May Is National Burger Month
Grab your buns, May is National Burger Month! And what better way to celebrate than with a juicy hamburger. Burgers are an iconic American food. Americans consumed 52 billion pounds of meat last year – five times more than 100 years ago. And the average American eats 43 burgers every year. To celebrate, several area restaurants are offering their own take on the traditional American burger.
701 Restaurant, located at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW is frying up a portobello burger glazed with black truffle sauce and topped with shaved Brussels sprouts and a roasted garlic aioli for $12 and the 701 Burger made with Cabot white cheddar, crispy onions and smoked ketchup for $13.
Balkan restaurant Ambar at 523 8th St. SE, 20003, will serve the Ambar spicy gourmet burger, a twist on the classic American burger for $12. The burger meat is made of 60 percent pork and 40 percent beef ground in-house daily with onions, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese and chili flakes. The burger is served on fresh house-made lepinja bread and topped with cucumber yogurt, cabbage slaw, fresh tomato and pickled onions and served with house-made crispy fries.
Ardeo+Bardeo, 3311 Connecticut Ave. NW in Cleveland Park, is serving a char-broiled natural beef burger on a brioche bun with pimento cheese whiz, bacon jam and French fries for $14.
Blue Duck Tavern, located at 24th and M Streets NW in the West End, is featuring the Shenandoah dry-aged hamburger with a choice of aged cheddar or Maytag blue cheese and served with steak fries for $22.
City Tap House, located at 901 I St. NW near City Center is serving its special Tap Burger made with Pineland Farms all natural, hormone free ground beef topped with Lancaster rustic cheddar, Agrodolce onions and a beer gastrique on a toasted brioche bun with hand-cut fries with black truffle aioli for $14. Diners can add Benton’s bacon for $3 and fresh avocado for $2.
Copperwood Tavern at 4021 Campbell Ave. in Shirlington, is featuring three spring burgers that include a lamb burger topped with herb goat cheese, tzatziki and pickled red onion for $16; the tavern burger, an eight-ounce coffee-rubbed burger, served with aged sharp cheddar, crisp bacon and red wine shallot aioli for $14; and The Copperwood, an eight-ounce burger with blue cheese, fried green tomato and bacon jam for $14.
Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar at 801 9th Str. NW, will offer the churrasco steak burger, a half pound hand-chopped skirt steak burger with Cuba Libre’s secret sauce, cheddar and Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato on a toasted brioche roll with Boniato chips and Cuba Libre steak sauce for $13.50. Diners can add fried egg or bacon for $1.00.
Belgian French restaurant Et Voila!, 5120 Macarthur Blvd. NW will feature three special burgers. First is the burger de moules, a mussels burger served with sweet potatoes fries and an aioli sauce for $15.95; second is the lobster burger with scallop mousse, lobster and shrimp diced and served on a bun with aioli with parsnip chips and a side of Belgium fries for $18.95, and finally the Et Voila! burger, Meyer ground beef, Chimay cheese, bacon, confit, tomato and onions served with a green salad and Belgian fries for $16.95.
Mio Restaurant located at 1110 Vermont Ave. NW is serving a special hamburgesa de res boricua “El Hambergón” made with daily ground grass fed beef, ripe plantains, mayo, ketchup, ajili mojili, white cheddar, sofrito, and red onions for $13.
Nopa Kitchen + Bar at 800 F St. NW is celebrating with the Nopa Burger glazed with a Tonkatsu Japanese sauce before being topped with Vermont white cheddar, Applewood smoked bacon and served with fries for $14.
TKO Burger, which opens Saturday at 2350 Washington Place NE in Rhode Island Row, is serving 8 ounce burgers made certified Angus-beef, seasoned and cooked to order over an open flame and topped with fresh condiments. Burgers include the mac & cheese burger, BBQ burger, brunch burger, Rocky Philly burger, veggie burger, jerk burger, Norwegian salmon burger, Maryland crab cake burger, black bean burger, turkey burger and chicken burger.
Toro Toro, located at 1300 I St. NW puts a Latin twist on the American cheeseburger with the Toro Toro Burger made from hand-ground USDA prime beef burger with a choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and chipotle remoulade priced at $14; and the BBQ turkey burger with chipotle BBQ, habañero slaw, avocado and Gruyere cheese for $14.
Phillips Seafood moving to L’Enfant Plaza
Just a few days after its Phillips Flagship on the Southwest waterfront closed to make way for The Wharf development, news comes that Baltimore-based Phillips Seafood will open a small, food-court style location in the L’Enfant Plaza food court.
According to the JBG Cos., which owns the underground retail and restaurant area along with several buildings there, Phillips will take 896 square feet in the food court.
Other new restaurants coming to the L’Enfant Plaza food court include Amsterdam Falafelshop and a Red Robin’s Burger Works, a fast-casual burger concept from Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brews. It’s the first of that Red Robin concept in the D.C. area and on the East Coast. There are four in Denver and one in at Ohio State University in Columbus.
In all, there will be a dozen new restaurant and retail offerings as part of the remodeled shopping area.
