Celebrate Valentine’s Day Over Chocolate Fondue at The Melting Pot in Reston

Posted on January 14, 2021 by Warren Duffie

Indulge in a delicious, romantic meal this Valentine’s Day at The Melting Pot in Reston. If you’ve never been before, the Melting Pot offers an interactive dining experience. You’ll cook your food right at your table and the dinner offers the chance for you to treat your special someone to a fancy, fun meal.

The pre-fixe, five-course menu is varied and offers something for everyone. The cheese fondue is one of the highlights of the meal — you’ll have the choice between loaded baked potato cheddar cheese fondue and sparkling gruyere fondue, and will receive bread, vegetables, and fruits for dipping.

The cupid’s feast entrée includes high-quality, tender meat like filet mignon, lobster tail, and strip steak that you’ll cook right at your table. For dessert, you’ll receive a champagne toast and your choice of chocolate fondue.

The meal is $80 per person. An ultimate romance package is available for $245 and includes a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses, and rose petals on your table.

Reservations are being accepted from 3 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 14.

Bring a Hearty Appetite to Chi McKorean Fried Chicken, Now Open in Vienna

Posted on by Warren Duffie

KFC should only stand for one thing in your vocabulary, and that should be Korean Fried Chicken. And the place to get it in Vienna is at newly opened Chi McKorean Fried Chicken on Branch Road. This recent location follows popular spots in Alexandria, Annandale, and Chantilly, and offers the same perfectly crispy chicken with soy garlic or spicy sauce. Order your favorite pieces, and have the kitchen give you half and half of each sauce so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Other options on the menu include pork belly buns, bulgogi, and sticky ribs, but no matter what you order, the Korean fried chicken should be what you start with. Get your KFC in a lunch special with kimchi slaw, or on a signature sandwich for under $9.

Even though this location is relatively new, the folks on Yelp have consistently praised the restaurant for its consistent product and great service. Give it a try for yourself to see what all the buzz is about.

Set Yourself Up for Holiday Cookie Success With These Kitchen Organizing Tips

Posted on December 8, 2020 by Warren Duffie

Getting into the holiday spirit in your home? Perhaps your annual traditions include baking! Before you whip up the first batch of cookies, you might want to rearrange the kitchen to make the process a bit easier. These expert tips can help.

  1. Stow spices on a turntable. Turntable, Lazy Susan, whatever you call it, these contraptions make it simple to quickly locate the spice you’re looking for! You can also use them for go-to baking supplies like flour and sugar. A mini turntable should fit neatly and easily into any spare cabinet.
  2. Quickly boost your storage space. There’s probably some spare space in your cabinets that you don’t even realize is there! That’s the dead air above your canned goods and spices. Double your storage space instantly by adding wire shelving, which sits right on top of your permanent shelves. Similarly, small drawers under the sink or in other underused spots can work wonders.
  3. Stash your cookie sheets differently. Instead of keeping your cookie sheets in a haphazard pile, use tension rods to get them in order. Line up tension rods from one side of a cabinet to the other and store your cookie sheets vertically.
  4. Use the back of your kitchen cabinets. Did you know that parchment paper tubes are super easy to hack? Stick a wooden dowel through the hole in the center of the tube, and you can hang it instead of trying to stuff it in a drawer alongside cling wrap and aluminum foil. Just affix two temporary hooks to the back of a cabinet door, thread the dowel through them, and voila! Parchment paper at your fingertips.

The 52 Best Kitchen Cabinet Organization Ideas of All Time [Apartment Therapy]
The 35 Most Brilliant Organizing Ideas of All Time [The Kitchn]
22 Smart Storage Tricks for a Small Kitchen [Good Housekeeping]


Get in the Holiday Spirit at the Bull Run Festival of Lights

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Holiday fun and social distancing is going to be hard to mix this year, but not at the Bull Run Festival of Lights! This yearly tradition is a safe way to get in the merry mood, right from the comfort of your car. To get the party started early this year, Bull Run Festival of Lights is open for an additional three weeks (it’s open now!) to get you thinking about your gift list and humming a happy holiday tune. Just load up your car, pack plenty of cocoa and snacks, and wind through the 2.5 miles of impressive lighted displays. And while some of the normal attractions are closed this year, including the Snowflake Stampede and Holiday Village & Carnival, there will still be plenty of family photo ops amidst the dazzling displays.

For the most manageable crowds and a $5 discount per car, plan your trip on Monday through Thursday. Visit the website to purchase tickets, or to see the hours of operation for each evening.

Ice Skating at Reston Town Center: A Holiday Tradition Returns

Posted on by Warren Duffie

After this difficult year, we could all use an extra dose of holiday cheer. And there is no more picture-perfect and downright fun way to spend an evening than Ice Skating at Reston Town Center. The rink is practically movie quality, complete with a full canopy of lights and charming shops surrounding the ice. Bring the kids for a fun winter activity, or make a special night of it with your significant other. There’s plenty of dining and shopping near the rink, so it’s really a great spot to take advantage of this busy time of year.

Be sure to visit the skate shop for tons of new merchandise or to rent the popular double-blade, flat edge skates for beginners. To keep guests safe this year, Reston Town Center has expanded their operating hours and is offering ticketless entry and reserved time slots. Visit the website to hold your time, and to learn about free parking options and more.

Fall Sweets to Bake in November

Posted on November 5, 2020 by Warren Duffie

Sweet potato, pumpkin, apple—these are a few of the ingredients that flourish in the fall, so it makes sense they’d also play a starring role in your baked goods. If you’re looking for some sweet autumn treats to make this month that are a little more creative than pumpkin muffins and apple pie, try these recipes.

