Monday, October 29, 2012

What's Open in Cleveland Park During Hurricane Sandy?

I hope everyone is staying safe and dry during this storm. I'll try to keep you updated as to what I notice is open in case you need/want to venture out. So far, this morning, I've noticed that the bridge between Cleveland Park and Woodley Park is already starting to flood (just south of Macomb.) Moving water on streets can be misleading and dangerous, so don't try to navigate it. has been cleared.

I also am happy to report that Brookville Market is open and I spotted delivery trucks in the alley, so it's likely also restocked on a lot of items that were running low yesterday. Our Twitter friends report they have batteries, though not the coveted D batteries.

And the Solar Planet tanning salon is open (but plans on closing early.) Would it be odd to go tan in a fall hurricane?

Firehook is cranking out coffee and baked goods still. until 3pm. now closed.

Nanny O'Briens is opening at noon for lunch and dinner - AND $5 Hurricanes. 
Atomic Billiards is open for business with Dave behind the bar and Bacardi & Bud specials.

As of now, Cafe Deluxe is planning on opening. We'll stay tuned to Twitter and let you know if anything changes: now closed.

Neighborhood newcomer, Uptown Tap House has decided to open at 4pm and offer $12 all you can eat wings: 

So, what's closed for sure on Monday? Dino, Medium Rare, Ripple and California Tortilla.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New on the Menu: Fried Fish Sandwich at Palena's Brunch

I loved this light and flaky open-faced fried fish sandwich at Palena brunch today. It came with house made slaw and chips...
Open-Faced Fried Fish Sandwich at Palena in Washington, DC (credit: Tammy Gordon)
Oh, and a side of water & egg for Ike, who enjoyed a nap in the patio.
Ike, my toy rat terrier, loves napping in the sun (credit: Tammy Gordon)
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 on Saturday and Sunday.

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

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Must Try: Ardeo's Cheese Fondue Fries

I didn't think Chef Nate Garyantes could top his last disco fries creation, but picture this: cheese fondue topped with a mound of French fries then topped with bacon.

Better yet: don't picture it, go eat it.

I also just learned that Ardeo + Bardeo is now doing "Sunday Suppers" from 5-10pm where you can make your own prix fixe menu for just $30 - if you do that, make sure it involves Brussels sprouts and the rabbit bolognese!

Ardeo + Bardeo is located at 3311 Connecticut Avenue NW (in between Macomb and Ordway). They have valet parking or it's easily accessible by metro and bus lines. Don't forget to follow Ardeo's Chef, Nate Garyantes on Twitter.

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hot Right Now: Dino's Grilled Apricots & 7th Anniversary Specials

All of the foodie types had been buzzing about what Dino was doing with apricots this week so I had to sneak up there after the rain Sunday and try them out. The photo doesn't do it justice. Wrap your brain around this: grilled apricots, wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with mascarpone cheese.
Dino's Grilled Apricots
This was supposed to be the last of them for the season (usually there's only a two week window for locally grown apricots), but Dean just told me that he scored another flat that will be delivered on Tuesday so get them while they last.

While you're there, congratulate Dean & Kay on the 7th anniversary of Dino and you just might get treated to a taste of the 1999 Cerbaiona Brunello on Wednesday or the 1999 Pertimali this Friday. They've also got an amazing tasting menu celebrating their favorite regions of Italy.

Dino is located at 3435 Connecticut Avenue NW (at Ordway Street) - right across from the Cleveland Park metro stop.

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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ripple's Grilled Cheese Bar

Jen and I made plans to meet at Ripple for happy hour, which was great because I'd been dying to try the grilled cheese bar. The hours aren't so friendly to Washington workaholics because you have to get there before 6:30 (or after 10). But if you do, you'll be rewarded with a ooey gooey crispy set up pre-selected combos or you can get all DIY and make your own.

As with all things Ripple, you must start off with one of Josh's custom cocktails. I asked for gin and refreshing. I got a house infused gin with grapefruit soda combo that was perfect to combat the day's heat.
Gin & Grapefruit
I ordered the Krusty Krab grilled cheese which is made with Cowgirl Creamery Mount Tam cheese, Maryland crab and sugar snap peas. Everything in this gorgeous sandwich comes from nearby!
The Krusty Krab:Mount Tam, Maryland Crab and Sugar Snap Peas
We also tried the Lotsa Mozza which is made with proscuitto, mozzarella and arugula.
Lotsa Mozza
Make plans to sneak out of work early and try your hand at making the best grilled cheese combo.

