Girls on Food

Washington DC

#girlsonfood Interviews Kyley McGeeney of Mission Michelin

Our hashtag #girlsonfood has over 11.6K uses on Instagram! 

First off, thank you so much to our readers for using this tag!

Second, I have been looking through all the images and saw that there were so many  bloggers/photographers/influencers that I wanted to get to know a little better. So I created a new column where I interview the folks behind some of most the interesting pages.

Through the hashtag, I found Kyley McGeeney (@missionmichelin), who runs her own blog, Mission Michelin. I checked out her project and was excited for the premise behind it – she ate her way through the entire D.C. Michelin Guide and blogged all about it. Kyley and I discuss the world of blogging and fine dining below.

GOF: How long did it take you to eat through every Michelin Star/Bib Gourmand/Michelin Plate restaurant in DC?  How did you prioritize what restaurants you dine at? 

MM: A little over a year and a half. I started in December of 2016 and completed my mission in July of 2018. I started with ones I was most excited about (e.g. Rose’s Luxury, Tail Up Goat) as well as radiating out in concentric circles from my office especially for lunch.

Kyley McGeeney

GOF: Do you give the restaurants a heads up you’re coming in as a blogger, or do you prefer enominity?

MM: I used to not tell them but eventually starting giving them a heads up. It made it easier to get my chef picture and have them sign my Michelin Guide!

GOF: How do these restaurants/chefs/servers react to you photographing the experience? 

MM: Sometimes they’re really supportive: they offer to take pictures of me and my dining companions or I can tell they’ve purposely seated me by a window to have good light for the pics. The only times I’ve ever been told “no” were two different chefs/owners who said food was fair game but they didn’t want to be photographed. Also at Komi, where you can’t photograph the food.

Jamón Ibérico from Del Mar

GOF: What DC Michelin spots are in your top 3?

MM: This is tough! minibar is my number one and I always joke there are about 17 places tied for second. I really like Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple & Pearls, Himitsu, Thip Khao–there are so many more! Two that are too new to be in the guide but I really love are Del Mar and Bresca.

GOF: Was fine dining a part of your up-bringing or did it come to you later in life? 

MM: Part of my upbringing. We went out to dinner about six nights a week growing up and for my 10th birthday I asked to have a ladies luncheon. In Ithaca, where I’m from, the fine dining options are more limited but in NYC for college our go-to was The Four Seasons.

GOF: Was it tough to budget this project out? 

MM: Honestly budgeting my time was a much bigger issue than money. I’m married with two little kids so it wasn’t an option to go out spontaneously or too many nights a week. Everything was planned weeks in advance. I also mainly eat dinner at 5:30pm to be home for bedtime!

@missionmichelin in Portugal with Chef Jose Avillez

GOF: When are you coming to LA to see if we’re Michelin-worthy?

MM: I’ve actually been to LA in the past year! I LOVE Night + Market Song (haven’t been to the other two yet). Thai cuisine is one of my favorites. Gjusta for breakfast is also my go-to. Cassia and Bestia were also great and I am dying to try Somni!

GOF: Now that you’ve reached your goal, what’s up next for you? Any other new projects?

MM: I’m still continuing with food but without necessarily a list to check off. The point of all of this was ultimately to re-acquaint myself with the DC food scene after moving to the suburbs. Just because I’ve eaten at all the restaurants in the Guide doesn’t mean there aren’t new ones, ones not in the Guide, and repeat visits!

Be sure to follow @missionmichelin and @girlsonfoodblog and use that hashtag #girlsonfood to be featured someday! 

Ginger Peach White Sangria Mocktail For Moms To Be

The night before I found out I was pregnant, I was out at happy hour enjoying a nice glass (or two) of sangria. That was about 5 months ago, and I now find myself sometimes missing the good ol’ days when I could indulge in a nice glass of that beautiful red or white fruity-with-a-kick glass of goodness! Can any of you mom-to-be’s relate?

