News and Events

Amparo’s Christian Irabién Partners with Cotton & Reed for Ceviche-Focused Pop-up, PEPINO

Ahead of La Cosecha’s fall grand opening, an exclusive new menu of unique dishes will be available at the Union Market District distillery July 20 through August 18

This summer, Amparo owner and chef Christian Irabién is teaming
up with Cotton & Reed (1330 5th Street NE) for Pepino, a new pop-up experience showcasing ceviche-centered fare from Saturday, July 20 through Sunday, August 18.

Pepino will offer guests a preview of Irabién’s forthcoming Amparo, slated to open this fall in leading national retail real estate owner, operator and developer EDENS’ highly anticipated La Cosecha Latin market in the Union Market District. The limited-run pop-up menu will feature half a dozen exclusive dishes ranging in price from $7 to $16.

“Because this is a fish-based menu, each dish will offer a nice taste of refreshing summer fare to savor during these warm-weather months,” says Irabién. “I look forward to giving Washingtonians a fresh, fun sneak peek at Amparo before La Cosecha debuts.” “Our award-winning bar and tasting room serve only rum cocktails, so partnering with Amparo for this
pop-up felt like a natural fit and next step to add a new dimension to our distillery experience,” say Cotton & Reed founders Reed Walker and Jordan Cotton.
Pepino will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 10pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 8pm.

The Pembroke Hires Chef Harper McClure

The Pembroke has welcomed  Executive Chef Harper McClure this summer.

McClure, who will unveil a new Pembroke menu this fall, was most recently the Chef de Cuisine at Le Diplomate on 14th Street. Previously, he held Executive Chef roles at Brothers and Sisters at The Line Hotel, Brabo by Robert Wiedmaier in The Lorien Hotel and was the Executive Sous Chef at Vidalia Restaurant, all in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

McClure, a native of upstate New York, moved to D.C. in 2004 in search of access to an elevated, vibrant culinary market where he could grow his skills as a young chef.

“I am honored to join The Pembroke at this exciting moment in its brief history and look to make my mark, serve some excellent food and help take this special place to the next level,” McClure says of his new role.

The Pembroke1500 New Hampshire Avenue NW
Washington DC

The Latest Happenings from Think Food Group

barmini by José Andrés, 501 9th St NW, Washington, D.C.

mini-series | major bars: Salmon Guru

On Wednesday, July 24th, the team at Barmini will be joined by Diego Cabrera and his team from Madrid’s Salmon Guru, World’s 50 Best Bars, for their first ever event in the United States. The two bars will unite for this one-night experience featuring a menu with three signature cocktails from the award-winning bar and a collaborative cocktail developed by both concepts. Guests can expect participative cocktails, like Salmon Guru’s mezcal-based Chipotle Chillón, which comes with a choice of homemade mint or ginger lemonades on the side – leaving it up to the drinker to decide the final balance of the cocktail. Prepaid reservations ($125 per person) are available on Tock, here, with seatings available at 5:30pm or 10pm.

China Chilcano,  418 7th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Celebrate National Pisco Day at China Chilcano on Sunday, July 28 from 11am-10pm. An annual Peruvian holiday that occurs on the fourth Sunday of July, the occasion marks a celebration of the country’s famous spirit, Pisco. China Chilcano will toast the day with $5 Chilcanos, one of their signature drinks. Made with Pisco, Lime, Amargo Chuncho Bitters, and Fever-Tree Ginger Ale, the drink is a refreshing and flavorful taste of Peru. Additionally, it’s the final day of the restaurant’s Ceviche Festival, so guests are invited to sample the classic dish from an extended menu of Ceviche offerings.

Zaytinya, 701 9th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, July 23 from 6:30pm-9:00pm, Zaytinya will welcome back Bell’s Brewery for their summer edition of Bell’s Beer Dinner. An evening of Kalamazoo brews and Mediterranean mezze, Chef Michael Costa has created a unique four-course menu + dessert to pair with a delicious array of Bell’s award-winning beers, including longtime favorites and upcoming releases from their latest series Leaves of Grass, inspired by Walt Whitman. All-inclusive tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

Jaleo, Bethesda, Crystal City, and Penn Quarter

Stop by any Jaleo location from Monday, July 22nd – Sunday, August 4th  for their annual Sangria Festival. An array of sangria’s will be available, such as the Zahara Cava Sangria, which is José Andrés’ personal recipe from a trip to Zahara de los Atunes, Cádiz, Spain ($58 by the pitcher only). Small bites will also be available for purchase, including Puntillitas, Flamenquines, flautas, and Ajo blanco.

What’s on Tap at City Tap?

