A Night at Ris

A few months ago, I was getting a pedicure at the cute little nail place by my house, reading a magazine, and minding my own business. The place was pretty busy so when they sat this girl next to me I thought nothing of it, until I caught her giving me the look-over out of the corner of my eye. I thought maybe I had something on my face or my bra was out or something, but I checked and everything was good. I caught her checking me out again, and before I knew it she said “You’re Beth, aren’t you? I read your blog every day!!”

I got spotted.

It was the first and only time anyone has ever seen me and recognized me from the blog and it was such a flattering and cool/strange experience, but I was SO happy when she said hello!

Meet Jessica.

After talking for a while as we got our toes done side by side, it turned out we had more in common than just enjoying pedicures. Jessica is a publicist for Linda Roth Associates, Inc, a group that does publicity, marketing, and promotions for restaurants in the DC area. She asked me if I would “mind” if she invited me to some DC foodie events and you can guess my answer!

So Monday night, I got to go to this amazing cocktail party held by her firm for food bloggers/food enthusiasts at Ris, a cute upscale American comfort food restaurant. The party was planned to showcase some of the new features on their late spring/early summer menu, and I was blown away by so many things I tasted.

To start, the bartender made these incredible cocktails that were going too fast for me to get a full picture.

Dark ‘N Stormys on the far left with rum, house-made ginger beer, and lime; and Elderflower Collins towards the right, which was my favorite cocktail of the night. It had Hendricks, St. Germaine, cucumber juice, lemon, lavender spice bitters, soda, and pieces of fresh cucumber. It was light, refreshing, and absolutely delicious.

A close second was the Bloody Wasabi that came out later in the evening – Ketel One, Wasabi Tomato Juice, and cucumber.

It definitely felt a little weird to be drinking this at night and not to nurse a hangover during brunch, but this was one of the best bloody marys I’ve ever had and something I’ll certainly order when I go back to Ris for brunch.

The food was equally as good as the cocktails, if not better. I loved that it was all served in small bites so I got to try a little bit of everything. I also loved that there were several rounds of all the dishes so I got to get seconds (or thirds) of some of my favorites. There were two small plates that tied for first place of my favorites of the nights, with a third as a close second.

To start, my first bite of the night – the Scallop Margarita.

I can’t even articulate the incredible flavor explosion that was on this spoon, but I can tell you I had not one but FOUR of them. It was seriously the perfect bite, with lime marinated scallops, chiles, orange, avocado, tequila ice and a fresh tortilla chip for a garnish. I ate it in one bite, and the flavors and textures were perfect and so well balanced. The recipe for this one is on the website!

My other favorite was the gruyere cheese puffs.

Puff pastry and melty cheese? Yes, please. These bites were so delicious that I practically tackled the server from behind to get my hands on a second one. I cooled down a bit after that, but was pleasantly surprised when they placed a whole tray of them down towards the end of the night.

You can guess where I parked myself until those were gone..

The runner up for best bite of the night for me was the Asparagus and Gingered Grapefruit Salad.

It was drizzled with a sesame, scallion, and miso vinaigrette that added a surprising but welcome spicy tang to the dish. This one feels like something I’ll be attempting to recreate at home. The grapefruit and asparagus went so well together and thinking about eating a huge version of this (perhaps with crab or shrimp?) on my balcony sounds just about the perfect summer night.

Though those three were my favorites, there were plenty of other delicious bites that I got to try.

Molasses (!) cured salmon with honey mustard on a house made potato chip.

Gnudi – fresh ricotta dumplings served over a tomato and eggplant fondue, with spinach and crisp proscuitto. I just ate the dumpling and the texture was out of this world.

Oh yeah – and dessert. Check out the care that went into making these.

Hollowed out egg shells that were hand painted and filled with melted chocolate, peanut butter mousse, and chocolate covered peanut brittle. I don’t think words can do that dessert any justice. Peanut butter, chocolate, and chocolate covered peanut brittle – I mean what’s not to love? I had two of those and while I probably could (should) have stopped at one – it’s not every day that you get to eat something as delicious as that.

One of my favorite photos of the night, while not great in quality, is this one:

Wil and Alicia taking photos of the food without skipping a beat in the conversation. Only at a foodie event.

Have you ever been to a tasting event like this? Can you think of one of the best bites you’ve ever tasted?

31 Comments on A Night at Ris

  1. Holly @ The Runny Egg
    April 27, 2011 at 8:51 am (7 years ago)

    I have never been to an event like that but I’d love to go. How fun!

    And congrats on being spotted – that must have felt really good!

    Reply
  2. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle
    April 27, 2011 at 9:22 am (7 years ago)

    oh my GAWD. that all looks so delicious I wouldn’t even have known where to start.

    That’s awesome that you got spotted!

    Reply
  3. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    April 27, 2011 at 9:22 am (7 years ago)

    That’s awesome that you were “recognized”! 🙂 And she sounds like a cool chick- double win.

    Reply
  4. Gwen
    April 27, 2011 at 9:31 am (7 years ago)

    So fun! You’re famous 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 27, 2011 at 9:35 am (7 years ago)

      haha not quite! but it was SO fun!

