Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Spring is here! I know I should be happy for the gorgeous weather, the young new leaves, and the litters of kittens and puppies being born everywhere (adopt!), but I’m really a Fall person at heart, in love with its decadence and melancholy and with me not sweating like a menopausal marmot trapped inside a mosquitoes-infested clambake. Also, Fall means my kids will be in school… What can I say? Spring and its mad energy never really did it for me. The only way to mitigate the annoyance of my spring rut is , unsurprisingly, spring food.

Today’s recipe is a very simple pasta that my Sicilian grandma used to make: spaghetti with pistachios, pancetta, and rosemary. And before you get too excited (I know you are—that combination does sound fantastic), I have to disclose that I’ve been researching this recipe, and it doesn’t seem to have any history or claim to tradition. It’s just something my grandma picked up somewhere in the 90s (perhaps even from a woman’s mag) and presented to us grandchildren to a thundering applause.

This pasta dish is very easy and quick to make, and packs a lot of flavor with the use of fresh rosemary. Also, it’s nice and oily and has a great crunch, which makes it a really fun dish to serve to family and friends.

Now, you might wonder what exactly makes this a spring pasta, since all ingredients can be found all year long. Well, pistachios and rosemary are green, right? And pancetta cubes look like little rosebuds just about to bloom. And frankly, just let it go. NOT in the best mood here.

And since we're making pasta, let's refresh our basic pasta skills:


Makes 4 portions
  1. 1 tbsp EVOO
  1. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  1. 2/3 C cubed pancetta
  1. 1/4 C dried shelled pistachios
  1. 1 rosemary sprig
  1. 10 oz spaghetti
  1. salt & pepper to taste
  • Start making the pasta in a large pot like I explained before (see links in post).
  • While the water is heating up, heat the EVOO in a frying pan.
  • Add the onion and the pancetta and cook at medium-low heat until the pancetta is crispy, and the onion is soft and golden, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Once the pasta in the pot: In a food processor, coarsely grind the pistachios and the leaves from the rosemary leaves. You should aim for a medium grind.
  • Drain the pasta, and stir in the two mixes until pasta is well coated.
  • Add fresh ground black pepper to taste

  1. .

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


"Is this your first time at [this restaurant]? Let me tell how it works." Wait, let ME guess: It's small plates, right? And these small plates are meant to be shared, right? Of course. I've been living in DC for 11 years, and the spread of the small plates restaurant has been steady and inexorable. Restaurants may call them tapas, meze, bites, cicchetti*, or whatever, but the idea is all the same: All courses have now been replaced by appetizers, which are fun and multitudinous and give us patrons the idea that yes, we can have it all!

Reaction to small plates has always been ambivalent. Fans see small plates as a joyful approach to dining, one made of many new flavors to be enjoyed in an almost Mediterranean social closeness. Critics complain they don't even remember what they ate, and in any case, they're still hungry. What can I say? Although I consider myself a voracious eater with an bottomless curiosity for food, I am becoming increasingly critical of the small-plate approach.

I don't want to imply I'm a defender of quantity over quality (god forbid), but I am completely convinced that each and every food thrives in the right portion. 

small plates: salmon appetizer
Dear small plate: We just met, and it's already time to say goodbye.
Consider this. Nigiri sushi pieces are and should be small— just think about eating an iPad-worth of rice topped by a slab of raw tuna and you'll know what I mean. But you cannot be emotionally satisfied with a duck sausage the size of a baby's thumb, or a mini-rice ball, or a single spoonful of gelato, or your personal bay scallop ceviche, or a fraction thereof, especially if you still think small plates are for sharing. (And how on earth am I supposed to share that egg yolk?)

So I thought about it, and here is my conclusion: When a meal consists of too many small plates, food becomes just a savory or sweet tease that goes nowhere, an ephemeral joy, a culinary mood swing, a meal-interruptus. It's like speed dating for food, only it never leads to an actual date. What can I say? Maybe I'm still a romantic at stomach. 

So, restaurants, please reconsider your small plates. Sharing and tasting can be great fun, but how about finding the courage to offer a meal of solid, brave dishes that are mine, all mine, to love and to cherish till dessert do us part? Do you think I can't handle it? Oh, I can. I do. I do.

