Tag Archives: van ness
Van Ness may not be known as a vibrant neighborhood with a booming foodie culture, but 876 Cafe is hoping to change that. Although it opened in April, it is now ready for its official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration. They’ve put together quite an eclectic mix of events to celebrate this week.
876 Cafe Grand Opening Event Schedule:
Monday, June 11 – Welcome Neighbors – Seniors and area residents appreciation day (3:00pm to 6:30pm), offering 10% discount to seniors during this time on meal.
Tuesday, June 12 – Callaloo & Rum Special (6-10pm) with a talk on “Callaloo in the Caribbean” (during 6:30-7:30pm). Fixed price menu features a tasting of 3 callaloo dishes, bread pudding with rum sauce or rum raisin ice cream and rum
punch ($25, tax and tip not included).
Wednesday, June 13 – Business Networking & Mixer (6:00pm to 9:00pm), allowing the area businesses to get to know each other and mingle.
Thursday, June 14 – Ribbon Cutting (12:30pm to 1:30pm), and reading of official Proclamation of June as Caribbean American Heritage Month in DC.
Friday, June 15 – Irie (“feeling all right”) Red Stripe & Jerk Hour (3:00pm to 7:30pm – Specials on Caribbean- inspired drinks), Café Wings (Jerked & “Tings”) and Caribbean-inspired condiments tasting (in recognition of upcoming Summer
Fancy Food Show at DC Convention Center June 17-19).
Saturday, June 16 – Art Gallery Opening – Caribbean Art & Wine Tasting focusing on wines that marry well with spicy
foods (3pm to 6pm).
We were sad to see Indian Ocean leave Van Ness, but 876 Cafe has quickly revitalized the space which sits directly across from UDC. After purchasing the business from Indian Ocean owners, Moreen Wallace and her team set out to create “complex yet simplistic fusion of Caribbean cuisine.” This fusion is definitely unique for the area and the simple menu features common entrees with intriguing twists.
Wallace believes that the one dish that everyone should try is the spring rolls. You can choose ackee and saltfish or callaloo, served with pineapple chutney & sweet chili sauce. Ackee is Jamaican fruit of West African origin. Adding to the Caribbean theme is an art gallery in the space as well. According to Wallace, “The art gallery was added to break up the very long hallway to the restrooms; the inspiration came from the love of art, the love of exposing good talent blended with the opportunity to add another feature to the whole Caribbean experience.”
Wallace is excited to be a part of the DC restaurant scene, which she says “amazes” her with its “unique décor and offerings.” In terms of inspiration, she looks to former DC restaurateurs Jimmi & Sharon Banks (formerly of Red Ginger). Gaining buzz for a new restaurant, especially in Van Ness, can be challenging. We noticed many empty tables this Saturday evening and a friendly employee handing out an opening notice by the Van Ness CVS. Wallace believes the the cafe’s “warm and friendly service, the warm and open décor, the vibrant and energetic bar, along with the unique corridor art gallery” will help differentiate it from other eateries.
The only Yelp review at the time of publishgin for 876 Cafe gives it five stars but is from a reliable user.
Update: Via Twitter ANC commissioner Bob Summersgill informs us that ANC3F plans to support a stipulated liquor license for the business.
Update 2: No vote or resolution yet from ANC3F, but they agreed to a simple Vol Agr in 20 min which includes entertainment endorsement for weekend jazz brunch & outdoor cafe.
Although Van Ness residents could alway revel in a “Taste of Pleasure” for their sushi, there was considerable excitement when Sushi Para entered the market. The Chicago sushi chain announced its entrance into the DC market right in the middle of Van Ness and nearly across the street from its biggest neighborhood competitor.
Sushi Para has been open for two months and has received, at best, mixed reviews. Some buzz surrounding the restaurant includes excitement for its $22 all you can eat sushi special (you need to ask for it). Other buzz has centered on hit-or-miss food quality and service. We have heard more than a few negative comparisons to Spices in Cleveland Park, which is admittedly a tough act to follow for a new restaurant.
What have you heard about Sushi Para? Have you had a good experience there?
Have a date on Friday night, but no plans? Here’s our suggestion for Friday night festivities in the area that won’t break the bank.
Start off your evening with a little French culture. The Hillwood Estate is showing the Best Short French Films of 2011 as part of a weeklong celebration by Alliance Francaise de Washington. Tickets are $8 (you can purchase them here) and allow you to view “ a selection of the best French short films of 2011 as determined by a jury of French film professionals (similar to the American Academy Awards).” The show starts at 6:30 pm and lasts for one hour, but if you arrive early, you can check out the mansion and special exhibits starting at 5:30 pm.
After the show, head across Connecticut to Acacia Bistro. Recently named one of the top 100 restaurants by Washingtonian, Acacia Bistro features Italian cuisine and an impressive wine list. We recommend the small plates, though the menu also offers larger entrees. For a discount on dinner, download the ScoutMob app on your phone. There you will find a free deal for 50% off your dinner or drink bill (up to $15 max discount).
