The Latest Dish


Jamie Stachowski and his son, Josef, are taking over Griffin Market in Georgetown to open what Jamie calls “a rustic Hansel & Gretel house of beef,” featuring salamis and sausages as well as sandwiches (hand-cut pastrami – I’m there), beef, pork, and more exotic items like duck pate, fois gras, confit; prepared items like turkey for Thanksgiving, short ribs and meatballs. They plan to be up and running by November.

The Capital Hilton at 16th and K Streets, NW, will open its restaurant,North Gate Grill, in November. It will open serving breakfast and lunch, before dinner service is added to the dining program. The name, North Gate Grill, refers to its location down the street from the north gate of the White House. The chef is Daniel Murray, formerly of Renaissance Cleveland. But before that, he worked here in D.C. at Blackie’s.

Ray’s the Steaks and Ray’s Hell Burger owner Michael Landrum has opened the latest restaurant in his Ray’s empire: Ray’s to the Third, selling steak frites 13 different ways. It’s only open for dinner, with plans for lunch service in the future, located at 1650 Wilson Blvd in the Rosslyn/Courthouse area of Arlington.

Richard Pawlowski, owner/operator of numerous Cosi and Qdoba Mexican Grill locations in the metro area, is opening America’s first outpost of London-based YO!Sushi in D.C. inside Union Station in 2012. The U.K. eatery is known for its conveyor-belt style of sushi service, also known as a Japanese “kaiten” sushi bar, as the sushi rolls, sashimi and Asian salads and dishes are color-coded as the belt moves past. Pawlowski has teamed up with his good friend, Darren Wightman, who will serve as operating partner for YO!Sushi. Wightman was formerly the executive chef for YO!Sushi in the U.K. He also worked for London-based Ping Pong Dim Sum as executive chef.

Quick Hits

BGR: The Burger Joint plans to open before year’s end in Gaithersburg’s Rio Center as well as in the Cascades in Sterling, Va. Also slated to open at Washingtonian Center: Nando’s Peri Peri and Café Deluxe. Al Forno, an Italian trattoria will open this fall at 3201 New Mexico Ave., NW, in the former Balducci’s space. The restaurant will feature a wood-burning oven for Neapolitan pizza, and outdoor dining, just like at its neighbor, Chef Geoff’s. New York-based Boqueria plans to open in Dupont Circle this fall, their first location outside of New York. They offer Barcelona-inspired tapas. Filter Coffeehouse plans to open its second location in Foggy Bottom near the World Bank at 19th and I Streets, NW. The plan is for it to be open before year’s end.

EatWell DC who brought us Logan Tavern, Grillfish, Commissary and The Heights, will open another Logan Circle eatery, The Pig at 1320 14th St., NW, featuring – what else? – pork. They will source foods from their own farm, EatWell Natural Farm in La Plata, Md., and use locally raised pigs. They will also offer craft cocktails, American beers and wines from eco-conscious producers as well as small batch bourbons. A second quarter 2012 opening is planned.

Relying mostly on the money he has made through his technology business, Steve Acup is opening Log Inn at Lucketts at Route 15 and Spinks Ferry Road. Although his plans call for a March 2012 opening, he has set up a mobile trailer with a commercial kitchen to give the neighbors a taste of what to expect at Log Inn. The restaurant will serve pizza, pasta, ribs, Italian beef sandwiches and cheesecakes. Acup is developing the recipes but hiring people to cook and execute the concept for the up to 125-seat restaurant.

Chef Drew Trautmann, formerly of Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar in Georgetown, and Jawad Saadaoui, of Redwood in Bethesda, plan to open District Kitchen this month in the space where Jandara used to be at 2606 Connecticut Ave., NW, in Woodley Park. The 75-seat space will offer American food, similar to Woodberry Kitchen (re: rustic) in Baltimore. Drew’s sous chef is Daniel Velasco, whom he worked with at Mendocino Grille.

Town Hall restaurant, 2218 Wisconsin Ave, NW in Glover Park will be moving a block north into the old Blue Ridge space at 2340 Wisconsin Ave., NW. Eli Hengst and Jared Rager, owners of both places, negotiated a deal that also allows Town Hall to assume Blue Ridge’s liquor license. Their former space now also comes with its own liquor license, a very attractive amenity these days. Town Hall plans to be open in their new space by Thanksgiving.

The Georgetown ANC approved a liquor license application for Malmaison, a restaurant slated to open at the corner of 34th and K Streets, NW. The owners also own and operate Cafe Bonaparte at Wisconsin Avenue and P Street, NW. The new dessert cafe’s name can translate into “naughty house” or “ill-fated domain” but is actually a reference to Napoleon’s Château de Malmaison.

Chef Update

Dennis Marron is the new executive chef at Poste Moderne Brasserie, adjacent to Kimpton’s Monaco Hotel near the Verizon Center. He comes from Kimpton’s Old Town property, the Grille at Morrison House and Jackson 20. Mark Timms has been named executive chef at 2100 Prime, the restaurant in The Fairfax Hotel that used to be the Jockey Club.

Openings Update

Passion Food Hospitality will open Burger, Tap & Shake before it opens District Commons at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, at Washington Circle in Foggy Bottom, which is sprouting foodservice options each month. District Commons will feature 20 American beers on tap. It will also be one of the few places in the area open for breakfast. Both should be open before the fourth quarter of 2011… The folks who own Tryst in Adams Morgan plan to open a taqueria at Lamont & 11 Street, NW. The working name is Margot’s Chair. If the construction gods allow, a January 2012 opening is planned. … Enzo Fargione’s Elisir on 11th Street, NW, in Penn Quarter plans to be open in October 2011 … The Hamilton, brought to you by Clyde’s Restaurant group in the former Borders space near Old Ebbitt Grill, will have three bars upstairs and two bars downstairs, and plans to be open before year’s end. Roti Mediterranean Grill plans to open on F Street, NW, the end of this month, and at Union Station, in first quarter of 2012.

Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. (LRA), specializing in making creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 703-417-2700 or or visit her web site at

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