6 Places to Eat Raclette or Fondue in Washington

When the temperature go low, I go warm, melted cheese! One of my favourite thing to do in the winter is host friends over for raclette. If you don’t mind splurging on your own grill (you can get a small one for 2 people for $27 on amazon or a bigger one perfect for larger get-togethers for $63 — that last one is actually the one I own) you can throw your own party too. I’ve got this little guide and raclette 101 primer to help you plan it! But of course, you can head to one of these restaurants to get your hot, melted cheese fix:

Brasserie Beck

Raclette Happy Hour at Brasserie Beck

Raclette Happy Hour at Brasserie Beck

Leave it to one of my favourite restaurant in the city to throw one of the best happy hour, complete with complimentary raclette! Between 5-6PM and again from 9-10PM, patrons can enjoy gooey melted cheese at the bar, in addition to $5 wine and $2 off draft beer. While the free raclette ends at 6PM, the drink specials are good until 7PM. And if you prefer your raclette tableside, it’s also on a menu for $13.

Cheesetique

Cheesetique’s speciality is, obviously, cheese, so it’s not surprising to find two different types of fondue dishes on its menu during the winter (if you’re lucky you might even find some raclette in its cheese counter too!) The first fondue is pretty classic with gruyère, emmental, raclette and white wine ($18.) The other is $13 and varies every day depending on what cheeses are available.

ENO Wine Bar and Tasting Room

Raclette at ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown - picture courtesy of ENO

Raclette at ENO Wine Bar in Georgetown – picture courtesy of ENO

The wine bar next door to the Four Seasons in Georgetown turns into an alpine chalet every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. $18 gets you a plate of bread, potato, cornichons and onions onto which the hot melted cheese is poured on. For a little extra, you can add charcuterie as well. And of course, since ENO is a wine bar, there’s a wine pairing option as well. The sommelier selected a sparkling Gewürztraminer from Washington state to go along the raclette ($18 for one glass).  

The Fainting Goat

Last March, chef Nathan Beauchamp kicked-off a series of raclette parties at his U Street restaurant. They were pretty popular, so they will be coming back in 2017, this time in the form of a 3-course menu. Until then, you can enjoy The Fainting Goat‘s popular take on fondue: its goat cheese fondue ($12 during regular hours and $10 during late nights Thursday-Saturday from 11PM-1AM.)  

Garrison

Fondue pop-up at Garrison. Photo credit: Scott Suchman for Garrison

Fondue pop-up at Garrison. Photo credit: Scott Suchman for Garrison

Just in time for winter, chef Rob Weland is bringing back the popular fondue pop-up at his Barracks Row restaurant. If the weather allows, you can even enjoy it on the heated patio. Wether indoors or out, it’s a pretty classic alpine fondue, offered at $18 per person. It comes with bread cubes unless you want to splurge on add-ons like heirloom apples, turnips, radishes, boiled potatoes, hanger steak tips, and, of course, the restaurant’s popular gougeres (the add-ons run between $4-10). 

Homestead

At Homestead in Petworth, raclette is considered an appetizer or shareable plate… it’s also noted as vegetarian unless you want to add lamb bacon lardons to it. 

 

 

Legal Eats: Justices Dish Out On Supreme Court’s Food History & Traditions

Greetings from California! Before leaving Washington Thursday morning, I attended one of those only-in-DC events that reminded me why I love living in the city so much. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg sat down with Catherine E. Fitts, Curator of the Supreme Court, and Clare Cushman, Director of Publications of the Supreme Court Historical Association, to dish out about their personal eating habits as well as reflect on the food traditions and culture of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sotomayor discussing food at the Legal Eats events on March 31 in Washington, DC

The panel was a part of the Smithsonian’s ongoing Food History Programs at the National Museum of American History (same as the Battle of Paris anniversary event I attended recently). Not only was it really neat to be seating less than ten feet away from two associate justices, but they were there to talk about a topic that I could actually understand: food!

Among the tidbits of Supreme Court history I learned that evening is that its history was always intertwined with food. Prior to the establishment of the Federal City, the United States government resided briefly in New York and after the first Supreme Court meeting in 1790, the Justices went to a local tavern for dinner where they made 13 different toasts, including one to the Constitution. When the capitol moved to Philadelphia, the court did too before settling in the District in 1800. Until 1810, the Court had no permanent location and eventually began to meet  in a room in the basement of the Capitol. Back then, the Justices would all live together in a boarding house, while their families stayed behind back home. They shared all of their meals together there, until the 1930s when they finally got their own building which included a cafeteria for lawyers and staff as well as a dining room for the Justices.

