Baked and Wired – A Georgetown Must!

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

There is certainly no shortage of coffee and cupcake shops in Washington, but one of my absolute favorites is a local gem in Georgetown known as Baked and Wired.  Sometimes you need that extra boost and on those days, my colleagues and I know exactly where to go.  Most visitors never notice the shop; located on an off the beaten path on Thomas Jefferson St, just south of the canal in Georgetown.  But locals know, the variety of homemade baked goods, breakfast items, ice cream sandwiches, coffee and tea will have you hooked in no time!

Baked & Wired Street View Resized

All of the baked goods are made in small batches with the finest ingredients so you can truly taste the quality.  They even offer gluten free and vegan friendly items for those following strict diets!  I love their signature Cakecups.  Described as “whimsical, rustic and delicious,” I highly suggest the Carrot Cake, Unicorns & Rainbows, Red Velvet and Texas Sheetcake.

Similar to The Grill Room at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, Baked and Wired uses locally sourced ingredients, like their fresh milk and cream from Kreider Farms of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  The fresh dairy products are seriously the secret behind the most delicious lattes, macchiatos and cappuccinos.

Baked & Wired Cakecups Resized

The breakfast quiche are dangerously good and another favorite of mine.  In fact, I’ve made it a tradition to treat myself to a “Manly” every other Friday.  This quiche has bacon, sausage and Gruyere cheese in a creamy egg custard and homemade crust.  There’s also a caramelized onion & goat cheese and mixed veggie quiches, which are both scrumptious.  You must taste one the next time you’re staying at Capella D.C.

Quiche Menu Baked & Wired Resized

With the fall season just around the corner, my friends at the shop gave me a sneak peek of what’s in store.  First, we can look forward to homemade “Chider,” a mix of chai and apple cider.  Next up, pumpkin doughnut muffins and pumpkin swirl brownies, I cannot wait!

Baked and Wired has become so popular at our hotel that we have even offered specialty cakecups as a sweet treat and welcome amenity for Capella guests.  Be sure to let your Personal Assistant know your preference so they can make sure you have it to enjoy each time you come back.  For more mouth watering updates, be sure to follow Baked and Wired on Instagram.

Like what you see? Stay tuned each month as I share insider experiences and recommendations.  As always, you can follow me, your Capella DC Insider, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Get To Know Ethan: A Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC 2

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ethan, a fantastic Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistant.  Around here, Ethan is known for being both clever and genuine.  As Ethan will be leaving the team for college shortly, I thought this was the perfect time to hear a bit about his experience as a Personal Assistant.

D.C. Personal Assistant

Tell me about yourself. What are two experiences that have made you who you are today?

I am 19 years old and come from a family that has always been involved in public service. My aunt was Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy advisor for a large number of years and my parents own a gas station in Pennsylvania. I’ve grown up seeing guest interactions firsthand and have always had a passion for business, especially the dynamic industries where no two days are alike.  Guests come and go, but you want to make a memorable impression on them and that’s what draws me to hospitality.

Can you tell me about a time where you planned and executed a memorable and unique experience for our guests here at Capella Washington, D.C.?

We had an influential author and his family who expressed interest in taking a tour of Washington, D.C.  They originally were looking at the big bus and the old town trolley, but I told them that the best way to tour the city is by foot underneath the city lights.  I put together a walking guide that started out on the Potomac River Waterfront, to the National Mall and everything in-between. I made sure to include unique destinations that they would not find on the Internet, such as the Watergate complex, giving insight on the Nixon Scandal and many more destinations sharing Washington’s history.  The guest loved how we personalized all the information, with walking directions, maps and suggestions. The next day, the author signed a copy of his book to show his appreciation. I love having guests that stay with us for more than three days for instance. This is when you really have the opportunity to learn about them and establish a connection to give them that home away from home feeling.

Ethan Personal Assistant CWDC

How do you wow a guest?

I think you wow a guest by what you do when they are not around.  Often times it is the least verbally appreciated things we do, but it’s those little things over the course of the stay that establishes that wow factor.  Getting it right on the first try and picking up on small details is crucially important.

Being so young and hungry, what motivates you about working at Capella D.C.?

I believe in the product. I think it’s really easy to work hard when you love your job. You love your job when you really believe in it. When you have a property as amazing as this and a team as great as this it comes naturally. Each one of us goes above and beyond for every single guest and that’s what inspires me to keep striving for success.

What will you take away most with you from Capella D.C. experience when you move onto hotel school at Cornell?

I will always live, breathe and sleep by the Capella Canon (A card that each employee carries everyday that aligns each of us behind the philosophy and mission of Capella Hotels & Resorts). The knowledge of hotel objectives and taking the time to understand individuals and personalize their experiences is something I will never forget.

What advice can you give to future guests of Capella?