*Cicchetti are Venetian tapas. Yes, I was brought up on small plates, but the beauty of cicchetti is that they are an accompaniment to the aperitif. The real meal comes an hour later.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


15 foods to bring back from your Italian vacation: pasta, cheese, chocolate, tomato, pistachio, panna cotta, etc.

 I just came back from a very fulfilling vacation in Venice where I was surrounded by family, friends, and amazing food around the clock. It was also Carnival, my favorite time of year to be home, and I'm happy to report that I consumed as many traditional treats as humanely animally possible (check out this post on traditional Carnival fare). As I stuffed my luggage with delicious foods to bring home to the States, I thought it would be great to share with you some of my go-to culinary imports so you're prepared for your next trip to Italy. My list is definitely not exhaustive, but it still is a useful starter that can be customized regionally anywhere you go along the sunny Boot. All of the items are approved by U.S. Customs (no meat, no fish) and presented here in random order.

Let's start.


I know you can buy saffron in the United States, but in Italy saffron is sold in these adorably colorful and font-gorgeous packets that are cheap and super easy to stash in your luggage. One sachet will suffice for a risotto alla Milanese or a 6-portion batch of saffron gnocchi.


Dried tomatoes, porcini mushrooms, eggplants, olives, artichokes... You can find these items in the United States, but often in name only. Italian condiment jars can be so delicious and packed with so much fresh flavor to shock you into shame for whatever you had been eating before. What you see in the picture is a jar or Sicilian semi-dried cherry tomatoes in extra-virgin olive oil. Yep.


Every single region in Italy, and possibly every single town, has its own traditional cookie. My region is Veneto, and our cookies are crumbly and often made with corn flour like these Zaeti I wrote about some time ago. And if you travel around the rest of Italy, you'll find cookies made with almonds, walnuts, figs, pine nuts, marzipan, honey, wine, lemon, and whatever else, coming in a heart-stopping variety of sizes, shapes, and textures. A final note: Italian cookies are called biscotti, all of them, and as far as I know, they're never chewy. Give that up.


I'll always slip a couple of boxes of tagliatelle paglia e fieno ("straw and hay") in my bag because it's MiniBee's favorite pasta and one that makes him literally squeal with joy when I make it. Egg pasta is heartier and more flavorful than regular pasta and comes in many different shapes. Serve it topped with butter, sage and loads of Parmigiano or with a bolognese sauce, and be happy. The pasta in the picture is very delicious but not particularly high-quality, but you can find fresh pasta in many alimentari (small grocery stores selling fresh cheese, cured meats, etc.) if you need to add some wows into your life.


Every region has its biscotti, but also its pasta. What can I say? I'm trying to promote #glutenwild on Instagram, just so you know where I stand on carbs. Pasta is a great import because it's beautiful and universally beloved, and because there's almost an infinite variety of shapes to choose from. Bassano, a beautiful town north of Venice, makes some superb pasta that tastes amazing and has a great bite. Plus, the pasta boxes look great, which makes it a great gift, too. This one I'm keeping, though.


You can definitely find dried porcini mushrooms in many U.S. stores, but let me tell you once again, IT'S NOT THE SAME. High-quality, authentic Italian porcini mushrooms smell like heaven and come in big, beautiful, leathery slices to be softened in warm water to enrich anything from your bolognese sauce (that'd be a Tuscan ragout) to a mushroom lasagna. Dried porcini mushrooms are not cheap, but they are a cooking game-changer and another amazing gift to bring home to a dear friend.


So sue me. Not everything on this list is regional and fresh and approved by Slow Food. I don't care if you make all of your panna cotta and crème caramel yourself—sometimes it's nice to just heat some milk, dump in a concoction of flour, sugar, and powdered gelatin, and enjoy. Dessert boxes are fun all over the world, and I have a total soft spot for the ones that try to be fancy. They're dirt cheap at 2 euros each, and since they are foreign, nobody has to know you didn't make your dessert from scratch.


Can you believe I put cheese in the eighth position? Neither can I, but really my photo is not that great. That said, the United States might reject all foreign cured meats (WHY, OH WHY?), but they do accept cheese, and I can live with that for the moment. Italian cheeses come in an almost absurd variety and they are so much cheaper than in the U.S. that it almost hurts. And with a little research, you can easily find a grocery store willing to seal-package your cheese for maximum shelf life and casein enjoyment. Cheese, of course, makes the greatest gift ever, but it's so hard to part with it, I won't condemn you if you keep it all for yourself.