On Saturday, July 20, City Tap Dupont will host a Christmas in July themed drag brunch from 11am to 3pm. Guests who bring new clothes and toys to donate to Martha’s Table will receive a complimentary beer or wine. Enjoy holiday decor and brunch specials like “Bad Santa” stuffed French toast for $10 and a “Tipsy Elf” specialty cocktail for $8. Reservations can be made at City Tap Dupont. Come out and celebrate Christmas in July with Ba’Naka and her queens!

Then, on Sunday, July 21, don your flannel for City Tap Penn Quarter’s 90’s themed trivia brunch from 12-2pm offering pizza bagels and dunkaroo dip. Port City Brewing will provide a tap takeover for guests to enjoy a variety of beers, and trivia players will have the chance to win swag bags. Later that night from 6-9pm, the Acoustic Summer Sunset Series will continue with $5 glasses of rosé and select flatbreads. Then, top off your night with a beer float made with Founders Brewing Co.’s Nitro Rübæus Raspberry Ale and Dolcezza’s Berry Marscapone gelato for $11 in honor of National Ice Cream Day.

Shilling Canning Company Now Open  

Shilling Canning Company is a modern Mid-Atlantic restaurant just opened in the Yards area along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. Chef and Owner Reid Shilling serves his take on seasonal cuisine highlighting ingredients from around the Chesapeake region. The restaurant offers a polished interior with Carrara marble bar tops, dark wood and white shiplap accents, modern lighting, a gleaming copper-clad wood-burning oven, and a lush outdoor patio. Shilling Canning Company is named for Shilling’s family company of the same name, which operated in the small town of Finksburg, MD from 1935 to 1958.

Anchored in heritage, Executive Chef Reid Shilling draws inspiration from his agricultural roots and his family’s former canning business. He utilizes culinary techniques from his time in kitchens across the country, including at Chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in California, the Hillstone Restaurant Group, and The Dabney. A creative yet approachable menu showcases seasonal Mid-Atlantic ingredients from the region’s finest farmers, fishermen, and producers, with opening menu standout dishes including Preserved Garden Vegetables with buttermilk cheese, pickled green tomato, chive oil, and dill; Charred Broccolini Flatbread with ricotta, garlic confit, Aleppo pepper oil, and oregano; Autumn Olive Pork Shoulder with senate bean soup; and Elysian Fields Lamb with thick cut fries, grilled gem lettuce, and paloise-foyot.

The beverage program at Shilling Canning Company echoes the kitchen’s focus on flavors and products at their peak. Bar Director Britt Ingalls utilizes herbs and flowers from the restaurant’s garden to create shrubs, syrups, house-made tinctures, and non-alcoholic beverage offerings. A copper tower adorning the marble-topped bar features a rotating offering of beers, wines, and cocktails. Opening cocktails include the Finksburg Rickey, made with Thrasher’s Green Spiced Rum, lime juice, and house-made tonic; and Run It Up the Flagpole, featuring Copper & Kings Immature Brandy, tequila, vermouth, maraschino, and bitters.

SHILLING CANNING COMPANY360 Water Street SE, Washington, D.C.



Craft Beer Festival with 30+ Breweries and Pizza on August 3

In celebration of Virginia Craft Beer Month, Pizzeria Paradiso in Old Town will host a free beer festival along the Alexandria waterfront. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy sips from 30 different Virginia craft breweries as well as pizza slices and meatballs from Pizzeria Paradiso’s mobile brick ovens. Lawn games, splash golf, and live music will make up the one-day event creating the perfect weekend outing to enjoy local craft beer, pizza and entertainment along the Alexandria waterfront.

Participating Breweries, selected by executive beverage director, Drew McCormick include: Aleworks, Albemarle Cider, Ardent, Aslin, Blue Bee Cider, Caboose, Champion, Crooked Run, Commonwealth, Fair Winds, Hardywood, Lickinghole Creek, Lost Rhino, Old Bust Head, Old Ox, Ono, Port City, Rocket Frog, Solace, Vasen, and more.

 Partial proceeds from the festival will benefit the Old Town Business Association.

 Saturday, August 3rd from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 Waterfront Park, 1 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Due to Metro closures, alternative transportation such as Water Taxi, Metro Bus, Capital Bikeshare or ride share services are advised. Guests can take advantage of a special summer $2 all-day rate at City-owned garages and surface lots.

 Tickets for beer are $6 and food tickets are $5 each and can be purchased with cash or credit card at the event.


Pizzeria Paradiso opened in Dupont Circle in November 1991 and today includes locations in Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, Spring Valley, and Hyattsville, Maryland. Owner and founder Ruth Gresser—who has earned praise from local and national critics throughout the company’s 28 years—is credited with popularizing Neapolitan style pizza in the DC area and helping build the District’s craft beer movement. For more information visit, like on Facebook or follow on Twitter and Instagram.

