Awesome Bundt Cakes

Nothing Bundt Cakes
21305 Windmill Parc Dr.
Dulles, VA 20166
703-444-4244
https://www.nothingbundtcakes.com

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On grand opening day more than 100 people were in line to get their amazing Bundt Cakes.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake

They have a host of flavors and sizes but the lemon and red velvet are my favorite. The cake is perfectly moist and flavorful. The frosting is smooth and not overly sweet.

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The staff is super friendly and helpful.

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There are always samples to try.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes is a franchise based in Texas. This location is managed by Pastry Chef Emily Carter, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Before taking the helm at Nothing Bundt Cakes she was at the well known Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, VA.

Red Velvet Bundt Cake 2

You can never go wrong with buttercream frosting.

The bite-sized cakes they call Bundtinis make great desserts. They have 9 flavors and more than 40 designs in sizes that range up to 10 inches that feeds 18 to 20 people. The larger cakes make excellent gifts for special occasions or office parties.

Flint Hill Public House & Country Inn

Flint Hill Public House & Country Inn
675 Zachary Taylor Hwy
Flint Hill, VA 22627
540-675-1700
http://www.flinthillva.com

American | $$

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A lovely remodeled hundred year old school is home to the restaurant and inn.

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The décor is modern with the brave choice of white chairs.

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My wife started with a wonderful rich Corn Chowder made with Sweet Corn, Bacon, Potatoes, Thyme, and Cream.

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For her entrée she picked the House Salad with Bibb and Romaine Lettuce, Caramelized Grape Tomatoes, English Cucumber, Red Onion, and Manchego Cheese & Sherry Vinaigrette.

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My entrée was the 10oz grass fed beef Flint Hill Burger with Gorgonzola Cheese, Bacon, Red Onion, and Mayo. The beef was flavorful and a perfect medium. Gorgonzola has a bite and is not for everyone. I would order this again but ask for a milder cheese like Swiss or Munster.

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For a side I picked the Mac N Cheese with Extra Sharp Cheddar, Caramelized Shallots, and Feta. Who doesn’t love shells for their Mac N Cheese. The feta topping was a nice choice to mute some of the sharp cheddar.

Flint Hill is in the beautiful rolling Virginia countryside. It is a nice drive on a Sunday afternoon. We arrived early and were the only customers for most of our dinner so I have no idea about the noise level. The service was good but it is hard not be be attentive to your only customer. Now through mid November I would recommend reservations. The changing leaves of fall bring a lot of visitors to the area.

Maxie’s Supper Club

Maxie’s Supper Club and Oyster Bar
635 W. State St.
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-4136
http://maxies.com/

Cajun | $$

Maxie's Supper Club

Maxie’s is hard to miss. It’s in a large converted single family home at the corner of S. Fulton St. and W. State St.

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I started with an awesome Crab and Corn Chowder. With the large chunks of crab it was flavorful and the perfect consistency of a classic chowder.

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My wife had the Maxie’s Mighty-Mighty Gumbo with Chicken, Andouille, Crawfish, and Rice.

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The cornbread was like grandma made, perfect.

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For her entrée my wife chose the Cracker-Crusted Oysters and loved them.

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My wife added Braised Collard Greens as a side. She said they were the best she has had.

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I ordered the Shrimp & Grits with a Grilled Andouille Sausage.The grits were smooth and creamy with shrimp cooked perfectly. The Andouille had a great spicy flavor. This is the best Cajun food I have had and probably the finest Cajun food found outside of New Orleans.

Service was great and the noise level was low on the Thursday night we were there. They have 30 minute call ahead in place of reservations and some covered outside seating. They have live entertainment often and a vibrant bar scene.

RAMMY Awards 2017

Here is a list of the 2017 Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington award winners. Congratulations to all the recipients.

New Restaurant of the Year: Hazel

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: minibar by José Andrés

Chef of the Year: Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

Pastry Chef of the Year: Jemil Gadea, Masseria

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Ryan Ratino, Ripple

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Proof

Casual Restaurant of the Year: Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen

Upscale Brunch of the Year: Convivial

Employee of the Year: Joseph Cassis, PassionFish Bethesda

Manager of the Year: John Grace, The Hamilton

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: DC Brau Brewing Company

Restaurateur of the Year: Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos, Brett Schulman, Cava Group, Inc.

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

Casual Brunch of the Year: Republic

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: Cava Grill

Beer Program of the Year: Jack Rose Dining Saloon

Cocktail Program of the Year: Kapnos by Mike Isabella

Wine Program of the Year: Charlie Palmer Steak

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc.

Service Program of the Year: The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Dizzy Fest 2017 – Better Than Ever

Dizzy Pig
11301 Braden Drive
Manassas, VA 20109
(703) 273-3580
https://dizzypigbbq.com/

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The first Dizzy Fest of 2017 was a hit. Held at Dizzy Pig’s new manufacturing and retail facility, it had the usual wide selection of teams cooking a variety of specialty BBQ on Big Green Eggs.

