Top Pairs Vol. 14: Food and Wine Pairings from DC
- 923 16th Street Northwest
- Washington, DC 20006
- (202) 638-2626
- 775 G Street Northwest
- Washington, D.C. 20001
- (202) 737-7663
Sebastian Zutant’s introduction to the restaurant industry was casual, and classic, making pizzas and pastas at an Italian restaurant in his old neighborhood. After college, Zutant joined the team at Chef Geoff's before continuing on to Nectar, Komi, and then Rasika, serving as sommelier at the latter two. Inspired to learn viticulture and oenology, Zutant took a three month sabbatical to California, working at Deloach Vineyards before joining the opening team at D.C.’s Proof as wine director in spring 2007. During his five year tenure, Proof was listed as having one of the “Best New Wine Lists of 2008” by Food & Wine. Zutant continues making wine waves at Red Hen, where his carefully researched 100-bottle selection especially celebrates Italy, but also showcases regions like Slovenia, Croatia, and the Republic of Georgia.
- Plume at The Jefferson Hotel
- 1200 16th Street Northwest
- Washington, DC 20036
- (202) 448-2300
Scaffidi’s passion for Madeira ignited during his time at French Laundry, where he became fascinated with older wines that still tasted amazing. He calls Madeira the “Incredible Hulk” of wine, because it can’t be destroyed. “You can open a bottle now, and in 50 years it will taste the same,” he says. Due to the nature of the wine (during the winemaking process, the wine is “cooked”), its shelf life after opening is almost infinite compared to other fortified wines. Hence the tastiness of a 300-year old wine.
When he started the Madeira program, Scaffidi sought out the legendary Mannie Berk, of The Rare Wine Co. Once he had proved his dedication to a successful Madeira program, they worked to build the stellar Madeira collection that still shines at The Jefferson today.
And don’t worry about remembering what you drank from visit to visit. Scaffidi’s dedication to excellent service includes registering the wines you try during your visit into their reservation system. So you can sip something different on your next visit, or they’ll remember the wine for you, if you want it again. The host or maître d’ also gives the guest a printout of their selection(s) to take home.
- The Oval Room
- 800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest #110
- Washington, D.C. 20006
- (202) 463-8700
Sommelier Brent Kroll is proof that age is just a number. A relative youngster in the industry, he’s already overseeing lists for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s nine restaurants, as well as its wine shop. Prior to settling in D.C., Kroll worked with the Michael Mina Restaurant Group at Saltwater at the MGM Grand in Detroit; Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Turnberry Country Club in Miami; and Casa Tua in South Beach, Miami. In 2008, the Michigan native settled in D.C., landing a position with renowned restaurateur Ashok Bajaj. Kroll oversaw the wine program at Ardeo+Bardeo and later at the Oval Room, where soon-to-be mentor Madeline Triffon instilled in him a deep-rooted sense of hospitality. It’s a lesson he brought with him to his next roles as Wine Director at The St. Regis Hotel and, finally, the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, where he oversees an eclectic assortment of evolving, modern wine programs.
- 1099 New York Avenue Northwest
- Washington, DC 20001
- (202) 639-9830