Behind the Scenes at the Rye Bar Cocktail Class

Rye Bar Limeade

This summer the Rye Bar at Capella D.C. introduced its’ signature Cocktail Series, led by head bartender Angel Cervantes.  Held monthly on Saturday’s, this social event is full of cocktail creations, experiments and tastings all while learning the tricks of the Rye Bar trade from Angel himself.  I finally had the chance to attend myself and can’t wait to share a few of my favorite moments:

Rye Bar Limeade

The class consisted of about 15 guests including Angel, spaciously seated in Capella’s luxurious Executive Boardroom.  The first cocktail Angel created to kick off the class was his signature shared “Rye Limeade,” using a fifth of Filibuster Rye and bittersweet red liqueur, Campari.  This concoction was a fan favorite and set the tone perfectly for the rest of the class (see full recipe below).

To be the best at home bartender you need a few simple tools to mix, strain, squeeze, and infuse your cocktail.  Angel supplied all these tools for us to use, which definitely made a difference in the overall flavor and consistency of the cocktail!

Rye Bar Cocktail Series

Without giving too much away, Angel shared with us the four elements of a handcrafted cocktail.  Each one adds depth and flavor that you can’t find on your average bar menu.  There are plenty of amazing places in D.C. to find a fantastic cocktail, but Angel really sets the Rye Bar apart using Rye Whiskey as the focal point, and three other signature elements to naturally balance flavors.  Simultaneously Angel is generating new awareness and likability with Rye cocktails with many cocktailians traveling to the Nation’s Capital.

Rye Bar Limeade

Filibuster Rye 1 ½ oz

Lime Juice ½ oz

Campari ½ oz

Lavender Infused Simply Syrup 1 oz

To reserve your seats at the next Rye Bar Cocktail Class, be sure to contact your Capella Events team at 202-617-2429 or e-mail elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.  Get ready to experience how to create the wow factor in your cocktails and taste flavors that are exciting and unique to your palate.  Following the cocktail class is an excellent 3-course dinner with cocktail pairings in The Grill Room as well a signature Rye Bar takeaway gift!

Summer’s Freshest Food Finds at The Grill Room

The Grill Room Chesapeake Rockfish

When I dine at Capella Washington, D.C.’s The Grill Room, one thing is for certain.  The food put in front of me is always composed of the freshest ingredients available. This summer I’ve had the pleasure to be introduced to a variety of locally sourced dishes that have kept me feeling nutritious and fit!  In the spirit of bikini season and health awareness, I want to take a moment to share three fresh food finds being offered at The Grill Room this summer…

Starter: Roasted peach & burrata with hydroponic lettuce, sprouts and drizzled with lavender honey vinaigrette

This dish is full of sweet and savory flavors, and makes for the perfect summertime appetizer.  The Grill Room peaches are locally sourced from Crown Orchard in Charlottesville, Virginia as well as Fifer Orchards in Delaware.  The Maryland Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella and cream from Kreider Farms in Lancaster, PA.

Roasted Peach & Burrata

Lunch Entrée: Jumbo lump crab cake sandwich with tomato, avocado and tarter sauce in between a brioche bun with cracked rye.

This sandwich is full of Chesapeake Bay jumbo lump blue crabmeat from The Crab Place in Crisfield, Maryland. Known for its sweet taste and hearty texture, the meat from the blue crab is a true taste sensation. This premium grade crabmeat consists of whole lumps of white meat from the body of the crab with absolutely no shell or cartilage.  This has to be one of my favorite summer dishes using one of Maryland’s finest treasures.  Enjoy this with a cold glass of La Crema Chardonnay.

The Grill Room Crabcake Sandwich

Dinner Entrée: Chesapeake Bay Rockfish with parsley & celery broth, artichoke & tomato ragout topped with bacon.

Rockfish is the official fish of the state of Maryland, one of Washington, D.C.’s close neighbors.  It is considered a delicacy to many natives due to its firm texture and mild, sweet flavor.  Anything with artichokes in my opinion is absolutely delicious, especially when topped with the tomato ragout, herb and vegetable broth, and a hint of bacon.

The Grill Room Chesapeake Rockfish

I hope you enjoy these wonderful dishes for a quick weekday lunch or weekend date night this summer.  Don’t forget to reserve your seat on the outdoor patio adjacent to the C&O Canal!  For the complete menu, be sure to visit www.thegrillroomdc.com.  For reservations, call 202-617-2424.

