Kapnos, DC

As a person who could live on a mediterranean and mexican diet, I recently had to check out Kapnos in Washington, DC.  It is one of Mike Isabella‘s (from Top Chef) many restaurants.  It’s in the U St. corridor, just a few blocks from the U St./Cardozo Metro on the Green Line/Yellow Lines.

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The restaurant is said to have small plates so you can have a few per person.  That’s a good thing to know because there were too many mouth-watering options on the menu!  Several of us were there so there was good sharing opportunity.  We were able to cover the menu quite well.

Started with the pikilia, aka a sampling of three spread and got revithosalata (chickpea, tahini, sultan chutney), melitzanosalata (smoked eggplant, roasted peppers, walnuts, feta) & favosalata (yellow lentils, scallions, black garlic, pine nuts).

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After much debate, the rest of the food that hit the table was:

roasted duck phyllo pie  cress, cherries, pistachio yogurt

IMG_3955roasted cauliflower baharat spice, pistachio, golden raisin

IMG_3959charred brussels sprouts  sweet potato, coriander honey, candied pecans

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fava yellow lentils, spinach, butternut squash, saffron, pearl onions

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american red snapper sunchoke, celery root, saffron broth

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marinated lamb bulgur, cous cous, wild rice (didn’t get a picture of this one)

spit roasted chicken  lemon potatoes

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Some of these ‘small’ plates were huge.  There were five of us at the table and there was more than enough.  We weren’t going to let any of this go to waste so made room…  Everything was mouthwatering and beyond delicious.  Since there were so many options on the menu totally worth going back to explore other options.  Isabella also has other places in DC and there is a Kapnos opening in Bethesda in early 2016 which will be a good one to check out.

2 bottles of red, a bottle of white…

Other than the fact that my count doesn’t match the Billy Joel song, it doesn’t only have to depend upon your appetite; come on.  There are so many factors to take into consideration.  Likes, dislikes, meal, mood, interest in new stuff, desperation?!

Anyway, I work wine tastings on the side and the past couple I’ve done have introduced me to some new vintners, which is something I quite enjoy.  I definitely have my favorites and normally stick to those — must expand!

The two reds were both Pinot Noirs from California, but very different.  The first was Frei Brothers in Russian River Valley.  Very light with the traditional fruit notes.  Would pair nicely with a salad or light/white meat or seafood.  Fruit would be great too, or why have food with it?  Come on.

The second Pinot was MacMurray Central Coast.  Very ‘thick’ for a Pinot.  Almost a light jam texture with some fig notes, maybe some cherries and light chocolate.  This could totally be paired with steak/heavier meat.  Loved it!  I picked one of these up before I left the store.  Both of these were around $20.

IMG_2887[1]Now the bottle of white I have recently added to my list (and wine rack) is the William Hill Sauvignon Blanc.  To me it screams grapefruit, which I love.  It’s definitely a citrus-laden wine.  Nice and crisp and runs $12-$14.

IMG_2908[1]Do you have any new wine finds?

Buddha Beer

Got to try a new beer last weekend that I definitely hadn’t heard of before — Lucky Buddha.  It’s imported from China and is a light brew in a cool bottle, I will say.

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It has a bit of a unique flavor to it, but nothing to write home about.  To me it was a traditional light beer — they label it as “brewed and bottled at the Thousand Island Lake in China fusing the finest quality malt, hops, rice and water from this pristine region delivering an Asian style lager that is truly an enlightened brew.”

With a low ABV (4.8%) it would be good for a hot summer afternoon day when you don’t need anything heavy.  Another thing to note about this, the bottle is smaller than it should be — only 11.6oz.  Totally get skimped on that level.  The 6-packs were about $10.

Ommegang

Was at a happy hour the other day and found a new (to me) brew on tap, so that of course meant I had to try it.  Ommegang was the wonderful producer, out of Cooperstown, NY (also the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame).  The beer proper was their Rare Vos Amber Ale.

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Very nice.  Matches the name by color, light hops, some herbs & fruit and nice & smooth.  ABV is 6.5%.  Totally worth checking it out if you’re an amber beer fan, or just a beer fan, in general!  Cheers.

