From towering tiered cakes to bite-sized miniature desserts, the bakers at Cotton's Gourmet Gifts & Creations handcraft an eclectic portfolio of sweets for every occasion. Each dessert is handmade at the behest of each and every client, and a wide range of options is available for weddings, showers, birthdays, and sweet-tooth conventions. Beautiful wedding cakes are among the bakery's specialties, helping see each bride and groom's vision becomes a sweet-tasting reality.
The fragrance of sizzling spiced meats waft through the brightly hued dining room of Azteca Restaurant and Cantina, enticing diners as they sit at cozy tables and pull cornflower-blue napkins into their laps. Helmed by owners James Burick and Mario Orellana, Azteca Restaurant and Cantina titillates taste buds with generous portions of unusual yet authentic Tex-Mex eats. Diners can rev up their eating engines with the tamales de elote filled with creamy sweet corn before moving on to a beef chimichanga, a roundup of beef, beans, guacamole, and cheese in a tortilla big enough to blanket a replica of the Aztec pyramids. A sizzling plate of lobster-tail fajitas comes with chicken and beef, whereas the enchiladas monterrey provide a meat-free option resplendent with cheese and ranchero sauce.
The Jerk Pit’s white wood siding and covered porch might lead folks to think they’re stepping into owner Lisa Waddell Rose’s own house—and that’s likely what she intended. The chefs apply spicy blends of seasonings to transform morsels of chicken, pork, fish, and tofu into traditional Jamaican jerk dishes, served alongside other staples such as curried goat and ackee with saltfish. While sipping on Jamaican soda or sweet iced tea, patrons can utilize the Pit’s free WiFi to download sounds of crashing waves or pictures of the Caribbean's blueberry-flavored waters.
A native Washingtonian and graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Oliver Friendly founded the company three years ago by offering in-home cooking lessons. If you opt for the personal cooking lessons, the knowledgeable Friendly will show up at your kitchen bearing all the essentials (tools, local produce, and meat) and know-how necessary to whip up a wonderful meal.
Epit-of-Eves makes throwing a party easier through its catering and chef services. Instead of slaving over a hot stove or whittling a toothpick than can perfectly spear a mini meatball, hosts can leave the food prep to the professionals. Catered dinner services provide meals that are customized for each guest, with fresh ingredients grown locally and no preservatives or additives. And personal chefs can cook meals in homes, with customers choosing from a variety of cuisines or requesting a specific meal.
For chef Daniele Catalani, there’s nothing political about food. The Tuscany-born chef delights political bigwigs and locals alike with a menu composed of highly seasonal, homestyle Italian food. Catalani earned his culinary bona fides working in restaurants throughout Europe, and he made his way up to the exclusive chef position at Galileo by the age of 23. He also appeared on Iron Chef America in 2003 during the battle of Donna vs. Morimoto, where he assisted in spatula-to-spatula combat. Today, he fills Toscana Cafe's menu with classic entrees such as gnocchi with basil pesto or ravioli with roasted eggplant and goat cheese.