7.20.2017

Mimosa Yoga Every Sunday at Beuchert's Saloon

My friend Kelly is teaching yoga on Sundays, but this class comes with a glass of chilled orange juice and Champagne immediately after savasana.


The class starts at 10am each Sunday (you can just show up or reserve your spot) and costs $25.  The July 23rd class will be Harry Potter themed. That's right. Harry. Potter.

It's held on the back patio at Beuchert's Saloon in Eastern Market/Capitol Hill.  So, act like a pro and make a reservation for brunch immediately after class. Workout done and ready to move on to your day!
Post-Mimosa Yoga Chill
Beuchert's Saloon is located at 623 Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Washington, DC. The nearest metro stop is Eastern Market. Follow Kelly Carnes on Twitter for the latest yoga classes. She also teaches yoga at Congressional Cemetery on Wednesdays, has been known to teach Bro-ga at local breweries, and is lobbying hard core to bring goat yoga to town.

7.18.2017

Where to Eat and Drink on Your First Visit to Montauk, Off-Season

After a seven hour road trip from Washington, DC, I pulled in to Montauk with an agenda. Like I normally do, I'd been keeping track of restaurants and places I wanted to visit. And then... Montauk had other plans for me.

Since I was there the week before Memorial Day, most of my targets weren't yet open. 

This forced me to live more like a local. And, I loved it. 

After dropping our bags at our house, Thea and I called a cab, chasing the sunset. Since all of the spots we had planned to go to were closed, we left our destination up to our cab driver and he lead us to my favorite place for the week: The Montauket


The building and bar is nothing fancy (like I like it), but. this. view. 


I ordered a glass of the local rosé (the first of many times I'd drink Wolffer Estate Summer in a Bottle that week.) 

At the close of each day, I'd hop in the MINI and zip over to The Montauket for a glass of wine and sunset. Perfection. The bartenders remembered my name the second time I showed up - and what I was drinking. I met locals and Long Islanders, which I found far more interesting than the snobby Goldman Sachs banker that talked loudly about his Miami house and how much money he made. The Montauket became home base.

On the food-front, there were a lot of great options. Some of my favorites were Duryea's for lobster rolls, crispy french fries and bottles of rosé on the dock, 668 The Gig Shack for lunch at the bar and John's Pancake House for hot breakfast. 

My favorite single food moment was zipping down to see if Gosman's was open for lunch yet (it wasn't) and finding Sammy's On The Go food truck for a fried clam roll on a perfect spring day. 

Fried Clam Roll from Sammy's On The Go
Another great afternoon spot for fried seafood is The Clam Bar, just off the main road into town. 

Fried Clams, Sweet Potato Fries and a Diet Coke from The Clam Bar
Looking for the perfect latte in Montauk? You'll want to find Left Hand Coffee (it took me a few days.)

If you want your coffee straight up and with a side of decadent baked goods, head to Montauk Bake Shoppe. I was a regular there for their croissants, which I'd bring home and eat on the deck while I worked.

Coffee and Chocolate Croissant at Montauk Bake Shoppe
Looking for a way to spend a cloudy day? The Long Island wine scene has come a long way. I'd recommend a tasting at Wolffer Estate. It's a beautiful vineyard and tasting room, with beautiful charcuterie boards and a full menu. I dare you to leave without buying a bottle of their rosé.

Wine Tasting at Wolffer Estate
Another fun road trip was meeting friends for brunch at Estia's Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor. It's a beautiful drive and at the culmination, you're rewarded with decadent, fresh Mexican eats. When someone inevitably asks, "Should we also get queso fundido?" Everyone should respond with a resounding "YESSSS!" There are no reservations, so plan for a bit of a wait here. Luckily, there are cool gardens and patio tables to hang out at while you wait.
Estia's in Sag Harbor
On a clear day, you'll want to visit the Montauk Lighthouse. You can go all the way to the top - or just hike around the cliffs and rock beaches nearby. Either way, the views are breathtaking.

