The Hotlist: April 2014

April 1


Welcome to the Hotlist, a monthly preview of things to taste, see and do in the weeks ahead. Here's what's coming up in April. 

Bluejacket and baseball


(Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)

The Nationals and spring weather are coming back to town at the same time, so it’s only natural that we’d want to take advantage of both. The best way to celebrate the Nats' home opener on Friday? The Navy Yard's Bluejacket brewery is turning its patio into an al fresco eating and drinking spot, with a handful of beers on tap and a menu of burgers, ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. The patio bar opens two hours before every home game and closes at 10 p.m. or one hour after the game ends, whichever is later. Bluejacket, 300 Tingey St. SE (Metro: Navy Yard). 202-524-4862.  Fritz Hahn

Flocking to the flea market

The winter that just wouldn't go away means it's not too late to revamp your spring wardrobe or spruce up your house. You have two opportunities this weekend as Union Market's Thread fashion event and the weekly District Flea market return for 2014. Browse Thread for independent designers and retailers such as Culture Baby, DURKL and Third + Grace Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., then head to District Flea for antique and vintage furniture, clothing and food vendors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE (Metro: Rhode Island Avenue). District Flea, 945 Florida Ave. NW (Metro: U Street).  Margaret Ely

BLOG: Thread fashion event returns to Union Market

Taking it to the roof


The view from Roofers Union's rooftop deck (Maura Judkis/for The Post)

Patio and roof deck season might actually be here to stay. Some new options vying for your time and money: Roofers Union, which took over the Reef last fall, has remade its casual Adams Morgan roof deck to focus on sausages, bowls of punch and pitchers of craft beer. The Donovan House’s rooftop bar will have a new flavor when it officially opens April 11: Bartender Jon Harris is crafting a cocktail menu inspired by “Asian street drinks,” including a Pimm's Cup made with salted lemonade and some sort of boozy bubble tea. Roofers Union, 2446 18th St. NW (Metro: Adams Morgan). 202-232-7663. Donovan House, 1155 14th St. NW (Metro: Mount Vernon Square).   Fritz Hahn

Tearing into tigelles

Ungriddled tigelles at Red Apron Butchery in Penn Quarter.
(Tim Carman/The Washington Post)

It's odd for a restaurant with a meat obsession to spend two years perfecting the bread basket, but the tigelle is no ordinary dinner roll. It's a specialty from Italy's Emilia-Romagna region served at Red Apron Butchery and its adjoining restaurant, the Partisan. What makes a tigelle special? A layer of lard and a special grilling machine, a tigelliera, imported from Italy by butchery impresario Nate Anda. The result is a delicate, glossy puck that you can't help but rip into pieces for pairing with your charcuterie. The Partisan, 709 D St. NW (Metro: Archives). 202-524-5322.  Alex Baldinger

Baying Hound brews

Rockville's beagle-sized Baying Hound Aleworks just did something Bullmastiff big: As of March 20, the brewery can serve pints of its ever-changing assortment of beers on premises. The list includes everything from a Korean black-rice fruit beer, to a lingonberry-and-chocolate stout, to a more traditional brown ale. Your best bet is to get an $8 flight before settling on a pint ($6-$8). Baying Hound Aleworks, 1108 Taft St., Rockville (Metro: Rockville). 301-637-9322.  Amy Orndorff

Gin blossoms

Just in time for cherry blossom season, the local distillery behind Green Hat gin has brought back its popular spring/summer gin, flavored with three kinds of citrus peels and one great local ingredient: cherry blossom petals. Expect to see it featured in cocktails around town, and for sale at better liquor stores or the New Columbia Distillers. Pro tip: It makes one heck of a gin rickey. New Columbia Distillers, 1832 Fenwick St. NE. 202-733-1710.  Fritz Hahn

GCDC opens


The Steak-Kim-Cheese sandwich at GCDC. (Shauna Alexander/GCDC)

Grilled cheese by day, wine and cheese by night: That’s what you’ll find at GCDC, a restaurant just oozing with comfort food. The grilled cheese, tomato soup, and tater-tot spot is scheduled to open April 11 – one day before National Grilled Cheese Day. In the evening, the kidult lunch menu switches over to a sophisticated selection of charcuterie, cocktails and cheese plates. But during the day, you’ll find warm and gooey and entirely unexpected sandwich combinations, like the Kim-Cheese-Steak, with bulgogi and kimchi and cheddar. GCDC, 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (Metro: Farragut West). 202-393-4232. — Maura Judkis

BLOG: GCDC to dish out gooey sandwiches starting April 11

Farewell, Filmfest?

