Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Expiration Dates...

This Sunday I cleaned out my refrigerator. It was filled with items that were expired. Cream that had soured, broccoli gone bad and pasta that was passed the point of no return. This task and reflection back on an article I recently read brought my thoughts away from food and back to life, its plan and the preferred time span of each phase. Should people, places and things come with expiration dates? Is there a time limit in the nutrients they give us? Do places often become sour? If we knew the limitations when we met someone, moved somewhere or began a job would it help us to make more healthy decisions?! Would we cease the time and become more aware of the mold when it started growing before it made us sick? I am just saying... food for thought since I am lacking in the food department...


Contemplation on K

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Very Simple at Vermilion

This week a new friend took me to a very "Stacey" restaurant in charming Old Town Alexandria.  I have been working here since October but really have not explored much more than Starbucks, the Tapas place next door and Paper Source. 

Vermilion, located five blocks from my office on King Street is charming, artsy, rustic with a contemporary edge. The bar, where I started with a great glass of Pinot Nior was warm, upscale but not pretentious. The chef prides himself on using local, fresh and the finest ingredients--- I have to say the quality of my meal reflected that. I ordered Butternut Squash Soup that was adorned with pistachios followed by a Beet Salad with hazelnut encrusted goat cheese. My friend ordered duck and though I choose not to eat things like duck and rabbit, I must admit it look DELICIOUS. They certainly understand that presentation is almost as important as the selections they serve. Great wine and beer selection and service to match. They were very concerned that my untouched soup was going to get cold as I blah, blah, blahed waiting on my dining companions food. Even a bit chilled the soup was AMAZING. I consider this my first real Old Town dining experience and I was very pleased. I think this is only the beginning of my OTA culinary tour. Next stop, Rustico (owned by the same people that own my DC favorite bar, ChurchKey).

Friday, January 8, 2010

Will I go Againn???

... only time will tell.

Speaking of time, that is something I have not had a lot of recently.  My dad told me the other day that he enjoyed my last entry but I needed to post more.  The pressure always comes from the top down, huh?  I know you are sick of my song but it is playing again, (this time in a remixed version) "too much chaos, not enough chicken."  My kitchen has not seen action since New Year's prep.  But rest assure, I am still eating just mostly out so I will keep scooping the chicken but it will come in form of restaurant review. 

This week I carved out a little time to check out a new District dish, Againn.  Will I go back?  Probably...not for the food but definitely for the bar.  It is a contemporary Gastro Pub with great atmosphere.  The chef is apparently amazing but the menu is just not my thing... I did not see Hagas but you get the gist.  Lots of heavy meats and traditional British grub.  I did have a beet salad and very tasty chips.  My dining companion was impressed with the scotch and bourbon selection and chatted up the bartendar about the wide array of mixers that come from all over the world.  They also boast lighted lockers where patrons can store their scotch for a mere $500 a month.  Great beer and wine list and Happy Hours on Monday thru Thursday.  Rumor has it this restauranteer has a French brasserie in the works, Fleur, and that is much, much more this gals style! 

Hoping to provide you with more K St. cooking soon...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year. Old Traditions.

2009 was a year of change. 

I left a business, a relationship and a zip code.  I changed careers and attitudes.  I even saw some of my likes and dislikes change... from attire, to hobbies to people.  What did not change is how I spent New Year's Day.

For five years, while in 24141* I had developed a tradition of an intimate NYE at home followed by an amazing NYD brunch at my house.  It fit my dueling personalities of introvert vs. extrovert or dog vs. cat.  I need a lot of one-on-one and alone time but then crave social situations the next day.  I loved my New Year's Brunch and that was one thing from my old zip code I was a little sad to leave behind... but seriously, how could I entertain in my shoe box?  

Though I did not have my normal quiet NYE at home set for two, I did celebrate NYD in a familiar way. Yesterday I co-hosted a New Year's Brunch, 20037 style.  My friend supplied the place and I supplied the food.  Together we hosted my best brunch yet!  There I was melting my old traditions and old menus in a new place, with new friends creating new memories.  I have never felt more like myself in the last seven months.  Any chef would tell you that the best dishes are created from the past.  I entered a new decade as new twist on an old recipe... and I know it is only one day in but I thinking this could be quite delicious! 
Happy New Year!!!

Menu as follows (several recipes already on Chaos, linked below):
Caramelized Onion Shitake Mushroom Quiche
Manderin Orange Salad
Mimosas.  Lots and lots of mimosas :)

On the New Year's Day Mix:
Breakdown- Brett Dennen and Missy Higgins
See How I Run- Jessi Baylin
Moment of Surrender-  U2
Once was Love- Ingrid Michealson
Honey Bees Fallin- Sean Hayes
Great Salt Lake- Band of Horses
Blindsided- Bon Ivers
See Green, See Blue- Jay May
Adeline (Live)- Adrianne
Nude- Radiohead
Distance and Time- Alicia Keys
Closer- Travis
Red Umbrella- Forrest Sun

*24141:  While visiting family I refered to "24141" and my 10 year old niece said with a confused face, "Um... what's 24141?"  I say, "It's where I used to live."  She says with a confident, you don't know what you are talking about smirk, 'Why don't you just say 'Where I used to live?'" I say with the same Price smirk, "Because I think it sounds more clever to say 24141."  She thinks a bit and then responds, "Yeah, you do have a point, Aunt Stacey."