GIVEAWAY: Taste of Georgetown
The Taste of Georgetown is celebrating it’s 22nd year this Saturday, October 3rd, and I am so excited to be able to offer you all the chance to win tasting tickets in Lani’s Cup of Tea’s first ever GIVEAWAY! Thank you to Georgetown BID for this wonderful opportunity!
Attendees will be able to sample signature bites from more than 30 Georgetown restaurants, as well as beer and wine from Birreria Paradiso, ENO Wine Bar, and Chez Billy Sud. The event benefits the homeless support services of the Georgetown Ministry Center.
Last week, I toured Georgetown to get to know a few of the establishments that will be featured at this year’s Taste of Georgetown event. Read on to find out what you can expect at the event this Saturday, and how you can enter to win FIVE Food Tasting Tickets and THREE Craft Beer & Wine Garden Tasting Tickets (a $37 value!).
The first stop on our tour was Olivia Macaron. This sweet little macaron shop is like a slice of Paris in the heart of Georgetown. Their entrance is nestled in a side street next to Dean and DeLuca’s sitting area, just off of M Street.
Co-owner Ana Claudia Lopez revealed some of the history of Olivia Macaron (named for her baby girl), which will be celebrating it’s second anniversary in October. Her business partner, Michel Giaon is of French & Laotian descent, and he learned to make macarons while working in one of France’s most prestigious macaron houses. The tantalizing smell of the sweet almond shells baking in the oven was enough to convince him to switch careers and and make macarons for a living so that he could be surrounded by their aroma for the rest of his life. (Five minutes in their adorable shop and I was ready to apply for a job, too!)
While it may seem like an idyllic career, it’s not all macaron dust and rainbows. Apparently, the macaron is the diva of the dessert world. The almond based cookie is made from egg whites, almond flour, and sugar, and it’s very fickle. For instance, if it’s too humid, a batch could be ruined. The filling (buttercream or chocolate ganache) is where the flavor magic happens. Olivia Macaron uses real fruits and high quality ingredients to create the unique flavors for their macarons, instead of relying on artificial ingredients. Once assembled, the dessert must rest in the fridge for anywhere from 24 hours to two days so that the shells can achieve that perfectly crisp exterior. Otherwise, you just have a tiny whoopie pie.
Their most popular flavors are Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Red Velvet, but my favorite was Lady Grey – a milder rendition of Earl Grey, with bergamot and citrus. Other highlights included Rose, Black Sesame (perfectly nutty while still sweet and delicate) and Green Tea. Their fall flavors debut in October, featuring Fig Balsamic (a jet black mac), Pumpkin Spice (of course!), and Nutella (which will stay on the menu through the winter).
While many of their flavors are seasonal, they will make special orders year round for parties (with a 100 macaron minimum order). At the Taste, Olivia Macaron will be serving their authentic macarons with Intelligentsia cold brew coffee.
Olivia Macaron, 3222 M St. NW
Next, we strolled over to see Chaia’s very first brick and mortar location in a historic building on Grace Street. This vegetarian farm-to-taco story began three years ago as a farmers market stand at the White House farmers market, and their following has grown so much that they decided to open up shop full-time. The fast-casual restaurant will open sometime in October, but they are still cooking up delicious tacos at Union Kitchen, so their food will be available for sampling at the Taste this weekend!
Chaia’s core values really resonated with me, because the founders, Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern, strive to create food and products that have as little environmental impact as possible, from their sourcing to their garbage. Chaia started because Suzanne and Bettina wanted to create food solely from what was available at the farmers market during a given season. This mentality has been taken a step further with their restaurant. All of the produce is still coming from local farms with environmentally-responsible and sustainable growing methods (much of it from the Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, which is a collaboration of farmers in PA that brings wholesale organic produce to the DC area). In addition, the restaurant will serve all of it’s beverages on tap, to reduce bottling and packaging waste. The cups, utensils, and packaging materials will be completely compostable, so all of the restaurant’s waste (including kitchen scraps) will be shipped to a compost facility in Prince George’s county, where a pilot program is in motion to return the county’s waste to nutrient rich soil.
The on-tap beverage selection includes beer, wine, fresh pressed juices from Misfit Juicery, hibiscus iced tea, and 3 shrubs from a company called Tait Farm Foods in PA. If you’re not familiar, a shrub is a colonial product that was created as a way to preserve fruit. Fresh fruit is macerated with sugar and vinegar and then pressed into a condensed syrup-like drink that gets diluted with sparkling water before serving.
Their food menu will include 3 tacos that will remain on the menu year round, and 2 that rotate seasonally. Also look for seasonal sides and a few sweets.
As a locavore, I love creating menus from the bounty at my local farmers market, but as choices dwindle during the winter, it can get tricky. I asked Suzanne and Bettina for a few tips on how to keep things interesting during the colder months, and their advice was to pull out your ethnic cookbooks and rely on unique world spices and flavors to create variation in your diet while still relying on a few types of root vegetables and winter squash.
At Chaia, the focus is on Mexican-inspired cuisine, but they also find inspiration from international food culture. Head to Chaia’s tent at the Taste to sample their market mushroom or creamy kale taco, each with a seasonal side.
Chaia, 3207 Grace St NW
When it was time for some seafood, we naturally headed to the Georgetown classic, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place. Chef David Stein served up two amazing species of oyster: Wellfleet oysters from Cape Cod, MA and Belon oysters from Maine.
Lots of serious oyster fans come to indulge at Tony and Joe’s, so it’s no surprise that the restaurant goes through about 1,200 oysters a day. That’s why they are a member of the Shell Recycling Alliance with the Oyster Recovery Partnership. Every week, the alliance picks up bushels of oyster shells from more than 250 businesses across the Chesapeake Bay region. These shells are used to restore oyster reefs and create habitat for new oysters.
