Breast Cancer Bites

Breast Cancer Bites (cupcakes by Georgetown Cupcake)Our nation’s fight for a breast cancer cure is something very near and dear to both of our hearts. Tinsley has lost an aunt on her father’s side to this cancer and has a 16 year survivor on my mother’s side. Jason never met his grandmother on his father’s side due to this horrible cancer. When we were invited by 94.7 Fresh FM to blog about their Breast Cancer Bites event, we were more than honored to attend. Who passes up a premium opportunity to sample tastings from some of DC’s hottest restaurants and give back to their community? Well, not these food bloggers.

We were first highly impressed by the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC, the location of Breast Cancer Bites. It was perfect for the event and we would definitely remember it for our next DC hotel stay. It was amazing for them to allow this event to take place. Thank you Renaissance Hotel for standing hand and hand to fight for this cause.

Below is a listing of all the amazing restaurants that participated in this event. Big props to all of them for taking time out of their Sunday to help our community raise funds for a great cause. Thank you again for all your hard work and effort.

Casa Nonna: Jason enjoyed this table, our first to visit. The plated offering was a beef, onion and pouched pear skewer. The sweetness of the pear cut the rich flavors of the tender, juicy beef. The onions were also perfectly charred. We can’t wait for our next DC date night; Casa Norma will be on our list.

Georgia Brown: Looking for a dose of southern comfort? Look no further. This station truly hit the spot with their rendition of shrimp and grits. Now, I am not a fan of grits. There’s only one other restaurant whose grits made their way to my heart – Tupelo Café in Asheville, NC. Their breakfast goat cheese grits are superb. And so are Georgia Brown’s creamy grits. I loved the smoky favor that came though the grits in the sausage that they serve. I admit, I had seconds. The shrimp was perfectly cooked as well. Bravo Georgia Brown, we’ll be sending our southern friends your way.

Black and Orange: This table offered hand crafted sliders. We’re a fan of burgers and loved how interactive the staff was at this table. However, we have to be honest and admit that we weren’t fans of their offering. They noted that their burger, “No Burger, No Cry” had a little kick. Little was an understatement. How about a total WHA-POW kick! Unfortunately, our mouths were on fire. As food tasters, we’d like to save our palates. We wish they would have offered one spicy burger and one not so spicy. Their menu looked awesome and I dig that they’re open to 5am for all those night owls out there.

RIS: RIS was one of Tinsley’s favorite tables because of their New England clam chowder tasting. Not only was it full of delicate clams, but the soup was rich and clean. They garnished the dish with light, crispy oyster crackers and a small dollop of butter. We can’t tell you what a difference this made. When it melted, it made a rich and sinful finish. Amazing! Thanks RIS. Do you deliver?

Pinkberry: Hands down the best froyo in the world. We all know that. Just look at the ridiculously long lines in front of (and around) any Pinkberry from NY to DC to LA. Jason admittedly is a frozen yogurt addict and Pinkberry tops his list. He went the healthy route and enjoyed an original froyo with strawberries and mangos. He wished they would have had some honey on hand to drizzle on top, but he’ll have to camp out in front of the closest store to enjoy that. If for some reason you haven’t yet tried Pinkberry, stop what you’re doing (once you’re done reading this complete post of course) and go get in line. No line could be long enough to deter Jason’s cravings for this fabulous froyo.

Kababji Grill: It was this Lebanese table that gave us our first samplings of lamb. Typically, we’re not fans of lamb. The last time we tried it, at Panache in Tyson’s Corner, we couldn’t get past the gaminess of the meat. We were pleasantly surprised as the lamb was perfectly seasoned and tasted great. The best way to enjoy the lamb was with a little hummus on top of the pita chip. Delish! We’re not sure how they serve appetizers in their restaurant, but this would be an excellent idea for a Lebanese nacho! (Hint Hint)

Urbana: Neither of us are drinkers, so we didn’t taste Urbana’s offerings, which were gorgeous fruit spritzers. They combined bubbly champagne with fresh squeezed juice and included flavors such as cherry, passion fruit and pear mimosas. I thought their sampling was fitting of a restaurant that caters to a brunch crowd. I would have loved to see a wine and cheese or food pairing. It would have been cool for them to do a little mixology demonstration as well. My in-laws are brunch goers, so I’m sure we’ll try it out.

