Georgia on Our Minds
Peter and I finally got around to dining at Supra, the stylish Georgian restaurant in Shaw. The appealing decor features traditional Georgian motifs: white, woolly shepherd’s hats, pottery and a huge collage depicting Georgian horsemen from a century ago. Executive chef Malkhaz “Makho” Maisashvili brings more than 20 years of experience to Supra’s kitchen, having served as top toque at the Embassy of Georgia and some of Georgia’s top restaurants.
At a recent lunch, I sampled the Georgian version of a Bloody Mary but found it much too salty for my taste. Our personable server, Tamari, quickly sent the drink back to the bar to be remedied, but that didn’t work. So I settled for a glass of Chat M Rkats, a pleasant white wine from the Kakheti region of Georgia. Some say this post-Soviet nation boasts the world’s oldest viniculture, dating back to the fourth millennium BC. Supra’s wine wall holds hundreds of bottles, and a large map of Georgia’s wine regions graces the bar area. Exotic cocktails and beer flow as well, plus tea, which is sweetened with cherries preserved in syrup.
Georgia is especially famous for its myriad kinds of bread, and we shared the imperuli – stuffed cheese bread. Kharcha, a rich soup laced with bison rib-eye swimming in a spicy tomato broth, was delicious and warming, although salty. Tkemalit, pickled beets with greens and smoked sulguni, was the best beet dish Peter has ever tasted. Rounding out our midday repast was a quartet of spicy beef and pork sausages.
Lunch for two came to $62 before tip. Service was excellent. Supra’s dinner menu offers assorted kebabs, whole roasted chicken, grilled whole fish, braised lamb with eggplant. Open daily, Supra – which means “Georgian feast”– is located at 1105 11th St. NW. Call 202-789-1205 or visit www.supradc.com.
Cherry Blossom Cheer
Because of our spring snow storm and seemingly endless winter, Washington’s famed cherry trees have not bloomed on schedule. (The National Cherry Blossom Festival continues through April 15.) This year, Drink Company’s springtime Shaw pop-up – at 1841 Seventh St. NW – is an official partner of the festival. Through April 29, winter-weary guests are gawking at colorful flowers, more than 1,000 monarch butterflies attached to paper lanterns, a traditional Japanese tea house, and even a 10-foot-tall moving Godzilla figure. Plus, of course,10 Japanese-themed cocktails including a Cherry Blossom Gin & Tonic with pickled cherry blossoms, rose and orange waters, plus playful takes on coolers like shochu and soda.
The Shaw pop-up is open from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Friday and Saturday.
Wine About It
Cork Wine Bar & Market, which shuttered its original restaurant about a year ago, has unveiled a new wine bar and market a few blocks away. Now located at 1805 14th St. NW, the space seats 60, including a tasting bar. Starting this fall, guests will taste Cork’s very own wine, a rose, squeezed on site from Virginia grapes. For updates call 202-265-2675 or visit www.corkdc.com.
And Wine about It Some More …
We were hoping that City Winery DC, in Ivy City, would open its bright purple doors sometime this month. The New York-based winery/restaurant/concert hall is already booking musical events. But the other day, when we were purchasing whitefish salad next door at Ivy City Smokehouse Market, an employee informed us that the long-awaited winery and music venue will not arrive until next month.
City Winery DC will be located at 1350 Okie St. NE, in the cavernous, multi-level space formerly occupied by Love Nightclub. Owner Michael Dorf and his team are fully renovating much of the building, including a huge terrace that will eventually house a garden and grape vines. For updates visit www.citywinery.com.
In Mount Vernon Triangle, The Capital Burger, the first burger restaurant from the nationwide Darden chain (the company also has Olive Garden, Seasons 52 and Yard House) has opened at 1005 Seventh St. NW. On a recent Sunday, folks were queued up awaiting lunch. Located near the Walter Washington Convention Center, the newcomer has 150 seats, a full bar and daily happy hour (3:00 to 6:30 p.m.).
Heading the menu are half a dozen kinds of burgers (cheeseburger, mushroom-Swiss burger and the French house burger piled with caramelized onions and gruyere). There’s also a quarter-pound hot dog ($10), bacon-laced grilled cheese ($12), fried chicken sandwich ($14), Maine lobster roll ($22) and filet mignon with fries ($28).
Complementing Capital Burger’s casual fare are local brews from DC Brau Brewing Company, Right Proper Brewing Company and Port City Brewing Company; by-the-glass wines from around the globe; boozy, tropical-flavored milkshakes, chili-spiked liqueurs and cocktails. Open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information call 202-638-0414 or visit www.thecapitalburger.com.
Cider Still Rules
Yet another cidery is headed our way, this one called Supreme Core Cidery, in Ivy City. Look for the 5,000-square-foot facility and taproom sometime this summer at 2400 T St. NE, near the National Arboretum.
Coming to Shaw
Massimo Fabbri, the Italian chef who created downtown’s power dining spot Tosca, is opening a Tuscan-style restaurant – San Lorenzo – in Shaw. In February, he purchased Thally, the five-year-old cider-centric restaurant, and is transforming it into San Lorenzo. Look for it at 1316 Ninth St. NW later this year.
Coming soon to Logan Circle: Pappe, an Indian restaurant at 1317 14th St. NW, next door to Hando Medo Sushi. Pappe is expected to seat about 75 and will also have a sidewalk cafe.
Barcelona Wine Bar, 1622 14th St. NW, welcomes a new executive chef, Juan Rivera. He previously wielded his whisk at sister restaurant Barcelona Wine Bar in Reston.
Joel Hatton, the new top toque at Cafe Saint-Ex, 1847 14th St. NW, was formerly with Shaw’s Tavern.
Congrats and good luck to Mid-City finalists for the 2018 RAMMY awards, presented annually, for various categories, by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala on June 10 at the Walter Washington Convention Center.
The finalists are:
- Right Proper Brewing Company (Favorite Gathering Place)
- Ari’s Diner and Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern (Casual Brunch)
- Shouk (Fast Bites)
- Espita Mezcaleria (Cocktail Program)
- Brasserie Beck (Beer Program)
- Le Diplomate (Wine Program)
- Julio Amador, Cork Wine Bar, and Adam Rigna, Brasserie Beck (Manager)
- Le Diplomate (Service)
- Rob Rubba, Hazel, and David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner (Chef of the Year)
- Fabrice Bendano, Le Diplomate, and Naomi Gallego, Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Pastry Chef)
- Michael Rafidi (Rising Culinary Star)
- Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern (Casual Restaurant)
- Arroz (since disqualified), Bresca, Maydan (New Restaurant)
- Ivy City Smokehouse Tavern (Regional Food and Beverage Producer)
- Ari Gejdenson, Mindful Restaurants Group