December 31, 2009

Cork and Snowflakes

The air was cold and still – the calm before the storm – as we walked to the restaurant. It was the night before the big snowstorm that brought this city to a halt. Jonathan and I were venturing out to have dinner at Cork Restaurant & Wine Bar on 14th Street.

We arrived at our destination and escaped the cold. The atmosphere of Cork is cozy and rustic with a dark wood and brick interior. We were promptly seated and began reviewing the menu. (Call 30 minutes prior to your arrival to place your name on the wait list.)

The wine list contains a many different options from all over the globe, but focuses on European wines. We ordered wine flights off the chalkboard by the bar. While I enjoyed the selections I received, Jonathan was less excited. However, he was happy with the wine he ordered by the glass after that. Coming from California we are used to seeing more wines from that region, the Pacific Northwest, Australia, or New Zealand on the menu. I found the increased choices from European vintners a welcome change for me.

Now, for food, we ordered several different tapas to share. By far our favorite food item was the sauteed mushrooms. They were wonderful – wild mushrooms perfectly prepared with marjoram and madeira. After finishing our first order, we asked our server to bring more! In addition we enjoyed the oil-cured tomatoes on grilled bread. This dish was also intensely flavorful and good to share. Other tapas we tried were the cheese plate, the charcuterie selection, and the duck. While everything was good, the mushrooms and oil-cured tomatoes were most memorable and what I look forward to going back to eat again soon!

And then we ordered dessert. Even though there was an good sounding chocolate dessert on the menu I selected the goat cheese cake. It turned out to be an excellent decision! The cheesecake was creamy and delicious with a subtle goat cheese flavor.

By the time we left Cork, we walked out into a winter wonderland. While we were dining the snowflakes had begun to fall and the city was blanketed in a sparkling layer of white!

December 30, 2009

December 29, 2009

Teatime in Georgetown

ching ching CHA, the small Chinese teahouse on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown, is named after its founder – ching ching – and the Chinese word for tea – CHA. Offering over 70 different teas and simple food items this is a wonderful place to go for lunch or an afternoon cup of tea.

In contrast to the bustling streets outside, ching ching CHA is an oasis of calm. I first went here with my step-sister several years ago. And more recently, I stopped here with my husband after an afternoon of Christmas shopping. We sat down and ordered tea and almond cookies. ching ching CHA serve and sell a wide variety of – green, black, and white teas, oolong and pu-erh teas, tisanes, and ginseng. I seleted the Hibiscus tisane and Jonathan got the Harmony tisane. Both infusions were wonderful – rich and aromatic. We thoroughly enjoyed our tea and relaxing in the tranquil atmosphere!

ching ching CHA is a perfect respite from the crowds and energy of Georgetown.

December 22, 2009

Chocolate in the Nation's Capital

As it may be apparent from previous postings, I love chocolate. During my flying career I was always searching for new and delicious chocolates all over the world. Now that I am no longer flying I have to search for my favorite chocolates at local shops.

Shortly after arriving in Washington my aunt brought me to Biagio Fine Chocolate, a small chocolate shop on 18th Street near Dupont Circle. I immediately loved this shop! They have an excellent selection of high quality chocolates from all over the globe. I was excited to see that they carry some of my favorite brands including Domori, Blanxart, Michel Cluizel,Vosges Haut Chocolat, and Weiss. In addition, I discovered some brands that were new to me – such as Pacari and Rogue Chocolatier – on their shelves.

This is the place I intend to go when I want to buy chocolate for gifts – or just to eat – now that I live in Washington!

18th Street in Adams Morgan

Adams Morgan, Washington, District of Columbia

December 15, 2009

Regal Bridge

Taft Bridge, Washington, District of Columbia

Dinner at Siroc

I am settling into my new home city – Washington, DC. While I have been becoming accustomed to cooler weather, learning to find my way around, and the many other aspects of acquainting myself to a new place, I have been remiss about blogging. It is not that I have had nothing to write about – quite the contrary – but I have been short on time. That said, I will try to be more diligent going forward.

So, on to my first post about Washington DC. I have decided to write about Siroc Restaurant on McPherson Square. At my aunt's suggestion we met here for dinner to celebrate our successful move to and arrival in the nation's capital.

Jonathan and I arrived at Siroc first and were led to our table. The restaurant is small and modern with a welcoming atmosphere. The cuisine is modern Italian.

After all members of our dinner party were seated the waiter brought over a small dish of tiny raviolis in a wonderful green cream sauce for each person. It was great start to the meal! All the food was very good, but the pasta was amazing. The appetizer I tried – the potato, thyme, and onion torte – was very good and my dinner companions also liked the beef rolls. I ordered the spinach fettuccine with tomatoes and artichokes. (On the menu this dish has shrimp and pancetta in it, but the staff happily served those ingredients on the side for my non-vegetarian friends!) The fettuccine was just perfect – it was wonderful! That said, Jonathan ordered a non-pasta dish (veal) and thoroughly enjoyed it too.

Moving onto dessert... We ordered the warm chocolate tart and the hazelnut chocolate mousse. The tart was a rich, dark chocolate and the chocolate mousse was a creamy milk chocolate. Both were fantastic!

The overall meal was wonderful – it was a perfect celebration! The food was amazing and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable. I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Siroc!

December 1, 2009

The Next Adventure

I am writing this blog entry on the airplane. My husband and I are flying from San Francisco International Airport to Washington Dulles Airport. After living in San Francisco for four years I am now moving. Sitting here on the airplane next to Jonathan I am reminded of all the good changes that have come into my life since moving to California. The last few years have been a wonderful whirlwind of experiences – and living in the bay area has been great. But, now it is time for a change.

Washington DC is an amazing city. I have had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time there in the past and I look forward to now calling this city my home! For me this is an exciting time to be moving to our nation's capital – just over a year ago Barack Obama was elected to be the 44th President of the United States becoming the first minority to hold this office. The event of his election gave me a great deal of hope.

So, today Jonathan and I officially start calling Washington DC home! I am looking forward to exploring the city, rediscovering the museums, and sharing a new home city with my husband. While I have lived on the east coast before – in Boston and several other areas of New England – this will be Jonathan's first time calling an east coast city home. I look forward to shopping in Georgetown, having tea in Dupont Circle, walking along the National Mall, and having dinner in Adams Morgan. And I am excited to be sharing this experience with Jonathan!