Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cleveland Park Metro Elevator Out of Service til May

Really, WMATA? Really?

When I read our Cleveland Park Metro elevator was being replaced, I thought "Cool. It has been hit or miss lately."

But then I saw this on WMATA's website:

Is it me, or does it not seem like it should take five months to replace an elevator? I mean, the hole is dug. Remove the old. Assemble the new. Rock on.

In the mean time, I feel terrible for folks with disabilities and the elderly neighbors that rely on it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Years Eve at Medium Rare: Steak & Champagne

When I asked Medium Rare's Mark Bucher about their New Year's Eve plans, I should have known he'd "go contrarian and not gouge people." After all, the Cleveland Park steak mecca didn't make their name on gobs of options... just doing what they do... really well.
Medium Rare

Medium Rare is offering their usual $19.50 set menu of rustic bread, mixed green salad and prime dry aged sirloin cap steak with hand cut fries. Want to kick it up a notch for the festive occasion, Bucher will throw in a bottle of Champagne and your whole tab will be just $40 per person (based on a party of two.)

My tip: Pace yourself and save room for their enormous, decadent classic America desserts like carrot cake, apple pie, hot fudge sundae, double chocolate fudge layer cake and New York cheesecake.

Medium Rare normally doesn't require reservations, but due to anticipated volume, will be taking reservations for New Year's Eve on Open Table or by calling the restaurant at (202) 237-1432.

Medium Rare is located at 3500 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington. DC at Cleveland Park Metro.

All Inclusive New Years Eve at District 2

If you're getting a big crew together in Cleveland Park for New Years and don't want to deal with coordination hassles, District 2's deal might be for you.

District 2 Bar & Grill
They've made it super easy, by allowing people to buy individual tickets or group booths via EventBrite - and it's an all-inclusive deal!  I mean, all you want to eat and drink on New Year's Eve for just $75... that's kind of awesome if you're planning on rockin' out. I might want a little more control of my personal space, so I'd opt for one of the 10, 6 or 5 person booths.

If you get your friends coordinated today (December 20th), you can buy three tickets and get one free.

District 2 is located at 3238 Wisconsin Avenue NW (cross street: Macomb) in Washington, DC.

Dino Offers Five Courses of Fun for New Years Eve

If you choose to ring in the New Year at Dino, one thing is certain, you will not leave hungry. The Cleveland Park Italian restaurant, voted Washingtonian’s Readers Favorite in2011 for Best Restaurant, will be serving five full courses, plus a few surprises along the way.

You’ll kick things off a splash of prosecco and a “bar snack,” but I recommending ordering one of Andrew’s famous cocktails as well.

Next comes a vegetarian lentil and gorgonzola soup. The lentils signify coins and riches for the coming year, so make sure you eat every bite! And, the gorgonzola has been aged 200 days and I hear it tastes amazing.

For each of the principal courses, you can choose between a seafood, meat and vegetarian selection, so diners of all stripes will be happy. Options will include black truffles, house made charcuterie and sausage, seasonal vegetables and other locally sourced ingredients.

Dino will wrap things up with house chocolate truffles, made by an Italian producers using a single origin Peruvian chocolate!

For more information, including full menu and pricing, visit Dino’s “Buon Capo D’Anno Da Dino!”website.

Dino is located at 3435 Connecticut Avenue NW, right across Ordway Street from Cleveland Park Metro. Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling the restaurant at 202-686-2966.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

TO DO: Christmas Eve Contest at Medium Rare

Christmas-ing in Cleveland Park and just gotta get out of the house? Head on down to Medium Rare in your WORST, tackiest, most ridiculous Christmas sweater and you could be a big winner (of food, not attention from the opposite sex).

Everyone donning Christmas themed sweaters will get free Egg Nog, but the worst of the worst will score a $150 in Medium Rare gift cards.

And if your entire family is the first one through the door wearing matching sweaters, Medium Rare will buy ya dinner:

Follow Medium Rare on Twitter for more fun deals and treats! Medium Rare is Cleveland Park's hottest steak joint, located at the 3500 Connecticut Avenue, right at Cleveland Park Metro. Check out their menu at

Power Outage in Cleveland Park

My Christmas tree lights flickered and New Girl on DVR just went dark. A quick neighborhood canvas showed neighbors lights were out too, so I went to to report the outage.

