The next stop on the Vegan tour of the DMV was Amma Vegetarian Kitchen in Vienna, VA (click here for parts 1, 2, and 3). Amma is an all vegetarian South Indian restaurant specializing in dosas (crepes) with spicy fillings. Unfortunately we quickly discover that Amma was on the Washingtonian's list for being vegetarian friendly, NOT vegan friendly - they cook their crepes on a griddle with butter. After a lot of discussion with the man working the counter (who was very patient and helpful) we discovered that were maybe two options for my vegan friend - a fried bread and a whole wheat bread, both served with (SUPER) spicy potatoes and a vegetable stew.
This is my second month to be a part of the Food 'n Flix bloggers' circle (see here for my first month). This month is hosted by Tina at Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor; and she has chosen the movie Sideways to be our inspiration.
Sideways is a movie about friendship, relationships, happiness, and most of all - WINE. Set in Napa Valley, vineyards and wineries provide the background to the film and wine almost becomes a character itself.
I wanted to make something that would feel like it belonged in Napa Valley, and that would pair well with wine. I thought about coffee rubbed pork with a wine sauce, or braised ribs, but eventually I settled down on something simple and fresh - Focaccia with grapes, rosemary, pine nuts, olive oil, and sea salt served with fresh homemade ricotta.
I have been dying to try out the lobster rolls from this famous DC food truck from the moment I first heard about them. Red Hook serves two different styles of lobster rolls: the Connecticut (shown on top) is poached in butter and served warm; the Maine (shown on bottom) is served cold in a light lemon mayonnaise sauce (so light that you can barely even see/taste the mayo). They are both really, really good. The Maine allows the more subtle flavors of lobster to show through but the bread becomes extraneous, whereas on the Connecticut the butter soaked bread is incredibly delicious. I recommend getting one of each, but if you can only get one - I would go with the Connecticut.
The rolls cost $15 each - which may seem like a lot, but the thing is all lobster. I mean - just look at that chunk of claw meat there! This is definitely a food truck worth stalking.
Other stars on the menu include Maine Root Sodas and locally made whoopie pies. They also offer mail-order kits to make your own lobster rolls and you can hire the truck to cater parties!
Set at a six-person bar on the upper level of America Eats Tavern, Minibar is a restaurant within a restaurant. It is also consistently one of the highest rated restaurants in DC - usually within the top 5! It is just as much theater as it is dining while you interact with the chefs and watch them prepare a parade of tiny, one-bite dishes that are clever, whimsical, and above all - delicious.
Avengers Assemble! We hosted an Avengers movie marathon to celebrate and prepare for the release of the new flick. I thought that it would be the perfect time to try out a recipe from the super cool Jelly Shot Test Kitchen Blog. This boozy, layered jello mold in red, white, and blue was perfect to represent everyone's favorite goody-two-shoes - Captain America. It would also be great for any upcoming 4th of July celebrations.
These brownies contain no dairy and very little fat, but they are still super tasty and moist!
Here are all the ingredients you will need, including the secret weapon - black beans. These are pureed and stand in for the oil and eggs. But fear not - you can't even taste them!
This is a pretty decadent dinner, but sometimes we need a little comfort (and a lot of cream). "Melt in Your Mouth" Chicken is topped with seasoned mayonnaise and baked to make it juicy and flavorful. Creamy Lemon and Chive Farfalle is surprisingly light - with the gentle flavors of white wine, shallot, lemon, and chives.
Creamy, rich, decadent cheesecake topped with sour cream and luscious cherries - yes please!
Press buttered graham cracker crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a spring form pan (normally 9-inches, but all I have is 10). By the way, they now sell pre-crushed graham crackers in the baking isle!
For anyone who has read Pt 1 or Pt 2, you will know that my Vegan friend challenged me to try the top 25 Vegan-friendly restaurants in the area. This time we decided to two different spots in the same trip. Cafe Green (an all vegan restaurant) and Agora (a Greek spot with a number of vegetarian options and a few vegan ones) are right next door to each other near Dupont Circle.
The menu at Cafe Green is a little eccentric - part Asian, part Southern comfort food; all Vegan, with a large portion of Raw food. I ordered the macaroni and cheese platter based on good reviews, and the fact that I love mac-n-cheese. The macaroni is made from quinoa (which is a super grain) and the sauce had almost a bit of curry flavor too it. Great texture, great flavor - this is a winner. The platter came with a side of lemony kale that was alright and some spiced, candied yams that were AWESOME. I also added on a piece of cornbread that had good flavor but was super dry and crumbly.
I was looking for a light (but filling) Spring side dish and stumbled upon this recipe for a Zucchini and Orzo Salad with Feta - perfect! It was so delicious and refreshing that I ended up eating it by itself for lunch instead of pairing it with salmon like I had intended.
But I did still need a side for the salmon, and I had extra orzo and some Mascarpone that I needed to use up. So I made this Creamy Mascarpone Pasta with Peas and Chives - yum!