New Year, New Blog Name

Happy New Year everyone! Hope 2015 brings you all happiness, strength and prosperity.

Just a quick note. I started this blog in 2014 and I’ve really enjoyed reviewing restaurants and sharing some of my favorite recipes. As 2015 approached, I thought a lot about how to make this blogging experience even more official. I knew I wanted to keep with the same focus, but I also wanted a catchier name that encompassed my cultural background as well as food tendencies. After a few days of brainstorming and research, I decided to take the leap and purchase my first domain name, which was thrilling.

That said, I’d like to introduce to you my new blog – The Worldly Bite. I will continue do similar posts but also find ways to keep it creative and innovative.

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Thank you so much for all of your support for Cecile’s Culinary Adventures and hopefully you will continue to follow and enjoy my new blog! You can also find me on twitter and instagram.


Taste Gastropub – A Reason to visit Olney, MD

Last weekend, I, along with other food bloggers (Laetitia of FrenchTwistDC,  Aparna (Contributor to Spotted by Locals and The Hungry Lobbyist), Jessica of The Dining Traveler, Carlis of SpicyCandyDC, Lisa of Push Play Eat and Lori of Been There, Eaten That), were invited to a private tasting at Taste Gastropub in Olney, MD, co-hosted by Bookalokal, Jessica of the Dining Traveler, Carlis of SpicyCandyDC and Jessica of Neuprofile .

Photo credit: Cameron Habashian

Photo credit: Cameron Habashian

Several of us were treated to a lovely ride courtesy of Reston Limousine (thanks to Carlis and Jessica for arranging this). As we arrived at Taste Gastropub, modeled after the “gastropub” movement (a concept that started in London, England which centers around a pub that specializes in high quality food) we received a warm welcome from Jessica of NeuProfile. We then all dispersed to find a seat at the table, where menus were nicely layed out and dictated what would become a five-course dining experience.

Glasses of Biutiful Cava Brut were passed around, as the foodie group was introduced to Taste Gastropub’s owner Vic Seested and his partner in this restaurant venture, Chef and Sommelier Danny Lledo.

A native of Olney, MD, Seested, financial advisor-turned-restaurateur, capitalized on his philanthropic ways by establishing this restaurant as hub for charitable events. And bringing the gourmet factor into this mix is Chef Lledo. Having grown up with a father who was a Chef and constantly surrounded by food, Chef Lledo is the culinary brain behind the international flavors, predominantly Spanish and French, in the dishes and choice of wines that are on the menu.

We then started our tasty adventure …


Smoked Salmon with Salmon Roe and Goat Cheese Crostini.

Smoked Salmon with Salmon Roe and Goat Cheese Crostini. Paired with a glass of Biutiful Cava Brut, Requena Spain


Garlic Beurre Blanc Shrimp

Garlic Beurre Blanc Shrimp. Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc of Domaine de Chevilly, Quinecy, Loire, France


Roasted Beet Salad with a  Shot of Mushroom Brie Cream Soup

Roasted Beet Salad with a Shot of Mushroom Brie Cream Soup. Paired with a glass of Iris Pinot Noir, Cottage Grove, Oregon


Duo of Chicken Soulvaki & Lamb Meatballs

Duo of Chicken Soulvaki & Lamb Meatballs. Paired with a glass of Chateau de Vaugelas, Corbieres, France


Dessert Platter of Lemon-Pistachio Cake and Flourless Chocolate Tart

Dessert Platter of Lemon-Pistachio Cake and Flourless Chocolate Tart. Paired with a glass of Biutiful Cava Rosé, Requena, Spain

Good food with spectacular wine pairings and being with friends who love food as much I do, made this an afternoon to remember. Of the tasting menu, my favorites were the salmon, shrimp, beet and mushroom dishes. The flavors in each were delicious, well-balanced and whetted my appetite.

If you are ever out in Olney, MD, I highly recommend that you stop by for a couple of savory and sweet bites …. your palate will thank you 😉

A big thank you to Taste Gastropub, Vic Seested, Danny Lledo, Bookalokal, Jessica (Dining Traveler), Carlis (SpicyCandyDC) and Jessica (Neuprofile) for a delectable and very fun day!

