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Posted at 2:41 PM ET, 06/ 6/2007

News to Digest

By Erin

Two restaurants celebrate al fresco dining tonight and those looking to spice up lunch have multiple options thanks to a delicious and affordable spread of curry at a posh hotel. New around town, burger spots and pizzerias get a few new competitors.

To Do Tonight
Two events celebrate food outdoors this evening. Starting tonight, Juniper at the Fairmont offers West End Wednesdays. Every Wednesday between 5 and 8 p.m., the restaurant will serve samplers from the menu for guests to munch in the hotel courtyard. Guests can sample three out of seven menu options for $19. Choices include a lump crab cake, citrus marinated beef carpaccio, veal tenderloin and salmon in barbecue sauce. In addition to food, Juniper will serve specialty cocktails and half-priced bottles of wine.

PS 7's celebrates the opening of its outdoor patio with a happy hour party tonight from 5-7 p.m. Chef Peter Smith will serve up two house-made hot dogs that are grilled to order and a bottle of microbrew for $10.

Curry in a Hurry
Anyone hoping to spice up lunch should swoop into the Mandarin Oriental for the hotel's curry power lunch. Offered in the Empress Lounge and on the hotel patio, this weekday spread showcases three curries, which rotate each day. The selections include nods to India, Japan, Malaysia and Thailand with selections like duck curry, Malaysian crab curry and vegetable curry with pumpkin. As accompaniments, each person receives two varieties of rice -- sticky rice and fried rice with basil -- and a basket of assorted breads. Naan and pita are perfect for scooping any remaining curry. The lunch, which costs $16, concludes with dessert: Last week's sweet was a light cocoa cake with creamy frosting and a tongue-tickling dust of tandoori powder. The lounge serves several lassis and elixir drinks.

New Around Town
Saxbys, the Georgetown coffee spot, has a new location just below Dupont Circle offering Cosi and Krispy Kreme a bit of competition for morning coffee and pastry treats.

Last week, Tonic opened a second location in the Foggy Bottom space that formerly housed Quigley's Pharmacy. With hearty brunch, takeout coffee and sandwiches, the promise of a soon-to-open patio and an Americana menu of pizzas, sandwiches, mac and cheese and sloppy Joe's, the crowds -- from the hungry to the hungover to the homesick -- will find plenty to heal what ails them.

The Vermont-based American Flatbread opened last weekend in Ashburn with chewy flatbread pizzas made from organic wheat. Toppings include nitrate-free pepperoni, sausage made from naturally-raised pigs, Vermont Mozzarella and organic tomato sauce. The location promises to serve specialties featuring fare from local Loudoun County farms. The menu includes salad and pizzas, but the kitchen offers daily specialties based on what is available.

Soon to Come
The Illinois-based chain Bar Louie looks to open this Sunday in Chinatown serving up dozens of martinis with upscale bar fare including burgers, pastas, salads and big desserts.

--Erin

By Erin  | June 6, 2007; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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