By Falls Church Times Staff
May 8, 2013
The restaurant released the following statement this morning:
Dear Patrons and Friends of Anthony’s,
It is with a heavy heart and sincere regret that we inform you that Anthony’s Restaurant will be permanently closing our location at 309 West Broad Street, Falls Church, Virginia. As a result of our lease expiring, our last day of operations will be June 2, 2013. Although we have yet to find a suitable new location, we continue our search and we hope to find a new home for Anthony’s in Falls Church. After 41 years of serving our patrons at this location, we would like to say THANK YOU for being a special part of our family and for all the wonderful memories. We will continue to serve the community at our Manassas location.
The Anthony’s Family
By Christianna Sargent
May 3, 2013
Special to the Falls Church Times
Does the word Condrieu [Cohn-dree-uh] ring a bell—the original home to Viognier, which is now Virginia’s signature grape? Condrieu is a French grape growing region that rests in southeastern France along the Rhône River and exclusively produces Viognier. The name itself is derived from the French phrase coin de ruisseau, which translates to “corner of the brook.” Despite the fact that most people are unfamiliar with Condrieu, the wines are worth seeking out and are memorable in their own right. Condrieu represents a full-bodied, exotic style of wine appropriate for spring, summer, and fall seasons that weaves a fascinating story about a grape that is for all practical purposes the anti-Chardonnay.
Condrieu is one of the great white wine regions of France and it stands as the benchmark for Viognier crafted wine, analogous to what Napa Valley is to Cabernet Sauvignon. But Condrieu is little known to the wine-drinking world at large, even though Viognier itself has become popular to grow right here in Virginia and even Australia, Chile and California. What reasoning lies behind this grape obscurity, when the general public tends to demand full-bodied, full-throttle, rich wines that explode with fruit and flavor? The answer lies in simple economics and the fact that Viognier can easily be a lackluster grape if not managed properly and crafted masterfully. Condrieu is pricey, with only a small quantity produced for the entire globe.
Viognier was once almost extinct in the 1960s, but grew in popularity as people’s palates leaned more to the adventuresome side. Virginia wineries jumped on the Viognier train over two decades ago when Horton Vineyards first released their version in 1992. Today, the grape itself is the Commonwealth’s darling grape and tourists hoard from afar to drink some of the best put forth by Horton, Barboursville, Chester Gap, Michael Shaps, Jefferson, Chyrsalis, Veritas, and Pearmund Cellars to name some of the best. Almost half (approximately 40%) of Virginia vineyards grow the Viognier grape. However, this darling vine is not the greatest of love affairs. The grape itself is persnickety and difficult to master. The trick with Viognier is that optimal ripeness must be reached; thereby requiring longer hang-time on the vine. Longer hang-time in Virginia equates to hurricane season, and to worsen matters the grape naturally has low acidity levels and characteristically high alcohol potential. So, if the rains come, like they so often do in September and October, the winemaker risks producing a diluted, flat, high alcohol, vegetal wine. Ouch. Not so appealing.
Grape maturity and ripeness remains key to the balance equation, and obtaining it is like riding a tricycle on a tight-rope wire. Condrieu masters this mythical balance from its top producers like Vernay, Guigal, and Chateau Grillet. But the Gods smiled on Condrieu with hot summers, less rain, perfect geography with steep slopes situated along the river facing due east, and strong winds that keep the grapes dry and free of rot. When Viognier sings, she makes rich, powerful, floral and perfumed juice boasting exotic aromas of peach, apricot, honey, violets, and white flowers. The secret is maintaining lower alcohol levels around 12.5 -13% versus today’s fad of 14.5-15% alcohol wines that warm the belly and burn the throat on the way down.
Truly I tell you that Condrieu, and even Viognier produced elsewhere around the world, is a discovery to please your taste buds, and you can do it right here in Falls Church/Arlington. Explore the Old World versus New World factors at 2941 restaurant where Sommelier Jonathan Schuyler designates an entire section of his wine list to Condrieu and Viognier. For just the domestic juice, visit Eventide in Clarendon, or walk down the street in either direction or you can also taste Viognier at Lyon Hall and Northside Social Wine Bar. For an exquisite food pairing from appetizers to entrees, Tracy O’Grady satiates the palate with her choice selections of Viognier from California, like Darioush in Napa. Last but not least, Tallula trots the globe with their Viognier selections from France, to down under in the land of Oz, back to California, with a final pit stop in Virginia.