Capitol Deal is bringing you 50 percent off deal for Calvert-Woodley in Van Ness. Before you get too excited, however, this daily deal is only for cheese, meat, and bread items. Still, if you are a regular shopper there for those items, $10 for $20 is worth snagging. You have through Monday the 6th to snag this offer.
Who needs the Metro? WMATA may be shutting down the Cleveland Park metro station this weekend, but the surrounding area has enough going on to keep us all busy without resorting to the Red Line. Given the delays on the weekends even when the station is open, this may be a handy guide for some time to come.
Here’s our top ten recommendations for enjoying your Cleveland Park weekend staycation:
1. Take your Sunday afternoon tea at the Hillwood Estate. From 1 – 3:30 pm, visit the Hillwood cafe for teas, finger sandwiches, miniature pastries, and wine. Can’t make it for tea? On Saturdays, Hillwood’s cafe also offers lunch seatings from 11 am – 3:30 pm and the Estate is open for tours.
2. Hop on the H2 bus to Columbia Heights. Grab some barbecue and enjoy Sean Chyun & the Deceivers live on Saturday night at Acre 121. Sean Chyun “draws his influence from the likes of The Beatles, Tom Petty, David Gilmour, and Brian Wilson, while carving his own unique plot on the rock and roll landscape.”
3. Relax with “one of the finest concert organists of his generation” at the National Cathedral. For a $10 donation on Sunday night at 5:15 pm, guests to the National Cathedral can check out Scott Dettra’s organ performance.
4. Take in some art at the Stanford Art Gallery in Woodley. This art space, tucked in a Woodley Park gallery in the Stanford University building is featuring the exhibit Insight and Identity: Contemporary Artists and Gertrude Stein. After art, check out the newly opened District Kitchen.
5. See free theater at the Cleveland Park Library. On Saturday at 2:00 pm, DC theater collective Field Trip Theater will perform a staged reading of Stopgap by Danielle Mohlman, a “play about same-sex marriage that wasn’t just about equality.”
6. Explore Connecticut Avenue. Been meaning to Check out the (highly underrated) Indian Ocean in Van Ness? Heard that the new sushi restaurant, Sushi Para, has been getting good reviews? Always walk by Fresh Med, but never tried the gyro [coupons here]? Now’s the time to try to find the next hidden Cleveland Park gem.
8. Show some love for Mount Pleasant. Hop off the H2 bus and grab a slice and a pint at Radius for $5. Then you can dance to modern latin rock at Marx Cafe with DJ Luis or chill with some jukebox tunes at the newly renovated dive bar, the Raven.
9. Expand your literary horizons. Listen to David Satter as he “examines the end of the USSR from a humanist perspective” and discusses his book It Was A Long Time Ago, And It Never Happened at Politics and Prose at 6 pm on Saturday. Finish the night off with pizza and ping pong at Comet next door. Politics and Prose is also hosting authors Elizabeth Dowling and Thomas Byrne Edsall this weekend.
10. Check out the Gin Joint. Take a stroll down Connecticut Ave (you can also take the L2) to the Gin Joint, the small bar below New Heights in Woodley Park. The gin joint offers a vast selection of gins from across the globe. In addition, they have premium and homemade tonics. Try the gin tasting flight for only $15.
In today’s news for the 1 percent, the Washington Business Journal reported last week that Domaine Wine Storage and Appreciation has leased 11,000 square feet of underground space at 4221 Connecticut Ave NW. This address is current home to the vastly underrated Indian Ocean restaurant and the new Sushi Para. Exactly what value does Domaine seek to provide in the Upper Northwest market?
Wine storage appeals to both collectors who lack space to store their own bottles and serious investors who require precise temperature controls. Domaine will charge members between $2.50 and $4 per case per month to store wine, depending on what services they require. At the higher end, Domaine can digitally catalogue and monitor a customer’s collection.
The service is available at a pre-opening price of $1/month for storage of 1-149 cases.
One of the best parts of our neighborhood is the small town atmosphere that the Cleveland Park Listserv helps to create. Each Friday we will pull out some (possibly out of context) gems from the Listserv to share with our neighbors and friends. We hope these outtakes of the neighborhood news will get you ready for another great weekend in Cleveland Park!
C’mon people throw Van Ness a bone…
“I went over to Sushi Para in Van Ness today. Go try it! I thought everyone would like to know it is open and good!”
“Dear Kelli, I’m a college student home on winter break. Over Thanksgiving break I had unprotected sex with an older man from my neighborhood, and I think I might be pregnant … What do you think I should do?”
Preach on brother…
“File this under “what a surprise”: DC’s Taxicab Commissioner, Rob Linton, is making noises about shutting down Uber, the new smartphone-based service that makes it quick and easy to call a car.” (link added by us)
Because only Cleveland Parkers could solve this one…
“A new Amazon Kindle goes to the person who comes up with the best idea that answers the question, “What innovation does the District of Columbia need most?” You need to be a Cleveland Park Listserv member to enter.”