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Local restaurants gathered to celebrate their accomplishments
D.C.’s restaurant industry gathered Sunday night to celebrate their accomplishments at the 2013 Rammy Awards. The Washington Post reports that 1,600 people attended the gala to celebrate local restaurants and chefs. The gala was at Marriott Wardman Park and the theme was “Restaurants in Bloom,” so guests dressed in their best garden attire.
The awards celebrate the accomplishments of local restaurant businesses. To be eligible for an award, the restaurant needs to be a member of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, the host of the event, explaining why some local favorites were not recognized.
Here are the winners of some of the most contended awards:
Fine Dining Restaurant: Blue Duck Tavern
Upscale Casual Restaurant: Estadio
New Restaurant: Mintwood Place
Casual Restaurant: C.F. Folks Restaurant
Chef: Fabio Trabocchi of Fiola
Pastry Chef: Beverly Bates of Vidalia
Restaurateur: Ashok Bajaj of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group
For a full list of winners and nominees, visit the association’s website.
USDA Farmers to Families Food Box
The Farmers to Families Food Box program will end on May 31, 2021. It was designed and implemented as a temporary, emergency relief effort to respond to severe market disruption caused by a global pandemic. The environment today is much different than when this program was created at the beginning of the pandemic and the condition of our economy has continued to improve since the start of the year. Read the letter to stakeholders.
To date USDA contractors have delivered 170,953,217 boxes of fresh produce, milk, dairy and cooked meats to disadvantaged Americans across the country
35.7 million food boxes invoiced in round one (May 15-June 30)
50.8 million food boxes invoiced in round two (July 1-August 31)
15.2 million food boxes invoiced in round two extensions (September 1 - September 18)
18.8 million food boxes invoiced in BOA Contracts (September 22 - October 31)
12.4 million food boxes invoiced in round four (November 1 - December 31)
38 million food boxes invoiced in round five (January 19 - April 30)
Payments to distributors under the Farmers to Families Food Box Program are only made upon the submission of an invoice documenting evidence of delivery and adherence to contractual requirements.
If you would like to know where Farmers to Families Food Boxes will be available in your area or work for a non-profit food assistance agency interested in distributing Farmers to Families Food Boxes, you can find information about food box distributors and the areas they serve at https://www.ams.usda.gov/selling-food-to-usda/farmers-to-families-food-box/approved-contractors-round-five
As part of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program announced on April 17, USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $6 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes. Distributors package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
The first round of purchases occurred from May 15 through June 30, 2020 and saw more than 35.5 million boxes delivered in the first 45 days. In the second round of purchasing and distribution, which began July 1 and concluded Sep. 18, 2020, USDA purchased more than $1.781 billion of food through extended contracts of select vendors from the first round of the program as well as new contracts focused on Opportunity Zones in order to direct food to reach underserved areas, places where either no boxes have yet been delivered, or where boxes are being delivered but where there is additional need. The third round of the program was announced July 24, 2020, and the President announced on Aug. 24, 2020, that up to an additional $1 billion was being made available for deliveries through Oct. 31, 2020. USDA announced contracts for the third round on Sept. 17, 2020. By the end of the third round on Oct. 31, USDA purchased more than $3.566 billion worth of food. The fourth round of the program was announced on Oct. 23, 2020, and purchased a total of $463 million worth of food delivered between Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020. The fourth round was funded by an additional $500 million made available through supplemental appropriations provided to the Secretary in the CARES Act.
In the current fifth round of purchases, USDA will purchase up to $1.5 billion worth of food for delivery through the end of May. The additional funding for the program was included in the COVID-19 relief package as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act passed December 21, 2020. USDA will again purchase combination boxes to ensure all involved recipient organizations have access to fresh produce, dairy products, fluid milk and meat products, and seafood products will also be included in this round.
For details on purchases, visit the solicitations page.
Celebrate The 2013 GRAMMY Nominees With Upcoming Album
Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson and the guys of fun. are all teaming up for a brand new GRAMMY compilation album.
In honor of the upcoming awards show the Recording Academy is releasing a 22-track record featuring the nominees for this year&rsquos Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album.
A portion of the proceeds from each album will go to the MusiCares and the GRAMMY foundation.
Winners for each category will be announced at the 55 th Annual GRAMMY Awards airing February 10 on CBS.
