Siren to Open in Scott Circle in Late April
Chef Robert Wiedmaier of Marcels and Brasserie Beck will open his new Siren seafood restaurant will open inside the new Darcy hotel, formerly the DoubleTree, at 1515 Rhode Island Ave. NW, later this month. (Open table is taking reservations beginning Monday, April 24).
Sirens are dangerous mythological Greek sea nymphs who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.
The brass-trimmed interior will have the feel of a captain’s quarters with dark millwork, deep red accents and splashes of oceanic blue. The walls will be adorned with folkloric yet edgy depictions of mermaids as well as tattoo designs from bygone sailing cultures. Many evenings will feature live jazz.
Executive chef John Critchley, formerly of Bourbon Steak, Barcelona Wine Bar and most recently Mosaic District’s Brine, will lead the kitchen.
The menu will focus on seafood from around the world, with emphasis on the North Sea, where sole and turbot are found. You can also expect king crab, prawns and salmon from Alaska, fish from Hawaii and sea urchin from Japan as well as local rockfish, sugar toads and oysters.
The small, constantly changing menu allows for a free diver in Bangor, Maine, to send down the 10 sea urchins he brought up that morning. Ten diners will enjoy them, and then it is over until the next time they are available. Raw bar offerings include chilled poached seafood, ceviches and sashimi will be prepared from displays in the open presentation kitchen. Seasonal fruit-forward desserts complement the savory side of the menu with a light finish.
“If guests would like to start with a whole fish and follow that up with caviar, we’re right there with them,” Weidmaier said in a press release. “If they want nothing but an array of small plates, the world is their oyster!”
Cocktails reflect the spirit of the exotic spice and rum trade. A comprehensive wine list provides pairings for the ever-shifting menu, as well as stand-alone choices.
Also at the Darcy, Bayou Bakery’s David Guas will open Li’l B, a café and coffee shop.
Siren will be open from 5-11 p.m. Monday through Saturday for dinner, 5-10 p.m. Sunday for dinner and 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for brunch. The bar will be open nightly until 1 a.m.
Del Campo get new look and menu
Del Campo, 777 I St. NW, got a new look and menu recently, just in time for its fourth anniversary.
In the dining room, the white tablecloths are gone, replaced by new handmade hardwood tables to create a more intimate environment. The walls are adorned with bold graphical elements, including acid washed cowhides brought from Argentina, a decorative cow skull painting in the rear dining space and a rose mural decorating the bar area. Maggie O’Neil of Swatchroom is behind the look, which includes vivid green tiles accentuating the asado bar and a dark, textured surface surrounding the grand, back-lit mirror behind the bar. Deep, rich colors have remade the private dining room and a panoramic landscape conceals the room’s television when not in use.
Since opening in April 2013, Del Campo has brought the lifestyle and food culture of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Peru to the nation’s capital. Now, with an annual milestone approaching, chef Victor Albisu is expanding the restaurant’s geographic ambitions to explore even more of Latin America’s unique flavors, while updating the dining room with dramatic touches that better match the cooking’s contemporary energy and flair.
While the grill and asado menu are still there, the menu now includes an expanded selection of South American flavors and shareable options such as lamb and pork mixed grills, which allow diners to explore selections in which the cuts and preparations change weekly. Options include lamb chop and skewered tongue anticuchos, or a bone-in pork loin, cured for 14 days then grilled and served with an aji amarillo-based barbecue sauce and grilled citrus mostarda. Other dishes designed for a group include a whole lobster grilled with rocoto chili butter, grilled prawns with saffron chimichurri, crispy yucca with pecorino and red chili aioli; and the Chinatown Chirashi, a plate of citrus-cooked tuna, corvina scallop, caviar, togarashi deviled quail eggs and smoked shoyu brown butter.
South America’s many Asian influences are reflected in new dishes like a grilled duck breast served with preserved orange, Szechuan peppercorn and honey; and hot grilled calamari ceviche dressed with aji yuzu kosho. House-made yellow alkaline pasta is the star of a dish of Street Noodles served with burnt bok choy and dressed with a sambal made from Peruvian and Chilean chilies.