Ripple is located in Cleveland Park at 3417 Connecticut Avenue in Washington, DC.

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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Gorgeous Spring Flowers on Ordway Street

Every time I walk around our neighborhood I wish I had a camera. That's especially true right now on Ordway Street where along one block there are multiple colored hydrangeas and roses. What are your favorite flowers?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lavender Spongecake with Strawberry Ice Cream Sandwich at Sugar Magnolia

Some listings on menu blackboards stop you in your tracks. That was the case on a very sunny Sunday afternoon in Cleveland Park when I spied the "lavender spongecake/strawberry ice cream sandwich" at Sugar Magnolia.

Lavender shortcake + strawberry ice cream at Sugar Magnolia
Sugar Magnolia is located next to-slash-inside local source star, Ripple, at 3417 Connecticut Avenue.

The Burger at Dino

Let's be honest Cleveland Parkers, we're wallowing in one of the best burger blocks in the entire District. Nestled between the decadence of Frank Ruta's Palena cheeseburger and Nate Garyante's burger at Ardeo, lies The Dino Burger. And, it's the first one that I had after being away in Europe for a week.

The Dino Burger
One of my favorite thing about Dino in general is their commitment to amazing, locally sourced ingredients. The burger is ten ounces of grass based, grain finished Roseda Farms (from neighboring Maryland) beef. It's served on grilled ciabatta bread with relish and Sriracha mayonaise. When your server asks you if you want North Country Smokehouse bacon, Prairie Breeze American cheddar cheese and caramelized onions, just say yes. If you want to amp it up more, there are mushroom and Gorgonzola options.

The only question is, does it taste better on the patio or at the bar? Either spot will get you a burger and a local craft beer or Menabrea Italian beer for just $15 - all night, every night.

Fathers Day (Month) Special on Burger & Brew at Dino
Dino is located at 3435 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC - directly across Ordway Street from Cleveland Park Metro stop. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for owners Dean & Kay Gold's famous email newsletter

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

Monday, April 23, 2012

First Visit: Bandolero Pop Up at Tacklebox

I'm a huge fan of Chef Mike Isabella's first restaurant, Graffiato. So, when I heard his next was going to be Mexican with a two week Cleveland Park home base, it was done and done.

I went Thursday night to Bandolero (which is in the middle of a trial run in the old Tacklebox space) to try the $65 pre fixe menu. You start out with delicious guacamole and chips PLUS pork rinds - don't flinch, it totally works! Oh, and don't miss Sam's lineup of sweet and spicy margaritas and cocktails at the bar (I loved the jalapeño infused tequila.)

Next, you pick three items from the menu. My favorites ended up being the mahi-mahi tacos, albondigas and the nachos with crispy goat and goat cheese.
Lots of fun options at Bandolero
They were out of my first choice at dessert, tres leches cake, so I settled on the coconut pineapple flan.

There are a few kinks they are working out, but it was a lot of fun being a part of the test opening. The manager came by and engaged us in a serious conversation about what we loved and what we would change.

I'll be back next week to try a few new things. Let me know what you thought and what I should order next!

Bandolero is temporarily located at 3407 Connecticut Avenue in Cleveland Park. It'll move to it's new home in Georgetown shortly, so try it while it's here - and if you can't get a reservation, the Cinco de Mayo party will be open to everyone.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strawberries & Graham Cracker Crumb Cake at Ripple

Do you ever choose where to eat dinner based on what you want to get for dessert? Ever since I saw Ripple's tweet that they had fresh strawberries in and were serving them with a graham cracker crumb cake, pistachio brittle and mascarpone cream, I knew I'd be visiting ASAP.

Strawberries & Graham Cracker Crumb Cake (photo: Tammy Gordon)
My partner in crime ordered up a peanut butter ice cream sandwich (you can get the same ice cream sandwiches that are for sale at Sugar Magnolia.)

Stop by and check them out while strawberries are in season - it's a sweet bite of spring, even though it's still chilly out!

