Du Vin Osteria coming

Du Vin Osteria, a wine bar that will be serving small plates, cheese, and charcuterie, will be opening on 14th and Florida. The wine bar will also have sidewalk seating. It will be opening in the Solea building. Now, I might be among a few that are thinking “really? another wine bar?” but I am also glad to see retail come to this part of 14th street. No ETA on the place, yet Du Vin Osteria’s Facebook page indicates it will be open in summer of 2010.

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Cork Market

It’s open!

I stopped by Cork Market after work today, leaving pretty impressed. They have wine of course: organized along the wall from white to red going from Austria to Spain (alphabetically I assume?) with New World in the middle of the store. There are also prepared foods, cheeses, meats, bread, crackers, Cork pastas, other assorted gourmet foods (truffle butter anyone?), gelato, Copper Pot sauces (your friend Stefano from 14th and U’s market), and many more. ReadySetDC has photos of the inside.

There were definitely different price points offered: more moderate-priced wines ($10 to $20) along with more pricey (the most expensive I saw was $95). Now there are definitely more wines at the higher price points, but I was glad to see the more affordable stuff. Same with the food, some of the food was on the pricier side, yet I left with a large container of egg salad with goat cheese, bacon, and chives for $4.50 and a decent amount of chorizo for $7. What I had was good, the egg salad was very good, and after having two pretty large servings of it, I have half left.

Cork Market seems to be starting an interesting practice that some will probably find annoying: they take your name and phone number when they ring you up. The reason, they say, is so they can keep track of what you buy: say you can’t remember that amazing merlot you had – they have a record of it. Seems smart, but I can see how many people would dislike it.

First impressions were good: high quality, nice variety of goods, decent selection of wine.

Readers: if you’ve been in, what did you think?

Fancy mac and cheese

Fancy mac and cheese

I love comfort food taken up a notch, and it’s what a lot of restaurants like to do. They take your mom’s meatloaf and make it with veal and bison, and all of a sudden it’s transformed into something more than it was. A lot of chefs have done this with mac and cheese: a luxurious dish that can be made even more fancy by the addition of a few other ingredients. So I’m jumping on the bandwagon. And, while it’s warm today, the past few days have been cold and snowy, which left me craving comfort food like mac and cheese to warm me up. And apparently I’m not the only one.

I found the recipe on Epicurious, and modified it a bit (lobster doesn’t quite fit in with a gourmet on a budget dish). Truffle oil, my friends, is what makes this recipe especially amazing.  OK, it’s black truffle flavored olive oil, but it’s all I could find, and probably afford.

Budget: $15 for 4 to 5 servings; or $3 to $3.75 a serving.

Recipe details after the jump.

A regular feature in which I cook cheap, gourmet dishes. (more…)