This past weekend was another travel weekend, this time to Washington, D.C. I lived in D.C. for three years during grad school and just love the town. It’s one of the places that I truly feel re-charged after visiting. I really like who I was when I lived there and it’s nice to be reminded of that time and to catch up with the fabulous friends who are still there. I also got an extra special bonus visit – my dear friend and bridesmaid “PLP,” who lives in Maine, was also in D.C. this weekend, so we got even more fun reunion time.
As a former D.C. dweller, there are times when you sightsee and check out all the monuments and museums and there are times when you visit people and eat your way through the city. This trip was one of the second ones. I got into D.C. Friday night and PLP and I grabbed a late dinner at Open City, an upscale diner in the Woodley Park neighborhood. We split the Wardman pizza – mushrooms, leeks, thyme, gruyere, parmesan, and mozarella – and a bottle of Cline Cashmere, one of my go-to red wines.
The pizza and wine were fantastic but the company was even better!
The next morning, the reunion grew as 7 of the 8 of our grad school crew gathered for brunch at Co Co Sala near Penn Quarter.
The brunch was a delicious blend of sweet and savory and was quite unlike anything I’ve ever had before. We all selected the three-course brunch, which include an amuse bouche, an entree, and dessert. The amuse bouche was a mini chocolate lava cake with cinnamon sugar and salted caramel. Divine!
For my entree, I selected the artichoke tart and for dessert the “Onyx” – a brownie with salted caramel.
The brownie was incredible – moist, with a hidden chocolate mousse filling that blended perfectly with the salted caramel. Our server also heard us talking about wedding plans, hence the congratulatory message.
One of the best things about Co Co Sala was that the portions were filling, but not overly large, allowing you to enjoy each part of the three-course brunch. I also highly recommend starting your morning with the Berries and Bubbles cocktail!
All in all, fabulous food and a wonderful time catching up with friends – some of whom I hadn’t seen for between 3 to 5 years! It’s always so nice when you can just fall back into conversation with people as if no time had passed!
I spent the afternoon with PLP and No Day is So Bad, my two non-CLE bridesmaids.
No Day is a budding photographer, so we did a mini photo shoot around the Adams Morgan neighborhood. For those of you who haven’t been, Adams Morgan reminds me a lot of Coventry – very artsy with a lot of interesting shops, restaurants, and bars. After that and some bridesmaid dress shopping, we met up with two other friends for dinner at Zengo.
Zengo is a Asian/Latin fusion restaurant (for example, we loved the Thai chicken empanadas) that is designed to encourage sharing with a lot of small plate options. Aside from the Thai chicken empanadas, we also enjoyed the pork belly steamed buns and the seared tuna wonton tacos.
I also highly recommend the side order of carnitas rice noodles, which is more than enough for an entree, and the Mexican chocolate tart (yes, I ate more chocolate).
The Mexican chocolate tart with cinnamon whipped cream blended the richness of dark chocolate with ancho chile heat for a fabulous dessert.
Again, the company bested the food though. Nothing like a fun and fabulous night out with girlfriends!
On Sunday, we spent the day in Arlington, eating and shopping and more eating! After a delicious lunch at Boulevard Woodgrill and some retail therapy, we found ourselves in a dilemma. Frozen yogurt or cupcakes? Why not both?
We each grabbed a cup of frozen yogurt from Red Mango, which has really different, somewhat tangy fro yo. From there, we headed next door to Crumbs Bake Shop, where we selected the Cosmo, Cookie Dough, and Chocolate-Covered Strawberry cupcakes.
Stuffed and with my soul refreshed, I hopped on a plane back to CLE. I love CLE and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but D.C. isn’t a bad second home to have. I’m so lucky to be close enough to make visiting a very workable proposition. Hope you had a great weekend, CLE!