From Katie Andriulli. Email her at katie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @kandriulli.
Hey guys, how was your holiday? I ate my body weight in lasagna and watched Mrs. Doubtfire with my parents, so basically par for the vacation course for me.
Luckily for you, the weekend is already upon us, and it has a few things going for it, not the least of which is that it’s the last one of the year (good riddance to 2012, amirite?) So let’s see what’s on the agenda.
Give your holiday-addled liver a brief reprieve tonight and stare in wondrous, childlike joy at holiday lights in the shape of lemurs at the National Zoo. Their annual ZooLights celebration (which is free, by the way) runs from 5 pm – 9 pm and ends on New Year’s Day.
Stop reading this, and go watch this CBS Sunday Morning interview with Georgetown grad Bradley Cooper. How cute is he? Eat some popcorn for dinner tonight and go see Silver Linings Playbook, because he and the movie are both equally delightful.
Bibiana restaurant is kind of incredible, which is why I’ll forgive them for calling their black truffle tasting dinner tonight “Truffle-rama.” The three course menu will set you back $60 (because, truffles) but admit it: you’re sort of curious to see how they’re able to make a dessert out of them.
For the first time in (maybe ever?) Washington has a shot as seeing TWO of its professional sports teams make the playoffs in the span of a year, which is almost as good as having Congressional representation. Even if you haven’t watched one Skins game this year, Google RGIII and head to a bar to watch them throw down against longtime rivals the Cowboys in the last game of the regular season. Because DC is DC, there are more sports bars here dedicated to out-of-town teams than the Skins, but Borderstan stalwarts Nellie’s, Solly’s and Stoney’s are all good locales to catch the game, which starts at 8:20 pm.
I’m sorry you guys, but objectively speaking, 2012 was pretty terrible (there are a lot of reasons why, but may I present Exhibit A and Exhibit B). I don’t begrudge you the chance to pay a bunch of money to spend the night trying to avoid getting rail drinks spilled on you. However, if you’re more like me (re: a 85-year-old woman in a 30-year-old-body) you might be more inclined to go out and grab an awesome dinner, or head to one of the many bars around town that will be cover-free and low key tonight.
Better yet, stay in with some takeout, some friends and some whiskey and play the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest drinking game (take a shot every time Seacrest has more money than you). You’ll forget all about the year that was in no time.
Whatever you do, have fun, be safe and remember to take the metro or a cab home if you’ve had too many cocktails. Take it from this guy: starting the New Year off with a DUI is so not chic.
It’s almost 2012, Borderstanis. To help you get ready for the weekend, here are some tips from Laura, Stephanie, Alejandra and Ashley on where to go, what to cook, what to drink and how to cure a hangover.
- Eating, Drinking, Dancing: New Year’s Eve Options in Borderstan from Laura Herman: What to do on the 31st? Laura has picks in Dupont-Logan-U Street.
- What to Make for New Year’s Eve? Easy Recipes Roundup from Stephanie Willis: Appetizers and desserts (bacon options included).
- New Year’s: Alejandra’s Complete Guide to Gettin’ All Liquored Up from Alejandra Owens: Punch cocktails, favorite cocktails, wine and champagne: tips and recipes.
- New Year’s is Coming: Cures for the Common Hangover from Ashley Lusk: Get the right nutrients to make everything feel better. Or there’s always the Hair of the Dog remedy.
Safety first: Don’t drink and drive. Ever. Have a designated driver, call a cab, make some kind of arrangements. If you find yourself without cash during the holiday season, you can get a free cab ride (up to $30) and the program is already running: Be Safe: Free Taxi Rides Available During Holidays. Call 800-202-8294 or #8294 of you are an AT&T wireless customer.
The Perfect Outfit
And for those Bordertan women still looking for the perfect outfit, here is some advice from Kate, Laura and Eliza.
- LBD Always Okay; Color, Lace, Patterns Make You Fashion Forward from Kate Hays: Local boutique options: What’s in style for holiday parties? Kate interviews manager of Lettie Gooch.
- Let’s Get Some Shoes (and Bags): Check Local Boutiques for Holidays from Laura Herman: The perfect shoes and handbag are as important to me as the actual outfit.
- New Year’s Eve Style Down to the Last Detail from Eliza French: New Year’s Eve: Dress up your outfit with distinctive jewelry, bold accessories.
We all get it in our heads to host a festive New Year’s Eve party at least once in our adult life. It usually starts with, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have the gang ’round to ring in the new year?” Before you know it, a gathering of a few people has morphed into a bash that could rival Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve.
The inevitable panic of what to serve everyone can drive some to hit up the supermarket deli counter. I cannot stress this enough: stay.away.from.the.deli.counter.
You can whip up some tasty eats that are party approved and easy to make. To get you started, here is a round-up of recipes from some of my favorite local foodies.
Deviled Eggs, Bacon Options
- I love deviled eggs. Actually love may not be a strong enough word to describe my passion for this party staple. Zach and Clay over at The Bitten Word give it a sophisticated twist with this smoked salmon deviled egg recipe. You can make these ahead of time and pull them out to oohs and aahhs from your guests.
- What better way to ring in the new year than with bacon? These bacon and leek mini quiches from Pete Bakes! use a crust that even the most kitchen-phobic host(ess) can master.
