Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

quick takes: washington, d.c. 

by Stephanie Zonis

So, you have a few days to run around DC, taking in as many museums, memorials, and monuments as you can stand. I’ll leave the choice of which to see up to you, but I have a few recommendations regarding other matters.

First and foremost, don’t drive in DC!!! Even outside of rush hour, even on the weekends, this is an awful place to have to drive---and that’s not taking into account the nightmare of parking. Instead, leave transportation to the metro system. Yes, it has flaws, but it’s extensive in coverage, will deliver you close to most places you want to go, and is easy even for those notorious for their inability with maps/directions to figure out. If you’ll be in town for a few days, consider a metro pass, available in several types.

Artisan Confections, http://artisanconfections.com. A petit jewel box of a chocolate boutique. Jason Andelman and Company produce chocolates and other confections that should not be missed. If the Orange-Mascarpone Caramels or Espresso Caramels are available, make sure you get them while you can! The Fresh Mint, Raspberry, and Malted Milk Chocolates are delightful. 1025 North Fillmore Street, Arlington, VA. About a 3 block walk from the Clarendon metro stop.

Bakeshop, www.bakeshopva.com. Conveniently located right next door to Artisan Confections. I went on a Cupcake Crawl in DC (it’s like a pub crawl, only for baked goods), and this shop produced the best cupcakes I found. The Apple was as unexpected as it was tasty; a moist, gently-spiced cupcake with chunks of real fruit, topped with a lightly spiced frosting that was a perfect complement. The Chocolate Cupcakes I tried were almost as good. The cakes tasted like chocolate and weren’t overbaked (a rarity in cupcakes, it seems), while both the Vanilla and Strawberry Frostings had winning flavors and weren’t too heavy. 1025 North Fillmore Street, Arlington, VA (all shops in this building appear to share the same street address). Also about a 3 block walk from the Clarendon metro stop.

Urbana Restaurant & Wine Bar, www.urbanadc.com. Admirably, the kitchen presents both large and small plates, so you can have full entrées or eat tapas-style. The Dates with Bleu Cheese and Ham were nicely executed, ditto the Roast Chicken (though the farro on the side was the real star of this dish). Skip the pedestrian Profiteroles for dessert and go with the Blood Orange Semifreddo, deliciously sweet-tart, creamy, and cold. Vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-allergics take note; the kitchen can and does work with you here. Like most restaurants, this one gets noisy on a busy Saturday evening. Next to the Hotel Palomar; 2121 P Street NW in DC.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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