Ripple is located at 3417 Connecticut Avenue NW (between Macomb and Ordway Streets), just one half block from Cleveland Park metro.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rabbit Bolognese at Ardeo + Bardeo

Friday night found Caroline and I looking for a chill neighborhood dinner. You know, some place you can wear jeans, not have to wait for a bar seat, get good comfort food and a nice glass of wine. We decided on Ardeo + Bardeo... I just love the renovated bar that makes me feel like I'm in a cozy but chic European city bistro.

Before I even arrived, I wanted (and got) Chef Nate Garyantes's rabbit bolognese, which is hands down one of the best bites in the neighborhood. Have you had it yet?
Rabbit Bolognese at Ardeo + Bardeo (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Caroline decided on the classic Ardeo burger with a salad - and we both had a few glasses of a nice tempranillo. One of the other highlights was when the chef sent out a tasting of lamb charcuterie for us to taste, along with a sous vide pork chop. Definitely stop in and see what's new on the menu. Half of the fun at Ardeo + Bardeo is serving what the chef is experimenting with, especially seasonal ingredients.

Lamb Charcuterie at Ardeo + Bardeo (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Ardeo + Bardeo is located at 3311 Connecticut Avenue NW in between Ordway and Macomb. There is valet parking, but the easiest way to arrive is Metro which is only a half block away. Follow Chef Nate Garyantes on Twitter to stay up on the latest from the kitchen.

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

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blondies at Sugar Magnolia

What was your favorite neighborhood bite of the weekend?

Me? This decadent almond coconut blondie from Sugar Magnolia (the new bakery at Ripple.)
Almond Coconut Blondie from Sugar Magnolia (photo: Tammy Gordon)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Where to Buy MegaMillions Tix in Cleveland Park...

My Twitter and Facebook feeds are filled with folks talking about their tickets or that they need to buy tickets to the upcoming $500 million MegaMillions lottery. I'm not really big on playing the lottery, but for really high jackpots like this it's fun.

So, if you are looking for a spot to pick one (or ten) up, you'll be happy to know you can get them at Cleveland Park Wine & Liquors, Cleveland Park Exxon and a few other spots within walking distance. (Source:

The next drawing is March 30, 2012 at 11:00pm EST.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sugar Magnolia: New Kid on the Block

Have you tried out the new Sugar Magnolia bakery and takeaway at Ripple?

They are known for their seasonal, homemade ice cream sandwiches, but today I stopped in to pick up a late lunch. They were sold out of the sandwiches with meat or fish, so I tried the veggie which was on fresh bread with cheese, veggies and a black eyed pea hummus. I paired it with the local potato salad.

Veggie Sandwich and Local Potato Salad from Sugar Magnolia (photo: Tammy Gordon)

I'm excited to go back for sweets, especially the bacon sugar pecans! Try it and let me know what you think.

Sugar Magnolia is located at 3417 Connecticut Avenue NW (in between Macomb and Ordway), a half block south of Cleveland Park Metro stop. The bakery is located in the front of local source restaurant, Ripple.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hot Fudge Cherry Blossom Ice Cream Sundaes at Medium Rare

I started obsessing about Medium Rare's cherry blossom ice cream as soon as they tweeted about it. But it's better than just ice cream- it's hot fudge, whipped cream and even nuts if ya like em!

And it's this week only, so stop by and celebrate. It's a heckuva lot more fun than fighting tourists at the Tidal Basin.

The Early Bird Gets the Donut Holes at Palena

When you think Palena, you typically don't think about "deals." Famous chef and pastry chef, sure. But, if you can crawl out of bed by 10am and make it to the Palena Market on Saturdays and Sundays, you'll be rewarded with five donut holes for just one dollar.

Just. One. Dollar. That's cheaper than Dunkin, kids. And, home made in our hood.
Donut Holes (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Now get your St. Paddy's hangover there stat (yeah, we all saw you out there.) And while you're there, beg them to serve some decent espresso. I can't be the only one dying for decent coffee in this stretch of Cleveland Park.

Miss the donut holes? Fret not - they have freshly baked scones, croissants, monkey bread, lemon donuts and all kinds of tasty baked goods. My donut holes came home with a slice of this Chocolate Meringue Cake:
Chocolate Meringue Cake (photo: Tammy Gordon)
If you aren't lucky enough to live within walking distance of Palena, you can find it at 3529 Connecticut Avenue NW. It's right outside of Cleveland Park metro. Come visit.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First Visit: Brunch at St. Arnold's in Cleveland Park

It's so gorgeous in Cleveland Park today, we just had to get outside for brunch! The plan was to scale the steps and take up residence on the CPBG roofdeck, but on the way I saw the patio doors rolled up at St. Arnold's and got excited that the brunch I'd enjoyed in Dupont Circle had finally hit our hood.

