Attenti0n oenophiles! Today’s Groupon features a good deal on a wines of the world class from the Washington Wine Academy. Classes are available at $32 each (typically $68).

This can be a great intro to new/old world wines or maybe a nice holiday ‘date gift’ for you and a friend.

Washington Wine Academy Deal of the Day | Groupon Washington DC.

img_6183There’s a classic old song that urges us to “make new friends but keep the old…one is silver and the other is gold.”  After a visit to Dino last night, I can say that the sentiment definitely holds true, and Dino’s new Happy Hour special only adds to the golden charm of a restaurant we get to far less often than we’d like.

It’s an ironic drawback to writing a food blog: In an attempt to experience as many new places as possible within your budget, you end up neglecting the restaurants you really enjoy.  So when Jason from DC Foodies suggested we get together to check out owner (and now chef) Dean Gold’s complimentary spread of pate, crostini, olives and giardiniera, I jumped at the chance.

While many restaurateurs have responded to the leaner economy with tightened belts, raised prices and diminished portions, Gold has basically thrown his arms wide open and shouted “Come and get it!” with deals and offers that indicate that he does get it.

More on what’s new after the jump. (more…)

<<EDIT 11/18 @ 4:00 PM:  In case you’ve clicked into this post directly, we’ve got some big news about Brasserie Les Halles’ plans (or lack thereof) and two more Beaujolais Nouveau events here.  Check it out.>>

You have to hand it to the French, they know marketing. They invented high cuisine and luxury goods while European neighbors were still playing with their food. Have a fresh wine that won’t age as well as its cousins? Create a race to deliver the first bottles to cafes and restaurants across the world!

It’s the perfect combination of product and advertising, really. The wine is bottled no more than three days after harvest and designed to be consumed soon and fast.  The wine, a light, fruity red, is practically meant for gulping rather than swirling and sipping. Being the lovers of bureaucracy that they are, the French government has even stepped in to regulate the process: By French law, Beaujolais Nouveau can not be released before the third Thursday of November. DC restaurants and organizations take advantage of this, with fantastic parties leading up to the great moment at midnight when the wine is delivered to the crowd like a champion boxer.

Although the reservations for Bistrot du Coin’s popular pre-release dinner and midnight toast are long gone and none of the newer wine bars (Cork, Proof, Veritas, Vinoteca) have announced any Beaujolais Nouveau-related events, there are still quite a few option out there for Francophiles and wine-lovers alike.

Details on where to get your Beaujolais on after the jump. (more…)

>>>UPDATE:  According to chatters over at DonRockwell, tickets for Saturday the 22nd were sold out online in roughly 15 minutes.  And apparently Friday wasn’t far behind.  I’m sure Old Ebbitt will be putting out some sort of announcement letting us know just how quickly the tickets were actually snapped up, but I hope some of you saw this post, were able to get through in time and snag some tickets!

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At 7:30 this morning, tickets went on sale for the thirteenth annual Old Ebbitt Grill Oyster Riot.  This annual event combines an epic quantity of oysters with award-winning wines to create two unforgettable evenings each year.  And since last year’s event sold out completely in under an hour, you may want to head over to the OEG’s site now if you have any interest at all in attending this year’s Riot.

Oyster Riot is held on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, which means that this year’s event will take place on November 21st and 22nd.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to score tickets today, your best bet is to keep an eye on Craig’s List…there are usually some tickets available (even some offered at face value) as the event approaches.

More after the jump. (more…)

Even before I started writing about cheese for DCFoodies, Elizabeth and I had fallen in love with Cheesetique.  Located on Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue, it’s a great place to find all kinds of exotic and familiar cheeses from around the world.  It’s where we first tasted Saint Agur – now one of our favorite blues.  We’ve participated in a tasting class that paired double- and triple-cream bries with sparkling wine.  And when I wanted to bring burrata home to New Jersey to share with my Italian family, this is where I came to buy it.  Suffice it to say, we’re fans.

When owner Jill Erber announced that Cheesetique would be expanding into a nearby storefront three times its original size earlier this year, we were happy for her.  But when she went on to say that the added floor space would allow her to open a cheese and wine bar, we were thrilled.

Four months ago, her plans came to fruition.  Cheesetique now boasts a bistro-style restaurant offering panini, quiches, salads and soups in addition to the cheeses, charcuterie and wines you would expect six days a week.  Take a look at the setup and check out some of their offerings after the jump. (more…)

Food
Wine
Ted Allen (of Queer Eye, Iron Chef, or Top Chef fame, depending on your point of view)
CakeLove’s Warren Brown
Wine writer Paul Lukacs
Baltimore’s scenic Inner Harbor

Generally speaking, any three of these would be enough to convince me to drive up to Baltimore, but the Chefs and Wine Experience taking place this Sunday is nice enough to offer all of the above in one neat little package.

If you aren’t Experienced yet, don’t feel bad.  This is only the event’s second year, and they have grown considerably.  This year the Chefs and Wine Experience will feature nineteen cooking demonstrations on four stages from 12:15 to 4:45 PM, and their lineup boasts local chefs, authors and wine experts from DC and Baltimore.  To sweeten the deal even further, there is a Grand Tasting Event from 4:30 to 6 PM featuring over 150 wines and spirits and signature dishes from local restaurants.

Tickets are still available and the cost of the day is a very reasonable $55, but DC Foodies is helping you out even further.  They will randomly select two winners to each receive a free pair of tickets to the Experience on Friday.  Anyone who submits a comment to their post before 11:59 PM on Thursday will be eligible to win, so head over there now and give it a shot!

And if you do decide to head up to Baltimore on Sunday, keep an eye out for me – I’ll be the guy running up and down the aisles of exhibitors like a kid in a candy store…or a cheese shop…or a wine bar…

Since it opened three years ago, Cheesetique has become one of our favorite places to shop – not just for cheese, but also for all kinds of foodie novelties like truffle salt and acacia honey.  Between the allure of the foods themselves and the eager-to-help staff, it’s hard not to like the place.  Throw in something as cool as cheese tasting classes, and we want to be your best friends!

Jill Erber, the proprietor, has been holding cheese tasting classes all along, but now that they’ve moved into their new, larger location (complete with its own cheese and wine bar in the back), she has the space to really do them right.  To celebrate this, the first tasting class in the new shop was held last month, and they went all out – featuring a selection of double- and triple-cream soft-ripened cheeses and matching them up with Don Conde, a terrific Spanish sparkling wine. (more…)