Neopol's smokery counter has taken on a functionally industrial aesthetic, a rustic, old-world look, thanks in large part to the russet red smoker that stands in plain view. Owners Barbara Lahnstein and son Dorian Brown's focus is on beautiful presentation and incorporating as many fresh, local, all-natural, and never-canned-from-leftover-space-missions ingredients in her dishes. During the week, stop by before heading to a Super Bowl replay party and choose from the plentiful lunch menu (though they're open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday, on which they close at 5 p.m.), which has more options than a chimney has chimney sweeps trapped inside. On the lunch menu, the salmon BLT ($9.95 whole, $5.50 half) consists of freshly smoked salmon, free-range bacon, tomato, and field greens with honey dijon dressing, all draped lovingly on sunflower-flaxseed bread. If seafood isn't your cup of sportsdrink, try the pork loin sandwich ($9 whole, $5 half), an organic and local slice of cherrywood-smoked meat crowned with fresh goat cheese, house-made tomato jam, red onions, and field greens, or the vegetarian sampling ($9.00), a variety show plate of smoked hummus, tofu, olives, and seasonal vegetables.
When Lois Margolet first opened Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, 36 years ago, she and her brother Alan worked from the second story of a boarded-up building, roasting 10–12 whole turkeys every night and churning out a “real turkey lover’s” sandwich each day. Today, Capriotti’s has expanded across 12 states, each location stacking the same award-winning hot and cold sandwiches, racking up such accolades as The Best of Las Vegas 2012 and Best of Delaware 2012 prizes from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Delaware Today, respectively. Though the shop is still known for its slow-roasted-turkey creations—such as the Thanksgiving-inspired Bobbie, named America's best sandwich by AOL's Lemondrop.com, piled with cranberry sauce and stuffing—its menu now ventures into the realm of roast beef, italian deli meats with such sandwiches as the capastrami, cheesesteaks, and vegetarian treats, such as meatless chicken and turkey.
Canvasback Restaurant & Pub serves up elegant regional plates of seafood, steak, and pasta, while frosty beers and live music invite visitors to kick back their feet and relax. Like an EU agricultural treaty, the bill of fare unites Europe through food, with French onion soups and Italian tortellini plates paired with Irish ales and whiskeys. Guests tuck into tender steaks in Jameson sauce or crab cakes made with meat from Cambridge's J. M. Clayton Company as they tap their feet to the tunes of folk singers, jazz-piano players, and bluegrass bands. The bar offers 12 beers on tap including Maryland-brewed beers served in frosty mugs and Ireland-brewed ales.
To say Capital Teas? founders, Manelle and Peter Martino, know tea might be a bit of an understatement. Fifth-generation tea merchant Manelle?s great-great-grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, was a Dutch tea planter who immigrated in the 1870s to present-day Sri Lanka, where he planted and managed the Diyagama Tea Estate, from which the Martinos now source their Great Grandfather?s tea. Manelle?s family has been in the tea trade ever since, a tradition she has carried to her own specialty tea business, which has boutique locations throughout the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Additionally, Peter has become a popular speaker at World Tea Expos, where he frequently educates and inspires the tea world.
In addition to tea from Sri Lanka, Capital Teas carries more than 200 loose teas and herbal infusions from 18 countries including India, China, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya. A sniffing wall dispenses wafts of black, oolong, and green teas, and knowledgeable employees drift around the store?s tasting stations to explain each flavor?s nuances.
Capital Teas also pairs customers with accompaniments such as teapots, infusers, treats, and artisanal honey. In-store patrons may sample free tea samples?which are brewed fresh daily?while online purchasers receive a free sample with every order.
Even though Portuguese explorers couldn't pronounce the Swahili name for the African bird's eye chili—pili-pili—the sailors fully embraced its flavor shortly after landing in the region known today as Mozambique. Intrigued by the small, fiery pepper, they combined it with aromatic doses of herbs, garlic, and lemon to create the first peri-peri sauce. That sauce eventually became a wildly popular marinade for poultry, and the tasty concoction made its way to South Africa over the next several centuries. There, in 1987, two friends decided to honor this culinary legacy by founding the first Nando's Peri-Peri restaurant. The eatery continued to remain true to its South African roots, even while expanding to encompass locations in 24 countries across four continents.
Beginning with fresh chickens that never see the inside of a kitchen freezer, the chefs furtively marinate the birds in a secret peri-peri sauce for 24 hours before grilling them over an open flame. Diners dictate the heat level of their order, requesting that the grilled chicken arrive relatively mild or that wings be slathered with even more incendiary spices. The succulent chicken can be plated with hearty side dishes—such as Portuguese-style rice with herbs and peppers or peas with mint—or served in the form of a sandwich, wrap, or pita. To complement the menus' African flavors, Nando's worldwide locations collectively feature more than 4,000 pieces of African artwork.
When chef Jim Wilder put out an ad seeking a front-of-house and catering manager for his restaurant, he had no idea that he'd also find a soul mate. A pastry chef by trade, Karen seemed the perfect business partner, and two years later she became his life partner as well.
Together, the Wilders opened The Wild Orchid Café in 1995 in a homey, cottage-like space. Their recipes and shared cooking style favored locally sourced produce and protein, long before "farm to table" became a foodie catchphrase. In 2010, the restaurant outgrew its original home, and the Wilders pulled up stakes to move to a larger, more modern headquarters with stone columns, generous windows, and lofty ceilings, plus an outdoor patio guarded by blossoming trees.
"We have always cooked like that," says Karen of the pair's propensity for seasonal fare. On any given day, Jim, as executive chef, can be found inspecting the newest produce and meat offerings at local farms.
Jim and Karen work together on recipe writing, and though the menu changes according to what's in season, a few hard-and-fast staples remain. Grilled oysters burst with flavor when smothered in bacon and beurre blanc. Sweet wine, bacon, and grapes enhance sautéed chicken livers, and grilled bison sates appetites with much leaner bites than beef from cows or beefcake calendars.
Private dining rooms accommodate large groups, and one comes with a stone fireplace to warm up hands before they dig in.