Montauk Lighthouse
For the days where you just want to lay in the sand and read or soak up the sun, my favorite was Ditch Plains Beach. In the summer, this spot is probably crazy busy. But, Ike and I were rewarded with vast open stretches of beach to run on. I liked this neighborhood a lot. I'm sure the real estate is still out of my price range, but the houses are more down to Earth in this part of the town. 

Ditch Plains Beach
Montauk reminded me a lot of Key West. Both of them feel like the ends of the Earth. Both have fantastic people and places when you dig beneath the overlay of drunken tourists. I feel so thankful that I was able to see it first without the lens of the influx of investment bankers and trust funds. 

I hope one day, I'll return. 


Huge thanks to Mattie Matthews for allowing me a peek into Montauk life, for making me laugh consistently for years, and for being there as we support each other in this crazy life. PS. You need to be following her on Twitter and reading her blog, 67 and Dumped. Start at the beginning if you're new. Oh yeah, and she also is an award-winning travel writer.


7.17.2017

First Look: The Salt Line at Southwest Waterfront

The Salt Line is unequivocally my new favorite place to pre-game before going to Nationals Park. But, does the food stand up to hike to the waterfront for dinner alone?

In short, yes. It's worth the jaunt.

First of all, the place is jamming. It has a great ambience and waterfront vibe that makes me feel a bit like I'm back in Florida. The indoor part of the restaurant is cozy and has a vibrant circular bar that allows anyone to pull up a chair for shucked oysters and a beer (or great glass of rosé from Getaria.)

Outside, the double their dinner seating space (take note, if it's raining, as it was on my first visit, the host stand gets very stressed with trying to pack everyone in.) Perhaps more importantly outside, you'll find a roll up bar that is probably the best open-air place for drinks in DC.

Now, onto the food. You know you are in the right spot when at the table next to you is seated the Washington Post Food Editor.

Our server was wonderful and helped us navigate the menu. We started with "Coddies" - fried cod balls sitting atop mustard and saltines.

But, my favorite starter was the Crispy Fried Egg. It's a poached egg, still runny in the middle, flash fried (a la a Scotch Egg) paired with a fresh cucumber and cous cous salad.


For my entree, I had the Nashville Hot Soft Shell Crab, which I loved. It was perfectly crunchy and spicy. I'd definitely order that again. The spiciness of the crab was mellowed out with a side of the watermelon and cucumber salad.


I want to return to The Salt Line to try their much-lauded Smash Burger, Lobster Rolls and Crispy Skin Rockfish. Not to mention freshly-shucked oysters and more crisp rosé while the sun sets on the riverfront.

If you like seafood and waterfront drinks, The Salt Line should be on your to-do list.

The Salt Line is located at 79 Potomac Avenue SE in Washington, DC. The nearest metro stop is Navy Yard. It's located directly behind Nationals Park -- and opens early (90 minutes before game time) for every Nationals Game. Reservations are recommended, especially when there are events happening nearby. 

7.11.2017

Is RdV Vineyards the Best Wine in Virginia?

A few weeks ago, I was vineyard hopping over the weekend and I stumbled upon Linden. My wine friends were shocked that it was my first time going there. After all, Jim Law is the patron saint of decent Virginia wine according to everyone I trust on the subject.

Their follow up question, "Surely you've been to RdV?!?!"

I was embarrassed to admit I had no idea what that was. Rutger de Who?

Answer: Rutger de Vink, founder of RdV Vineyards... the winemaker in the hills of Northern Virginia who hails from The Marines and the tech industry, but is quietly and subtly building a name for himself as the best glass of wine in the state.


Obviously, I had to check it out. First of all, you need a reservation. I'm not great with planning ahead, but to taste or even visit RdV, you need a tasting reservation or to be a member of the wine club. Reservations are booked through their website (on the days they have them) and are $50.