Metropolitan Washington Summer Restaurant Week Returns August 12 – August 18, 2019

Summer Restaurant Week, presented by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), makes its return to the region this August. This summer some of the area’s favorite restaurants are heating things up with multi-course $35 dinner, $22 lunch and $22 brunch menus for the promotion. Offered at more than 200 restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia, RAMW’s Summer Restaurant Week gives diners the opportunity to explore the local culinary community or revisit old favorites.

The full list of participating restaurants and their menus, as well as links to book reservations directly, will be available at before the week kicks off. Diners can opt in to RAMW’s Diner Rewards Program at to receive emails with exclusive deals from restaurants, gift card giveaways, and details on the city’s hottest culinary events.

Hot new restaurants participating in Summer Restaurant Week include:

  • The Bar at Milk and Honey;
  • Cherry;
  • CookologyBQ;
  • Fogo de Chão in North Bethesda;
  • Nama, and;
  • Punjab Grill.

Restaurant Week also sees several of the 2019 RAMMY Awards Finalist restaurants, recognized annually by RAMW for their excellence in service and dining, offering special menus. Among Restaurant Week participants signed up so far, 20+ are 2019 RAMMY Finalists and include:

  • Bindaas Cleveland Park (Casual Restaurant of the Year);
  • Bresca (Cocktail Program of the Year);
  • Centrolina (Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year);
  • Kaliwa (New Restaurant of the Year);
  • Perry’s Restaurant (Favorite Gathering Place of the Year);
  • Rasika Penn Quarter & West End (Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year);
  • Spoken English, winner of New Restaurant of the Year and finalist for Pastry Chef of the Year);
  • Sushi Taro (Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year), and;
  • Unconventional Diner, winner of two 2019 RAMMY Awards (Upscale Brunch, Pastry Chef of the Year) & finalist for Chef of the Year.

Summer Restaurant Week sponsors include Events DC, OpenTable, American Express, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Argentine Beef, Streetsense, and NBC4/Telemundo 44.

DC VegFest Serving Up Food & Fun in New Location at Nats Park

 Compassion Over Killing (COK) will present the DC VegFest on Sunday, August 11 in a brand new location: Nationals Park. The DC VegFest is a free fun-filled festival of food, music, education, and inspiration with more than 20,000 attendees who join the celebration each year.   

Featuring over 120 vendors and exhibitors, thousands of festival-goers – vegans and pre-vegans alike – will experience plant-based eating’s many flavors, and learn how each of us can protect the planet, our health, and animals simply by enjoying vegan meals. 

This year’s DC VegFest keynote speakers include:

    • Tracye McQuirter, author of By Any Greens Necessary
    • Neil Barnard, author and founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
    • Brenda Sanders, food activist and Executive Director of Afro-Vegan Society
  • Plus, cooking demos from Joe Yonan of the Washington Post, and plant-based chef Bev Kumari

A new TryVeg Tasting Booth will be hosted by Jessica Carter, COK’s talented Vegan Food & Lifestyle Coach, seen often on DC morning shows. The Kid’s Zone includes a built in playground plus we’ll be featuring activities like face painting, and an interactive cartooning demonstration with Eric Lindstrom, COK’s Director of Marketing. 

The festival will also feature an exciting new VIP Lounge where wristband holders will receive a loaded commemorative tote bag, mingle with VegFest speakers and chefs, and enjoy exclusive food and product samples, including a selection from Vegan Treats.

Since 2009, DC VegFest has been bringing the community together for a day of compassionate celebration that everyone can enjoy. This year’s exciting new location at Nats Park means even more fun: built-in shade, indoor restrooms, an awesome kids playground, and misting fans to beat the summer heat. More information on this year’s new venue can be found at

“As we embark on another year hosting the DC VegFest, expecting 25,000 to join us, Compassion Over Killing is thrilled that Washington, DC is home to an abundance of delicious and nutritious plant-based food and is setting a positive tone for a much-needed national dialogue about the far-reaching impact of our food choices on the planet, our health, and animals,” says Erica Meier, Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing. 

Vegan food will be served by dozens of vendors including Vegan Treats, Amsterdam Falafelshop, Brewing Good Coffee, Bakeshop DC, Ben & Jerry’s, and YogiDog.

Over 100 nonprofit and commercial exhibitors will set up shop for the day: Dr. Bronner’s, A Well-Fed World, Roots Market, Barnard Medical Center,, and many more.

