December 2017 Fun For the Weekend

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Start the Season with a Feel-Good Charity Event

Decorate A Vet
Families are invited to jump into the holiday season with Decorate A Vet… a festive and friendly event that brings communities together to celebrate veterans. Volunteers do light yard work and holiday decorating for vets in our area. Register in person between 8AM and 10 AM this Saturday at the American Legion Post 130, 400 N Oak St, Falls Church.
 

Try Poke on the way to Tyson’s Mall

Lei’d Hawaiian Poke
Do you feel like you are the only one who hasn’t tried a Hawaiian Poke Bowl? Lei’d Poke near Tyson’s has you covered. It’s basically a Chipotle-style setup but the ingredients are more something you would find in a sushi place. Like, cubes of raw fish with lots of vegetables and tangy toppings. It’s healthy, delicious and definitely worth a try!

Enjoy an Evening Outdoors

Winter Walk of Lights
… before it gets too cold (or too crowded)! It sounds like the Winter Walk of Lights at the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens is a holiday tradition for lots of folks in NoVa… I’ve never been but it does look beautiful and could make for a nice seasonal outing. The lowest tickets prices can be found at winterwalkoflights.eventbrite.com.  Now through Jan 7th, $8 to $13.

 Indulge Your Inner Foodie

Clarity
Remember the awesome-ness of 2941? We’ve definitely had some memorable meals there! Executive Chef Jon Krinn now has an “open exhibition kitchen” restaurant in Vienna, and it looks fantastic. An early dinner before the Walk of Lights would be nice. You can stop in (as early as 5:00), but they also take reservations via text…send your request to 703-539-8400 and they will call/text you back.

Do you have a super busy weekend?  Why not double up on some errands and dining to save time and add fun?   While you’re at it, get yourself some culture: 

Watch “Live” Theater from London (Thursday and Wednesday)

Young Marx at the Angelika

This new comedy will be broadcast live from the Bridge Theater in London.  Set in 1850, the main character is a 32-year old revolutionary who is “Broke, restless and horny…a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit, and child-like emotional illiteracy.”  Holy Cow!  If anyone goes I’d love to hear about it!  If you can’t get it together to go on Thursday, they are doing it again on Wednesday Dec 13.  Tickets are $20 on their website or at the door.

 Have a Traditional English Breakfast

Extra Perks Coffee House and Cafe in Old Town

I actually go to this place all the time because it’s in the same building as my Art League classroom.  It’s homey and old-school; nothing sleek or corporate here!  Bangers and Mash, regular American breakfast, sandwiches, and lots more, plus the people couldn’t be any nicer.  When you’re finished, head around the corner to…

Shop for One of a Kind Gifts

Artfete by the Art League, 305 Madison St in Old Town

This event offers live music, a wearable art fashion show, and sale of original ceramics, jewelry, stained glass, mosaics and fiber art created by the students and teachers of the Alexandria Art League.  The sale offers “pieces to fit all tastes and budgets!”  It’s a whole weekend-long extravaganza and the hours are a little different for each type of art, so be sure to check the website before you head over. 

Stock Up on Delicious Italian Treats

The Italian Store

Stop by the Italian Store in Arlington to pick up lunch and/or dinner and pick out some quality gifts while you’re there.  Good options to have on hand could be: wine, of course; the Berger Cookies, imported olive oil (I love the fresh oil in the little square cans), and imported chocolates.  The Dalmatia Fig Spread is an old favorite, and Dalmatia now has new varieties in the same charming glass jars.  The Italian Store also sells Panettone from the Italian village of Albertengo, where I’m told they make a mean Panettone! 

The Rest of the Month

Yay it’s time for the winter break!  I’m picturing exciting outings balanced out with some leisurely activities and comfort food (of course!).  Consider these options:

Be the First to Try Some Swanky Mall Food

Isabella Eatery at Tyson’s Galleria

Chef Mike Isabella’s Isabella Eatery, the ambitious luxury food hall emerging on the top floor of Tyson’s Galleria, just opened the first three of nine planned restaurant and bar concepts.  The first wave of restaurant offerings include a full-service version of flagship Italian restaurant, Graffiato; a new all-day cafe called Nonfiction Coffee; and the Retro Creamery sweets shop that serves ice cream. 

Get Some Biscuit Love and Cake Too

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery

Let’s talk about the Bayou Bakery in Arlington:  The coffee is awesome and they serve a Bacon, Egg and Pimiento Cheese Biscuit.  Is there anything else we need to know?  You could go just for that, but I also see that they are taking orders for Creole Kringle Cake. This seasonal treat is “croissant dough, praline crunch, creole cream cheese filling, and finished with a praline glaze and roasted pecans.”  This would make a great hostess gift! Kringle Cake orders will be taken through Dec 22.

Take a Day Trip to Penn Quarter

Penn Quarter/Chinatown

Want to spend some time downtown? A trip to Penn Quarter is a great move this time of year.  Aside from the draw of the truly fantastic Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery,  there are tons of places to eat, and the whole gamut of shopping opportunities from the luxury City Center to the shops around Gallery Place.  The Downtown Holiday Market bazaar is also underway, with dozens of pop-up tents with eclectic gifts, local foods, and live music. The Market runs daily noon until 8pm now through December 23rd. 

Celebrate Oyster Weather

Hank’s Oyster Bar at the Wharf

The chill in the air… the festive mood of the holidays… is anyone else craving a giant iced platter of raw oysters?  Also, what a great excuse to check out the new DC Wharf! We’re taking the kids this time, but I already want to go back to try the “I Want to Do Bad Things” mass cocktail, which is a “fishbowl-shaped, surefire way to get a four-top drunk.”  Who’s in? Make your reservations now on Open Table.

Space Out

John Kadlecik at the State Theater

Wouldn’t it feel good to clear your mind with an excellent jam band? Lock in December 29th at the State Theater to see John Kadlecik, who is known for his work with Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, and was also co-founder of the Dark Star Orchestra.  This show is the real deal will put you in a chill mood for sure.  Get a listen here: https://soundcloud.com/johnkadlecik  Tickets are $20 advance / $25 day of show. 

 Nurse a Hangover with Korean Fried Chicken

https://www.yelp.com/biz/bbq-chicken-falls-church?osq=Korean+Barbeque

Those of us on the Annandale side of things have our favorite sources for delicious candy-coated fried chicken, but folks may want to try the South Korean chain BBQ Chicken that opened in Falls Church earlier this year. It’s known for its olive oil-fried chicken and also a sweet-and-spicy secret Sauce.  Does the trick every time!