1. Innovative Ingredients with Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel

    Last week we featured a behind the scenes look at our culinary team with Pastry Chef, Fabrice Leray. The response was so great that we had to give everyone another exclusive glimpse of the team behind DC’s only Forbes five star rated restaurant, Plume!

    This week we were able to sit down with Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel and bend his ear about an ingredient he loves working with. Chef Schlegel has been with Plume since 2011, and has been lauded for his creative dishes, which evoke enchanting versions of the familiar.


    What Ingredient are you excited about right now?
    RS: Spruce needle syrup.

    Why is it so great?
    Rs: It brings the forest to the table with a sweet touch – we made it in the spring and it takes about four months to ferment.

    What do you use it on?
    RS: The fall is the right time to bring this syrup to the table. I like to pair it with venison!

    With Chef Schlegel’s recommendation we just had to know more about this unique condiment. Upon further research we found that spruce needles are packed with vitamin C, and have historically been used to treat sore throats and coughs due to the needle’s immune stimulating properties. Spruce needle syrup is quite versatile and can also be used in teas and cocktails!

    To experience Chef Schlegel’s delectable dishes first hand, make a reservation in Plume by calling 202-448-2300.

  2. Fine Dining Confections with Fabrice Leray

    There is never a dull moment behind the scenes at Washington DC’s only Forbes Five Star rated restaurant, Plume. Fabrice Leray, our brilliant Pastry Chef, can definitely attest to that. He has been an integral part of Plume’s culinary team since its inaugural year in 2009. Fabrice has been kind enough to give us a look at what he’s currently working with, and how to make it at home! Read on for the full scoop.

       Blueberry Lemon Sable   

    What is your favorite ingredient of the moment?
    FL: Salted butter caramel spread.

    Why is it so great?
    FL: It is great on waffles, crêpes, cheesecake, ice cream, Macaroons… perfect for a foodie that likes a mix of salty and sweet.

    What dish do you like to use it in?
    FL: Lemon crêpes or churros.

    Sounds delicious, can we have the recipe?
    15 oz. of Cream
    7 oz. of Isomalt
    10 oz. of Glucose
    3.5 oz. of Salted Butter
    .9 oz. of Soy Lecithin
    10 oz. of Sugar
    4.2 oz. of Cocoa Butter

    Step 1: Heat the cream, isomalt, glucose and butter together
    Step 2: Caramelize the sugar and deglaze with the warm liquids
    Step 3: Cook to 224.6 degrees and add the cocoa butter
    Step 4: Mix with a blender to get a nice emulsion
    Step 5: Bon appétit!

    If you would like to experience Fabrice’s dishes in person, make a reservation in Plume by calling 202-448-2300, and make sure you save room for dessert!

  3. (Land)mark Your Calendars

    It is no secret that Washington, DC is a city that prides itself on its rich history, which is why we are so excited to witness history in the making next weekend at the first annual Landmark Music Festival! If you caught our last post then you already know we can’t wait to attend. Read on to ensure your festival weekend is a success.

    The Beauty is in the Details

    2 days, 5 stages, 40+ artists- as if those numbers don’t already speak for themselves, it is safe to say this event is going to be huge. The festival takes place September 26th-27th at West Potomac Park, and will feature artists such as Drake, The Strokes, alt-J and CHVRCHES, to name a few. In true DC form this weekend isn’t just about kicking back, it is also about giving back. A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Trust for the National Mall.

    We’ve got the Golden Tickets

    So you really want to go to Landmark but you haven’t bought your tickets yet? No problem. We will be holding a good old-fashioned Instagram contest for a pair of two day passes to the festival! Simply follow @TheJeffersonDC and like our Landmark post to enter. A winner will be chosen today at 4:00 pm.

    Traveling From Out of Town?

    Book a room for at The Jefferson to round out an amazing weekend! Enjoy the music and fresh outdoors during the day and return to the hotel to relax and recoup at night. Check out our Special Offers page for some exciting packages and specials.

    We cannot wait for the festival to get here, and hope to see you there!

  4. Your Official Guide to Kicking Off Fall in Washington, DC!

    While it seemed like just yesterday you were pulling out your warm weather clothes, or counting down the days until your beach vacation, suddenly we have arrived at summer’s unofficial finale, Labor Day weekend. As the temperature falls, the pace of life quickens in Washington, DC and residents and visitors alike are hard pressed to find a dull moment throughout the city. The question is not ‘what should we do?’ but rather ‘what should we do first?’!