Today, the Justices don’t eat together as often, though they do break bread on occasion, especially when the court is in session. One rule at the lunch-table though: no discussion of ongoing cases and an avoidance of controversial topics. Instead, the 8 (for now) of them talk children/grandchildren and sports. RBG doesn’t contribute much to those discussions, she noted and Sotomayor added that she loves baseball, but that Justice Kagan was the real sports-fan of the lot. They also talk about the latest exhibit they may have seen, including many at the Smithsonian Institutions, and books. All justices are voracious readers who love discussing their latest reads. Occasionally, they’ll invite a speaker to join them for lunch and that sounded like the most awesome guest series in town with the likes of Condoleezza Rice, Alan Greenspan, the head of the National Zoo and others (occasionally Justices from foreign countries) joining them to share a meal over what I’m sure is a fascinating conversation. Justices also always get together when a former colleagues comes to town and to celebrate each other’s birthdays. In addition to being one of the nation’s top tax law professors and practitionners, Martin Ginsburg, the late husband of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was also a talented cook who used to bake for those occasions. Today, Chief Justice Roberts will bring the cake, as well as wine to toast the birthday guy or gal. RBG, who was elegantly dressed with purple lace gloves, joked that there would always be singing though “truth be told, most of them can’t carry a tune.” She also brought up that Justices now get together when a former colleague comes back to town and before the State of the Union. Showing that she has a great sense of humour and that she can laugh at herself, Justice Ginsburg recalled the time when Justice Kennedy brought bottles of Opus Wine to that gathering, which she really enjoyed. “It was the first time I fell asleep during the State of the Union ” she joked.

Other than wine, Justices will typically bring some treats to share with their colleagues. In the past, they would be local delicacies from their hometown or regions, like salted cod from Boston. More recently, Sandra Day O’Connor used to share the beef jerky her brother would make. “It was very spicy,” noted Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “I bet I would have liked it,” replied Justice Sotomayor. And of course, as was highlighted at the time of his death, Justice Scalia was an avid hunter who would bring back everything from fish to fowl, though Justice Breyer had a bit of a hard time introducing one of the pheasant he brought back to his grandchildren apparently…

A couple of other fun tidbits I noted: Justice Harlan Fiske Stone (1925-1946) was a big cheese fan and would bring a whole platter of his favourites to eat for lunch. This prompted Justice Sotomayor to mention that, if she could have lunch with any 2 justices from the past, she would pick him in addition to John Marshall and Thurgood Marshall… because you know he would bring good food! On her own food habits, Sotomayor appreciates Puerto Rican cuisine, mostly that of her mom and sister, but hasn’t mastered how to make it well herself. Ever the typical New Yorker, she mentioned being a big fan of food deliveries, though those are not easy to get through the Court’s security 😉 When her clerks come over, they will try to order in from different places so they can try new things and she also relies on them for restaurant recommendations. Justice Bader Ginsburg, on the other hand, relies on her daughter to eat properly now that her husband has passed away. On her husband’s culinary skills, RBG quipped that he “developed a fondness for the kitchen shortly after I made my first meal.”

This was definitely one of the best events I’ve attended recently. Check out a complete listing of upcoming event for the Smithsonian’s Food History Programs. They always have some good ones coming up! 

Weekend Highlights: Sorbet Soirée, Balls, Hiking and Rosé

Happy Monday! I had a super fun weekend, so I wasn’t a huge fan of today… especially since I’m going on week two of my no-coffee challenge 😉  What made this particular weekend stand out? The weather helped, of course. It was absolutely beautiful on Sunday! And I had some great friends to make me forget about the rain when the weather wasn’t so pleasant and some fun artsy and outdoorsy activities to keep me busy. 

Friday started off pretty low key. Caudalie threw a sorbet soirée to introduce its new Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet collection. I’m very French in that I prefer to invest in skincare rather than make-up, and Caudalie ‘s products have been my go-to since I was in my twenties. I was stoked when the French natural skin-care and cosmetic brand opened a shop and spa at City Center and pretty excited to kick off the weekend getting mini-facials and sipping Château Smith Haut Lafitte there with my friends Cecile of the Worldly Bite and Jessica of Young Winos of DC. I picked up a travel size version of their new Vinosource Limited Edition Organic Grape Water and Moisturizing Sorbet both of which are my favourite products from the brand. 

