Round-up: Taste of the Nation DC!

Eat, drink, and socialize for a great cause? Sign me up! Share Our Strength’s Annual Taste of the Nation DC for No Kid Hungry was last night, bringing together over 100 restaurants, bars, mixologists, sommeliers, & chefs!

Sweets early on

The event was hosted by Food Network’s Melissa de’Arabian, and there were lots of other famous chefs present, including my favorite– Bryan Voltaggio!

I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking here. Let’s dive right in.

Lupo Verde (2)

Check this out– it’s from Lupo Verde. Looks like an ice cream cone, tastes like a sweet-savory flavor explosion in your mouth. A good explosion? Ohhh yes! It was an herb-dough cone filled with chocolate and 4 cheeses, dipped in spicy chocolate and covered with nuts. I heard there also may have been salmon in it…

Lupo Verde

..either way! I dub this the most unique bite of the night.

Vinoteca Warm Tuna Confit

Vinoteca served up a warm tuna confit. Delish.

Art and Soul Pastrami Cabbage and Swiss egg roll

Another one of my top favorites of the night was Art and Soul’s pastrami cabbage and swiss egg roll. It was a savory, satisfying little bite!

Centrolina RIcotta Gnudi like Gnocchi

Speaking of satisfying, Centrolina had cooked-to-order ricotta gnudi. What is gnudi? It’s kind of like gnocchi, but even better!! Doughy, warm, and cheesy. Mmmm cheese….

Mason Dixie Biscuits

Mason Dixie had some tasty biscuits with two different toppings. Simply southern, I like it.

Pinea Scallop

Pinea had a little scallop crudo– the perfect size. It was on a thin, soft biscuit, which I liked as opposed to a hard cracker. And, I love seafood.


The best display of the night has got to go to Macon. Look at that?? Colorful, full of variety, oh and delicious!

Macon (2)


Brabo Bison Carpaccio

Brabo’s bison carpaccio. Try the bison! If you like meat, you’ll like it.

Let’s take a drink break…

Juniper Shooter

Juniper served this shooter. Honestly, can’t even tell you what’s in it, but it was DELICIOUS! If I had wanted to drink more…I would have had another…but, back to the food.

District Commons Pork Cracklings with Pimento Cheese Dip

District Commons’ Pork Cracklings with Pimento Cheese Dip. Say what!? Pimento Cheese dip! And pork cracklings. You heard it allllll right.

Del Campo Smoked Beef Tartare

Del Campo’s Smoked Beef Tartare! Another item I don’t have often– beef tartare. Afraid of tartare? Don’t be, it’s full of flavor!

Dino Grotto Brussel Sprouts

Dino Grotto’s Grilled Brussels! Feelin’ healthy with the veggies. Ya know, to balance out the meat & seafood 😀

Room 11 House Brined Duck Pastrami

Room 11 served house-brined duck pastrami. I don’t usually eat duck (as in, it’s not something I typically cook) so it was a nice treat to have here!

Speaking of duck..

The Hamilton Smoked Duck Breast with Strawberry Salad Goat cheese and Meyer Lemon

The Hamilton served a smoked duck breast with strawberry salad, goat cheese, and meyer lemon. This was one of my top favorites of the night. The sweet of the strawberry was a surprising and wonderful accompaniment to the smoked duck.

El Centro Guac

El Centro’s crab guacamole. Two of my favorite foods, on a chip?? Perfection.

Speaking of perfection, let’s move on to desserts…

The Sweet Lobby

The Sweet Lobby had lots of macaroons and other confections. I might have tried all of them. It was TOTALLY worth it.

Georgetown Cupcake

A DC classic– Georgetown Cupcakes. The peanut butter chocolate is my favorite.

Cocoa Sala

Co Co Sala had a variety of chocolate creations. Again, had to try them all…

Sona Goat Cheese Lemon graham cracker crust pies

Sona’s goat cheese and lemon graham cracker crust mini pies. So creamy, I could have eaten 5 of these. But I stuck to one. Because I knew I wanted…

Captain Cookie

Cookies from Captain Cookie! Kirk and the Captain Cookie team make the BEST cookies. Here we have chocolate chip and snickerdoodle. Try eating them together…or visiting the food trucks/ store for a cookie ice cream sandwich…do it.

Rare Sweets

Rare sweets had AMAZING brownies and blondies, along with mini cakes. I loved all the mini items. SO CUTE!

Le Diplomat Fois Gras Macaroons

Here’s a unique bite– Foie Gras Macaroons. Chyeah, that’s a real thing. And ya know what? DELICIOUS! I wonder how one would go about making these..

And more! There was so, so much more. And everything was outstanding. This just gives you a glimpse into how epic the event is!

Danny Lee Mandu

Casual chef sighting– that’s Mandu’s Danny Lee (right) who just was dubbed winner of DC’s Cochon 555.

I’d also like to mention the DJ. She played the BEST mash-up of 90s hits. Totally knew her audience.

Whew, this is making me hungry!

This year’s event benefited Capital Area Food Bank,  DC Hunger Solutions, and Mary’s Center. In sum, it’s a culinary event to end childhood hunger. Need I say more?

Did you miss it? Don’t worry, they’ll be back next year! Mark your calendar now 🙂


 rachel and melissa