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As usual the event was sold out and food went fast. But with cookers preparing several dishes there was plenty for everyone making the rounds.

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I started the day with an amazing Pancake in a Cone with Maple Cream and Bacon prepared by the always innovative Western Maryland Cookers.

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Great Breakfast Egg Rolls

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Awesome smoked deviled eggs.

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Great pastrami breakfast sandwich.

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New this year at Dizzy Pig is the Gateway Drum Smoker. It does a great job smoking is less time than a Big Green Egg.

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In they go.

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Melt in your mouth, ready in about 3 hours.

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Owner Chris Capell always draws a crowd for his classes.

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I wanted to leave you with a parting shot of what you missed. Tickets for the next Dizzy Fest will go fast so follow them on Facebook at https://dizzypigbbq.com/dizzyfest/. You don’t want to miss out on some of the finest BBQ on the East coast.

2017 JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards

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2017 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards

Best New Restaurant
Le Coucou
NYC

Outstanding Baker
Mark Furstenberg
Bread Furst
Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Bar Program
Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
New Orleans

Outstanding Chef
Michael Solomonov
Zahav
Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Ghaya Oliveira
Daniel
NYC

Outstanding Restaurant
Topolobampo
Chicago

Outstanding Restaurateur
Stephen Starr
Starr Restaurants (Le Coucou, Serpico, Upland, and others)
Philadelphia

Outstanding Service
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, NY

Outstanding Wine Program
Canlis
Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional
Sam Calagione
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, DE

Rising Star Chef of the Year
Zachary Engel
Shaya
New Orleans

Best Chef: Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH)
Sarah Grueneberg
Monteverde
Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic (D.C., DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Greg Vernick
Vernick Food & Drink
Philadelphia

Best Chef: Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
Kevin Nashan
Sidney Street Cafe
St. Louis

Best Chef: New York City (Five Boroughs)
Marco Canora
Hearth

Best Chef: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NY State, RI, VT)
Andrew Taylor and Mike Wiley
Eventide Oyster Co.
Portland, ME

Best Chef: Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)
Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton and Greg Denton
Ox
Portland, OR

Best Chef: South (AL, AR, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, FL, LA, MS)
Rebecca Wilcomb
Herbsaint
New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
Steven Satterfield
Miller Union
Atlanta

Best Chef: Southwest (AZ, CO, NM, OK, TX, UT)
Hugo Ortega
Hugo’s
Houston

Best Chef: West (CA, HI, NV)
Corey Lee
Benu
San Francisco

 

2017 America’s Classics Awards

Bertha’s Kitchen
Charleston, SC
Owners: Julia Grant, Linda Pinckney, and Sharon Coakley

Gioia’s Deli
St. Louis
Owner: Alex Donley

La Taqueria
San Francisco
Owner: Miguel Jara

Sahadi’s
Brooklyn, NY
Owners: Christine Sahadi Whelan, and Ron Sahadi

Schultz’s Crab House
Essex, MD
Owners: Karen and Bob McKinney

 

2017 JBF Humanitarian of the Year

Denise Cerreta
One World Everybody Eats
Salt Lake City

 

2017 JBF Lifetime Achievement Award

Nora Pouillon
Restaurant Nora
Washington, D.C.

Ciao Osteria an Authentic Italian Eatery

Ciao Wood-Fired Pizza & Osteria
14115 St. Germain Dr.
Centreville, VA 20121
703-543-8955
http://www.ciao-osteria.com

Italian | $$

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Tucked away in a busy Centreville strip mall is one of Northern Virginia best Italian restaurants. Ciao Osteria has received an OpenTable Diners’ Choice award in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Best of NOVA 2015 and 2016 by Northern Virginia Magazine, and 4.5 rating and Certificate of Excellence 2016 on TripAdvisor. It should go without saying, reservations are recommended.

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The delicious warm bread arrived shortly after we were seated.

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For our appetizer we chose buttermilk battered fried oysters, served on a bed of roasted corn and sweet relish. The oysters were lightly battered and cooked perfectly. They paired nicely with the corn relish.

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For her entrée, my wife chose the Lasagna di Carne. She uses lasagna as a dish by which to judge Italian restaurants and loved this one. The lasagna noodles are smothered in a hearty meat sauce with fresh ricotta and mozzarella.

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I asked the chef to choose my dish and was pleasantly surprised with this Maccheroni con Fritella, with pancetta, onions, fava beans, tossed with egg and pecorino Romano. The lightly coated fresh Maccheroni pasta was superb. The pancetta and onions give the dish that savory balance. The fava beans were a nice touch since you don’t see them on many menus these days.

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The homemade cannoli were the best I have had and reminded me of my days in New York. The traditional New York Cheesecake with a sponge cake crust was good. It was almost unfair to the cheesecake to taste the cannoli first.

Service was excellent with ample staff, attentive but not intrusive. The noise level was light but grew louder as the restaurant filled, but was never in the hard to hear range. This is a must add to your list. Half way through her lasagna my wife said, “this is not a restaurant that serves Italian food, this is an Italian restaurant.” She was so right.