Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Washington D.C.
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Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends.
The Audubon Naturalist Society (audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults/free-birding-trips) connects people with nature in the D.C. region. Lots of free information and a listing of high-quality birding sites.
Your Birding Pals (birdingpal.org/dc.htm) are active and ready to help in the Washington D.C. area.
Guided Bird Watching (guidedbirdwatching.com/washingtondc.htm) is an international site featuring personalized birding day tours.
Botanically Yours – Interesting gardens for our horticultural friends.
The United States Botanic Garden – Daily: 10-5, 100 Maryland Ave SW, D.C., 202-225-8333, the National Garden draws inspiration from the environments of the Mid-Atlantic region. It was conceived as an outdoor laboratory for gardening in harmony with natural ecosystems.
Hillwood Museum & Gardens – Tu-Sa: 10-5, 4155 Linnean Ave NW, D.C., 202-686-8500, At Hillwood you will find 25 acres of landscaped gardens and natural woodlands.
Dumbarton Oaks (doaks.org) – Tu-Su: 2-6, 1703 32nd St NW, Georgetown, 202-339-6400, the Dunbarton Oaks Gardens are 10 acres of formal and informal gardens.
Grape Experience - D.C. does not have any vineyards, however nearby Virginia has become a wine lovers destination. Check out (virginia.org/directory/wineriesandbreweries/) to get acquainted.
Transportation: Washington D.C. has excellent Local Rail Transportation, Metro (wmata.com)
Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245)
Day One: Begin your Washington D.C. experience with a lunch at Pizzeria Paradiso - L&D: Daily, 2029 P St NW, 202-223-1245 on DuPont Circle.
This has been a favorite spot of ours for years. It’s low key but a great way to get started on your holiday.
You can’t go wrong with their pizza, sandwiches, beer or wine. Try the Rappahonnock Cellars from Virginia.
We chose this lunch spot because it’s a short walk to The Phillips Collection – Tu- Sa: 10-5, Th: till 8:30, Su: 11-6, 1600 21st St NW, 202-387-2151
Here you’ll see many superb works of modern art in an intimate setting plus 19th century and contemporary American and European paintings, also temporary exhibits.
Their holdings include works by Renoir and Rothko, Bonnard and O’Keeffe, van Gogh and Diebenkorn plus much more.
A personal favorite is Renoir’s Boating Party.
Your next stop is the Corcoran Gallery of Art - W-Su: 10-5, Th: 10-9,500 17th St NW, 202-639-1700
It’s a nice walk down Connecticut Avenue. Here you will find 19th- and 20th-century American and European art, contemporary art, photography, and decorative art in a historic beaux arts building.
We have seen poignant special shows and exhibits here.
What with the travel and two museums it’s time to knock back some oysters at the Pearl Dive Oyster Palace – Br: F- Su: 11-3, D: M- Su: 5- 10, 1612 14th Street NW, 202.319.1612
This is the place to satisfy your oyster needs with a glass of wine or a cold beer, Monday thru Friday from 4 to 7 they have a 2 for 1 oyster special and wines for 5 bucks a glass.
For a wee bit more you can enjoy a glass of Domaine De La Quilla Muscadet Sevre et Maine that’s a perfect foil for those local oysters.
Dinner tonight is at 701 - L: M-F, D: M-Sa, 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, 202-393-0701
“Enjoy the warmth and charm of a private club with a picturesque setting”.
Share the olive oil poached octopus with salsa verde and salsify or the maple cured foie gras with BBQ lentils and honey peanuts.
For your main go with the lobster, red carrots, pear, hazelnut, fried thyme or the Berkshire Pork Chop, cider braised belly, celery root and savoy cabbage.
The ’00 Francois Jobard Blagny Rouge is your wine and the peanut tarte is your dessert.
Day Two: For breakfast this morning indulge yourself at Bistro Bis – B,L,D: Daily, 15 E Street, (202) 661-2700
“Where Capitol Hill Dines”, you’ll love the Creole Benedict – crayfish-tasso ham ragout on toasted English muffin with poached eggs, espelette pepper, spring, onion breakfast potatoes and hollandaise.
