Spring break weekend

What do Cancun and DC have in common?  Spring breakers.  Cancun gets the party-wild college kids; DC gets the school groups.  They arrive in giant charter buses and troop through the city in matching t-shirts while learning about Our Nation’s Capitol.  Oh, to be a student with regular buit-in vacations! 

Normally spring just rolls right by me — it’s usually a busy time of year for me at work, and my non-work time is spent planning international travel and planting my container gardens too soon.  This year was shaping up to be more of the same (only with the added distraction of trying to convince someone to hire me), until this weekend, when the Waterhouses showed up.

Because, you see, Amanda’s a teacher, and her brother’s in school.  So they still get spring break.  And this year they decided to visit DC en famille — Amanda flew out from Denver, Andy and Jenn from Salt Lake City, and Will and Susan from Grand Junction.  (Rachel et al. didn’t make it, but we’ll see them in Chicago in April.)  Fortunately for me, they invited me to join them in their adventures.

And by “adventures” I mean food, art, food, theatre, food, art, dance, food.  Basically in that order and frequency.  Which, of course, is how spring break (and, really, life) ought always to be done!

Here are some of the highlights:

Dinner at Central Michel Richard
Think French bistro, taken up a couple of notches. 

Cheese puffs.  Hot and perfect.

“Faux” gras (because it’s chicken and not goose),
with terrine, cornichons and mustard


Rockfish with vegetables

Profiteroles with vanilla icecream and dark chocolate

Modern dance, with a Swedish twist
The Kennedy Center is presenting a month-long festival featuring the performing arts (and design and visual arts) of Scandinavia.  On Saturday night, we saw the GoteborgsOperans Danskompani perform in the Eisenhower Theatre.  They had a crisp, clean style and some very nice moments (their OleroB — based on Maurice Ravel’s Bolero — was my favorite, with the androgynous costumes and magical glitter at the end).  But I never really felt the emotional depth in the choreography or dancers that I often find so rewarding in modern dance, and the technical and cerebral elements of the performance just weren’t enough to carry the evening to greatness.

Sunday brunch at Mintwood Place
Amanda and I broke off from the rest of the group on Sunday morning to meet up with Amy for brunch at Mintwood Place (which apparently has made it to the semifinalist list for the James Beard Foundation Award for best restaurant and best chef in the mid-Atlantic region).  Amy had seen the dance concert on Friday, so we were able to compare notes. 

Belgian waffle, with one egg and a side of bacon

Dinner at J&G Steakhouse
This restaurant has been one of my standby favorites for a while now — it’s delicious and has a cool vibe.  Sunday night was no different on that front (in fact, my appetizer and dessert were probably the best I’ve eaten there), but the service was SO SLOW!!  Seriously, we sat down at 6:45pm and didn’t leave until after 10:00pm.  Which wouldn’t have been a problem if we had been doing a multi-course tasting menu, but we were just doing an ordinary dinner.  Fortunately, we didn’t have after-dinner plans, and between the six of us we had enough crazy travel stories to keep ourselves entertained for hours. 

Crab cake with grapefruit, avocado and ginger sauce

Lamb with vegetables

Cheesecake with grapefruit sorbet and marmalade

One comment

  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    It sounds and looks fabulous (except for the faux gras and oysters – think I'd have done a cheese burger)! Lady


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