Check out the full tracklist for 2013 GRAMMY Nominees album below
1. The Black Keys &ldquoLonely Boy”
2. Kelly Clarkson &ldquoStronger (What Doesn&rsquot Kill You)&rdquo
3. Taylor Swift &ldquoWe Are Never Ever Getting Back Together&rdquo
4. Gotye feat. Kimbra &ldquoSomebody That I Used To Know&rdquo
5. Katy Perry &ldquoWide Awake&rdquo
6. fun. feat. Janelle Monae &ldquoWe Are Young&rdquo
7. Florence + The Machine &ldquoShake It Out&rdquo
8. Pink &ldquoTry&rdquo
9. Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa &ldquoPayphone&rdquo
10. Carly Rae Jepsen &ldquoCall Me Maybe&rdquo
11. Miguel &ldquoAdorn&rdquo
12. Ed Sheeran &ldquoThe A Team&rdquo
13. Hunter Hayes &ldquoWanted&rdquo
14. The Lumineers &ldquoHo Hey&rdquo
15. Alabama Shakes &ldquoHold On&rdquo
16. Mumford & Sons &ldquoI Will Wait&rdquo
17. Frank Ocean &ldquoPyramids&rdquo
18. Bruce Springsteen &ldquoWe Take Care Of Our Own&rdquo
19. Jack White &ldquoFreedom at 21&rdquo
20. Muse &ldquoMadness&rdquo
21. Coldplay &ldquoCharlie Brown&rdquo
22. Adele &ldquoSet Fire To The Rain (Live At Royal Albert Hall)&rdquo
Red Carpet Fab….
Hey Fab readers! We just couldn’t let this day pass without pointing out some of our fav looks from yesterday’s Oscars. We didn’t get to sit through the whole ordeal but we did get to see some of our favorite ladies looking flawless and FAB! Of course the red carpet is for the Fab and the Chic….sorry no room to be frugal on the most coveted evening for filmmakers everywhere. Lets take a quick look at:
Halle Berry in a metallic Versace gown looking absolutely marvelous.
Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli Couture (she also brought the roof down with her singing). Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, and Jimmy Choo clutch.
Michelle Obama wore a sparkling Naeem Khan gown (and those bangs were once again on point!).
Kerry Washington looked darling in Miu Miu gown, Prada bag, Christian Louboutin shoes.
2013 Screen Actors (Green) Guild Awards : Recap
The SAG awards – where actors celebrate actors and they all drink a little too much free champagne! It’s basically like the celebrity equivalent of the holiday office party – there are drinks, dancing, and at least one embarrassing moment to talk about at the water cooler Monday morning Let’s get to it, shall we?
I have a confession – I am on the Anne Hathaway (Winner, Best Supporting Actress, Les Mis) bandwagon. I admit – I think she’s wonderful, she’s the Queen Vegan Mother of Celebrities and can do no wrong. But what. was. she. thinking with this dress. Anne – please – between the Justin Bieber inspired hair and white-out finger nails paired with too much tulle – I just don’t have words. I’m sorry – I love her and everything she stands for, but I’m just going to shake my head at this one. She even landed on Huffington Post’s “Worst Dressed” list. Girl always rocks a sick vegan shoe though – this time by designer Jimmy Choo.
Leave it to Vegan Queen in Training Jessica Chastain (Nominee, Best Actress, Zero Dark Thirty) to pick up Anne’s slack. In this slick Alexander McQueen number, I’m going to give her solid A-. Big props for pulling off a dress a similar color to her hair (especially being a red head). I love the silhouette and along with the sleek & soft curl – VERY old Hollywood glam. E! Online (fashion mecca) gave her a nod for “Best Dressed”. And can we discuss the diamonds?! Bling Bling!
I don’t want to sound like a Negative Nancy – but overall, I wasn’t really blown away by the ladies of the red carpet. Maybe celebs knew they were going to party-hardy and didn’t want to ruin their favorite duds – I don’t know. Therefore – my “Best Dressed” is going to a very dapper Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory). In a non-traditional tux, Parsons rocked it – channeling that “can-you-help-me-with-my-science-homework-and-take-me-to-the-prom” vibe. He even landed on the “Hollywood hunks” list with E! News!
Like we need another reason to celebrate – but the 2013 SAG awards offered another victory for animal lovers – a fur-free red carpet! That makes 2 awards shows people!! I heard rumors that someone rocked a faux-fur jacket – whoever you are, thank you for showing that faux is beautiful!!