I've learned there's a $1000 fine on Kinder Eggs, so I don't recommend you buy those, but next time you're in line at an Italian grocery store or buying bus tickets at a tobacconist's, get something from the candy display. Pocket Coffee (in the picture) are chocolates filled with actual espresso. You need to be a little careful when you bite into them not to spill their content, but the effect is so gratifying you'll be glad you tried. These are also dirt-cheap and make for some great stocking-stuffers for the espresso-lovers in your life.


It's not a secret that I could eat ravioli and tortellini every day. And for a time I did, to the dismay of my sister who was living and dining with me then and who still maintains I caused her an aversion that lasted well over a decade (boo-hoo). Ravioli and tortellini for me are the perfect meal: A thin layer of pasta cradling a soft heart of perfectly-paired ingredients, to be topped with the simplest of sauces: butter and sage, olive oil and Parmesan, cream, tomato sauce, etc. You can definitely find both ravioli and tortellini in the United States, but the good ones are often absurdly expensive, and the bad ones do not really deserve the name. I'm talking about gummy and thick pasta and mysterious "three cheeses" filling where no good cheese can be identified and accepted as such. When you're in Italy, get your hands on some local-brand ravioli with a fancy filling, and eat them in the couple of weeks after you get home to make your return less traumatic.


When the UE was formed, one of the first points of contention that Italy had was that the Italian market was suddenly flooded with crap chocolate made with cheap vegetable oils. It was a bitter war that gained prominent real estate on all Italian newspapers and that I believe fueled the rise of the Slow Food movement in my country. The chocolate in the photo is from the Sicilian town of Modica, and it's famous for its deliciously crunchy texture due its "cold" preparation inspired by an alleged pre-Colombian recipe. But really, there are so many amazing chocolate varieties in Italy (gianduiotti, anyone?). Just get some.


I already talked about cheese in #8, but I do need to give a special mention to Parmigiano Reggiano, the king of cheeses. Not only Italian Parmigiano is about half the price compared to what you buy in the United States, but it's usually a nicer cut. The very common and very dry "double-crusted" Parmigiano you find here is rather depressing to me, so I'm always happy to bring home either a more central cut or a more aged piece (it goes up to 30+ month). Grate it on your best pasta or risotto, or see it disappear in a millisecond when you cut in chunks and serve it to guests. Also great to turn your kids into cheese-snobs.


You might need to do some research here because the best pesto is usually fresh, but there are specialty pestos in jars that are totally worth purchasing. The one in the picture is made with pistachios, which makes it decadent and lavish enough to be placed in a proper altar in your pantry. Attention, though: This is the kind of treat that runs the risk of never being tasted because you always wait for the right occasion. Don't fall into this trap. Find those pistachios a home on your plate.


Am I repeating myself? Check #5 again and tell me you don't want to bring home more regional pasta. These bigoli are almost like thick spaghetti (but not as thick as bucatini) and might be my favorite pasta on the planet. So forgive me for posting them, but I could stare dreamily at this box for hours.


If you still have room, then you have to try more Italian cookies. In many supermarkets, you'll find a huge variety of cookies that Italians usually consume for breakfast. There are not as sweet as American cookies, and they are small enough to be eaten in clusters of threes. Kids will love them, and you will, too. These ones are made with chocolate and orange. Yum.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Over the Christmas holidays I had an Italian friend visiting with her husband and 2-year-old son. I love them all dearly, and it was great to speak my native language daily and relax into the comfort of our shared cultural background. From the very beginning, though, I had to struggle with the evident difference between my life as a mother of two and my friend's life as a mother of one. Let's see how it went.

My friend's child spent his time adorably playing by himself, going on fun museum outings with his parents on public transportation, showcasing his amazing potty-training abilities, and recounting his adorably inventive imaginary adventures with the sweetest voice ever. In two weeks, he cried TWICE. My friend was calm, competent, and rigorous at all times. 

My kids spent their time screaming for joy or anger, begging for clementines at all hours of the day while refusing to eat during proper mealtimes, and generally displaying their territorial nature with the ferocity of male teenage Komodo dragons. At various intervals, they would toss off their clothes and run naked up and down the stairs, throwing toy cars at each other. All the while, my parenting action was limited to sighing, changing diapers, picking up scattered underwear, and occasionally pleading them to be "gentle". I collapsed on the couch A LOT.