For more information, visit

Award-Winning Fast-Casual Taïm Bringing the Best of Israeli Street Food to Washington DC

Acclaimed fast-casual restaurant Taïm opens in early August, serving up exciting, fresh, vegetarian – and mostly vegan  – Israeli street food. The first location is at 1065 Wisconsin Ave NW in Georgetown, steps off of  M Street.

Founded in 2005 by acclaimed celebrity chef Einat Admony and her husband, Stéfan Nafziger (they met when they both worked for David Bouley), the first Taïm was a shoe-box sized location, with just five seats and a counter.  It opened to immediate critical and guest praise for its high quality, delicious, made from scratch and customizable selection of pitas, platters, salads and smoothies. Since then, Taïm has grown to five locations in Manhattan. The Georgetown restaurant will be the first Taïm to open outside of New York.

“Washington, DC is the perfect location for our first venture beyond Manhattan,” says Admony. “The food scene here has gotten so exciting and diverse over the last few years, plus it’s easily accessible to our restaurants and teams in New York, allowing us to be very hands-on. “

“Taïm” means “tasty” in Hebrew, and for the last 14 years, diners in New York have been confirming that the name is spot-on. Admony’s crisp-on-the-outside, luscious-on-the-inside fried chickpea balls continue to earn enthusiastic praise from outlets such as New York magazine, ZagatNY Daily News, the New Yorker,  and Serious Eats who has stated that Taïm makes “the Best Falafel Sandwich in New York City.”

While Taïm is known for its falafel, the menu also offers Mediterranean specialties in pitas, platters and salads such as their Cauliflower Shawarma, which Admony created by substituting the traditional meat with cauliflower tossed in her own shawarma spice. It’s served with hummus, tahini and pickled onion as well as other mezzes.  They also serve Sabich – a savory concoction of fresh baked pita stuffed with eggplant, hard boiled egg, fresh chopped salad, tahini and Amba Sauce- which is made from a blend of ingredients featuring dried mango and fenugreek.

 Other vegetarian focused delights include Mediterranean mezzes such as spicy Moroccan carrots, luscious Marinated Beets, Taïm’s Famous Fries with fragrant saffron aioli or harissa ketchup, and what has been called the most impossibly creamiest hummus on the planet.   They serve several specialty salads including a special Summer Squash, Black Lentil and Tzatziki salad which is perfect and just in time for the hot and humid August days in DC.

Taïm will also bring some Tel Aviv urban-cool to DC, with custom neighborhood themed murals created by Broken Fingaz Crew, the Israeli street art collective.

Laos in Town Now Open

Owner Nick Ongsangkoon and Executive Chef Ben Tiatasin are bringing the vibrant and pungent flavors of Laos to NOMA with their new restaurant Laos in Town.

Laos in Town’s menu highlights the bright, vibrant, clean and simple flavors of the cuisine.  Fish sauce, lemongrass, galangal and ginger are just some of the flavors used to give Laotian food its distinct taste. The extensive menu features highlights like Herbal Pork Sausage, grilled minced pork sausage, mixed with rough ground herbs, served with a green chili dipping sauce on the side, as well as the LIT Signature Salad, which is one of the Chef’s favorites. The salad includes a signature papaya salad of mixed julienned green papaya, green beans, tomatoes, bean sprouts, pickles, Laos pork loaf and a mellow fermented fish sauce.  The Grilled Jumbo Prawns  with spicy lime dipping sauce appetizer is inspired by the Chef Ben’s time watching fishermen cast their nets in the Mekong river in Vientiane, the capital and largest city in Laos.  Another favorite is the Grilled Whole Fish, featuring a grilled whole branzino, stuffed with basil, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and served with steamed vermicelli noodles, spicy tamarind sauce, and tomato dipping sauce. Desserts are light and flavorful, including the Mango Sticky Rice: Pandan leaves have a sweet fragrance and taste that causes the sweet sticky rice to turn green.  It is served with fresh mango.  The Smoked Banana features grilled sliced banana with a caramelized flower sauce, served with banana flavored ice-cream.  Catering to all tastes, a full, separate vegan menu will also be available.

Steps from the H Street corridor and located under the Loree Grand at Union Place apartment building, the 95 seat dining room has a distinctly modern, airy feel. Once inside, diners are transported to the sights and smells of Laos; traditional birch trees line the walls and giant fishing traps hang from the ceiling.  Used by Laotian fisherman and a common sight in Laos, these traps are hung in every business to represent luck and prosperity, sitting outside the front door of every business to usher in financial success.  F


Laos in Town is located in the NOMA neighborhood of Washington, DC at  250 K St NE.  The phone number is 202-864-6620.  

Laos in Town will be open daily for lunch and dinner.  For more information, visit


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