Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
Founded in 1925, Morris Miller Wines & Liquor continues to embrace the marvels of fermentation and distillation by stocking its shelves with an international selection of potent spirits. The wine selection is grouped by region, allowing patrons to more easily track down a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc or a spicy Chilean carménère. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the staff hosts complimentary wine tastings, which allow customers to try small samples before they buy bottles to enjoy at home, in restaurants, or on the neighborhood's new roller coaster. Shelves of craft beer, single-malt scotch, and Brazilian cachaca round out the store's ample selection.
Adega serves fresh café fare for lunch and dinner, including delicately swaddled wraps such as The Jerk ($7.49), made with jerk chicken, romaine, avocado, mango, red pepper, mango vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla made of chipotle and misanthropy. Feast with the family on a 14-inch margherita pizza ($11.99) or one of the other Mediterranean flatbreads, or prepare an absorbent nest for flightless wine flights by ordering one of the sandwiches such as The Duke Ellington, a swinging combo of roast beef, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, brie, and horseradish cream. The establishment also houses a variety of wines, which are sold by the glass ($4–$9) and bottle ($8.99–$60), but customers are welcome to buy a bottle at Adega during lunch or dinner and have it at the table with their meal. While feasting and sipping, absorb the café's warm and unpretentious décor, replete with ample windows for prime views of passing strongmen bench-pressing parked cars.
When the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department moved into a larger building, retired firefighter Jeremy Gruber saw an opportunity to combine his two loves. He had grown up with a passion for food—his grandparents opened the New York City restaurant Gruber’s back in the 1930s—so after a few failed attempts to eat the old firehouse, he decided to buy it and open his own restaurant instead.
Though the firehouse vibe lingers with cinderblock walls and large, sectioned windows that resemble garage doors, Jeremy gave the space a modern update with bamboo floors and LED lighting. Inside the transformed dining room, patrons extinguish their hunger with orders of five-alarm wings or firehouse chili paired with cheddar-jalapeño corn bread. In the microwave-free kitchen, cooks also prepare entrees as varied as portabella burgers and seafood risotto. Locals will recognize added treats such as Gifford’s ice cream and craft beers from Red Brick Station.
Sound Excursions describes their carefully curated group experiences as "field trips for adults." It's easy to see why: every outing takes groups to a new realm of Washington, whether it's the frothy shores of Puget Sound, inland forests and mountains, or tables at Seattle's thriving restaurants. The events held at these diverse locations range from culinary workshops on topics such as sushi-making and moonshine-tasting, to adventurous excursions with whitewater rafting or kayaking, to laid-back themed party cruises. For many outings, luxury transportation is provided.
Acacia Bistro & Wine Bar is located in the corner of a blocky office building in the decidedly uncharming Van Ness stretch of Connecticut Avenue. The interior is modern, neat and tidy, leaving the focus on the contents of the huge wine list and the creative menu. The underlying theme is Mediterranean--so you can find a variety of tapas, charcuterie and cheese plates and fresh pasta dishes. At lunch, paninis and burgers are the stars of the show, along with a few, well-chosen entrées. With so few decent restaurants in the immediate area, Acacia Bistro is the one place where you can depend upon a solid meal and a fine glass of wine. There’s also an ample patio area for outside dining.