- In case you are going for a bacon-themed party (which sounds like my kind of party), these asiago stuffed dates with bacon and smoked paprika are an instant party classic.
- Speaking of bacon and cheese, these gruyere cheese and bacon cheesy puffs are a decadent way to ring in 2012. Flaky, cheesy and with touches of pork? Who wouldn’t love ’em??
Wings, Brie, Pepper Crackers
- The lovely Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s party wings were the talk of a DC Food Blogger event last January. And rightly so. These Asian inspired wings are a delicate balance of sweet and salty on your tongue. Bonus? They’re super easy to throw together. The recipe calls for fermented black beans but if you can’t find them, don’t panic. I have made this recipe without the aforementioned beans and they were amazing.
- I love the look of these black raspberry brie-bites from Not Derby Pie. People will think you spent ages delicately putting them together but they are a breeze to assemble.
- These savory parmesan black pepper crackers from Jenna over at Modern Domestic pack quite a tasty punch. Pile them high in your favorite serving bowl for people to graze on as they toast their way into 2012.
- And to add a sweet cap to the evening, might I recommend hazelnut-chocolate chip blondies. Blondies are one of the easiest desserts to make and these have Nutella in them. NUTELLA!
- If you’d like to be a bit more ambitious with your New Year’s Eve dessert, this chocolate bourbon pound cake is just the ticket. Not only is it delicious, it will look beautiful on your new milk glass cake stand. I’m not the only one who asked Santa for one of those this year, am I?
So fear not, party host(ess) with the mostest! You can bang out phenomenal looking trays of appetizers in no time flat. Take a deep breath, plan out your menu and, most of all, enjoy yourself.
Have a safe and happy start to 2012, everyone!
Love it or hate it, New Year’s Eve is approaching. Personally, I can’t stand the hype with this overdone “holiday,” but I can always appreciate getting dressed up in a hot sequin dress and having great plans for an evening… be they movies on the couch, a nice dinner reservation or a real end-of-year blow out bash.
So knowing that everyone’s NYE deal is a little bit different, here are all of your best Bordersan bets for plans — ranging from chill to full-on rager.
Eating and Drinking
- Try to snag tickets to ChurchKey’s (1337 14th Street NW) New Years bash with bottomless beer, snacks, DJ and photobooth.
- Cork (1805 14th Street NW) is a good spot for an early or late dinner with New Year’s specials. Call or email for a reservation.
- Hank’s Oyster Bar and Lounge (1624 Q Street NW) is taking reservations for the 31st. You get a bottle of champagne.
- El Centro (1819 14th Street NW) is offering a three-course Mexican tasting menu in the dining room, drink specials on the roof, and a DJ spinning in the basement tequileria…plus brunch the next day. What more do you need? Email for reservations and pricing.
- Skip the open bar rip off and head to 1905 (1905 9th St. NW) for their annual New Year’s Eve dinner and party, including a three course prixe fixe menu ($55 per person) and easy cash bar all night. Email for more info and to make a rez.
- Special menu offerings at Logan Tavern and Commissary (1423 and 1443 14th Street NW).
- LivingSocial Gourmet is selling tickets to a New Year’s Eve Bash at duo Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black Jack bar (1612 14th St). There will be oysters, passed snacks, an open bar and, of course, bocce. Tickets here.
- The Capitol Deal is offering various packages for a dinner menu and/or open bar at Ulah Bistro for the night.
- Cobalt (17th and R NW) will host its RAW NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY with w/ DJs Bil Todd & Shea Van Horn plus Guest DJs Rich Morel & Matt Bailer. Time is 10 pm to 4 am ($10). More details in the comment section below.
New Year’s Eve Ball at Black Cat featuring Peaches O’Dell & Her Orchestra plus Tony Anthony & His Malvivants (great band names, huh?)
- Downtown Countdown at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave. NW) featuring Third Eye Blind, lots of food and open bars.
- BYT PRESENTS: DJs & Beer & Books at the old Borders store at the corner of 18th and L streets NW. $75 pre sale tix including an open bar are still available.
- NYE Liberation Dance Party at DC9 (1940 9th Street NW). $60 tickets for open bar, confetti cannons, and lots of dancing on each floor of the venue.
- Vegas Lounge (1415 P Street NW) featuring live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, party favors and a champagne toast. Doors open at 9:45 pm.
- Beat City is hosting a New Year’s Eve EVE party (so that’s Friday night, folks) with drink specials and an invitation to dance off the excess candy canes and latkes you ate all week.
- The Spanking Station at Colbalt (17th and R NW) with porn start Colby Keller. (Yes, that’s correct.) Starting at 11:30 pm, you can get spanked by porn star-art-scholar and big-shoe-scriber Colby Keller! ” He’ll be parting his curtains for any boy (or girl) that needs a good whack to “ring” in the New Year,” says Colbalt. “Spanks are free, but be sure to drop a couple bills in Colby’s red hand as you limp out of his station.” (We just report the news here, people.)
What are YOU doing for NYE? Let us know what we missed. Also, don’t forget to check out our Borderstan brunch guide for New Year’s Day plans. Have fun, be safe, and see you in 2012!