While hunting for your next Viognier taste, remember the wine pairs extremely well with scallops, lobster, crab, shrimp, roasted chicken, creamy sauces, Caribbean fare, Indian curries, and exotic spices like cinnamon and cardamom found in Moroccan dishes for example. For simplicity, pair Viognier with cashew nuts or triple-cream cheeses, like Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam. The richness of Viognier also bodes well with Gouda and Gruyere cheese. All in the entire Viognier grape should be more celebrated, as it is a versatile food pair and an excellent alternative to chardonnay.
BY Kathleen Nixon
April 12, 2013
Falls Church Times Staff
As the weather has warmed up – considerably – we welcome the earlier hours of the Falls Church Farmers Market and the fifth season of the Farmer’s Market Chef Demonstrations. Last weekend the farmers’ market started opening up earlier, now at 8:00am, with a few vendors from the summer market. We won’t be seeing the full contingent of summer vendors until later in May but a few will trickle in like Clear Spring Creamery.
The Farmers Market Chef series will kick off on Saturday April 20th with a market and series favorite, Willow Restaurant. The chef series always kicks off around Earth Day to remind us that eating locally and seasonally is another way to be green. The chef series will include other program favorites such as Bertrand Chemel, 2941, Will Artley, Pizzeria Orso and Andrew Dixon, Madfox Brewing Company. A new addition this year will be Lebanese Taverna and we look forward to seeing what they cook up later in the season.
All of the demonstrations occur in the Falls Church Farmers Market utilizing the produce and products available in the farmers’ market. Tastings and recipes are also provided throughout the two hour demonstration.
2013 Farmers Market Chef Demonstrations
April 20 Tracy O’Grady Willow – Restaurant and Nosh
May 18 Will Artley – Pizzeria Orso
June 15 DC Central Kitchen
July 13 Andrew Dixon – Madfox Brewing Company
August 10 Bertrand Chemel 2941
Sept 14 Lebanese Taverna
October 12 Steve Mannino American Tap Room
November 9 Tracy O’Grady Willow
BY Kathleen Nixon
March 29, 2013
Falls Church Times Staff
Easter is second biggest chocolate selling time behind Christmas. But why do we crave those little chocolate eggs and bunnies at this time of year? The shapes of our chocolate delicacies revert back to the time of the Pagans. Eggs represented fertility and spring was celebrated in the Pagan belief as the festival of Eastre, which is the goddess of springtime. This goddess would make her earthly presence known each year in the form of a rabbit.
Why chocolate? As you may have heard in the 16th century Queen Elizabeth I banned hot cross buns because of her belief that the cross was a symbol of Catholicism. However, she did allow the pastry to be consumed during Easter and it was a big hit. The bakers throughout Europe were thrilled and very successful at selling pastries that the chocolate makers jumped at the chance to capitalize on the popularity.
It is not only the symbols that are a spring tradition; it is the bright and fanciful colors. These symbolize that it is time to shake off the dark grey clouds and coast of winter, and look to eye catching colors of spring. So when I was invited in by a sign saying “Chocoholics enter here” a few weeks ago, it wasn’t the prospect of chocolate that captivated me it was the bright colors.
Artisan Confections, now in Mosaic, features fanciful chocolates with dazzling colors. You won’t find bunnies and eggs here, but neatly decorated chocolate squares. “Tiny works of art from your local micro-chocolatier” is how they put it. These freshly made masterpieces feature Valrhona chocolate from the south of France. Each work of art is then created adding in unique ingredients such as teas, mint, spices or liquors. The colors will entice, the flavor explosion will saturate your being.
When looking at the wide descriptions of flavors you run from comfort food standby such as Peanut Butter and Jelly, or Salted Caramel with sea salt, but it is the more exotic that will cause you to ponder the selection – Port Wine Fig, Earl Grey Tea or the Arnold Palmer with dark chocolate, lemon and black tea. My favorites? It’s hard to choose. I like the spice of the Ancho Chile or Madagascar Pepper, but the Lavender flower caramel was also too yummy to pass up.