Pepco's iPhone app Outage Map
Upside is, they know about it. Right now it's affecting 650 homes. A crew has been assigned to figure out the issue.

When you register your outage, they give you a choice to receive a phone call when power is restored. Pretty convenient so that you can go run errands or visit friends (ones that have heat and TV.)

Pepco's website says they expect power to be back on around noon. Now, what should a gal and a very small dog do for the next few hours?

UPDATE 11:08am: My power is back on at Ordway Gardens. Happy dance. Lesson learned... Pepco has an iPhone (and Droid and Berry) app. You can easily report outages, get updates and see maps of areas affected right from your smart lil phone. Who needs electricity? I mean, until you have to recharge.

Monday, December 5, 2011

To Do: Be The First to See "New Years Eve" and Help Woodley House

Looking for a laid back, fun night out this week? Thursday night at the Uptown, catch a special advance screening of the celeb-laden new flick, New Year's Eve. In addition to catching the romantic comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert De Niro, Jessica Biel, Michelle Pfieffer, Zac Efron, Cary Elwes (*squee* Princess Bride fans!), Alyssa Milano and (that dawg) Ashton Kutcher, you'll also be helping an amazing neighboring charity, Woodley House

The night kicks off at 5:30pm at Spices for a reception and then the movies opens at 7:30pm and will be hosted by CNN's Dana Bash.
Movie Night at The Uptown Theater

All proceeds go to Woodley House, a local non-profit that helps people with mental health problems reclaim their lives. Each year, they help more than 300 people at their residential facility!

More information and tickets are available on the Woodley House website. (There are many levels, including just catching the movie in the balcony.) 

Follow Woodley House on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on their good work.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fall at Rosedale Conservancy in Cleveland Park

One of my favorite finds since moving to Cleveland Park is Rosedale Conservancy, three-acres of terraced lawn hidden in our neighborhood since the 18th century. Through this gate, you enter rolling hills and secret spaces that are protected from development.
It is a privately-funded park that is supported solely by the neighborhood. As soon as I found out, I contributed to keep the space "as is" and even paid a little extra for Ike to be able to get his Rosedale dog tags. It's his favorite spot to stretch his legs and run all four pounds he's got a rocket launcher speed.
It's hard to say what season is the best at Rosedale, but fall is certainly gorgeous with the leaf lined paths and colors of the trees. (But sledding down the hills when it snows is up there too!) There are community events year round, such as Easter egg hunts and cookouts.
To learn more about Rosedale Conservancy or to help support it, visit the website... or better yet, just drop by (there are membership forms right by the entrance gate.
The main entrance to Rosedale Conservancy is located on Newark Street at the corner of 35th Street.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich at Jetties Express

The Nobadeer Sandwich at Jetties (photo credit: Tammy Gordon) 
The picture speaks for itself, but the Nobadeer sandwich at Jetties Express comes with carved turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce with mayonnaise and is served on sourdough bread.

Jetties Express is located at 3708 Macomb Street NW, just off Wisconsin Avenue (in the same location as Something Sweet.)  They also have free delivery Monday - Friday from 11am to 2pm for orders over $40, so if you work nearby, take note!

Cleveland Park Christmas Trees

There are two things I'm looking for in a Christmas tree - one is looks, the other is ease of getting it to my house. Here's a running list of where you can get your tree right here in Cleveland Park:

  • Brookville Market on Connecticut near Ordway Street has Christmas trees and poinsettas for sale now, if you want to get an early jump on decorating.

My Christmas Tree 2010

  • Eaton Elementary School Playground at 34th Street & Lowell is selling a large variety of trees including Douglas Fir, Canaan, Fraser, Balsam, Scotch and White Pine. They also have balsam wreaths in multiple sizes and pine roping for really draping your house in the holiday spirit. Purchases can be made the first two weekends in December and - bonus - benefit Eaton's resource programs.