Taste Gastropub | 3418 Olney Latonsville Road, Olney, MD 20832 |

DBGB Kitchen and Bar – American Fare with a French Twist

When it was officially announced this past summer that renowned Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud had chosen to open his 16th eatery in the nation’s capitol – DBGB Kitchen and Bar  – foodies around the city (and surrounding areas) rejoiced. Situated in the super fashionable, almost utopian-esque City Center, my gourmet friends, Laetitia, Kyle, Aparna and Cecilia, decided to try it out and the meal and experience were inoubliable.

DBGB Kitchen & Bar

DBGB Kitchen and Bar

Before I take you on my culinary journey, let’s meet the two partners in delicious crime – Chef and Owner Daniel Boulud and Executive Chef Ed Scarpone. Originally from Lyon, France, Chef Daniel Boulud is no stranger to D.C. In 1982, Chef Boulud started his U.S. career working as the private chef to the head of the European Commission. The award-winning French chef and restaurateur now has many successful restaurants worldwide, including Maison Boulud in Montreal, Bar Boulud in London, db Bistro Moderne in Singapore but he is best known for Daniel in New York City. Executive Chef Ed Scarpone, originally from Long Island Sound, graduated magna cum laude from Johnson & Wales University. Chef Scarpone was most recently the executive sous-chef at db Bistro in New York City. Together, Chefs Boulud and Scarpone designed a menu for DBGB Kitchen and Bar DC that will tantalize the senses, including dishes from the original DBGB but also items that were tweaked to add more local flavor, like the ‘Crabbie’ (Maryland blue crab on a burger). Yum!

Distinguished by warm reds and browns, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, is a great mélange of a French bistro and American pub. It boasts a list of beers that every beer newbie or connoisseur would regal in and an array of sausages that every meat lover would clamor over. I have to admit though, one of my favorite parts of the restaurant are the plates designed by Chef Boulud’s closest friends including Chefs Bourdain, Pepin, Chemel and Tosi.

DBGB Decor

Main Dining Room

Wall of Plates

Wall of Plates

Here are some of my favorites. Mes preferes.

Now, let’s get to the meat of this post …. the food ;-).

Appetizers As we all perused the menu, there were a lot of ooohs and ahhs, but we ended up choosing the rillons croustillants, hand-cut steak tartare and the tuna crudo, a staple from the DBGB NY.

(L-R) Rillons croustillants, steak tartare, tuna crudo

(L-R) Rillons Croustillants, Hand-Cut Steak Tartare, Tuna Crudo

Rillons Croustillants You will want to tempt your taste buds with this pork belly lover’s delight. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, the rillons croustillants were nicely complemented with a brush stroke of dijon mustard, mini tart cornichons and vitamin A drenched carrots.

Rillons Croustillants

Rillons Croustillants

Hand-Cut Steak Tartare It is only in recent years that I have developed a liking for steak tartare. Forkfuls of the rich flavor of the hand-cut steak pieces, an example of USDA prime at its best, topped with a little bit of the mini egg yolk will make your palate scream for more.

Hand- Cut Steak Tartare

Hand-Cut Steak Tartare

Tuna Crudo Or as I’d like to call it “melt in your mouth” Tuna Crudo.  The tender square-cut pieces of tuna, topped with crispy rice were succulent, the pale pink watermelon was sweet, and the taste of each bite was enhanced by the spicy harissa-sesame sauce sprinkled with a hint of freshness from the  cucumbers and radishes. This dish is just plain good.

Tuna Crudo

Tuna Crudo

Main Course We were then ready to dive into the main course. We all ordered our own respective entrées, but I will focus on my selection, which was Boudin Blanc. Boudin Blanc As soon as I saw this dish on the menu, my eyes lit up. Every New Year’s Day, since I was a little girl, my parents would make boudin blanc aux pommes. This dish brought me back to those days and did not disappoint. The savory truffled pork sausage with the sweetness of the caramelized apples and the creamy and flavorful pommes mousseline was absolutely divine. It was so scrumptious in fact that I actually wish I had ordered two 😉 Hands down my favorite dish of the night.