Caudalie Vinosource Sorbet Moisturizer

After that, we wanted a little more vino and headed to nearby DBGB DC for some rosé on tap. Daniel Boulud’s DC outpost serves a Gotham Project‘s 2015 Sabine rosé Coteaux d’Aix en Provence. It’s not my favourite pink from Provence and since the weather was a bit drab anyway, I opted for a 2014 Chateau Gambon Gamay Beaujolais which paired pretty well with the Alsatian tarte flambée.

Tarte flambee at DBGB DC

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were having a really good time so rather than head home we headed out to China Chicano for cocktails afterwards. The Five Spice Old Fashioned was just as good as I remembered but the next morning was definitely a little rough! Good thing I didn’t have to be at the Dupont Underground until 2PM 😉

So I spent most of Saturday glue-ing plastic balls below Dupont Circle again. It was my second time volunteering to put together the Raise/Raze project. I had volunteered very early on in the process (read all about it here) and  I was looking forward to seeing the art installation close to completed… except it really wasn’t so I’ll be volunteering again on Tuesday evening. In the 1940s, the Dupont Underground was home to the city’s streetcars. When the trolley system was suspended in the 60s, it was used as a fallout shelter and later a food court. Since then, the 75,000-square-foot tunnel has been underutilized and I can’t wait to see it evolve into a visual art and performance space with its Raise/Raze. You can buy tickets to view the art installation in May right here. Until then, check out some of the pictures we took in the tunnel after we were done with our hot glue guns. 

balls

Volunteering in Dupont Underground

cool kids

tunneltrolley

instalation

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spending most of Saturday undergrounds, I was grateful to be able to spend some time outdoors. All week, the National Park Service had been celebrating its 100th anniversary with special events, free admissions to all National Parks and a great #FindYourPark slogan. I decided to find my park right in my own background with an impromptu solo hike in Rock Creek Park. Can you believe that after living in DC for 12 years this was my first time there? It definitely won’t be the last though! 

Rock Creek Park in washington, DC

Me trail Mill

Rock creek park in Washington DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I wrapped up the weekend with a rosé tasting at Wardman Wines in Brookland. I’d never been to this wine shop, but it has a great selection of French wines, as well as interesting bottles from other regions AND a resident corgi called Sancho. Wine. Corgi. Again, I have a feeling this was the beginning of a longer term relationship!

2015 Fiefs Vendeens Mareuil rosé

I picked up a bottle of 2015 Fiefs Vendeens Mareuil rosé, which paired very nicely with the Good Wife. Do you watch the series? I can’t believe there’s only 2 episodes left in one of my favourite legal drama… 

How was your weekend? Up to anything fun?

Melt for Raclette: Throw a Raclette Dinner Party

Raclette is a hearty dish, meant to be enjoyed after a day on the Alps slopes. Even without the skiing, it’s a fun meal to share with friends and requires very little actual cooking. That makes it ideal for the busy hostess, so I love hosting raclette dinner parties in the winter.

raclette, raclette cheese, cheese,

If you don’t already know raclette, let me introduce you to one of Switzerland’s signature dish.

Raclette is four things really:

  • A pungent washed rind cows milk cheese.
  • The dish you make with that cheese.
  • The grill you use to melt the raclette (cheese) for the raclette (dish).
  • The dinner party where people get together to eat the raclette (dish) made by melting raclette (cheese) on the raclette (grill).

Are you still following me? lol

It’s actually a very simple dish with humble origins. Like its melted cheese cousin fondue, raclette came about as a way to finish dried old cheese and already opened wine. In fondue, the cheese is melted in a pot (fondue comes from the French word fondre which means to melt) and eaten with bread. In Raclette, slices of cheese are melted in a little pan under a table side grill then scraped (raclette gets its name from the French word for scrape: racler) over warm potatoes and cold cut meats. In the United States, raclette isn’t so popular. It’s a lot easier to find the cheese and pot for fondue than the grill for raclette. I got my raclette grill off our Williams and Sonoma wedding registry though you can find more affordable options on Amazon (this 4 person grill is pretty convenient for your every day raclette needs). As for the cheese, you can occasionally find some at Righteous Cheese, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Raclette is traditionally served with a simple tossed salad, boiled potatoes, cornichons, cured meats and dry white wine. For starch adverse guests, you can substitute the potatoes with artichoke hearts. Raclette is a communal dish and all the host or hostess really needs to do ahead of time is boil the potatoes and prepare the salad. The cold cuts (getting a variety gives your guests more options) and slices of cheese should be arranged on serving plates too. After that, each dinner party guest just melts his or her own slices of cheese using the small coupelles of the raclette grill then scrapes the runny raclette over a boiled potato topped with prosciutto (my fave!) or turkey meat.