I’m happy to announce the team behind the SAG awards took a cue from the non-veg-friendly Golden Globes team. I’m thrilled to repot there will be not one, not two, but THREE vegan plates offered! Take a look and try to keep yourself from drooling on your keyboard
- Roasted beets and blood oranges with mint and black olives
- Cauliflower couscous with pomegranate salsa
- Farro with kale, young broccoli, currants and pine nuts
While this isn’t the most advanced of menus (even I can make a pretty mean couscous) – I have to give Chef Suzanne Goin major credit for creating something that will be just as appealing to our omnivore friends as it is to us.
What would an awards show be without a little drama?! Popular US show Homeland was snubbed on the awards front by my personal favorite Downton Abbey – even Hollywood actors and actresses want to be Lords and Ladies!
Not a snubbing this time – but a well deserved win for Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad. Oh – you haven’t seen Breaking Bad? I suggested you immediately contract the flu and stay in bed for the rest of the week catching up on Nexflix. Yes – Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston are flu-worthy. It’s been on for a while, and it just keeps getting better!
Tune in next time for another round of awkward “thank you” speeches by Anne Hathaway, and the 2013 Grammy Awards!
Grammys 2013: Fun., Mumford, Gotye lead a newer generation
Grammy Awards voters gave their top honor to British roots music band Mumford & Sons for their album “Babel” on Sunday at the 55th awards ceremony. Other top honors were distributed to a broad array of younger acts, including indie trio Fun., electronic pop artist Gotye, rapper-R&B singer Frank Ocean and rock group the Black Keys.
“We figured we weren’t going to win because the Black Keys have been sweeping up all day — and deservedly so,” Mumford & Sons front man Marcus Mumford said after he and his band members strode to the stage at Staples Center in Los Angeles to collect the award from last year’s winner, R&B-soul singer Adele.
Pop culture historians may look back at 2013, however, as the year the Grammy Awards gave up its long fight against new forms of music dissemination, embracing songs and videos that consumers soaked up by way of YouTube and other Internet outlets as opposed to purchasing them.
“Somebody That I Used to Know,” the wildly popular collaboration between Gotye and New Zealand pop singer Kimbra, took the top award presented for a single recording upon being named record of the year, which recognizes performance and record production.
“Somebody…" not only was one of the biggest-selling singles of 2012 but also has notched nearly 400 million views on YouTube, powerfully demonstrating the increasingly vital role of the “broadcast yourself” video Internet phenomenon. Different YouTube posts of Ocean’s “Thinking About You” single have totaled nearly 60 million views.
New York indie rock trio Fun. was named best new artist, an acknowledgment of the good-time music the group brought to listeners and viewers last summer largely through its runaway hit single “We Are Young,” which has racked up nearly 200 million YouTube views. It also was named song of the year, bringing awards for the group’s songwriters, Jack Antonoff, Andrew Dost and Nate Ruess, and collaborator Jeff Bhasker.
“Everyone can see our faces, and we are not very young — we’ve been doing this for 12 years,” Ruess said as they collected the award.
The song’s title could also serve as a theme for the evening, which was dominated by other relatively young acts in the most prestigious Grammy categories.
Singer, rapper and songwriter Ocean emerged the victor in the one category that pitted him directly against real-life rival Chris Brown, as his critically acclaimed solo debut album, “Channel Orange,” won the urban contemporary album award. A few minutes later Ocean got a second Grammy with Kanye West, Jay-Z and the Dream in the rap-sung collaboration category for their single “No Church in the Wild.”
Ocean’s tuxedo covered all but his hands, but it appeared as he picked up the urban album award that his left arm remained in a wrist brace he’d exhibited Thursday at rehearsals for this year’s broadcast, a remnant of his scuffle last month with Brown over a parking space at a recording studio. Los Angeles Police Department investigators said Ocean informed them that he would not press charges against Brown.
It was the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach who quickly built up steam as the front-runner to dominate this year’s awards, taking several statuettes barely an hour into the show, including producer of the year for himself and three with his group including rock performance, rock song and rock album for “El Camino.”
The Black Keys homed in on the fundamentals of rock ‘n’ roll — big guitar riffs, lustful lyrics and a bevy of musical hooks on “El Camino,” one of the best reviewed albums of the group’s career.
