Friday, December 30, 2011

Enter, Winter!

A change of pace and scenery! And, we’re really enjoying just that, at the fabulous Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, where Todd is the Culinary Director. Along with 20 of our family and friends, we’re getting to know this fabulous property. From the bartenders to the line cooks, we’re meeting our “hospitality cousins” down here and exchanging lots of great information. Happy for some face time (and a little bit of sun time, too!), we’re psyched for a bright future here in the Caribbean. The spot in the photo above is Ellen’s favorite private event space. She’s looking forward to having classes held there, working on booking yoga and ecotravel journeys throughout the year. Watch this space for info!

On December 28, Todd was guest chef with Chef Pascal Messier (above) at Fishing Lodge, Cap Cana for a Festive, Seasonal Chef”s Dinner. The menu showcased the glorious Caribbean cuisine, including a Salad of Caribbean Spiny Lobster with Mango and Papaya, and Ginger-Pistachio Vinaigrette, as well as Crispy Local Pompano, Dominican Style, served over Coconut Rice with Avocado and Piquillo Pepper Relish.

From the bartenders to the line cooks, we’re meeting our “hospitality cousins” down here and exchanging lots of great information. Above are Chef Pascal Messier and the kitchen staff of Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Judge William T. Newman joined Todd in adding final touches to desserts at the dinner. Judge Newman is the husband of Salamander Hotels & Resorts CEO, Dr. Sheila C. Johnson.

Thanks to all who celebrated with us at our 12th-Annual Winter Solstice Dinner on December 16 and our Christmas Eve dinner. We are looking forward to seeing you back in DC for New Year’s Eve!

Saturday, December 31, 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. seatings: New Year's Eve Dinner at Equinox Restaurant: A beautiful and brilliant, flexible menu in seven courses includes stand-out offerings such as Lightly Cured Kampachi with Tangerine Confit, Basil Seeds and Ginger Oil; Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine with Shaved Fennel Salad, Rosemary Brioche and Persimmon Mustard. Again, our vegetarian guests will not be disappointed with options such as Chestnut Crepe "Crespelle" with Spinach, Tallegio Cheese and Compressed Asian Pear; and Corn Flour Tagliatelle Noodles with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Wilted Arugula and Housemade Goat’s Milk Ricotta. Desserts include Dark Chocolate Trio of 70% Chocoate Mousse, Dark Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Sorbet. Structure your own menu of three, five or all seven courses—with or without wine pairings. (Please contact us for reservations.)

Saturday, December 31, 5:30 p.m.–10p.m.: New Year's Eve Dinner at Todd Gray's Watershed Restaurant: Just in time for New Year’s Eve, we’ll switch gears from “local & seasonal” Caribbean Spiny Lobster to “local & seasonal” Virginia Ham Beignets! Todd will prepare New Year’s Eve Dinner at Watershed, featuring Crispy Skin Arctic Char Served on Coconut Rice with Rock Shrimp and Green Onion; Grilled Creekstone Farms New York Strip with Englsih Stilton Butter, Roasted New Potatoes and Cabernet Wine Sauce; and Chocolate Souflée Tart with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.  ($50; $70 w/wine).

Saturday, December 31, 5:00 p.m.–8p.m.: New Year's Eve Family Buffet and Movie Night at Todd Gray's Watershed Restaurant: Bring the kids along for a fun, relaxing New Year’s Eve. We’re offering something for the whole family: Our kids’ buffet will please them with our own takes on their favorites, including Crispy Chicken Strips, Macaroni and Cheese and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Our adults' menu will satisfy grownup tastes, featuring Cider-Braised Turkey with Apple-Pear Chutney, Cavatelli Pasta with Mushroom Bolognese and Pecan Bourbon Tarlets. (Kids under 12, $17; Adults, $30)


January 4, 6–9 p.m.: DC Food Blogger Happy Hour: Todd Gray's Watershed Restaurant. We are excited to be asked to host this casual gathering of a group of DC-area food bloggers, who usually meet monthly for a happy hour at a selected restaurant for food, drink and face time.

