Mockingbird Hill: Manchego, Honey and Chocolate Covered Corn Nuts

Mockingbird Hill Manchego

Sherry and food pairing may be a new frontier for DC, but Mockingbird Hill, that Shaw Sherry bar, has you covered. This is especially impressive because Sherry has more aromatic compounds (307!) than regular old wine. You can expect to taste notes of everything from hazelnuts and lemongrass to oyster shells and hay. So our number one snack, a.k.a. The Best Thing on the Menu? Manchego cheese that you slip and slide through honey and finish off with a dip into chocolate covered corn nuts. Classy and corn nutty all at the same time.

Mockingbird Hill Pork

A close second is their pork rillette. Who doesn’t love rich, luscious spreadable meat? It’s served with buttery toast and pickled vegetables and goes great with any variety of Sherry – Amontillado (Edgar Allen Poe’s fave), Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Amoroso, Fino, etc. See, there’s way more than Manzanillo! Obviously, since it’s a Sherry AND ham bar, you can’t go wrong ordering a ham sampler, our favorite of which was the lomo.

Mockingbird Hill Sherry Flight

Probably the best way to experience Derek Brown’s Mockingbird Hill is by ordering a flight. It comes with snacks, and premium Sherry education. Sherry wizard Chantal Tseng or one of her handsome young bartenders will explain everything you need to know – like the fact that Sherry can only be called Sherry if it’s from three specific towns in Spain, or that it’s produced using a complex solera system that involves mixing of different vintages to add complexity and balance. Visit their Facebook page for special flight offerings.

Manchego, Honey and Chocolate Covered Corn Nuts not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

You might also like Cork, Boqueria, or Estadio.

DC’s Top Food and Drink Trends 2013

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A food blogger’s log of top trends in our nation’s capital, based on too many meals to count. As Heidi would say, you’re either in or you’re out!

Chez Billy Saucisse Merguez

Chez Billy

1. Small plates: You either love them or you hate them, especially if you live and eat on 14th Street. But one thing’s for sure, small plate hate and continued complaining about them is in vogue. Good places to get full-size meals? Chez Billy, West End Bistro, Poste and Table.

Spraga's Brisket

Sbraga

2. Brisket is back. Done right, this cut of meat can steal the show. Where to get it in DC? Roses Luxury, DCity Smokehouse and Garden District. It is also the Best Thing on the Menu at Philly’s Sbraga.

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Del Campo

3. Fernet is having a renaissance. Try it and you’ll taste hints of eucalyptus, saffron, cardamom and chamomile. Most popular in Italy and Argentina, fernet is typically mixed with soda water or it can be used in cocktails as a form of bitters. In DC, you can try it at Del Campo and Urbana.

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4. New restaurants are forgoing traditional websites and are opting instead for robust Facebook pages. Or, restaurants are choosing to create a simple single page, meant solely to point you to their social media accounts. This is such a smart money saver. There’s no need to pay an IT company to build and maintain a website when Facebook has built-in infrastructure for diners to interact with their favorite restaurants. Our new favorite spot, Mockingbird Hill, is one example: Their simple web page vs. their Facebook page.

Shaw DC

5. Shaw has become THE neighborhood for new restaurants, including Eat the Rich, Dacha Beer Garden, Mockingbird Hill, Thally, Table and more.

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Casa Luca

6. More than a handful of restaurants are jumping on the charcuterie bandwagon. A trend many enjoy, but others skip due to the availability of fine meat and cheese selections at gourmet grocery stores. If you’re pro-charcuterie visit: Casa Luca, The Pig, Churchkey/Birch and Barley, Proof, Urbana, Vinoteca and Etto.

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Revive Catering

7. Waffles are crushing it, sorry cronuts. DC has some of the best waffles to offer the world including Revive Catering’s red velvet chicken and waffles, B TOO’s blood sausage stuffed waffle and Brasserie Beck’s gingerbread waffle.

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Petworth Citizen

8. Cosmos and appletinis are out. Prohibition era cocktails are in. Big name Founding Farmers has 11 different prohibition era inspired cocktails like a Sazerac and a New York Sour. Then there are places like The Gibson, PX, The Passenger/Columbia Room, Bar Charley and Petworth Citizen.

Oyamel Fried Egg

Oyamel

9. Remember being twelve years old and requesting breakfast for dinner for your birthday? Fortunately, you can relive this small joy by visiting several DC restaurants. Ted’s Bulletin serves breakfast all day long, Oyamel has a killer egg dish and DGS serves “Benedictberg” well into the night.

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Taylor Gourmet

10. Whether you’re curing a hangover, fueling your marathon (or 5K!) training, or just gearing up for a Sunday on the couch watching football, monster sandwiches are the answer. The arrival of spots like Duke’s Grocery and food trucks like SUNdeVICH plus the continued awesomeness of Taylor Gourmet and Stachowski Market & Deli means you’ll never be without a good sando in hando.

Got a trend you’d like to share? Let us hear it in the comments section! Plus, see where we ate in 2013.

Rogue 24: Sugar Toad/Oyster/Nettles/Seaweed.

Rogue 24 Sugar Toads

The Sugar Toads are not a skinny jeans-clad hipster band opening at the 9:30 Club Saturday night. Rather, they’re starring down the street (and down an alley) on the menu of Rogue 24’s new spring menu. Chef R.J. Cooper goes local and gets creative all in one dish with the Best Thing on the Menu: Sugar Toad/Oyster/Nettles/Seaweed.

Sugar toads are actually northern puffer fish native to the Chesapeake Bay, and in recent years they’ve been elevated to a delicacy. If a fried delicacy is hard to wrap your head around, you haven’t tried R.J. Cooper’s blowfish bites. Unlike in Japan where puffer fish (known as fugu) require a special license to slice and serve, these green-eyed ugly mugs are harmless.

Moments before the sugar toads arrive at your table, you are equipped with medical forceps, the perfect utensil for dunking fish sticks into gourmet green goop, or for playing a jumbo-size game of Operation.

Like many modern chefs, R.J. Cooper plays with texture just as much as he plays with flavor. So prepare yourself for a 24-course journey through crunchy, fluffy, gummy, foamy, gritty and beyond.

Rogue 24 is just one example of the recent trend of restaurants asking diners to put the menu away and put their meal in the hands of the chef.  And at Rogue 24, you’re in good hands.

FOR A LIMITED TIME: WIN DINNER FOR FOUR

You and three friends can win a 24-course dinner at Rogue 24 – one of DC’s top 100 restaurants 2013. All it takes is a tweet and/or signing up for the Monthly Menu. The link will be released later today  (6/17) through our friends at local blog PoPville. Click here to learn more and enter the drawing.