Boudin Blanc

Boudin Blanc

Dessert Lastly, the sweetest part of the meal … and we just had to try out Chef Boulud’s famous Baked Alaska. Baked Alaska Named in honor of the territory acquired in 1867, this is also known in French as glace au four or omelette à la norvégienne. This delectable confectionery masterpiece was composed of sponge cake, raspberry sorbet, pistachio ice cream and topped with meringue, which was flambéed to perfection with chartreuse, making for a delightful show at the table.

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Baked Alaska

Not only did we have a great time catching up, but we had the chance to meet and speak with Chef Boulud. As expected, we were all very impressed and Chef could not have been any nicer. Chef, c’était un grand plaisir de vous rencontrer! 

A delightful encounter

A memorable encounter

If you have been, then this post will just reinforce the goodness that comes out of DBGB Kitchen and Bar. If you haven’t yet tried it out, then I highly recommend that you make a reservation immediately and experience it for yourself. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. DBGB Kitchen and Bar is also active on social media. Follow them on these social media channels for the latest, greatest and tastiest – facebook, twitter, and instagram.

DBGB Kitchen and Bar | 931 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 |

Water & Wall – A true gem in Arlington, VA

Chef Tim Ma, the culinary genius behind Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, VA opened Water & Wall in Arlington, VA last year and has received much-deserved praise. A hardware engineer-turned-Chef who went to the French Culinary Institute to pursue a burgeoning passion for the culinary arts has helped make the Arlington area more of a foodie destination. Water & Wall’s General Manager (and Chef Ma’s wife), Joey Hernandez is Chef Ma’s inspiration and rightfully so. Joey was the one who helped Chef Ma take the leap in becoming a culinary artist. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, incredibly well-managed and such a pleasure to dine at. The two together make a powerful duo and are probably the nicest, funniest and most humble couple I’ve met in the restaurant industry.

I first discovered Water & Wall last year. A good friend treated me to a dinner that will forever stay with me. So much so, that I recently returned and once again, had an amazing time and extremely memorable meal.

Here’s a little teaser snapshot of my recent drool-worthy culinary journey … You’ll want to continue reading to learn more about each dish.

My culinary journey

I’ll start off with the two appetizers: Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Seared Diver Scallops.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella
I’ve always been a fan of the combination of tomatoes and mozzarella since I was a little girl, but these plump tomatoes, with a beautiful deep red color, tasted like they were infused with sunshine. The fresh mozzarella was firm and possessed great flavor. What brought the two together was the basil pistou, saba and olive oil; and these three simple ingredients made every bite more scrumptious than the last.  Vegetarians will delight themselves with this dish.

Heirloom Tomatoes & Mozzarella

Heirloom Tomatoes & Mozzarella

Seared Diver Scallops
As soon as I saw scallops on the menu, a huge smile came across my face. I absolutely adore scallops and these were incredible. Seared to perfection and buttery in taste, these scallops were perfectly soaked in a melange of yuzu and dashi over cucumber-daikon noodles topped with crispy shiitake. Seafood lovers, make sure to get this! You won’t regret it. It’s a dish that radiates summer.

Seared Diver Scallops

Seared Diver Scallops

Next up two entrées that take it to the next level: Saffron & White Wine Fettuccine and Duck Confit.

Saffron & White Wine Fettuccine
I always love to see how restaurants’ dress up pastas, and this combination immediately peaked my interest. I will be up front and let you know that this dish is a tantalizing treat guaranteed to make any foodie drool. The saffron, white wine and sofrito run and swirl together amplifying each other’s flavor; and mixed in with a perfect balance of summer squash, mushrooms, paprika almonds and manchego, this dish becomes a pièce de résistance. 

