Annual Food Festival Returns to Georgetown This Weekend

ISABEL BINAMIRA/THE HOYA More than 60 dishes from local Georgetown establishments will be featured Saturday at the Taste of Georgetown food festival, located under the Whitehurst Freeway.

More than 60 dishes from local Georgetown establishments will be featured Saturday at the Taste of Georgetown food festival, located under the Whitehurst Freeway.

The 22-year-old Taste of Georgetown food festival makes its return to the waterfront this weekend, featuring food from more than 30 local restaurants.

The annual festival, hosted by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, will showcase more than 60 dishes from popular eateries such as Baked & Wired, Dog Tag Bakery, 1789 Restaurant and Clyde’s of Georgetown. Each dish costs $5 to taste.

Even with the expected inclement weather with Hurricane Joaquin, the festival will still take place, according to BID Communications Director Rachel Cothran.

“Despite the rain we anticipate on Saturday, we expect a great turnout for the festival. Our location underneath the Whitehurst Freeway means that we’ll be completely covered — one of few events happening this weekend that isn’t cancelled,” Cothran wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Four of the restaurants featuring dishes at this weekend’s Taste of Georgetown previewed their offerings Sept. 24 at their respective locations. The minds behind Olivia Macaron, Chaia, Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place, Eno Wine Bar and Chez Billy Sud were on hand to showcase the dishes that are available to this year’s festivalgoers.

Ana Claudia Lopez, co-owner of Olivia Macaron, located at 3222 M St. NW, said she hopes the French delicacies brighten her patrons’ days.

“If they’re just having a bad day, I hope a little macaron is going to make that day a little better,” Lopez said.

Lopez met her business partner, pastry chef Michel Gaion, after she ordered macarons from Gaion’s online business. Together, they now sell macarons in 14 signature flavors in addition to a rotating set of seasonal flavors. To celebrate the store’s two-year anniversary Oct. 19, Olivia Macaron will feature a pumpkin-spice-flavored macaron and a “jet black mac,” which is flavored with fig and balsamic.

Another featured establishment, Tony and Joe’s, has been a fixture on the Georgetown waterfront for 20 years and is known for its Sunday brunch, featuring live music and bottomless mimosas. In addition to partnering with local charities for restaurant events, Tony and Joe’s also aims to reduce its environmental impact through its membership in an oyster shell recycling program.

Its signature fresh-shucked Wellfleet and Belon oysters are part of its tentative tasting menu for this weekend, as well as yellow fin tuna, monchong and mini corn muffins.

The youngest of the festival’s featured establishments, farm-to taco-restaurant Chaia, has yet to officially open its Georgetown location at 3207 Grace St. NW, but founders Bettina Stern and Susan Simon continue to serve their all-vegetarian tacos from their tent at the Dupont Circle farmers market. Like Tony and Joe’s, Chaia is committed to sustainability and all of its utensils and cups are fully compostable.

All of Chaia’s ingredients are locally sourced, including ingredients for signature kale and potato and mushroom tacos. Though the farmers market tent only sells the tacos, the restaurant plans to also have a wide variety of drinks on tap, including natural juices from Misfit Juicery, a company started by Georgetown students, as well as local beers, wines and shrubs.

An emphasis on local ingredients is also prominent at Eno Wine Bar. The nearly 2-year-old bar, located at 2810 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, does more than just serve wine, with an extensive selection of local charcuterie and cheeses, as well as salads, flatbreads and grilled cheese.

The final featured restaurant, Chez Billy Sud, is also expanding by adding a wine bar in the space next door. The downstairs dining room is intimate and decorated in an old French style, creating a feeling of home within the walls of the restaurant, while the pastry kitchen dominates the upstairs.

Head pastry chef Jonte Hughes, who hails from Atlanta, has been at Chez Billy Sud since the restaurant’s inception.

“In the United States, you don’t see it too often, but here at Chez Billy we like to focus on classic French desserts and French food in general,” Hughes said. “It’s nice to go back and look at what started it all, and kind of embrace it. … You can’t help but appreciate the classics.”

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