Washington, DC New Menu Report: 8/11/16

Rio themed cuisine, lobster thermidor, and goodies for Cirque du Soleil fans are just a few things in store

Order lobster thermidor and celebrate 110 years of great food at Occidental Grill and Seafood.

As of Monday, August 8, the American athletes had won 12 gold and silver medals at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Then, last night, August 9, the women’s gymnastics and volleyball teams won gold, bringing the tally up again. We think just getting to the Olympics is a huge accomplishment, and but this many wins definitely deserve a toast, or two—especially since a good number of the medaled athletes hail from Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

To help imbibers get into the spirit, a few local places are hosting special menus with an Olympic theme, and depending on your tastes and budget, you can drink cocktails made with Brazilian spirits or sip drinks named for the medal categories. August is National Lobster Month, so this tasty crustacean is on the menu along with a special nod to ice cream since it’s also National Ice Cream Month. However you choose to celebrate summer, or the games, in the District, we are sure it will help beat the heat.

Commissary may be a laid-back, casual, neighborhood restaurant, but they take their drinks menu very seriously, which is why you should head over there to sample their new line up of Olympic-themed cocktails. Available every day from Friday, August 5 through Sunday August 21, you can sample the drinks while watching all games, which are being shown on the full wall projector. Grab a few friends, wear the red, white, and blue and sample these Rio-themed cocktails for just $9 each:

The Bronze Medal: cachaça, muddled oranges, mint, and pomegranate syrup
The Silver Medal: cachaça, lime, and sugar cane 
The Gold Medal: whiskey, cachaça, lime, mint, and sugar cane

Entyse Wine Bar and Lounge
Curious about the new Cirque du Soleil show called Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities? Consider trying the limited-time menu offered by Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge. Created with a Kurios theme in mind, these special treats are served for guests to enjoy before or after the show at The Ritz-Carlton, in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Designed for two people, Entyse’s Kurios menu includes dishes from their new small plates menu like crab cakes, Korean shrimp tacos, and more. The price for two is $56 and you can enjoy the small plates from July 21 to September 18, but be sure to reserve a spot; like the show, the seats sell out quickly.

August is an important month around the world thanks to celebrations of Lobster Month and the return of the Summer Olympic Games. However, what’s more important, especially for fans of the historic Occidental Grill & Seafood and the National Park Service, these two important institutions are celebrating important anniversaries. This year, the Occidental is celebrating its 110th anniversary and the National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary. During the month of August, they have joined forces and created a partnership to mark the celebrations and help preserve historic lands and sites. In honor of the National Park Service, Occidental has created a new cocktail called the Arrowhead Old Fashioned based on the bison, which is the National Parks Service’s logo. Every time a patron orders this cocktail, which is prepared with Buffalo Trace bourbon, Jerry Thomas Decanter Bitters, and maple syrup, 20 percent of the sales of the cocktail will be donated to the National Parks Fund.

To celebrate their own anniversary, the Occidental has brought back a truly great classic for their menu and is serving lobster thermidor every Thursday during dinner service throughout August, which also happens to be National Lobster Month. Prepared using fresh, two-pound Maine lobster, parmesan foam, herb breadcrumbs, and lobster tarragon bisque this delicious dish is still a stunner.

For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click hereSummer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram @thefoodandwinediva. Read more of her stories here.