We scored a (basically) outdoor table that still had a view of March Madness behind the bar and settled in. I've been sick, so I stuck with the water and coffee but my Dad gave the bloody mary a thumbs up.

En route, my brother texted me the question you might be thinking, "Is it all mussels or is there brunch stuff?" A: Good God there is brunch stuff.

I had "The Drug Opera"- a grilled ham and Gruyere cheese sandwich topped with a fried egg and bechemel sauce. Yeah, I think my appetite is back.
The Drug Opera
My Mom opted for the Belgian Liege Waffle with fresh berries and whipped cream. [Note: You can also select Nutella which makes everything more awesome.]
Belgian Liege Waffle with Fresh Berries and Whipped Cream
Dad went full on meat and got the Full English Breakfast with eggs, bangers, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, mushrooms and more.

Full English Breakfast
There's a ton more to try, including the Waffle Waterzooi (a chicken stew over waffle... Their take on chicken & waffles) and the Waffle Burger (see below).

St. Arnold's is located at 3433 Connecticut Avenue at Ordway Street NW in Cleveland Park. It's right across the street from the Cleveland Park Metro stop and also right across from the L2 and L4 bus stops. (The patio side entrance is on Ordway, but there is also an entrance on Connecticut to the "Underground" bar.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Twist on the DC Half Smoke at Ripple

Earlier today, Chef Logan Cox posted on Facebook that he was unveiling his take on the classic DC half smoke tonight at Ripple.

I swore I wasn't going out due to a super early morning flight, but a last minute CVS run needed to happen and an open bar seat beckoned...
Half Smoke at Ripple + fries and vino (photo: Tammy Gordon)
As it happens, I got the last half smoke order of the night. It was spicy, smoky and delicious. My neighbor was coveting mine.

So, looks like we need to lobby Chef Cox to permanently add it to the menu. Whaddya say?

Ripple is located at 3417 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC directly across from the historic Uptown Theater.

Pizza at Palena Market

Am I the last person in the neighborhood to realize that Palena makes a mean pizza during brunch?

I was delighted when I popped into Palena Market around lunchtime and saw this bubbly, cheesy, smoky pie. In the Market, you can get it for just $2.00 a slice.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Patio Time in Cleveland Park

Have you seen the card that says, "I'm outdoorsy in that I like drinking on patios."? Yeah, that's me. And this is my season.

St. Arnold's has the walls rolled down and Cleveland Park Bar & Grill has the roofdeck open (along with heaters for when the sun sets!)

Get out there and enjoy the neighborhood!
Cleveland Park Bar & Grill (photo: Tammy Gordon)
St. Arnold's Mussel Bar in Cleveland Park (photo: Tammy Gordon)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Unlimited Mimosa Brunch at Ardeo + Bardeo

I popped by Ardeo + Bardeo for a little brunch today. I know from previous visits, the unlimited mimosas can be dangerous (dangerously fun.) I was trying to be healthy today... So I just had two. After all, a gal needs her Vitamin C.
Mimosas at Ardeo + Bardeo (photo: Tammy Gordon)
In addition to the mimosas (or Champagne), you get two courses for $25. Today, I had the stone cut oats with currants and honey.
Stone Cut Oats with Currants and Honey (photo: Tammy Gordon)
And then the vegetable omelette which was stuffed with mushrooms, onions and goat cheese.
Vegetable Omelette and Breakfast Potatoes (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Ardeo + Bardeo is located at 3311 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC. Follow on Facebook to get the latest events and new menu items.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ice Cream Sundae at Medium Rare

When most people think Medium Rare, they think steak. But, I think desserts. Have you tried them yet?

I've died over their carrot cake and cheesecake, but today when I popped by for a chat at the bar, I spotted this sundae the size of my head.

This one was headed for a kid-filled eight-top, but I'll be back to assuage my sweet tooth soon enough!
Ice Cream Sundae at Medium Rare, Washington, DC (photo: Tammy Gordon)
Hint: While they are completely booked up for Valentine's Day, make sure to get in around the 14th - they will have a special Red Velvet Layer Cake for a short time.