The other spring tradition for me was always watching the Wizard of Oz. Spring break, Easter Sunday and Dorothy Gale that is when I knew spring was here. While it has been a long time since Toto danced across my television screen, I did thoroughly enjoy the new film Oz The Great and Powerful in 3D. There have been many 3D movies out for some time, but this film finally showcases how 3D can truly enhance a story.
Mosaic District Fairfax – in the same building as Target
2910 District Avenue Fairfax, VA 22031
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm
March is the cruelest month. This week we had snow, then 70 degree weather and then snow forecasted again for Monday. The Falls Church Farmers Market has been plagued with bad weather several Saturdays in a row according to Howard Herman, Farmers Market Manager. Usually this time of year, we hear from the farmers that they want to bring in early summer goods, but not this year.
What do you find now that is fresh? Kale is coming back and the tender greens are perfect for salads. Last fall, one of the Little City’s favorite chefs Andrew Dixon of Madfox Brewing Company did a kale salad with butternut squash bacon for a Falls Church Farmers Market Chef Demonstration. Fortunately we have a special video of Andrew making the salad for the crowd at the market. The demonstration series will start up in April and shortly thereafter we can welcome back many of the familiar and new farmers’ market vendors.
March is when we start putting things in the ground such as potatoes and peas. Around our house we call it March Madness, not the basketball brackets but the bareness in the garden that drives you crazy that you think you need to put more plants in the yard to fill up all the bare spots. Take heart your garden will fill out in a month or two.
And while you may think warmer weather will never get here, have heart as there will be tomatoes soon! Spring Valley Farm and Orchards just posted on their Facebook page that tomatoes are showing up on the vines in their greenhouses. Other vendors have tomatoes started in their greenhouse as well. And why do we always use tomatoes as the temperature gauge for fresh food rather than look at what is seasonal and local?
As we settled into our sitting area a few winter weekends ago, my husband said “this really is a little gem” referring to our cabin at Savage River Lodge. After just under three hours away from the City of Falls Church and after a lovely stop for lunch in Frederick at Family Meal, our drive dipped down into a canyon, across a meadow stream and then up Savage River Mountain.
In the winter, if you do not have four or all wheel drive, you either have to call to be picked up or don’t bother coming. The road is plowed but still needs extra traction to get up to the main lodge and even some cars (Audis) still don’t make it. If you try to chance it and get stuck, it is a $250 charge to get pulled out. This seclusion is worth it because at the end of the road is a luxurious and sumptuous get away for you and possibly your favorite furry friend.
Once at the main lodge, you feel like you have returned to your family’s mountain retreat. Rough hewn walls, comfy chairs and a huge fireplace welcome you to your retreat. This lodge has seen many of my family celebrations – birthday, anniversaries, holidays and the all important get a way.
Savage River Lodge is set on 45 acres surrounded by 750 acres of the Savage River State Forest in western Maryland. You are very far removed from traffic congestion, hub-bub of urban life and most importantly TV or electronics of any kind. The lodge was started by Jan and Mike Russell after forming Nature of Business, a management development program founded on the principle that nature can teach us personally and organizationally how to succeed.
After purchasing the land in 1990, the long road was started. Literally as the road and bridge to the main lodge was not finished until 1998 with the lodge and cabins completed in 2001. Each of the 18 cabins is a serene get away with a loft for sleeping, a cozy sitting room with gas burning stove and a porch. All the cabins are similar in layout but offer different views of the forest, which is right outside your door. You can step out of your cabin and be on one of the many hiking or cross country skiing trails. The favorite and easiest trail being the Bodhi’s Green trail which circumvents the main property and allows secluded views of the forest and its valley’s to and from the main lodge or just to take a walk.
In following Jan and Mike’s environmental vision, many “green” enhancements have been made along the way to support their business venture. Biodiesel was first used in 2008 utilizing the restaurant’s cooking oil to power all of the equipment on the property and in 2010 350 solar panels were installed on the hillside behind the Main Lodge. Mike has done all this himself and provides many tidbits to interested parties. These conversations have been helpful to my family as Virginia and the City of Falls Church seems to be void of any green energy practitioners.