It’s not just restaurants that are getting involved – there are lots of drop points across Maryland, one in Virginia, and one in DC, where anyone can donate empty shells. Look for this sign in restaurants that serve oysters. If you don’t see one, ask the proprietor if they are involved in the program! Just one recycled oyster shell can create valuable habitat for up to 10 new oysters. Every shell helps, so the more restaurants involved, the better chances we have of restoring the Bay!
If you’re looking for a great opportunity to indulge in some local oysters, check out Tony and Joe’s third annual Shuck It! Beer and Oyster Festival!
During our visit, Chef Stein also served up somemango lobster sliders, along with freshly pan-fried monchong and tuna. YUM.
Tony and Joe’s will be offering Mini Fish Tacos or Jicama Grilled Corn and Jalepeno Slaw at the Taste.
Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place, 3000 K St, NW
Chez Billy Sud, which is celebrating its one year anniversary in October, is known for it’s authentic French cuisine. We had a chance to meet executive pastry chef Jonte Hughes to learn about about classic French pastries.
Jonte taught us how to make the Paris Brest pastry, which is a dessert that was created in 1910 to commemorate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race. It is a simple choux pastry filled with a praline cream (made from almond butter, heavy cream, and cinnamon) and topped with slivered almonds and powdered sugar.
The dessert became a favorite for the cyclists, apparently because of the high calorie count, which energized them for the race. (These decadent creations were so good that they might actually be enough to bribe me into participating in a bike race.) I assume this story is true, because only the French could have such a healthy relationship with caloric treats like these.
Chez Billy Sud is the sister restaurant to the Hilton brothers’ Petworth bistro, Chez Billy. At the Taste, you can sample Weisswurst (literally white sausage) Alsatian Pork Sausage with Sauerkraut and Brown Mustard or a Brioche Apple Cinnamon Roll with Caramel Icing.
Chez Billy Sud, 1039 31st St. NW
ENO has one of the largest selections of local wines in the area, with 27 Virginia wines, including varietals from Breaux Vineyards, Paradise Springs Winery & Barboursville Vineyards! I sampled the three wines from these vineyards that will be offered at the Taste, and you definitely do not want to miss your chance to try them!
(From left to right)
The Unoaked Chardonnay from Breaux Vineyards is everything I like about Chardonnays without everything I dislike about Chardonnays. It’s aged in stainless steel instead of oak, so the fruit flavors come forward without the oaky undertones. This is a 2013 vintage, like the following two wines, so it is very ripe and has a nice, balanced flavor.
The Viognier from Paradise Springs Winery is a full-bodied wine that has hints of stonefruit and melon. Viognier (pronounced VEE-ohn-yay) is the grape that’s putting Virginia wine on the map. One sip, and you can see why.
The Cabernet Franc from Barboursville Vineyard is silky and ripe, with very subtle herbal notes. Cabernet Franc is another classical Virginia grape that is incredibly popular.
ENO is celebrating their second anniversary in October, and they have lots of great wine education events offered regularly through their ENOversity program. On Wednesdays, they host free tastings where participants can meet local winemakers or chocolatiers and taste their creations. On Sundays, you can sign up for an intimate wine and food tasting for $50 for a 2 hour class. Topics vary, so check the website for details and dates.
Other specials include regular happy hours ($5 glasses of wine!) and college nights on Tuesdays. In November, ENO will begin offering their exclusive, signature ENO blend, created by ENO’s wine director in partnership with Breaux Vineyards.
While wine is the focus at ENO, the food isn’t forgotten. We tried several different types of charcuterie and cheeses from a specially curated menu that includes a combination of hard-to-come-by and locally produced items.
The highlight was salami from OLLI Salumeria. This salami is all-natural and slow-cured, made from organic, humanely-raised pigs sourced directly from farms. Several of the farms they work with pasture-raise their pigs for better flavor, a lower environmental impact, and a better quality of life for the animal. One farm even raises Mangalitsas, a rare heritage breed that is known for it’s superior fat content and flavor.
The three wines listed above will be available in the Craft Beer & Wine Garden during the Taste.
Eno Wine Bar, 2810 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Each of these five restaurants will be sharing their creations with attendees of The Taste of Georgetown festival on Saturday, October 3rd. Entry to the event is free. Food Tasting Tickets are $5 each, and Craft Beer & Wine Garden Tasting Tickets are $4 each. They are available for purchase online in advance, or at the event (cash only).
Here are the rules to enter to win the tasting ticket GIVEAWAY, which includes FIVE Food Tasting Tickets and THREE Craft Beer and Wine Tasting Tickets:
- Subscribe to Lani’s Cup of Tea in the box on the sidebar. Be sure to CONFIRM your subscription (After you enter your email address in the sidebar, you will receive a follow-up email asking you to confirm your your request to subscribe. You must click on the link in the email to finalize your subscription request).
- Leave a comment on this post stating why you would like to attend the Taste of Georgetown!
The giveaway will end on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 at 9 pm EST. The winner will be randomly selected. You must complete both requirements listed above in order to be eligible to win.
GOOD LUCK and happy tasting! 🙂
UPDATE 10/2/2015: This giveaway has ended and the randomly selected winner has been notified. Thank you to all who entered!
On K Street, NW along Georgetown Waterfront Park
Between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street
Saturday, October 3rd from 11 am – 4 pm
Tickets: $5/Food Tasting Ticket, $4/Craft Beer & Wine Garden Tasting Ticket