Birch & Barley and ChurchKey at 1337 14th Street NW are two new additions to the 14th Street corridor of restaurants and bars. Birch & Barley offers what sounds like as a delicious menu in the high-priced range. Both of these places offer an extensive list of beers. We are still waiting to go. Let us know what you think.
Masa 14 is at 1825 14th Street NW and is another new addition to the neighborhood, offering Latin-Asian inspired cuisine in small plate offerings. Ever since its soft opening last week the place has been full every night (I walk by regularly). It is beautiful inside and I was able to photograph it last Sunday. Reservations are recommended. Again, we are still waiting to go; let us know what you think if you have already been.
Teaism at 2009 R Street NW is a favorite around the neighborhood with a nice selection of teas and wonderful food. Perfect for a weekend brunch with a great and fast service—I had a very good meal last Sunday.
HR-57 is located at 1610 14th Street NW. A favorite of mine, it is not really a place to eat, but a wonderful place to fill the spirit with great live jazz music. You can bring your own liquor or allow them to serve you. There are some finger foods available.
Rice Restaurant, is located at 1608 14th Street NW. Always a favorite of ours. The menu is delicious with a variety of East and Southeast Asian choices… the food is beautifully presented with a very nice atmosphere. Make reservations if you are planning to go on a weekend.
Here are my picks for things to do during the weekend in Borderstan, really close by or in the city… restaurants, galleries and theater.
Banana Leaves Asian Restaurant & Sushi Bar, at 2020 Florida Ave. NW. We have eaten there a couple of times and the food has always been wonderful and fresh, with a good variety of Chinese, Japanese and Thai. It is a good bet and reasonably priced. But, they have a somehow sketchy and confusing web page to order online. Take a close look at the menu online before calling for a delivery.
Azi’s Cafe, at 1336 9th Street NW. This is one of the pioneer business in the Shaw area. Their coffee is great and the service superb. They have a selection of sandwiches, soups and salads for the rest of the day. If you feel like a light meal, always a good spot.
La Tomate, Italian Bistro, 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW. Italian food, relatively pricey. It has a great location on the Dupont Circle area with nice outdoor seating. Make reservations. The reviews are mixed, but the place is always crowded.
David Sedaris, Wed. Oct 7, at the Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st Street, NW: “With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.” Sedairs is a favorite of many friends. Continue reading
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Get off your computer. Go outside and enjoy the early fall weather. For example, The National Portrait Gallery is open every day except Christmas Day, from 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. It is at 8th and F Street NW, by the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro stop (Green, Red and Yellow lines).
Here are some more ideas for theater, galleries, restaurants, concerts. The earlier weekend listings, below, contain many events that are still running/current.
- Borderstan Weekend September 19/20
- 14th & U Farmers’ Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
- Borderstan Weekend September 12/13
- DC Jewish Community Center (in Borderstan, check their listings)
- Borderstan Weekend September 5/6
- TICKETPLACE.org (discounted tickets)
- What’s On-Washington, DC (great calendar of events)
See you Monday.
Nellie’s Sport Bar, 900 U Street NW. This is a mix of gay bar, sports bar and neighborhood restaurant. Nellie’s has TV screens everywhere so you can follow your favorite teams. During the weekends the rooftop terrace is the place to be: crowed, noisy and fun.
“Zero Hour” at the Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street NW: “Channeling Zero Mostel’s wild moods, crazy humor and righteous anger, Jim Brochu reintroduces us to this funny, fantastically contrary man whose penchant for truth-telling has been sorely missed.”
“Dublin Carol” at the H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NE: “Set in present-day Dublin on Christmas Eve, Dublin Carol relates the story of John Plunkett, a funeral parlor worker. John recounts memories of the drinking and womanizing of his youth with his younger assistant Mark. However, when his estranged daughter Mary arrives with sobering news, he is forced to face the more disastrous side of his past. Dublin Carol is a dark Irish comedy that follows John as he takes stock of his choices and their consequences—leaving us all more aware of our own lives and mortality.” – H Street Playhouse
1409 Playbill Cafe, at 1409 14th Street NW is a favorite hangout for locals. It is also a good cheap spot for before or after the theater: basic diner food and a neighborhood bar and laid-back atmosphere… always amusing.