Gingery Sweet Potato Pie [Country Living]
The distinct addition of ginger lends a rich, complex flavor to this otherwise traditional sweet potato pie. You can make your own pie crust or buy one pre-made to cut back on prep time. Then bake about four small sweet potatoes and mash them with milk, eggs, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and, of course, sugar. Fill the pie crust with the sweet mixture, bake it, and top with homemade (or storebought) whipped cream.

Pumpkin Crisp [Delish]
Sure, pumpkin pie is delicious, but pumpkin crisp in a cast-iron skillet? You really can’t beat that. This recipe guides you in mixing together pumpkin puree, eggs pumpkin pie spice, heavy cream, and vanilla with ample amounts of sugar. Next, you’ll craft a crumbly topping using flour, brown sugar, salt, butter, and pecans. Pour the creamy mixture into a greased cast-iron skillet, sprinkle the buttery crumbs on top, and bake for about 45 minutes—then enjoy a slice a la mode.

Apple Dumpling Bake [Taste of Home]
This recipe is much easier than apple pie, and it features one unexpected ingredient: Mountain Dew. Apple slices wrapped in crescent rolls simmer in the sweet, bubbly beverage with sugar, butter, and cinnamon for about 35 minutes. The result? Flaky, golden-brown rolls bearing the perfect balance of tart Granny Smith apples and sweet soda and sugar. For an extra-delicious dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Shop Hostess Gifts, Home Decor and More at Lou Lou in Reston

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Both a quaint local boutique and an extensive online store, Lou Lou offers many options for shoppers. Its local Reston outpost is open again for in-person business, as are sister locations up and down the East Coast. But if you’re not quite ready to don your mask and shop at the store, the on-trend jewelry, clothing, and gifts are available on the website, as well.

Fast shipping means you won’t have to wait long for a gift to arrive. Treat yourself or a friend to a pair of earrings hung with slices of pastel-toned stone, or a few delicate rings shape like the ocean waves. Bring home a comfy sweater in a muted autumn pink or a cozy sherpa jacket for your fall walks. Or simply browse the giftable odds and ends, like pumpkin candles and Frasier fir–scented soap.

Sourdoughnuts: Doughnuts Delivered to Your Door at The Avant

Posted on by Warren Duffie

Great news for anyone who wants to stay home and savor a doughnut: Sourdoughnuts delivers. In fact, it almost exclusively delivers. The newly opened eatery does provide a pickup option at Herndon’s Elden Street Tea Shop on Thursdays, but other than that, your only options are to have the gluten-free doughnuts delivered to your doorstep on Fridays, Saturdays, or certain Sundays.

Treat yourself to a classic, like the powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or vanilla glaze doughnuts, or try one capped with chocolate, lemon, or strawberry icing. Depending on the season, you’ll also find a few special offerings on the menu. For fall, Sourdoughnuts is doling out pumpkin, chai, and butterbeer doughnuts. Stay tuned for eggnog, gingerbread, and chocolate cherry doughnuts in the winter. You can also try mini doughnuts, filled doughnuts, or even a gluten-free sourdough soft pretzel.

What to Stream When You Need a Break From the Everyday

Posted on August 11, 2020 by Warren Duffie

The world is changing rapidly right now, and the constant onslaught of news might be making it hard for you to unwind—especially if your home has suddenly become your workspace, too. One surefire way to recharge is to watch some good, old-fashioned mindless TV. Here are a few solid options to stream.

Arrested Development
An oldie but a goodie, Arrested Development was one of the first TV shows to pioneer the faux-documentary style. It put the approach to good use with a cast of offbeat, reliably selfish characters and an all-knowing narrator who’s mastered the tongue-in-cheek commentary. Although the show only has three original seasons, Netflix recently revived it so you can keep the streaming going for a full five seasons.

Nailed It
You’ve never seen a baking show quite like this one. Instead of sourcing its talent from a pool of top pastry chefs, Nailed It invites amateur bakers to come and show off their skills. They’re tasked with impossibly complicated baking projects, which they need to recreate in absurdly short amounts of time, and the results are hilarious. The commentary from the panel—which includes professional comedian Nicole Byers, a famed French chef, and a rotating celeb guest—only makes the baking competition that much more enjoyable.

Always Be My Maybe
This Netflix original comedy was released last year to acclaim from critics and audiences alike, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, now’s the time to tune it. It follows the story of a pair of childhood friends—one now a celebrity chef, the other content to live with his parents and pursue a floundering music career. Spoiler alert: they fall (back) in love, and Keanu Reeves also shows up.

17 Best Lighthearted Shows & Movies On Netflix When You’re Looking to Chill [Bustle]
The 25 Best Feelgood Movies on Netflix [Time Out]
The Funniest TV Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now [Thrillist]

Savor the Flavors of Spain at Barcelona Wine Bar

Posted on by Warren Duffie

This summer, consider making time to enjoy the flavors of Spain at Reston’s own Barcelona Wine Bar. This popular restaurant specializes in shareable tapas dishes, like eggplant caponata, spiced beef empanadas, and chorizo with sweet and sour figs. Choose several for everyone to share, as well as a larger main dish (chicken pimientos with lemon and hot cherry peppers is a popular option, as is the spicy seafood paella mariscos).

Want to keep it simple? Go for the chef’s choice charcuterie platter with a whole roasted branzino. Looking to feed the whole family? Keep in mind that Barcelona Wine Bar also has a kids’ menu, so the little ones can enjoy an order of crispy chicken fingers while you savor a bowl of mussels in white wine sauce. And, of course, be sure that you chose a bottle of one of the Spanish wines this place is best known for (see the full list online). Take-out and delivery are both available.