Small Plates: Food for the Soul

Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:22pm

ArtBar at the Southern-inspired restaurant Art and Soul (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) recently launched a new happy hour designed for those looking to blow off some steam at the end of the day. The 5:01 Session — 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday — features a new small plates menu prepared by Executive Chef Travis Timberlake.

The 7:10 Pairing Menu features seven food and drink pairings for $10 each. Pairings vary from crispy duck wings and a glass of riesling to house-cured jerky paired with a Manhattan. Some of the food, such as the ham and cheese biscuit, is served in a portion large enough to act as a light dinner.

In addition to new food options, there are new drinks. Beverage director Jay Poblador has tweaked the cocktail menu to accompany the happy hour. Specialty cocktails, such as the Put Ups Martini with pickled onion, okra, beets and quail egg and the Ginger Smash with tequila, ginger liquor, lime, lemon grass and candied ginger, will be offered for $6 apiece. Several regional and seasonal beers on tap are $4 a pint and 16 wines by the glass are $7 each.

Green for Earth Day

The recently opened Mixt Greens is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day (officially, Thursday) with giveaways. The restaurant, which has three locations throughout the city, will be giving out tote bags filled with recipes from “Mixt Salads,” the soon-to-be-released cookbook of chef and co-founder Andrew Swallow. The bag will also contain a packet of herb seeds that customers can plant at home.

Mixt Greens was founded in San Francisco and opened in Washington, D.C., earlier this year with locations by Dupont Circle, Metro Center and Farragut North. The restaurant offers tossed-to-order salads and sandwiches on artisanal, organic bread.

“Our salads taste different because of the ingredients we source and the way we prepare everything from scratch,” Swallow has said.

Salads are $7.95 to $11.95, while sandwiches cost $8.95.

Monday, Monday

Do Mondays bum you out? Try a little pick-me-up at Zentan (1155 14th St. NW). This Asian-inspired restaurant is now offering Blue Mondays, featuring live jazz from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jazz trios led by bassist Tommy Cecil will perform for diners while they munch on sushi and other Asian fare.

Those who visit Zentan, located at the Donovan House, can sip on cocktails at the bar or enjoy a meal in the dining room, which is peppered with private and communal tables. Blue Mondays will be complimented by Blue Moon beer for $5. The Progression Punch — made with vodka, rum, blue Curacao, sour mix, orange juice and Sprite — and the Blue Note — a concoction of rum, orange juice, pineapple, blue Curacao and sour apple Pucker — will both be $10 during the jazz performances.

The restaurant will also offer a selection of small plates at the bar for $7. The discounted menu includes seaweed salad, sweet chili wings and steamed pork dumplings.

Campfire Days

The Georgetown Ritz-Carlton will be featuring complimentary campfire treats all summer. The hotel serves s’more gelato every evening from 6:30 to 7. The gelato, created by Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Witcher, is comparable to rocky road ice cream, though with more intensity. Witcher makes chocolate gelato and in the process folds marshmallows into it, garnishing the sweet treat with crumbled graham cracker. A mini scoop is free, and a full cone is $9.

The Ritz (3100 South St. NW) will also be offering s’more-tinis for those looking to imbibe. The drink is created by adding a flaming marshmallow to a chocolate martini. For those who would like to enjoy a full serving of the cocktail, glasses cost $12.