Now at restaurants, instead of ordering wine, I’m asking the waiter if the bartender can whip up a mocktail. It’s actually fun seeing what fun drink they can come up with. Recently, I decided to try out my own mocktails and I’ve been experimenting with different flavors to find fun “fancy” juices that I can drink out of classy glasses. I’m telling you, even drinking water out of a champagne or wine glass really helps you not care that you have to give up the good stuff for the next nine (cough **ten** cough) months.

This past weekend I tried my hand at a white sangria and was pleasantly surprised with the results. I combined a non-alcoholic Moscato, peach juice and ginger beer for a sweet but spicy concoction. The non-alcoholic Moscato can be found in the grocery store in the section where they sell cocktail mixers and it’s called FRE. If your local store doesn’t sell it, white grape juice would be a good substitute.

Ginger Peach White Sangria Mocktail

The recipe as is will provide a sangria on the sweeter side. If you like a really strong ginger taste, just add a bit more ginger beer.

Ingredients

750ml bottle of FRE non-alcoholic Moscato (or about 3 cups of white grape juice)
2 cups peach juice
1 cup ginger beer
1 cup frozen peaches
1 cup frozen mangos
1 cup frozen strawberries
Seltzer water

Directions

Step 1: Add frozen fruit to a pitcher.

Step 2: Add the non-alcoholic Moscato or grape juice, peach juice and ginger beer to the pitcher and mix well.

Step 3: Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Step 4: Pour sangria into a fancy glass and top with a splash of seltzer water and more frozen fruit.

Step 5: Put your feet up and enjoy!

This recipe is so easy and really really good! Enjoy 🙂

Supra: Georgian Cuisine in D.C.

The last time I was in D.C. (2012), I spent the summer there, and while I ate a lot of good food that time, the food scene in the District has changed considerably – in a good way. Since I was in town for a wedding, I made sure to hit up restaurants and museums while I was there for the weekend. The scene is lit – the food is on another level. Thankfully I have a cousin who lives there and she recommended we try out Georgian cuisine – a first for any of us.

Supra
1205 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
https://www.supradc.com/

Supra opened a month before I got there, and it’s Washington D.C.’s first Georgian restaurant. As much as I loved the food, something else that caught my attention was the furniture. They just gave the place an authentic vibe. It made me want to be the proud owner of georgian furniture after visiting this place! Anyway, back to the food. The owners, Jonathan and Laura Helms, have a deep appreciation for Georgian cuisine, having traveled and lived in Russia and Georgia throughout their career and even dined at the now executive chef’s restaurant in Tbilisi, Georgia. Executive Chef Malkhaz Maisashvili, former chef of the Embassy of Georgia, wanted to introduce D.C. to the cuisine’s stews and soup dumplings, among other things while also putting a modern twist on the cuisine.

Supra – the name, that is – means both a Georgian traditional tablecloth as well as an abundant Georgian feast. When you enter the restaurant, there are unique interior touches that pay homage to the culture, but it’s also a modern fine dining space. Luckily, Supra takes reservations (a rarity in San Francisco) so we walked right in and made our way to our table. The chef was walking around and also taking orders, so we asked for recommendations – and he suggested to try the imported Georgian sodas. Happy I tried them, but not really my thing, stick with your usual beverage of choice.

Georgian cuisine has a lot of similarities to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, so it’s something I’m very familiar with. Supra is family style and small plates, so we ordered small plates from the “hot” section. I mean, it was December, so it was cold. We started off with the Elarji, cornmeal and cheese croquettes with almond sauce and red ajika. Ajika is a spicy dip; it reminds me of spicy chutneys that are often found in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine, especially Afghan food. The croquettes were delicious and the cheese was nice and stringy. We also ordered Kale Moshushuli, which was sautéed kale, garlic and svanuri salt. I thought this would have more unique flavor, but it ended up being a standard sautéed kale.

Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian dish that is essentially cheese-filled bread. Supra offers several variations, ones filled with vegetables, eggs, and meat. It immediately caught my eye, not only because it’s bread (I love carbs), but because of the “puri” part in the word. In Pakistani cuisine, puris are a flaky, quickly deep fried bread, so if it had any similarity then I was sold. We ordered the Pkhlovani, which has spinach and cheese. It’s much thicker than paper thin puris, but it’s packed with cheese and spinach. I would liken it to a calzone, and Georgians actually prefer Khachapuri to pizza.

