What’s Cooking?

By Rona Berg / September 24, 2013
Sept13_Whats Cooking_01

Photography: Omni Shoreham Hotel

President Clinton had his first inaugural ball there. Liberace and Liza Minnelli performed there (when she was only 16). And now you can have one of the best farm-to-table dining experiences in Washington, DC, at this grand historic hotel.

With seven ballrooms (one modeled after the East Room at the White House), the 834-room Omni Shoreham has an impressive legacy—and a great location. Set on 11 rolling acres overlooking Rock Creek National Park, in DC’s Woodley Park neighborhood, this tranquil oasis in the city offers trails for jogging and hiking. The elegant backyard terrace at Robert’s Restaurant, facing the great lawn and flower gardens, is a lovely spot to savor a delicious outdoor dining experience.

Executive chef Dan Murray’s new menu—“American cuisine with a focus on local and sustainable food”—features locally-sourced ingredients and regional favorites like Maryland crab from the Chesapeake. Heirloom tomato relish, sweet potato puree and shaved vegetable mosaic with preserved lemon vinaigrette incorporate fresh picked vegetables from a nearby farm. “We email on Wednesday, they pick the vegetables Thursday morning, and we get them Thursday afternoon,” says Murray. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are on the menu.

Plans are in the works for a kitchen garden on property with herbs grown in planter boxes on the patio. “It’s nice to have dinner and see the chef come out and snip the fresh herbs from the planter boxes,” Murray says. And if the weather is good, don’t miss dessert on the terrace by the fire pit. omnihotels.com

Shaved Vegetable Mosaic with Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
Omni Shoreham, Washington DC
Serves 6 to 8Sept13_Whats Cooking_02

1 each: red, gold and candy stripe beet, roasted and peeled
1 each: purple, yellow carrot peeled
1 each: English cucumber, watermelon radish peeled, 1 bulb fennel
Fennel fronds for garnish

Zest of ½ of 1 preserved lemon
1 small minced shallot
3 ounces champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon agave syrup
Salt and Pepper
8 ounces olive oil

Shave all vegetables on a mandolin as thin as possible and reserve. Combine first five ingredients of the vinaigrette, slowly whisk in oil, taste for seasoning. Toss vegetables with vinaigrette, garnish with fennel fronds.

Rona Berg

Rona Berg

Editor-In-Chief at Organic Spa Magazine
Longtime journalist, author and current editor-in-chief of Organic Spa Media, Rona Berg is the former Editorial Director of ELLE and Deputy Style Editor for the New York Times Magazine, and she has contributed to and been quoted in dozens of publications. She co-chairs the Personal Care Committee of the non-profit Green Spa Network, is a Charter Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, best-selling author of Beauty: The New Basics and Fast Beauty (Workman Publishing), and is a frequent speaker and guest on radio and television and at conferences around the globe.
Rona Berg

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