Auerbach picked up another award as producer of the blues album winner, Dr. John’s “Locked Down.”
Carrie Underwood grabbed the country solo performance Grammy for the title track from her album “Blown Away,” which also won the country song award for writers Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins earlier during the pre-telecast ceremony at Nokia Theatre, across the street from Staples Center.
The Zac Brown Band added to its growing place as a new-generation country powerhouse with a win of the country album trophy for its “Uncaged,” built on muscular Southern rock guitar riffs, elaborate multipart vocal harmonies and jam-band instrumental excursions.
Last year’s big winner, Adele, collected the first statuette of the night for her single “Set Fire to the Rain” in the pop solo performance category.
The show got off to an eye-popping start with a Cirque du Soleil-inspired performance by Taylor Swift of her nominated single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
The preponderance of youthful acts not broadly known to mainstream TV audiences heightened the use of cross-generational pairings. Rising songwriter and singer Ed Sheeran shared the stage early with veteran Grammy darling Elton John, while Bruno Mars teamed with Sting and Rihanna in a Bob Marley tribute later in the show. Several members of Americana acts, including Alabama Shakes and Mumford & Sons, sang alongside veterans John, Mavis Staples and T Bone Burnett in a salute to drummer Levon Helm of the Band.
But it was the young guns to whom the evening — and perhaps the future — of the Grammy Awards belonged.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members of the Recording Academy. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012. The show aired on CBS live except on the West Coast, which gets a tape delay.
12 delectable spring desserts to try before summer arrives
Spring in D. C. means wonderful flavors and colors found in seasonal restaurant menus around the city. With summer knocking on our doors, we are savoring every last spring moment we can, and one of our favorite parts of spring are the gorgeous desserts featuring flavors like strawberry, rhubarb and, of course, evergreen chocolate. Click through our photo gallery for 12 spring desserts to try before summer is officially here and we're all too hot to leave the house.
Grammys 2013: Gotye’s ‘Making Mirrors’ wins alternative music award
Gotye, the alias of the Australian-Belgian singer-producer Wouter de Backer, won the award for alternative music album at the 55th Grammy Awards, besting a diverse roster of artists including Fiona Apple, Bjork, M83 and Tom Waits.
Gotye won for his album “Making Mirrors,” his third, but first to be widely released in the United States. The album’s success was driven largely by the indomitable single “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which gained a cult following on YouTube that eventually blossomed into a mainstream radio sensation.
Subsequent singles didn’t quite match its sales, but it did cement Gotye as an unusual artist in the pop firmament, with stylistic debts to Peter Gabriel, Sting and Phil Collins. The project also has a distinct visual sensibility – the video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” became a cultural touchstone for its body-painting motifs.
This year’s crop for alternative music album reflects growing uncertainty about what “alternative” means as a distinct category today. Gotye’s fellow nominees included the confessional piano-pop artist Fiona Apple, the perennially gruff and challenging singer-songwriter Tom Waits, the experimental electronic-pop artist Bjork and the L.A.-based cosmic synth-rock group M83.
The Grammys are determined by about 13,000 voting members. The eligibility period for nominated recordings was Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012. The 2012 awards are being held at the Staples Center and telecast on CBS-TV. They are broadcast live except for viewers on the West Coast. The latest headlines and any breaking news will be posted here on Pop & Hiss.
Rihanna, who is supposedly dating known Rihanna-abuser Chris Brown, showed up on the red carpet without her alleged beau. There has been barely hide nor hair from him tonight, not even when he lost to Frank Ocean earlier.
She croons something, looking gorgeous, a duet with not-Bruno Mars. Is that Johnny Depp? He looks great. Couldn’t he be bothered to stand up?
Camera cuts to Brown! Looking chastised and dapper. BB
Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine and Alicia Keys perform at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California,. Photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters
KellyClarkson to Miguel in her charmingly unhinged acceptance speech: I don’t know who you are but I have to sing with you. Fortunately for her, he’s on her label. BB
In the 1970s, most of the Southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., was completely razed in a massive urban renewal effort. One of the last large parcels to be redeveloped was the area bounded by 12th Street SW, D Street SW, Maine Avenue SW, and 14th Street SW. More than a decade passed, as the city sought a developer with sufficient financial resources to develop the tract. In 1985, a team led by Republic Properties  finally was chosen by the city to develop what became known as The Portals, four massive office buildings constructed around an extension of Maryland Avenue SW and a new traffic circle.  But the developers ran into problems obtaining financing for the entire project, and sold the southeastern portion of the site.  The new development team consisted of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Lano International Inc., and Armada Hoffler Construction Co. 
