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Posted at 12:48 PM ET, 06/01/2011

Today in Food: With cheese


Pies fly out of the oven at Justin’s Cafe, one of the few dining choices near Nationals Park. (Evy Mages - For The Washington Post)
Why are more chefs making their own cheeses? Tim Carman finds out the answer is: because they can.

In today’s Food section, he surveys D.C.chefs who started their own artisan cheese programs and now make everything from paneer to fromage blanc. See how Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall chef Liam LaCivita does it, step by step, in these photos. Carman also talks to chefs about their techniques for the house-made cheeses at Passage to India, Marcel’s CityZen, Komi, Restaurant Eve and Bourbon Steak.

Pimento cheese is one of the 2011 food trends, says Bon Appetit, and writer David Hagedorn finds the Southern spread elevated on menus around the country. In this area, “David Guas serves pimento cheese with Triscuits and a grilled pimento cheese at Bayou Bakery in Arlington. At Founding Farmers, it shows up as part of an appetizer assortment and makes a cameo as a filling for an omelet/’hangover cure.’” And at Jackie’s in Silver Spring, it’s topped the Elvis burgers since the restaurant opened in 2004.

Before it opened, there was lots of hype about Logan Circle taqueria El Centro D.F.: guacamole mashed tableside, DJs in the basement, a rooftop deck. But in his First Bite commentary, critic Tom Sietsema writes that its “interpretation of ‘casual Mexican’ is more relaxed than it ought to be.” Read on — the lashing gets worse.

Back to cheese for a moment: writer Kristen Hinman checks out the “American-Neapolitan” pizzas at Justin’s Cafe in Southeast and calls them winners for the toppings. Think prosciutto, candied figs, arugula and sweet tomato sauce or charred broccolini, roasted eggplant and goat cheese. There’s also soup, salads, sandwiches, burgers and craft beer on the menu, most named for for streets in Charleston, S.C., where 27-year-old restaurateur Justin Ross went to school.

By  |  12:48 PM ET, 06/01/2011

Categories:  Restaurants

 
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