And this is the reason we came – Khinkali, Georgian soup dumplings. I know soup dumplings are extremely popular Chinese cuisine (xiaolongbao), so it was cool to see the Asian influence in Georgian food. This was my first time having any type of soup dumpling, so I was very excited. It comes out on a tray with a small cup of water with a lemon and a pepper grinder. To eat (according to our waiter), you dip your hands into the water bowl to wet your fingers, hold the soup dumpling by the top and carefully bite in. Then you slurp the broth and meat inside! I’m not totally sure if this is the “correct” way to eat it, but we did it. The table across from us was watching us to see how we did it – maybe we were just making fools of ourselves… haha. Either way, the broth had a hearty beefy flavor and very comforting on a cold day. And it’s also addicting.

And finally, we ordered two kebabs – the Chicken, marinated in sour cream and served with alike and tkemali, and Lamb, marinated in yogurt with alike and tkemali. Tkemali is a sour plum sauce. The lamb was delicious and cooked perfectly but the chicken was just okay. We didn’t order any larger plates since we had so many things on our table.

Supra is definitely worth checking out. It’s fun to try a new and underexposed cuisine, and I always enjoy seeing the commonalities and influences from other cultures!

Art + Tapas: Brunch at Palette 22 in Arlington, VA

Brunch is a staple here in the DMV. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, hundreds of residents stumble out into the streets looking for the best brunch cocktail, and a comfort dish to cure their lingering hangover! With so many options to choose from, restaurants work hard to stand out and provide menus and offerings that will leer the mimosa craving patron into their doors.

For the DMV, a good brunch isn’t just a meal, it’s an experience. I can make brunch dish at home, but I can’t make an Arepa Eggs Benedict with an art gallery as my backdrop now can I? That’s where Palette 22 steps in.

Palette 22
4053 Campbell ave, Arlington, VA 22206
http://www.palette22.com


Palette 22 gets the experience of brunch right. It’s a restaurant as well as an art gallery. On any given day, local artists can usually be seen working in the space and almost all of the art shown can be purchased. I loved walking in and checking out some of the pieces while we waited for our table. Though I didn’t buy any, there were a few I put in my mental wish list. 

Photo via opentable.com

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D.C. Dining: Rose’s Luxury

Lately, it seems as if I am developing a habit of standing in lengthy lines for dinner. First Street XO and now Rose’s Luxury. The question that is always asked: “was it worth it?”

You’ll have to read and find out!

Rose’s Luxury

717 8th St. SE

Washington D.C 20003

Website

For those of you unfamiliar with Rose’s Luxury, I thought it might be helpful to have a little background on the restaurant. Rose’s was named Best New Restaurant of 2014 by Bon Appétit and two years later Chef Aaron Silverman was recognized by Food & Wine as the Best New Chef in 2016. Quite the impressive resume and it continues to grow as Rose’s was recently awarded one Michelin star in the inaugural Michelin Guide for Washington D.C. Chef Silverman’s focus is not just on the food and kitchen. His primary concern surrounds making his patrons happy and showing them a good time.

How did the restaurant get its name? Great question and one of which I adore the answer. Rose was the name of Chef Silverman’s late grandmother who was quite the epicurean. The luxury represents Silverman’s pursuit and obsession for hospitality. I always find it heartwarming when a chef pays tribute to a family member or friend who has provided inspiration throughout his/her journey.

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Chef José Andrés Presents Dine N Dash DC – Get Your Tickets Now!

Will all my DC foodies please stand up?!  Dine-N-Dash is back for its fifth year and better than ever! My favorite Chef, José Andrés, along with special guests Ted Allen (host of CHOPPED) and Andrew Zimmern (co-creator of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel) will be hosting this year’s event on June 7th starting at 6:00 p.m.

For one night only, guests will be able to “taste the city” and have access to unlimited food and drinks at over 30 restaurants in DC’s Penn Quarter and 14th Street Corridor neighborhoods. Leave your wallet at home and eat and drink to your heart’s desire until 10:00 p.m while enjoying live music as well.

