Day: November 1, 2015

Notes from the Publisher

November 2015

By Bob Tagert October certainly was a whirlwind month. The real threat of a hurricane coupled with a huge tropical storm out of the Gulf of Mexico brought misery and pain to all of us with damaged joints. The hurricane went out to sea but the storm remained for three days. Today, the day before Halloween, it is bright and sunny with temps going to 70. Hopefully this weather will hang on in November. This month is a great jacket month for the cool weather, but the crisp fall air makes it ideal for getting outside. Our Road Trip this month takes us to the quaint towns of southern Delaware along the Nanticoke Heritage Byway. Although there are no mountains, the leaves will be changing in Delaware in November and reaching their peak. It is also a good time to buy a ticket on the yellow line of the Metro and head to Gallery Place in D.C. and grab a cocktail or brunch at Noe Landini’s new restaurant, Bar Deco, in the Penn Quarter in DC. Read about it in the Dining Out feature in the restaurant section. Lori Welch-Brown covers a touchy subject in her Open Space column this month titled “MenTāk-a-paus” and Cooper Vineyards in Louisa is Frank Britt’s pick of the month in Grapevine. Jeff McCord regales us with tales of Captain Kidd in both VA and the Caribbean in Caribbean Connection. This and lots more inside. Hopefully the two turkeys on our cover are invited guests for dinner at that house…not dinner. Nevertheless, it is a time to be with family and friends and just be thankful for all of our blessings. In a tribute to our Veterans to whom we owe everything, we have a piece on Veterans Day. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving…

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National Harbor

Ho. Ho. Hold On – The Holidays are Coming!

By Lani Gering Every year it seems that the holidays arrive earlier and earlier. I guess that’s a sign of my age – I’m starting to sound more and more like my parents… seems like yesterday that I was waxing poetic about summer here in the harbor and as I sit here writing this column, Halloween is 3 days away with the subject matter of my column reflecting Thanksgiving and the approaching hullabaloo of the holidays! Much like years past, November starts out pretty quiet in the Harbor while retailers and restaurants gear up for the onslaught of the opening of ICE and the start of the “Christmas on the Potomac” celebration at the Gaylord Resort and the lighting of the beautiful tree on the plaza on Waterfront Street. As much as I look forward to Christmas, I am sort of disappointed that the opening ceremonies are taking place before we have even started pulling together our Thanksgiving dinners. In fact, I don’t even know where I’m going to dinner. I may have to consider hosting it myself. If that does happen, I know that I will be doing some serious shopping at Stonewall Kitchen just around the corner from my condo here at One National Harbor. They have an amazing selection of both food items and clever kitchen adornments that are a must see if you need inspiration or just a few things to round out your traditional meal. For those of you who don’t have an inclination to cook at all, the restaurants at the Gaylord may have something that fits the bill. On Thanksgiving Day, parties can choose between the hotel’s alfresco buffet dining outlet, Pienza, an exclusive gathering atop the hotel’s 18th floor at Pose Rooftop Lounge or a fine dining experience at its signature restaurant,…

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Business Profile, Featured Post

Marcela’s Yoga Boutique

By Bob Tagert I may not be the perfect person to write about Marcela’s Yoga Boutique since I have never done yoga and really don’t know that much about it, but the Boutique opened up next door to our office and I went over to introduce myself. As I learned from that conversation, this is not a yoga studio, but rather a place to purchase yoga mats, outfits, and other quality items to enhance your yoga experience; but the Boutique is much more than that. Marcela offers a wonderful collection of gifts that nourish the mind, body and soul in a delightfully serene and inviting environment. As I sat down with Marcela for this article I soon learned that this mother of three is definitely committed to helping people and is very excited to turn her favorite activity into a thriving business. Her goal is to offer a wide variety of products that help people live happy, healthy and well-balanced lives. Every item is hand-selected to provide the best quality to their customers. They wholeheartedly believe in the products that they sell. “We are thrilled to have partnered with fair-trade organizations to support responsible trade and ethical treatment of artisans from all over the world,” she tells me. At this holiday time of year, the opening of the Boutique offers a wide selection of mind and body products that will make great gifts…for someone else or yourself. Some of the items in addition to yoga accessories include, yoga-inspired art, essential oils, handmade jewelry, specialty teas, candles, handcrafted ceramics, yoga and meditation books, home décor, fine textiles, aromatherapy, and mindful gifts. Marcela attended her first yoga class many years ago, but due to her job in the corporate world and her busy schedule, she was unable to attend classes nearly as…

