Sweet Re-Treat

You know you’ve reached adulthood when you’re the one handing out candy on Halloween. If there’s still a part of you that wants to hunt for sweets with hordes of sugar-amped Disney princesses and Marvel superheroes, you have a more sophisticated option: candy bar classics reimagined by local chefs. These are definitely not carbon copies. “They should be reminiscent of the original,” says Birch & Barley’s pastry chef, Tiffany MacIsaac, who puts a personal twist on a pair of long-loved confections. “But they need to be grown-up takes.” Here are our favorite reinventions that will make you feel like a kid again.

Jackie’s Sidebar

Pastry chef Carolyn Crow is a self-admitted fangirl. Looking to combine her love of geek culture with her passion for pastry, she set out to create a Batman candy bar for her Sweet Treat Sampler ($8). “No matter whether you’re talking about the comics or the movies, Batman is always going to be very dark, rich and insane,” she says. Her homage to the Caped Crusader has a dark chocolate ganache center with a crumbly base of ground-up pecan pralines and crisped rice. This is enrobed in even darker chocolate and topped with a white chocolate Bat-Signal. It’s a dessert worth fighting the Joker for.

Jackie’s Sidebar, 8081 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring; 301-565-9700. (Silver Spring)

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Photo courtesy of Plantains & Kimchi.


Seeds of Summer: D.C. Restaurants Get Creative With Watermelon


Hundreds of years ago, resourceful explorers used watermelons as canteens, because the hefty fruits are 92 percent H20 (the name might have been a clue). Today, watermelons are in high demand with a different type of adventurer — the culinary kind. Master chefs and mixologists are finding new ways to use the watermelon, which has taken a starring turn in everything from cooling cocktails to sunny salads. “Watermelon means summer to me,” says Härth’s executive chef, Tom Elder. “It’s a classic American fruit that we can all relate to.” Even when it’s unrecognizable.

“People don’t associate watermelon with Mediterranean cooking,” concedes head chef Michael Costa. “But it’s actually quite prevalent.” Case in point is the Aegean eatery’s seared Halloumi (a Greek cheese made with sheep’s and goat’s milk) and melon salata ($9.50). A slab of the griddled cheese sits at the center of the plate, surrounded by a ring of compressed watermelon cubes, light green squares of pickled watermelon rind and half orbs of roasted cherry tomato.
» 701 9th St. NW; 202-638-0800, Zaytinya.com.

Finish reading this piece and find out my other four watermelon picks by clicking over to the Express website now.