Taco Bamba Opens Chinatown Location
Taco Bamba opened its first D.C. location on Friday at 777 I St. NW in the former Del Campo space.
The fourth location of chef Victor Albisu’s taqueria seats 40 in the dining room, 36 at the bar and another 30 on a seasonal patio facing I Street and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with a full-service bar program.
“The response to Taco Bamba’s lunch-only run in Chinatown was better than I had ever expected,” Albisu said in a statement. “Because we create a new menu for every location, I feel like Taco Bamba just keeps improving. My team of chefs, managers and bartenders went all out to deliver a menu and experience that meets the energy in Chinatown.
New offerings on the Chinatown menu include The Royale with Cheese, a hamburger patty seared on the griddle and topped with Chihuahua cheese served in a flour tortilla with lettuce and a thousand island dressing made with mezcal; the Chivito Torta, a version of Del Campo’s Argentine sandwich; and a chile relleno stuffed with suadero-style house-smoked brisket is topped with classic nacho cheese.
The cocktail program features an expansive margarita selection and includes the signature Margarita Bambera, a mezcal margarita with fire-roasted pineapple, on tap and a rotating margarita featuring seasonal ingredients sourced directly from the Penn Quarter farmers market. Other cocktails include a daiquiri made with Oaxacan rum, a michelada enriched with grilled tomatoes and chilis,. and an old fashioned that mixes Vago Elote mezcal with huitlacoche honey and Oaxacan chocolate mole bitters.
Taco Bamba Chinatown is open from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
A fifth location, Taco Bamba Vamos, will open at University Mall, across the street from the entrance to George Mason University, in Fairfax this fall. Under the Taco Bamba Vamos name, any of the traditional fillings can be ordered as a taco, tostada or torta. Tacos can also be ordered “dirty,” which adds a topping of cheese and sweet chili sauce, seared with meat on the plancha and served in a flour tortilla.
The 1,300-square-foot space will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offer a limited bar with beer and margaritas.
Ambar Clarendon adds weekday breakfast
Ambar, 2901 Wilson Blvd., Clarendon, is now serving weekday breakfast from 8-11 a.m. Monday through Friday. Diners can order a selection of sandwiches, burek, omelets, benedicts, signature breakfasts items and sweets along with La Colombe coffee and cold-pressed juices.
Signature breakfast items include the Ambar Classic, two eggs any style, mushroom hash browns, fruit and toast; lamb hash with rotisserie lamb, crimini mushrooms, Fresno peppers and two sunny side up eggs; the Balkan Breakfast with pszenica, ajvar, homemade sausage, aged cows cheese, mustard and two eggs any style; and the sausage & egg, smoked pork sausage, two eggs any style, Balkan salad and potato hash.
Omelets include smoked salmon with arugula, pickled onions, capers and red onion; Black Forest ham with cheddar cheese; wild mushroom with crimini, shitake, portobello and spinach; and the veggie with onion, red and yellow pepper, and zucchini. All omelets are served with hash browns, house salad and toast.
Benedicts options include smoked salmon with spinach, capers and homemade cream sauce; rotisserie lamb with spicy cornbread and homemade cream sauce; and beef prosciutto with ajvar sauce, kajmak and green onion. Ambar also serves sandwiches such as caramelized onion and egg with chives and cheddar cheese; bacon, egg and cheese with Applewood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese; egg salad with hard-boiled eggs, chives, honey mustard and root vegetables; grilled pork, spicy salami and cheddar cheese; and the Ambar Burger with a medium cooked egg, caramelized onion and cheddar cheese. All sandwiches are served on warm brioche bread with potato hash. A cheese burek and a meat burek, a savory baked pastry served with garlic yogurt, is also be available.
Other dishes include French toast with caramelized Granny Smith apples; buttermilk pancakes with powdered sugar, kajmak butter and raspberry syrup; fruit granola with yogurt and chef’s selection of fresh fruit; and a waffle with poached pear, house-made caramel sauce and whipped cream.
Breakfast items range from $9-$16.
Morton’s introduces new spring dishes
Morton’s, 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW, 3251 Prospect St. NW, 7400 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda and 11956 Market St., Reston, has introduced its Seasonal Selections, new dishes for the warmer months.
New additions to the menu include a 7-ounce Wagyu filet mignon with fire roasted poblano butter; an 8-ounce Wagyu royale ribeye cap Steak burrata, grilled asparagus and baby heirloom tomato salad; Nueske’s bacon steak with peach bourbon glaze; and seared Alaska halibut with Romesco sauce.
The Royal hosts Tonic-Con pop-up on Monday
The Royal, 501 Florida Ave. NW, celebrates International Gin and Tonic Day on Monday, Apr. 9, with Tonic-Con from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. during its monthly Rural Knights series.
Guest bartender Nicole Hassoun, gin distiller at Jos. A. Magnus & Co., will collaborate with Royal’s bartenders on a one-night menu of inventive gin and tonics offered at $8 all night.