Scrape the melted cheese from the grilled and brown surface of the cheese that’s been exposed to heat and eat this melting bit of cheese with a bite of the potatoes.

For pairing, dry white wine is typically what you would serve with Raclette, like an Alsatian pinot gris or a Sauvignon Blanc. At the recommendation of the folks at Modern Liquor, I recently tried a light Austrian red with my Raclette and it worked out really well. Dry sparkling wine works really well too.

A version of this post appeared in Borderstan back in February 2013.

Finding Your Identity at DC’s First Films on the Green

Since 2008, Francophile New Yorkers have been able to enjoy French flicks al fresco through Films on the Green, a free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City Parks by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy with the City of New York Parks & Recreation. This summer, they had the opportunity to catch Purple Noon at Central Park’s Cedar Hill, The Women on the 6th Floor and La Haine at Tompkins Square Park, Les Tontons Flingueurs at Washington Square Park and The French Minister at Columbia University. This year, thanks to American University and the Cultural Service of the Embassy of France in Washington, DC, we’re getting our own (shorter) edition of this outdoor French film festival.

French film festival, film francais a washington, outdoor screening

 

On September 4th and 5th, Films on the Green will set ground on the Woods-Brown Amphitheater on American University’s Campus. Both screenings (of All Is Forgiven on the 4th and Tomboy on the 5th) are free, open to the public and centered around the theme of Finding Your Identity. I haven’t seen All is Forgiven, but I have seen Tomboy (which is also available to stream on Netflix). It’s a great but at time difficult to watch film about a little girl who really wants to be a boy (basically…).

zo tout_est_pardonne_ii

 

 

 

 

 

I hope this first edition is successful so we can have an even bigger and better one next year, with more films and more venues! And while we’re on the topic of French films, don’t miss this screening of Alceste A Bicyclette (Bicycling with Moliere) at the Avalon on September 17th. Or I guess you can also just stream it on netflix…

 

Ma petite liste ~ June 4 to 10, 2012

MONDAY JUNE 4th
The downtown incarnation of Paul Bakery at 1000 Connecticut Avenue NW is officially open! If you were not an early riser this morning and missed out on the free flutes or macarons promotion for the first 1000 people who walked through the door, you can still check out the new location and grab one of their new menu items, like one of the sandwiches made on basil bread. My favourite new item on Paul’s menu is actually the grapefruit-mint salad. It’s so simple yet so refreshing, perfect for these hot and humid D.C. summer days! I’ve also just discovered the pain au chocolat aux amandes which can only be described as the love child between two amazing pastries: pain au chocolat + croissant aux amandes. It’s a pretty decadent treat!

TUESDAY JUNE 5th
Every Tuesday in June, Belga Cafe’s signature mussel pots are all $15.95. Just saying… Tonight, Ripple is also celebrating its second anniversary by launching a grilled cheese bar at Ripple. Starting June 5, the Cleveland Park establishment will offer warm toasted sandwich, made to order with one of 15 artisanal cheeses from around the world and various breads, meats etc. Or you can grab one of Ripple’s original creations. The Stinky Pete with epoisse, asparagus and anchovy has my name written all over it…
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6th
One of my favourite spot to indulge in my macarons craving, The Sweet Lobby, is celebrating its one year anniversary! To say thank you, they’re hosting a week of giveaways, with a different specialty item given out every day this week. And today is cupcake day! (Friday is macaron FYI) Check out their facebook page for more information about their anniversary cards and the giveaways.

THURSDAY JUNE 7th
The third edition of Interns Rock starts tomorrow so if you have interns in your office, show your appreciation for their hard work and make sure they sign up to receive discounts at participating restaurants, museums, music venues etc. Interns can pre-register online then pick up their key-tag at The Washington Center‘s two locations: their headquarters at 1333 16th Street NW or the Residential and Academic Facility at 1005 3rd Street NE. Once they’re all signed up, send them to Sign of the Whale for a pre-Interns Rock Intern Party. The free nacho and taco bar starts at 6PM…



FRIDAY JUNE 8th
Truckeroo is a monthly food truck festival held at the DC Fairgrounds (corner of Half St.and M St., SE.) Admission is free and there’s over 20 different food trucks signed up already… But really the big event today is the start of the UEFA Euro 2012 (Allez les Bleus!!!). I’ll have a post with a list of places to watch the games up in a few days.


