Monday, October 2, 2017

Forest-to-Table Is All the Buzz at this Falls Food Forest Feast

I entered an enchanting forest yesterday, well actually it was a"forest garden," located in my hometown Bowie, MD.  Curious about all the buzz, I entered without fear of the unknowm. After all, acclaimed Chef Micheal Costa of Penn Quarter's Zatinya had just graced this garden the evening prior at the annual Food Forest Feast.  This unique annual event is held by Forested, LLC and is held as a forest-to-table tasting event featuring dishes created by Chef Costa from the forest garden's ecosystem.  Acorn breads, fruits, flowers, spices, nuts, mushrooms and vegetables are some of the treasures found on the menu.

Chef Micheal Costa preparing
 "chicken" (mushroom) for the Forest Feast.

Upon arrival, I was offered a tasting of exquisite leafy appetizers. One more decadent than the other - a delicious acorn based cracker that could double as a light dessert.  After a few bites I ventured off on the forest garden tour given by
Soil Ecologist/Instructor, Ben Friton. Groups of lemon balm and citronella plants welcomed us deeper into the woods of natures symbiotic placement of plants and trees.  Ben explained the encouragement of pests when the same plant is planted side by side for an extended length.  Nature wants diversity in its garden and insects want their needs met.  Ben showed me soil so rich in nutrients it was obvious that this forest garden was a sort of utopia for living organisms.  Nothing forced, everything in harmony just as nature meant for it to be.

The tasting menu continued with mushrooms, greens and duck egg pate.  Dessert ended with acorn cookie crumbs, ice cream, acorn bread and an edible passion flower that made my mouth smile the whole way home.

I know one thing for sure, I will not be missing the next Food Forest Feast slated for Springtime in this magical forest garden.  And you won't want to miss it either.  Check out more about Forested, LLC for events, tours, classes, CSA and more! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

La Bella Strada - An Italian Street Painting Festival in Del Ray!

Join local artists in an Italian art form that will come to life dubbed "La Bella Strada," Del Ray's Annual Street Painting Festival Saturday, May 13, 2017, Mt. Vernon Ave., 9-3, FREE. Watch Mt Vernon Avenue come to life as artists, sponsored by local businesses create vibrant, large-scale chalk paintings directly on the sidewalk!

La Bella Strada is a modern street painting festival that originates from an ancient Italian art form. This unique event takes place along Mt. Vernon Avenue throughout the day on Saturday, May 13, 2017​. The festival brings artists, energetic volunteers, and local businesses together to enliven our cottage neighborhood with vibrant colors, crowd-drawing masterpieces, and a one-of-a-kind experience of witnessing the creation of large-scale chalk paintings directly on the sidewalks. Similar festivals have successfully brought splendor and visibility to communities around the world. La Bella Strada in Del Ray will also feature a Casa de Bambini (“Children’s House”) area to provide a space for young artists to create a collective chalk masterpiece of their own, as well as designated sidewalk squares where families and individuals can participate in making their own colorful work of art. Come and celebrate Italia in Mt. Vernon this Mothers Day Weekend!

La Bella Strada
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Mt. Vernon Ave
9 am - 3 pm

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Next stop, Alta Strada! Everything. Italian. Please!

Inspired by the storefront's of Italy, Alta Strada's colorful bar transports diners to
Italy with one sip of crafted cocktails.
Cibo e Beve!  Want a cozy spot to dine out that's just as Italian as it is American?  Take a bite outta Mosaic District's hottest urban trattoria, Alta Strada. Now serving brunch, lunch and dinner Italian style from Nutella topped french toast and eggplant parmigiano to thin-crusted pizza, house-made pasta and that's just the beginning.

A rustic elegance embraces you at Alta Strada from the ornate chandeliers and exposed brick to the antipasto rimmed bloody mary.

Brooklyn Born, Star Chef/Owner Michael Schlow has perfected his vision of the "ultimate neighborhood restaurant," now located in the DMV in Washington, D.C. at Mt. Vernon Triangle and Fairfax, VA in the hip Mosaic District.  Schlow's culinary inspiration echos his travels of Piemonte, Toscana, Emilia Romagna and Campania.  Enjoy rustic Italian flavors from design to cuisine at Alta Strada.  Buon Appetito! Locations here.


Monday, June 8, 2015

'Our Town' Commedia Style Resonates With Audiences

Love, life and death in its rawest form embrace audiences with welcomed comedic relief during Faction of Fools Theatre Company's delicate portrayal of Thornton Wilder's OUR TOWN.   Performances run May 28th – June 21st, 2015 at the Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University.

Organic, energetic, hilarious and heartfelt are rolled into one acrobatic delivery of this timeless classic.  Matthew Pauli (Faction's The Lady Becomes Him, STC's The Tempest, Big Apple Circus) who plays the Stage Manager, is flawless at centering the audience while narrating the varied emotions of Wilder's intense themes. 

