Chef Frederik de Pue’s Azur (405 8th St NW) restaurant ran for about 6 months before shuttering and the chef/owner’s announcing a change in strategy. Now, evidence that changes are happening have become apparent on the exterior of the 8th Street address, the future location of Menu, with workers seen busy and branded posters showing up in the windows. Menu promises three concepts in one incorporating an artisanal local market, a neighborhood bistro, and a 40 seat restaurant in a single edifice. The combo space is slated to open in early 2014.
Where does the time go? Back in October 2007 we wrote about Cafe Mozart, the fun German restaurant/bar/deli at 1331 H ST NW. Somehow we never made it back as often as we intended, just once or twice a year, usually for a liverwurst sandwich to-go from the deli. The place is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 7 days a week; but it had easily been 8 months since we’d last stepped foot in the place, with no good reason for the delay. Cue Mrs Columbo on Saturday saying that she would really like to have lunch at Cafe Mozart, and we discovered the holiday fun in the general store portion of this shop & restaurant.
You don’t need a drink to enjoy the holiday shopping in Cafe Mozart, but it doesn’t hurt either. Filled with lots of German (and German-esque?) treats, you can find such items as a chocolate filled Advent calendar, frosted gingerbread, cinnamon cookies, chocolate Santas, and the like. The Cafe Mozart store also sells a variety of baking mixes, pickles, jams, pastries, meats, and cheeses.
None of this is meant to take away from the Downtown Holiday Market on F Street NW, between 7th and 9th, we love that market and how festive the neighborhood becomes this time of year when it opens. But if you didn’t know, or like us you had neglected to stop by for far too long, Cafe Mozart has been composing holiday spirit in our area for longer than most of us have lived here.
Ed Note (12/5): Winternational, the last item below, has been resecheduled to Jan 9, 2014 due to weather related concerns.
Tomorrow night is the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on The Ellipse in front of the White House – the festivities begin at 5 pm with live coverage starting at 4:30 pm on the Internet (tickets are required for entry to the live event). We love this annual event and the musical repertoire it brings especially this year’s line up which includes two of our favorites, Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin. Remember to plan accordingly if you are or are not going because traffic jams up in downtown DC for hours and blocks surrounding the event. Taking the Metro (not the bus), bicycling, or walking can be a real time saver tomorrow afternoon/night.
We also want to point out Winternational, an event from 4 pm to 7 pm on the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center’s plaza at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave NW. From an e-mail:
On the Plaza, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Now rescheduled to 1/9/2014
On the evening of the National Christmas Tree Lighting,we invite you and your family, friends and colleagues to learn about and experience the holidays and traditions from a global perspective. Open to the public, this event will feature:
- Cultural performance stage
- Gingerbread cookie decorating station
- Complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and apple cider
- Cultural exhibitors
Join us as we explore the different ways in which the world celebrates the winter season through food, culture, customs and traditions.
Free and Open to the Public
By e-mail we were notified of the next Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association breakfast meeting. RSVP by Noon tomorrow (Friday, December 6) is requested. Please indicate if you heard of this meeting from Penn Quarter Living:
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association Breakfast Meeting
Tuesday, December 10, 8:30 am
Hill Country Barbecue Market
410 Seventh Street, NW
Metro: Archives-Navy Mem’l-Penn Quarter – Green & Yellow Lines
Gallery Pl-Chinatown, exit 7th and F streets – Red Line
Continental Breakfast 8:30 – 8:55 am
Announcements 9:00 am
Speaker 9:15 am
Jamie Henson - DDOT Project Director for the North-South Corridor Planning Study
Bourbon/whiskey seems to be the liquor of choice these days. One name that is first on the lips of every one I know as the best is Pappy van Winkle. Most people have never tried it. Most bars can’t stock it. So why is it considered the best? Thanks to a tip from Eater, now you can find out for yourself at Shelly’s Back Room (1331 F St., NW). They have stocked several bottles of different ages. Hurry, they’re sure to go quick.
Here’s what we were reading recently about neighborhood news in DC. Have something to add? Leave it in the comments!
Have any tips? Send them in confidentiality to: pqliving [at] gmail.com
Penn Quarter - During the curtain calls for performances of “A Christmas Carol,” the company will collect monetary donations on behalf of the Washington-based non-profit Covenant House Washington. Patrons also can make donations through the Ford’s Theatre Box Office. All donation checks should be made payable to “Covenant House Washington.” “A Christmas Carol” plays at Ford’s Theatre from November 21, 2013, through January 1, 2014. [Ford's Theatre - A Christmas Carol] & [Covenant House DC website]
National Mall/Downtown – The National Christmas Tree lighting is on Friday, December 6 at 5 pm. The downside? Expect major traffic delays for the evening rush in and around downtown that day. The upside? Aretha Franklin is singing at the opening lighting ceremony. [National Christmas Tree website]
National Mall - A guy jumps from an upper level of the atrium in the National Museum of the American Indian and dies. [WaPo]
On a recent trip to Barmini (855 E St., NW), we were celebrating the conclusion of some big work projects and asked our server what would be a particularly special way to mark the occasion. He suggested that we try a glass from their rare and exclusive wines list. Due to some new technology, places like Barmini can now offer guests a glass of very special wine without forcing the purchase of the whole bottle. We selected the Chateau d’Yquem, having heard from wine friends that this is considered the creme de la creme. It did not disappoint. Next time you are at Barmini, be sure to check out the list. It’s still pretty pricey for just a glass, but well worth it to be able to sample some spectacular wines. As we enter the holiday season, here’s a toast to all of you! Cheers! Salut! Sante! Prost!…