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Dining Out

Bar Deco

By Bob Tagert A little over a year ago, Alexandria restaurant owner Noe Landini, took a drive into Washington, D.C. with a friend, scouting possible restaurant locations. When they got to 717 6th St. NW and Landini saw the historic Bulletin Building, he was hooked. Here was a property that he could fashion into something spectacular. The charm of the building is its’ size. In a corridor of 13 story buildings, Bar Deco stands alone as an inviting place that is all restaurant. The industrial character of the structure has a certain charm in a canyon of concrete and glass. The Bulletin Building is a four-story limestone structure in the hip Penn Quarter and is across the street from the Verizon Center. The building was built in 1928 for the United Publishing Company. The main façade of the building is constructed in limestone, and features four art deco relief panels that portray the printing trade and ties the building to the trade that it housed for 60 years. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. In a stressed painting application Landini added the words Bar Deco. The four-story, 8,000 square-foot restaurant seats 331 guests. The first floor is for the hostess stand and show cases the two huge smokers and wood-burning fire located behind a glass enclosure. The aromas coming from the smoking meats are sure to whet your appetite. The kitchen occupies the rest of the floor. You can take the stairs or the newly installed elevator to the main dining room on the second floor. The room is true to its’ storied past with industrial style windows and the faux crumbling walls which enhance the art deco appeal. On the third floor you will find a 50- foot bar and numerous high…

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Master's of Cuisine

Chef Nabin Kumar Paudel

By Chester Simpson Chef Nabin Kumar Paudel Namaste: Fine Indian & Nepalese Cuisine 6138 Rose Hill Drive Alexandria 703-822-0408 When did you first become interested in cooking and why did you decide to pursue a culinary career? I was interested in cooking since my childhood as my parents owned a restaurant in Nepal. I was inspired by them. While growing up I helped my family in and out in their restaurant business. I chose the profession that I was interested in, cooking and creating new flavors through mixtures of various food. Who have been the biggest inspirations for your career? Sanjeev Kapoor, who received the ‘Best Chef of India’ award by the Government of India, and is a television personality. I used to watch his TV show regularly and learned his techniques. What dish on your menu are you most curious to see how it’s received? Mixed grill Kabob is my main dish on the Chef’s menu – it has an assortment of different varieties of meat with Himalayan spices.  Our menu contains not just Nepali dishes but a variety of Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes to please our customers. What do you do to ensure the quality of the food going out to customers? I check the quality and quantity of food that includes proper cooking and the right amount of spices with safety measures as directed by the Department of Health. If any chef in the world could prepare you a meal, who would it, be? Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor! Sanjeev is an Indian Master Chef, author of best-selling cookbooks, and architect of a unique range of food products. He stars in the TV show Khana Khazana, which is the longest running show of its kind in Asia; it broadcasts in 120 countries and in 2010 had more…

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Arts & Entertainment

The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife- Two Thumbs Up

by Lani Gering It isn’t often that we are able to give our friends at The Little Theater some editorial space since our publication dates rarely jive with their shows performance runs. This month, however we had the pleasure of being able to give a real “thumbs up” to the current production, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. The show is based on Marjorie Taub, a middle-aged Upper West Side doctor’s wife, who is devoted to mornings at the Whitney, afternoons at the Museum of Modern Art and evenings at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and is plunged into a mid-life crisis of Medea-like proportions. She is shaken out of her lethargy by the reappearance of a fascinating and somewhat mysterious childhood friend. Filled with passion and humor, the New York Times called The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife “a window-rattling comedy of mid-life malaise”. In order to fully appreciate this production, one has to have a good sense of both New York and Jewish humor. Every member of the cast has the accent and dialect down pat. There isn’t a weak member in this cast. Marjorie is played by Karen Jadlos Shotts, her husband Ira by Jack Stein, her mother Frieda by Janice Zucker, friend Lee by Marianne Meyers and doorman Mohammad by Omar Rocha. The performance went off without a flaw. I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the set design. Once again, LTA has hit a home run. It actually feels like you are in the Taub’s apartment. Even the detail in the galley kitchen makes you feel like they are actually cooking in it. This is a production not to be missed.

Behind the Bar

Behind the Bar with Matt Engstrand

Mackie’s Bar & Grill 907 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-684-3288       How did you get started in the bartending business? I was just a hair over 19 and was working as a cook in a Jewish summer camp in Webster, WI. I approached the owner of the “Pour House” in Siren, WI. With the help of my cousin Brandon, I began my current profession, and this is how we met for this discussion. What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? Please stop snapping…I am not a dog! What is the cleverest line anyone has ever used to get you to give them a free drink? A free drink?? What is that?? What is the best/worst pickup line you have overheard at the bar? Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again? Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s). I was bartending one day and this guy comes in and sits down. Everything was “normal” with the exception of the huge ring he was wearing. Turns out that I was talking to a 2 time Stanley Cup Champion for the Penguins. If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone in the world, past or present, who would that be? The Pope. You know he has some good wine hidden around there.   Matt is behind the bar Wednesday through Saturday nights. Matt mixes up a “Bold Apple Harvest” – a seasonal favorite! If you would like to see your favorite mixologist featured in this space, send contact information to