Young lovers George Gibbs and Emily Webb are played by Drew Kopas (Faction's Romeo & Juliet, Rep Stage, STC, Olney) and Teresa Spencer (Constellation's Absolutely! {perhaps}, Taffety Punk, Maryland Shakespeare Festival) exude teenage love with such poignant body language it sends chills up your spine. 

With sensitivity to Wilder's use of pantomime, direct address, and metatheatrical commentary, director Matthew R. Wilson applies a Commedia dell'Arte lens to re-discover the classical archetypes still familiar in Our Town today.  Audiences will recognize Faction of Fools' acrobatics and full-company physical comedy on an open stage without scenery, other than a few chairs and ladders, as prompted by Wilder in his stage directions, and animated by live Foley sound design performed by the actors. Commedia dell'Arte masks heighten the reality and separate the “characters” of Grover's Corners from Wilder's “actors” playing them. 

Faction of Fools' Artistic Director Matthew R. Wilson, one of America’s leading experts in Commedia dell’Arte (Constellation's Lieutenant of Inishmore, 1st Stage's One Man Two Guvnors, Faction's Titus Andronicus, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Don Juan, Hamlecchino, Romeo & Juliet), directs and choreographs the production. An ensemble replete with classical acting training and physical comedy clout constructs the townspeople, soundscape, gardens, cows and furniture of Grover's Corners, featuring Julie Garner (Faction's A Commedia Christmas Carol, Constellation, Forum), Toby Mulford (Faction's Titus Andronicus, Pinocchio!, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Hamlecchino, Romeo & Juliet, 1st Stage, Constellation, Roundhouse), Paul Reisman (Faction's A Commedia Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet, STC's Servant of Two Masters), Rachel Spicknall Mulford (Faction's The Lady Becomes Him, Hamlecchino, NextStop's Richard III), John Cartwright II (WSC's Visible Language), Natalie Cutcher, Joe Grasso, Darren Marquardt, and Kathryn Zoerb (Rep Stage, Imagination Stage).

An inspired design team defines the sounds, sights and seasons around the actors, with Costumes by Denise Umland (Faction's Titus Andronicus, A Commedia Christmas Carol, Don Juan, Hamlecchino, Rep Stage, Wolf Trap, WSC), Lighting by Michael Barnett (Faction's Titus Andronicus, North Shore Music Theatre, Barter Theatre, Tennessee Rep, Ole Miss), Sound and Music Composition by Roc Lee (Arena's Mother Courage and Her Children, WSC, Lean and Hungry), and Masks by Sarah Conte (Faction of Fools, Constellation, Imagination Stage).

OUR TOWN closes Faction of Fools Theatre Company's exciting sixth season as DC's award-winning Commedia dell'Arte theatre company. The Fools are the Helen Hayes Awards recipients of the 2012 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.  You will laugh, cry and relate to these timeless themes posed by Wilder's and portrayed so artistically by DC's loved Faction of Fools.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Join Alexandria Chef at Local Farmers Markets!

Chef Carmine Marzano of Alexandria-based Osteria Marzano will kick off the Chef at Market Series for Fairfax County Farmers Markets this summer in honor of Marzano's seasonal farm-to-table dining experience promotion.  Marzano customers will enjoy local produce on the menu along with hands on cooking classes offered on cooking and dining locally and seasonally all summer long. Local ingredients will be sourced from neighborhood Nalls Produce along with local Farmers from Markets in and around Fairfax County.

First stop will include the Kingstowne Farmers Market on Friday, May 29, 4-6 followed by a stop at the Burke Farmers Market on Saturday, 9-11.  Also on the seasons calendar will include Markets in Mt. Vernon; Lorton; Smart Markets Springfield Mall and more! Come by to meet and greet Chef and managing co-owner, Elena-Pouchelon Bruzzo and learn about classic Italian cooking while sampling Chef Marzano's seasonal delights made fresh with Market ingredients.  See you at the Market!  More information on Market hours and location click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scotch Dinner at Osteria Marzano's

Don't wait to reserve your seat at Osteria Marzano's Scotch Dinner on Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm.  Dinner will feature a five-course menu paired with fine scotch and cigar (optional).  Chef Carmine Marzano has created a unique Italian tasting menu perfectly paired with Macallan 10 and 15 Year, Highland Park 12 Year, and Highland Park Dark Origins.  Make it a night to remember.  $115 Per Person, Reservations Required.  Limited seating, reserve here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Celebrating Women's History Month with Restaurateur, Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo

Managing Co-Owner of Osteria Marzano, Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo, 27, chats with on food, family and standing up to fear!

"You can do anything you set your mind to, your biggest enemy is fear...if you want to do something, there is a way...make a plan and just do it!"

"I love pasta, I eat it every day...I want our customers to leave with a memorable experience at Osteria Marzano."
            Elena Pouchelon-Bruzzo, Restaurateur, Osteria Marzano