Where else have you spotted trees for sale in our neighborhood?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Deals in Cleveland Park

Sick of turkey? Saunter up to Dino today through Thursday, December 1, 2011 and owner Dean Gold will celebrate the Cleveland Park restaurant's 7th anniversary with you by offering a $30 family style meal.
Risotto from Dino
(Kids up to $11 pay their age - did you know that's always the case at Dino?)

You'll get salad, soup and meatballs to kick things off. Then chicken with citrus, ginger and garlic, beef cannelloni and risotto. For dessert, you'll be served Dino's tiramisu and gelato.

And just like home, you can get seconds for no extra charge. So, pop by and see Dean and Kay. Wish them a happy anniversary and let them know how much we love having them as part of our neighborhood.

Dino is located at 3435 Connecticut Avenue NW (at Ordway Street), right across the street from Cleveland Park Metro. Follow Dean Gold on Facebook and Twitter. Reservations via Open Table.


  • Medium Rare is opening at noon for lunch with free Champagne for adults and free sundaes for the kids! (Also, they've got hot cider!)
  • City Fitness is waiving initiation fee today and giving you an extra five weeks free (Lord knows we need it after all of that Thanksgiving food!)
  • Cafe Deluxe is open for a rare Friday brunch.
Seen other deals, let us know in the comments or tweet em to @CPUptownGirl!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fall Holiday Cocktails at Dino

One of my favorite things about Dino is how the menu changes with the seasons. The bar, thanks to Andrew Shapiro at the helm, also follows the seasons. I love walking in and saying "bartender's choice" because I know I'll get something unique, inventive and tasty.

This evening, I got a delicious organic cranberry-ginger-rosemary vodka concoction with a gorgeous garnish. Go by this week to see Andrew - tell him what you love and he'll make something special for you! Follow Andrew at @ShapsinDC & @DinoDC on Twitter to get up-to-the-minute updates

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Music at the Metro

Am I the only one who gets a kick out of music at the Metro? It's usually reserved for hot spots like Dupont Circle and Penn Quarter, but earlier this week, I snapped a shot of this trio rockin' it out in our own Cleveland Park.

Here's hoping they come back soon!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tonight, Brought to You by Takeout...

Between travel, events, friend visits and work, sometimes, you just need a night in.  Tonight, it's spring rolls and papaya salad from Paragon Thai paired with a Keis Gruner Viltliner from Weygandt Wines.

This will pair perfectly with embarrassing TV on my DVR and a date with my dog. Cheers!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Must Try: Eastern Shore Corn Risotto with Squash Blossoms at Dino

As much as I like to restaurant and bar hop, Dino has become a bit of a home away from home. Owners Dean and Kay are so nice and passionate about their food. The bartenders, Sam and Andrew, are always welcoming and serving up creative cocktails... and the patio is puppy-friendly, a key point for this dog obsessed Cleveland Parker.

I've been to the Sunday brunch many times. Normally, I'm a brunch classic kinda gal, but after an afternoon of exercise I didn't want to blow all of that work on the decadent Breakfast Bread Pudding. I love how wide open the brunch is - for just $25 you get three courses. And you can mix and match starters, entrees or pastas, cocktails or desserts... whatever you like, Dino will make it happen. (Heads up, they do the same for Restaurant Week which is coming up Aug. 15-20.)

This time around, I started with the Canteloupe Rickey and the Insalata Forte, made with local greens. But the stand out was the Eastern Shore Corn Risotto with Squash Blossoms:

Eastern Corn Risotto (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Like much of Dino's food, it's made with seasonal ingredients that are only available a few weeks a year - so top by and try it while you can!

Follow Dino on Facebook, Twitter and via Dean's famous email newsletter for the latest new specials and menu items.

Dino is located at 3435 Connecticut Avenue, just across Ordway Street from Cleveland Park Metro. Book a reservation on Open Table.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ladies Who Lunch at Indique

I met my friend McCealaig for lunch last week and we had such a nice meal at Indique, I just had to share it with you all. I normally think of Indique for dinner, but during lunch it's got gorgeous light streaming through the windows and is more intimate for catching up on all of the girl gossip!

