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Hop Chef DC: Beer Appetizers Compete!


The best thing about beer is when you use it to cook dozens of appetizers, all in the fun of bragging rights and cool ish from Saveur magazine. Everything from drunken oysters with bacon, hop-laced lamb sauce and beer-cooked surf and turf sliders we’re on tap at the Atlas in Northeast, DC. Chefs from around district cooked 2 dishes, each, in hopes to fancy your palette and get your vote. Take a spin through the photos and vote for the dish that’s music to your mouth.

Pictures Hop CHef DC Beer Selection

We’ll start the small plate photo journey from the left of the room and work our way clockwise. As you drool, note the one dish that you think would taste the best and let me know what it is in the comment section!

Magnolias at the Mill: DC Chef Mark Marracco

Hop’s Surf and Turf Slider: The chef dished out the king of the sea — lobster on top of  beef , on top of fresh aioli, on top of a tender bun. The pickled carrots and onions are a bonus.

Beer Lobster and Steak Slider, Hop Chef DC

Beer Fresh Stuffed Ravioli: Although, lobster and steak is a hard act to follow, Magnolia’s ravioli with foie gras was a luscious plate with comforting sauce, fresh pasta and a meaty filling to die for.

Stuffed Ravioli with Foie Gras and Beer Sauce, Hop Chef DC

Clyde’s of Oak Town: DC Chef Jeff Eng

Uni and Beer-braised Oxtail Caviar with Fiddleheads and Lotus Chips: If this fare sounds vibrant, it’s nothing compared to Chef Jeff’s pink Mohawk that he rocked at Hop Chef. The plate was full of richness from the oxtail terrine, freshness from the fiddlehead, vibrancy with the faux caviar and saltiness from the lotus chip, plus a beautiful sauce to boot.

Chocolate and Hazelnut Pop Rocks Dessert: I didn’t get to sample this beauty, partly because sweets are forgotten when savory is all about. However, dessert aficionados from DC to NY noted this treat as an exciting and creative chocolate dessert that popped on your tongue, literally.

Sonoma: DC Chef Mike Bonk

Brew-Infused Hamachi with Strawberry Vinaigrette: Ohhhh, if you never thought of raw, rich, buttery fish and strawberries – change your mind grapes. This dish is balanced with fresh fish perfectly coated with a light strawberry emulsion – it’s  a perfect pairing like tartar sauce for tuna.

Tuna Crudo with Strawberry Vinaigrette, Hop Chef DC

Hoppy Lamb with Cipponili Onions: Not a beer drinker? This dish will change your mind. No wine or whiskey paring can ever compare to how a full-bodied beer goes with this succulent lamb appetizer . The sauce was made from hops and for good reason. Once the lamb melted in your mouth the hops was the complimenting finish.

Lamb and Cipollini Onion, Hop Chef DC

Bibiana: DC Chef Nicholas Stefanelli

Beer-Laced Gnocchi with Pork Ragu:

Rare Vos Beer Smoked Gnocchi with Ragu, Hop Chef DC

Not fair, Chef Nicholas. When hand-rolled potato pillows are coated with a delicious beer-laced ragu is it really fair to compete? Yep! It’s as good as it sounds too, pillows of the Italian staple are coated in a rich, salty and pork sauce that pari well with Rare Vos Beer.

Beer Rice Ball: this is the kind of food you love to see from a Hop Chef. It’s an inconspicuous fried ball and although you’re not sure what food is in the middle, you know the dish is from a chef that wont disappoint.  Have faith, bite the ball and OH is it a comforting, crunchy, ricey, creamy, meaty and cheesy decision!
Witt Beer Rice Ball Stuffed with Cheese and Meat, Hop Chef DC

Boundary Road: DC Chef Bradley Walker

Ensalada De Camarisco: Translation – Shrimp with delicious guacamole. As a seafood lover who likes a purist approach to the sea, eaters far and wide enjoyed each bite that the guacamole-coated shrimp had to offer.
Beer-laced Shrimp and Guacamole, Hop Chef DC and Witt Beer

Smoked Pork Leg with Ramp Spatztle: You had us at “spatzle”. Spatzle literally means little sparrow. Spatztle is the wonderful world of mini egg noodles from Germany. And when it’s topped with smoked pork you can’t go wrong.
Smoked Pork Leg with Ramp Spatzle and Turnips and Dandelion Greens, Hop Chef DC

Hanks Oyster Bar: DC Chef Jamie Leeds

Scallop Ceviche: Aw Snap, when you take perfectly creamy, plump scallops and marinate them in beer…. You trust that all is well in the world of seafood appetizers.
Beer Scallop Ceviche, Hop Chef DC

Oysters and Bacon: This poses the age-old question about oysters – Do oysters taste better cooked with bacon crumbled on top or are oysters better raw with cool horseradish, lemon and vinegar – infused sauces? If you’re a raw oyster enthusiast, you may change your mind when you taste Hank’s cooked oysters. Everything is better with bacon (and oysters).
Poached Oysters with Bacon , DC Hop Chef Competition

Before the official winners are revealed, what do your tastebuds think? Which beer-infused small plate would you pick to win?

Spoiler Alert: The Hop Chef Competition winners from the judges and peoples vote are…

Judge’s Vote: Uni and Oxtail caviar, with fiddleheads and lotus chips from Clyde’s of Tower Oaks: DC Chef Jeff Eng

People’s Choice: Pop Rocks Chocolate Dessert from Clyde’s of Tower Oaks: DC Chef Jeff Eng

Clydes DC Chef Jeff Eng

What’s your vote?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Bren permalink
    12 pm

    The lobster and steak slider has my vote! Anything with lobster has my vote.

    • brandon maya permalink*
      12 am

      Tasty Choice, Bren,
      After a few bites of the slider, I offed the bun and went straight for the lobster. The Hamachi with strawberry vinaigrette was a winner too!

      Love, Peace and Lamb Appetizers,
      Brandon Maya

  2. MuSiCh permalink
    12 am

    I’m not sure why but the Hoppy Lamb looks really good to me. 🙂

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