The lodge has a restaurant that may serve most of your meals. You do receive a lovely morning basket with muffins, juice and the daily lodge newsletter. The lodge restaurant serves breakfast/brunch/lunch on the weekends from 9am to 2pm and dinner all evenings. You can go off property for your meals, but you really won’t want to. A leisurely walk through the forest to the lodge where a sumptuous meal awaits is what getaways are all about.
During the warmer weather the restaurant offers a lovely porch with a commanding view of the meadow and surrounding forests. Hummingbird feeders and flower filled planters frame the view. In the winter, the dining room just beyond the bar is warm and cozy. The lodge works with several area farms for their ingredients including a new partnership with Firefly Farms for their goat cheese.
The new chef Tylor Dinteman has significantly expanded the menu including several vegetarian options including Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms served over black Beluga lentils and Heirloom Bean Cassoulet served with mushrooms and root vegetables. The rest of the menu has also been expanded to include several new dishes for brunch and dinner.
For breakfast I was enthralled with “The Hunter” omelet with caramelized mushrooms, melted leeks, smoked Gouda and wilted arugula. Omelets sometimes are too big and too wet for me, but this omelet was so perfect that I had it both mornings. The caramelized mushrooms and melted leeks supported the smoked Gouda, so the overall taste was warm and inviting with just enough bite from the arugula. Maple glazed bacon – maple from trees on property – was thick and crunchy.
For dinner the Lodge Meatloaf is a favorite with its unique bland of wild meats, pork and beef with fresh herbs, spice and local maple syrup that is wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon, finished with cabernet mushroom demi glace. The new menu includes several new items such as a Lamb Cassoulet a lamb loin with braised lamb, Brie Stuffed Chicken Breast and a duo of Pork which includes a pork ragu tossed with fresh pasta served with a roasted pork tenderloin.
One of the new additions is a partnership with Firefly Farms and you can see this at its best with either a private tasting at the farm or for dessert by choosing the cheese plate. I am partial to cheese after dinner rather than dessert so I was thrilled to see this addition to the menu and impressed by the selection of cheeses presented.
For your dining pleasure there is an extensive wine list which has been noted by both the Wine Spectator and the Wine Enthusiast as being exceptional. I tend to agree.
In addition to the secluded and lovely location and the wonderful food, the Savage River Lodge is a very the dog friendly environment. The current lodge canine hosts are Koko and Karma who just celebrated their third birthday – 21 in people years – and they were able to enjoy their first micro brew. Besides seclusion, luxurious hospitality and environmental responsibility, canine comfort is important to the team at Savage River Lodge. In your cabin there are supplies that all dog parents need – towels, bowls and bags. If you need any treats, they are freshly baked on the premises. If you would like to treat your pup to a gourmet meal, there is a menu to select from. And in your morning breakfast, you will find a sumptuous doggie treat for your pup along with your muffins and juice. Dogs are allowed everywhere on the property except in the Main Lodge and only need to be on leash in and around the cabins. There are plenty of puppy stations throughout the main property equipped with bags and trash receptacles. Ill behaved puppies and their families are noted and not invited back.
Savage River Lodge is located off of Interstate 68 just outside of Frostburg Maryland. The cabins are all the similar with differences being in size of the bed and view. They range from $225-$245. There is a pet fee of $30 per night. There is a two night minimum on the weekends, and a three night minimum on holiday weekends. The lodge notes that it is an adult centered retreat and does not have activities or sitting arrangements for children as well as a very limited children’s menu in the restaurant.
Savage River Lodge
1600 Mt. Aetna Road
Frostburg, MD 21532
Every now and then you need a refresher on basic cooking techniques; no matter how many reruns of Julia Child you watch, we all need a reminder of some of the basics. With so many diets, fads and trends that have clouded the landscape it is difficult to remember – do we use oil, butter or nothing? What is wet versus dry cooking? And not only how will this taste but how will it be good for me?
We recently attended a cooking class titled “Basic Meat Cookery Methods” which included Pan Searing, Braising, and Poaching. The class was part of a series of cooking classes taught at the Fields Of Athenry farm, outside of Middleburg which also raises beef, lamb, duck, turkey, chicken and goose while sourcing pork from a local Mennonite farmer.
