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Return of Whole Foods: It’s Complicated

It all started last March with the ubiquitous D.C. rats. To date, no one can or will say when — or even if — the Glover Park store will reopen. 

Last Call at Georgetown’s Unum, Dec. 16

Having taken over the spot of Mendocino Grille, Unum, closing this Saturday, will be replaced by a restaurant owned by business interests from Dubai, according to those familiar with the situation.

Blue Hawaii

Blue Hawaii may be one of Elvis Presley’s most iconic movies. In the 1961 musical, Presley plays a young man, newly released from the Army, who is enjoying Hawaii with his surfboard, beach buddies, and girlfriend. It could be argued that this film set the tone for Presley’s film career: gorgeous women, pretty scenery, dull plots, and plenty of upbeat tunes. The soundtrack for this movie became Presley’s most successful chart album. The cocktail that shares its name follows the same basic formula. The Blue Hawaii is a visually stunning drink due to its radiant, deep blue hue. Often enjoyed by vacationers in an idyllic beach setting, it is composed of unremarkable ingredients, and when served at a tourist spot, it usually contains plenty of alcohol to keep the good times rolling. It’s one of the most requested libations in its native state. According to Jeff Berry, author of “Sippin’ Safari”, a bartender named Harry Yee invented the “Blue Hawaii” in 1957, at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa in Waikiki. Yee was asked by a representative of Bols to create a drink using the company’s new Blue Curacao liqueur. After a little experimentation, the Tiki classic was born. Berry also credits Yee with being the first to use paper umbrellas and orchids as garnishes. If you follow this timeline, the drink predates the movie by four years. It is believed that Yee named the cocktail after the film’s title song, a piece first composed for the 1937 Bing Crosby film Waikiki Wedding. Few cocktails are as recognizable by their color. The brilliant sea tone comes from Blue Curacao. According to the Bols website, Curacao is a sweet liqueur distilled from a blend of herbs, sweet red oranges, bitter Curacao oranges, and Kinnow oranges. However, its distinctive tint is artificial. Curacao is also available in orange, green, and clear varieties. If you wish to try the sweet and frosty drink in context, take a trip to Honolulu where every watering hole near Waikiki serves cocktails in ornamental glasses garnished with umbrellas and tropical fruit. Visitors may sample the Blue Hawaii at its birthplace at the beachfront Hilton Hawaiian Village. The resort, which boasts multiple bars, is enjoying a recent renaissance, with scenes from the new television series Hawaii Five-O being shot on the hotel’s property. Wherever you choose to enjoy your Blue Hawaii, pick a spot with an ocean view, where you can sip your cocktail and compare its color to the vivid cerulean-colored Pacific. As you gaze at the romantic Polynesian scene of Waikiki, you’ll suddenly realize you’re a long way from Rehoboth. Normally, I don’t care much for sugary cocktails, but when caught up in the moment, this drink fits perfectly into the dreamy Hawaii experience. One word of caution, when consumed in quantity the Blue Hawaii will leave you with a temporary souvenir, much like the white mustache celebrated by milk advertisements. If your lips turn purple, don’t worry about your health. Wipe your lips with a napkin and keep drinking. Aloha! The Blue Hawaii 3/4 oz Light Rum 3/4 oz Vodka 1/2 oz Blue Curacao 3 oz Pineapple Juice 1 oz Sweet & Sour Mix Combine ingredients and mix well. If using ice, mix in a blender. Serve in a tall glass. Garnish with a pineapple slice. (Recipe from Hilton Top Chef) Ingredients to make the Blue Hawaii may be purchased at Dixie Liquor at 3429 M Street in Georgetown.

Capital One Café Opens in Georgetown

Besides the brews and sweets provided by its partner, Peet’s Coffee, the corner spot has desks, couches, private nooks, meeting rooms and a conference table with a television and screen projector.