Medium Rare is located at 3500 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Baked-to-Order Chocolate Chip Cookies at Ripple

I get asked a lot what my favorite place to eat is in Cleveland Park. Call me fickle, but I can't pick just one.

How bout we make a deal and I show you my favorite bites of the moment.

Right now, I'm following up seasonal vegetables and crispy pig tails over polenta with home made chocolate chip cookies. Ripple bakes them to order... And their gooey awesomeness blows my mind. You get three (two of mine are headed home) and a glass of whole or chocolate milk.

Do it Cleveland Parkers, do it.

UPDATE: Only one cookie made it home. It'll be lucky if it makes it to breakfast.

Ripple is located at 3417 Connecticut Avenue NW (in between Macomb and Ordway).  Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates to their local-sourced, seasonal menu.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Three Course Sunday Brunch at Dino

We're lucky that Cleveland Park has such fantastic brunch options. This Sunday, I hit Dino for the "Restaurant Week $20.12 Brunch" where you choose an antipasti, a brunch, pasta or main dish and a bottomless Bloody Mary or fresh squeezed orange mimosa. I like how I can change up my options in so many ways!

Bloody Mary by Andrew Shapiro (Photo: Tammy Gordon)
This time I got the Bloody Mary, crispy fried artichokes (which are shipped weekly from the Santa Monica Farmers Market) and the Breakfast Bread Pudding (made with challah, Eco-Friendly local pork sausage, greens, mushrooms and pecorino cheese.)
Fried Baby Artichokes (Photo: Tammy Gordon)
Hungry yet?

Breakfast Bread Pudding (Photo: Tammy Gordon)

Early Spring Forsythia on Macomb Street

Check out the pop of yellow in the foreground of this adorable Cleveland Park cottage. Have you seen signs of spring in your yard yet? (I'm hoping my tulips stay underground longer.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Brunch Pick: Bacon (Pork Belly) & Eggs at Palena

Chef Frank Ruta doesn't mess around. His take on bacon and eggs at Palena's brunch is a softly poached egg and pork belly over the top of finely shredded hash brown.  Now, that's what I call scattered, smothered and covered.
Bacon & Eggs at Palena (Photo: Tammy Gordon)
Palena is located at 3529 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC. (Cleveland Park Metro)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

To Do: Hike Rock Creek Trail at Peirce Mill

How many times have you driven down Tilden towards Rock Creek and passed Peirce Mill without getting out of your car? If you're like me, oh, maybe hundreds. But with January days that seem like April, I couldn't pass it up today. I veered into the parking lot, leashed up the pup and went for a jaunt down the creek.

I'm also one of those people who stop and read all of the historical markers, so here's a mini-tour (though nothing can take the place of being out there in person.) This is the waterfall at Peirce Mill. It was constructed to look pretty and totally messed up the fishing in the creek in the process. Luckily, the Park Service has now built a path for the fish that bypasses the waterfall. so it is once again known as the "herring highway."

Our unseasonably warm January has understandably confused Mother Nature. These are gorgeous (but probably shouldn't be seeing the light of day for another 30 days.)
Ike didn't stay still enough long enough for photos, but he loved jumping around on the creekside rocks, meeting new people and dogs and sniffing every inch of the trail.

More photos after the jump...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Save the Date: Hunger Games Opening at Uptown Theater in Cleveland Park

Did you read The Hunger Games trilogy? I rolled my eyes at it as everyone suggested it for my reading list and then, with a long flight ahead downloaded book #1. As I neared the end of the final chapter, I broke out in hives hoping that I could download book #2 and #3 on my layover. It's a cliffhanger kinda story and I'm hoping the movie is that engrossing as well. 

Yesterday, I passed by the Uptown while walking Ike and saw the movie poster for The Hunger Games has gone up.

Premiere night is March 23rd, so save the date, make plans and book your tickets. It's definitely one worth seeing on the Uptown's epic screen with old-school balcony!

Connect to Fandango to reserve your tickets as soon as they become available.

The AMC Lowes Uptown Theatre is located at 3426 Connecticut Avenue NW in Washington, DC. It's right across Ordway Street from the Cleveland Park Metro.