January 9–22, Winter Restaurant Week: Todd Gray's Watershed Restaurant: Join us for Winter Restaurant Week. We are offering special 3-course Lunch and Dinner menus that showcase our seasonal, regional cuisine. Lunch is $20.12 with selections that include Louisiana Creole Shrimp Salad, Panko-Crutsed Maryland Flounder Filet and Warm Apple Crisp. Dinner is $35.12 with selections that include Mid-Atlantic Seafood Chowder with Rappahannock River Oysters, Carolina Style Barbeque Shrimp, and Dark Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream. Wine pairings will be available for $20 additional, and beers will be offered at our Happy Hour prices. Please contact us for reservations.

Sunday, January 15, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Market Brunch at Todd Gray's Muse at The Corcoran. Typical brunch offerings might include Baked Vegetable Frittata with Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Fontina Cheese and a seasonal quiche. Relax over brunch in the glorious Corcoran Gallery atrium while being inspired by live gospel music, in recognition of the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. After brunch, take in the Gallery’s excellent “30 Americans exhibit, “a wide-ranging survey of work by many of the most important African American artists of the last three decades,” now extended through February 12. As always, Muse guests receive a $5 discount on Corcoran Gallery admission.

Sugar & Champagne Affair, February 1, 2012: The Washington Humane Society presents the 11th annual dessert and champagne reception to honor local crusaders against animal cruelty: Washington Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Control Officers, and Humane Educators. This celebration of all things sugary and sweet showcases tastes from the DC area’s most talented pastry chefs complemented by some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. The VIP reception presents an exclusive savory gathering prepared by the finest chefs of the national capital region. For tickets and info, please visit the Washington Humane Society website.

February: Todd Gray's Watershed Restaurant: Friday Night Shrimp Boil: Following the great fun of our Fish Fry, Oyster Roast and Game Roast events, we are ready to party again with another family-style throwdown featuring (food description). Enjoy live music and beer from our local DC brewery, DC Brau. Price is $75, all-inclusive (2-for-1 rate for our NoMa neighbors in zip code 20002). Watch this space for the date! Please contact us for reservations.

New Cookbook: We are wrapping up a project very close to our hearts: an ethnically diverse family cookbook that mixes Jewish cooking with today’s modern cuisine trends from a professional and home-cook point of view. We have excellent collaborators who share our joy in the process of bringing to life this labor of love: co-writer, David Hagedorn; and, photographer, Renée Comet. As soon as we can, we’ll let you know how to get your own copy. Meanwhile, to learn a little about it (and to see some beautiful photos of our recipes), please visit Renée Comet’s blog, CometPhoto.

Photo by Renée Comet

On. Dec. 21, Todd joined James Beard award-winning radio host, Kojo Nnamdi on DC's NPR affiliate, WAMU 88.5 to discuss holiday food traditions, along with Pati Jinich, TV host and chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute. If you missed the program, you can check out the archive.

On the show, Todd recalled growing up in Virginia with oysters for his family’s Christmas dinner, and how he has enjoyed creating variations on Ellen’s family’s Hanukkah recipes, like his Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Latkes. He shared that recipe with Katy Adams of the Washington Examiner.

Fireplace tables at Equinox are the best seats in town! DC food writer, Nevin Martell interviewed Todd in his piece on selected restaurants’ fireplaces for Washington Post's Express Night Out.

CityEatsDC writer Kelly DiNardo interviewed Todd for their “Grill The Chef” feature. Equinox and Watershed are featured on CityEatsDC, a new business from Food Network. CityEatsDC’s website carries info about the DC food scene and individual restaurants in their excellent blog posts, restaurant write-ups and slideshows—plus, diners can make reservations right on the site itself.

Roll Call reporter Warren Rojas interviewed Ellen about Todd Gray's Muse at the Corcoran for their article on museum restaurants.

Watershed recently had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Sheila C. Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels and Resorts, and Managing Partner of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, and her guests, including Mystics’ Forward/Center, Crystal Langhorn. Some lucky Mystics fans were able to join them by contributing via the annual auction at Sibley Hospital’s Breast Cancer Awareness event. The Mystics posted this video to commemorate the occasion.


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  2. Baked Vegetable Frittata with Zucchini, Baby Spinach and Fontina Cheese and a seasonal quiche
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