The happiest guests who stay with us are the ones who take the time to speak with their Personal Assistant prior to their arrival. In order to be certain that we have all our guests’ preferences and details, the guest conversation is very important. When your Personal Assistant calls you, these few minutes can make the difference between having transportation arrangements, personalized newspapers in your room, refreshment center stocked with your favorite food and drinks and even a family photo to welcome you. Our service will always be exceptional, but with the support of guest preferences, we can tailor your experience in a personalized way, just how you like it.  This is what we consider luxury.

For more information about Capella Personal Assistant services and how to get in touch with them, please e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com or call 202-617-2416.

Tuna Tartar With Coriander Pesto

rsz_thunfischtatar_mama

Because of Dusseldorf’s close ties with Japan, the team at Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel is always looking for ways to fuse Japanese and German culture together.  Most recently Executive Chef Philipp and Japanese Chef Nao collaborated on a dish with this very thought in mind.  The result, a delicious take on Tuna Tartar featuring a Coriander pesto.

I was lucky enough to try the creation and immediately fell in love.  The exotic and regional ingredients came together beautifully for a delicious take on German-Japanese fusion cuisine.

Are you ready to give it a try?  Even if you can’t join me at Brasserie “1806“ you can enjoy this dish at home by following the recipe below.

rsz_thunfischtatar_mama

Tuna Tartar With Coriander Pesto
for 4 people

Coriander Pesto

Ingredients:
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 diced shallot
- 1 diced clove of garlic
- 8 diced, dried and pickled filets of tomato
- soy sauce
- roasted sesame oil
- 25g sugar

Preparation:
First, sweat the shallot with the sesame oil in a pan until it is soft.  Add the garlic and roast everything so that it begins to develop an aroma.  Stir in the tomatoes and sugar.  Once the sugar has dissolved, deglaze the pan with the soy sauce.  Now, let it reduce until it begins to thicken.  Allow mixture to cool as you chop the coriander.  Finally, mix everything together, adding more soy sauce to taste.

Soy Marinade

Ingredients:
- 100ml soy sauce
- 100ml simple syrup 100% (boil water : sugar relation 1:1 up and chilling)
- 50ml rice vinegar
- 50ml water
- 50ml thistle oil (or olive oil)
- mixed baby greens to garnish

Preparation:
Blend all ingredients except for the greens in a blender.  Then toss the marinade with the greens.

Tuna Tatar

Ingredients:
- 400g sushi grade tuna filet
- 1 diced shallot
- 1 lime (use the grate of the peel and the juice)
- ½ bunch of chives, finely chopped
- the above soy marinade
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Dice the tuna and put it into a bowl.  Add the shallot, chives, grated lime peel and juice.  Add the previously explained soy marinade. Season it with pepper and salt.

Finally, arrange the tartar in middle of a plate, drop the coriander pesto around it and garnish it with the marinated salad.

 

Enjoy!

Screen On The Green At The National Mall

Screen On The Green

Summer has finally arrived and there’s no better place to be than the Nation’s Capital!  Every year I count down the days until summer along with all of the activities it brings.  One of the most popular summer happenings among the locals and visitors alike is Screen on the Green, a chance to watch classic films hosted by HBO and Comcast on a gigantic movie screen on the National Mall overlooking the United State Capitol Building.

Screen On The Green

This complimentary outdoor event goes a little something like this: Gather a few of your friends on Monday night and head to the Mall around 5 or 6 pm to get a good seat.  Bring a blanket (no chairs) and a picnic basket for dinner and some dessert. Next, watch the sunset over the Capitol Building as you anxiously wait for the movie to begin.  My favorite moments are gazing up at the stars while the movie is rolling and seeing all the happy faces surrounding me.  This event makes for a fantastic summer evening and perfect way to enjoy this beautiful landmark, attracting over 15,000 people to each showing since 1999.

The schedule is out for this summer; take a look at the lineup:

July 21 – The Karate Kid (1984)

July 28 – Lover Come Back (1961)

August 4 – Key Largo (1948)

August 11 – A Soldier’s Story (1984)

Screen On The Green 2

The best way to get to the National Mall is by Metro.  The closest stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza.  Public parking is very limited in this part of the city.  On-street parking in Washington, DC is restricted during the evening rush hour.

Of course, if you are a guest at Capella Washington, D.C. you Personal Assistant can arrange both the picnic supplies and the ride.  For more information contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

I will be sure to share my visits to Screen On The Green on Twitter, but you can also follow the hashtag #SOTG2014 for updates.

 

One Year Anniversary Of Capella Washington, D.C.

Bruce Bradley, Horst Schulze, Alex Obertop

March 22nd marks the One Year Anniversary of Capella Washington, D.C. and I can’t help but think back nostalgically to all the incredible successes we’ve experienced thus far!  Each day leading to opening was a dense mix of excitement, fear, and amazement as we prepared to open the first Capella branded property in the United States.  I invite you to take a look at a few of my favorite memories from this last year that attribute to all of our achievements thus far!

