by October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am 1,441 0


Chef Victor Albisu will test the Taco Bamba menu at Black Jack on Monday.

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT] 

On Monday, October 22, a pop-up taqueria will take over Black Jack (1612 14th Street NW) from 7-10 pm. Jack Black’s beloved “pies” will take a back-seat for the evening, while Chef Victor Albisu tests the new Taco Bamba menu.

Alibsu will serve-up everything from a Chipotle Portabella Taco, to a Duck Tinga Taco, Grilled Scallop and Grilled Guacamole Nachos, Black Oyster and Shrimp Campache and more.

Tickets to the pop-up party are $40 and can be purchased online. The admission includes unlimited passed and stationed food, specialty cocktails tax and gratuity.

For more information, visit Black Jack’s website.

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by August 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,951 0

From Sarah Lipman. Follow her on Twitter @LipmanSarah or email her at sarah[AT]

Black Restaurant Group chefs/owners Jeff and Barbara Black are throwing a fundraising bash in honor of the first anniversary of their dual 14th Street restaurants, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack. The party is Thursday, September 20, from 7 pm to 1:30 am.

"Pearl Dive Oyster Palace"

Pearl Dive  Oyster Palace and Black Jack at 1612 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Pre-sale tickets are priced at $150 and include unlimited fresh seafood (including oysters, of course!) with signature dishes from Pearl Dive’s menu, live music, and an open bar. Proceeds from the event will be donated to Food & Friends on behalf of the Black’s Family Foundation.

Guests will also have their first opportunity to taste two new exclusive Black Restaurant Group oysters, “Old Black Salts” and “Black Pearls”, which are making their public debut that evening. The oysters were created as part of the partnership between the Blacks and Rappahannock River Oyster Company in Chincoteague, Virginia along with Toby Island Oysters in Topping, Virginia.

Get more information about purchasing tickets for the event. Pearl Dive and Black Jack are located at 1612 14th Street NW, between Q and Corcoran Streets.

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by June 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm 1,708 0

"2012 RAMMYs Winners"

Sunday night at the 2012 RAMMYS. Top row from left: Adam Bernbach and Max Kuller from Estadio ; The 2012 RAMMYS theme; Barbara and Jeff Black. Bottom row from left: Black Jack accepts its award;  Diane Gross of Cork Wine Bar; and Cafe Saint-Ex Chef Billy Klien with the restaurant’s John Snellgrove and Mike Benson.

From Kim Vu. He also has his own food blog, DC Wrapped Dates. Follow him at@dcwrappeddates or email him at kim[AT] 

If the current boom state of 14th Street wasn’t enough to tell you that our fair neighborhood and city is on the cutting edge of the restaurant scene, then maybe some glitz, glamour, and glass obelisk statues will? Borderstan came up big last night at the RAMMYS, the yearly awards gala of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW).

With many more area eateries in the neighborhood nominated, congrats are in order for:

  1. Cork Wine Bar: Wine Program of the Year
  2. Cafe Saint-Ex: Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year
  3. Estadio: Beverage/Mixology Program of the Year
  4. Blackjack: Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year
  5. Black Restaurant Group: Restaurateur of the Year (Black Jack and Pearl Dive Oyster Palace are part of the group)

As Mike Benson of Cafe Saint-Ex emphatically stated about DC in his acceptance speech for Best Neighborhood Gathering Place, “our restaurant scene is kicking ass. We’re turning heads.”

Borderstan’s wins last night reflected the growing importance and attention that restaurants and restaurateurs are giving to things besides the food. Cork Wine Bar won for their outstanding wine program, and Estadio followed up its 2011 Best New Restaurant RAMMY with a win for its Beverage/Mixology program, edging out fellow Borderstan nominee Birch and Barley/Churchkey.

“Ultimately DC is a really small town doing really big things,” mused the ecstatic winners from Estadio upon accepting their award. “We’re in a city that is the most beautiful city in the world for beverages right now.”

But the big winners last night at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel were Jeff and Barbara Black and their Black Restaurant Group, taking home the award for Restaurateur of the Year. The owners of Best New Restaurant Nominee Pearl Dive Oyster Palace also claimed the hardware for Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene for Blackjack. In one of the moments of the night, Chef Black pushed through the wrap-it-up music to acknowledge that this award came from the people in the industry, “the ones doing the hard work, not the bloggers.” (The Young & Hungry at the Washington City Paper has more as does The Examiner where Black clarified his statement.)

The gala itself was full of other great moments: restaurants throwing their support behind embattled Hank’s Oyster Bar in their fight against “the gang of six,” which earned notable applause from the audience (Hank’s was a nominee for Best Casual Restaurant of the year); Estadio winning (at least in this writer’s humble opinion) the cocktail of the night with their gin-based Dia de Descanso; and some of the biggest hats and fascinators on a night that never disappoints for wild fashion. Always a great time, and our neighborhood is looking even stronger and stronger for the upcoming year. See you all at the 2013 RAMMYS!

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