In early 2000, Mandarin Oriental Hotels proposed building a $142 million, 400-room hotel on the site. The hotel included 33,000 square feet (3,100 m 2 ) of meeting space, 6,500 square feet (600 m 2 ) of retail space, several restaurants, and a fitness center.  Mandarin Oriental Hotels sought major tax breaks and financing from the District of Columbia to develop the hotel. Initially, they sought $22 million in tax increment financing (TIF). Under this scheme, the city would sell 20-year bonds worth $22 million, and would turn 75 percent of the money over to the developers. [a] The hotel would pay the usual property and sales taxes, estimated to be $220 million over the life of the bonds.  But due to $20 million in increased costs, Mandarin Oriental Hotels was unable to secure all the private financing it needed. The hotel chain returned to the city and asked for $46 million in TIF bonds as well as a $6 million property tax break.  The city approved the TIF bonds, but not the property tax reduction. 
A year passed, and the city was unable to sell the bonds for the TIF package. The early 2000s recession left bond buyers unsure that the hotel would be able to generate enough tax revenue to cover the bond repayments. The significant economic downturn that occurred after the September 11 attacks in 2001 worsened the city's ability to sell bonds. To correct the problem, the D.C. City Council adopted new legislation to geographically widen the area the TIF bonds drew revenue from. The new TIF district included the neighborhoods of Downtown, Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, Logan Circle, and Shaw in addition to Southwest. 
But with the post-9/11 economic downturn continuing, the City Council hesitated in approving the package. Mandarin Oriental officials had added a 8,300-square-foot (770 m 2 ) ballroom, a swimming pool, and a spa to the hotel's amenities. Although Mandarin Oriental obtained $85 million in financing from a banking syndicate and Mandarin International, Lano International, and Armada Hoffler Construction put in $19 million of their own money, the $46 million in TIF money was not enough to allow construction on the hotel to move forward. Mandarin Oriental officials came back to the city and asked for a $4 million property tax deferral, but the City Council did not have the votes to pass the legislation. 
Although the cost of the hotel rose to $155 million, in April 2002 Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group said it would proceed with the hotel's construction. By this time, the project was reported by The Washington Post to include just two restaurants and an art gallery in addition to the previously announced meeting space, fitness center, ballroom, pool, and spa. The city never approved the $4 million in property tax deferral, which required the three investors to add another $4 million of their own money to get the project moving. 
The Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., opened on May 16, 2004. The Washington Post called its location "unconventional". The $155 million, 400-room hotel is located near downtown Washington, although to reach Capitol Hill guests would need a taxicab or automobile. Guests in rooms on the upper levels have views of the city and its monuments, but the surrounding neighborhood consisted primarily of railroad tracks, freeways, and office buildings. 
The Mandarin Oriental features a curving Mansard roof punctuated a points by windows which are either round or arched, and often protected by a pediment. The facade is light tan brick, with double-hung windows in a repetitive pattern piercing the facade.  Brennan Beer Gorman Monk also oversaw the interior design.  The hotel's vast lobby is lined with marble, and public hallways feature rocking chairs and sofas.  The hotel was built atop the CSX Transportation's RF&P Subdivision railroad tracks, which restored a segment of Maryland Avenue SW. An abandoned railroad bridge to the west of the hotel was converted into a pedestrian bridge and pathway, which connects the Mandarin Oriental and The Portals to the Tidal Basin waterfront. 
Critical assessment Edit
Benjamin Forgey, the architectural critic at The Washington Post, was unimpressed by the Mandarin Oriental's architecture. He called it lacking in freshness, "dry, [a] by-the-numbers take on an old tradition. It's a sort of habit." Architect Mark Boekenheide said his goal was to make the Mandarin Oriental look significantly different from the office buildings of The Portals (designed by local architect Arthur Cotton Moore), and yet compatible with them. He succeeded, Forgey agreed, but at a price: The hotel was too reminiscent of the 1986 additions to the Willard InterContinental Washington, which left the Mandarin Oriental looking dated. "A much bolder gesture was called for to connect the new building to the waterfront," Forgey concluded. "And that's the story in a nutshell. The architecture of this prominent building needed more boldness and sophistication. It didn't have to be a Willard-come-lately." 
The Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C. includes a music venue, the Empress Lounge.
The Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C., featured two restaurants when it opened: the informal Cafe Mozu and the formal CityZen.
Cafe Mozu was located on the hotel's first floor. The restaurant featured high ceilings, a view of the Tidal Basin and monuments, and walls adorned with a chrome-and-walnut grid.  The restaurant patio overlooked the hotel's garden courtyard.  Tom Sietsma, the food critic for The Washington Post, called it "significant", with "understated elegance". He gave slightly qualified praise to the food of executive chef Hidemasa Yamamoto, which was largely Far Eastern cuisine infused with European touches. 
CityZen opened in September 2004, and its name was a play on the word "citizen". CityZen is located in a very high-ceilinged room decorated with soothing colors and soft, warm lighting. The kitchen is visible from many of the tables. Executive chef Eric Ziebold left The French Laundry in California to lead CityZen. Sietsma had unqualified, extraordinary praise for CityZen: "If you really care about food, you owe yourself an evening at CityZen. . CityZen is still a young restaurant. But already it's an important one." He called the food "often-extraordinary", and CityZen "tantalizingly close to the gold standard."  CityZen was named best new restaurant of the year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in June 2005.  (Patrons should note: The restaurant usually closes for two or three weeks at the end of August.) 
Cafe Mozu closed in 2009, and was replaced by Sou'Wester on September 8, 2009. [b]  CityZen executive chef Ziebold added executive chef duties at Sou'Wester to his portfolio.  The restaurant's decor was nautical  and "retro chic", with warm wood paneling  and floor-to-ceiling white drapery resembling sails.  Less than $200,000 spent on remodeling the space and creating an informal dining experience.  Food critic Tom Sietsma called the decor "sterile", more like a Courtyard by Marriott hotel space than a Mandarin Oriental four-diamond hotel space.  The menu changed to reflect the cuisine of the Southern United States.  Sietsma was deeply critical of the cooking, which he found extremely salty, the sandwiches ordinary, and the table service mediocre. However, he praised the vegetable dishes and desserts, and had good things to say about sommelier Carlton McCoy. 
Sou'Wester closed in December 2013, and was replaced with a new informal restaurant, Muze. Ziebold remained executive chef, but installed a new chef de cuisine to oversee a menu change to more Asian-infused cuisine. The paneling was replaced with pale yellow walls, although the long white curtains remained. Food critic Tom Sietsma again had little good to say about the wait-staff. He found the food a solid improvement. Although several dishes were less than impressive, and some of the more experimental entrees took some getting used to, he found several of the main courses and desserts superb. 
The Mandarin Oriental announced that CityZen will close permanently on December 6, 2014. Chef Ziebold left the restaurant to open a new venue in downtown D.C. in spring 2015. Rather than find a new chef, the hotel decided to close CityZen and allow the new chef to create a new restaurant. 
The AAA gave the hotel four diamonds out of five in 2004. The hotel has maintained that rating every year, and received four diamonds again for 2016.  Forbes Travel Guide (formerly known as Mobil Guide) awarded the hotel four out of five stars as well in 2016. 
Forbes also gave the Mandarin Oriental's spa four out of five stars in 2016. 
The Art of Prey
The comprehensive art guide to the mysterious Prey universe! Exclusive never before seen concept art from the development of the highly anticipated Prey! One of PCAdvisor and GamesRadar's most anticipated games of 2017!
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Category: Games & Activities
A dark force torments the enigmatic space station Talos I, and the key to survival depends not just on strength or weaponry, but on wits as well. Journey alongside Morgan Yu to explore the depths of Prey, a new science-fiction action game from the makers of Dishonored. Arkane Studios and Dark Horse Books are proud to present The Art of Prey. This exquisite and comprehensive collection features hundreds of pieces of gorgeous art from the development of this hotly anticipated game, showcasing Arkane's signature world-building and attention to detail with a unique take on futuristic design. The comprehensive art guide to the mysterious Prey universe! Exclusive never before seen concept art from the development of the highly anticipated Prey! One of PCAdvisor and GamesRadar's most anticipated games of 2017!