Sunday, October 31, 2010

A DC Geography Lesson

So if you follow our twitter (@EquinoxDC) feed I'm sure you have been noticing NoMa being mentioned.  And you may be wondering what's the big deal.  And it will be a big deal but I have to be the ass that can't tell you everything and I am sorry about that.  But i think you are smart people and know that things our up are sleeves and can speculate, which I will not discourage you from doing.  But until I can give you the 411, let's just talk NoMa.

That little acronym has been thrown around lately.  If you read DC blogs like DCist or We Love DC, you will have read about the newest burgeoning are of DC.  NoMa, or north of Massachusetts (how very New Yorker SoHo/NoHo/Dumbo of us) is located by Union Station, with it's major borders being New York Ave, North Capitol, Florida Ave, and Massachusetts.  It also is very close to the hipster haven of H Street NE, and not to far from all the suits on K Street.  and if you look at a map it really is almost the center of DC, so I dub it the "nucleus" with us all living in the plasma around.  Jeez I really did have to look up cell structure to even figure  that out (don't judge me! When is the last time you thought about it?)so I promise to think of a better metaphor next time.  If you have any ideas feel free to shout them out. 

Well folks, NoMa is a-booming! Current tenants include The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Sirius XM, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and CNN.  And according to the Washington Post we can expect NPR, the Community College of the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Justice to set up shop soon.  Some really cool apartment buildings built up and it is not the isolated little strip of small coffee shops and delis that it was a few years ago.  NoMa is becoming the "mixed-use" neighborhood that they envisioned.  And by "mixed-use" they mean a place that small businesses, large office, residents, restaurants, bars, etc. exist in a cohesive manner.  

I'm jealous of the fact that there will be a Harris Teeter opening this winter.  I love the "Teet" and am considering of moving again.  Though by the sounds of it there will be a lot of reasons to explore setting up your home base in this neighborhood  as it continues to grow.  It appears from the July 10, 2010 Washington Post article on the area that the only thing the residents find lacking the amount of sit down restaurants. Hmmmm................(insert foreshadowing here)

Have a great week!


Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Friday Foolery Again

It's Halloween people!  Break out the candy and your sassy costume and let's get this party started.  Did you know that Halloween has its roots in the Celtic holiday Samhain?  The Irish name Samhain is derived fromOld Irish and means roughly "summer's end" and celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half". The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. And as the cool weather begins to set in we all begin to hibernating just a bit an seeking those warm weather treats that become synonymous with the season.

I absolutely love the ingenuity that chefs, mixologists, and home cooks have this time of year.  Like pairing wine with candy corn and roasted pumpkin seeds.  And Equinox is no different.  Simo making some Fall inspired cocktails: Handcrafted Apple-Pear Cider, Cinnamon Infused Wild Turkey Bourbon, Fresh Lemon Sour & Homemade Spice Bitters.  Tom tempting us with such desserts as Tempe Pumpkin Pudding with Ricotta Ice Cream, Toasted Pine Nuts and Brown Butter Emulsion.  And Todd always tempting us with dishes like Basil Crusted Rib Eye of Aussi Lamb w/Autumn Lentil Ragu, Carrot Coulis & Olive Jus.  Will you just stop people!  I cannot handle all these temptations!  Oh, who am I kidding?  I am so coming over to try a little bit everything.

As we delve deeper into Fall and Winter expect some more surprises.  Anything you're particularly craving this winter?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Time to head to the arena, the Arena Stage that is

It was a busy weekend for the Equinox family.  Besides it being Harrison's homecoming weekend, which had Ellen busy selling cupcakes and attending all sorts of sporting events, it was also the Arena Stage's homecoming weekend as well.  But this homecoming was a celebration of the Arena Stage returning to its Meade Center location in the SW Waterfront. 

