Top Ten Ways You Know You’re a Diehard D.C. Foodie

10. You know how to correctly pronounce Cathal and Rasika.

9. You’ve stood in line for two hours to spend an hour eating at Little Serow.

8. When you say you’re getting Baked & Wired, you have no intention of smoking a joint and then doing a line of coke.

7. You’ve eaten a Chivito, Luther, or half smoke…after midnight.

6. You follow both @chefjoseandres and @nowayjoseandres on Twitter.

5. You’ve driven all the way to Frederick just to eat at one of Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurants.

4. You have seen Carla Hall at the Silver Spring Whole Foods and had to stop yourself from yelling, “Hootie hoo!”

3. You make reference to Tom and Todd in conversation as if you know them and expect everyone around you to know whom you’re talking about.

2. You have paid $20 for a sandwich…from a food truck.

1. Your diet regularly includes pepperoni sauce, lamb carpaccio with Caesar salad ice cream, and crème brûlée doughnuts.


Out of the Kitchen: Local Chefs Playing a Different Tune

There’s a natural music in the kitchen—the rhythm of knives, the hum of the meat slicer, the sizzle of the grill. Some chefs keep rocking out after their shifts. These four are just as comfortable playing music as they are wielding a boning knife.

Vikram Sunderam: Chef at Rasika and Rasika West End

Instrument: Tabla, an Indian-style pair of drums.

His learning process: “If I hear something often enough, I can play it.”

Tip for tabla mastery: “You play with your hands, so you have to have skillful fingers.”

Influences: Indian tabla maestros Zakir Hussain and Alla Rakha.

Where he plays now: “I have a tabla set and a drum kit at home, so I definitely keep the neighbors up.”

What he listens to in the kitchen: Pop, rock, Bollywood tunes, Hindi music.

Finish reading this story on Washingtonian‘s Best Bites blog now.


Dirty Dishing: Rasika West End’s Ashok Bajaj and His Sculpture Snafu

Tragicomic insider stories about the trials, tribulations, and just plain weird stuff that happens when you run a restaurant.

Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj is a seasoned pro when it comes to opening up new hotspots. Over more than two decades, he has built an empire that includes long-loved and well-lauded dining destinations such as Rasika, the Oval Room, and Bibiana.

Despite this record of success, he still runs into some problems. When it came time to design a sister location to Rasika located in the West End, Bajaj didn’t want it to be a carbon copy of the original. So he worked with designers to create a singular space full of grand gestures – literally.

Finish reading this story on CityEats’ Plate blog now.


Yuletide Froth for All: Eggnog Without the Carton

20101216-eggnog-250This holiday season, eggnog is getting trendy and tasty updates from mixologists all over the city.

At the newly merged Ardeo+Bardeo, sommelier and manager Tim Galvin is shaking together Stoli Vanilla, eggnog and pumpkin puree to create Pumpkin Eggnog. Served on the rocks with cinnamon sprinkled on top, “it has those warm autumn colors and flavors,” Galvin explains. “Those always heat people up when it’s cold outside.”

Eggnog’s European roots don’t mean bartenders from elsewhere around the globe can’t put their own stamps on it. Jason Storch at Indian restaurant Rasika has injected his version with the style of the subcontinent by using a date-infused cognac and date puree. Served in a snifter, the nog is finished off with just a smidge of black sea salt speckling the top. Read on over at the Express website.