It’s finally here!  This week’s beautiful weather arrived just in time for tonight’s Blogger Happy Hour – will you be there?  The cooler temperatures have got us looking ahead to everything that autumn has to offer: apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes…and of course a sustained break from the fetid humidity we’ve all come to know and love as DC in the summer. 

But before we say goodbye to summer completely, we wanted to call your attention to two upcoming events that celebrate the best of the season in the best possible way: right there on the farm, among the fruits and vegetables that are just now at their peak.  Whether you’d prefer a farm-fresh dinner with RAMW’s Rising Culinary Star of the Year or a current Top Chef contestant, you’ve got your chance within the next two weeks.

Details on Outstanding in the Field and VOLT’s Late Summer Farm Dinner after the jump. (more…)

potenzaWhen they open their doors for dinner service tonight, Potenza will culminate the process of revitalizing a corner of downtown DC whose most memorable recent tenant was a surprisingly resilient bikini shop.  This newest offering from the Stir Food Group (the folks who’ve given us Zola and the new Zola Wine & Kitchen), is actually a variety of concepts under one roof: a trattoria-style dining room, a bakery and a wine shop will all co-exist under the Potenza name by the time everything is up and running.

Located at the corner of 15th and H Streets, NW, just a few blocks from the White House, Potenza is in a prime location for an Obama date night.  And their menu, as developed by Executive Chef Bryan Moscatello and his staff, features a broad range of flavors that can generally be described as “rustic Italian.”  But chatting with partner Dan Mesches, it’s clear that Potenza doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed.  How you see them will likely depend on which of their concepts suits you best.

scrollwork-over-pewsOn Saturday afternoon, with mock service going on all around us, I met with Darcey Thomson for a walk through the (vast) space.  Ms. Thomson is the marketing manager for CORE Architecture & Design, the firm responsible for turning a warren of chopped up little storefronts into a cohesive, flowing space for dining, drinking, and otherwise enjoying yourself.  If that name sounds familiar, you may remember them from their work with Founding Farmers and their efforts to design the space to meet LEED certification standards for ‘green’ building.

More of our first look at Potenza, including some additional photos and details on their official opening dates (beyond tonight’s dinner) after the jump. (more…)