As a lawyer, Elizabeth Banker traveled the world for work. But when she wasn?t swarmed with depositions, she would head to local wineries to sip artfully aged vintages and dream about which one she would choose for her own restaurant?if she had one.
That dream restaurant became a reality in August 2012 when Banker opened Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, a cozy Glover Park spot with what Thrillist calls a ?French bistro vibe." Patrons can pull up a stool to the reclaimed-wood bar, or sit at white-clothed tables. Art made from vintage corkscrews decorates the exposed-brick walls.
The Wine List in Three Words
|The bistro exclusively stocks wines from small-production wineries that embrace sustainable practices.||The staff delights in introducing patrons to lesser-known producers and varietals whenever possible.||The temperature-controlled cellar can include as many as 100 wines, including rare bottles from underrepresented French wine regions.|
The Menu at a Glance
Grass-fed meats and local seafood headline seasonal menus on the bistro side of Slate. Chefs imbue each dish with international flair: scallops come with truffle-oil tinged risotto, duck breast spring rolls with chili-soy dipping sauce, and ahi tuna poke with crispy wonton chips.
Given the bistro's emphasis on wine, it should be no surprise that each dish is designed to pair well with numerous selections from the drink menu. Staff members stand ready to offer guidance, gladly helping tables choose the ideal bottle to accompany their meals.
Chef Alcy De Souza named his restaurant after the Grammy Award-winning song that, in his words, “evokes beauty, elegance, and a dream.” At Grill from Ipanema, Chef Alcy is living his dream, which grew out a childhood spent helping his mother prepare meals for their family in Brazil. He wanted to bring the flavors of Brazil to the US and open a contemporary restaurant that stayed true to the history of Brazilian cuisine, which has roots in the indigenous people as well as immigrants from Africa, Europe and Asia. So for the past 20 years, he and his team have been serving authentic dishes from various regions of Brazil to hungry diners in the Adam’s Morgan neighborhood. Classic entrees include the Brazilian national dish, feijoada, a rich stew of black beans, dry beef, pork, sausage, and smoked meat served with collard greens and rice, as well as moqueca a baiana, a palm oil and coconut milk stew with cilantro, tomato, onion, scallions, green pepper, and a choice of fish. The drink menu also features authentic Brazilian creations, such as fruity cachacas and caipirinhas, as well as Brazilian beers and a soda featuring guarana berries, a fruit found only in the Amazon.
Though they hail from different corners of the world, business partners Aaron McGovern and Arturas Vorobjovas and their shared passion for food begat Russia House. Raised in Lithuania on his father’s traditional Russian recipes, Arturas works with executive chef Andrew LaPorta to pack Russia House’s bill of fare with authentic offerings such as line-caught sturgeon, plump pelmini dumplings, and a selection of caviar. These rich Russian staples grace white tablecloths and elegant place settings inside Russia House's stately interior. Here, mirrors reflect light that bursts through large windows. In the upstairs lounges, plush booths cradle diners and occasional live piano music permeates the airwaves.
Within Bossa Bistro & Lounge’s dining room, organic cuisine and grass-fed beef embellish authentic Brazilian small plates. Soft lighting and music wash over diners as they swap bites of the mandioca frita’s crispy yucca fries and cilantro sauce for morsels of beef tenderloin, testing out their water wings in a kalamata olive sauce atop the Xadrezinho plate. Spinach collard greens and mozzarella flood mouths that bite into bolinho de arroz rice croquettes drizzled with marinara sauce. While patrons nosh, they clink mojito and caipirinha cocktails in celebration of first anniversaries or second successful interactions with curmudgeonly neighbors.
Tucked near the shady promenades of Georgetown's Prospect St., the Peacock Cafe is a restful gem just steps from M St.'s bustling shops. There, Chef Maziar Farivar—a three-time invitee to the prestigious James Beard House in New York City—blends elegant, contemporary food from America and abroad with a laid-back atmosphere that attracts the full spectrum of Georgetown crowds, from brunching families to big-name politicians. (Bill and Hillary Clinton have even been spotted there by the Washington Post's Reliable Source.)
In a dining room decorated with large, colorful modern art, these varied visitors peruse a menu of American fare, much of which incorporates sustainable ingredients such as organic chicken and hormone-free beef. Pasture-raised and grass-fed rib-eye steak arrives in a cloud of Peacock's signature fries, which BlackBook describes as "dangerously delicious." And pistachio-crusted cod benefits from a tangy and sweet sauce of dried fruits and almonds. Diners can quench thirsts with a fresh-squeezed elixir from the juice bar, or select a pairing from an extensive wine list that, like the coatroom at a genie convention, contains dozens and dozens of bottles.
When he's not wowing crowds with his delicate preparations, Chef Farivar busies himself by burnishing America's image abroad as a part of the State Department's new Diplomatic Culinary Partnership. As an affiliate of the American Chef Corps, Farivar joins culinary luminaries including Rick Bayless, Jose Andrés, and Ming Tsai on a mission to share the flavors that define America with mouths around the world.
This West End eatery may exude an air of exclusivity, but chef Ris Lacoste, formerly executive chef of 1789 Restaurant, sees her restaurant as the ultimate in neighborhood drop-in spots. Grab a cup of coffee while catching up on emails, wind down with coworkers and after-work drinks or plan a nice, intimate dinner in one of the private dining rooms. Although Lacoste set out to create familiar American comfort food, don‰Ûªt be fooled into thinking that there‰Ûªs anything simple about those chorizo and almond crusted sea scallops or a serving of tender pappardelle paired with a seasonal add-on such as roasted chestnuts. Cocktail devotees swear by The Resurrection of Vesper (Plymouth Gin, Czars Gold Vodka, Lillet Blanc, Cointreau and Corsair Red Absinthe).