Frankly, it was embarrassing. As a Xmas host, I should have provided my guests with a safe winter haven filled with joy and family fun rather than a tableau vivant of squalor and despair only to be photographed in the starkest of B/W. My knee-jerk reaction, of course, was to reject any guilt and toll the "you-just-wait" bell, but I knew that would have made me feel even worse. What right did I have to burst my friend's happy parenting bubble by telling that her beautiful family was just a delusion ready to be destroyed completely and permanently by any additional spawn?

I looked at my friend, all fresh and innocent, and caught a glimpse of my old efficient self in the half-forgotten years when I only had one child. When MiniBee was the sole center of my world, I was the one folding cloth diapers. I was the one setting weekly playdates at the zoo and making homemade yogurt topped with freshly-grated apples. I was the one insisting that we have a full meal at the table and we seldom or never watch TV. Yes, dear friend. I was once young and beautiful, too.

So what happened? What came that transformed me from a busy mother into this zombie of dejection, capable only of refilling Cheerios and shaking her head slowly?

Well, Microbee happened. I know that. But I also know that I can do better, even just a tiny bit. I might not be ready to take both kids on a museum outing on public transportation—fuck that—but I can go back to some of the principles I once had. I can start with food, for example. Take my friend: She is a stickler for fresh vegetables. Once she served us grated beets and, to my complete surprise, my kids loved them—especially when they learned their poop would turn red. How great is that?

grated beets
A gory close-up of your kid's new favorite snack.

From now on I can grate beets for lunch, and watch my kids eat vegetables happily while sitting at the table. Their smiles will shine through their red-stained faces, and suddenly they will look like zombies just like me, and it will feel wonderful.

So if you have 2+ kids, don't look at newbie parents as lucky bastards who have it all easy. Just try to be inspired. I believe that, as mothers and fathers (of any number of kids), we are all on our individual journey of discovery and humiliation, reaching each stage at our own speed. Some of us will enjoy more breaks than others, but it really doesn't matter. Because one day, we will all be there together, calling our adult, well-adjusted and ungrateful kids on the phone just hear it ring again and again without answer... deep into the bottomless void of our self-sacrifice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


People's Bao, pork steamed dumpling - Best of Food in DC (and beyond)
A pork bao from People's Bao
To celebrate the 20th consecutive year I put "eat better and exercise more" at the top of my New Year's resolutions, I decided to scrap that resolution altogether and replace it with something more achievable. No, it won't be "complain and procrastinate" (even though I'm tremendously successful at both), but "open up and learn", which is inspirational and vague, hence, totally within reach.

I'll start with the "open up" part by giving you my personal list of the 20 best foods in and around DC. I know lists are more popular at the end of the year, but this is not a closure, it's a beginning. End-of-the-year lists are judgmental, whereas start-of-the-year lists are optimistic, and generous.

You're welcome.

For what concerns the "learn" part, I hope you readers will want to share your most beloved foods with me. I don't go out as often as I would want, but give me an edible target, and I'll jump on it on my next outing, whenever that might be.

But let's move on the list. I based my picks solely on personal preference and not on any high-cuisine standards. Some foods come from fancy restaurants, but there's comfort food from stands and cozy neighborhood spots, too. Every dish hits a different spot for me, whether I'm out for dinner with Mr Bee or desperate to pull some happiness out of my cranky kids on rainy weekend mornings. There is a lot of meat, I'm afraid, mostly because I'm basically a home vegetarian and a partying carnivore, but I promise I'll expand my horizons in the future. Foods are listed alphabetically, and you really shouldn't ask me to choose a favorite: They're all like my children to me.


17th Street

I've been to Sushi Taro for four amazing dinners since its transformation into a high-end restaurant, but lunch is still my very personal treat, one I try to enjoy when I can extricate myself from parental responsibilities. Chirashi—a box of rice topped with all kinds of raw fish—is my go-to choice. A bountiful explosion of quality, bathed in natural light, that makes me as happy as a little girl in a Rainbow Brite theme park.