Contemporary takes on traditional South American cuisine remain a staple like green chili confit duck empanadas with burnt shishito aioli, beef tenderloin ceviche with horseradish Leche de Tigre and squid ink gnocchi with crispy chorizo and smoked uni butter. Del Campo’s Peruvian chicken, previously only served as a half bird, is now available served whole for the table, spatchcocked, slow roasted and finished on the grill.
Brunch is now an asado buffet with smoked brisket, roasted pork shoulder and Peruvian chicken carving stations; an antipasto bar featuring choices like bacon, egg and cheese empanadas, souffléd pancakes, charred fruit and a charcuterie and cheese board. Sides include vegetarian pasqualina tarts, grilled greens and grilled jalapeno mashed potatoes. Bar-only brunch specials include smoked aji amrarillo dry-aged beef ribs served with fried eggs and salsa criolla.
“To anyone walking into Del Campo for the first time in a while, it’s going to look like an abrupt change,” Albisu said in a press release. “But this has been more of an evolution that has been taking place since we opened. Restaurants like Del Campo always reflect the passions and interests of their chefs, and those things grow as we explore and learn. Del Campo has never been a static concept, and my South American travels have really opened my eyes to the long existing interconnectivity of South American, European, Asian and North American cooking. We figured that the fourth anniversary was a great opportunity to freshen up the dining room and put some of the more interesting and adventurous dishes we have been playing with over the last few years front and center on the menu.”
Dram & Grain introduces new spring cocktails
Jack Rose Dining Saloon’s underground drinking den, Dram & Grain has launched a new internationally-inspired cocktail menu for spring.
While the Dram & Global theme remains, paying tribute to some of the finest drinking cities around the world (London, Tokyo, New Orleans, Havana and San Francisco), the menu, which launched last week, is almost completely different with 20 new cocktails.
The new drinks include eccentric ingredients like alligator butter, miso brine, cinnamon roll vermouth and shimmering precious metal water and unique drinking vessels such as sake carafes, flamingo coozies, copper pineapples and tin cans. The new menu also features a majority of house-made ingredients, ranging from a Fuji apple-spiced cordial, pineapple caramel orgeat, tannic grendadine/gomme syrup, togarashi and Chinese five-spice bitters, a bitter dried grapefruit tonic and a strawberry-banana aperitif.
Drinks include the Ode to Odes, a riff on the bar’s opening smoked drink, which is made with Wild Turnkey 101 Rye, Thomas Tew aged rum, Charteuse aux Fraise and D&G barrel-aged bitters served in a wax-dipped mini bottle alongside a smoked snifter; the Gator Wrestlin’ & Paddle-Backs with Chartreuse Verte, alligator butter, DC&F Carciofo, pineapple, tamarind, lime and Cajun spices; the Shochu Colada with mizu shochu, Cynar 70, coconut, pineapple and yuzu; and the Two Pink Flamingos with Ron Zacapa 23 rum, D&G strawberry-banana aperitif, heavy cream, soda water, lemon, lime and egg white;
The new cocktails range from $14-$30.
Osteria Morini offers spritzes during April
With patio season upon the DMV, Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE in the Capital Riverfront development, is serving an “April Spritz” menu of three spritz-inspired, effervescent cocktails for $13 through the end of the month.
The cocktails are available at the bar, in the dining room or on the patio.
The drinks include the Aperol Crush made with orange and basil infused Aperol, Cocchi Rosa and Prosecco; the Negroni Sbagliato with Campari, Dolin sweet vermouth and Prosecco; and the Blanco Spritz with Gran Classico bitter, Dolin blanc vermouth, Prosecco and orange.
Red’s Table mixes up new spring cocktails and dishes
Red’s Table, 11150 South Lakes Drive, Reston, is offering five new spring cocktails, ideal for patio sunset sips on the 60-seat covered back patio or 20-seast open-air patio that both overlook the lake.
