Washington, DC New Menu Report: 07/22/15

Pies for charity, Mediterranean fare, Bento Box lunches, and new brunch menus are tempting diners in D.C. this week

Escape the heat while you can and cool off with rum tastings at Cuba Libre all August-long.

No matter where you go in D.C. you are never far from a high-end steak house, well designed wine list, or tempting menu, and this week’s menu report includes all three plus some discounted lunch menus and new dessert treats at a familiar stalwart on the dining scene. Escape the heat while you can and cool off at Cuban watering hole; sit back, enjoy a cold rum drink, and take a break, you deserve it.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar
Prime your cocktail appetite because Sunday, August 16 is National Rum Day and Cuba Libre will be hosting Rum Day Sunday to celebrate. During Happy Hour, from 5 to 7 p.m., you can sample 90 premium rums from Tortola, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Guyana for half-price. But wait; there’s more! From August 1 to August 31, you can also sample three new rum flights that feature aged and gran reserva rums from Trinidad and Nicaragua. The flights include the Cuba Libre, Rum Room Favorites, and the Whiskey Lovers Flight.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab
Back by popular demand, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab is hosting their Sommelier Series and this week the theme is a wine lover’s tour of Italy. All week long, until Sunday, July 26, you can sample four stellar wines from Piedmont and Tuscany, including Ca’Marcanda Vistamare Tuscany 2013 ($14/3oz, $28/6oz), a wine that’s a perfect match with Joe’s famous stone crab. The 2013 Gaja Rossi-Bass Chardonnay Langhe ($18/3oz, $36/6oz) is wisely paired with the Alaskan Halibut. The third wine, Ca’ Marcanda Promis Bolgheri 2013 ($10/3oz, $20/6oz) sports a blend of Merlot, Syrah, that’s a foil to the rich flavors of  Joe’s 16oz rib eye. For sheer elegance, the fourth wine, Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2010 ($19/3oz, $38/6oz) is 100% Nebbiolo, making it simpatico with Joe’s signature bone-in filet mignon. 

Nopa Kitchen + Bar
After making her mark for eight years at Johnny’s Half Shell, pastry chef and visual artist Valerie Hill has made the move to Nopa Kitchen + Bar. For years, D.C. diners have been delighted with her coconut cake and warm banana pudding pie so we can’t wait to sample her pistachio cake with rose cream and rhubarb sorbet; raspberry and white chocolate bread pudding; and buttermilk panna cotta with blueberry compote, citrus peach puree, and Anson Mill’s cornmeal shortbread. 

If you live in Takoma Park and Silver Spring in Maryland or Petworth in D.C. there’s yet one more reason to visit Takoma Park’s quaint heart: Republic’s new three-course lunch special they’re calling Straight Lunchin’. Priced at $16, it’s designed to get you in and out in an hour and be tasty. Choose from two courses and dessert Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for just $5, you can also order a mini beer or glass of wine. Some of the standout dishes include ancient grains salad with pomegranate, pistachios, and mint; wood grilled chicken with red beans, smoked bacon, avocado, and cilantro; and the vanilla crème brûlée with seasonal fruit.


Summer Whitford is the D.C. City Guide Editor at The Daily Meal and the DC Wine Examiner. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva.