Washington, DC New Menu Report: 8/31/16

Politics reigns on menus and an old political haunt celebrates 110 years of being in the thick of it all

Toast Occidental Grill & Seafood’s 110 year anniversary with their signature champagne cocktail.

It’s inevitable, in a city where politics is commerce all things related to government, scandal, and elections float to the top of the heap in news, food, and booze. The political themed alimentation game started back in June and July and it will only get thicker as November’s big race gets closer.

This week we’re only featuring one political menu review where you can order red and blue plate specials featuring, what else, dishes from red and blue states. To keep things interesting, you can head to Virginia, hang out with master distillers, sample their locally produced wares, sip signature cocktails, or help a Washington dining icon celebrate 110 years in business by ordering a special champagne cocktail. Enjoy your last taste of summer and have a happy Labor Day weekend.

The Grill Room at Rosewood
Famed chef Frank Ruta is headlining at The Grill Room at Rosewood Hotel, and he’s added a few menu items for politicos who just can’t get enough of the presidential campaign shenanigans. Beginning Tuesday, September 6, guests can order one dish from the Red Plate & Blue Plate prix-fixe lunch menu plus a choice of a glass of house red or white wine or dessert for $28 per person. Both menus will be available daily through Tuesday, November 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and look for classic dishes on each menu that come from their respective red and blue states. 

In the evening, head to The Grill Room or The Rye Bar for a choice of three election-themed cocktails. You can choose from Thyme to Decide made with gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, and blackberries;  the Pacific Blue, which includes vodka, lime juice, simple syrup, Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, and Blue Curacao; and The Green Card, which is made from a combination of mezcal, honey, lime, and ginger syrup. If you are the competitive sort, the restaurant will be conducting informal polling weekly to see which cocktail is outselling its lively competitor. 

Hugo Bar & Eatery
Hugo Bar & Eatery, in Purcellville, Virginia, is swiftly becoming a cocktail hot spot and now offers guests a unique interactive experience with Virginia spirits that’s part of its Master Distiller Series. This series gives guests the chance to experience what’s happening in Virginia’s incredibly thriving distilling industry first hand.

Beginning September 7, these engaging spirits tastings will be led by master distillers and will be priced at $20 a person. Each guest will sample the spirits, taste them prepared in three signature cocktails, and be treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The Master Distiller Series takes over Hugo from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. once a month and tickets can be purchased online. Here are the dates for Master Distiller Series and the featured distillery:

September 7: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
October 12: Copper Fox Distillery
November 9: KO Distilling

Occidental Grill & Seafood
How do you celebrate a birthday when you’re 110 years old? By keeping up with the political storm of national and presidential politics and combining it with classic food and drink that’s as historic as you are. Head to Occidental Grill & Seafood for its 110 year anniversary where September’s grape harvest season is being honored by offering signature champagne cocktails all month long. Bar manager, Aubrey Walkins has created a cava-based cocktail that blends in Remy Martin VSOP cognac, Kina L’Avion d’Or liqueur, and a sugar cube soaked in peach bitters for a bubbly, modern drink. In the kitchen, executive chef Rodney Scruggs and chef de cuisine Scott Perry, are serving classic Bercy sauce with chicken instead of fish and serving it with poached fingerling potatoes, spring onions, baby radish, and a shallot garlic gloss. Hungry yet?

For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click here. Summer 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 at thefoodandwinediva. Read more of her stories here