 When I arrived, I had a Pink Martini waiting for me and the first course had been ordered. (See, this is why it's great to have foodie friends that take control!)

The first thing that arrived were these adorable little crab cones. OK, that's what I called them, they are really called Crab Papad Roll and use Maryland crab with shallots, chiles and coconut, all wrapped up in a papery thin cone!

Crab Papad Roll (photo: Tammy Gordon)
 Next, we had the Mini Oothapam, a savory pancake with ground lentils and rice.  You can get a vegetarian version or one with chicken, both served with chutneys and side dips!
(photo: Tammy Gordon)
For my entree, I chose the Tamilnad Fish Curry, prepared with hearty fish fillets, fenugreek, onions, tomato and tamarind.
(photo: Tammy Gordon)
I had been tweeting up a storm, as I often do, and Chef K.N. Vinod must have seen it because all of the sudden this amazing pastry with a honey and ice cream side showed up on the house. Well, huge thanks chef, because we're now going to have to add this to our regular order!
(photo: Tammy Gordon)
You can follow Indique on Facebook, follow Chef Vinod on Twitter and read his blog.

Indique is located at 3512 Connecticut Avenue NW, right at the feet of Cleveland Park Metro.

PS. Don't miss half-price wine bottles on Sundays!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wanted: Burly Men to Trade Brawn for Pedicures

See Nam's Posh Nails. I love me some new pedicure chairs, but seems like we are having a little trouble getting past the lobby.

Men of Cleveland Park, help the ladies out!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tackle Box Cleveland Park Opening TONIGHT! Or Maybe Tomorrow?

UPDATE: No, really, its NOT TONIGHT. We're hearing they got hung up one more day and the real opening (crossing fingers) is going to be June 3rd.

No, really, it's opening tonight. Tackle Box announced on their Facebook page today that the Cleveland Park location is open for business.

It's four times as big as the Georgetown location, so hopefully it can handle the neighborhood barrage. I, for one, am excited about the shrimp tacos and blueberry pie. Check out Foodspotting's Tackle Box photos to get a better sense of their menu!

My last meal at Tackle Box Georgetown: Fish Tacos, Sweet Potato Fries & Blueberry Pie (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Reports from the Cleveland Park list serve crew that went to the tasting last night were positive - especially the friendly staff that took the crowds in stride.

I've got my PR Running class tonight, but might stop in afterwards (what? I'll have worked it off - don't judge!). Anyone else planning on going to opening night?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Farmers Market Demo by Dino's Dean Gold PLUS Recipe

This morning Cleveland Park took over the Dupont Circle Farmers Market! Last night when I was at Dino for dinner (grilled veggie antipasti, stuffed squash blossoms, soft shells, asparagus pasta, oh my!), Dean mentioned he was doing the market demo this morning, so Ike and I were there promptly at 11am.

Most Sunday mornings I'm at the market and you're lucky if the chefs doing demos even grunt at you as their team passes out samples. (No offense... a lot of chefs are gruff by nature!) Dean delighted the crowd with a dissertation on kitchen basics, why local ingredients matter, an extra recipe for squash blossoms, his market demo of Mustard Green Soup with Rice (recipe below) and an encore history of garlic scapes and how to cook with them (you can use them like green beans - who knew?)

Dino's Dean Gold cooking down mustard greens for his Mustard Green Soup (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Everyone from food bloggers to market shoppers to Cleveland Park neighbors hung out in the grass and took it in like a college class. After we tasted the soup and said our goodbyes, we went off to shop the stalls more inspired than we arrived.
Cleveland Parkers: Andrew Shapiro, Chad Hamilton & Jenna Sauber (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Dean Gold's Mustard Green Soup With Rice
Serves 8


  • 2 quarts mustard green leaves in 2 inch strips
  • 1/2 onion sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup carrot rounds
  • 2 cups good tomato sauce
  • 4 cups veggie stock
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriacha sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped sage
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Optional: lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Jasmine rice boiled til al dente
  • 2 cups shredded grana cheese


