The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2017

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DEPARTMENT HEADER 32  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2017 december 2017 CAPITOL CHILL 32  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2017 H ow does a restaurant that's been an iconic part of the D.C. dining scene for the past 14 years follow up its RAMMY Award in June for Wine Program of the Year? If you're Charlie Palmer Steak, you host a dinner celebrating your recent refresh and renovation without missing a beat. I joined a handful of other lucky guests in the restaurant's private dining room to bask in the soft, warm neutrals of the new space, but the main attractions were the stunning matchups curated by Wine Director Nadine Brown, like truffle-roasted Poulet Rouge with the earthy, juicy J.K. Carriere 2014 Provocateur Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. Grabbing a plush blue velvet chair at the inviting bar to sip on a White Negroni proved equally enticing. That event represents just one recent experience that left me reveling in the DMV's current culinary culture. At Masseria, Chef/Owner Nicholas Stefanelli celebrated the season with a second annual Harvest Dinner. I don't often have the opportunity to taste Nebbiolo that's half a century old, but that's just what we did—sipping the 1971, 1999, and 2000 Fontanafredda Barolo next to Chef's tagliolini with guanciale, celery root, Castelmagno cheese, and shaved white truffles. (The two bottles of '71 evolved very differently, with one picking up savory notes of balsamic and olive while the other tasted more of red fruit and leather. Incredible!) Finally, Derek Brown and the rest of the Drink Company team hosted a Halloween-themed pop-up bar throughout October called PUB Dread— think a haunted forest, shelves lined with creepy dolls, and an homage to David Bowie (Brown reminded me he had an album released in 1980 called "Scary Monsters"). The most spine-tingling drink was We All Float Down Here, a Pennywise-inspired boozy and stirred Manhattan-esque drink served with a red foam clown nose on the stem of the coupe. The crew closed out the bar on Halloween night with a benefit for Puerto Rico; all proceeds from ticket sales were donated to World Central Kitchen, a chef- driven nonprofit launched by José Andrés in the wake of Haiti's earthquakes in 2010. Now that's drinking for a scary good cause. Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits, and lifestyle writer and wine edu- cator in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics. Liquid Treats Aplenty WASHINGTON, D.C.-AREA RESTAURANTS AND BARS HOST A LINEUP OF ENGAGING EVENTS PHOTO COURTESY OF CHARLIE PALMER STEAK D.C. The revamped bar at Charlie Palmer Steak D.C. is awash in plush seating and neutral tones. PHOTO: FARRAH SKEIKY PHOTO: FARRAH SKEIKY The We All Float Down Here cocktail at the Halloween-themed pop-up bar PUB Dread was inspired by the horror movie IT. by Kelly Magyarics, DWS The Brains cocktail at PUB Dread was served in a skull mug.

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