COCKTAIL OF THE WEEK: Dirty Bananas From Saint Lucia

The first thing I notice when I meet Big Ted is not his size. It’s his smile. It’s a friendly, welcoming type of grin; similar to the ones proudly displayed by most of the locals I meet in Saint Lucia. Ted Barnard, or “Big Ted” as he is called, is the bar manager at the Coconut Bay beach resort, which is tucked away on the southern tip of the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The vacation spot, which boasts multiple bars spread out over its mile-long stretch of beachfront property, is known for its lengthy drink choices. Between the swim-up bar, the lobby bar, the nightclub, sports bar, restaurants and the tiki bar beside the well-shaded adult pool, I lose count of the different cocktails by my first evening. Each bartender seems to have his or her favorite potions. Everything from the self-named “Terry in a Cup” to Kay’s “I Like” and Hami’s killer “Negroni,” I ask Ted to mix me the most popular tipple at the resort. He whips up a “Dirty Banana,” a delicious smoothie-like concoction forged from fresh bananas, coconut cream, rum, coffee liqueur with an optional squirt of chocolate syrup. Because it is forged from fresh bananas, this cocktail sips more like a milkshake. Its thick texture gives it a dessert-like quality. But don’t be fooled, the dirty banana packs quite a punch thanks to three ounces of liquor. Later, I am informed that Ted has an extra-special version of the drink known as a “Filthy Banana.” When I ask him to elaborate on its contents, he slyly tells me it’s made with even more rum. Ted likes the dirty banana because it showcases the island’s local ingredients, St. Lucian rum, bananas, coconut and Ti Tasse, a rum- based coffee liqueur that is also produced in St. Lucia. Like most Caribbean nations, Saint Lucia takes great pride in its native rums. The flagship spirit, Chairmen’s Reserve, is blended rum concocted from a combination of continuous distilled and double-distilled rums. The result is a full-bodied spirit with just enough sweetness and a little bit of bite. The spiced version of Chairmen’s Reserve contains local spices and fruits including cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, coconut, all spice, lemon and orange. It is also rumored to include Richeria Grandis – known locally as “Bois Bande” – a bark renowned in the Caribbean as a potent aphrodisiac. While I specifically requested Chairmen’s rum in my drinks, Ted usually blends his dirty bananas with a light locally-produced overproof rum. Hence the potency of this drink. A few too many, will have you floating off your barstool. Unfortunately, many of Saint Lucia’s spirits can be difficult to find in the states. If you’d like to replicate the dirty banana at home, I would recommend using either Wray and Nephew overproof rum -- or if you like a fuller flavored spirit, Flor De Cana seven-year-old rum. For the coffee liqueur, you may substitute Kamora. The smooth frozen tropical coconut-banana flavor is a fine anecdote for Washington’s recent scorching Caribbean-like weather. ? THE DIRTY BANANA 1 banana, sliced 1-ounce milk 1-ounce coconut cream 1.5-ounce coffee liqueur 1.5-ounce overproof light rum Squirt of chocolate syrup Add ingredients to blender with ice. Blend until well mixed. Garnish with a pineapple wedge. [gallery ids="100878,127477" nav="thumbs"]

New Bar at 1789

By Travis Mitchell Georgetown’s 1789 Restaurant, at 1226 36th St. NW, has introduced a new bar area for guests looking for a craft cocktail or...

Clyde’s CEO John Laytham Dies at 74

Laytham, who passed away at Washington Hospital Center on Jan. 3, had been ailing for some time with a long-standing heart condition.