When you arrive, the first thing you'll notice the stunning vistas. The slope of that granite hill was what called Rutger to this land when he decided he wanted to set up shop. It's the perfect soil to grow the perfect grapes. (And, as I learned on the tour, they are about halfway between Bordeaux and Sonoma... two places Rutger trained.)


Upon gated arrival, you'll be buzzed in and park your car next to the barn. The barn that looks like it should be in the pages of Architectural Digest. I fell hard for the clean modern lines mixed with old world touches. I also fell hard for the rosé and friendly staff that greeted us. My only complaint was that we couldn't buy a bottle.


Our small group gathered and was escorted up to the vines to hear the tale of how Rutger went from serving our nation to serving up bottles. When the wine bug bit Rutger, he studied with Jim Law at Linden. From there, he went to France and soaked up all that he could from the Bordeaux region. And to "finish" (I get the sense one never finishes learning about wine), he studied and worked in Sonoma.


Luckily for us, he found this land just off I-66 from Washington, DC in Delaplane, VA.

There are a couple of things that make RdV special. One, the terroir. Two, the team. Some years, the weather helps... sometimes it hurts. But, RdV wines are all vintage and all made with only grapes from RdV land. They only make about 2,200 cases a year (compared to 15,000 at Stone Tower.)


That all leads to a few things.

Price: Bottles are $75 and up to purchase after the tasting. It was so delicious that I would have gone home with a case if I could have afforded it. As it was, we bought one bottle of the 2012 Rendezvous.

Wine Club: The Wine Club is $750 to join. ** are you done wincing ** It's the only way to return and be able to buy wine without a tasting reservation. For your $750 you get access: to bottles, to events and to the beautiful property for longer amounts of time. Everything in my body wanted to join, but that $750 also only gets you 6 bottles that day. As I messaged a friend who is a member, "I would have joined if I could have had one more bottle, but I wasn't drunk enough to throw down that much plastic." However, if you're feeling flush, this is the wine club to join.

Scarcity: Some bottles are available on their website (the 2014 Rendezvous), at a small amount of retailers and in a few restaurants.

But, back to the tasting. After the vineyard tour, we walked through the entire facility, including the caves and bottling facility.

We ended back at a communal table where we tasted four wines, paired with a delicious charcuterie selection.


Afterwards, we bought our bottle and wanted to sit on the patio drinking it. I gather hanging out on-site and on the patio is members-only, but it wasn't crowded, so the team said it would be ok.

If you're on a journey to learn more about Virginia wines or you just love wasting an afternoon sipping wine in an elegant atmosphere, you should put RdV on your to do list at least once. It's worth the splurge to get to know the wine, the wine makers and the property. Everything about it was lovely, except that I had to say goodbye.

RdV Vineyards is located at 2550 Delaplane Grade Road in Delaplane, VA. It is accessed by reservations on their website or by joining the RdV wine club. Be sure to plan ahead. 

While you are there, don't miss checking out the red barn in the distance which used to house Chef Jose Andres gardens, and now fuels Chef Eric Ziebold's DC kitchens.

6.16.2017

Is Inn at Perry Cabin Worth The Money?

The short answer: Yes, Inn at Perry Cabin is worth every dime.

My problem was that I didn't have enough dimes. But, I really needed an escape out of town... and a weekend on the Eastern Shore with my man and my dog seemed like the perfect solution. Enter Chase Points.

I don't know why I hadn't checked this before, but Inn at Perry Cabin is also available by using points. I booked it and three hours later, we were seated on a comfy sofa next to a fire pit with a gin n tonic on the way.

It was peak spring - cherry blossoms, dogwoods, tulips and more. But, I get the feeling Inn at Perry Cabin is special, no matter what time you are there.


The room and grounds are so welcoming, you barely want to leave... except the town of St. Michaels is equally as quaint and inviting. We hopped on the complimentary bikes and started to explore. Favorite spots included Theo's for dinner at the bar, Ava's Pizzeria (complete with pup menu on the back patio), Justine's Ice Cream Parlor and Rise Up Coffee.

