Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Falling Forward

Goodbye to a long, hot, strange summer with earthquakes, hurricanes and…other disturbances. Those kinds of changeable conditions are creative fuel for us, given our longtime commitment to seasonal, regional fare. And, we draw on that nurtured fluidity in responding to some high-profile critiques of our newest restaurant, Todd Gray’s Watershed.

People ask us, “What do you think of these negative reviews?” Sincerely, we believe that criticism, even when it stings, offers us a chance to reflect on ways to improve. And we’re genuinely grateful for that opportunity. When anyone takes time to offer us feedback, we consider it seriously—whether it’s from mainstream-media food critics, the growing community of knowledgeable food bloggers, contributors to yelp!, or a neighbor.

We’re proud of Watershed—especially for bringing our creative cuisine to the developing NoMA neighborhood. And, as we learn from valued feedback, we expect that our guests’ experiences will only continue to improve. We always hope to satisfy the high standards for food and service that you have come to expect from us.

In the spirit of focusing on that goal, we have a new chef taking the reins at Equinox: Karen Nicolas, former sous chef at Gramercy Tavern in New York City and Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, CA. We'll be sure to introduce and welcome her here in a future post.

The Watershed Patio
Watershed’s Shrimp & Grits
A Friday Night Fish Fry is a great opportunity to enjoy Watershed. Please join us on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. for an eastern-seaboard tribute to traditional coastal dishes, when we’ll also feature DC’s newest brew, DC Brau. To see our tempting menu and other details, please visit Watershed’s website.

Here are some photos of Watershed’s September Clam Bake...


State of the Plate D.C.: We will be attending the conference, State of the Plate D.C.: Sustainable Meat and the Culinary Community, at George Washington University on Mon., Oct. 17. With several other distinguished restaurant owners, chefs and nonprofit organizers, we’ll share the panel, “Making the change: Restaurateurs and chefs share their experiences.” For conference info, please visit the State of the Plate D.C. website.

Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer: Throughout October, 24+ DC area restaurants are donating portions of sales to Take a Bite Out of Breast Cancer and PinkJams! to promote breast cancer awareness to young men and women. Please dine at Watershed on Sun., Oct. 23, when we are donating 25% of profits to them. For more info, please visit the PinkJams!/Take a Bite website.

Sunday Brunch at Toddy Gray's Muse at the Corcoran:  Beginning on Sunday, Oct. 23, Todd Gray's Muse at the Corcoran is bringing back the tradition of brunch at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Every other Sunday we'll present a bounteous buffet of Todd’s finest savory and sweet brunch offerings. On Oct. 23 we will also feature a jazz singer. The Gallery has several exciting new exhibits, including “30 Americans,” which “showcases works by many of the most important African-American artists of the last three decades.” For full details on café hours and the museum, please visit the Corcoran website.

Sunday Brunch buffet at Todd Gray’s Muse at the Corcoran
Recent brunch fare included this fresh-baked,
deep-dish quiche and seasonal fresh fruits.

Farmland Feast: “The locavore party of the year” is how DC Magazine describes this annual event, the primary fundraiser for our area’s invaluable resource, FRESHFARM Markets. On Mon., Nov. 7 at 6 p.m., Todd will join forces with a fantastic group of DC-area chefs to prepare a five-course autumn dinner with local food and wines to benefit the Market’s mission of reaching “both underserved and well-served populations of shoppers: friends, families, neighbors, environmentalists, gardeners, health professionals and, most important, healthy eaters.” For more market and event info, and to buy tickets, please visit the FRESHFARM Market website.

Capital Food Fight 2011: Nov. 10, 6 p.m. is the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) annual chefs’ challenge, and Todd will be competing against three worthy opponents. Only for such a good cause would we go into battle, given our Kumbaya mentality! Also, we will join some of DC’s other best restaurants in serving tastes of our signature dishes from Equinox and Watershed. It’s all to help raise funds for the many important DCCK programs: from feeding the hungry to culinary job training to school meal programs. Get in on the excitement, taste the great food, and, most important—help a great organization help a great many people in need! Please see info and buy tickets on the Capital Food Fight website.

Photo by Renée Comet
New Cookbook: We just began working on a project very close to our hearts. With the working title, Kitchen Conversions, it’s an ethnically diverse family cookbook that mixes Jewish cooking with today’s modern cuisine trends from a professional point of view. We have excellent collaborators who share our joy in the process of bringing to life this labor of love: writer, David Hagedorn; and, photographer, Renee Comet. We will be telling you more about this, but meanwhile, to learn a little about it (and to see some beautiful photos of our recipes), please visit Renee Comet’s blog, Cometphoto.

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