This night is sure to be a foodies dream. I’m most excited to try some of the great DC restaurants like Colada Shop, Estadio, and Graffiato to name a few. Also, this year the new MGM Grand National Harbor will be blessing us with pop-ups of some of their restaurants too, like Fish! A full list of participating restaurants can be found here: 30 Restaurants, One Night, No Rules.

Image Provided by Dine-N-Dash

Worried about crowds and lines? Don’t be! Event guests will have different restaurant starting points, and wait staff will be there specifically for the event. There will be ample opportunity to sample everything!

Tickets start at $125, and all proceeds benefit World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization started by Chef José Andrés that uses the “power of food” to strengthen communities through health, education, and jobs. Go grab your tickets right now here. You’re sure to have a serious case of FOMO if you don’t!

Brunchin’ With Beers at Courthaus Social in Arlington, VA

Courthaus Social
2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
http://www.courthaussocial.com


I don’t think it’s any secret that brunch is my favorite meal of the day. I usually judge a restaurant based off of its brunch menu too. So, when I tell you a spot is legit a great spot for brunch, just trust me.

Photo via courthaussocial.com

A couple of weeks ago I met friends for an al fresco brunch at Courthaus Social, in the Clarendon area of Arlington, VA. Clarendon is located just outside of DC, and Courthaus Social is right down the block from the metro. This means there is really no excuse not to check it out!

Courthaus Social is a beer garden and restaurant that prides itself in being a “from scratch kitchen” that only uses fresh local ingredients. It’s fairly new and having been open for two years. In these two years, they’ve evolved from serving frozen bar food to having an extensive dinner and brunch menu, as well as an impressive beer, whiskey and cocktail list. In addition to draft beers, Mimosas and Bloody Marys are served for brunch as well!

My favorite thing about Courthaus Social though, is its back story. The owner, unhappy with his job as an investor/banker at the time, decided to quit his job and follow his dream of opening and running a restaurant. What a risky move! With the support of his wife, and a few investors, he bought the space and has worked tremendously hard to make it the success it is today. Including, flying out a Chef from Chicago, Thai Dang to help customize the menu and train kitchen staff.

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Hip-Hop and Comfort Food in DC: Sakuramen

Sakuramen

2441 18th St NW, Washington, DC
http://www.sakuramen.com


If you’re walking too quickly down 18th Street in Adams Morgan, you might pass this nondescript but mind-blowing ramen restaurant. Set in the basement of a rowhouse, Sakuramen’s chill, laid-back vibe is a pleasant contrast to Adams Morgan’s normally bustling (a.k.a. wild) 18th Street scene.

Sakuramen is a small restaurant and decor is minimal. They do not take reservations and there is usually a wait. Don’t be alarmed if you’re hovering over a table where others are eating. Everyone who goes to Sakuramen knows that, because of its size, you’re bound to be up close and personal with your neighbors — but that’s what adds to its charm.

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Doi Moi: Southeast Asia Flavors Via DC

Doi Moi

1800 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
http://www.doimoidc.com

I’ve been dying to try Doi Moi since I moved to the DC area last year. It’s one of those restaurants you hear spoken about through the office, or during happy hour when your friends discuss their top 10 best meals (or do those types of conversations only happen when I’m at happy hour?). Finally, last week I was able to try out this DC gem and it was well worth the wait!

Doi Moi is a Southeast Asian restaurant located in the Logan Circle area of DC, specializing in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. Their name, which translates to “new changes” is meant to be symbolic of Logan Circle’s renewed neighborhood and the renovation of the historic building they are housed in.

Photo via eater.com

The space is beautiful! The restaurant decor is clean and open, with a large bar in the middle perfect for grabbing a glass of wine from their extensive drink menu.

Doi Moi’s dinner menu consists of small plates and shareable plates, including a fried whole branzino! Bonus: They offer a rotating selection of soft serve ice cream! Yes Lawd!