Watershed: Also serving up a little southern comfort, the chefs at Watershed gave out samplings of gumbo. We first have to say, we love the name Watershed. It conjures up images of a remote southern road with a rustic shack serving up hot and fresh southern soups. Way to sell a restaurant by its name. Now onto the gumbo. We liked the light favor and it reminded us of a dieter’s play on a very heavy and hearty dish. They kept it simple – a clean broth with a grassy garnish of scallions. A little rice would have added a lot of volume and would have really helped pick up the flavors from the sausage. We would still love to check them out and see what the rest of their menu looks like.

Georgetown Cupcakes: For a romantic Valentine’s Day, Jason surprised Tinsley with a weekend in Georgetown. His plans were to sneak out of the hotel in the morning to get a couple of tasty treats from this famous bakery. Unfortunately, the line was already down the street and around the block. Who knew every other man in DC had the same idea. The samples for this table ranged in flavors and being the busy table that they were, we just grabbed two and moved on. Jason sampled the vanilla bean cupcake; we loved the adorable pink ribbon garnish. Tinsley sampled the chocolate cake with the coconut topping. She enjoyed that they kept the cake semi-sweet to balance the very sweet icing. She would have loved to have seen the coconut toasted, just to enhance the favor and add a nutty component.

Café St Ex: This table was after Jason’s heart with their sampling of a carrot cake with a spiced honey. It was everything that a carrot cake should be and more. Rich, delicious and perfectly paired with a decadent fall spiced honey. Truly the star of the dish was the awesome garnish, spiced honey. It was a flavorful honey that was married with an amazing blend of spices. You could close your eyes and feel the crisp nip of autumn in the air as you downed this bite. They should sell that spiced honey in their store, if they already don’t.

Peacock Café: Ever think tomato soup is just tomato soup? Well the brilliant chef’s at Peacock Café will stir you away from that thinking. It’s not just for grilled cheese anymore. This table had the best tomato bisque soup that our lips have ever tasted. The flavor was full, bold and you could tell that they used perfect garden tomatoes, stewed with cream and basil. We loved the rustic blend that left the soup slightly chunky. The three adorable sour cream hearts drawn in each cup added the final touch. A rainy day in DC deserves a bowl of Peacock Café’s tomato bisque soup.

Hudson: We aren’t even sure what we sampled at this table because chefs didn’t present their dish to us. What we ate looked like a deconstructed Éclair. It was tasty, but we would’ve appreciated the chefs taking time to explain their dish rather than discussing other participating restaurant’s food.

The Source: Any DC foodie can tell you about the very talented chefs at The Source, Wolf Gang Puck’s restaurant. What we loved about the chefs at this table was the positive attitude of trying something new. They really thought outside of box in deciding on which dish to bring to the event. We also enjoyed their playful spin on an ice cream cone. For the event the chefs prepared a stunning miso and sesame cone stuffed with a tuna tare tare. Instead of being behind the table, the chefs came out to present the cone and explain their sampling. Once we knew what it was, we turned up our noses. However the chef’s persistence on promising Tinsley that if she tried it, she would like it pushed her to take a bite. She even impressed the chef with her technique of eating the bottom point first, explaining that when you eat a folded crepe you always find the point and eat that end first, it is where all the drippings join together for the best bite ever.

Breast Cancer Bites Carmines: We reached Carmines table when Rachael Platten performed. It was nice to stand at a table and “dine” on tasty eggplant lasagna while listening to a girl totally rock out and beat box at the same time. She even did some old school rap songs. But going back to the food, we couldn’t get enough of Carmines perfect marriage of veggies, noodles and cheese. Throw in some amazing homemade tomato sauce to the bowl and we were about to bust. We wish they’d brought take away boxes with them because that lasagna would have made for some killer leftovers. Thanks for remembering us comfort food lovers.

Smith Commons: Speaking of comfort, Smith Commons knows how to deliver. They offered braised pork on top of a crispy fried wonton topped with sour cream. You had me at braised pork. We ate several of these tasty bites; they were simply amazing. You guys should consider a gourmet taco night.

Paul Bakery: We have saved our favorite table for last. Hello pastry heaven. The assortment of pastries, both sweet and savory, were hard to beat. Their new pumpkin seed bread is out-of-this-world good. Soft, delicate inside while crisp and nutty on the outside. Their chocolate croissant was a big hit with us. Tinsley comes from a background of coffee shop and has seen her share of croissants. This sweet and light pastry instantly reminded her of a morning in Paris. Another hit were their super cute macaroons. They were so amazingly soft and chewy at the same time. We simply couldn’t get enough of this bakery.

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