The variations of the traditional two-ingredient drink will have twists such as house seasonal tonics, molecular tonic “pearls,” local and Spanish-made gins, and cinchona bark infused into herbal liqueurs. Drinks include Getting Figgy with It, combining Magnus’ Navy Strength Gin with a house hibiscus-fig tonic and house smoked lemon bitters; Big Trouble, Little District with Magnus’ District Dry Gin, Calisaya (an Italian herbal liqueur infused with cinchona bark and other botanicals), dry curacao and lemon topped with a Capitoline Tiber foam; Coley Fights Malaria with house-made Tonic Fernet, made by infusing Fernet Branca with cinchona bark, combined with Mahon Gin from Spain and sweet vermouth; and Adria’s Miracle Elixir made with Fords Gin, a house cucumber-rosemary tonic and tonic “pearls.”
Other specials include $3 canned brews from Atlas Brew Works, $6 “Tonic Fernet” boilermakers and $10 handmade roasted chicken and vegetarian tamales.
Oval Room hosts Anthill Farms Winery dinner
The Oval Room, 800 Connecticut Ave. NW, will host a guided four-course tasting dinner showcasing wines from Anthill Farms Winery in Sonoma County, Calif., beginning at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 10. Tickets are $120 per person.
The meal begins with caramelized Maine sea scallops with asparagus, pickle, tarragon, roe and sabayon paired with Anthill Farms Chardonnay 2016, Peugh Vineyards, followed by rabbit Rossini with foie gras, truffle, madeira and coriander bloom paired with Anthill Farms Pinot Noir 2016, Harmony Vineyards. The main course is roasted veal loin with allium, mushrooms, hazelnuts and pine paired with Anthill Farms Pinot Noir 2016, Campbell Vineyard. And dessert is rhubarb with berry, custard, meringue and oxalis paired with Anthill Farms Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc.
All Set Restaurant & Bar celebrates third anniversary
All Set Restaurant & Bar, 8630 Fenton St., Plaza 5, Silver Spring, will celebrate its third anniversary with happy hour specials on Saturday, Apr. 14, from 3-6:30 p.m.
Fans of the New England-inspired restaurant can enjoy a selection of small plates including a mini burger with pickles and spicy feta mayonnaise; fish taco with cornmeal crust, spicy coleslaw and avocado lime ranch; fried calamari with hot cherry peppers and cocktail sauce; mussels with white wine, garlic and chili flakes; chickpea fries with shredded zucchini, roasted garlic and avocado lime ranch; and oysters on the half shell. Happy hour dishes range in price from $2.50-$8.
The restaurant will offer Coors Light and PBR for $2-$3 each, $5 signature cocktails, $6 house red wine, white wine or the Freedom & Unity, made from a combination of Woodchuck Cider and cinnamon rye, as well as a $7 daily punch.
Signature craft cocktails include the Pretty in Pink with tequila, prosecco, lemon, cranberry and triple sec; the Daly Special with tea-infused vodka and fresh lemonade; the Cranberry Bog with cranberry-infused vodka and Sprite; the Basil Gin Rickey with gin, basil syrup and lime; and a whisky sour. Frozen strawberry margaritas and piña coladas will also be available for $8.
The celebration also includes a petting zoo complete with bunnies, ducks, chicks, teacup pigs and giant rabbits for families to enjoy on the outdoor terrace. There will also be face painting, as well as prizes of All Set gift cards in denominations between $10 and $100
Red’s Table hosts dinner featuring Willamette Valley wines
Red’s Table, 11150 South Lakes Drive, Reston, will host a guided five-course tasting dinner showcasing wines from the Willamette Valley on Saturday, Apr. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $95 per person.
Oregon’s leading wine region, the Willamette Valley is home to two-thirds of the state’s vineyards with more than 500 wineries. It is one of the premier Pinot Noir producing areas in the world.
The first course is sweet oyster with rosé mignonette paired with Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rosé 2017, followed by portobello and blue salad with grilled portobello mushroom, cured pork, lacinato kale and Bayley Hazen blue cheese paired with R. Stuart & Co. Love, Oregon Pinot Noir 2014. The next course is spring pea toast with fava bean puree, English pea and pickled red onions paired with Montinore Estate Pinot Noir 2016. The entrée is pork schnitzel with fried egg, ramp spätzle and fried capers paired with Walter Scott La Combe Verte Pinot Noir 2016. And for dessert, a ganache tartlet with drunken berries and pinot reduction paired with Patricia Green Cellars Lia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
Jake Addeo takes over Occidental Grill kitchen
Jake Addeo is the new executive chef at Occidental Grill & Seafood, 1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Addeo comes from Bibiana Osteria Enoteca. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and studied at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Piemonte.
Addeo has introduced new dishes including roasted bone marrow with brandied cherry compote, baby radish, brûléed citrus aïoli, and toasted challah bread; and three cheese gnocchi with sheep’s milk ricotta gnocchi, roasted chestnut and taleggio fonduta and parmigiano crisp. New seafood offerings include a fresh Chesapeake Bay rockfish with herb and ricotta stuffed tortellini, haricot vert, black mission figs and sweet onion consommé; and the Monument Seafood Tower with Little Neck clams, East Coast oysters, Hokkaido scallop ceviche, tiger prawn, tuna tartare and uni rice crackers.
The Occidental has also named Franklin “Frankie” M. Jones as its new head mixologist. A native Washingtonian, Jones began his career as an assistant photographer to the secretary of state where he spent his lunch breaks sitting at the bar inside Kinkead’s thinking, instead, of bartending. He most recently worked at The Gibson, where he earned a RAMMY nomination for Best Cocktail Program in 2014.
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.