Barnette Holston is a “man about town” and the founder of DCFashion Fool, a DC-based men’s lifestyle and fashion blog. Capitol File spent a day with Holston as he charts his perfect day at CityCenterDC.
CityCenterDC is a 10-acre downtown development led by Hines and Qatari Diar. The project, which is over two square blocks, is filled with swanky rental apartment units, condos, office space, luxury shops, fine dining, a pedestrian alley, fountains, a courtyard with a permanent video installation and an outdoor central plaza.
We started our day at Fruitive, a plant-based organic restaurant. Our breakfast consisted of cold pressed green juice, avocado toast and an acai bowl.
“A lot of people have this notion that Washingtonians have no sense of style and there’s nothing going on in town besides political and legal activities, says Holston as we finish breakfast. “I want to dispel that notion.”
It’s time for some retail therapy, and Paul Stuart was the perfect place for Holston to pick out two men’s fall looks.
“I want to prove to men that they do not have to be afraid of fashion” says Holston as he picks up a green blazer and pairs with a printed paisley tie, “looking and feeling great along with having fun is the key to a great life.”
“Ever since I picked up my first GQ at age 12, I’ve had a love for fashion” remarks Holston as he styles a gray wool suit. “I’m a big fan of the lapel flower, that’s the missing touch to this outfit.”
Post retail therapy, we walked over to the Mediterranean inspired restaurant, Fig & Olive for lunch. The food was outstanding, we had their signature Crostini Selections, Croquette Tasting, Burrata and Heirloom Tomato and the Riviera Salmon.
At Fig & Olive, we sat down with Ian Kitzmiller, General Manager who chatted with us about the inspiration for Fig & Olive and his favorite dish.
“The founder of Fig and Olive is from the South of France, a little village called Muji, which is near St. Tropez. In the South of France, the dishes showcase light fare with influences from coastal Spain, Italy, and Morocco. I love the crostini, because it is our signature dish on the menu. I’m also a big fan of the burrata cheese with tomatoes and watermelon. Our lamb chops at dinner are also a highlight, its a dramatic effect with light rosemary on fire and a dome over the lamb. When the dish arrives to the table, the dome is set aside and smoke fills the air in a theatrical fashion. It’s a show stopper that is also very delicious.”
A day with DCFashion Fool would obviously demand a facial, so we headed to Caudalie, an independent family-run French beauty brand. The essence of the brand is built around wine as the beauty products are derived from the wines and grapes at the family’s Bordeaux vineyard.
The signature scents of Caudalie’s lotions and sprays filled the air with a zen-like aroma as we walked through the doors. The CityCenterDC location has spa treatment rooms which offer unbeatable facials and additional skin treatments.
After the spa treatment we grabbed a quick bite at Centrolina Market & Restaurant before more retail therapy. The restaurant is known for its regional Italian cooking by Chef Amy Brandwein. We snacked on the Rosa, which was heirloom tomato, beets, watermelon, and pesto with a glass of white wine.
We headed to one of Holston’s favorites at CityCenterDC, Sky Valet Shoes for the quintessential shoe shopping experience. Sky Valet Shoes is a nationally renowned high-end shoe boutique. The store also repairs shoes on-site.
“I like tailored looks but I’m always looking to mix it up. I’m a fan of bold prints that most people don’t think they can wear. I’m usually overdressed but that’s me” comments Holston as he gets his shoes polished by Hetom Hodikoglu, owner of Sky Valet Shoes. “I love great shoes and tend to hold onto them for many years, all are in shoe trees and are polished regularly.”
We asked Holston to pick one place to go to for dinner at CityCenterDC, he remarked Del Frisco’s in a heartbeat. Del Frisco’s Double Steakhouse serves an award-winning wine list, flawless cuisine and impeccable hospitality.
Their wine cellar is home to 1600 wines.
We were astounded with the fillet trio tasting, which comes out this week on the menu for $69. Each filet is customized with a different innovative flavor combination, including Bearnaise, asparagus and jumbo crab meat; gorgonzola fondue and diver scallop with heirloom tomato jam.
Our favorites on the menu are the Thick Cut Nueske’s Bacon Au Poivre with Bourbon Molasses and the Cheesesteak Egg Rolls. Honestly our mouths are watering just thinking about it.
We head over to Dolcezza Gelato for our last food experience of the day. Dolcezza Gelato was founded in 2004 with a dedication to locally sourced ingredients, they serve small batch gelato and expertly crafted coffee.
We ordered Peppermint Stratiatelli and think nothing could be “sweeter” than a day at CityCenterDC with Barnette Holston, the DCFashion Fool.
Photography by: Photography by Gabriela Alarcón; Video shot and edited by Mynor Ventura