EVENTS

Night Brunch at Modern Cook Shop

Brunch is definitely my favorite meal on the weekends.  I get to sleep in late and wake with the anticipation that breakfast food and mimosas are on the horizon.  Even though it’s the highlight of my weekend, I can’t always make it to brunch because like most people I have errands to run and obligations to fulfill.  Scrolling through Instagram I was super excited to see a post from Baltimore entrepreneur, Jason Bass , about a new Night Brunch series he was hosting with Martell Cognac at Modern Cook Shop.   I thought this was a great concept for those who aren’t able to enjoy brunch on the weekends and for those who want something different to do on a weeknight.  Modern Cook Shop, per their website, is a “restaurant, market and bar, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Me + Mimosa

I made reservations on Open Table for the event because it was strongly suggested and  I’ve never been to Modern Cook Shop so I didn’t really know what the set-up would be.  When I arrived to the event the hostess and staff were very friendly and accommodating.  My friend was already there waiting for me so they showed me to my table.  I must say, Martell sure knows how to brand their events! The long tables were set with large bottles of Martell, menus and the signature Martell blue pillows. The price of brunch was $40.00 plus tax and gratuity and that included bottomless mimosas and one entrée item.  The menu had 13 entrée items and that I definitely liked because I love variety.  The options included Blueberry Waffles, Traditional Two Eggs any style with a side of meat, Breakfast Sandwich, Omelet, Peach Cobbler Scrapple, Corn Cakes, Breakfast Scramble, Corned Beef Hash, MCS Burger, Cuban Sandwich and Chicken & Biscuits.  In addition to the fixed entrees, there was another menu with A la Carte items that included small salads, toasts, side items and Martell specialty cocktails from the bar.

Chicken, Biscuits and Gravy
Breakfast Scramble
Ricotta & Jam Toast

I ordered the Chicken and Biscuits, my friend ordered the Breakfast Scramble and we both wanted something savory so we ordered the Ricotta & Jam Toast.  Normally with breakfast chicken and biscuits I’ve seen it served with a sausage gravy, but this brown gravy was a pleasant delicious change.  The Ricotta toast I also liked because it was made with rye toast. The house made ricotta was perfectly soft but I do wish the jam was a bit sweeter. I sat next to the kitchen o I got to snap photos of other menu items as they were coming out.

House made scrapple over rye bread with soft egg
Breakfast Sandwich
Two eggs any style
Open Faced Cuban Sandwich

In addition to brunch and booze the event also included beats by DJ Impulse – it was essentially a brunch party with music and I must say I had a nice time.  I used to be able to party into the wee hours on the weekday but not anymore and at the Night Brunch I got to eat, drink, two-step and socialize all by 10:00 pm.  It was a mature crowd and there were some very attractive men at this event, OooKaaayy.! (insert emoji eyes).

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

 

Rum Day DC at Hank’s Cocktail Bar

The rum selection used in the competition

Yes, Yes, I’m sure you know by now how much I love a good spirit-themed holiday!  And it’s not because I like to drink but mainly because I enjoy seeing the competition and tasting the unique cocktails that each bartender creates with the ingredients they are given.  I had so much fun at last year at the Margarita Standoff at Quarter & Glory that I decided to attend “DaiqOff,” another event hosted by the US Bartender’s Guild DC Chapter.  DaiqOff (such a clever name) was the title given to the official Rum Day DC event at Hank’s Cocktail Bar.

My friend and I arrived at Hank’s a bit early because we wanted to grab a bite to eat and check out the bar before the competition, turns out it was burger night…sweet! We ordered a 1/2 priced “Hanks’s Burger” with swiss cheese and bacon and that came with homemade chips.  We also ordered the loaded sweet potatoes, my first time having a loaded sweet potato and I really liked them.  We also both ordered the 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney which was made with Glenladough Gin, Honeydew Agua Fresca & Lime.

After we ate, we headed to the rear of the restaurant and onto the outdoor patio where the competition was set to take place. It was a perfect summer evening to sit outside, I’m glad it wasn’t too hot or raining. The competition included seven rums each assigned to a different bartender.  The bartenders were timed and had to create a cocktail some complete with garnishes.  The six judges sat at the bar while the bartenders made their cocktails and were given the first drinks to sample. After the judges tasted the cocktail the attendees were given samples to try.