SATURDAY JUNE 9th
Two years ago almost to this day, Biergarten Haus opened its door on H street NW, just on time for the World Cup. Well, it’s soccer time again! The games today are Denmark-Holland (noon) and Germany-Portugal (2:45PM.)  I mean, a German beer garden is a pretty great place to be if you’re going to be cheering for Die Mannschaft… the Goethe Institut is another good spot… they are showing all of the Germany games.


SUNDAY JUNE 10th
After hating on Italy all afternoon (the Azzurri are facing Spain at noon, and not only do I love the Spanish soccer team, but Spain, but I loathe the Italian football team) I may need a little zen time at Yoga in the Park at Meridien Hill Park. Bring your own mat at 5PM and join me 😉

Ma Petite Liste ~ May 13 to May 20, 2012

Stay zen! D.C. Yoga Week is upon us… From May 13th to the 20th, enjoy free or reduced priced yoga and mediation classes at participating studios culminating with Yoga-on-the-Mall Saturday. And I know I said this last week, but now it’s actually your last chance to catch Song 1, Aitken’s 360 degree projection at the Hirshhorn, so don’t forget to check it out.

MONDAY MAY 14
Start yoga week in the right state of mind with Monday Night Mindfulness (7-8:30PM) at Circle Yoga at 3838 Northampton Street, NW. No fees, donations welcomed.

TUESDAY MAY 15
My country officially has a new president today. We may not be known as the most efficient country, but when it comes to elections, we waste no time. Hollande defeated Sarkozy just 10 days ago, today he’s moving into l’Elysee and Friday he’s traveling to D.C. to meet with Obama… Meanwhile, D.C.’s own local food zine The Runcible Spoon is launching a swimsuit-themed summer issue and celebrating with a bubblegum blowing contest at Shaw’s pop-up coffee shop Blind Dog Café (6:30-8:30PM, 944 Florida Avenue NW. Don’t forget your Bubblicious gum!)

WEDNESDAY MAY 16
Last week’s Backyard Bash at Hotel Helix was rained out so keep your fingers crossed for better weather this time around. The Logan Circle area hotel offers Washingtonians without a patio or backyard the opportunity to get their grill on every Wednesday throughout the summer. For $7, urbanites like myself can fill up on the Helix Burger Bar’s offering which include a choice of beef, chicken breast, turkey or vegetarian patty, toppings and a bag of potato chips (cheese and other artisan toppings are available for an additional $1 each) and $2 PBR cans… and if the weather is not good enough for grilling, head indoors to Chef Geoff‘s Bacon Bar. A special pork-y menu is offered every Wednesdays and Thursday, with special appetizers, mains, desserts and libations picked out.

THURSDAY MAY 17

Stay zen, yes, but stay green too. Starting today, Dupont residents and businesses celebrate sustainable living with Dupont Green Week.  Foodies won’t want to miss a panel on “Food and Sustainability” hosted at Google’s D.C. Headquarters and featuring speakers from Kraft, Google, the World Resources Institute and local restaurant and foodtrepreneur Nora Pouillon (4-5:30PM, 1101 New York Avenue NW). Then rush over to Elizabeth’s Gone Raw for the social event of Green Week showcasing the role of women in the green economy (6:30-9PM, 1341 L Street NW). More information (and tickets) for these events and the rest of Green Week is available here.

FRIDAY MAY 18
Don’t forget to bike to work today!! You can even bike to Beacon Bar and Grill in the evening, and celebrate the 65th Cannes Film Festival with Art Soiree’s Palme d’Or Rooftop Party (tickets $15.) Of course, it’s not just about Cannes and another festival, local this time, is also celebrating its opening tonight, here in the District. Well, Virginia really, so you may not want to bike to this one. Artomatic is finally back at its new home in Crystal City. It’s about time 😉

SATURDAY MAY 19
I’m in Puerto Rico for work this weekend (tough job, I know, but someone’s gotta do it), so of course there’s a million fun things I’d love to do back in D.C. From the Midcity Artists Studio open house tour to the Best of Ripple Countdown to the Rammys party (tickets available on Gilt, snag them now before they’re gone) or yoga on the mall, the all-canadian university alumni association alumni event at the spy museum (why yes, i graduated from the Havard of Canada), the Montana State Society’s 8th Annual Testicle Festival (with all you can drink beer and all you can eat “Rocky Mountain Oysters”) and the Bitches Who Brunch present a Trina Turk Trunk Show Brunch at Urban Chic (featuring mimosas, brunch bites from Patisserie Poupon (j’adore!) and 15% off your purchases…) there’s a litle something for everyone happening this weekend.  Oh well, I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in mucho bacardi mojitos 😉