  1. Saute onions and carrots in olive oil til they begin to soften.
  2. Add mustard greens and stir fry til well coated with oil and wilted.
  3. Add tomato sauce and veggie stock to cover. Add half the seasoned salt, sage and parsley. Simmer 2 hours or more until the greens are wilted and very well cooked. 
  4. Adjust seasoning and add remaining herbs. If needed, add a little lemon juice for brightness. The soup should be a bit spicy. 
  5. If serving hot, add 1-2 tablespoons of cooked rice and 1/4 cup grana cheese to each bowl
Dino is located at the corner of Connecticut and Ordway Street in Cleveland Park. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Have You Seen the Flower Thief?

This is a guest post by Cleveland Park neighbor, Marcia Stein:

Several recent Listserv postings alerted us about a neighborhood flower thief and provided a description of a possible suspect - a short, white male, about 60 years old with wavy salt and pepper hair. Someone, perhaps the same individual, made his/her annual visit to the Newark Street Community Garden in the past two days, stealing some 50 peony stems from several garden plots, stripping bushes clean of all stems with flowers and or buds. It is difficult to understand how this person goes unnoticed, walking thru the gardens located between the 2nd District Police Station and the Newark Street dog park, a children's playground, and across the street from the McLean Gardens condos, where people are out and about at all hours, especially early in the morning walking their dogs -- which is when we suspect the thief appears.

One McLean Gardens resident has seen a man fitting the given description leaving the community garden, arms loaded with flowers. The previous Listserv postings sited the same man in various neighborhood locations including the Glover Park trail behind McLean Gardens, walking with armloads of unwrapped flowers in the early morning hours, and even cutting hydrangeas from people's home gardens, then quickly walking away. 

Let's protect our properties and catch this thief. If you see someone fitting this description who looks suspicious e.g. walking with an armload of unwrapped flowers, especially in the early morning hours in or near the Community Garden, please call 911 and take a picture of the suspect if you can. 

If you have any information, please e-mail

Monday, May 16, 2011

DEALS: Discounted Group Running Programs in Cleveland Park

Running is one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. It doesn't cost a monthly fee like a gym. I can take my dog or go with friends... but I'm not a *good* runner and I slack every winter. So, today's Groupon has my name all over it.

PR Training Programs are located right in the Sam's shopping center right at Cleveland Park metro - and they offer three different levels, depending on your skill set.

I see these people... all healthy and laughing in their PR shirts and I've always wondered how to get in on it. Well, I'm about to! Get your Groupon here and join me. I need motivation.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

TO DO: Barton Seaver Book Signing & Wine Tasting This Friday

I'm beach bound this weekend, but one thing I'm bummed I'm missing in Cleveland Park is Chef Barton Seaver's book signing this Friday, May 13 from 6-8pm at Weygandt Wines.

I'm kind of a Barton Seaver junkie. Not only is he a super talented, local chef (and then man who started Hook, Tacklebox and Blue Ridge menus) but he's a HUGE global advocate for sustainable seafood.

Chef Barton Seaver (photo:
What the hell is sustainable seafood and why should you care? Well... if you have a favorite fish, you should care. Basically, the "trendy" fish are being overfished and are threatened in their environment. In some cases, invasive species (people, dumping Nemo in the Potomac... bad idea) with no natural enemy are taking over their space and driving the natural species (the ones we like to eat for dinner) out. My most popular blog post over on Florida Girl in DC was actually about Chef Seaver's plan to fish the invasive lionfish out of existence.

Anyway, this hugely talented (adorable) local chef is going to be in OUR NEIGHBORHOOD... so get down there and say hello. He'll be signing copies of his newest cookbook For Cod & Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking and Weygandt will be offering complimentary wine tastings.  The cookbook is organized by month and features recipes with fish and ingredients that should be harvested at that time. Brilliant!

For Cod & Country (photo:
Weygandt Wines is located at 3519 Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC, right at Cleveland Park Metro.  Get all of the details on the Facebook event page here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Peonies Popping in Cleveland Park

My favorite spring flower spotted on Macomb Street is getting me psyched for the farmers markets the next two weeks. I can't wait to have a nice big bowl of these on my coffee table.

