It takes a deep understanding of spices to make a mean kabob, just as it does to cook a complex curry. Impressively, Habibi Mediterranean & Greek Restaurant does both. The menu of Mediterranean staples—falafel sandwiches and lamb shish kabobs among them—also features popular Indian dishes such as beef or fish in a homemade curry, with the fieriness adjusted to your liking.
The kitchen here is a versatile one, producing eastern eats for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. A morning meal of shakshuka pairs pita bread with eggs poached in a spice-heavy tomato sauce, whereas lunchtime heralds gyros and french fries. Lamb shanks are hard to pass up at dinner, but then again, so is the shrimp biryani and sneaking licks from a neighbor's plate. Regardless of the meal, all the meats are Halal and guests can balance out their dishes' nuanced flavors with cold sips of watermelon or mango smoothies.
Amidst warm red drapes, exposed brick, and white-linen-covered tables, Vino's Ristorante distributes delectable homemade-pasta handiwork typical of Northern Italy for lunch and dinner guests. The ahi tuna carpaccio ($10.50), complemented by arugula, capers, and dijon mustard, appeases vestigial shark fangs, and the large prawns are buoyed in a white-wine sauce with capers and lemon ($9). Plant-based palate-pleasers include Vino's romaine salad tossed with gorgonzola dolce dressing ($5.50), and standards such as spaghetti bolognese ($10.50) or veal scaloppini in lemon-butter sauce with capers ($17.50) execute traditional culinary prowess with the precision of a robotic chess champion.
After attending culinary school, Lebanon-born Moussa Elmoussa decided to open a restaurant using Mediterranean recipes borrowed from the mother of his half-Grecian wife. More than 17 years later, he continues to prepare a menu made with nutritious, healthy ingredients such as lemon juice, chopped cucumbers, and low-fat yogurt from dieting cows. Chefs at both locations carve kosher and halal lamb, chicken, and beef for gyros, stuff grape leaves with rice, and ladle out housemade tzatziki sauce.
As one of the world’s most populous countries, India is home to many culinary styles and philosophies that are as diverse as the people who inhabit its landscapes. Spice King’s chefs attempt to showcase all of the country’s flavors with a menu featuring inspiration from Southern India, the Nepali border, and everywhere in between. Plates pile high with hearty portions of veggie tikka masala, chicken tandoori, and lamb curry. The chefs also conjure up sweet rice pudding, pistachio-topped milk cakes, and other traditional desserts often used to rouse open-mouthed sleepers.
The best food begins with the best ingredients, or so said mythical figure Johnny Mucho. Legend has it that the owners of Mucho Burrito Fresh Mexican Grill knew zilch about Mexican food until they met Johnny. His love of food was so infectious that they created Mucho Burrito with his family recipes as their inspiration. Thanks to generations’ worth of expertise, the cooks at Mucho Burrito’s incorporate gourmet touches that you wouldn’t expect at a typical taco joint. For instance, they pack their gigantic burritos with shredded beef or pork that slow roasts in mexican spices for eight hours before hitting the tortilla. They make their guacamole and five salsas fresh each morning, when the sun is at the proper angle for blessing salsas. Their salads arrive nestled in bowls formed by fresh-baked tortilla shells. To turn up the heat, customers can slather their grub in one of five signature sauces, which range from Johnny's Sweet Heat to Death by Johnny Megahot.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal—hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.