Saffron & White Wine Fettuccine

Saffron & White Wine Fettuccine

Duck Confit
One of my favorite main courses!  I had this the last time I came here and with such fond and savory memories, I had to get it again. Let’s just say my memory did not fail me 😉 The golden duck breast is crispy on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside. On a bed of green tomato chow chow and summer vegetable farrow salad, this fusion makes for a signature dish that will excite even the most discerning palate.

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

If you’ve been before, I don’t need to convince you to go back ;-). If you haven’t been yet, I hope this post has given you the impetus to go out and try it for yourself. I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed.

In case you need another good reason to visit, head to Water & Wall for lunch MondayFriday between 11am and 2pm and enjoy their new lunch pop-up concept called Uncle Paul Ma’s Kitchen Lunch Pop-Up (in honor of Chef’s Uncle Paul who originally inspired him to follow his passion in pursuing a career in the culinary arts). This unique and delectable Chinese-inspired menu will be available until August 29th.

Active on social media? So is Water & Wall. Make sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook.


Bookalokal – A Gastronomic Culinary Journey

Imagine this…

You are at someone’s house, enjoying local food from the host’s country among people you have never met before and are having the time of your life.

Well, this culinary adventure – Bookalokal – has arrived to the Nation’s Capital and I am overjoyed. I first read about a similar dining concept in the New York Times but the featured city was Paris, France. Literally, the next day at a food blogger happy hour, I met Jackie Woodbury who had just been hired by Bookalokal for the Washington D.C. area. I couldn’t believe I had just read about this fun idea centered around food and travel and now it was becoming a reality.

Bookalokal was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 2012 by Evelyne White (Co-Founder, CEO) and Frank Ramirez (Co-Founder, Product Manager). The capital of the European Union was chosen because of its large population of expats and food culture appreciation. In 2014, the founders of Booklokal, set their eyes on the U.S. market and chose Washington, D.C. as its first American city because it had many similarities to Brussels.

This online marketplace for local food experiences runs the gamut from themed dinners to cocktail classes to champagne and chocolate tastings. Seriously, can life get any better?  You can choose to be involved in either two ways – as a guest and indulge or as a host where you can demonstrate your skill set.

bookalokalA few weeks ago, Bookalokal held a happy hour at the Liaison Hotel, on its picturesque rooftop, to officially introduce Jackie, as Bookalokal’s DC City Launcher.  Guests enjoyed tasty bites from the hotel’s signature restaurant, Art & Soul, which included Chef Art Smith‘s famous chicken wings and a special Bookalokal cocktail that was incredibly refreshing.

Evelyne and Frank spoke about Bookalokal and Jackie about her excitement on connecting the D.C. community with this new gastronomic concept. A little bit about the newest team member. Jackie, a passionate foodie, has lived in the nation’s capital for 7 years and is incredibly familiar with the D.C. food scene. Not only has she already co-hosted a Bookalokal event, but she has also attended a few. This not only shows her commitment but also her enthusiasm for Bookalokal.  I truly believe that she is the right individual to launch this program here in D.C. and quite honestly, she is the nicest person ever. I am sure she will be very successful in this venture.

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Excitement in the air – Jackie, Evelyne and Frank

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Jackie being introduced by Evelyne. (L to R) Jackie, Evelyne and Frank


The merriment continued. The invitees were then quizzed on unique Bookalokal facts; and the right answers resulted in additional raffle tickets for great prizes such as complimentary Bookalokal dinners/events and a box full of Zipz Wine, premium wine-to-go.

Zipz Wine - Pinot Grigio

Zipz Wine – Pinot Grigio

Jackie raffling off prizes

Jackie raffling off prizes

So when is my first bookalokal experience, you ask?  Well, it will be August 13 – Belgian Nostalgia – with Jessica as the hostess, and I am ecstatic. It will be a Belgian culinary journey that will include mussels in white wine, chicken in a Kriek sauce and a chocolate mousse made with Belgian chocolate, of course ;-). *YUM*

My advice is to go out and discover Bookalokal yourself. Already from word of mouth, I know that you won’t be disappointed and that you will enjoy some unforgettable bon appétit moments.

