Over the weekend, I was stuck inside due to Hurricane Irene.  I spent hours pinning ideas and reading new blogs.  Below are my newest daily obsessions. 

Mimi+meg Mimi+Meg is so cute.  Megan is a new resident to the DMV.  Her blog is all about fashion, home decor, art and the occasionally DC post. 

Honestly Honestly..WTF is hilarious.  Really, I love the blog because I love the name.  I must say it 1000 times a day.  Fashion, art and DIY tutorials about cool jewelry are the topics.  It's a visual feast. 

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Riveting Rooms

Leopard rug2

Leopard is one of my favorite home accents.  Sounds crazy but I think of it as a neutral pattern.  This room is a perfect illustration of how well it works.  I've seen homes with a leopard stair runner or even a leopard chair.  I love it in all of it's incarnations. 

This room is from a ridiculous NYC five bedroom, five bath penthouse that CocoCozy featured last week.  It's listed for 25 million dollars!  This was one of my favorite rooms but others are jaw dropping as well.  And you thought DC real estate was expensive.

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Rouge 24

Rouge 24

On Friday night, I had my first Rouge 24 dining experience.  What's Rouge 24?  The latest foodie nirvana.  In their own words, Rouge 24 is "a progression of small plates that excite the senses, tantalize the palate and awaken curiosity." 

The scene is very speak easy.  It's in an alley that used to be home to skater and art parties (usually at the same time.)  The door is nondescript and there's a view of the pedi cab warehouse.  Once you enter, it's a different world.  It's sleek with exposed brick and concrete floors.  I loved the woven light fixtures and the rugs under the tables to keep the noise level in check.  We sat in the sat in the back corner near the cocktail station.

We chose the 24 course "Journey" with the wine pairings.  If you're going to do it, do it right.  Yes, it was expensive but it's on par with Table 21 and minibar.  On that note, Rouge 24 blew Table 21 out of the water and is very close to minibar perfection. 

There's plenty of reviews that talk about every course.  I'm going to highlight my favorites:

Hog Jowl:  pan perdue with onion ice cream, a sliver of hog jowl and chinceron with salted carmel sauce.  Oh my god was this an incredible combo.  I loved the salty/sweet contrast. 

Foie Gras:  frozen foie gras shavings with lavendar notes and a huckleberry sauce.  Melted in my mouth. 

Shabu Shabu:  don't have words for the deliciousness.  Thinly shaved beef, greens and mushrooms in a flavorable broth.  I wish every ramen soup had this broth.  

Razor Clam Ceviche:  a perfect bite of clam, apple, fennel and potato. 

The other diners at the table loved the Sea Floor dish (sea urchin with squid ink tapioca, seaweed and clamato).  I do not like sea urchin.  My husband was really happy to eat two of these.  The tables least favorite dish was the Bull's Blood Beet which consisted of frozen beet juice ice with smoked roe and yogurt gnocchi. 

The wine parings were also a delight.  I only drink white because red doesn't agree with me.  The sommelier offered up cocktails instead of the two red wine glasses.  They also poured me another glass of the excellent French rose.  (I'm a little obsessed with rose this summer).  The shots at the beginning and end of the meal were also delicious.

The service was impeccable.  The sheer amount of staff is impressive.  Let's also talk about the tableware.  It was beautiful.  Each dish had a different set of silver plus various stands/plates/bowls. The attention to detail is incredible.

Overall, this is not an experience to be missed.  It won't be an event for everyone.  Most dishes were one to two bites.  Some will find it too fussy and gimmicky.  But others, like myself and my dining companions, will find it a unique adventure.

*photo via The Washington Post


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First Friday

This week, I found two fabulous houses in Crestwood.  Crestwood is located on upper 16th St., NW and it's bordered on three sides by Rock Creek Park.  For the complete low down, check out Urban Turf's Crestwood profile.

4235 blagden ave nw exterior
4235_Blagden_Street_NW_living room

4238 Bladgen Ave, NW  (DC7677739) is a Californian contemporary.  It's a four bedroom, two and half bath detached house on a deep lot listed for $879,000.  It's 2,629 square feet and the yearly taxes are $6,663.  It's been completely renovated with an open floor plan, floor to ceiling windows, vaulted ceilings, two fireplaces and hardwood floors.  The kitchen is very sleek with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and Italian cabinetry.  The baths have river rock accent floors and overhead rain shower fixtures.  There's an enormous back yard, a deck and parking.

