Entries tagged with “Bloody Mary”.

When you wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the crack of noon on a Sunday, there’s nothing that says “Thank God it’s still the weekend” quite like brunch.  Whether it’s just you and a significant other or a big group outing, brunch has a certain cache that breakfast and lunch never quite attain.  Maybe it’s the fact that it’s socially acceptable to drink before noon at brunch…

Last month, we received an invitation to a bloggers’ brunch to introduce Birch & Barley’s new brunch menu.  We joined our fellow bloggers from Adventures in Shaw, The Arugula Files, Brunch and the City, and Mango & Tomato for an epic tour of the various sweet and savory offerings on the menu.  Although we didn’t get a chance to experience an average brunch service, we definitely had the opportunity to sample a wider range of dishes than we otherwise would have.

I couldn’t help but laugh as Elizabeth and our fellow writers prepared for the feast.  Each one in turn reached into her bag and pulled out…the exact same camera.  Someone needs to alert the folks at Canon that their DSLR Rebel is THE camera of choice among the DC bloggerati.

We arrived a little early for the gathering and settled into a pair of stools at the bar.  This being a beer bar, first and foremost, I decided to check out their version of the michelada.

The drink is basically a Bloody Mary with the vodka replaced by a lighter beer.  Not surprisingly, Birch & Barley’s version hit it out of the park.  The bartender was liberal with the spices and the beer’s carbonation gives the drink an effervescence that a Bloody Mary lacks.  The combination of the two makes for an easy-drinking start to brunch, and it definitely highlights the bar/restaurant’s commitment to quality beer.

From there we made our way to the table, where a veritable feast was laid before us.  Check out some of the images after the jump to decide for yourself if brunch in a beer bar is a brilliant must-do or just another positive addition to DC’s brunch scene. (more…)


St Regis Red SnapperSometimes an event comes to our attention that seems absolutely perfect for us.  Champagne and chocolates?  Yes, please.  Dining al fresco at an amazing farm in horse country?  You betcha.  Bourbon and barbecue?  Sign us up!

Even so, there are times when the sheer scope of an event causes us to lose sight of it until it’s almost too late.  This is another one of those times.

Throughout the month of October, St. Regis Hotels around the world have been celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Bloody Mary.  The classic brunch cocktail was “perfected” by bartender Fernand Petiot at the King Cole Bar in New York’s St. Regis Hotel in October of 1934.  It was soon renamed the “Red Snapper,” in an effort to class up the drink and to avoid offending any delicate sensibilities among their upscale guests.

And how do you celebrate the Bloody Mary?  Get a few of your city’s top chefs and mixologists to contribute creative takes on the drink and serve them up alongside the classic on a special bar menu.  Then shout the good news from the rooftops.

Here in Washington, the St. Regis has accomplished those first two steps admirably, gathering drinks from the likes of Art Smith, Spike Mendelsohn and Todd Gray, among others.  Even so, we’ve been surprised by the relative lack of shouting we’ve been hearing about this…and as a result, we almost forgot about it altogether.  Now we’ve only got this last weekend to take advantage of this bloody good time.

Details on the cocktails being offered - and a firsthand look at the original in its natural habitat – after the jump. (more…)


Argonaut ExteriorIn case you’ve forgotten, there’s a third member of the Capital Spice team who contributes little more than some cute photos from time to time.  On a recent weekend morning, however, Murphy performed a much more valuable function: he cast the deciding vote on where we would go for brunch.

It was ridiculously pleasant out, the perfect weather for an outdoor meal.  It was also the perfect weather for a long walk with our dog.  So we decided to combine the two and seek out a restaurant where we could enjoy a nice patio brunch with Murphy in tow.

Patio at ArgonautI can’t find the post now, but I remember reading that the Argonaut’s patio was decidedly dog-friendly and that they were offering brunch on Saturdays starting at 10.  I also read something about a “Bloody Mary bar.” It was the perfect combination.  We headed out for a walk and gradually made our way toward 14th and H Streets, NE.

So of course we were early.  Thankfully the staff was nice enough to let us make ourselves comfortable on the patio while they got ready for service.  While we were waiting, we looked over the menu.  What we saw got us hungry in a hurry.

A brunch menu with punch, complete with the appropriate make-your-own morning cocktails, after the jump. (more…)


IMG_7720Note to self: when it comes to Sunday brunch near the Kennedy Center, it’s probably best to try to do it ANY OTHER TIME BESIDES George Washington University’s commencement weekend.  Call it a hunch, but it’s likely to be just the slightest bit easier to find a reservation in the area.

Thankfully, we turned to those foodie enablers over at OpenTable, and they were quick to offer a handful of reservations that were available before the matinee performance of Ragtime that we were going to see.  They even had a 1000-point reservation at Hook…and it HAD been a while since we’d been to Georgetown’s temple of sustainability.  Having just written about former Chef Barton Seaver’s newest venture (the soon-to-open Blue Ridge), we decided to check out Hook’s brunch.

IMG_7708When we arrived, we were shown to our usual table in the front window.  Now don’t read too much into this – we seem to have a knack for making reservations at times when that front table is unoccupied, and most places along M Street love to keep their window tables filled to draw in the foot traffic.  Within minutes our waiter arrived, asked if we were all right with filtered water (a subtle way to guide diners toward the most environmentally friendly option), and took our drink orders.

A make-your-own-champagne-cocktail bar was tempting in its array of accompanying juices and liquors, but the need to buy a full bottle of sparkling wine made that option a non-starter for us.  For me, there are few brunch joys greater than a good, spicy Bloody Mary.  Hook’s signature version of the classic drink immediately distinguished itself with its garnishes: house-cured bacon and a cocktail shrimp replaced celery and turned it into something approaching an appetizer.  Elizabeth’s choice, the Pear Ginger Lemonade, was a light and refreshing way to start the meal…and probably a better complement to the seafood we’d be enjoying than a tempting Nutella Hot Chocolate.

Of course, before we could even think about our fish, there was the issue of Heather Chittum’s baked goods to consider… (more…)