Patio before the crowd
Patio with the crowd
@Kapri.Possible
@FrenchNotScotty

Garnish Game on Point!! That’s a banana btw.

The cocktail sampling tray was passed around at least 10 times, some cocktails we got to taste twice. Also, I received a free cocktail as a bonus for registering for the event early.  Hank’s Cocktail bar was kind enough to create four signature cocktails for the event and $2.00 from each cocktail purchased went to the US Bartender’s Guild DC.

I chose the Tea Time cocktail pictured below, it was made of Cruzan Rum, Hibiscus, Chamomile and Lime.

“Tea Time” cocktail

And did I mention that Hank’s Cocktail Bar is located on a quaint residentail block that also includes a Taqueria and pizza restaurant.

I enjoyed another fun event hosted by the USBGDC! Follow them on social media and keep up with their future events.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Ciroc Brunch Series at The Elephant

Ciroc Vodka’s latest marketing train recently made a stop in Baltimore.  Not a train in the literal sense but figuratively Ciroc is always on a roll and full steam ahead when it comes to marketing their brand and new products.  Ciroc has hosted brunch across the country to promote their products. Last Saturday, Ciroc partnered with The Baltimore Sun to host a local brunch at The Elephant restaurant in Mount Vernon, Baltimore.  Some of you may remember when The Elephant was a nightclub in Baltimore for a short time, that was my first time in the space.  The short-lived nightclub is now a beautiful restaurant with multiple rooms and levels, each with a different look but an elegant, cohesive theme. The brunch was held on the first level in the front dining room. The room was decorated with pink walls, marble fireplaces, chandeliers and gilded trim mirrors – all feminine elements that I loved!

Once inside we were directed to the back bar area to grab our welcome cocktail “The Charles”.   A delicious, light cocktail complete with edible flower ice cubes.  After grabbing our welcome cocktails, guests started to fill in the dining room and select seats, once seated we were given a bowl of small cinnamon French Toast Bites with cinnamon butter. The French Toast bites were perfectly seasoned with cinnamon, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside.  I think the bites are a great idea for an intimate brunch party at home.

Our second cocktail was the “924 Breeze,” made with Ciroc, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and lime.  The name is a twist on the traditional “Bay Breeze” cocktail that features the same ingredients and the “924” is the address of the restaurant 924 Charles Street.  The second brunch course was a Belgian Blueberry Waffle with Thyme Maple Syrup topped with a Lamb Chop.  The blueberries in the waffle were fresh, no frozen waffles here and that pork chop – delicious and grilled to perfection…I wanted another one.

The final cocktail was the “Heatwave,” made with Mango Ciroc, Habanero Simple Syrup, Mango Puree and Lime. With a name like that, you already know it was spicy but in a good way. The final brunch course was The Elephant Eggs Benedict made with a Potato Latke, Duck Bacon, Spinach and Hollandaise.  I do love a runny egg and it’s always a great idea when I can eat vegetables with my brunch food.

After all courses were served, the Ciroc liquor representative introduced us to the newest flavor Ciroc French Vanilla and the servers passed out samples to everyone.

Enjoying my French Vanilla sample

Guests were also asked which cocktail was our favorite because the winning cocktail would be featured on The Elephant’s drink menu for the next month. Overall the food was delicious, but I would have liked larger portions especially to help balance all that liquor we were drinking…I’m sure the portions were made petite for the brunch only.

If you are ever looking for a restaurant with great food and ambiance, The Elephant is the place!  Have you been to The Elephant?  Tell me about it.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Stella Artois’ “The Art Of The Chalice” in Washington, D.C

On August, 20th, Stella Artois stopped in Washington, D.C for their latest edition of “The Art Of The Chalice”. The D.C event was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center Atrium and other like it also took place across the country. Previous cities that have hosted this event include Cincinnati, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Seattle and Phoenix. For the D.C. event, Stella Artois commissioned local art duo No Kings Collective to create a mural for the the Stella Artois Chalice. They also invited Chef Bart Vandaele to cook party bites for guests and give a brief cooking demo. The menu included Watermelon and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad, Grilled Beef and Brussels Sprouts and Leek and Lobster puff pastries.