Nopa Kitchen + Bar celebrates first anniversary
Nopa Kitchen + Bar at 800 F St. NW, the 160-seat American brasserie located in Penn Quarter, is celebrating its one year anniversary. Executive chef Greg McCarty’s most popular dishes during the opening year will be featured beginning May 8 through early July.
Featured dishes include amaranth and quinoa salad with orange vinaigrette, pine nuts and dried cherries for $12; butter poached lobster with spring pea risotto, nori and passion fruit for $34; and a sautéed pork chop with rhubarb mustard and sweet and sour mustard greens for $25.
Then for the perfect pairing, Nopa’s wine director Jesse Hiney has crafted a Time Flies cocktail made from a combination of bourbon, sparkling wine, grapefruit and brown sugar simple syrup priced at $10. And what birthday would be complete without a special cake? Pastry chef Jemil Gadea has created a roasted blackberry shortcake with rhubarb sorbet priced at $10.
Alba Osteria to hold two events with Manincor Wines
Alba Osteria at 425 I St. NW is teaming up with Manincor Wine Estate, located in the Alto Adige region of Northern Italy, for two wine events on May 14. Producer Matthias Jaeger will lead the evening with wine discussion.
From 6-7 p.m., guests can enjoy three Manincor wines paired with small plates created by executive chef Roberto Donna and chef de cuisine Amy Brandwein for $22 per person. Then at 7:30 p.m., dinners can have a five-course meal paired with Manincor for $100.
The menu for the wine tasting includes smoked salmon paired with a 2012 La Rose de Manincor, broccoli with shrimp sauce paired with a 2012 Riserva della Contessa and grilled beef with green sauce served with a 2011 Riserva del Conte.
The dinner menu includes warm lobster salad with artichokes and asparagus served with 2012 Riserva della Contessa; burrata and rapini tortelloni with clam broth, razor clams, sea urchin and Sicilian olive oil paired with a 2012 La Rose de Manincor; speck served with a 2012 Kalterersee Keil; venison with walnut and herb and grappa sauce paired with a 2011 Riserva del Conte; and a ricotta cheese and raspberry tart with honey ice cream served with a 2011 Le Petit Manincor.
The Gryphon to reopen in Dupont this month
The Gryphon, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW in Dupont, will reponen mid-May as a steakhouse rather than a sports bar. Located in the old Heritage India location, The Gryphon opened in March 2013, but closed for “renovations” three months later.
An announced October reopening came and went. Now comes word that the 5,000 square-foot space restaurant from the folks behind Lost Society has scrapped the sports theme focus and about a fifth of its 31 TV screens. Others have been covered with framed mirrors that can be used for special events.
The new menu will be heavy on steak and fish, nearly identical to Lost Society with the addition of a raw bar and more seafood. The wine list will also be nearly the same as Lost Society with a few extra bottles and 20-25 craft beers.
Co-owner Tony Hudgins told the Washington City Paper that The Gryphon’s opening, which has already been delayed due to construction, was rushed. “We probably — and we’re not afraid to say it —s hot ourselves in the foot opening at that point,” he said. “Service just wasn’t up to par.”
Dark chocolate wood covers the walls for a warmer look and some of the antler chandeliers remain. The front of the restaurant is also getting a makeover with a collapsible glass wall that can open up to an outdoor patio. And the large open space inside has been sectioned off into more intimate settings and to divide from the bar.
The Gryphon, which was previously open only for dinner, will be open for lunch, dinner and brunch.
Liquor Bar coming to Chinatown
Liquor Bar, from Ari Gejdenson’s Mindful Restaurants, will open in late summer in the Oriental Building Association building at 600 F St. NW.
The bar from the owners of Acqua Al 2 and Ghibellina will have a European hotel bar style with round leather booths and brass finishes, according to a press release from Douglas Development, the buildings owner. The bar will feature a menu of hand-crafted cocktails, as well as an extensive selection of scotch and other fine spirits, wines and craft beers. A small food menu will also be available.
Gejdenson will open Sotto, a cocktail bar beneath Ghibellina, in September, according to the same press release.
Joe’s Seafood raises money for Miriam’s Kitchen
Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab at 750 15th St. NW will donate $1 for each slice of strawberry cream cheese pie sold to Miriam’s Kitchen, a local organization committed to ending chronic homelessness in D.C.
The pie features a graham cracker crust, whipped cream cheese layer and sliced strawberries. Each month, Joe’s donates a portion of the proceeds from a different specialty pie flavor to a select charity.
Mintwood Place team to open Shaw restaurant
Restaurateur Saied Azali and chef Cedric Maupillier of Mintwood Place will open a second restaurant together in City Market at O, 801 O St. NW, in Shaw. The yet-to-be-named, 120-seat restaurant will be a take on the business partners’ first restaurant, which serves American food with a French accent.
The new place will serve smaller portions at lower prices in the hopes of reaching a younger crowd. They hope to reach a younger audience. The 5,000-square foot restaurant will be on the ground floor of the Cambria Suites hotel and be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Ground breaking is set for August with the opening set for early 2015.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.