What’s Happening in DC: New Bivalves, New Brews, and New Openings

Washington, D.C’s food and drink scene is hot and cool with designer oysters, a new distillery, and new digs for top chefs

There’s a whole lot happening in the Washington, D.C. food and drink scene, including wine specials and a new distillery.

Blue Duck Lounge, Park Hyatt
Each year, Park Hyatt hotels around the globe host Masters of Food & Wine events designed to celebrate artisanal, seasonal food and drink. On Saturday, February 28, Park Hyatt D.C. will host “Froth, Fromage, and Fermentation” from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Blue Duck Lounge. For this culinary experience, Blue Duck Tavern’s cheese specialist, Sophie Slesinger, will lead a deliciously entertaining class on fermentation and learn a few tips on the art of pairing food and beer. Guests will sample Kunkik cheese from Nettle Meadow Farm in Vermont, Winnimere from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont, Marieke Gouda from Holland’s Family Farm in Wisconsin, Talbot Reserve Cheddar from Chapel County Creamery in Maryland, and Ewe’s Blue  from Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. in New York. Tickets are priced at $65 per person, all-inclusive.

DC Coast
Chef Jeff Tunks takes seafood very seriously and over the years, he has cultivated relationships with local farmers, oystermen, fishermen, and other producers. DC Coast is his showcase for local, tri-coastal, and sustainable seafood, and with the help of Maryland born chef Miles Vaden, of Passion Food Hospitality, the two have made DC Coast a destination for the freshest catch of the day.

In tribute to Tunks’ devotion to sustainable aquaculture, Hollywood Oyster Company has developed a new oyster called “The Big Daddy.” When he learned about the new oyster and name, Tunks, a partner in Passion Food Hospitality, said, “Of course, I'm completely honored. Hollywood Oysters is a great operation down in southern Maryland, in a pristine estuary of the Chesapeake. They practice highly responsible aquaculture, and are raising really fine oysters. The Big Daddy is nice and buttery, with a deep-cup that holds lots of briny liquor. It’s over-sized and sweet—but that's where the similarity between us ends!” The Big Daddy is now available at the popular raw bars of DC Coast, PassionFish, District Commons, and Penn Commons

Flight Wine Bar
It’s time to sing “Happy Birthday” to Flight Wine Bar because on February 4 they officially turned one year old. To celebrate, they are offering two new weekly wine menu specials and three new dishes to the food menu including fried cauliflower, grilled spiced meatballs, and hangar steak sliders. Owners Kabir Amir and Swati Bose have selected some of their favorite wines and each Wednesday will offer them 35% off, and on Saturdays, guests can save with the #RedEye special. This new program offers a glass of wine from any open bottle for just $7, beginning at 10:30 p.m. and lasting until the wine runs out. Additionally, the all-night happy hour (5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.) is available every Monday when Flight offers a rotating selection of a red and a white wine for $7, four draught beers for $5, and food options that range from $5 to $7. “We offer a variety of pricing options so that trying out different wines is available to all guests regardless of their budget or tastes,” said Bose.

One Eight Distilling
D.C. is slowly becoming a little oasis of locally produced, handcrafted spirits, and with the opening of One Eight Distilling on January 8, the number of D.C. distillers comes to three. Named for Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that established the District of Columbia as the capital of the U.S., they are conducting tours, tastings, and hosting events to introduce local imbibers to their rye-based District Made Vodka and Rock Creek White Whiskey. Saturday, February 21, from 1 to 4 p.m., they will be hosting a party to celebrate National Biscuits and Gravy Day. Southern food will be at the center of the table with popular pop-up, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., providing the provisions. Guests can sample some spirits, eat well, and take a tour of the distillery. What’s next? Come springtime, look for their latest and greatest with the release of their dry-style Ivy City Gin

Rose’s Luxury
Tim Carman reports that Aaron Silverman, owner and chef at Rose’s Luxury—the restaurant named Best New Restaurant 2014 by Bon Appétit magazine, will be opening a new restaurant at 715 8th St. SE, right next door to his current digs. This dining concept will be dramatically different and give Silverman the opportunity to flex his culinary muscles in a much larger space. The restaurant will be a casual spot during with coffee the focus and then turn over and become a pricey, fine dining destination at night—and they will take reservations. The prix fixe menu will be a minimum of $100 per person, the fine dining room will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, and the operation will maintain Silverman’s upscale but laid back vibe.


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.