Travel, Etc. --> Fancy Food Show 2011
Washington D.C. Fancy Food Show, 2011
A lot like work
Linda and I just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the gourmet food industry’s big trade show, the Fancy Food Show. Grapevine Cottage food buyer, Laurel Steffes and her husband, Mike, joined us on the trek to Washington DC instead of Manhattan this year. Since the Javits Center is under a much needed renovation, and the show is so big it consumes the entire facility, it got moved to Washington for the next 2 years, a move that would be permanent if we could vote. The vibe of Manhattan is always fun, but it sure was easier in Washington.
Really people, this is a lot like work... two days of tasting everything imaginable. And the worst part comes when a sales person asks how you like the gluten free cookie you just tasted, while all you can think about is "how can I spit this out." We think we found some very tasty, interesting, new food products that will be arriving in the store over the next few weeks….so look for Laurel’s new section of the newsletter, which will feature new products as they arrive.
And if you happen to be in Washington DC and are looking for some good places to eat, we can sure make a few recommendations. Despite not being very hungry after leaving the show on Sunday, we enjoyed dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern , which describes itself as a contemporary neighborhood restaurant featuring wholesome American fare using traditional methods of preparation such as roasting, braising, preserving and smoking. We’d describe it as really good food (Mike’s braised short ribs was the winner there), with excellent service and some very nice outside seating (before it got beastly hot).
We’d also recommend BLT Steak, and given the packed house on a Monday night, it is obviously a “power spot” and popular amongst locals. It describes itself as a modern American steakhouse, and it obviously prepares and serves an excellent selection of steaks (can you say large steaks!). But it also has an excellent raw selection for starters, some very creative appetizers and an extensive, but not inexpensive, wine list suitable for pairing with steak. We saw two bottles of Phelps Insignia opened for the table beside us at $400 a bottle. Did I mention it being a power spot?? A little noisy, but an excellent meal overall.
The last night, after the Steffes had left, Linda and I cancelled our reservations for the highly rated French restaurant, The Plume at the Jefferson hotel. We just couldn’t face another big dinner, but still wanted French, and we really lucked into it at Bistro D’Oc. Located directly across the street from the famous Ford’s Theater, this tiny bistro features the cuisine of the Languedoc region of southern France, the home of the owner/chef, Bernard Grenier. And, had you not known you were in DC, you’d have thought you were in a family owned bistro in some small town in Provence. If you go, be sure and have the charcuterie plate for a starter and order the braised veal…amazing! Every dish was delicious, and best of all, it was about half the price of the other two evenings!
July 20, 2011