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Get Cozy With This Easy Spiced Red Sangria Recipe

One of my favorite go-to cocktails is Sangria! You can have it red, you can have it white, you can have it sparkling, and you can have it all…year…long. With Fall finally here and temperatures dropping, a Spiced Red Sangria sounded like the perfect cocktail for the season!

Spiced Red Sangria

As soon as temperatures dropped past 65 degrees here in D.C., I knew it was time to get in the kitchen and do a little recipe testing for a delicious Sangria. I decided to use the tastes and themes of Fall as inspiration and create a Spiced Red Sangria.

This super easy recipe uses Red Table Wine, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Brandy and Triple Sec. The Spiced Rum and Brandy are what make this particular Sangria so comforting (caution: this recipe is strong). A little orange juice and fruits round it out to create a Sangria that will leave you feeling warm & fuzzy all over.
To start, cut up two apples, two oranges, and one small pack of blackberries. Add your fruit to a pitcher.

Then, pour in one 750ml bottle of your favorite red wine (Syrah, Spiced Red SangriaCabernet, and Pinot Noir work well).

Next add 1 1/2 cups spiced rum, 1/2 cup brandy, 1/2 cup triple sec, 1 cup orange juice and mix.

(*Please note: This comes out on the stronger side. Feel free to start with less rum and brandy and work your way up to your desired potency.)

Instead of orange juice, you can also try apple juice to give it a more spiced cider taste.

Once all ingredients are mixed well, chill the Sangria for 4 – 24 hours. When you are ready to enjoy, serve your Sangria over ice. For an extra level of classy, garnish your glass with an apple and orange slice.

Spiced Red Sangria

Sangria is such a versatile drink, and you can really make it your own. Plus, it makes a great pairing for any dish and can be a real standout at your next dinner party.

Sit down, relax and enjoy the cool Fall weather with a glass of delicious Spiced Red Sangria!

Right Proper Brewery’s Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen: DC’s Neighborhood Pub

There are so many little gems in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C., and it’s quickly becoming my favorite place to eat, drink and play.

On a HOT 90 degree day last week, my original dinner plans fell through, and I found myself wandering the streets looking for an alternative. Luckily, I spotted Right Proper’s Shaw Brewpub.


decorrightproper

Right Proper Brewing Co. – Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen

624 T Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
http://www.rightproperbrewing.com

The brewpub is easy to miss if you’re not looking. It’s located on a small side street off the main road and next to the iconic Howard Theater. From the entrance, it seems small but inside is a large bar and tons of seating space. You can choose from a more bar-standup-table feel in the back, or sit in the restaurant and enjoy both private and communal dining.

Led by Executive Chef Jonatan Bohr, expect to see many southern staples coming out of his beer-rightproperkitchen like Fried Okra, Fried Chicken, Fried Green Tomatoes & Grits and of course Baked Mac & Cheese. The dessert was the only slightly disappointing part of the menu, except for the “Messy Ice Cream Sandwich.” I’ll come back for that.

Lastly, of course, since it doubles as a brewery, make sure to try one of their craft beers! Right Proper has a 5-barrel brewing system, which is small enough to allow them to experiment with new beers, so expect the beer offerings to change almost daily.


Food rundown

Cheese Plate

You can order a plate with 3 or 5 kinds of cheese and choose from a list of 15-20 options.

cheeseplate-rightproper

Baked Six Cheese Mac & Cheese

It should be a rule of thumb that you never pass up Mac & Cheese when it’s on a menu. This Mac & Cheese was a bowl of ooey gooey cheese-y perfection and the perfect portion for one.

macandcheese-rightproper

Housemade Hot Wings

Made with their house wing sauce, these were crack!

wings

Southern Fried Chick-Filet

Of course, no Southern-inspired meal would be complete without fried chicken. The chicken was moist on the inside and extra crunchy on the outside, just like I like it. The addition of Boursin cheese created a mouthful of flavor.

chick-filet-right-proper

Right Proper’s Shaw Brewpub felt very much like a neighborhood bar/restaurant, where the staff is chill and laid back, welcoming you into their “home” and hosting you as an esteemed guest. The “southern hospitality” vibe is real here, which pairs well with their southern comfort inspired dishes. Can’t wait to come back!