“Eclipsed” is playing at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW: “Eclipsed exposes how much an individual sacrifices to survive wartime atrocities. The ways these characters respond to trauma and empower themselves can be seen in conflict zones around the world.”
“Constructed Color: Amish Quilts” is at The Textile Museum, 2320 S Street NW: “Amish quilts are among the most striking and famous of all American quilt types. Renowned for their play of color and strong geometric patterns, their similarities to modern art have been noted ever since the 1971 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York entitled Abstract Design in American Quilts. The parallels are perhaps most striking with regard to color field paintings and art that explores the manipulation of visual effect.”
The Annual Labor Day Concert in Washington is on Sunday, September 6, at the U.S. Capitol (west lawn). The National Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. The concert is free and tickets are not required. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.
Dupont Italian Kitchen at 1637 17th Street NW is a ” classic” in the neighborhood. Always a good bet for fast, affordable food with good, basic Italian dishes. Just do not expect more. It is a great place to sit on the patio and watch people go by on 17th Street.
Creme Cafe at 1322 U Street NW has now been open for four years with its wonderful offer of “home-cooked” meals. We ate there once and the food was delicious… sort of a mix of southern flavors. If you are feeling like soul food, you should give it a try.
Fernando Amorin‘s work is at International Visions, 2629 Connecticut Avenue NW: “You will find that Amorin’s tapestries, which take several months to create, are infused with energy and passion. This young man’s ability to create such detail and dimension proves that he is well on his way to establishing himself as a master of his craft.”
“My Space on 7th” is a group exhibition featuring 90 local artists: “Touchstone Gallery has been an artist-owned gallery for more then 30 years. The gallery moved in 1996 to its current spacious location at 7th and D Streets NW, in downtown Washington. This 3,000-plus square-foot location is based in the center of the art scene, and is a short walk from the recently renovated and reopened National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum and The National Gallery of Art.”
Kenney Chesney performs on Saturday, August 29, at Nissan Pavillion, 7800 Cellar Door Drive in Bristow, VA. Don’t miss a concert that promises to be fun with great songs (I like him).
Paco Diez performs Sunday, August 30, at the Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center: “Guitarist Paco Díez, one of the most important musicians in Judeo-Spanish music, has been decorated by the Sephardic authorities (ANL) for his work in spreading Sephardic music and culture.”
Sushi Taro at 1503 17th Street NW always had a reputation for the best sushi around, a place where the Japanese Embassy brought the country’s prime minister when he was in town. After having undergone a renovation that included its menu, the prices went up (it was never cheap). Sushi Taro was a place of no surprises but excellent dishes. That seems to have changed as the reviews are mixed, but give it a try.
Circa at Dupont at 1601 Connecticut Avenue NW is one of those perfect city places: a little bit of everything and everything is good… and good people watching just off Dupont Circle. Great atmosphere for a casual meeting, lunch or dinner. They also have brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
“1460 Wallmountables 2009,” is at the DC Arts Center, 2438 18th Street NW. It is a chance to experience DC’s art scene in a very different way, mingle with the artists and purchase some of the fantastic works for sale.
“The Ceramics of Paquimé and Mata Ortiz: Tracing a Family Legacy” is showing at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th Street NW. “One town, five families, 46 artists, a revived centuries-old tradition: this is the story of Mata Ortiz. Located near the ancient city of Paquimé in northern Chihuahua, Mata Ortiz has gained an international reputation for exquisite pottery. The town’s artists place their individual stamps on methods, materials, and patterns developed at Paquimé and rediscovered by Juan Quezada. The Mexican Cultural Institute is proud to welcome ancient pieces from Paquimé and modern pieces from Mata Ortiz to Washington.”
Charles Covington, Jr is playing Saturday, August 22, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Covington is “recognized as a virtuoso jazz pianist and jazz organist extraordinaire, enjoys a high reputation among performers all over the world.”
“Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” is showing at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. “The photo exhibition Prague through the Lens of the Secret Police features a selection of never before seen photographs and films of ‘subjects of interest’ taken secretly by the Czechoslovak State Security Service’s Surveillance Directorate during the ‘normalization’ era of hard-line socialist entrenchment which followed the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia.”
“Woodstock at 40: The Rise of Music Journalism” is at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. It “features rarely seen photographs and artifacts from the historic music event.” Woodstock “marked a moment when the news media first recognized music and entertainment as a cultural and commercial force.”