 

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2014

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

47 years ago, the first Smithsonian Folklife Festival was initiated in Washington, D.C.  Today, the Festival has become a national and international living cultural heritage expedition, home to over 250 artists and over 1 million visitors from all around the world.  I am so ready for this year’s lineup, kicking off June 25 to 29 and July 2 to 6 on the National Mall.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The theme of the program this year will be China: Tradition and the Art of Living and Kenya: Mambo Poa!  The China program emphasizes the themes of BALANCE and REUNION, processes of more profound importance than ever in China.  The program will also feature seasonal festival traditions, emphasize the exuberance of public life, share the meaning and preparation of Chinese foodways, engage visitors in craft and performance workshops, and highlight the country’s cultural diversity.

The Kenya: Mambo Poa program will present the ways in which the people of Kenya are balancing protection of their valued cultural and natural heritage with the challenges and opportunities for change in the twenty-first century.  Festival visitors will be able to interact with exemplary craftspeople who work with everything from clay to soapstone to recycled materials, learn about important fossil discoveries and so much more!

Smithsonian Folklife Festival China

What I love most about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is the opportunity to meet carriers of cultural traditions in a very personal way.  You will have the chance to ask questions and engage with participants to hear their unique insider stories and experiences.  It amazes me to think how Washington, D.C. has become the quintessential cultural center, home to so many diverse groups.  This Festival is a time to learn and appreciate our fellow Americans and their family sagas from generation to generation.

To get myself ready, I’ve been listening to the Smithsonian Music of China and Music of Kenya playlists.

There is no admission charge to the Festival.  I highly suggest dressing for hot and humid weather- summer will be in full effect!  Parking around the Mall is extremely limited, so you are advised to use Metrorail.  Your Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant is of course on hand to arrange transportation services to and from the Festival as well.  I look forward to seeing you there!

A 4th Of July History Lesson From Capella DC

Fourth of July Capella DC

Just imagine what Washingtonians of years past would have thought of our upcoming July 4th rooftop experience at Capella Washington, D.C.!  Georgetown is after all, one of the most historic of American towns and it is especially rich in 4th of July history.  Did you know for instance that on July 4, 1828, President John Quincy Adams officiated the groundbreaking ceremonies at the C&O Canal with the musical accompaniment of the US Marine band?  And back in 1850, Washingtonian William Gordon wrote this about his fourth of July experience at Parrott’s Woods in Georgetown, in his book, “Recollections of a Boyhood in Georgetown.”

Fourth of July Capella DC

“On arriving at the woods the day was celebrated. Patriotic songs were sung, the Star Spangled Banner never being omitted, and addresses made by young college graduates. Later in the day speeches were made by the elders. Townsmen of all classes participated, and barrels of lemonade and abundance of eatables of every kind were provided; everything was free and all were welcomed. After a somewhat strenuous day parents and children returned home tired out but patriotically happy.”

There is no better place to celebrate America’s independence than our nation’s capital.  The Fourth of July Parade is one of my favorites!

More interesting July 4th facts:

1801 – The first public Fourth of July reception at the White House occurs.

1848 – In Washington, D.C., the laying of the cornerstone of the Washington Monument takes place with the President James Madison, First Lady Dolly Madison and other VIPs in attendance.

1947 – In Washington, D.C., the July Fourth ceremony at the monument grounds is televised for the first time.

1964 – A recorded reading of the Declaration of Independence by slain President John F. Kennedy is broadcast over radio airwaves. In Prescott, AZ., Senator Barry Goldwater rides a horse in the annual Frontier Days Rodeo parade.

1966 – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act into law.

Source: James R. Heintze. Librarian, American University, Washington, D.C. 

4th of July Capella DC

All I can say is that we’re aligning the stars and stripes once again for a most patriotic 4th of July weekend.  Our exclusive rooftop bar & lounge is the perfect location to view fireworks and enjoy a variety of handcrafted cocktails.

Our overnight package includes:

  • Overnight stay in one of our luxurious accommodations of your choice with views of the C&O Canal and historic Georgetown
  • VIP access to our private rooftop bar, lounge and infinity pool
  • Viewing of the National Firework Celebration
  • Live musical entertainment
  • Capella’s Culinary Team will have delicious barbecue action stations from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, for $49 per person and $29 for children. (All food and beverage orders are charged separately from the Fourth of July package)
  • Breakfast the next morning in The Grill Room.

To reserve this incredible experience at Capella Washington, D.C., please contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail res.dc@capellahotels.com.

To book today, please click here.

www.capelladcjuly4.com

Cocktail Inspiration For Memorial Day And Beyond

Rye Bar Summer Cocktails

With Memorial Day weekend in close reach, families and friends in Washington, D.C. gear up for a variety of festivities to honor the veterans and famous Americans who have served our country.   This holiday also marks the launch of the summer season, a stretch of many special ceremonies, concerts, festivals, performances, and much more!