One of my favorite bike excursions was when I went out for coffee and happened upon the St. Michael's Farmers Market. In addition to bakers and farmers, there was a chef demo, a live band and a local liquor distillery!


Honestly though, grab a few bottles of rosé at the local liquor store and a spot by the water. You don't even need to leave the property to have an amazing day.

Our last day, we went for a sail. Since we were the only ones that signed up, it ended up becoming a private lesson.

We went back to the city more relaxed than we had been in months. The Inn at Perry Cabin will always be on my radar... but if you can't swing the cash or points, there are quite a few AirBNBs in the area that will give you a similar experience.

We'll be back.

Inn at Perry Cabin is located at 308 Watkins Lane in St. Michaels, MD.

6.14.2017

Best Bites of 2017, Ranked

I wish I had this idea in January instead of June, but here goes... this post will be a running list, constantly updated, of the best damn things I ate this year.

1. The Fried Chicken Sandwich at #SevenFifteenEight (aka Pineapple & Pearls, daytime)
The intense reservation system has kept me out of Pineapple & Pearls. And, though I knew they did coffee and pastry in the mornings, I. Did. Not. Know. They. Did. Sandwiches. This made-to-order fried chicken sandwich on a biscuit is the best thing I can remember eating all year long. Which is good because it was yesterday.


Pineapple & Pearls is located at 715 8th Street SE in Washington, DC. The nearest Metro stop is Eastern Market. Reservations are not needed for lunch (or breakfast.) (For dinner, you'll have to plan at least 30 days ahead.)

2. Zucchini Bread with Foie at Hazel
I ordered this as an afterthought and it ended up being the table favorite. The bread is somehow both light and dense - and toasted - and the foie is like buttah.


Hazel is located at 808 V Street NE in Washington, DC. The nearest Metro stop is U Street/Cardozo. Reservations are recommended, but not required. 

3. The Queso Fundido at Estia's Little Kitchen in Sag Harbor, NY
Let's be real, I loved everything I ate at Estia's and everything about the place. (Besides the wait, but thankfully my friend beat me there and I missed most of that.) If you find yourself in the Hamptons, put this place on your to do list.


Estia's Little Kitchen is located at 1615 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Turnpike in Sag Harbor, NY. 

4. The Gruyere Dumplings at Maketto in Washington, DC
Served over a spicy beef chili and greens, these pillowy dumplings oozed with that nutty gruyere. A close runner up for my favorite bite at Maketto this meal was the Larb Bone Marrow. This is a truly unique experience and menu. Worth putting into heavy rotation.

Maketto is located at 1351 H Street NE in Washington, DC. There's a coffee shop upstairs and retail downstairs. Make time to explore the space and the menu. And, when your mouth is on fire, order the shaved ice to cool down.

5. The Lobster Roll at Thames Street Oyster House in Baltimore, MD
The best lobster roll I've ever had was at Eventide in Portland, Maine. I've been back for it five times. But, since I haven't been to Maine in 2017, Baltimore wins my best lobster roll of the year. I had this pillowy perfection on a great girls weekend, exploring the food scene in this roadtrippable DC neighbor.

Thames Street Oyster House is at 1728 Thames Street in Baltimore, MD. Ask if you can get the outside table or an upstairs window view, if available. It's right on the water.

6. The Clam Roll, On the Beach, From Sammy's On The Go in Montauk, NY
Sometimes it can be hard to separate the perfection of the bite from the perfection of the moment. This one was a 20 minute work lunch break when I zipped over to check out Gosman's (it wasn't open yet), but found the Sammy's On the Go food truck. Even better.


Sammy's On The Go roams, but you can visit their restaurant at 448 West Lake Drive in Montauk, NY. I can't pretend that sitting in a restaurant will feel and taste as good as basking in the sun on an early May day on the beach, but it's worth a shot.