SUNDAY MAY 20
Think and drink pink! Join Au Domaine, the cutest little wine store in Alexandria, at A La Lucia from 2-5PM for their annual Drink Pink Fête featuring Rosés from all over France, cheese and charcuterie. The cost of the event is $45 per person, with $10 of it going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Email info@audomaine.com to make your reservation. Go pink or go Italian…  les ritals are taking over Woodrow Wilson Plaza and Aria Pizzeria and Bar to celebrate their culture. As much as I hate their football players, I do love my southern neighbours, their food, their wine… and the fact that they always know how to have a good time! A perfect way to wrap up a fun-filled the week… 

Save the date: 10th Annual Carpenter’s Cook-Off

If you’ve spent any time in Washington, I’m sure you’ve noticed the high number of people who unfortunately have no other homes than the streets of the District. According to a new report by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the D.C.-metro area has the fifth largest homeless population in the the country among large metropolitan areas. The nearby suburbs are not exempt from these sad statistics, and the homeless population in Alexandria, for example, has increased over recent years. Luckily, there’s organizations like Carpenter’s Shelter. Organizations that believe that “everyone deserves to live in safe, affordable housing” and work tirelessly to overcome homelessness among children, families, and adults. Their annual fundraiser, the Carpenter’s Cook Off is coming up on April 29, and to celebrate its 10th anniversary, they’re making a whole weekend of it, with a 10K planned on Saturday (register here) and of course, the main event on sunday (buy tickets here).






So mark your calendars! April 29, 2012 from 12pm-3pm at the legendary Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, some thirty area restaurants will duke it out for bragging rights. Last year The Majestic walked away with People’s Choice award for their amazing Red’s Shea Crap Soup… who will it be this year? You get to decide 😉 Additionally, Foodie and the Beast will be broadcasting live from the Birchmere before the event. Can’t make it? Bid on one of the online auction items! It’s all for a good cause… 

The best part of a dinner at RIS is…Iceland?

The best part of a trip to Paris is Iceland?? Really!?!? Allow me to kindly disagree with you, Icelandic Tourist Board 😉 That being said, everytime my husband and I go home to Paris we toy with the idea of stopping in Iceland for a few days. So I guess the Iceland Naturally campaign is kinda working… We haven’t made the frozen lay-over quite yet, so for now we will have to contend with a visit to RIS. Because this week, the best part of a dinner at RIS is Iceland! Chef Þráinn Freyr Vigfússon, who recently took 7th place in that little culinary competition known as Le Bocuse d’Or, is making the trip from Reykjavik (possibly on IcelandAir since they’ve resumed direct flights to D.C.) to show us what kind of amazing dishes he’s been cooking up back in his volcanic island. Assisted by RIS Sous Chef Sarah Biglan, he’s preparing a special 4-course menu showcasing fresh ingredients sourced locally in Iceland.  Check out the menu… Icelandic Artic Char, lamb and Viking Tiramisu… já takk!**

The $65 menu will be available at RIS from April 12-15, along with a cool Icelandic cocktail, the “Reykjavik 101” made with Reyka Vodka, Corsair Gin and house made vermouth with a meyer lemon twist. You can also get a different “taste” of Iceland by attending one of the other cultural events planned as part of this little Icelandic showcase… like the free concert at the Fillmore Silver Spring on Saturday, April 14 (tickets available here) or the free screenings of Icelandic hit films on Sunday, April 15 (Summerland at 1PM, Inni by Sigur Ros at 2:30PM, both at  the historic AMC Loews Uptown 1 in Cleveland Park.) And if this little taste of Iceland here in D.C. makes you want to make the trip to Iceland… feel free to stop there on your way to Paris. But the way I see it, the best part of a trip to Paris will always be Paris!

A Taste of Iceland is presented by Iceland Naturally, in cooperation with Icelandair, Reyka Vodka, 66° North, Blue Lagoon, Icelandic Glacial Water, Visit Iceland, RIS Restaurant, and Filmore Silver Spring. Reservations for dinner at RIS can be made by calling 202-730-2500 or visiting www.opentable.com

** that means yes please in Icelandic according to google translate…