PS7's Gina Chersevani with Alice Waters

If our math is correct, Alice Waters’ Sunday Night Suppers helped to raise more than $100,000 for the DC Central Kitchen and Martha’s Table for the second year in a row.  The 15 all-star dinner parties were limited to 20 guests each, and they featured some of Washington’s best and most established chefs.  But they weren’t the only way to help support these great causes this time around.

In an effort to engage the next generation of savvy and (hopefully) active foodies, Waters and company organized a pre-game called Sunday Night Sips.

Everything about this luxe cocktail reception was planned with a younger audience in mind, from the scaled-back price point to the collection of up-and-coming chefs whose dishes were featured to the high-end cocktails poured by three of DC’s finest craft bartenders.

We were invited to tag along and document the event, and we eagerly accepted.  What awaited us in hosts Greg Nelson and Jose Cunningham’s beautiful home was three floors of food and drink that were designed to impress.  Whether it was Will Artley’s BLT Gnocchi (a favorite we’ve ordered at Evening Star Cafe) or Owen Thompson’s Tequila Milk Punch, each taste packed a flavorful punch.

The evening in images (Who am I kidding? There are plenty of words, too) after the jump. (more…)

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A few months ago, we wrote about one of our consistent favorites in Penn Quarter, PS 7’s.  We praised Chef Peter Smith’s approach to his menu and his commitment to using the best ingredients available to make inventive dishes with satisfying, complex flavors.  We mentioned Gina Chersevani’s cocktails in passing, but we largely focused on the meal.

For a lot of guests at PS 7’s, that’s the way they experience the menu.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  A few of our fellow bloggers (as well as the not-long-for-DC Daily Candy) have written about a way to have your cake and eat it too, in a manner of speaking.  If you know to order it, you can actually enjoy a seven-course tasting menu that comes paired with seven of Gina’s amazing cocktails in the lounge.

Don’t expect to see a menu (they abandoned the mysterious wax-sealed menus that the guys at the Scofflaw’s Den experienced), but do come prepared to eat and drink well.

How well?  Find out after the jump. (more…)

Looking for a Penn Quarter destination with creative cocktails and a bar menu to match?  Eager for a sit-down dinner that impresses with its ingredients as well as its execution?  Okay…there are actually several places in that part of town that fit the bill.  But there are few that have consistently impressed us the way PS7’s has.

Your experience at Peter Smith’s restaurant is entirely up to you.  Upon arriving at the host stand, you can choose to turn left and enter the dining room.  If you do so, a menu that reflects PS7’s commitment to freshness and seasonal fare awaits.  But turn right, and you’ll enter the realm of “Mixtress” Gina Chersevani, whose inventive beverages have lured us from Poste to Rasika to EatBar and now back to Penn Quarter.  Pair those drinks up with some killer appetizers and sandwiches, and you’ve got a bar that more than holds its own.

Our most recent visit to PS7’s came after this month’s Food Blogger Happy Hour, so we were primed for a great dining experience.  As it turns out, we were visiting during their extended Restaurant Week offering – fitting, as our first visit was during another Restaurant Week a few years ago.

Three courses on your left, cocktails and bar food on your right; you can find both after the jump. (more…)

logoTucked away between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there’s an under-appreciated holiday that we here at Capital Spice are all about celebrating:  Repeal Day.

On December 5, 1933, the Twenty-First Amendment was ratified by Utah, at which point it had the necessary three-fourths majority of states’ approval and became law.  With that, the Eighteenth Amendment was repealed and Prohibition came to an end after more than thirteen years.

dc-craft-bartendersNow, seventy-five years later, a movement is underway to bring attention to this red letter day in American history.  Jeffrey Morgenthaler has been spearheading the effort, and here in DC he is being joined by the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild.

What is the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild, you ask, and what are they doing to celebrate Repeal Day?  Find out after the jump. (more…)

The Last Barman Poet and the first person I'd want teaching me to mix drinks.

The Last Barman Poet and the first person I'd want teaching me to mix drinks.

If you’ve had a drink – correction: a really good drink – in Penn Quarter over the past five or six years, you’ve probably tasted Gina Chersevani’s handiwork.  She was part of the team that reinvented Poste’s bar menu to feature new classics made with garden-fresh ingredients, like the Basil Lemontini and the Lavender Margarita.  And she helmed the bar at Rasika until late last year, where she married traditional techniques and her own infusions with authentic Indian flavors and spices to create delicious originals.

So you can understand my excitement when I heard about a series of cocktail classes that Gina will be offering roughly every two weeks from now until the December holidays at Eatbar, the bar/lounge that adjoins Tallula in Arlington. 

Details on the classes and contact information after the jump. (more…)