travis, at The DC Center for the LGBT Community from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 5, 2011.
Saturday, Nov. 20: Celebrate award-winning personal trainer, Jonathan Ross, and the launch of his new book, Abs Revealed, at Vastu. Chat with the author, enjoy a healthy bite to eat and get some great fitness tips from 9:30 to 11 am. Please RSVP to [email protected], and mention if you’d like to attend the fitness workshop.
From Cecile Oreste at danceDC and Matt Rhoades
Editor’s note: We met Tony Lucca during the annual Dog Days Sidewalk Sale on August 7 when he set up his 1905 restaurant promo table next to Borderstan. We learned that Lucca was the owner of the restaurant–and was only 28-years-old. We were intrigued by what drives someone to take a risk on their own business only a few years out of college. Lucca offers up a few suggestions for entrepreneur-wannabes, especially for those who think owning a restaurant is all fun and hanging with the customers.
After graduating from college in 2004 Tony Lucca worked as a consultant for a real estate development firm in DC. He began a successful climb up the company org chart, but realized that an office job was not going to be enough. The lure of owning his own business, always on his mind, was calling. During a visit home to Cape Cod in early 2009, Lucca was able to step back to gain some perspective and also talk with his mom:
“My mom brought up that many of my friends were spending $100,000 or more going back to grad school to get their JD, MBA, etc., and compared their choices to what I was considering. Her point was that if I sunk my savings into a business and after a few years it failed, I would walk away with far better real world experience, without any of the debt. I also realized that at my age and without a family to support, this was the ideal time to take a risk of this magnitude.”
Why a Restaurant?
In the fall of 2008–at age 26–Lucca started brainstorming and working on business plans, and eventually decided to take a leave of absence from work to clear his head and chart a course. Upon returning from his time at home on the Cape, he began networking with local entrepreneurs to identify business opportunities. He focused on nine neighborhoods in DC and researched each one. Lucca looked at several different types of business, including real estate related ventures. He even considered moving to the Pacific Northwest and starting a bus company and went so far as to write a business plan for it. Lucca said the process of writing the plan helped him figure out that he wanted to go with a restaurant:
“I worked in restaurants during high school and to pay my way through college. I chose a restaurant over other industries because it incorporated my real estate development background with my affinity for networking across social and professional platforms. I’m a people person and have always loved bringing people together for a cause. Getting to do that every night in a beautiful space is special, a rare opportunity.”
Lucca got his chance in June 2009 with the opportunity to take over 1905 from two of the previous owners.
“You Have to Be There”
1905 was struggling, especially with overall food quality and service and the upstairs location on 9th Street NW remains a challenge. “I got deeply involved in the daily grind of the business. You have to be there and do anything that needs to be done. It started to pay off after a few months,” said Lucca.
Lucca said that about 10 days after taking over 1905, one of the restaurant refrigerators died (actually it had just been unplugged); an inventory of spoiled fish was left behind. Staff threw the fish in the restaurant dumpster, but neglected to put it in trash bags.
“Nobody on staff would go near it, so after a few days, I went back there with a shovel, a big bucket, a lot of bleach, and got to cleaning. It was a great way to show the staff that I wasn’t going to be an absentee owner who was afraid to get his hands dirty. In the end, it set a precedent and example that remains today.”
Lucca said his hours vary, but average 65 to 75 hours per week: I’m on the 1905 floor Tuesday night through Saturday night for most or all of service, which is six to seven hours each night. That’s the fun part though, being with the customers. It’s all the work that goes into getting the place up and running each night that is not so glamorous.
European Comfort Food
In addition to daily operations, Lucca’s other big challenge was to redefine 1905’s identify with Chef Matthew Richardson. He calls the revamped menu, “unique renditions of European comfort food.” He kept the cozy decor, done by interior designer Mick Mier, which is in the European bistro style.
” The previous menu mixed Latin American, Italian, Asian and European food along with some New Orleans inspired dishes. “There wasn’t a concise vision that linked the restaurant’s atmosphere with the food and drinks,” said Lucca.
Rooftop Deck in Works
The big project underway now at 1905 is the addition of a rooftop deck that will double the restaurant’s seating capacity during good weather. Lucca hopes the growth of the 9th Street corridor and an improving DC economy will also be catalysts in the long-term success of 1905.
After 15 months, Lucca said he is “getting back to a place where I feel more real. And I’m a lucky man to have stumbled upon two business owners who took a risk on me.”