(photo: Tammy Gordon)
Related: watch out for the flower bandit! Take a pic if you spot him. (There's a guy who strips our neighborhood yards of their awesome flowers)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

So, I Guess Burritos Are the New Nail Salons?

Cleveland Park isn't that large. Why does all of the good open real estate keep going to the same types of businesses?

Unless you've been living under a rock (or offline), you know that Chipotle is eyeing the old Cereal Bowl space. Chipotle. They sell burritos. Just like California Tortilla. And Alero. We already have FIVE Chipotle locations in a two mile radius of my condo. 

And, I still can't get a decent cup of coffee. Sigh.

Go to All Life is Local and vote on whether or not you think Chipotle should get the space and leave me a note in the comments (below) and let me know what you'd *like* to see in the hood instead.

TODAY: Rose Wine Tasting at Weygandt Wines til 4pm

I swear, I just left the house to take Ike for a walk and pick up a goat cheese salad and macaron at Cacao... but somehow I ended up swishing roses at Weygandt Wines. You can too, until 4pm today!

They are offering five different roses to taste (decent pours, to boot) and you get a special discount on any of the tasting bottles you buy.

So, what came home with me? A 2010 Markowitsch from Austria ( 50% Blaufrankisch, 30% Cabernet Savignon and 20% Zweigelt) and a 2010 Domaine Les Aphillanthes Cotes du Rhone are now chilling in my refrigerator.

Oh, and yes, I remembered Ike too.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Favorite Delivery in Cleveland Park: Paragon Thai

We've got lots of amazing food in our neighborhood, but not a ton of delivery options. On my rotating roster are Spices, Siam House, Fresh Med, Dominos and my clutch player: Paragon Thai.

While I love green curry and drunken noodles, one day I tried their "Tofu Lovers" on the Chef's Specials menu and fell in lust. Now, I live in fear that the special will one day go away.  Way too much thought goes into meeting and lobbying the Paragon Thai owners into making it a regular menu staple.

Paragon Thai's Tofu Lovers Special with a side of Crispy Spring Rolls
It's not that I'm a vegetarian... it's just that good. Spicy. Sweet. and topped with crunchy fried Thai basil leaves.

What's your favorite delivery order in Cleveland Park? (Or who do you *wish* would deliver *cough cough* Vace)

Paragon Thai is located at 3507 Connecticut Avenue NW in the Sam's Park & Shop. They validate parking, but are so close to Metro, why bother driving?

DEALS: Instant Deals in Cleveland Park by Living Social

I'm pretty sure everyone's heard of Living Social - the website/app where you can get daily deep discounts. Well, now they've launched something called Instant Deals where you have a limited amount of time to get a deal. This morning's, for instance is, spend $3 get $6 at Cacao, but you have to use at lunch during a specific time window. If you're flexible though, it's a great way to save some money.

Here's the link for Cleveland Park Instant Deals. LINK HERE

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Springtime Sunday Brunch at Palena in Cleveland Park

I'm a brunch girl, so I'm happy to see so many Cleveland Park restaurants getting in the game. I've tried Dino (love the breakfast bread pudding), Medium Rare (egg frites and a bloody mary), and as of today, Palena.

I started off with a cute patio table on the most gorgeous spring day. From there, things only went up. I ordered a cup of coffee and a lemon glazed donut. I love that you can by by-the-donut for $2.00 because it was huge. I can definitely see myself sitting at the bar with coffee, a donut and my iPad for a lazy Sunday ahead.

While I dilly-dallied with the next menu choice, my dog Ike napped in the sun. It was a tough choice. I mean, Chef Frank Ruta's version of Bacon and Eggs involved pork belly, coddled egg and ramps. But, I die for their cheeseburgers and the brunch version comes topped with a fried duck egg.

I decided to dance with the one that brought me there... but I'll be back to check out the Bacon and Eggs, as well as the pizzas and other options soon. Pretty sure once my friends see this photo, I won't have trouble finding a dining companion to meet me.

