For some reason this time of year I get all sentimental for days gone by… It could be time for an old-school Italian dinner out, with the whole red and white checked table cloth and giant basket of garlic bread. Where can you get that? Try Pazzo Pomdoro in Vienna… Last time we were there it was packed with families enjoying platters of awesome looking pasta and traditional Italian restaurant fare. Don’t forget to take the cannoli!
Mad Fox Brewing Company promises to turn Market Square off Broad Street into an Oktoberfest Biergarden (or is it Biergarten?), offering “a large selection of hoppy beers from some of Virginia’s finest breweries…traditional german Oktoberfest beers too!” With live music and an unlimited food festival, this sounds like an awesome way to pass a Saturday afternoon. They recommend tickets, and offer early bird deals.. Dogs welcome too!
Why should beer drinkers get all the fun stuff in October? Here’s a great opportunity for the wine and cheese crowd: The Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour at Mount Vernon. Guests will enjoy live blues and jazz music, and sample wine from 19 Virginia wineries. You absolutely can’t beat the setting: the gorgeous river views at sunset and an evening tour of George and Martha Washington’s home. Purchase fruit and cheese, sandwiches and desserts to go with the wine. This event is popular and sometimes sells out.
If you can’t get out to Mount Vernon, another option would be to head up to the rooftop bar Whisky Charlie at the Wharf for a cocktail… somewhat similar deal: gorgeous sunset and sweeping views of the Potomac; it will still set you back $80, except this time your tour will be of a parking garage. Just kidding it’s actually very swanky and definitely fun! Avoid the crowd; try it on a Sunday evening soon, before it gets too cold outside.
I haven’t personally tried this gluten-free cafe in Falls Church (because I would probably never enter any place that has gluten-free and bakery in the same sentence) but it gets extremely good reviews! Apparently the food is fantastic, even if you don’t have a restricted diet (or if you do have a love affair with white flour, ahem). This could be a great stop for coffee or brunch, or the perfect hostess gift for that gluten-free friend who’s always having you over. Let me know how it goes!
How about something totally different this weekend? Head up to Merriweather Post Pavillion for the second annual OPUS Merriweather. Deemed a “trippy art festival” by DC Eater, this family-friendly festival “…enlists groundbreaking artists and musicians from across the world to create immersive art installations and unforgettable performances.” Of course all of that stimulation will make you hungry. Over a dozen DC establishments will offer treats like empanadas, fried oysters, Italian gelato, poke, and lychee salad from Rose’s Luxury. Best of all, it’s FREE!
I almost don’t want to let anyone in on this, because it was so easy to get a last minute Saturday night reservation, but you really have to try Baba! It’s a smallish restaurant directly under Ambar in Clarendon. It’s a speakeasy style… dim lighting, comfy seating, and outstanding cocktails. The menu is small plates only, but there is a lot of variety and we thought it was all very tasty. They have club music going early; when we were there it was clear that things were going to get more festive as the night wore on. Us early birds had just enough of everything and went home happy.
OH…. I promised an Oktoberfest every weekend this month. Here’s an easy one: Tyson’s Biergarten Wine, Beer & Cider Festival featuring over 50 different beers, wines and ciders, plus German food and good old fashioned American bar food too. Tickets are $30 at the door and that buys you 10 tastings. They say they are family and pet friendly and have live music 7 days a week.
Are you ready to chill out after a hard week? Head over to the State Theater on Friday night to hear The Machine Performs Pink Floyd. For this 30th Anniversary Show, the band will be playing Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here & Animals in their entirety! Holy smokes! You should know by now that I’m a sucker for these cover bands at the State. I have to say, this one looks sooo good! Wardrobe tip: black t-shirt.
Shucktoberfest in Shirlington Village
Here’s a spin on the Oktoberfest model… add oysters and call it Shucktoberfest. Brought to you by Copperwood Tavern, the festival is hosting over forty local craft beer tents and serving Waverly Point Oysters from Northern Neck, VA. on Saturday from 11 to 5. Festivities include gourmet food, shopping from local Virgina artisans, and family-friendly games.
Just Need to Eat?
What about that Indian BBQ place up at Mosaic? It’s called Choolaah and it’s pretty good! Some people describe it as an “Indian Chipotle” but I actually think it’s beyond that, with a good variety on the menu and a delicious sauce bar that you can use to spice things up. The Naan is great, too. Definitely family friendly, and this may be the first time that I’ve seen a hand-washing sink come up in so many reviews for a restaurant. If you go, be sure to wash your hands when you get there!
Here’s an opportunity to revisit your childhood tradition of gorging on cereal while you watch cartoons on Sunday mornings. This event includes Halloween-themed booze, sugar-y cereals, plus special line-up of episodes, featuring witches, monsters, ghosts, haunted houses and more. There’ll be over 100 cartoon series from the 1940’s through the early 2000’s and you get to help choose what to watch. Dress up in your most festive Halloween get-ups and enter the costume contest.
Make your own Oktoberfest at Audacious Aleworks
I honestly couldn’t find another Oktoberfest for this weekend, but I did happen upon this new brewery in Falls Church where you can make your own. Yelpers love the flights and the variety of IPA’s Hefeweizen, stout; all that stuff beer lovers like to taste. Get this: They let you bring your own food!!! How crazy is that? Here’s the move: head over to the German Gourmet on Columbia Pike and pick up some delicious picnic treats. My personal favorites are the chicken salad, the potato salad, and anything off the sandwich menu. The Goose Mousse pate is an absolute must.
Just Need to Eat?
There seems to be a lot of talk about chicken wings these days. I actually made some really good grilled ones recently, thanks to Moe J. and his recipe in the Lake Barcroft Newsletter. Text me if you want a copy! A quick search for good wings in Arlington kind of surprisingly turns up an Irish place: Celtic House. This place actually rates pretty high for everything, and I’m looking forward to trying it out.