    The National Book Festival

    The city is jam-packed with events and activities in September all starting this weekend with The National Book Festival! We are especially excited about this year’s theme which marks the 200th anniversary of the Library of congress' acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. The festival’s mantra this year is Jefferson's quote, "I cannot live without books."

    The festival will take place on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, and features more than 170 authors, poets, illustrators and special presenters. You can learn more about the exhibits and event details on their website.

    Landmark Music Festival

    This fall marks the inaugural year of the Landmark Music Festival, the first of its kind in DC! The festival will bring five stages and over 40 artists to West Potomac Park over a two-day period from September 26th-27th. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Trust for the National Mall – an official partner of the National Park Service which brings awareness and funds to America’s Front Yard. Make sure you get your tickets and see the full lineup at Landmarkfestival.org.

    Hula at Hank’s Luau

    Still not ready to say goodbye to summer? Stop by Hula at Hank’s Luau at Hank’s Oyster Bar on Saturday September 26th at 11:00am to check out Hula Hank's Tiki Tournament, where Rachel and Brian from Quill will be competing against other bartenders in the city for the title of 'Best Tiki Drink.' Get your tickets on the official event page.

    You can check more upcoming events on out calendar page, or follow The Jefferson on facebook for future updates. Happy Labor Day everyone!

  5. Meet Shandy!

    Hello all, Monti here, reporting live from the field in Vermont! Since National Dog Day was this week, I thought it was a fitting time for one of my wonderful blog takeovers.

    While I am enjoying the last few weeks of my summer vacation, I wanted to take the time to give you an important update from a special friend at PAW Rescue.

    Meet my fellow Beagle pal, Shandy!!!

    The people at PAW can attest to the fact that Shandy is a very friendly girl! When she is taken for a walk, she wants to greet every person she meets. She has been great with all the dogs she has met as well - bowing and "talking" to them, in the hopes that they will want to come and play.

    Shandy came from a very rural area and when she first arrived was startled by all the strange noises and traffic near the big city- however, she is adapting fast and getting more confident every day.

    Shandy has a sweet and loving personality and is a nice medium size - just right for a family dog!

    If you are interested in meeting Shandy or for more information about her or any of the other wonderful PAW dogs, please email pawdogs@yahoo.com.

    Since my vacation is pretty action packed, I don’t always have time to blog. If you would like to keep up with my adventures head on over to the Jefferson’s instagram and look out for the hashtags #Vermonti and #TuesdaysWithMonti!

  6. What We’re Doing on Our Summer Vacation

    As the dog days of summer slowly creep to an end, we know that everyone is thinking about the end of summer vacation. We don’t know about you, but every year when we got back to school, our teachers asked us what we did on our summer vacation so we wanted to get a head start and tell you all about some of the things we did this summer.


    Every year Plume goes through an annual summer refresh. This year, it will be taking place beginning after dinner on Saturday, August 15th, reopening on Tuesday, September 8th. What takes place during an annual refresh? Glad you asked! We refinish the floors, fix any chips or cracks that might have happened to the walls or to the tables throughout the year and we give the staff a vacation! Chef Schlegel works on a new fall menu, Jennifer Knowles, our wine director has a chance to see what’s new in the world of wine, our restaurant manager Sean Mulligan travels to see what other five star establishments are up to and our hard working team gets a break!


    Quill has an annual summer refresh as well, though theirs is a lot shorter. Quill is closed from Monday, August 17th – Thursday, August 20th and the bar reopens at 4:00pm on the 20th. During this time, you can find the Quill team behind the Plume bar, and will be servicing Greenhouse in the evenings, beginning at 4:00pm. Peter, our resident piano player will be taking some well deserved time off so there will be no live music during this time.

    Guest Rooms

    You may not have noticed, but every summer our rooms get a little work done. From painting to replacing the carpets, we take the time over the summer to make sure that our guest rooms don’t look a day over a year old, even though we’re almost six!

    If you have a question about any of our summer projects, you can always ask us here, here or here!

    Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  7. Back to School at The Jefferson

    The beginning of August can bring bitter sweet emotions for families with children going off to school. DC is home to many prestigious colleges and universities, and it is true what they say, the city comes alive with the return of its dynamic student population. Whether it is their first time leaving the nest, or simply the annual migration back to school, The Jefferson is here to serve as a home away from home for you and your family during this special time.

    It is no surprise that the move in process can be as stressful as it is thrilling, and we believe the one thing that you shouldn’t have to worry about is where your family will be staying while getting everyone settled. The Jefferson is centrally located in the heart of downtown DC, just four blocks north of the White House and within walking distance of Dupont Circle and many central transportation hubs.

    Our Summer of Adventure offers a variety of packages which are sure to meet your family’s needs. For younger siblings, our Indiana Jones package and Where’s Tommy Experience are equal parts entertaining and educational. For parents our Summer Sizzle and Suite Weekend will provide some much needed R & R.


    Looking for more things to see and do while in the area? Visit our Calendar page for upcoming events and exhibits. Sightseeing is a great way to get to know your student’s new city and our concierge team is happy to make recommendations for your stay. A stay at The Jefferson is a surefire way to kick the school year off right!

  8. Meet My Friend Maggie!

    Hi everyone. It’s Monti, the ECO of The Jefferson blogging from Vermont. My summer is going great. I’ve taken some long car rides, walked on some railroad tracks and even went for a swim with my best camp friends!


    While I’m not spending my summer in Washington, DC, I have a bunch of friends at PAW Rescue that are and they could really use a new place to live.

    Meet Maggie everyone!

    Maggie is about 4 and a half years old and is a yellow lab. She’s super friendly even if she is still kind of a puppy. She needs to learn some manners (not to jump up, not to mouth when playing with people) but the good people at PAW are working with her on that and she’s a quick learner so all this will disappear with a little bit of training.

    This lab has a lot of energy so she’d be great with a family who has a fenced yard or who does a lot of outdoor activities.

    Want to watch Maggie in action? Check her out on YouTube. Look at that tail!

    If you are interested in meeting Maggie or for more information about her or any of the other wonderful PAW dogs, contact my friends at pawdogs@yahoo.com

    Wish I could stay and talk more but it’s time for my daily walk in the woods…vacation is tough.

    Enjoy your summer everyone and don’t forget to follow my adventures on Instagram or with the #VerMonti and #TuesdaysWithMonti!

  9. Summer Activities in Washington, DC

    With so much to see and do in Washington, DC this summer it’s hard to know where to start! From museums and monuments to discovering many of DC’s up and coming neighborhoods there are a number of events and happenings around town at any moment. And the best part – most of them are free!

    Here are a few of our favorite picks for free events in Washington, DC this summer.

    The Smithsonian Museums

    Bet you didn’t realize that every museum in the Smithsonian collection is free to the public. From the Air & Space Museum to the National Zoo, you can spend an entire day wandering the halls and paths of these incredible spaces.

    Listen in on History Being Made

    It’s not truly a trip to our nation’s capital unless you experience something that can only be seen here. When the Supreme Court is in session, their oral arguments are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-seated basis.

    Soak in Some Morning Knowledge

    Did you know that The Jefferson has not one, but two in-house historians? Every Saturday morning from 9am -1pm you can find one of them in the Book Room, ready to answer all of your burning questions about Thomas Jefferson, our founding fathers and what do see and do that day around the city.

    Happy Exploring!

  10. Have You Been to Plume Lately?

    If you’re staying in Washington, DC over the summer then you are in luck. That means that you get the opportunity to visit Plume, the only Forbes five star-rated restaurant in the city! Make a reservation before Plume closes for its annual summer refresh in August.

    Our Executive Chef, Ralf Schlegel and his team have created a menu that is a must try for any food lover with dishes like his Beeswax Salmon that is prepared tableside and the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Tea which is presented in unique glassware and is almost too pretty to eat!  


    Once you’ve finished your meal, we recommend capping off the evening with selections from our cheese cart with some of the more rare selections that the city has to offer, each perfectly paired by our Wine Director, Jennifer Knowles.

    Of course, no meal in Plume is complete without a glass of Madeira. Plume has one of, if not the largest collection of this fortified wine in the country with some vintages dating back to the 1700’s.

     Madeira at Plume

    To make your summer dining plans in Plume, book now or call 202.448.2300. We hope to see you this summer!