Guests were greeted with Stella Artois Cidre, which I actually loved because that is my Cider of choice. There were also beer stations around the venue for guests to walk up and get a beer. Stella Artois did not hold back with their branding and marketing, they had a cute little section with Stella Artois table and chairs and walls branded with the Stella Artois name.

Beer expert Max Bakker gave a small five-minute lecture on the Stella Artois Chalice and the brand’s signature Nine Step Pouring Ritual. Max is one of only 13 people  worldwide to earn the title of Master Cicerone, that means he has an exceptional understanding of brewing, beer, and pairing and wide knowledge of beers.  As if that wasn’t enough fun and excitement, upstairs on the second level actually took the party to another level.  Upstairs was an atrium area featuring additional seating and a Stella Artois airstream beer trailer.  There was also a glass blowing artist from the McFadden Art Glass Studio giving live demonstration of his artwork.

Guests ended the night with a live performance from the local folk rock music group Wylder and everyone got to take home the limited edition Washington, DC. Stella Artois Chalice.  This was such a great event by Stella Artois with a good variety of interests and activities, they had something of interest for everyone.

In case you wanted to check out the mural, it will be on display for six months between Meridian Hill and Logan Circle on 1738 14th St NW. Here’s a look below…

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

Honey Harvest Dinner with Copper Kitchen

Copper Kitchen is a full-service catering company located in Maryland. They specialize in preparing seasonal and sustainable food with ingredients from local farmers and markets. Last week, I joined other local food bloggers and influencers for a  Farm-To-Table Honey Harvest Dinner at Piedmont Learning Center in Gwynn Oak, Maryland. They couldn’t have chosen a more gorgeous evening to host an outdoor dinner. The weather (no rain), décor, cocktails and food were un-bee-lievably perfect.

We arrived to the smokey smells of the chefs grilling vegetables, chicken and sausage. Copper Kitchen has an on-site 160 year old smokehouse where they smoke their meats. The set-up included four long tables with seating for 17 each and tiki torches surrounding the tables. The napkins were the star of the show because everyone loved them and mentioned how they gave the table a pop of color.

Peach Fizz

Guests were treated to wine, rose’ and pre-dinner craft cocktails made with fresh ingredients such as mint, lavender and peach puree.   My drink of choice was  the Peach Fizz because Bourbon is always a good idea. Keeping with the fresh ingredient theme, the jams and preserves featured on the cheese table were made scratch, Cooper Kitchen also does their own pickling.

Piedmont Learning Center has six beehives on the premises and a few brave souls volunteered to put on the protective gear and get up close and personal with the bees.  Myself and a few other guests chose the other educational option – scraping the honey comb and sampling the fresh honey.  I’ve never had honey that fresh and straight from the frame, it sweet and sticky. After tasting the fresh honey, I don’t want my honey any other way!

Once guests were seated at the dinner table, we were greeted by Chef Kevin Miller of Copper Kitchen and he gave us the origins and details of the food preparation. He explained how all the food was local, field to table and named some of the farms that provided the food, farms such as One Straw FarmStar Bright Farm , and Charlottetown Farm.  The menu consisted of Herb Roasted Chicken, Summer Salad, Grilled Vegetables, Sausage, Apple Cider Rolls and Roasted Corn, Tomatoes and Kale. The condiments were exceptional, everyone at my table loved the chimichurri and peach butter.

Everything was delicious! Seriously, no need to waste space on the blog describing everything…it was all really good.  I wouldn’t expect anything else from farm fresh ingredients.  I will say that the chicken was my favorite, tender and flavorful I wanted to make a sandwich…slap some chicken on a roll and add the peach butter. Everyone also received a swag bag with Copper Kitchen’s House Made Peach Preserves.. Yummm!

The Piedmont Learning Center was the perfect place for this beautiful outdoor dinner. In partnership with Copper Kitchen, they also host weddings and other events there.  The learning center is dedicated to teaching youth about beekeeping, gardening, healthy eating, outdoor and environmental education – as a foodie this is learning I can truly appreciate.

And always follow my foodie and cocktail adventures on social media …  

  

 

 

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