Palena is located at 3529 Connecticut Avenue, right at the Cleveland Park Metro stop. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter or read the full brunch menu here (pdf). Brunch hours are from 11:30am - 2:30pm.

Live in Cleveland Park, follow me on Facebook & Twitter for the latest happenings in the 'hood.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Neighborhood Round Up

Lots of stuff happening in Cleveland Park as we barrel towards spring, here's a quick round up:

Today's Groupon is $25 for five "drop in" classes at Hot Yoga. I don't know about you, but the closer I get to the beach, the more I'm thinking about how to get in better shape. Yoga's one option that actually makes me feel so much stronger - physically and emotionally. Get yours here.

Tax day cometh and if you're like me (and haven't started), you'll need a cocktail. Ardeo + Bardeo's concocted a special drink called The Refund and is offering it for $8 on April 18th only. It's made with Bacardi Silver Rum, fresh lime juice, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and cranberry... that ought to take the edge off. 

The Refund Cocktail at Ardeo + Bardeo

Brunch Wars are on. Last Sunday, Palena started serving brunch on Sundays from 11:30am-2:30pm. Last week had a small hiccup that resulted in the fire department showing up (no worries, just forgot to open a kitchen vent), but rebounded nicely as reports of fresh, homemade donuts surfaced.

Scream 4 is taking over the screen at the Uptown. I'm not a big scary movie fan, but the Scream franchise always had a great cast and an element of fun, so MAYBE, just MAYBE, I'll check it out. Showtimes and ticket info here. Reviews here.

Ripple announced on Twitter that strawberries are in the house, and more importantly hitting their cocktails.

Job hunters and seafood fans alike will be happy to know that Tacklebox is nearing completion. They are hiring servers and cooks, so stop by the new location on Connecticut in between Ordway & Macomb. I, for one, am pulling for a rooftop Crackle Bar!

Dino's got wild, sustainable Alaskan Halibut on the menu - grilled with Tuscan pesto! - while it lasts.

Finally, today is perfect for patios. Here's what I know is serving al fresco this evening: District 2 Bar, Cactus Cantina, Dino, Alero, Cleveland Park Bar & Grill roof and more. Enjoy the evening - I hear tomorrow's gonna be wet and gray (again)....

Friday, April 8, 2011

Springtime Daffodils

These daffs know it's spring, time for the temps to catch up! I'm in the mood for patios and sundresses.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NEWS: Palena to Start Serving Brunch

Yep, we are experiencing a wealth of fabulous brunches neighbors. From Dino's amazing breakfast bread pudding, to the Steak & Egg Frites at Medium Rare, to a simple almond croissant at Cacao... and now Frank Ruta has to go and up the ante.

Palena just announced on their Facebook page that they'll be serving their inaugural brunch this Sunday from 10:30am to 2:30pm. Will you be there to check it out?

If you do, tell me what you think!

Palena is located at 3529 Connecticut Avenue, right outside of the Cleveland Park metro stop. Follow Palena on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest announcements (including their upcoming market!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

DEAL: 50% Off at Cacao in Cleveland Park

Today's Living Social deal in Washington is for our own Cacao Chocolates & Pastries. (Though, I think the best thing they've got are the macarons and fresh squeezed orange juice.)

Get your 50% voucher here and feed your sweet tooth.

All of my photos are of their pastries, but they also have wonderful sandwiches and salads... and *spring swoon* a patio.

Cacao is located at 3508 Connecticut Avenue between Ordway and Porter. It's right outside of the Cleveland Park metro. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for announcements and deals.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PREVIEW: Brunch at Medium Rare

I was graciously allowed an early bite today as Medium Rare, Cleveland Park's new steak frites bistronomie, put their staff through a dress rehearsal.

Brunch sticks to their simple menu theme and is affordable at $14.50. Each item comes with their soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside rustic bread and your choice of yogurt parfait (suprisingly good!), fresh fruit or salad. Currently, the brunch line up includes Steak Frites (with a poached egg if you so desire), Medium Rare Benedict (steak, portabello mushroom, poached egg, red pepper & hollandaise) or Egg Frites (three perfectly poached eggs topped with their secret sauce (gravy-ish) and fries. Those were all solid choices - and if you're a meat and potatoes kinda gal/guy, you are really going to dig this joint.