A much more sane choice is the French Toast, sliced brioche in hazelnut batter with bacon, caramelized bananas and vanilla crème fraîche.
After breakfast it’s an easy walk to The National Gallery of Art – M-Sa: 10-5, Su: 11-6, 6th & Constitution Ave. NW, 202-737-4215
The collection runs from Byzantine alter pieces to pop art. They have a wonderful range of work by American artists from Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden to Homer, Eakins, Whistler, Sargent and Tanner to name just a few.
The National Gallery of Art and its initial holdings were a gift from Andrew Mellon. The Gallery’s East Building was opened in 1978. (now closed for renovation)
On May 23, 1999 the Gallery opened an outdoor sculpture garden designed to offer year-round enjoyment to the public.
The Collectors Committee has made it possible to acquire paintings and sculpture of the twentieth century.
Lunch is at Johnny’s Half Shell – B,L,D: Daily, 400 N. Capitol St. NW, 202-737-0400
Share the grilled squid with arugula, crispy shallots and lemon vinaigrette.
The Bison hanger steak grilled, with onion rings and ramps or the Chesapeake Bouillabaisse featuring clams, mussels, shrimp, fish, and a mini-crab cake in a lobster broth are excellent.
Your wine choice is a Long Island, New York Wolffer Estate Rose.
After lunch we walked to The National Air and Space Museum - Daily: 10-5:30, Independence Ave at 6th St SW, 202-633-2244
It’s world’s most popular museum, with artifacts from Kitty Hawk to outer space and it maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world.
It is also a vital center for research into the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight, as well as planetary science and terrestrial geology and geophysics.
From here you want to visit The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts – 2700 F Street, NW, Tickets and Information: 800-444-1324 or 202-467-4600
Enjoy a free concert every evening at 6 PM.
Dinner is at The Blue Duck Tavern – B, L, D: Daily, 1201 24th Street NW, (202) 419-6755
“Here is a contemporary neighborhood restaurant. The menu notes every farm where the main ingredient for the dish was raised before its journey to the table”.
For a starter share the charcuterie board that includes pickled vegetables and grain mustard.
With this course have a glass of the Barbera from Barboursville, Virginia.
For your main the jumbo lump crab cakes with frisée & fennel and a coral aioli or the roasted muscovy duck breast and crispy leg confit with a pumpkin relish are good choices.
A bottle of Pinot Noir from Crowley, Willamette Valley, Oregon will work.
Day Three: For breakfast take the Metro to Market Lunch – B, L: Tu-Su, 225 7th St SE, (202) 544-5442
Order the blueberry buckwheat pancakes, with your coffee and wander around the market.
They also have crab cakes, eggs, grits and potato salad that makes for quick hits of old-time atmosphere and down-home food.
If you haven’t done so before we strongly suggest a visit to the U.S. Capitol – M-Sa: 8:30-4:30
The best place to start is The Capitol Visitor Center. The main entrance is located beneath the East Front plaza of the U.S. Capitol at First Street and East Capitol Street.
The United States Capitol is a symbol of the American people and our government and the meeting place of the nation’s legislature. It is a working office building as well as a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.
It also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right.
Cousin Joe likes the Old Ebbitt Grill – B, L, D: Daily, 675 15th St. NW, (202) 347-4800
This is a historic oyster bar and grill near the White House.
Joe suggests the grilled calf’s liver with caramelized onions, bacon, mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans or the Parmesan crusted rainbow trout, flash fried, hollandaise sauce, roasted potatoes and green beans.
Your wine choice is the Zinfandel “Old Vine,” Dry Creek Vineyard that goes with both dishes.
If you have more time and the inclination we suggest a trip across the Potomac to visit the charming town of Alexandria, VA.
Here you’ll find boutiques and shops along quaint streets and historic residential areas. You’ll also find Restaurant Eve – L & D: Daily, 110 South Pitt, 703-706-0450
We suggest as a starter the porchetta with gremolata or the loin of rabbit salad with butternut squash, roasted porcini and pecans.
For your main the rockfish filet with cabbage puree, bacon and onions or the squab breast with parsnips, leg confit and a garden salad are good choices.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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