The Latest Dish

  -Il Mulino opened downtown at Vermont & L Streets in the first quarter of 2007, followed by Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, when he opened Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert in the Ritz-Carlton in the West End in the final quarter of 2007. Greek restaurant Kellari Taverna opened last year on K Street where Jimmy’s on K used to be. Bond 45 opened the first quarter of this year across the river at National Harbor. Carmine’s just opened on Seventh Street in Penn Quarter. Now the flood gates have opened. As previously reported, Bobby Flay is looking for sites for his Burger Palace. P.J. Clarke’s will open where Olives was at the corner of16th & K Streets this fall. Also previously reported, Hill Country BBQ is slated to open in Penn Quarter, across from “neighbor” Carmine’s. NY-based BLT Restaurant Group is opening Casa Nonna on Connecticut Avenue where California Pizza Kitchen was. Rande Gerber (Cindy Crawford’s ex) is part of the partnership that includes his brother Scott (the operator) that is scouting sites for his renowned bars, which include Whiskey Blue and Stone Rose. Michael Wang is looking for sites for Luke’s Lobsters. And at the top of the news, NYC restaurateur extraordinaire Danny Meyer just signed a deal to open his burger concept, Shake Shack, where Fuddrucker’s was on 18th Street near Connecticut Avenue. Following its new neighborhood tradition, there will be a selection of frozen custard flavors unique to the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Chef RJ Cooper, formerly of Vidalia, will open his first independent project, Rogue 24, in D.C.’s Mount Vernon Square neighborhood on Blagden Alley on Ninth Street. Rogue 24 will exclusively offer an interactive 24-course tasting menu (hence the name). Harper McClure will serve as chef de cuisine. McClure hails from Atlanta’s renowned Bacchanalia restaurant and previously worked with Cooper at Vidalia as his sous chef for nearly five years. A winter 2011 opening is forecast. If at first you do succeed - it’s time to do it again. Since Masa 14 has been so successful, chef/owners Kaz Okochi and Richard Sandoval are planning to open a Mexican taqueria next spring near Masa 14 on 14th Street. It will have three levels, including a basement with a concept that will be fun and different. Because it’s “a license to print money,” a rooftop dining and bar area is also in the works. Because it’s a Mexican theme, chef Sandoval takes the lead on the menu. Their partner, Latif Guler (who also owns Agora) is working on the taqueria with Kaz and Sandoval. Tony Harris and partner have signed a deal to take over the Bullfeather’s site on Capitol Hill. He also owns Tunnicliff’s, Stoney’s and Ulah Bistro. Look for an American bar and grille concept to open by end of October/beginning of November, thanks to Papadopoulos Properties. Chicago-based Roti Mediterranean Grill has signed leases to open at The Avenue on Washington Circle, formerly known as Square 54, in Foggy Bottom, and Constitution Square in the NoMa neighborhood. Their first location, which opened in April on Penn Ave near the White House, proved to be such a hit, they plan to expand their healthy Mediterranean fast casual concept in D.C. B.J. Stone has done well in the restaurant business. He was the first managing partner for Outback Steakhouse in the region, before the founders decided to buy them all back. That went worked out quite well for BJ. Now he plans to open Stone’s Cove with Scott Mowrey in the Village Center at Dulles, The restaurant is scheduled to open by October, if the permit gods allow. Dishes will be offered in three sizes, depending on your appetite. And there will be a hot dog sampler (3 Dog Night), as it appears that nothing can open without a hot dog dish these days. Chef John Csukor of Richmond’s KOR Food Innovations is in charge of the menu. Interesting décor: No tables and no chairs. Everything happens at the bar. Chef Jose Andres’ company, ThinkFoodGroup, appears to be in a constant state of challenge and growth. Rumor is that he will open a café in the all-new Arena Stage on the southwest waterfront. Chef Enzo Fargione, formerly of Teatro Goldoni, has formed a restaurant group, Cucina Moderna, that has signed a letter of intent to open a restaurant at 11th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (where Central and Ten Penh are). It will be Enzo’s interpretation of modern Italian cooking, called Elisir. In English: Elixir, a mix of flavored liquids from Medieval times, commonly made from grappa or other distilled spirits. He plans to open it by the end of the first quarter of 2011. Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc (LRA) specializing in making creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 703-417-2700 or linda@lindarothpr.com.

Cocktail of the Month: The Vodka Martini

Though the U.S. team failed to qualify for the World Cup, you can still give a nod to the host country by making a toast with vodka while watching your team of choice.

Leaving in ’18: Morton’s the Steakhouse

The upscale restaurant will depart its Georgetown Court location during the first half of next year. Morton’s has been on Prospect Street for almost three decades.