7. Brunch at Bar Clavel in Baltimore, MD
It's hard to identify which bite made this meal so memorable. Everything from the coffee to the ceviche to the breakfast tacos left me wanting more. We even asked for the name of the ceramic artist who made the coffee cups and plates.


Bar Clavel is located at 225 West 23rd Street in Baltimore, MD. 

NOTE: I will commit to adding to this list moving forward. And, maybe, just maybe, I'll go back through my phone and add to it retroactively.

Tell me what you think is a contender and I'll go try it.

Eat on, friends.

4.09.2017

Where to Eat with 24 Hours in Baltimore

The Light City festival gave us the perfect excuse to zip up to Baltimore, but let's be real... when my friends and I road trip, it's all about the food. Here's the tick tock, in case you wanna recreate it, hon.

11:30am Saturday  Depart Washington, DC
Grapefruit Crush at Thames Street Oyster House
12:30pm We drove straight to Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point for lunch. This is a no fuss spot that takes their seafood and cocktails seriously. We started with the calamari (basic, I know, but it was delicious) and a grapefruit crush cocktail. The lobster roll was all meat, no mayo, and I paired it with the broccoli salad.
Lobster Roll and Broccoli Salad at Thames Street Oyster House
1:30pm Right across the street from Thames Street Oyster House is the much talked about, new Sagamore Pendry Hotel. The property is stunning and right on the water in Fells Point. I'd book a room there just to lay by the pool when it warms up.
The Pool at the Sagamore Pendry Hotel
2:00pm Arrived at the Four Seasons Baltimore. Our room wasn't ready yet, so we walked around the neighborhood and took in shops like MadewellSassanova and South Moon Under. I somehow managed to not spend any money. Win.

3:30pm Finally got into our gorgeous room and promptly took a nap. [NOTE: You may want to fill this time walking around the Inner Harbor of Baltimore or visiting nearby Little Italy.]

6:30pm Met up with friends at Dylan's Oyster Cellar, which quickly became one of my favorite spots. The bartender was grouchy and someone else told me I couldn't use the barstool next to them. But, like a bad boyfriend, I was so smitten and determined that they would like me. Just a few minutes later, the grouchy bartender served me a fantastic gin-n-tonic and my neighbor gave me the barstool next to the electric outlet so I could sip my drink *and* charge my iPhone. Swoon.

Dylan's Oyster Cellar in Hampden

Dylan's has this gorgeous ramp roots on toast, with creamy cheese, honey drizzle and sprinkled sesame seeds. I wanted to stay, but we had reservations...

7:30pm Next stop, La Cuchera, a spacious Spanish joint very close to my Baltimore favorite, emeritus, Woodberry Kitchen. La Cuchera had a lively bar with fun cocktails and wine flights. When we sat, we had pintxos, croquetas and charcuterie. But, the best bite of the night was the rabbit, three ways.
Rabbit, (one of the) Three Ways at La Cuchera
10:00pm After dinner, we went back to the Harbor to walk around and take in all of the light installations. There was a rainbow ferris wheel, lights that moved based on motion, lit-up see saws and more. Light City is worth checking out next year.
Light City, Baltimore
12:00am Sunday There were midnight fireworks and then we all crashed.

10:00am  As sounds of the jazz brunch at Wit & Wisdom wafted through the lobby, we checked out of the Four Seasons. After all trusted friends had all been telling us about this brunch we needed to try...

10:30am Bar Clavel lived up to the hype. We basically ran the brunch menu and loved the tuna ceviche with tangy pineapple, the crispy chilaquiles and the breakfast tacos.
Breakfast Tacos at Bar Clavel
11:30-12:30 Before we hit the road home, we hit Hampden for some Artifact Coffee and to peruse cute shops like Trohv and In Watermelon Sugar.
Artifact Coffee

An hour later, we were back home with fun memories and plans to go back and try more next time.

So, what are your Baltimore must dos? Share em in the comments or tweet me @tammy.



