Cupcakes: You have them at Hello

Washington got a bit sweeter this summer. Another cupcake bakery opened its doors in August.

Long lines spiraled out of the Dupont Circle storefront of Hello Cupcake during its opening week while customers waited to sample some of the more than 20 flavors of the mini cakes.

The menu includes a Heart of Darkness double chocolate cupcake and a Peanut Butter Blossom chocolate-peanut butter cupcake. Both had a moist cake base with a pure chocolate flavor and were topped with high domes of frosting that satisfied even the most demanding of sweet tooths. Other flavors include the Princess, a vanilla cake topped with strawberry buttercream, De Lime and De Coconut, a lime cake with a coconut cream cheese frosting and shredded coconut, and a dulce de leche cupcake.

One of unique things about Hello Cupcake is its packaging. Its takeaway boxes come with a cardboard holster into which the bakery employees place the cakes, allowing customers to walk briskly with their treats without worrying about smashing or smearing the frosting.

The bakery’s menu rotates daily. You can see it at .

Hello Cupcake is located at 1351 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Take a look at the ‘new’ Sam & Harry’s

Sam & Harry’s, the fat cat steakhouse off Dupont Circle that sits just across the street from The Palm, is not a new restaurant in town, but it sure looks that way these days with the recent storefront makeover it received.

For more information, visit .


BLT Steak — the ideal spot for a campaign breakfast meeting

The sophisticated dining spot, BLT Steak in downtown Washington, is no longer confining itself to lunch and dinner. With a sleek interior, the restaurant now extends beyond the typical business lunch and has opened its doors during breakfast hours for large meetings. The idea is to offer a breakfast locale for groups accustomed to refined environs. Food options sound typical — they include the breakfast staples of fresh fruit, assorted pastries and bagels. But at BLT there is the additional choice of the restaurant’s signature popover.

For more information, e-mail Erica Frank at

Pick your party at a Capitol Hill Hotel

If you’re one of those people who watches Washington Week on Friday nights, wears Elephant Red or Donkey Blue at any given chance, and gets excited about the latest Gallup polls, The Liaison Capitol Hill hotel has a vacation special for you.

The Hotel is offering a “Pick Your Party” package, in which guests can chose the Red-Hot McCain option or the True-Blue Barack option for a one-night political getaway.

The package, priced at $219, includes a one-night stay in the hotel, a red or blue dining and nightlife guide (depending on your political and/or your social life preferences), a picnic basket full of goodies, a Washington guidebook, and free Internet access (“so the latest poll figures are only a click away,” the hotel press release promises).

Hotel General Manager Dani Elhachem says “a couple hundred room nights” have already been booked under the special, which runs to Nov. 8. So far, he said, more people have opted for the Democratic package.

“I think it could be the luck of the draw, honestly, more than anything else,” he says.

Those guests who book the Democratic package are advised to visit the Union Pub, the Hawk ‘n’ Dove, Busboys and Poets, and Tune Inn for their night out. GOP guests are encouraged to patronize The Capital Grille, The Capitol Hill Club, Smith Point and Bull Feathers to paint the town red.

Elhachem says guests should book their rooms two to three weeks in advance. Visit the hotel’s website, .

Kris Kitto and Betsy Rothstein