Featured Post


By Douglas Coleman     HORSEFLESH We tend to think of the Civil War in human terms – we write the history books. But we did not fight alone. Hundreds of thousands of horses and mules moved the army wagons, ambulances and artillery. They made the cavalry mobile. Commanders commanded from horseback and messengers rode them on the battle fields. And these horses suffered horribly – an estimated 1.5 million died in the conflict, roughly two horses for every human casualty. Horses on the battlefield faced the same bullets and shell bursts as the soldiers and suffered disproportionately for being larger targets who could not take cover. So, they stood stoically in their traces and died. Typically horses were burned rather than buried. One exception was the campsite on Shuter’s Hill here in Alexandria, where an incoming regiment dragged stinking carcasses into a pit to render the camp habitable again. Those dying on the roads were left by the wayside to rot. The crows and buzzards are probably still telling stories about the glory years. Cavalry genius Nathan Bedford Forrest had 29 horses shot out from under him; having himself shot 30 Yankees, Forrest liked to say he came out of the war one Yankee ahead. Custer did not hesitate to kill the supply mules he captured at Appomattox Station. At Gettysburg, a Mississippi regiment overwhelmed a Union battery at the Trostle farm, and then prevented withdrawal of the guns by shooting about 100 of the battery’s horses. Most horses perished of disease, short rations or simply being ridden to death, as explained by Captain Charles Adams of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry.   Writing just before the Gettysburg campaign in 1863, his candor is compelling: Potomac Creek, May 12, 1863 It is by no means a pleasant thought to reflect how…

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Gallery Beat

Alper Initiative for Washington Art at the American University Museum

By F. Lennox Campello Every once in a while I get to go on the Kojo Nmandi radio show on WAMU to discuss DC area visual art stuff… and at one of those radio shows, many years ago, I was discussing the lack of interest, or better still, apathy, that most Washington area museum curators exhibit (pun intended) towards our DMV area artists. In what was to become a battle cry of the ignored, I noted that “it was easier for a local DC area museum curator or director to take a cab to Dulles to catch a flight to Berlin, or London, Madrid, or even Havana (before it was OK to hang around with dictators), etc. in order to visit an emerging artist’s studio, than to take a cab to Alexandria, or Georgetown, or Arlington, or Rockville to do the same.” What does that take? I’m not sure, but the libertarian part of me suspects a certain degree of “taking the path of least resistance” on the daily workload of the other local museum curators/directors, many of whom are government employees: I suspect that it is much easier to take a traveling exhibition, let’s say, than organizing one from scratch. I know that I am generalizing here, and often that’s a bad thing, but in the multiple conversations that I’ve had over the years with several generations of curators from the Hirshhorn, NGA, NPG, the former Corcoran and others (yes, even other local area Universities – again with notable exceptions, such as Dr. Claudia Rousseau’s excellent gallery programming at MoCo Community College) I’ve gathered both empirical and anecdotal data to back up that impression. Any of “our” local museums is welcomed to please prove me wrong! Please! And it is because of Rasmussen’s stellar leadership and guiding hand, and…

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Exploring VA Wines

Vintage Review for NOVA

By Doug Fabbio It’s nice to be able to look back on a growing season and evaluate positives and challenges that may help us make decisions in the future. To my eye, I saw a high quality vintage year for 2015. Although we had a relatively wet spring, most growers properly managed their vineyards and kept their vines heathy through the challenge. July, August and most of September were quite dry giving the grapes a chance to mature well and develop balance and ripe flavors. We had a big storm in late September but much of that 6″ rain ran off into the streams rather than saturating the ground and harming the crop. The hurricane scare of Joaquin stayed well off shore giving us some clouds, wind and a little drizzle.   As far as yields go, many growers found their vines little fuller with fruit than predicted. Some of the newer plantings carried crop this year giving the growers some well needed return on their investment. As there is some unexpected fruit brought in, there are a few areas that this fruit can go. There is a spot market at harvest time where growers and winemakers will communicate by phone, email or Facebook about needs for fruit or availability. For us here at Fabbioli Cellars, the yields off of our estate vineyard were down because of the very cold winter, but our satellite vineyards produced quite well.   Many wineries are built to hold extra capacity. The grapes can be made into wine to extend a vintage of wine allowing the next vintage to age longer. It also can be made and later sold to another winery as bulk wine. The purchasing winery may have just opened and is in need of wine to sell or the wine could…

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