The time to not visit Boston is on or around September 1st. It’s when all the yearly apartment leases turn over and when the more than 250,000 students flood back into the city for a new school year. Around that time, if I can possibly arrange it, I’m far, far away from that mess.
This year I headed down to the humid warmth of our nation’s capital and the surrounding areas to relax and eat and visit friends and eat and shop, oh and eat. I thought I’d share some of the highlights.
The Sweet Lobby
The first morning my friend took me to The Sweet Lobby, a small bakery in the Capitol Hill area, and best known for winning Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. This tiny storefront showcases rows of cupcakes and French macarons, my favorite cookies. We got a selection of each along with some canelé (a bit of a disappointment in comparison to the cupcakes and macarons). It’s a good thing I don’t live anywhere near this shop.
Another night we went to José Andrés’ Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya.One of the best parts of the meal was also one of the simplest parts and maybe that’s what makes it so delicious – freshly baked pita, straight out of the oven with olive oil and pomegranate molasses. We followed it with an avgolemeno chicken soup; fattoush with grapes; seared halloumi (our latest favorite cheese); a compressed watermelon salad with feta and olives; and lamb phyllo packets on tzaziki.
The perfect ending to the meal was the Turkish coffee chocolate with cardamom cream, Zaytinya’s version of the molten chocolate cake. We absolutely loved the infusion of cardamom in the whipped cream. Sooo delicious!
Another restaurant we went to that weekend was Rasika, an upscale Indian restaurant in Penn Quarter. I highly recommend the Palak Chaat – a crispy spinach salad (we got two orders) – and the Black Cod. To be honest all the dishes were delicious.
We also had brunch at Volt, Bryan Voltaggio’s restaurant in historic Frederick, Maryland. I could have eaten a basketful of the blue cheese and bacon scones but the maple glazed bacon doughnuts, while tasty, weren’t as good as the Craigie brunch doughnuts. My dessert was a lovely, moist cornmeal cake with rosemary and cream. I wish I could remember the specifics. I wish I could have more.
It was a perfect weekend getaway. And yes food was part of it, but ultimately it was the friends I shared it with that made the weekend so wonderful.