Washington, DC New Menu Report: 12/7/16

Christmas is a blast in the DMV thanks to our almost-Southern location, international vibe from more than a hundred embassies, and the influence of people from every part of the country. This season, savor the holiday goodies at a Louisiana native's sweet shop and down-home fare at a favorite French-inspired bistro. There are also well-made, affordable warming cocktails from a Massachusetts transplant specializing in seafood so you can have just about a stocking full of fun things to eat. This week, the shopping countdown is getting louder but take time to stop and relax a bit.


Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar, and Eatery

There's no escaping that Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza are upon us, and I automatically think of sugar plums, decorated cookies, and sweets. For Southern sweets, no one better at fixing your sugar fix than David Guas, chef, pastry chef, and owner of both Bayou Bakeries. He's baking up some Creole Kringle Cakes that are a riff on the traditional King Cakes served during Epiphany every year on Jan. 6. Each Creole Kringle Cake is made fresh with flaky "shugah"-tossed croissant dough, praline crunch, Creole cream cheese, and topped with a warm praline glaze. Look for other sweet treats like David's Trinity of Pralines that includes a mix of traditional, chocolate, and chicory coffee flavors; his Holiday "Hot" Nuts, which are bacon-fried Virginia peanuts with Creole seasoning; and Snow-Dusted Crack Cookies, gluten-free gooey chocolate cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar.


Legal Sea Foods

If you're fed up with lackluster cocktails that cost upward of $13, $14, or even $15 each, head to this Massachusetts import for more booze for your buck. The prices of the winter warmer cocktails at Legal Sea Foods top out at $10, which could tempt you to order drinks in relay. All four DMV-area locations are offering drinks that will warm you up from the inside out for the next three months. Try an Irish coffee made with small-batch Irish whiskey from Teeling; a hot toddy made with LSP Barrel-Select Eagle Rare 10-Year bourbon; hot buttered rum with English Harbour 5-Year and Plantation Original Dark rums; or the honey apple warmer with Bärenjäger Honey liqueur and Laird's Applejack. Looks like there's a trip to Legal Sea Foods in my future; how about you?


Macon Bistro & Larder

If you have a hankering for fried chicken but love dining as only the French can do, then Macon Bistro & Larder has a bit of both along with some tempting bubbly. Every Monday for the rest of December, from 5 to 10 p.m., this French- and Southern-inspired bistro's back bar, aka The Magnolia Room, hosts chicken and grinning time. The eatery serves fried chicken drumsticks for $3 a piece along with a $4 side of grits, macaroni and cheese, or collard greens. Not sure what to drink with your down-home fare? Ask beverage director AJ Johnson for a suggestion. Her happy hour drink specials include hand-picked wines by the glass or draught beer for $6 each, select spirits for $8, and Champagnes from top producers. Look for Jacquesson Cuvée No. 738 Grand Vin, Oudinot Cuvée Brut, and the Pierre Paillard "Les Parcelles" Bouzy Grand Cru, priced at $12 each.


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