Takoma Park

I'm done with brunch. And not only because we are all kind of done with brunch, but also because brunch for me is mostly an imposition from my visiting parents who think my kids are ready for a sit-down meal at a proper restaurant. Of course, at 11am the kids are not hungry yet, so Mr Bee and I just spend the time sequestering knives and salt shakers from them, cleaning up spills on and under the table, blowing dust off tater tots that had fallen to the ground and that our kids deem still absolutely edible, and eating a medically worrisome amount of scrambled eggs (leftover and not). The only exception to this horror is brunch at Republic, because somehow the decor captivates my children enough to keep them calm, and because their fresh buttermilk biscuits are deliciously salty and flakey, and such a far cry from standard, lazy brunch fare that I can pretend—in my butter haze—that my kids are amazingly well-behaved, and that I am indeed a great mother. Scrambled eggs are soft and cheesy, too, so this brunch becomes definitely worth the effort.


I was introduced to this gem of a Korean-Chinese restaurant by a couple of dear gourmand friends a couple of years ago, and it's still a beloved destination for my family. The noodles are pulled to order (you can watch the chef at work as soon as your waiter communicates your order) and are served with a glistening black bean sauce that everybody of every age I know adores. The garlic chicken wings plate consists in a massive pyramid of crispy chicken wings topped with garlic and sticky sweet sauce. I'm pretty sure Mr Bee would happily live on those for the rest of his life.


Almost 6 years ago, I knew right away I was having a boy when I suddenly started ordering calzones left and right. Without that instinctive ordering choice, I would have never enjoyed this masterpiece. This is by far the best calzone I've had, served by the most authentic Neapolitan pizzeria in town. Ham, mushroom, mozzarella, and pesto make for a very delicious filling, and I'll stab you with my Pizza scissors if you try to steal the soft calzone corners from me.


Forest Hills

I'm not the biggest wings fan, but these deserve a standing ovation. These dark and spicy and vinegary chicken wings are fall-off-the bone delicious and served with a thin horseradish sauce that stares down with due contempt at all other wing sauces you might have encountered before. Let me just say it: Wings at Comet are so delicious, they almost taste like pork.

Columbia Heights

It was mystifying to me to come to the United States and see that most croissants look like worn-out slippers. Really, though, why are they so pale, deflated, and depressing? And the flavor? Sometimes they taste like burger buns laced with margarine. Le Caprice does a pretty good job of delivering fresh croissants that are buttery and crumbly and shapely, and it's a pleasure to have one while sitting in their sun-filled room, possibly in the company of a very happy toddler whom you're initiating to the joys of French patisserie. Other pastries at Le Caprice are also good, and I'm personally partial to the Pain aux Raisins, but I'd ask if they are freshly baked before you order (if you catch my drift).

Mt. Pleasant Farmers' Market

This is a farmers' market stand that I originally found at Eastern Market, and what a find that was. I tried the pork bao, a pillowy soft steamed dumpling filled with a hefty portion of slow-cooked, ever-so-juicy pork. I was having one of those awful weekend mornings that parents know so well, and this beautiful bao immediately washed all my anger and depression away with its greasy esophageal caress. On a subsequent visit, I tried the duck version, and was in love.



There should be more places like this: Big delis with massive hunks of slow-roasted meats on the counter, hand-carved to order to deliver you a most satisfying sandwich. Roast beef, ham, turkey, and brisket rest gloriously on the counter, ready for your order. A neighborhood gem if you live in Brentwood, but worth a trip from elsewhere, too.


I am still mourning the old location of Ray's the Steaks on Wilson Blvd, because it had the effortless and competent charm of modern Italian trattorias, but, as they say, whatever. Ray's does meat beautifully and affordably, and this tougher but super-flavorful cut is one of my favorites. Personally, I list the smell of charred hanger steak as one of my favorite perfumes. If you share my passion, do yourself a favor and try this one.

Columbia Heights

Pastry Chef Lizzy Evelyn graced DC with this beloved cheesecake that, in my opinion, is a mile above any other cheesecake I've ever eaten here and elsewhere. Gone is the chalky heaviness of regular cheesecake (sorry, it's true), and in comes a new, sweet and tangy creaminess. It's one dessert you're allowed to close your eyes in delight with every bite, even though that makes it easier for your fellow diners to steal a spoonful.

U St

It was hard to pick one dish from this Southeast Asian restaurant on 14th Street, because I love everything I've tried there, and believe me, I've tried a lot. I'm choosing this vegan curry because someone else ordered it but I stole half of it (at least). It was so much more flavorful than I'd thought, and a joyful reminder of how great wild mushrooms can actually taste. Doi Moi is one of those restaurants where you're already planning your next visit when you're halfway through your meal.


