Spotlight on Thursday

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Entertainment,Buzz

TROPICAL TASTES

Some of the coldest days of winter are now upon us, but RIS (2275 L St. NW) invites guests to warm up with its new three-course "Tropical Escape" lunch menu that might make you start planning your next tropical vacation. RIS chef and owner Ris Lacoste has embodied the warmth, spice and sweetness of the tropics in her seasonal dishes, which include Jamaican goat curry, Thai chicken lime and coconut soup, and macadamia-crusted mahi mahi served with orange cous cous and a citrus mint salad. And what would a tropical menu be without a good margarita? Lacoste has spiced up the popular cocktail with lime-marinated scallops, chilies, orange segments and even avocado.

The three course lunch is $25 and is available weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

SMOKY DRINKS

BLT Steak's team of mixologists has gone back to the drawing board this season, experimenting with centuries-old bourbon barrel-aging techniques to give us new, soul-warming, barrel-aged cocktails at its D.C. location (1625 I St. NW). Local drinkmasters Steve Oshana and Rico Wisner created the menu with their love of historic cocktails as their inspiration. They believe the aging process gives the specialty concoctions an added kick of smokiness and warmth because the charred wood of the barrel makes even the harshest of spirits more drinkable.

They currently have three new aged cocktails on the menu, including the Brooklyn, which is a cousin of the Manhattan, the Negroni with CapRock gin and sweet vermouth, and the Bermuda Triangle with Gosling's Black Seal rum and star anise.

The cocktails are priced at $14, and it might be just as good as warming your hands by the fire.

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