      Reply
  5. Jen, a priorfatgirl
    April 27, 2011 at 9:52 am (7 years ago)

    that looks delish!

    I’ve been spotted too, now I feel like I have to make sure my eye liner looks okay every time I leave the house 😉

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 27, 2011 at 9:56 am (7 years ago)

      haha good point. guess i should start wearing makeup when I leave the house….. =)

      Reply
  6. Liz
    April 27, 2011 at 10:25 am (7 years ago)

    The food looks amazing! And that is so cool a reader spotted you!

    Reply
  7. beyondbananas
    April 27, 2011 at 11:23 am (7 years ago)

    How awesome to be recognized on the street! I am sure lots of people think you look familiar too – but just can’t put their finger on who you are.. until they read your blog again.. then the opportunity is past. I love the photo of Wil and Alicia taking pics of their food. Typical bloggie world!

    Reply
  8. Lisa
    April 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    What a fun event! The food looks delicious!

    Reply
  9. Amy @ Conquering Self
    April 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm (7 years ago)

    MMM…that looks so delicious! Especially the egg shell dessert! That is so cool that your blog has led to such interesting experiences coming your way. I hope you get to go to more fun events like this!

    Reply
  10. LauraJayne
    April 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm (7 years ago)

    That sounds so fun! I love it when places have tasting menu’s/options! It makes it so much easier to try everything without going overboard!

    Reply
  11. sophie
    April 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm (7 years ago)

    Just want to let you know — I stumbled across your blog a few months ago, and added it to me Google Reader … But you have been recognized a second time! I saw you in South Square Market in Philly this past weekend. (You may have noticed a girl staring and trying to figure out where I knew you from … Though I didn’t realized until after I saw you that you *were*, in fact, in Philadelphia, hence me not coming over to say ‘Hi.’)

    Hello!

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 27, 2011 at 1:22 pm (7 years ago)

      How funny!! My sister lives on South Street just a few blocks from that market so I go there all the time! I didn’t notice anyone looking at me but that must have been weird for you to think you saw me but not know if I was really in Philly or not!

      Hello! =)

      Reply
      • sophie
        April 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm (7 years ago)

        I’m glad I helped you feel famous-er! (And it is synchronous that just after I saw you, you posted about the one other time you’ve been spotted … Otherwise, I probably would have kept my mouth shut.) I’m a med student, so currently don’t have the time to blog, but have also been working out/trying to change the way I eat over the past little-over-a-year and have managed to lose 50+ pounds (and am still working).

        Next time you’re in Philly you should say hello! I also live a block away from that market, also on South.

        Reply
  12. Katherine: Unemployed
    April 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm (7 years ago)

    gossip girl here…
    spotted! this looks like such a fun venue

    Reply
  13. Sydney
    April 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm (7 years ago)

    Congrats on being spotted! Soon the paparazzi will be outside your house… 🙂

    And this place looks amaaazing! So cool that you were invited to a special event.

    Reply
    • Sydney
      April 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm (7 years ago)

      PS – I looove gougeres. I have made them several times and usually have to end up making a second batch for whatever event I made them for… because I eat them when they come out of the oven. Oops. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Lisa @ I'm an Okie
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm (7 years ago)

    You’re famous! It’s happened once to me as well and it made me wonder “how the heck do celebrities do it knowing that EVERYONE knows them”

    Reply
  15. Weighting For 50
    April 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm (7 years ago)

    How fun!! You are the ‘star” in a “star spy”! Great looking event Beth, thanks for sharing!!!

    Reply
  16. Parita
    April 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm (7 years ago)

    How exciting – you’re a celebrity! 😉 And those cheese puffs and dessert look amazing, oh and the drink, who can forget those! Yummy!

    Reply
  17. greensandjeans
    April 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm (7 years ago)

    What a fun event! I was spotted on Kelly Drive a few weeks ago with Colin, definitely a surreal experience!

    Reply
  18. Shannon [Tropical Eats]
    April 27, 2011 at 10:59 pm (7 years ago)

    you are famous!!! very proud of my roomie.

    that molasses potato chip salmon bite sounds incredible! who thinks of these fun combos??

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm (7 years ago)

      Haha not quite!!!! Oh man that cured salmon was delicious. The chef of Ris was the former chef of 1789, which is another pretty famous restaurant in DC. I wish I could rewind and go to the party again!

      Reply
  19. Nina
    April 28, 2011 at 3:24 pm (7 years ago)

    those all looked so good. Were you full at the end of the night, or did you control yourself?

    Reply
    • Beth
      April 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm (7 years ago)

      Hard question to answer! I did leave full, but I didn’t feel like I overdid it too much. I ate everything I wanted to try, but because most things were small bites, it wasn’t too hard to avoid going overboard. While that definitely can’t be a nightly occurance, I didn’t leave feeling like I had “failed” if that makes sense.

      Reply
  20. Ashleigh
    April 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm (7 years ago)

    What a fun event!! Those drinks look so good and I love how they are small so you can try them all 🙂

    Reply
  21. Ang
    April 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm (7 years ago)

    There are no fun events like that in my area! I was a gluten free pizza judge at the local grocery store once! Not quite as classy! lol

    I really, really want to try a dark and stormy!!!

    Reply

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