4711 Blagden ave nw exterior
4711 Blagden ave nw great room

4711 Blagden Ave, NW (DC7676413) is a stately detached Colonial.  It features four bedrooms, three fulls and two half baths for $1,295,000.  It's 4,071 square feet and the yearly taxes are $8,532.  It was recently renovated and has many amenities.  A few to note are the hardwood floors, three fireplaces, built in book shelves in the living room, a great room with vaulted ceilings, plus an open, updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.  The grounds surrounding the house are impressive as well.  There's a screened in porch, a stone patio and a landscaped garden. 

*pictures via MLS

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In this edition of "First Friday-Did they sell?", we're checking on two houses in Brookland that were originally listed in April. 

4316 12th pl, ne
4316 12th Pl, NE is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath semi detached rowhouse.  It's been completely renovated with hardwood floors, granite and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, a finished basement and a large back yard.  It was originally listed for $469,000.  The price was reduced twice, to $449,900 and then to $429,900.  It sold for $417,00 with a $9,600 seller subsidy.  It was on the market for 79 days.  As always, price plays a huge part in how many days a house is on the market. 

103 Webster front 103 Webster St, NE is also a 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths semi detached rowhouse with a rental unit for $449,900.  (3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths upstairs, 1 bedroom/1 bath in the rental unit).  It's been renovated with hardwood floors, updated baths, a kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances, Energy Star windows and HVAC, and it's eight blocks to the Metro.  It was on the market for 85 days, reduced to $399,000 and it didn't sell.  The sellers then changed agents and relisted it for $379,000 in July.  It's currently under contract.  It was on the market for 23 days at the price of $379,000.  

Both of these listings are an indication of how tricky it can be to determine what will attract buyers in this market.  DC's real estate market remains strong.  If a listing doesn't have the perfect combo of correct price, amenities, and location, a property can linger on the market.  On paper, both of these house should have sold more quickly.  Welcome to the strange world of real estate.

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Bobby's burger

To celebrate my friend Val's birthday, I took her to the lastest burger joint in DC, Bobby's Burger Palace.  Val loves a burger (who doesn't?) so I thought this was the perfect place for a birthday lunch.

Bobby's Burger Palace is Bobby Flay's latest casual eatery.  DC is the 6th Burger Palace that he's opened and the first in the DMV.  It's located at 21st and K St, NW.

  Bobby burgers interior

The decor reminds me of a retro McDonalds.  There's a lot of orange, red and lime green.  Obviously it's much nicer than Mickie D's as you can see from the photo above.   

The line was long.  We went at 12:30 and we waited 20 minutes until our order was taken. 

I went the classic route and ordered the Palace Classic Burger (american cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion).  All burgers can be ordered as beef, turkey or chicken.  I went the turkey burger route with no red onion and "crunchified" it.  "Crunchified" is adding potato chips to the burger.  They also ask how you want it cooked.  That always makes me happy!

Val got the Crunch beef burger (double american cheese/potato chips).  We shared regular french fries and ordered a Dark Chocolate milkshake. 

The burgers and shake were amazing.  The burgers were perfectly cooked and I loved the potato chips on the burger.  I could have done without the fries.  They were good but I'm not much of a fry girl.  While standing in line, I heard people saying the sweet potato fries were the way to go. 

My husband also went to the Palace yesterday (independent of my visit…great minds think alike).  He got two beef burgers, the Dallas (spice crusted, coleslaw, Monterrey jack/bbq sauce/pickles) and the Santa Fe (queso sauce, pickled jalapenos/blue corn chips.)  He didn't "crunchify" either.  As you know, ordering two burgers is his habit.  He gets one to eat immediately and one for a "snack" later in the day.  His favorite was the Santa Fe.  He didn't love the spice rub on the Dallas burger.   

Overall, the consensus is "yum."  My husband thinks the Palace is better than Shake Shack and Five Guys.  I'd have to concur.

*interior photo from Bobby's Burger Palace website

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Riveting Rooms

Lori graham bedroom

I believe bedrooms should be a retreat.  To me, this space illustrates that belief.  I love the various gray tones and textures, the lux chandelier, the reading area and the big windows framed by long drapes. 

