Recap: Caviar and Champagne Tasting at Praline Bakery & Bistro in Bethesda, Maryland

Praline Bakery & Bistro in Bethesda, Maryland is changing the face of Thursdays for many D.M.V. residents. Owned by former White House pastry chefs Susan Limb & Patrick Musel, the bistro will host patrons every second Thursday for an evening of various foods and libations tastings.

I decided to check in for their first tasting, which featured caviar and champagne. Yes, caviar! I last had caviar as a child in Zimbabwe.  Random, I know. But as a sushi lover & a fan of seafood, I welcomed tasting the delicacy and looked forward to learning something new.

Caviar Trio
Photo Credit: Steven Hall


For those who may not be aware, caviar is fish eggs...salt-cured fish eggs to be exact.  Caviar typically comes from sturgeon fish, and historically has been seen as a Russian staple and popular import.  

Praline offered us Bowfin Choupique, Salmon Roe, Golden Whitefish, Hackelback Sturgeon, and smoked caviar. The most distinct out of them all was the Bowfin - black in color, and by distinct I mean very fishy.

Salmon Roe



The salmon roe was one of my favorites, as it was juicy, round and orange.  You’ve probably eaten roe before on a sushi dish or appetizer. Another favorite was the smoked caviar, which was buttery in taste and reminiscent of a good smoked salmon.

We paired our caviar with tasty blinis (thin pancakes) & and crème fraiche, which most say may mask the taste of the caviar, but really added to the experience.

Everything was really tasty, and the addition of the champagnes [Crement d’Alsace Brut Rose, William Daniel Pardiac Blanc de Blanc, Prosecco Riondo] made for a refined evening. 

Caviar and Champagne
Photo Credit: Steven Hall



As a bonus, Susan allowed us to taste a selection of crepes that the bistro will be rolling out in the next few weeks. As most of you know, crepes are thin pancakes that originate from France.  They can be sweet or savory, and paired with some great ingredients.

I tasted two savory ones made from buckwheat flour- ham & cheese, and smoked salmon. The salmon was by far my favorite, because salmon, but there will be 18 different crepes offered by the time the menu is finalized.




If you’re on a staycation in the D.C. metropolitan area and are looking for a taste of France amidst the sprawling Bethesda mansions, Praline Bakery & Bistro is the place to be. It’s tucked away in The Shops at Sumner Place, and French manager, Francoise, will make sure you’re well taken care of. Their next tasting is Choucroute (sauerkraut, sausages, & charcuterie) and beer on January 14th!

For more information on the bakery visit

- Nyasha Chikowore

5 Easter Inspired Cocktails

Jesus turned water into wine, so who am I not to enjoy the fruits of his labor?  I’m not a fan of the typical Marshmallow Peep or Cadbury Egg infused Easter cocktails.  Who really wants candy with their drinks?  They just get in the way.  I’ve compiled a list of realistic cocktails to serve at this year’s Easter brunch…or any other time you feel like drinking.


EASTER BUNNY COCKTAIL – Forget the chocolate Easter bunny.  Drink your calories with this scrumptious chocolate-infused cocktail.


  • 1 ½ oz dark crème de cacao
  • ½ oz vodka
  • 1 tsp chocolate syrup
  • 1 tsp cherry brandy


Shake creme de cacao and vodka with ice and then pour in cocktail glass over ice. Top with chocolate syrup and cherry brandy.


MELON-TINI – A simple, yet flavorful berry cocktail.  Yum.


  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Midori melon liqueur
  • 1 ounce white cranberry juice


Shake ingredients in shaker and strain into your martini glass.  Garnish with melons balls of your choice arranged on a toothpick.


GRAPEFRUIT MIMOSA – What better way to spice up the traditional mimosa than by switching out oranges for grapefruits?  Ah, so refreshing.


  • 8 large ruby red grapefruits
  • 1 bottle of Prosecco, chilled


Juice the grapefruits and pour into a large pitcher.  Top with one-third to half the bottle of Prosecco.  Then drink and thank me.


COLLINS LEMONADE – This is a twist on your traditional Collins by adding tequila and limoncello.  Anything with limoncello automatically wins.


  • 1-1/2 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce limoncello
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup


Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a highball glass. Top with soda and garnish with an orange twist.


WHITE RABBIT – This is for my creamy drink lovers.  I know you’re out there!


  • 1/2 oz Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz Baileys
  • 1 oz white rum
  • 1/2 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Half & Half


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake then strain over ice cubes in an old fashioned glass.