Equinox restaurant, partnered with Market Salamander, is privileged to be one of the Center's food vendors and we were down at the celebrations selling some bad ass nibbles to give everyone a taste of what....well.....what they would be tasting when they come back for a show.  Despite my lack of descriptive creativity in that last sentence it was a successful day for everyone.  Glee club performances, Mayor Fenty acting as Honorary Co-Chair, theatre tours, a sneak peek of "Oklahoma", gorgeous weather that allowed shorts and sundresses to make a final performance before winter truly sets in, and a gathering of people who love DC.  
"Oklahoma" will be playing until December 26th, and another show called "Every Tongue Confess" will be starting up November 9th.  You can find out more about current and upcoming shows here:  So head to the waterfront and check out a show and see us at the concession stand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What the Squash?!

It's October people. And October equals leaves beginning to change colors, boots and sweaters are pulled out of the nether-regions of our closets and storage container, Halloween costumes are planned, and the usual pumpkins and Jack-o'-Lanterns begin to grace doorsteps.

Pumpkin soup, breads, muffins, lattes, hell even pumpkin pizza has begun to grace every eating establishment in town.  While I am all for anything pumpkin, especially pie, there are so many other squashes out there that are with exploring.  Ever heard of kabocha squash?  If you click on that fun little menu tab above you will find that kabocha graces the Equinox menu.  Not pumpkin, acorn, or butternut, nope it's kabocha that we adore.

The varieties are endless and so I took a little inspiration from that to go outside my squash comfort zone at home.  Thus I present to you a story of "Sweet Dumpling Squash in Four Acts":

First Act: "He" was whole.

As a whole as a squash could be.

Second Act: "He" spilled his guts.

How easy it was for a squash to to let go.

Third Act:  "He" sought warmth.

He knew all squash loved a good roast.

Fourth Acts: "He" learned to play well with others.

Cranberries and squash is like ebony to ivory.

And it was delicious!


The End!

Okay I am no playwright but it was yummy.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Inspiration in YouTube form!

Lauren DeSantis, from Capital Cooking, stopped by the CHOP market and it's like she was reading my mind.  I've been jonsing for some butternut squash soup, but really want to try to make it myself instead of heading to the soup aisle of the market.  Boom!!!  And here she appears making butternut squash soup!  Mind.....Blown!  So I am going to be taking a few tips from her and I hope that this video will inspire you as well to buy some winter squash as well.


Monday, October 4, 2010

A Diamond in the Rough


See that dirty rock looking thing above?  That loyal readers is a white truffle and it is worth a sizable chunk of change.  A true diamond in the rough.  If diamonds were fungus that is.  But truffles are hot these days and have begun gracing every day restaurant items from fries made in truffle oil to truffle salt on the table.  

At this very moment we are in the midst of white truffle season.  Forget Fall, Halloween, apple picking, Columbus Day, etc because what is on our brain in truffles and how we are going to use them.  The big debate has been risotto or agnolotti on the Equinox Twitter feed.  By my count risotto is winning by a couple votes, but I think agnolotti could pull it out in the end.

But until decisions are made I thought it would be beneficial to all of us to know a couple fun food facts about this seasonal guest star:

1. White truffles grow symbiotically with oak, hazel, poplar and beech and fruiting in autumn
2. They grow in both Italy and Croatia but the city of Alba, Italy is the most famous for growing them and hosting a very popular white truffle market and festival.
3. This is not a fact, per se, but I just loved this line from www.lifeinitaly,com: "The white truffle might smell like earth, tree roots and old cheese, but this gastronomical object of desire, from Italy's Piedmont region, is very famous for its aroma, taste and aphrodisiac qualities."   I'm personally always looking for an old cheese smell in my aphrodisiacs. :)
4. Back in 2007 a white truffle, weighing in at 3.3. pounds, was purchased for $330,000. Wowzas!
5.  Dogs are actually specially trained to smell and hunt for these types of truffles.  (This fact actually makes me sad as I want to always imagine a truffle pig hunting for my truffles.  And upon further research I found out the dogs began to be trained to hunt for truffles, because the pigs were known for eating too many in the field! Well they are yummy, who could blame them.)
6. A local tradition of Alba is to give a prized white truffle to somebody famous each year of the festival.  Past recipients have been: Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Reagan, and also Winston Churchill, Michel Gorbachev and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Alfred Hitchcock, Rita Hayworth, and Sophia Loren.

A pretty amazing little tuber that packs quite a punch.  Now I am really ready to get my truffle on!