Wednesday, May 27, 2009

H St. Country Club - Quick First Look

Despite my lack of posting over the last couple of months, somehow I was graced with an invite to tonight's preview of the H St. Country Club. I guess it makes sense because I do talk about eating a lot, but it caught me off guard. I try not to take myself, or this occasionally asinine blog, too seriously; so the idea that I might be credentialed to something as a media member is kind of flattering.

Anyway, I bounced down to the Country Club about 8pm to soak up my share of the free food and drink being provided. When I walked in I was given a press packet filled with boilerplate about the Country Club and its chefs, owners, and management and a drink ticket. Oh yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

My first drink was an excellent frozen guava margarita that was suggested to me by Joe the bartender. I can just imagine the brain freeze I'll get this Summer when I suck one of those down after walking the half a dozen sweaty blocks between my crib and the Country Club. Then with drink in hand, I took a stroll around the place.

I had been to the Phish Tea Cafe, the restaurant that previously inhabited 1335 H St. NE, and they had only used a fraction of the space and not nearly as well. Big Joe knows what he's doing, is well capitalized, and it shows in the final product he's put together here. The H St. Country Club (HSCC) has a unique concept that has been executed very, very well.

I'll spare you a lot of blather about sumptuous wood tones and all the decorative flourishes that you'll see throughout the bar. The mini golf course upstairs is what much of the buzz about HSCC has centered on and it lives up to the hype. Even with the shitty camera in my iPhone, I managed to get a couple of half-decent pix of the mini golf course.

I know a lot of foodies are hyped up for Ann Cashion's new joint, but it looked like they were only serving selections from the bar menu tonight. Everything I tasted was good, but there's only so much you can do to nachos and quesadillas to dress them up. I missed out on the empenadas (which looked great) but consoled myself with the hot lima bean dip which is much, much better than it sounds.

The only disappointment of the night was my second drink, the Hot Tamale; a Ketel One Martini with jalapeno stuffed olives. The olives were a little mushy and not nearly salty enough and the jalapenos should have been hotter and lacked the vinegary tang that I was looking for.


Monday, May 25, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - H Street Country Club Opening

H Street Country Club

May 22, 2009



DC's most anticipated concept opens in its hottest corridor

Washington, DC - The H Street Country Club, H Street's newest and most anticipated concept in Washington will be opening Wednesday, May 27, 2009. With celebrated, James Beard-Award winning Chef Ann Cashion as the creative mind behind the menu, this 6,800 sq. foot, 300-seat dining destination will serve up fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine with both southern and northern accents. Locally trained Pablo Cardoso (formerly of Jackie's & Cashion's Eat Place) will serve as executive chef. Guests will experience the country club's ground level "locker room" upon entry, designed with dark maple lockers and a 40 ft. bar covered in warm plaid print. An open eat-in kitchen is set past the shuffleboard, pool tables and skeeball machines. The second floor features space for dining and a DC-centric 9-hole mini-golf course, including scaled monuments and memorials, the Awakening of Marion Barry, and towering K Street Lego Lawyers.


The restaurant will provide an entertaining and modern setting in which to meet and connect while enjoying top-notch Mexican cuisine.
"This project has been in the works for a long time. We are excited to be able to bring great food and a unique atmosphere to a growing neighborhood." said owner Joe Englert.


The chef will work closely with leading purveyors and vendors to bring guests the highest quality ingredients and the freshest foods available.  The menu, a blend of both traditional and contemporary dishes, will include items that excite guests' taste buds. The main floor El Norte menu boasts Chili con Queso, Nacogdoches Meat Pies, Spicy Tamales, and Lobster Tostadas. The second floor dining room will feature items including Chilaquiles with Roasted Duck, Snapper Veracruz, Lamb Enchiladas, Pork Rib Carnitas and Chicken Escabeche. All ingredients will be of top quality and delivered fresh daily.


Celebrated Chef Teddy Folkman will be a significant presence at the restaurant and will oversee new menu developments. Chef Folkman began his culinary career as a commis at The Reef and Cashion's Eat Place, and currently presides as the co-owner and executive chef at Granville Moore's. Management of the day-to-day operations will fall on co-owners Ricardo Vergara, Blair Zervos and Assistant General Manager Kristin Cook, who will bring an eclectic flavor to the Atlas District community and beyond.  Chef Cardoso will be at the helm of the H Street Country Club's culinary offerings, and will maintain a consistent execution of the restaurant's cuisine.


The H Street Country Club will showcase a wide variety of high-quality wine, beer and cocktails in a fashion that will compliment the menu. Spanish and Latin wines will headline a drink menu that includes an array of Mexican beer, sangria, margaritas, and 20 different tequilas. Cocktail aficionados will love the club's signature drinks, such as the "I Wanna Jana", which combines Patron Silver & Chambord chilled & muddled with fresh lime, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and honey, or the "El Luchador" that combines Sauza Tres Generaciones Tequila & fresh lemon sour with muddled cucumber, cilantro & a slice of jalapeño pepper. The design of the restaurant and golf course was executed by artist Lee T. Wheeler of Arlington, VA. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University in Sculpture, Lee has created an extraordinary and innovative space that will awaken the imagination of the Country Club guests. The series of DC-centric golf holes on the second floor captures the rich and, at times, comical history of our nation's capital. Contemporary lighting and creative construction of tables and lounge chairs provide for an intimate and comfortable space.  The sleek look of the entire venue will exude the modern, urban vibe for which H Street is known.


The H Street Country Club will be open daily from 5:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.  The restaurant is located at 1335 H Street NE, Washington D.C. Walk-ins are welcome and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. To contact the restaurant, please call 202-399-HSCC (4722).  For more information on the H Street Country Club, visit




Media Contact: James D. Silk
H Street Country Club
202.399.HSCC (4722)

H Street Country Club • 1335 H Street, NE, Washington DC 20002 • 202-399-HSCC (4722)
© 2009 All Rights Reserved

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

HillRat Laid Bare in ABC Form

I got tagged with one of those silly blog memes and I'm a good sport so I'll play along.

A - Age: 39, but I do turn the big 40 later this year.
B - Bed size: King, natch.
C - Chore you hate: Dusting
D - Dog's name: No dog. Did I lose a war or something, why am I cleaning up dog shit?
E - Essential start your day item: A snuggle with BabyRat
F - Favorite color: Black
G - Gold or Silver: Silver
H - Height: 6'3"
I - Instruments you played: Drums . . . poorly
J - Job title: It depends. I work for a massive gov't contractor at an equally huge gov't agency, so I have two titles. Gov't job title is Business Analyst, contractor job title is Sr. Technical Writer.
K - Kids: 1+. BabyRat, currently 4 and a player to be named later, due to drop on July 6
L - Living arrangements: 2BR condo on Capitol Hill
M - Mom's name: Carrie
N - Nicknames: Too many to list
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Broken leg ('85) and Pericardial window in '01
P - Pet Peeve: Stupid motherfuckers.
Q - Quote from a movie: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee. "
R - Right or left handed: Right handed
S - Siblings: 1 younger sister
T - Time you wake up: 7am
U- Underwear: Boxers
V - Vegetable you dislike: Any vegetable that's overcooked
W - Ways you run late: Staying somewhere for "one last beer"
X - Rays you've had: A lot
Y - Yummy food you make: I made Eggs Benedict with butter-poached lobster for my Mom and wife yesterday for Mother's Day
Z - Zoo animals: I love those big ass elephants


Friday, May 08, 2009

jimmy valentine's lonely hearts club

These folks like to keep a low profile; so the less said, the better. -HR