Staff at Red Toque might squirm a bit when you place your sandwich order because they're trying to promote their regular menu, but until they start making their sandwiches less delicious, it's going to be very hard for me to stray from this lamb marvel. This Indian/Middle Eastern restaurant serves a lamb sandwich made of chunky, juicy, and spicy meat pieces and fresh vegetables, all wrapped in a soft and buttery naan that I believe has been slathered in mayo. Yeah, mayo. It's a sandwich straight out my hungry subconscious.


U St

I picked the yellowtail jaw because it's wonderful, but really, any other fish dish from this informal Japanese treasure would have done. Izakaya Seki reminds to us all that good fish is actually SWEET, and I'm forever thankful for that. I don't know why it is so hard to buy fresh fish in DC (recommendations?), and my first bite of fish at Izakaya Seki was basically a Proustian madeleine for someone like me who grew up on the Mediterranean Sea. But really, the whole menu is filled with happy surprises. Oh, and they serve one of my top-5 favorite foods: Ankimo, or monkfish liver. Just go.


Takoma Park

I stopped eating waffles because I learned they are, more often than not, just the dried-out cousins of my beloved pancakes. I'm happy I made an exception for this. The waffle is only slightly crispy on the outside but rich and creamy on the inside, and the pecans add that coffeeish kick that turns the plate into the perfect weekend breakfast. A side note: The rooms of CCC are covered in happy, inspirational quotes in curly font that are so very Takoma Park. Just FYI.



I have the fondest memory of the rotisserie my family used to visit in my Italian hometown when I was a child. You could smell the chicken from around the block, and boy, was that intoxicating to me even then. I would stand there, properly mesmerized by the rows of chickens twirling in unison while engulfed by flames behind the counter, savoring in my mind my upcoming Sunday meal. The charchoal-broiled chicken from El Pollo Rico is a closed second to that (sorry, nothing beats childhood memories): tender, juicy, the skin crispy an heavily spiced. Don't miss out on the steak fries or the coleslaw.


I love restaurants focused on one dish, especially if they make it great as in this Arlington spot. Barring the line outside, you're quickly served a very fragrant soup that I imagine comes from massive vats of beautiful meat broth simmering forever in the kitchen. When I'm in a good mood, I drink a young coconut and mourn my 27 years spent in Italy not knowing that coconut can be soft.

17. 14'' PIZZAS @ LA VILLA
14th Street Heights

More pizza! This is a delivery spot, though. I love this pizza joint because their dough is elastic and irresistible and the topping variety is so much better than most of their competitors. The extra-large pizzas are great, but I find that the 14'' ones have the perfect ratio of cheese to dough. My favorite toppings are portabella mushroom and ricotta, but there are some great others to choose from (caramelized onions, roasted eggplants, etc.).

Columbia Heights

There's nothing I didn't like from the long list of items ordered during my dinner at Filipino restaurant sensation Bad Saint. But, when I fantasize about ordering a dinner to-go to avoid the long line (can it be done?), I'd ask for someone to throw me a Ukoy, a gigantic fried nest of sweet potatoes and leeks with shrimps trapped inside. It's food that is as beautiful as it is addictive. I'd wash it down with a Balisong, a version of a Manhattan with coconut liqueur that will make you sing. And since you're brave, order the pig tails, too. You won't regret it.

14th Street

A sun-drenched neighborhood spot everybody loves. The food is great, but this Tuscan breakfast is amazing. It's composed of a portabella mushroom, eggs of your choice, and a cheesy little brick of yellow polenta that is to die for. And I'm Venetian, so I know polenta. The only caveat is that the polenta is much better when it's freshly made, so you might want to ask what the deal is before you order. Everything else I've been there looks great, especially the chicken and waffles, but I'm still bound to the polenta. It's a genetic call, I guess.


West End

I went to BDT for the first time when MiniBee was 8 months, and that was the first time I had left the house at dark after his birth. The scintillating lights glowing through my champagne cocktail filled me with happiness, but still couldn't compete with the perfect simplicity of the bone marrow, easily one of my favorite things to eat in the world. I know you can find this elsewhere, but here the bones are chosen for the best amount of jiggly, cloudy marrow, and the salty condiment just exalts the soft butteriness of the dish. Pass the bread.

And if you want my take on pizza in DC, don't miss Dead Chef's Best Pizza in the DC Area.