TO DO: start a wine club [check!]

Shortly after moving to D.C., my then-colleagues and I decided to start a book club. We thoroughly enjoyed each other’s company, loved drinking wine together, but had a book-completion rate of about 40 percent (I’m being generous). It’s not that we didn’t love reading; we just preferred chatting over good wine. So we turned our book club into a wine club, and now meet monthly to celebrate the grape (except for our exotic fruit month, when we celebrated blueberries, pomegranates, pineapples and other non-grape wines). On Monday, we had our first wine club seder (my first seder (:) and enjoyed good wine and great friends.

[wine + my photographic obligation = a camera with an empty memory card, so I trusted my old Canon to my friend, Katie, who snapped these pictures. Check out her awesome blog, The Eight Hour Project.]


TO DO: spend a night on the town

Saturday was WC’s birthday, and we went over to the U Street Corridor to celebrate. We started at Marvin for dinner, which blew me away. I had been there once in the summer of 2010 and remembered having delicious cocktails, but don’t remember being impressed by the food. On Saturday, we started with St. Jacques mussels, which were amazing (and gluten free, along with their french fries!). I had the skirt steak special, WC enjoyed the duck confit, and his sister and her husband both loved the short ribs. This time, we will not be waiting that long to return.

Right next door to Marvin, which is inconspicuous by its own accord, is The Gibson, which you will only be able to find if you have the street address. I don’t think The Gibson was open yet when the NYTimes photo above was taken in 2009, but the door to the left of Marvin is equally as nondescript now. You open the door and enter into a dark entryway. With the exception of a man in a suit (inspired by a 20s color palette), you will probably think you’re in the wrong place, until they open a side door and walk you into the speakeasy that is the Gibson. Cocktails cost between $12-16, but are entirely worth it. Their menu is completely inspired, and the wait and bar are so willing to accommodate your every whim. We tried several different concoctions, both on and off the menu, and were impressed by every one.

[photo credits 1 and 2]

TO DO [sunday edition]

It took me a while to warm up to D.C. Okay, a long while. But I remember the first Sunday I drove past Eastern Market. I’m embarrassed to say I had been living, clueless, in Old Town Alexandria for almost 8 whole months at the time, and I was in D.C. helping clean up a school before the beginning of the school year. When I drove by it, I froze, thinking how lucky I was to happen to be driving down this road on the very same day of some fantastic fair. Wait, what. This happens every week? And there are more all over the city? Magical.

Now that I’m living in Northwest, the Dupont Circle farmer’s market is a must-stop for me every Sunday (year round!). My favorite vendor? Hands down Everona Dairy, which makes the most amazing marble cheese you need to try.

I would recommend you go early, because they’re known to sell out of the marble, and then head over to the Beacon Hotel for their Sunday champagne brunch with bottomless mimosas or bloody marys, fantastic service and a trendy ambience.

[top image via]