Bookalokal is also very active on social media and my recommendation is that you follow them for updates, new classes or just for *drool worthy* photos …  Twitter  *  Facebook  * Instagram

Maille Mustard Mobile – A Truly Savory Experience

mustard trio

Mustard. Moutarde. Mostarda. No matter how you say it, it is one of my absolute favorite condiments. I have to admit though, I am quite loyal when it comes to brands and my preferred choice, not only for its taste but also its mustard flavors, is Maille. To me, it’s a little culinary gem. I always use Maille mustard for my homemade vinaigrettes and when I consume brats and boudin blanc sausages.

Not familiar with Maille. Don’t worry. Here’s a little background history on this more than 265 year-old iconic brand. In 1747, Antoine Maille created La Maison Maille, which included products such as mustard, vinegar, and caught the attention of none other than King Louis XV of France. From that point on, La Maison Maille became the official supplier to Kings of France and many European Royal Courts. Today, it is the number one brand of imported mustard in the U.S. and the leading producer of mustard, vinegar and cornichons (small pickled gherkins with an extra tart bite) in France.

In an effort to conquer American palates, Maille decided to launch a national tour with its chic Maille Mustard Mobile. So, when I received an invite from Fraiche PR and Communications to the kick-off preview event of the Maille Mustard Mobile at Union Market in Washington D.C., I was elated.

mustard barWhen I first saw the Maille Mustard Mobile up close, it immediately reminded me of my memorable visit to the Maille store in Paris last year located at Place de Madeleine. This was where I discovered my number one favorite Maille mustard  – Moutarde à la truffe (yes, truffle mustard). This stylish sampling bar, with its brand’s signature colors – black and gold – had shelves filled with different Maille brand mustards. A mustard lover’s dream. But the best part was the ‘mustard on tap’, just like in the store in Paris. *drool*

As I walked around the mustard mobile, I met up with fellow foodie bloggers and that’s where our culinary tasting experience began.

modena balsamic mustard 2

NEW: Honey Dijon with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena mustard


First, we had the chance to taste Maille’s newest mustard Honey Dijon with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I am not a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, because to me it is too sweet, but this one was delicious. It was a perfect combination of sweet and savory. It was finger-licking good. Literally. 😉 We tried this mustard with pretzel sticks, which was yummy, but it would also be very good in sauces or salad dressings.




Second, we were treated to an array of gourmet bites that were made with different Maille mustards from Union Market Artisans.

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Porkstrami Slider with Maille Old Style mustard on a pretzel roll by Red Apron Butchery and Lyon Bakery

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Traditional Rustic Potato Salad featuring Maille Dijon Originale and Cornichons by Ris



collard greens

Braised collard greens with Benton’s bacon and Maille Old Style mustard by Rappahannock Oyster Co.

Smoked Salmon served with Creme Fraiche, Maille Horseradish mustard, dill and capers by Neopol Smokery

Smoked Salmon served with Creme Fraiche, Maille Horseradish mustard, dill and capers by Neopol Smokery

Each sample was delicious, but for me the front runners were the salmon and potato salad  (I had two servings of each because they were that tasty, oui, je suis gourmande.)

Maille Mustard Tasting Plate

Maille Mustard Tasting Plate

Lastly, we had the opportunity to compose our own mustard palette directly from the Maille Mustard Mobile. There were five mustards on tap that you could choose from – Dijon Originale, Old Style, Honey Dijon, Horseradish and Rich Country – I decided to try all of them, because pourquoi pas ;-). I loved that each plate was adorned with a few of Maille’s cornichons. The winners for me were the Rich Country (an original variation on the classic Dijon mustard that includes white wine, cinnamon and ginger) and Old Style (characterized by the presence of crunchy mustard grains and robust medium-spicy flavor).