*photo via Lori Graham website

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Tortilla Espanola

When I lived in Spain, I was obsessed with tortilla.  My favorite was from the bakery on my street.  They served it stuffed into a baguette that had just come out of the oven.  I had my English students write endless variations of the recipe.  I sampled it at every tapa's bar in town.

This weekend, my husband recreated it for me with baby fingerling potatoes, shallots and eggs from the farmers market.  It was a delicious treat on Sunday morning.  Enjoy!

Tortilla Espanola

1/4 cup olive oil plus two tablespoons

1 lb. thinly sliced fingerling potatoes

2 shallots, thinly sliced

8 large eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the broiler.  Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  Add potato and shallot slices, seasoned with salt and pepper.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the onions and potatoes are tender but not browned, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly and season with salt and pepper.  Scrape the potatoes and onions into the egg mixture.  Be sure not to leave any in the skillet.

Return skillet to the heat and add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the egg and potato mixture, spreading in an even layer.  Cover and cook over low heat until the edges of the tortilla are set, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the skillet to the broiler and broil 8 minutes until the top is set.  Remove skillet from broiler.  Set a large plate over the skillet and carefully invert the plate.  Let stand for 5 minutes then cut into wedges.

*adapted from Mario Batali's recipe in food & wine

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First Friday

This week, I found two listings in my neighborhood that will catch your fancy.  I've been watching the renovations on the first house for months.  The second house is one of my favorites because of it's unusual architecture and use of space.   Both are in the heart of U St. Corridor.  

1018 W St, NW
1018 W St, NW living room
1018 W St, NW kitchen
1018 W St, NW is a two bedroom, two and half bath house listed for $599,000.  It's 1240 square feet and the yearly taxes are $3,320.  (Taxes likely to increase because the house was just gutted and renovated.)  The property features bamboo hardwood floors, granite kitchen counter tops, stainless steel appliances, new windows and two fireplaces in the living room.  It has a small outdoor area and a deck.  Both bedrooms have beautiful bathrooms en suite.  It's minutes to the U St. Metro and nightlife.  It will be Open on Sunday, 8/21 from 1-4pm. 

990 Florida Ave, NW

990 Florida Ave, NW lr
990 Florida Ave, NW is a four bedroom, two bath house listed for $1,195,000.  It's 2,000 square feet and the yearly taxes are $5,744.  This house was built especially for the lot.  The architect had a fascination with corner lots and designed a house to reflect his enchantment.  It's been featured in The Washington Post Magazine.  It's four levels with a dramatic staircase running throughout the interior.  The open kitchen has concrete counters and stainless steel appliances.  There's in-floor radiant heat and solar powered electricity and hot water.  It's also a short walk to the U St. Metro and nightlife.  It's shown by appointment only.   

*photos via the MLS. 

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CG white cropped1 I'm pleased to announce (which is what you're viewing right now.)  I've officially graduated to the big leagues.  I purchased a domain name.  I'm relaunching my blog with a new look and new features.  It's still a work in progress but I'm thrilled with the results.  You can now search for homes (an important feature in a real estate blog).  You can catch up on my Twitter feed.  You can subscribe.  I hope you like the new look.  Feel free to comment about the new site or anything you think I should add to the design.         

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Gemma Redux is one of my favorite jewelry designers.  I first glimpsed her pieces on Gossip Girl.  (Don't judge…I love the clothes.)  Then I received a necklace for Christmas from my Mom.  Then I discovered her sample sale.  Yea.  I'm obsessed.

The latest sample sale is happening this week.  Go now because the inventory sells out quickly.  FYI- she also adds new creations throughout the day.  Check out what my hubby (kisses) purchased for my anniversary present below. 

Mixes chains with Kambaba jade

*photo from Gemma Redux website

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Riveting Rooms

Sissie Jonassen's office nook via Design Sponge

When I saw this office nook yesterday on Design Sponge, I was instantly jealous.  My home office doesn't remotely resemble the photo above.  It's full of paper, pens, and books.  It isn't polished or well lit.  My husband also shares half the office because he works from home too.  I guess if one room has to look like a disaster, I'd rather it be the office vs. the living room.  Yet I'm envious of this clean space with perfect accessories. 

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