3.28.2017

The Best Place for Drinks in Georgetown Right Now is Chez Billy Sud Bar a Vin

I'm smitten with Chez Billy Sud Bar a Vin and I don't care who knows it. 

I avoided it because I thought it was just a bar inside Chez Billy Sud (which would be fine, but the bright, busy French hot spot is a bit small.) But, just to the right of the restaurant provides an entirely different experience. I am just embarrassed that it took me this long to figure it out. 

But, my office is now in Georgetown, so I guess I'm reintroducing myself to the neighborhood. 

Bar a Vin has a great happy hour deal for wine, rosé on tap, a fun mix of folks and great bartenders. Snack wise, the warm goat cheese topped with honey and baguette could be my dinner any given night.

 It was still chilly outside, so I followed that up with the French Onion Soup. Classic, filling and perfect

Three glasses of rosé, a full belly, and great friend hang time and I was on my way. But, I have every intention of making this a regular hang spot.

What else am I missing in Georgetown?

Chez Billy Sud Bar a Vin is located at 1039 31st Street NW in Washington, DC

3.27.2017

First Look at Mirabelle in Downtown DC

I've been following Chef Frank Ruta and Pastry Chef Aggie Chen around Washington, DC since they first sold me on Manhattans and cheeseburgers at Palena Bar (RIP, Palena). When I heard they were opening a new restaurant, I stalked them on Instagram. I followed their travels and research in Paris. And, I waited.

Well, I didn't wait that long. Mirabelle opened on Monday for a trial lunch run and I held out til Thursday before I roped Rachel into joining me for a taste test.

Rachel and I were both torn between the Oven-Roasted Poussin and the BelleBurger. So, we got both and split them.

The poussin is cooked perfectly and falls off the bone, but the crawfish and morels that it's sitting in was what made me swoon. (You can see there, I paired it with a Virginia rosé - love that they are putting Mid-Atlantic wine on the menu!)

The BelleBurger kicks Ruta's cheeseburger up a notch. It's basically like if a French onion soup had a baby with a perfectly cooked cheese burger. You can order it "wet" or "dry"... this version is wet. Because, why not?

The dessert cart that is wheeled around the dining room will have you saving room for pastry. I loved the Mille Crepe with an incredible caramel sauce. It was light enough that it didn't send me into naptime, just out the door with a big smile and plans to return soon.


A few things to note. The restaurant is gorgeous and very close to The White House. I suspect once it opens up for dinner, it's going to be extremely busy since it's the most luxurious, chef-driven spot in the neighborhood.

I'm looking forward to drinks at the bar. The cocktail and wine list is alluring, and maybe, just maybe, I'll be tempted by the absinthe.

Mirabelle is located at 900 16th Street in Washington, DC. It's close to McPherson Square and Farragut West/North metros. Snag a reservation while you can!

3.26.2017

Creative Mid-Atlantic Dishes Dazzle at Hazel Restaurant in Shaw

Recently, my parents were visiting to check out the cherry blossoms. And, you know what that means. A lot of showing them the new restaurants in town that we love.

I'd been to Hazel once before - when it was warm enough to sit on the patio, remember that? I remember raving about the vegetable dishes.

This time, the proteins were the break out stars.

Check out this gorgeous crudo. It tasted as good as it looked, but I would order it again just for the Instagram hearts.


I love a good steak tartare (I know, high school me would die to know I'm eating raw steak), but pair it with tater tots and I just lost my mind. Yes, I said tater tots. Go immediately and order this dish.

Finally, we ordered the zucchini bread... just to have a good carb to share. Well, it was the table favorite. The zucchini bread was toasted and served with a creamy paté. Make sure it's on your order if it's still there.


I can't wait to see what Chef Rob Rubba is going to do with all of the incredible vegetables headed our way from Mid-Atlantic farms. And, that patio is going to be perfect for spring days.

Hazel Restaurant is located at 808 V Street NW (right across from the 9:30 Club and Atlantic Plumbin Landmark Theatres.)