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Small Plates: Blue Ridge Opens With ‘Honest Food’

Restaurateurs Eli Hengst and Jared Rager opened their latest offering, Blue Ridge (2340 Wisconsin Ave. NW), last week with executive chef Barton Seaver at the helm. The Glover Park restaurant, designed by D.C.-based firm CORE, seats 185 and is housed in a 100-year-old row house.

“There are no essences’ or superfluous explorations on the Blue Ridge menu, just honest food and cocktails rooted in American tradition with a simple, rustic design as the canvas for good food and conversation,— Hengst says of Blue Ridge.

The menu will use local and sustainable ingredients that can be found in the mid-Atlantic region. Highlights include Piedmont port meatloaf with buttermilk mashed potatoes and smoked tomato as well as roasted butternut squash with poached egg and chorizo vinaigrette. Appetizers will range from $5 to $10, while main courses are $12 to $20.

Brian Cook will be creating and managing the wine list at Blue Ridge. The list promises to be a mix of American and French wines and will include 50 wines for less than $50.

Blue Ridge will be open for lunch during the week, brunch on the weekend and dinner daily.

Hey, Kiddies,It’s Restaurant Week

Cookie and Gourmet magazines will be hosting Kids’ Restaurant Week beginning today. The event, which began Saturday at Eastern Market and will run through June 21 at restaurants around town, features kid-friendly menus and budget-friendly prices. A three-course prix fixe menu is available from 5 to 7 p.m. at a cost of $29 for adults. Children 11 and under pay their age. A portion of the proceeds will go to restoring Eastern Market and to the local nonprofit Miriam’s Kitchen.

Menu items include alphabet soup and homemade cookie bites at Zola (800 F St. NW) as well as deviled eggs and braised lamb at Firefly (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW). Other participating restaurants include Art and Soul (415 New Jersey Ave. NW), Belga Café (514 Eighth St. SE) and Dino (3435 Connecticut Ave. NW).

The event was set to launch at Eastern Market on Saturday with cooking demonstrations by local chefs that were geared toward a younger age group. For example, chef Danny Bortnick of Firefly planned to lead a banana bread cooking demonstration with the help of his 4-year-old son. For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to

Police Chow DownWith Burger Contest

Local law enforcement agents were scheduled to face off in a hamburger eating contest at the Hard Rock Cafe on Sunday.

The friendly competition between the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Capitol Police and the Unites States Park Police was in honor of the Hard Rock’s 38th anniversary. A dollar from every burger sold that day was donated in the winning team’s name to the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics.

The day’s festivities were scheduled to kick off with a performance by D.C.’s Regional Police Pipe Band. George Washington, the racing president from Washington Nationals’ games, also planned to be on hand to cheer on the contestants. Civil servants who attended the contest were treated to 71-cent burgers in honor of 1971, the year the Hard Rock opened.

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