Could this be the end of Filmfest DC after 28 years? The organizers say financial woes could mean that this is the festival's swan song. The lineup of international films includes a selection of spy thrillers, a handful of films that focus on social justice and a few movies for the ever-expanding foodie population. The festival runs April 17-27. Visit www.filmfestdc.org for a list of screenings and showtimes.  Stephanie Merry

Like Halloween in April, but more Awesome

An event promising both retired NASA astronaut Pam Melroy and persistent party-rocker Andrew W.K. in the same weekend? It could only be Awesome Con D.C., which returns to the Washington Convention Center from April 18-20, glorifying geekdom for comic books, science fiction, art and music in a setting where nobody will cast a second glance if you're dressed as a Storm Trooper. Expect to spot a galaxy of stars, including Billie Piper from “Doctor Who,” Hollywood’s Cary Elwes and Sean Astin, cast members from “The Walking Dead” and two (two!) of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Awesome Con, 801 Mount Vernon Pl. NW (Metro: Mount Vernon Square). 240-346-0399. $30-$200.  Alex Baldinger

An earthy helping of broccoli


The 2013 Broccoli City Festival at the Half Street Fairgrounds. (Courtesy Broccoli City Festival)

Earth Day -- that's Tuesday, April 22, green thumbs -- will be here before you know it, and so too will the second Broccoli City Festival on April 19. The festival and concert, to be held at the St. Elizabeths East Gateway Pavilion, was created as a platform to increase interest in environmental wellness and healthy living in multicultural communities. Scheduled performers include Cam'ron, Kelela, Just Blaze, Dizzy Wright and others, along with activities such as a pop-up marketplace, on-site acupuncture and a 5K run. The event runs noon to 8 p.m. and tickets are $29-$45. 1100 Alabama Ave. SE (Metro: Congress Heights).  Macy Freeman

Bacon in Baltimore

The folks at America Loves Bacon, an organization that produces pop-up bacon events around the country (talk about a dream job), are behind the April 26 Maryland Bacon Festival. Admission ($25-$70) gets you access to 30 vendors and food trucks, bars with bacon-themed cocktails, cooking demonstrations and eating competitions. Don't worry about driving, either: Weekend MARC train service, introduced late last year, means you can get from Union Station to Baltimore for just $7, which should leave you plenty of money for more bacon samples. -- Maura Judkis

Nature and bluegrass in an urban jungle

RFK Stadium might seem like an odd place to commune with nature, but just beyond Lot 6 is the entrance to Kingman and Heritage islands, two thickly wooded refuges along the Anacostia River. The April 26 Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival brings the Hackensaw Boys and more than a dozen acts to two stages in a celebration of the outdoors to benefit Living Classrooms, a group that uses the islands to introduce kids to nature, from 1 to 8 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $10. 600 Oklahoma Ave. NE (Metro: Stadium-Armory). — Amy Orndorff

Saying goodbye to the diplodocus


(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

The Fossil Hall at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History is closing for a five-year, $48 million makeover on April 28. So take a walk through what is one of the Smithsonian’s most popular exhibits one last time before the skeletons are dismantled and taken away. Sure, five years seems like a long time now, but when you consider the exhibition's source material has already been extinct for 65 million years, we should be able to manage until 2019. 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.  202-633-1000. naturalhistory.si.ed Margaret Ely

Rolling out the mat for Yoga Week

The ninth annual D.C. Yoga Week has lots to offer, whether you downward-dog on a regular basis or have never rolled out a mat before. More than 40 of the region's yoga studios will offer free and reduced-cost yoga classes beginning April 28, from fundamentals to hot yoga, culminating with Yoga on the Mall, led by California-based yoga celebrity Shiva Rea, on May 3. Visit www.dccy.org/dc-yoga-week for a full list of free yoga classes and events.  Stephanie Merry

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Maura Judkis · April 1