The class setting is intriguing as it is part of a farm kitchen and many of the ingredients for the class could be purchased in the farm store. The farm, class and chef follow the Weston Price Foundation philosophies which believe that healthy lives are only possible if we eat nutrient dense foods and animal fats prepared in traditional manner from ingredients that are raised sustainably, organically and responsibly.
The class is taught by Chef Wes Rosati, formerly the Executive Chef at Landsowne Resort and now formally part of the Fields of Athenry farm. Chef Wes has been a long supporter of sustainably raised foods, so he fits in perfectly with the farm which adheres to sustainable farming practices.
For our class, the menu was set: Steak au Poivre, Braised Lamb Osso Bucco with Red Wine Integral Jus, and Poached Salmon with Winter Vegetables all which we were able to see prepared and then enjoy lunch. It was a sunny cold winter afternoon, but the class kitchen was warm and toasty and while observing the class we enjoyed local cheeses complemented with local wines.
The basics of the class centered on understanding that there are two different types of cooking for meat and fish: wet and dry. Depending on what end result you were looking for, you chose the appropriate method. Chef Wes first built a vegetable broth that would be used to poach salmon. Poaching is a wet method that requires first building a broth, which he did utilizing seasonal vegetables that could poach, create a sauce and maybe later use as a nice soup base.
Onions were first sauteed in lard, but coconut oil or ghee could be used. Chef Wes shared that certain sautéing ingredients are easier for the body to digest, thus he uses lard, ghee or coconut oil. Then adding spices, primarily turmeric, which is especially beneficial in a diet, he then deglazed with some wine. After this he added in lemon, garlic and his other vegetables – kale, carrots, turnips, celery and covered them with water and simmered. He shared that when using herbs distinguishing between hard and soft herbs that will stand up to cooking; using the hard herbs – thyme, rosemary, first and then following with the softer herbs such as oregano, parsley or chives.
After cooking for 15 minutes the broth is ready to use to poach the salmon. The salmon is first prepared with sea salt – again a more easily digestible form and better for the overall diet – and pepper and set at room temperature. The poaching took about 10 minutes, 5 minutes each side and then was served with some of the vegetables in the broth. The vibrant colors and delicious taste brighten up the winter afternoon. What was even for sublime, was that my husband was able to recreate the entire dish a few nights later using salmon from the farmers market.
The next dishes – steak au poivre and chicken – featured the dry method but using a spice rub or just plain salt and pepper, and high heat to seal in the juices. The preferred cuts for this method were Sirloin, or Delmonico as well as just a plain chicken breast. The key in this method is to use a high heat and patience – just a few minutes. This allows the ‘sealing” of the meat which happens as the meat pulls away from the pan. The final dish involved braising which is a long slow cooking process again in a broth, a heartier one than poaching, and a cut of meat that is fattier. The slow cooking allows the fat in the meat to render down creating a melt in your mouth texture.
The next class available is on March 9th which will feature how to prepare proteins with an accompanying pan sauce, a basic Sauce Bolognese and vegetable cookery. The demonstrated dishes will be: Pork Tenderloin Medallions with an Apricot and Red Onion Compote, Beef and Lamb Bolognese, Roasted Cauliflower, Sautéed Garlicky Kale.
The team at Fields of Athenry is developing a spring schedule of classes, so check their website for updates on upcoming classes. The Fields of Athenry will also be providing the “pop up wellness café” at the March 10th Grow Your Health conference occurring at the Woodson High School in Fairfax. The Wellness Festival will be featuring a food documentary called “In ORGANIC We Trust” as well as gardening classes and local foods panel discussions.
Participants will learn to make rich organic compost from yard trimmings and leaves at this beginners composting workshop on Saturday, April 20. The free program will include a composting demonstration, making compost tea, proper food waste composting, and vermicomposting (composting with worms). Participants will take home a free portable yard waste compost bin.
The event will be held at the Cherry Hill Picnic Shelter (312 Park Ave., Falls Church) and run from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. To register, call Sandy Tarpinian (703-536-7186) or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.