The new seasonal cocktails include the Twisted Whiskey made with bourbon, Cointreau, honey simple syrup, lemon juice, orange juice, angostura bitters and orange bitters; the I Wish I Was Still in Jamaica with light rum, dark rum, orange juice, mango and pineapple; the Herbed Julep with Bulleit bourbon, simple syrup and lime juice; the Oye Como Va with tequila, cherry pepper brine, pineapple juice, pineapple all spice shrub and Cardamaro Amaro; and the Rhubarb Dill Dickel with Dickel rye, strawberry dill shrub, rhubarb purée and lemonade. Drinks are all $10 each.
New seasonal dishes include the arugula and heirloom carrot salad with shaved mushroom, Grana Padano, bread crumbs, lemon and olive oil; flash fried softshell crab with ramp greens, green onion remoulade, grilled lemon and sautéed greens; spring beets with fiddlehead ferns, morel mushrooms, pickled red onion, bee pollen, Cherry Glen goat cheese and onion ash; vegetable farrotto with peas, asparagus, runner beans, green onion, arugula, Grana Padano and olive oil; and garlic skordalia spread served with house-made focaccia, asparagus, peas and arugula. Menu items range in price from $10-$19.
Conosci celebrates its first anniversary
Conosci, 465 K St. NW, celebrates its one year anniversary from 7-10 p.m. tonight, April 19, with a cocktail party featuring passed hor’s d’oeurves, cocktails and unlimited wine and beer.
Beverage director Eric DiNardo will be sabering magnums of sparkling wine and chef George Rodrigues will be sending out bites from the restaurant’s tasting menu, such as braised octopus, tapioca chips with smoked trout roe and pork belly. The cocktails will be in collaboration with Republic Restoratives, the first local and female-owned distillery.
Tickets are $65.
Also, through April 22, the restaurant will offer half price bottles of sparkling wine, as well as an exta amuse bouche for each diner.
Author to sign book at Vinifera in Reston
Cerphe Colwell will sign his new book, Cerphe’s Up at Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro, 11750 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, in the Westin Reston Heights this Saturday, April 22, from 3-5 p.m.
The local DJ, who lives in Leesburg, Va., formerly worked for DC101, WJFK and WHFS and can currently be hear on the online Music Planet Radio. He helped promote the early careers of Bruce Springsteen, Lowell George, Tom Waits, Frank Zappa and many other rock luminaries.
There will be passed appetizers and happy hour prices on all drinks during the signing. Diners who stay for dinner will receive 15 percent off their bill by showing their signed book.
Bayou Bakery hosts crawfish boil
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, 155 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, will kick off its annual crawfish boils on Saturday, April 22, from 4-6 p.m.
Diner can “suck the heads and squeez the tips” with live music from New Orleans native Nick Adde. Tickets are $35 at the door and include a pound of Louisiana crawfish with corn on the cob, peppery new potatoes, coleslaw, mini muff-a-lottas and cornbread with free seconds while supplies last. There will also be jumbo Gulf shrimp with taters and corn sold by the pound.
Abita beer will be $15 for a pitcher and $5 for drafts.
Sakerum hosts Monday cigar nights
Sakerum, the Latin-Asian restaurant at 2204 14th St. NW, host a social cigar night every Monday from 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. on its enclosed rooftop.
Cigar aficionados can enjoy a cigar under the stars while sampling sushi, Latin-Asian small plates and a selection of spirits including Japanese whiskey, rum and scotch. Guests can bring their own cigars for an $8 cutting fee or purchase one from Sakerum’s collection.
Cigars include Oliva V No. 4; Camacho American Barrel Aged; Rocky Patel The Edge Habano Toro; My Father Le Bijou Box Press Torpedo; Padron Anniversary Exclusivo; Ashton Classic Double Magnum; Montecristo White Robusto; Fuente Casa Cuba Divino; Cornelius & Anthony Corona Gorda; and the SakeRum Special Blend. Cigars range from $12-$20.
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.