At Capella Washington, D.C. I’ll be soaking up the long holiday weekend with a batch of warm weather-ready, refreshing cocktails prepared by my favorite bartender, Angel Cervantes!  To give you a brief background, Angel Cervantes began bartending in the late 1980’s at various restaurants in and around Georgetown.  In 1995 he took the helm as Head Bartender at Mark Miller’s “Red Sage”.  After some time he moved to be Head Bartender at “Shelly’s Backroom” in 2002 and then in 2004 took on the position at Michele Richard’s “Citronelle” where he continued to impress and enjoy the company of Georgetown locals until it closed its doors in 2011.  Angel has been at the Rye Bar at Capella Washington D.C. since spring 2013!

Angel Cervantes Picture

Angel and Food & Beverage Manager, Will Rentschler have created a brand new summer cocktail menu for guests to enjoy in the Rye Bar, The Grill Room, Rooftop Bar & Lounge, and the outdoor terrace on the C&O CanalCapella D.C. is truly my favorite place to be in Georgetown, not just because of the gorgeous location, but also because of the personalized service and the unique variety of offerings created each season.  A prime example is Angel’s signature Rye Bar Cocktail Series and workshop, where guests and locals have a chance to learn and craft fun, seasonal cocktails while enjoying a delicious dinner afterwards in The Grill Room.  The cocktail series continues this summer and I highly suggest you reserve your seat fast!

Rye Bar Summer Cocktails

I had a chance to get a sneak preview of the summer cocktail menu and wanted to share this exclusive recipe with you!

“Imperfect” Martini

Half Moon Gin 1 oz

Templeton Rye 1 oz

Pimm’s liqueur 1/4 oz

Lemon Juice 1/2 oz

Simple Syrup 1 oz.

Splash of Luxardo Cherry Juice

Splash of Champagne

Preparation: Combine each ingredient together in a pint glass with ice then stir with a metal bar spoon until chilled.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a Luxardo cherry wrapped in a lemon twist.  Cheers!

If you plan to visit Capella this spring & summer, I invite you to try our new cocktails at the Rye Bar, or partake in a Rye Bar cocktail class with our Head Bartender, Angel and create your own!  For more information and reservations please contact us at 202-617-2424, or send an email to the Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistants at pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

The Washington Ballet Presents Peter Pan

peter_pan_the_washington_ballet

I love Capella Washington, D.C’s partnership with The Washington Ballet and Artistic Director, Septime Webre.  When I first learned that Septime was creating a new whimsical production of the classic fairy tale, Peter Pan, I could not wait to make my reservations!  With my companion’s birthday just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate spring with an outdoor seafood dinner and ballet at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

We parked our car at Capella Washington, D.C. for an early dinner on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in April.  Capella Personal Assistant, Donovan Trott, had already reserved our tickets and had them ready for us when we arrived.  Donovan made us reservations at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Restaurant located two blocks away at the Georgetown Washington Harbour waterfront.  We thanked Donovan and took a beautiful walk to Tony & Joe’s.  I love this restaurant not only for the tasty local seafood, but also because of the legendary location in Georgetown, looking over the Potomac River boardwalk, Kennedy Center, Key Bridge, and across the water to Virginia.

Tony_&_joes_mussels_georgetown

We started off with Steamed P.E.I Mussels simmered in a tomato, basil, and chili sauce as well as fresh Rhode Island Calamari, crispy fried and served with pickled chilies and a chipotle aioli.  I loved these dishes, and for our entrees, a simple but delicious Caesar salad with chilled jumbo shrimp, yum!

After dinner, I used my iPhone to request an Uber X car to take us to The Kennedy Center for the Peter Pan ballet, just a five-minute drive down Rock Creek Trail.  The Eisenhower Theatre is beautiful, and our seats were just seven rows back from the main stage!  The ballet told the story of Peter and the Lost Boys, based on the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie.  “The story of Peter Pan is a compelling one as it reminds us to live our lives cherishing the child within,” says Artistic Director Septime Webre, “ I thought the ballet was both clever, funny and heartwarming, incorporating flying ballerinas through the air on their way to Neverland, and visually enhanced sets to create a sense of dream-like land of fantasy.

peter_pan_the_washington_ballet

The Washington Ballet is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States with choreographers and dancers from around the world. For more information regarding exclusive upcoming events this ballet season, be sure to contact your Capella Personal Assistant by calling 202-617-2400 or emailing pa.dc@capellahotels.com.