I'm not, but I still think I'm going to like it. (Vegetarian options nightly will include portabello mushrooms topped with red pepper and their secret sauce, plus frites)

First off, the staff was incredibly welcoming, gracious and astute. They rarely missed a beat and I already feel at home in the warm, chic space (Yanni, who?). I adore the red exposed brick walls, inviting windows and smart bistro tables. The bar invites you to pull up a stool for a glass of wine or pint of beer. And, the bloody mary was one of the best I've had in recent memory (if you are a horseradish slore like me, you'll go nuts on it).

Lastly, though in my book it might go first, desserts. We tried the carrot cake and the apple pie. I think my live tweet said it best: After I have my way with Medium Rare's carrot cake, I want to go home and spoon it. It's huge, so there's another serving in my fridge and I just might do that.

My only complaint was that the menu wasn't sourced. I like knowing where my ingredients come from and the staff couldn't tell me what farm their beef came from. Nerdy locavore question, I realize, but if I had one thing to improve upon that would be it. Either way, I'll be back for more.

As the sign on the door today says, "Show opens and lines form Monday March 28th, 5pm."

Bottom line: Check it out.

Medium Rare is at 3500 Connecticut Avenue NW at Ordway Street. Brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday. It less than a stone's throw from the Cleveland Park metro stop. Make a reservation, follow them on Twitter and let me know what you think!

Disclosure: Part of my meal was complimentary as this was a dress rehearsal and the restaurant is not officially open. That said, it's worth the hard earned dollars in my bank account. ;)

Live in Cleveland Park, follow me on Facebook & Twitter for the latest happenings in the 'hood.

WANTED: Amazing Artisan Coffee in Cleveland Park

I woke up this morning and was out of half and half. As I trudged out in the (why is it still) cold to Brookville Market, I was thinking, all I really want is Pound. Or Murky. Or Filter.

The insanely delicious Nutella Latte I had yesterday at Pound The Hill

Yes, we've got Firehook and Cacao - both great bakeries, but I want someone who's focused on the perfect latte, not the perfect, flaky croissant. (I'll take the croissant after my latte.)

We are blessed with so many fantastic restaurants in our neighborhood. Is it too greedy for me to hope that the Cereal Bowl space becomes an amazing, artisan coffeeshop?

What do you wish Cleveland Park had?

PS. Dear Nam-Viet, please consider brunch, cause BaBay's Vietnamese brunch now has me craving fried egg banh mi!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sneak Peek: Cleveland Park's New Medium Rare Menu

I just walked by the cozy new Medium Rare space at Connecticut and Ordway and peeked inside. The exposed brick walls and cafe tables scream French bistro and the menus I saw on one of the tables reinforced it.

I had heard that Medium Rare was going to do steak frites and steak frites only, but part of me didn't believe it (maybe the part that doesn't really eat steak.) But, the menus show Rustic Bread, Salad and Steak Frites for a grand total of $19.99. Not half bad and I expect the steak lovers to flock.

For the rest of us, I hope they cobble together some sort of kick ass sides combo like Hank's Oyster Bar's market plate.

When it comes to dessert, Medium Rare won't be a one trick pony. I spied chocolate cake, ice cream sundae, carrot cake and cheesecake on the docket

So, what do you think, will DC support a single item menu? When it's the vision of Michel Richard, Brian Zipin and Mark Bucher, I suspect the answer will be yes.

Medium Rare is located at 3500 Connecticut Avenue NW, immediately outside of the Cleveland Park Metro stop. We Cleveland Park residents urge you to take Metro to this new hot spot as it's combat parking out there already! ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day in Cleveland Park

I defy you to show me a neighborhood that does St. Patrick's Day in the District better than Cleveland Park. We've got a built in base with 4P's & Nanny O'Briens... and now, today, all day, we also have the Lobster Truck.

It's a gorgeous day. Get your green on and get here... and if you forget your green, this guy will hook you up: