Oct 1, 2011

Eating My Way Through DC



Hi there! If you were wondering where I've been these past few days, I just returned from a three day, food-centered trip to DC, hosted by Destinations DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for Washington DC along with Tina of Carrots n Cupcakes and Leslie of And Her Little Dog Too.

This trip combined my two biggest passions, food and travel. From a foodie perspective, DC has so much to offer whether it's sampling local favorites from neighborhood eateries or indulging in award-winning cuisine at 5 diamond awarded restaurants such as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel's CityZen. You can experience affordable cuisine from diverse countries including Ethiopian, Salvadorean, Mexican, Thai and more to world class dining by James Beard award winning chef Jose Andres.






We stayed at the Washington Hilton, which has recently undergone a top-to-bottom make-over at a cost of $140 million. The staff was wonderful, the rooms were modern and I loved the little extras like the delicious mint or cranberry infused waters in the lobby.

The hotel even sent us tweets, how cool is that?



Bon Appetit!

Every foodie pilgrimage to DC must include a visit to Julia Child's kitchen to pay homage to a culinary legend, whose kitchen is on permanent display at the National Museum of American History.



What's Cooking Uncle Sam?

A tour of "What's Cooking Uncle Sam?" exhibit at the National Archives walks you through government's role in the American Diet throughout history.


Followed by that, cocktails and appetizers are a must at the pop-up restaurant America Eats Tavern, a living extension of the "What's Cooking Uncle Sam?" exhibit. America Eats offers a new take on American classics, with chef Jose Andres putting his modern spin on classic favorites. If you plan on visiting DC within the next few months, be sure to stop by as it will only stay opened until January.

The idea behind America Eats Tavern is to tell the American story through lost dishes and beverages, which tell a forgotten story of the culinary diversity across the states, and all profits are donated to the National Archives. We traveled through time and sipped drinks like the Moscow Mules, Switchel, Grog, Champagne Cocktail, Rickey, Horse's Neck with a Kick (to name a few!!)


Enjoyed boneless buffalo wings, Jose style...


Deconstructed keylime pie and pecan pie which were presented so beautifully...



After sampling all those cocktails, we were feeling no pain : )



Fit For A President

Next we set off to conquer a 5 course meal at the District Line, where the chef is no stranger to cooking for the President.


Everything they brought out was outstanding, but if I had to pick two dishes from that evening that I wish I could have again and again, it would be the Tea smoked five spiced duck breast and  the Medallion of venison, heavenly!


And that concluded day one (I know what you're thinking, that's a lot of food in one day)
Well there's still more to come, some recipes and a giveaway so stay tuned!

25 comments :

  1. Wow, I love this post! Not only did you fill us in with all the top places to check out in D.C., but the pictures of the food look so amazing! I'm sure it was a lot of food for one day, but hey!~ someone's gotta do it, right?! =]

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  2. What an awesome trip! You really made me miss D.C. (used to live there). And Jose Andres is amazing--one of my fav places to eat was Jaleo in Crystal City. Yum!

    That duck looks ah-mah-ziinnnng.

    Looking forward to more of these D.C. posts!

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  3. Gina it sounds like you had fun! I used to be on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association, so I went to Washington D.C. 5-6 times a year for 5 years. (We stayed at that same Hilton!) It's such a fun town; love it there.

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  4. Glad you're enjoying my town! Now if you find (and share) some skinny options of the best dining in DC, I would be forever grateful! Must make it to America Eats soon!

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  5. Wow!!! Great pictures! 2 of my favorite desserts are Key Lime and Pecan Pie. Did you figure out how to make them healthy?:)

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  6. Lovely post! Glad you had a great time in my hometown :)

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  7. I LOVE Ethiopian/|Eritrean food, did you try it? I had considered asking you to redo some of my favourites (they use a clarified butter, like Indian food, so it's naughty!) but didn't know how much of this food was present in the US. Gina, I officially challenge you to makeover Eritrean Shiro, I love it with injera (sourdough flatbread-like pancake) but my research on points value is terrifying! :) Your trip sounded like a blast, thanks for sharing.

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  8. I live 30 minutes away from D.C. and didn't know about these cool places to eat. Thanks, Gina!!

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  9. Sounds like a wonderfu trip! Always good to indulge and what an honor for you and your blogs! Your photos are beautiful! I look forward to trying these the next time we travel into the city! The JC exhibit is one of my favorites!

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  10. Which one of the three beautiful women are you? It would be wonderful to be able to put a face to "Gina"?

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  11. Gina, you must try Zaytinya near the Verizon Center... Mediterranean tapas that'll change your life!

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  12. I live just outside of DC and haven'theard of some of these places! I must try the America Eats Tavern. Thanks for the info!

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  13. Looks like you had such an awesome time! The pictures look great! Makes me want to be there!!

    http://laurensweetnothings.blogspot.com/

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  14. The trip was completely planned by Destinations DC, and they chose the itinerary, restaurants and menus (which was fine by me, was pretty fun being surprised). Kate was our host and she was very knowledgeable on DC's food scene, history and so on. It was a great experience. Luckily we also did a lot of walking!!

    I really loved the Ethiopian food, not sure if Eritrean is the same. Today's post will talk a little about that, and I bought some spices to make one of the lentil dishes the chef was happy to share with us!

    I live in NY and haven't been to most restaurants people travel here to eat at so I completely know what you mean. I hope you visit some of these places. America Eats is a must, and only open for a few more months.

    Kalyn - it's a great hotel! And I love the location, it felt like I was in Soho or the Village.

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  15. Oh, I forgot. I assume you all know what I look like. I am the girl on the right wearing a blue shirt (the photo with the 3 of us)

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  16. You all look like you could be sisters!

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  17. Sounds like a fabulous time! I must plan a trip to visit my uncle in DC now and just eat my way around. :)

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  18. Such great photos. Those deconstructed desserts look amazing. Looks like a fabulous time.

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  19. You take awesome shots of everything! Thank you for sharing.

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  20. Love your photos and writing. I felt like I was right :-)

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  21. It's a great time, and what a great food scene! What's especially nice, I'm used to NY and long waits, or having to reserve far in advance, where in DC, because it's a smaller city, there was none of that.

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  22. Why are your whole posts not available on google reader?? i read @ work and your site is blocked but i can read them on google reader :(

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  23. Sorry Lindsay, because people scrape my recipes when I have it set to full post.

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  24. Hi again Gina, yea Eritrean and Ethiopian foods are very similar, its because the food culture dates back to before the countries were they way they were today (which is less an a century old)! That lentil dish sounds familiar, I can't wait to see if you post it up! I volunteer with an Eritrean family here in Australia, I would love to show them a lightened up version of their own dish :O

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  25. You were in DC! So many folks in my office (I work 2 subway stops outside of DC) love your blog. Glad you had a good time here =)

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