Part art gallery, part cocoa bar, Artfully Chocolate was established in 2007 when owner Eric Nelson quit his job as an executive in order to pursue his artistic passions. Needing a little something extra to draw attention to his shop and unwilling to sound a tornado siren after every purchase, Eric called on the services of friend and chocolatier Rob Kingsbury. Kingsbury instantly infused the colorful gallery with the sweet allure Eric was seeking.
Today, the duo's handiwork takes center stage inside two different locations: Eric's masterpieces parade across the walls, and Rob's expertise reveals itself in sips and bites of decadent drinks and pastries. They also host tasting classes, including a wine-pairing class and chocolate-tasting class.
Swing's caffeine artisans craft signature blends of globally sourced, locally roasted java that have garnered a bouquet of awards and accolades, including a spot on Zagat's Buzz-Worthy Coffee Options in DC list. Fill thirsty mugs with a craft-roasted blend such as the Diplomat ($14/lb.), a dark brew that deftly negotiates sweet notes of baking chocolate into bold sips that evoke sensory portraits of leather and pipe tobacco. The Nicaraguan Los Papales ($16/lb.) teems with vanilla and malt flavors, and the Espresso 90 ($14/lb.) jolts sleepy gray matter awake with a Northern Italian roast with notes of cherry, pomegranate, and “Reveille.”
Executive chef Paul Anthony Fario helms the kitchen at Extra Virgin, which appeases appetites with a menu of creative, sophisticated dishes sporting traditional Italian flavors. Start your edible odyssey with the 2-D temptations of a flat meatball slider sandwiched by grilled sourdough ($9), or cheer up a pouting palate with the grumpy gastronomy of angry mussels, which are partnered with pancetta, garlic, and crushed chilis ($10). A variety of hand-tossed pizzas presents pie partakers with options ranging from a tomato-sauced creation topped with fresh mozzarella, artichokes, ham, and olives ($14) to an unconventional concoction of mozzarella, pancetta, lettuce, tomato, and parmesan dressing ($15), all baked in a brick oven kept at a steamy 600 degrees, the temperature required to smelt raw pizza dough into crust. Noodle noshers can peruse pastas such as butternut-squash agnolotti ($16), carnivores can turf up on rack of lamb ($30), and rescued castaways can relive their extended vacations with nautical numbers such as sesame-crusted cod ($19). Lunch and brunch menus draw upon the dinner menu while adding a selection of sandwiches and other daytime dishes celebrating humanity’s sunlit reprieve from vampires.
Since opening their first location in 1996, Robeks' associates and franchise owners across the country have been passionate about the benefits of healthier eating, and what they can do to help guests maintain active and healthy lifestyles, all through portable smoothies. Customers can step up to the counter and order from a menu of fresh, premium ingredients in unique, made-to-order combinations. Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies aims to create innovative ways to reach the daily recommended 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables without compromising on flavor. Each Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies location makes a concerted effort to support the neighborhood it resides in, through local organizations, such as Save the Children.
An evening at Tokyo Japanese Steak House generally includes dinner and a show, but it’s not live music or dancing, and each group of diners gets their own performance. Guests sit down at U-shaped tables built around grills, where chefs theatrically slice, toss, and sizzle teppanyaki dishes. Guests can choose a single protein or a combination—including filet mignon and shrimp—which are seared amid plumes of steam and fire before their very eyes. More mellow meals take place at the sushi and noodle bar, where patrons look on as chefs meticulously build smoked salmon nigiri and Japanese lasagna, a baked California roll with secret sauce.
The dishes pair perfectly with their slew of Asian-inspired drinks. In addition to pouring sake and Sapporo, the bartenders mix specialty cocktails, such as the Tokyo sunrise with tequila, plum wine, and pineapple juice.
Zikrayet Lebanese Restaurant & Lounge isn't just a restaurant. It's a tiny slice of Lebanese life, distilled down into a dining room, covered patio, and lounge. Guests dine on Lebanese favorites such as succulent lamb laced onto kabobs, pitas dunked into pine-nut-studded hummus, and flaky slices of baklava. As the evening turns to night, the lights lower and the entertainment begins. Belly dancers recreate the sensual scenes and moves of their homeland as they weave through the crowd to the hum of live bands. Afterwards, DJs spin popular music while crowds swap out plates for flavorful fruit hookahs. Parties go late into the night, or until hookahs finish working their full eight-hour shift.