Bruce Bradley, Horst Schulze, Alex Obertop

Prior to opening, the entire Capella Hotels And Resorts corporate office came to Washington, D.C. for employee orientation.  Over a ten day period known as “Countdown” we participated in a variety of activities, not only meant for team building, but also to help us better understand Capella culture, which truly sets us apart from all other hotel companies.  What fascinated me about orientation was that each employee had the opportunity to learn from Mr. Horst Schulze.  It’s not every day when you have the chance to have one-on-one conversations with your CEO!  It became clear that working at Capella Washington, D.C. meant that I was part of a great company that truly believed in creating excellence.

Steak Dinner The Grill Room

I’ll also never forget the days and weeks we all spent tasting and sampling dishes in the kitchen with Executive Chef of The Grill Room, Jakob Esko!  I was sitting in my office when I received a call from Chef saying, “come to the kitchen at noon, we are voting on the best steaks to select for the restaurant.”  It was amazing to be included in this fun and delicious process, selecting the beef with the best flavor, prime grade, aging, and tenderness.  Now, when I see how much guests love The Grill Room’s variety of unique, seasonally inspired dishes and steaks, I think back to those moments in pre-opening and I feel special knowing I was part of the conceptualizing and creation of the menu that our guests know and love today.

I’ve also loved the relationships we’ve built over the past year.  Establishing partnerships with The Washington Ballet, Resident Stylist, April Yvonne, Fuse Pilates, Luigi Parasmo Salon, and most recently, The University of Maryland for the Capella Constellation Series has been an incredible journey of creating unique and personalized guest experiences.  I am thrilled to be a part of a hotel that offers a wide span of activities in the world of theater, fashion, style, food & wine, astronomy, and much more!

I am so excited to welcome guests on Wednesday, March 26th as we celebrate our One Year Anniversary at the Rye Bar at Capella Washington, D.C. from 5:00-7:00pm.  As a sign of our gratitude, each guest will receive one Rye Bar spring themed cocktail upon arrival as well as passed canapés! Thank you for making the past year a fantastic one, and I look forward to seeing you at our celebration!

4 Tips to a Healthier 2014 From Your Capella DC Insider

Tips To a Healthier You

The New Year means new resolutions, and of course some of the most popular resolutions are wellness related.  Jumping on that bandwagon, I decided to take a look around Georgetown and Capella Washington, D.C. to find some fun ways to incorporate health into every day life in 2014.  There is so much to do here and coming up with some ideas was easy!  Here are my 4 tips to a healthier 2014:

Tips To a Healthier You

1.  Warm Water Therapy
Studies have shown that warm water treatment lowers blood pressure, relieves fatigue, repairs tissue faster, and relieves pain.  I couldn’t agree more and fortunately for me, the heated rooftop pool here at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown is just a few steps away!  I can’t think of anything more relaxing than warmth, water movement and buoyancy of the infinity pool.  Sounds simple, but I can assure you that after this therapeutic activity your body will feel incredible.  Not to mention, you won’t need to worry about distractions since the rooftop is exclusive to guests only.

2.  Fruit & Vegetable Juicing
Juicing is a fun & easy way to shower your body with concentrated amounts of nutrient-packed vegetables and fruits, minerals, and antioxidants.  The Grill Room’s Juice Bar offers an assortment of fresh squeezed juices, which are my great when I am feeling rundown.  One of my absolute favorites is the green apple, lemon, and spinach.  Here’s the recipe for you to try at home:

Ingredients:
2 Green Apples
Half a Lemon
Handful of Spinach

Directions: Use your juicer to extract the juices from each ingredient.  Stir together and enjoy.  Try to make sure your ingredients are cold before juicing to ensure an extra delicious cold, crisp flavor.

3.  Pilates
Of course one of the keys to getting healthy is getting active.  Pilates is a great workout that can be tailored to most fitness levels and does a great job of addressing your whole body.  Here at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, we’ve joined forces with Fuse Pilates to redefine how travelers exercise while on the road.  Guests at the hotel can choose to workout with a dedicated instructor in the privacy of their room or they can head to the rooftop for morning sunrise Pilates classes.

4.  Get Outside
There is nothing better than combining fresh air with physical activity.  And here is Georgetown, the C&O Canal is the perfect backdrop.  Best part?  It is located just outside Capella’s doors!  There is so much to experience on the canal including hiking, biking, jogging, riding horses, and observing wildlife while building a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit.

I hope you enjoyed my insider tips for wellness as we ring in 2014!  For more information on any of these activities contact your Capella Personal Assistant at 202-617-2415 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

Happy New Year!