Sunday night, I swooped into the Hilton McLean in Tysons to hang out with Elite Yelpers and specially chosen guests for the super swanky Yelp Fire and Ice Ball. The event raised money for the SPCA and offered tons of freebies, great bites, and non-stop entertainment. Some of my favorite local spots participated, including Ruth's Chris, Harth, True Food Kitchen at Mosaic District, and Chasin' Tails. Gretchen threw a great event - and you can follow all the fun by checking out #YELPfireiceball on Instagram.
I went to an 8am breakfast with the Washington Business Journal.... and when it was over I stayed and mingled with a few guests at the bar. Never too early for a spicy Bloody Mary @FoundingFarmers! #FFtysons
Last week, we made a reservation at the Maggiano's in Tysons Corner to do a tasting of their "Lighter Take" menu. I've got Italian in my blood -- so you know I'm all about trying to find a way to eat pasta without consuming 2000 calories in one sitting.
The Lighter Take menu at Maggiano's takes 11 of their classis dishes and cuts the calories up to 50% by doing things such as using lemon zest instead of lemon butter, pan searing instead of deep frying, and serving fresh, hand cut fettuccini that uses less oil. But, unlike other restaurants that lessen the portion size to give you the caloric discount -- the portions at Maggiano's Lighter Take menu are the same size portions as their regular menu, so you don't feel like you're cheating yourself!
Available at Lunch and dinner, you can enjoy Maggiano's "lighter take" on 11 classic dishes:
Lighter Take Baked Ziti – 33 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Chicken Francese – 48 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Chicken Parmesan – 52 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Chicken Piccata – 51 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Chicken Marsala – 47 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Chicken Saltimbocca – 52 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Fettuccine Alfredo – 46 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Veal Marsala – 37 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Veal Parmesan – 37 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Veal Piccata – 41 percent fewer calories
Lighter Take Shrimp Fra Diavolo – 50 percent fewer calories
special thanks to the Maggiano's team for inviting us in for a complimentary tasting!
Chuy the Redfish swam into town for a sneak peek of their 2nd Chuy's in Northern Virginia opening this October at Springfield Town Center.
They served complimentary chips, salsa, queso, guacamole and their famous Creamy Jalapeño! The light bites paired perfectly with Chuy's famous fresh-squeezed lime margaritas and beer.
You can stop by when they open in October!
6793 Springfield Mall, Springfield, Virginia 22150
With so much rain on Saturday afternoon, it was a perfect day to spend reading and enjoying this picture perfect cup of coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops (and it has a wine bar!) in Northern Virignia -- Northside Social in Clarendon. Be sure to try the homemade chocolate espresso biscotti!
Before hosting Margarita Monday, I took a quick trip to Pentagon Row for the media preview of the new Bonefish Grill opening in Arlington. It was one of the nicest little events I've been to! I am very lucky as I get to meet a lot of people, PR agencies, and brands... but this time, it felt more intimate and "special" than the usual "come try me".
I was greeted with a cucumber margarita with a salt and pepper rim at the door and passed appetizers - including their notorious Bang Bang Shrimp. Then, I took a quick tour of the restaurant with one of their VP's from Orlando before we all sat down for a plated, five course tasting. Take a peek below at the deliciousness that was in front of me... YUM!
Pictured: Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad; Steak Tataki (served with the most amazing wasabi-like mustard sauce); sea bass with mango chutney, salmon with crab dynamite, and seared ahi tuna; Espresso Martini (MUST HAVE).
Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, featuring a variety of mix and match entrée salads as well as soup and salad lunch combinations starting at $6.90. Additional new lunch menu items, including the Lily’s Chicken Wrap with goat cheese and artichoke pesto, will appear alongside Bonefish Grill’s tried and true favorites like the “American Style” Kobe Beef Burger and the Bang Bang Shrimp® Tacos.
Dinner is served seven days a week: Monday through Thursday from 4 – 10:30 p.m., Friday from 4 – 11:30 p.m., Saturday from 3 – 11:30 p.m., and 3 – 10 p.m. on Sunday
Brunch will be offered Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., when diners can choose one of the restaurant’s signature eggs benedicts, like the Surf and Turf Eggs Benedict or Traditional Eggs Benedict, and other brunch items like the “American Style” Kobe Beef and Egg Burger, the Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Garden Fresh Omelet or the Organic Whole Grain Oatmeal. For health-conscious guests, all omelets can be prepared with egg white substitute upon request.
In Arlington, guests will conveniently be able to make reservations through Bonefish Grill’s new online reservation system. With a few simple clicks, you'll be able to book online at www.bonefishgrill.com/Arlington or by calling (703) 412-2837. Reservations are recommended but not required, and walk-in guests are always welcome.
Last week, I hosted a Blogger Night Out at one of my favorite hidden gems in Northern Virginia: Sterling Restaurant Supply. It used to be the Fortessa Outlet - and while they still carry Fortessa products, they have amazing deals on items for your home kitchen as well. I actually met Laura from Sterling Restaurant Supply at the PGA Family Day that I hosted a few months ago -- and when she told me about her store, I knew I had to check it out.
Laura set up a beautiful array of appetizers, adult beverages, and desserts to enjoy while we shopped, chatted, and tweeted/instagramed our night. One of my favorite pieces the store carries are these one-handed food and drink plates (pictured below). For only $4/plate, how can you go wrong?
They carry great, inexpensive items that are perfect for hostess gifts - how about a wooden cutting board and cheese knife for less than $20? I walked out of there with an 8quart stainless steel stock pot... just in case I plan on making chicken noodle soup for the entire block.
If you'd like to stop by, you can find more information and directions at www.sterlingrestaurantsupply.com. Mention Real Housewives of Northern Virginia and you'll get 10% off your purchase!
Special thanks to Laura and the Sterling Restaurant Supply team for hosting us!
Last week, I was able to score a ticket from my friends at AT&T to attend the Washingtonian Best of 2014 sponsored by AT&T. I talked my friend Nicole, owner of Belle Mode Intimates at Fairfax Corner, to come with me so I would be flying solo. The event was held at the National Building Museum and benefited the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
People from all over have told me that Washingtonian Best Of is THE event to attend each year -- from the food, performers, music and celebrity guests -- it's a can't miss event! The event was sold out (with tickets from $125-175/person!) and over 60 of DC's top restaurants were on site doing tastings and promotions. In the middle of the floor there was bar service with Patron adult beverages. They even had Patron Popsicles to greet you at the door before you entered the event. So delish!
We headed up to the private publisher's reception and I bumped into Dr. Robert Centeno from Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute and his lovely wife, Lisa. The entire event was in an Alice in Wonderland theme and there was even a "mad hatter" room where we got to pick up a custom made hat to wear around for the night.
Check out some of the pics below from the party -- I'll definitely be back next year! Thanks again to AT&T (@DCMobility) for sending me to the Washingtonian Best of 2014!
Links I Love
A Little Nosh
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