Proprietor Don Dey Ermand has been running Sly Horse Tavern for nearly 30 years, but the restaurant looks much, much older. That's because it was modeled after the 18th-Century elegance of the Raleigh Tavern in colonial Williamsburg. A fireplace spills warmth out into the room, where it is easy to imagine early American colonists warming their hands or whittling the extra corners off their hats. The flickering light wends across oriental rugs and merlot-red tablecloths. Atop them, waiters slide plates of cuisine that fuse modern American and European culinary traditions. Chefs stir steaming pots of cherry and bourbon sauce and craft lobster crème, destined to crown cuts of salmon, ostrich, and Chesapeake Bay crab cakes. Sparkling, white, and red wines pair with dishes such as stuffed trout, which the Washington Times said was “generous in size, exceptionally flaky and sweet, and was complemented with just the right portion of rich crab imperial.”
French-trained executive chef Jhon Smith presides over Main Street Brasserie's seasonal menu of sandwiches. Duos chatter happily over a time-tested Main Street Club sandwich or a hot italian sandwich, which plumps up a 9-inch sub with a protein trinity of ham, salami, and capocollo blanketed in buffalo mozzarella and imbued with the subtle flavors of a balsamic reduction. From the stage of a savory round roll, a black-bean veggie patty with mushrooms, onions, and hummus flaunts fistfuls of crisp veggies like a farmer on payday, and the half-pound all-beef burger lures in carnivores with a siren song of melodious grilled mushrooms and bacon strips. Reward jaw muscles with sips from a 16-ounce fountain drink or ward off food-induced dips in consciousness with an invigorating mug of coffee.
The chefs at Calbra Classics place heavy emphasis on Nigerian and West African cuisine that is hearty as well as healthy. Whether the food is housed in chafing dishes during a catered meal, whipped up by a personal chef, or delivered to busy families, customers can rest assured that they'll be eating square meals as comforting as if they came from their own stove. In addition to a menu that features savory and rich coconut rice and flavorful stewed goat meat, among other dishes, the chefs also lead hands-on cooking classes. During a single session or multiple-week course, a small group of students learns how to create authentic meals, sampling their results along the way. Afterward, students will be given the recipes they used in class so they can replicate them at home.
Bishop Don Meares and his wife, Marion, deliver large-scale worship services and celebrity-studded events at Evangel Cathedral Multi-Media & Arts Center. In addition to prayer services, the stunning faith center hosts Bible study classes, mentorship opportunities, and even a spiritual hotline that parishioners can call in times of distress. Women's groups and youth groups foster an even greater sense of community among the congregation. The church also has many specialized facilities: a bookstore provides edifying materials, and a banquet hall called Camelot invites diners to try and pull a knife out of the mystical block of butter in the kitchen.
The Velleggia family first laid their roots in Little Italy in 1970, establishing a specialty grocery store where they began to sell a combination of imported and housemade Italian foods. Relying on time-tested traditions and natural ingredients, they continue their culinary venture in much the same manner today. The highlight at Casa di Pasta is the store's homemade and hand-cut pastas, from gnocchi and tortellini to 26 kinds of ravioli stuffed with the likes of butternut squash, lobster, or smoked mozzarella and mushroom. Premade pans of lasagna and frozen italian sausages round out the selection of homemade goods that customers can pick up for nightly dinners or to feed groups at parties. Coolers and shelves also brim with olive oils, vinegars, breads, sweets, and cheeses imported directly from the Old World.