Sunday, June 2, 2013

Taste of Georgetown

These days, the city is in full-on summer mode. I see beautiful flowing dresses on every corner, dripping ice cream cones in children's hands, panting and exhausted dogs hiding in the shade, lots of canoes and kayaks on the Potomac, and shelves full of sunscreen and tanning lotion in my local drugstore. Oh, and the pool in my apartment complex is now open and frequented by a regular crowd of couples, families and gossiping teenagers, none of whom I have ever seen around before.

It makes me happy to observe that DC has this lively, fun, outgoing side. A big part of it are the numerous street festivals taking place between June and August, the first of which I attended this weekend: Taste of Georgetown, a culinary festival aiming to raise awareness and money to fund the homeless assistance programs of the Georgetown Ministry Center. Tasting tickets were purchased at the entrance, and then exchanged for small portions of signature dishes presented by 26 local restaurants. 

So there's food, there's drinks, there's live music and there's freebies given away by the sponsors, all for a good cause on a sunny Saturday afternoon. - If that is not a recipe for happiness, what is?

The only drawback at Taste of Georgetown was the fact that it was practically impossible to try all the deliciously tempting items put before us. With a sampler of five tasting tickets each, my friend and I set out to find different combinations of savory and sweet dishes and hopefully discover new places for brunches, lunches and study breaks.

Unsurprisingly, I spent three of my five tickets on dessert. And the selection was overwhelming: DC's favorite cupcake bakeries - Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles and Baked & Wired - were present, as were some of Georgetown's most cherished treasures like Filomena, Paolo's and Café Bonaparte. Here is what we ate.

Peach pie, Connecticut Copperthite Pie Co.: This piece of pie was not only beautiful, it also tasted fruity and refreshing and seemed to be bursting with the flavor of summer. The crust was flaky and buttery, which - according to my friend, who knows a bit more about pie than I do - is the perfect consistency. It is terribly difficult to obtain any information about the company online, so I couldn't make out whether it is an actual bakery, a catering service, or something else entirely.

Chocolate amaretto gelato, Paolo's: A wonderful surprise! The gelato perfectly balanced both chocolate and amaretto flavors, making it seem like you were sipping a thick, sweet cocktail (especially once it had melted a little). In terms of consistency we thought it more closely resembled ice cream than gelato, but who's complaining?

Red velvet ice cream, Sprinkles: This was a very special treat because Sprinkles only operates ice cream shops in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. It came with a mini cream-filled chocolate ganache cupcake, which had a strong dark-chocolate flavor and was, despite its size, very filling (in a positive way). The ice cream was nice but nothing to write home about. Basically sweet cream with pieces of red velvet cake. It supposedly also had cream cheese frosting mixed in, but I wasn't able to make that out.

Strawberry Shortcake, Filomena Ristorante: My absolute highlight. In terms of presentation, this dessert stood out due to its size and bright red color. -It was massive! Apart from its pretty looks, it tasted unbelievably good. I can't even find a better adjective to describe it. Good... Simply good. A light sponge cake with fresh strawberries in a syrupy sauce and a thick dollop of sweet cream. Filomena, you'll see me again very soon!

Valrhona chocolate opera, Degrees Bistro at the Ritz Carlton: I have to admit that I felt so stuffed by the end of the event that I carried this piece of cake all the way home in the heat. The result: Its transformation into chocolate mousse. After an hour in the fridge the layers of what I assume to be ganache, buttercream and sponge cake had recovered though, and tasted wonderfully rich and satisfying. Even after all the trouble it went through, you could tell it was a high quality product from a high quality establishment.

Now... where and when can we repeat this experience?

1 comment:

  1. We Can be found. if you want the best check us out the oldest and once the largest pie baking company in America.. Still a Georgetown Tradition since 1888. Cheers