Sunday Dinner @ Darnell’s Bar

My love affair with cozy bar/lounge/restaurants started in New York City.  It was there that I first really understood the importance of having an establishment that you could frequent that felt like home.  Of course, no place can replace home but after you’ve had a long day and you just need to get away from it all there is absolutely nothing like the stiff pour from your local bartender friend or the quality meal from your neighborhood restaurant to bring you back from the brink…to let you know that all is right with the world…to let you know that there’s nothing that another day can’t make better. 

If you’re in Washington DC or plan on visiting soon I would like to introduce you to Darnell’s Bar, an unassuming come-as-you-are bar/lounge located at 944 Florida Avenue that will certainly lighten your spirits.

It’s quite possible to overlook the place as there isn’t a large sign on the outside, but don’t be surprised if the owner, Darnell, sees you walking past and waves you inside to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat and if it’s Sunday, experience Sunday Dinner.

I literally spent the entire weekend at Darnell’s.  Friday night I celebrated my girlfriend’s birthday there, Saturday evening was an extension of the prior night and the breeze that blessed the outdoor patio was right out of a fabulous vacation…finally on Sunday night I had to come back to Darnell’s to experience Sunday Dinner first-hand.      

Green beans, rice, salmon, a shrimp cream sauce to pour over the rice and salmon, flavorful (and moist) baked chicken, meatballs, rolls, pound cake, chocolate cake, spinach dip, artisan crackers, strawberries, grapes…I was in heaven and the sweetest thing about it all is that the Sunday dinner (while it lasts!) comes from Darnell’s heart, meaning that at the moment it’s complimentary to all patrons. 

Good food, good people and refreshing cocktails are a recipe for amazing memories, I look forward to making many more here…

Darnell prepping Sunday Dinner and refreshing a lovely lady’s beverage!

Artist, renaissance gentleman, and fellow patron Joe Ruffin shares one of his sketches over a cocktail

– Enjoy!

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Hello My Name is Christina and I’m a Foodie.

A couple of weeks ago my mother made it home safely from a pilgrimage to South Africa.  She spent about 10 days roaming through the country, going on safari, taking in the beauty of Cape Town and Pretoria…her trip sounded amazing.  So what does it say about me that one of the things that I was most excited about, as she recalled her experience, was her culinary journey through South Africa? 

I guess it says that I am a foodie. 

My mother started it!  I was fortunate enough to get a phone call from her while she was on holiday (I’ve wanted to say that) and I got excited when I heard her say “the food in South Africa is amazing, we’ve been eating our way through this trip!” 

Call me an ignorant American or be a bit more gentle and say that I’m not as well-traveled as me mum (I occasionally like to have a British accent as well), but when I think of South Africa I just don’t think of hearty meals.  I don’t think of food at all really.  I think of beautiful scenery.  I think of Nelson Mandela and I think of a rich history full of turmoil and triumph.  But I must say, when my mother said that the food was amazing I could not wait for her to get back home and share her experience with me in photos.

My mother did indeed do a nice job of capturing her experience.  I saw the amazing scenery from Kruger National Park…hippos, giraffes, elephants – oh my!  Her hotel accommodations were very nice.  The pictures of the bustling metropolis of Pretoria and the beautiful coast line in Cape Town were breathtaking. 

DS Download:  My mother had an unforgettable experience; however, there was not one photo that captured these “amazing meals” that she spoke of.  I kept waiting for one of her meals to come up on the screen, but it never happened.  I was actually at work yesterday thinking that I needed to call my mother and have a serious conversation about the importance of capturing the entire experience.  Enjoying a beautiful meal in a foreign country is a part of experiencing that country’s culture.  It is just as important as capturing images of scenery and of the people.  My mother definitely made up for it by bringing back some cool tokens from her trip…earrings, glasses, and a vuvuzela – which I am in love with.  For those of you that don’t know what a vuvuzela is it’s the “instrument” that is used at soccer games that creates that intense buzzing noise that makes the game so hard to watch (for me at least, see image below).

Although my mother did not take her own culinary photos I was determined to dig some up, so here goes…if this is what South African cuisine is like – I must go there!!!  – Enjoy


The Great Thing About the Weekend…

The most beautiful thing about the weekend is that you don’t have to make plans, you can do everything or do nothing and at the moment I’m somewhere in between the two. 

 I’ve got a J.Crew gift card to spend and the money is about to burn a hole in my pocket!  Despite the negative reviews I still want to see Eat, Pray, Love – lunch and movies with a girlfriend is always a great way to spend a weekend…and I’m really hoping to have a nice (inexpensive) glass of red wine this weekend, maybe a Malbec or a Montepulciano.  If you’re tired of white wine and looking to do something different put one of those wines on your list.     

It’s been a while since I’ve written (long story, I’ll explain at some point) but I’m hoping that this is the beginning of me getting my mojo back!

To weekends, wonderful time with friends, and wine. 

What are you doing this weekend?

 – Enjoy!