Plush red booths and brick walls anchor Zibibbo 73's dining room and bar. Bartenders pour draft brews and wines from a variety of grapes, including the one for which the restaurant is named?the zibibbo, one of Italy's oldest varietals. Inside the kitchen, chefs hand-craft pastas and prepare naturally raised meats and fish, including shrimp and freshly shucked oysters, transposing old-world Italian recipes to a modern setting.
Salad Creations chops and tosses more than 20 fresh salads drizzled with a choice of 23 dressings. Instead of licking a pulley or nibbling an inclined plane, guests sprinkle blue cheese, candied pecans, and bacon bits over the wedge salad ($5.99/junior size; $6.99/full size), exactly replicating the savory rains that fell on Ancient Greece. Waves of spinach and feta envelop wild Alaskan salmon ($7.99/junior size; $8.99/full size), and grilled derby chicken cobbs ($7.99/junior size; $8.99/full size) race toward mouths in frilly hats of hard-boiled eggs. Diners can also design their own salads, adorning leaves of romaine or spring mix with more than 40 toss-ins, including sweet mandarin oranges, salty sunflower seeds, spicy jalapeños, or crunchy moon rocks ($7.49 for base plus $2.50 for meat toss-ins). Salad Creations also appeals to your sandwich side in six hearty paninis, including a chicken italiano with fresh basil and mozzarella ($6.99). Each salad can also be rolled into a wrap or folded into an origami giraffe.
Tropical Smoothie Café's wholesome smoothies are filled to the gills with fresh fruit, juices, yogurt, chocolate, nuts, and healthful supplements, minimizing the crushing guilt of dessert consumption to a soft heartbeat emanating from the floorboards. Puréed potions ($4.59−$4.79) such as Pomegranate Plunge (pomegranate, banana, strawberries, cranberry) are stuffed with super fruit, and low-fat options, such as Mango Magic (mango, pineapple, non-fat yogurt), trick gullible taste buds into believing that they are traversing a candy factory full of whipped-cream lollipops. Supercharged smoothies are stocked with a healthy dose of supplements, such as the Kiwi Citrus Green Tea's antioxidant-laden matcha charge or the Muscle Blaster's whey or soy protein. Individual supplements can also be added to any other smoothie ($0.79 extra), boosting its magic points by +10.
To taste Portia Brown and Wayne Brooks' epicurean creations, you first need to know the secret location. They don't call one kitchen home, but host pop-up dinners throughout the DMV area. Each event is at a new location—including private homes and clubs—which is only revealed close to its date and to those who have reserved a space. The details of the menu are always a surprise, too, but the expert chefs specialize in modern takes on classic French dishes. A typical atypical meal delights guests with four- to seven-course meals paired with wine and inventive cocktails. They keep their events small to connect with their diners on a personal level and engage them in the food, while also fostering bonds among guests without playing ice-breaking games of Musical Chairs.
Portia and Wayne's elite training backs up their efforts in exclusivity: they have both mastered their crafts at Michelin-star restaurants in New York, and Portia graduated as valedictorian of The Art Institute of Washington and Wayne hails from Johnson & Wales. They developed Project Studio Supper Club to "redefine the creation of edible art." A quick glance at their masterpieces shows that the duo has achieved that goal. Their plates are painted in bright yellow sauces, lacy foams, spindly nests of sprouts, and steak centers so rare they glow a deep crimson.
Sweet Frog’s frozen-yogurt flavors go beyond the norm. In addition to cookies ‘n’ cream and greek yogurt with honey, the lineup of 75 varieties includes maple-bacon donut, cake batter, and dulce de leche. Patrons can sprinkle on toppings such as fresh fruit and candies, then savor their confetti’d confections in the lime-green-and-pink restaurant. Smiling frogs and funky white hanging lamps give the stores an air of fun, but founder Derek Cha is interested in giving more than that to the community; through Sweet Frog, he sponsors children in need and dispatches frog mascots to those who need encouragement.