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Pour me, pour me, pour me…another G&T

The name of the blog makes me thing of two songs:

“Pour me, pour me, pour me, another shot of whiskey.” –Trick Pony (yes, I’m a country fan)

or much more appropriately

“A Malibu & Coke for you, a G&T for me.” — Barenaked Ladies

So, get to where I’m staying in Ft. Collins and that evening it’s happy hour!  Of course the family’s liquor cabinet is never under par (where do you think I learned to provide info about food & alcohol)?

Several members of my family love martinis, super dry.  I can’t stomach them.  But, I love a Gin & Tonic.  Well, apparently a new gin was recently purchased that was definitely not martini material but perfect for a G&T!  My new taste test — Few Standard Issue Gin.

few_gin IMG_1620[1]IMG_1619[1]Found out it’s a special release spirit.  Ok, 114 proof (57% alcohol by volume), wow.  Very unique —  it’s thick/syrupy (more so than a ‘regular’ gin).  Great flavor, definitely the nice juniper and some fennel notes.  Perfect way to start the evening.  More cheers and happy holidays.

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It’s Punkin Time!

Oh, yes, it’s (almost) fall, football is here, which means another round of seasonal brew is due.  That means Dog Fish Head has Punkin Ale!

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Great stuff (along with many other pumpkin brews).  Went to the tapping of it last week at the Dog Fish Head restaurant in Falls Church.

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It was so fresh on tap that they hadn’t even posted it on the (chalk) board.

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Ordered one and started to enjoy.  I finally got around to looking up this morning why they call it Punkin.  It’s based around the local Punkin Chunkin on Discovery Channel.  Hilarious show!  Well, the beer was perfect, its normal pumpkin and spice taste, as one would expect.  And, the bartender wasn’t totally sure the ABV, but I had look it up, and it’s on that previous link, 7%.  Fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.  Cheers!

 

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Two New (Tasted) Brews

Checked out Mussel Bar in Bethesda the other day (hadn’t been since literally the day they opened) for some good beer on tap.  They have quite the selection!  Almost too many good ones to pick from.

Opted to first try the Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red

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Per the menu: “Our “Velvet M-80” is a hefty, dry hopped double-red ale with a nose full of aroma, a sticky mouthfeel, a malty middle and unctuous hop flavors. G’Knight sports a surprisingly sensuous finish for a beer of its size (8.7% ABV, 60 IBUs)…”

Very nice and smooth, not too hoppy.  Great for a summer night outside.  Did not taste like 8.7%…

After awhile decided to sip on another and went for Dogfish Head’s Sixty-One.

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From the menu:  “The name Sixty-One is a reminder that this beer is Dogfish Head’s best-selling 60 Minute IPA plus one new ingredient: syrah grape must from California. The label, painted by Sam, is a twist on a typical watercolor…”(6.5% ABV, 60 IBU)

Could definitely taste the grape in there.  A bit sweet, but not overbearing.  However, definitely couldn’t drink more than one of these.

Great to try these new (to me) brews.  And it was a perfect night out so got to enjoy them outside.  Has anybody had them or had others they can share feedback on?

Holzar-Bier

A friend was traveling in Europe a few months back and was very kind and brought me back some German brew.  Finally popped it open during the football games last weekend.  It’s Holzar-Bier, which comes in a nice flip top, 1/2 L bottle.  It’s 5.2% ABV and a dark amber.  A tiny bit bitter, in a good way, and very unique.  Will definitely see if I can find it around here.

 

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Southern Tier of Choklat Heaven

A friend had been telling me about a chocolate stout recently and I was quite intrigued.  I lean towards IPAs and wheats but will try something off the wall.  She had to wait to go home at Christmas to get this stuff as it’s hard to find around here.  So, last weekend I finally had the great treat of sampling some Southern Tier Choklat.  Per the bottle, it’s a stout brewed with chocolate — sounds deep. WOW, give me some gingerbread, dark cherries and dark chocolate to pair with this and heaven had arrived!  It’s 10% ABV, super smooth and just disappears.  You don’t need much.  It comes in 22oz bottles so pick one up to share with a friend for dessert.

I’m going to have to check out some of Southern Tier’s other stuff, now, too.  They are located in NY and have a nice menu.

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