Below are the scheduled stops for the Maille Mustard Mobile.  If you happen to live in or be in one of those cities during those dates, I highly recommend that you go and check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Promise.

mobileWashington, DC / Virginia / Maryland
June 14, 15, 18 – 20 – Union Market, Georgetown, Annapolis, McLean and Baltimore
June 21, 22, 25 – Center City, Ardmore and King of Prussia
New Jersey
June 26 – 28 – Paramus, Short Hills, Montclair and Asbury Park
July 3 – Harvard Square
Cape Cod 
July 5-6 -Orleans and Dennis
July 9-10 – Stamford and Westport
New York City
June 29 – July 2, July 11 – 13 – Various locations in Manhattan
West Coast
September dates to be announced – Cities to include Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles
Chicago (end of the tour)
October dates and locations to be announced

Diane, Me, Laetitia and Elsa

Diane, Me, Laetitia (French Twist DC) and Elsa

Big thanks to Diane and Elsa at Fraiche PR and Communications and Maille pour une experience inoubliable et délicieuse!

Mustard Lovers, you can find Maille on the below social media channels. I encourage you to follow them for a true foodie experience!


A Dish Worth Savoring This Summer with a Glass of Rosé

Scallops with corail

Sea Scallops with corail

Last summer in the South of France, I tried sea scallops in their purest form with the corail attached (coral or roe) which happens to be the most tender part of the sea scallop and is considered a delicacy. In the U.S. the corail is taken off for a few reasons such as high mercury content and for preservation purposes, but I have to be honest, it was oh-so-delicious.

That said, scallops are no stranger to my palate. When I was younger my parents, who are excellent cooks, would make Coquilles St. Jacques (Gratineed Scallops – amazing) for special occasions but last summer’s reintroduction of scallops into my life made me want to experiment with different flavors. Of the scallop dishes I’ve made (Seared Scallops with a Herb-Butter Sauce and Scallops Provençal), this most recent dish with Morels in Beurre Blanc left me wanting more.

Why this combination? Well, I had been thinking for a while about how to combine my absolute favorite mushroom, morel,  with scallops and with a little research and inspiration, I came up with this dish. Warning, if you are not a fan of butter, you will want to pass, but if you are, let me introduce you to a meal that is perfect for a hot summer night with a glass of rosé … bien sur.

Ingredients Needed for Dish

Sea Scallops

Fresh Sea Scallops


(L to R): Champagne vinegar, Soave Dry White Wine, Heavy Cream, Unsalted Butter, Morels (in hot water) and Shallot.

12 dried morels (I bought mine at Whole Foods)
Soak in hot water for around 30 minutes, so they become soggy.
Then cut all into small horizontal pieces.

Dried morels in hot water

Dried Morels in hot water

Sliced Morels

Sliced Morels










Beurre Blanc

1/4 cup of Champagne vinegar
1 small shallot (cut into finely small pieces)
1 1/2 sticks of cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1 tablespoon of heavy cream

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, minced shallots and 1/4 cup of the wine and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low. Add the heavy cream and start  whisking slowly. Then add in the cold butter by tablespoon square pieces and keep whisking. Once all of the butter has been used, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of white wine.

(Note: As you drop in your last tablespoon of butter in the saucepan, start the scallops)


Beurre Blanc in the making.

Beurre Blanc in the making.

1 dozen sea scallops

Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the sea scallops
Place in the pan with a little butter and cook them for 3 minutes on each side (until they are golden brown).

Golden Scallops

Golden Sea Scallops


Seasoned Scallops Searing

Seasoned Sea Scallops Searing

Plate It

Once the scallops are done, place on the plate and top with morels and the beurre blanc et voila!

The final product!

The Final Product!

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Close Up










2013 Domaine d'Astros Cuvée Prestige

2013 Domaine d’Astros Cuvée Prestige


Since morel mushrooms and sea scallops are both quite flavorful on their own, I searched for a rosé that was light enough yet tasty and by pure happenstance, fell upon this winner at Whole Foods 2013 Domaine d’Astros Cuvée Prestige. Beautiful in color and comprised of a blend of grenache, caladoc and cinsault grapes, this rosé has elegant notes of raspberry and fruit with mineral nuances.

Hope you enjoy this delightful meal when you make it!

Bon Appétit