Tuesday, October 28, 2008


If there’s anything that makes up for a rainy, chilly night, it’s Marvin. A blend of Belgian comfort food and good beer set to the rhythm of toasty funk provided serious remedy for Saturday night’s storm. Lucky for me it’s just a short walk away from my apartment.

I’d heard the place could get a little crowded (and experienced it first hand at a recent happy hour), so I tried for a last minute reservation. They couldn’t accommodate us at 6:30, so we hustled out the door to make a 5:30 reservation, the only thing they had available.

We started out with Hoegaarden, but our waiter was quick to recommend De Konink…and after a few sips, we were quick to order a round of that. And another.

Our waiter went two for two when he recommended the halibut, which my husband devoured. And the house bread was a perfect sponge for the onion puree that accompanied it.

I couldn’t get enough of the mussels served in shallots, fennel, and white wine. But then I remembered the other half of moules frites- the frites.

Now I may not be an authority on french fries but I do have my favorites around the city. Bistrot du Coin, Lavandou, and Five Guys top my list. Marvin’s now has a place on that list. A good cut, a salty finish and a fried texture without too much oil stuck to my fingers afterwards, served with two types of mayo and your basic tomato ketchup.

We also tried the duck confit, which left me dreaming about those pickled beets and looking for a recipe. I mean the duck was fantastic, but nothing beats beets and chevre, right?


2007 14th Street, NW

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup

I’m wearing a sweater. My new Uggs are getting major mileage already. And last night, I think I slept in a sweatshirt (well, I feel asleep with it on. Who knows what time I peeled it off).

With cold weather dangling its cute little self right over our heads, I’d say it’s high time to make some soup. This week I ventured into butternut squash. Here’s a simple puree that will leave you feeling toasty and satisfied.

6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons margarine
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
3 cups water
4 cubes vegetable bouillon (low salt)
1 (8 ounce) package low fat cream cheese
Salt to taste
Powdered ginger to taste

In a saucepan, sauté onions in margarine until they’re tender and turning golden. (Don’t let them get brown). Add the squash, water and bouillon. Bring to boil; cook about 20 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Puree the squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Add salt and ginger to taste. Do not allow to boil.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Burgers- Ole!

I made a great burger last night, so I thought I’d share. I served my burgers with fresh corn, sautéed till toasty brown with a little butter and salt…these awesome pyramid shaped salt crystals I got last week at Williams Sonoma (and I really have been meaning to blog about that trip, because I learned a few handy knife tricks in a complimentary knife skills class…this Sunday’s class is cookie making). But enough about that! The burger recipe is an adaptation on one that I found on the Food Network site. I made some changes, including no jalepeno chiles (hubby don’t like peppers. Bad fraternity incident). And toasted a ciabatta loaf (in the pan that I made the burgers in) for make shift buns. Yum.

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 (2-ounce) piece Monterey Jack, cut into 10 pieces
salt & pepper
For the guacamole:
1 large avocado
¼ cup sour cream

Divide it into five pieces, shaping each into a ball, and with your thumb make a depression in the center. Fill each depression with 2 pieces of the cheese and form the meat around the cheese mixture into a patty. Season the hamburgers with salt and black pepper and grill them on oiled hot grill pan for 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare meat. If you don’t have a grill pan, a sauté pan will do just fine.
Make the guacamole while the hamburgers are grilling: Halve, pit, and peel the avocado. Put pieces in a food processor, and add sour cream and salt.
Transfer the hamburgers to the buns and top them with the guacamole.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Columbia Heights Day

If you’re in my 'hood this Saturday, you’ll be happy to know that area restaurants are helping to celebrate Columbia Heights day. Here’s a list of the specials:

Wonderland Ballroom: Happy Hour all day
Red Rocks Pizzeria: Happy Hour all day
The Heights: Special Menu
Commonwealth Gastropub: Columbia Heights Cocktail
Tonic: $4 Yeungling and 50 cent chicken wings (minimum 6)
Pete's Apizza: $5 Pint and Slice

Here’s my perfect excuse to check out Commonwealth! Check out this review on DC Foodies. A schedule of events is available on this web site. See you there!