BLT Restaurant Group has gone Italian with the recent opening
of Casa Nonna in Dupont Circle. Executive chef Amy Brandwein channels the quintessential fare of a nonna (Italian for grandmother) with a menu of fresh pasta, wood-fired pizzas and homey meat entrees. New York-based Guerin Glass Architects designed the space, which features leather pincushion banquettes, large-scale artwork and a marble-topped pizza bar. 1250 Connecticut Avenue, NW; 202-629-2505. casanonna.com
James Beard nominee David Guas opens the doors to his long-awaited Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington on November 1 and we can already smell the beignets. The Louisiana native will serve his signature sweets along with savories that celebrate the Big Easy. 1515 N. Courthouse Road; 703-243-2410. bayoubakeryva.com
Top area sommeliers reveal sparkling wines they’ll uncork for the holidays
Francesco Amodeo, Bibiana
Murgo Rosé 2008, Emanuele Scammacca, Sicily, Italy
This sparkling wine is made of the native Nerello Mascalese grape, a national treasure grown in the volcanic soil of Mount Etna. It has an antique pink color, an intense aroma of cherry and fruit and a long, mineral finish.
Julian Mayor, Bourbon Steak
Vilmart Cuvée Rubis, Champagne, France
This rosé Champagne (approximately 90 percent Pinot Noir) changes all preconceived notions of rosé. It is full-flavored, extremely rich and dry. Powerful and elegant, it pairs well with duck, lamb or braised pork belly.
Matthew Carroll, 2941
Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay, Virginia
A joint effort between Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson, this sparkler is a Virginian homage to Janisson’s native Champagne. It has a beautiful texture complemented by aromas of crisp pear and green apple.
Los Angeles designer Alexander Purcell juxtaposed two disparate images—a blowfish and a World War II sea mine—when he dreamed up the whimsical Sake Bomb. The ceramic vessel holds eight ounces of hot or cold sake; four small cups perch on its spines when not in use. The bomb is available in white, black orange and blue. $98. sakebombstore.com