Julia Child’s Kitchen and a Wintry Trip to DC

February 8th, 2014

Julia's Kitchen


We are in Washington DC visiting with good friends Darla (My DIL’s Mom) and Dave.  We would not normally go to our nation’s capital in the middle of a brutal winter, but Dave and Darla had tickets for all of us to see David Crosby in concert at Wolf Trap.  The day we arrived it was announced that David Crosby had to cancel his concert due to illness.  In spite of that, we are glad that we came.  We always have fun in DC.  Of course, I had to return to the American History Museum to see Julia Child’s Kitchen again.

Julia Food Display


Her kitchen has been moved to a permanent exhibition of the history of food in America from 1950 through 2000.  There have been great changes in our relationship to food over those 50 years.  It explores the new technologies, the people behind the changes and how we relate to the food that we consume.

Julia Kitchen with me


But the heart of the exhibit is still Julia Child’s kitchen.  I love Julia Child.

Julia and me 2

We also love the restaurants in Washington.


Friday night we ate at Birch and Barley.  It was recommended to us by Darla’s Son David (do you notice a pattern in names here?), who was a chef in DC for a time. It is a brew pub with hundreds of beers on tap.  But it is also known for its innovative food.

Birch and Barley Flatbreads

We sampled three of the flatbreads on the menu.  From left to right, cotechino sausage flatbread with Asiago cheese, walnut pesto, preserved lemon and arugula, next is Fig and prosciutto flatbread with gorgonzola cremificato and caramelized onions, and last salt roasted pear flatbread with smoked aged provolone, confit of fennel, dill and onion puree.

Birch and Barley Brat Burger

One of our entrees was a Brat Burger with beer-braised sauerkraut and emmenthaler cheese and hand cut fries and cornichon.  Perfect with beer.

Birch and Barley Duck

Another entree was Honey Glazed Duck Breast with leg confit, wild rice, brandied cherries, radishes and hazelnuts.

Birch and Barley Cod

We also ordered the Pan-Seared Cod with roasted fennel, butter-braised celery root, pomegranate puree and blood orange segments.

Today there is a chance of snow flurries.  David and I are off to visit the National Gallery of Art.  We have reservations tonight at a French restaurant called Bistrot du Coin.  We are bundling up in warm clothes.

21 responses to “Julia Child’s Kitchen and a Wintry Trip to DC”

  1. Sam Hoffer says:

    All of the food looks magnificent, especially the duck breasts. Stay warm and enjoy the French restaurant. A lot of things are crazy in our nation’s capital, but they do have wonderful restaurants.

  2. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    It sounds like you are having fun even though it is cold and the concert was cancelled. That food looks wonderful!

  3. Mimi Johns says:

    The food does look great for a cold day – hearty and filling. I must get to Julia’s kitchen one of these days. Meanwhile, thanks for taking me with you via your photos, Penny.

    • Penny Klett says:

      I know you would love the exhibit Mimi. We spent Sunday at the Phillips Collection near our apartment in Dupont Circle. They have Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party.

  4. Pondside says:

    Oh my goodness, but it all looks good. I’d have chosen the duck breast – so rare to find it up here.

  5. Jane says:

    What a great time…you are doing all of the things I would have chosen to do! I love restaurants where we can try delicious new dishes. Enjoy today!


  6. Marcia Smith says:

    OMG are you still here?? I love Bistro du Coin!!! You will love it too- very French and so reminiscent of Paris bistros!!! I live directly across the street from the FBI if you are in the area!!! So cold and now snow this evening !!! Hope you are having a great time in my winter city!!!

    • Penny Klett says:

      Hi Marcia, I passed right by your street on Saturday. Wish I had known you were there. We are leaving this morning; just in time to avoid the snowy blast. We love DC though.

  7. Roberta says:

    I’m very envious. We were in Washington about three years ago and much of the American History Museum was closed for remodeling, including Julia’s kitchen.

  8. Darla says:

    Loved seeing you. Safe travels tomorrow. Give those grand babies a big kiss for us. We are enjoying the Cline Zinfandel that David
    brought with our Maggianos lasagna right now. How was the French restaurant last night & where did you eat this evening?

    • Penny Klett says:

      Hi Darla! Bistrot du Coin had great atmosphere but I wasn’t crazy about the food. We ate at Floriana last night and it was excellent. Best Lasagna I have ever eaten. The place was packed and we were lucky to get a reservation. Thanks again for everything.

      • Darla says:

        Looks like you may be traveling back to NC just in time for snow and/or ice tomorrow and wed. Stay safe!

  9. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    It sounds like you made the most of your time in DC even though the concert was cancelled. Hope you are safely home and that the winter storm hitting the south won’t impact you too bad.

    • Penny Klett says:

      Hi Karen, We are in NC with the kids. The storm is supposed to hit us today and last for several days. We return to Florida on Saturday (Hopefully). Enjoy your warm Florida holiday.

  10. Mary says:

    Your dinners look amazing, but I’m so jealous that you got to see Julia’s kitchen! I was lucky enough to meet her, she was lovely! Did you know that her phone number was listed in the phone book? And if you phoned looking for cooking advice she would give it! How I wish I knew! I also highly recommend “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child” – by Bob Spitz

    • Penny Klett says:

      You were so lucky to actually meet Julia in person Mary. How wonderful. If I had known about the phone, I would have called her too. I have read Dearie and every other book written about her life. I just finished Provence: 1970.

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