The Latest Dish


Chef Amy Brandwein will once again join forces with veteran Chef Roberto Donna, at restaurateur Hakan Ilhan’s newest eatery, Alba Osteria, named for the town of Alba in Roberto’s hometown region of Piedmont. The plan is for 226 seats plus an outdoor 63-seat patio as well as private dining for 22 at the 425 I Street, NW location. In the Piedmont spirit, there will be a salami and formaggi counter as well as a pizza bar. This is the sister operation of Al Dente ristorante on New Mexico Ave., NW where Chef Roberto reigns. Amy previously worked for Roberto at Galileo in D.C.

The team that brought you Ripple has more in store for fans of Executive Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley. A second location is under construction in Adams Morgan where The Reef was located. The new restaurant & bar will be called Roofers Union and will offer Marjorie’s house-made sausages, merguez and more comfort foods at comfort prices. A large selection of local craft beers and craft cocktails will be offered. There will be bars on the first, second and rooftop floors. A new pastry chef will be hired to prepare desserts for both Ripple and Roofers Union. Owner Roger Marmet has made a definitive statement of confidence in Adams Morgan. A mid-January opening is planned.

And from the folks who brought you Buffalo Billiards, CarPool, Continental, Iron Horse, Nanny O’Brien’s and Rocket Bar as well as Ripple, comes Jackpot, on 7th Street, NW in Chinatown, across from Clyde’s Gallery Place and the Verizon Center. It will be a neighborhood basement tavern with a large craft beer selection (22 taps), specialty cocktails and keg wine. It will also have live music on weekend nights. Jackpot is a tavern and will not serve food, though customers are welcome to bring in food from the many restaurants in the surrounding neighborhood. A mid-December opening is scheduled.
Chef & GM Update: Jeff Faile is the new beverage director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, including Birch & Barley (D.C.’s Logan Circle), Vermilion (Alexandria) and Dupont Circle’s Iron Gate Inn . Previously, he worked for Fabio Trabocchi…Mark Courseille is the new pastry chef at Et Voila! on MacArthur Blvd. in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood. Previously, he served as pastry chef at Le Paradou restaurant for Yannick Cam, and also at Michel Richard’s Citronelle in Georgetown, Central in Penn Quarter and Michel at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. Allison Cortese has been appointed to run RIS at Union Market opening in mid-December. She was promoted from dining room manager at RIS.

Jersey Mike’s opened a franchise operation in the District on Dec. 4 at Rhode Island Row, above the Rhode Island Metro stop in Northeast D.C. The franchisee is Sean Schoonover. This will be the first one to open inside the District line. Nineteen other stores are in the surrounding metro area.

Zeke’s Coffee opens up at 2300 Rhode Island Ave., NE in the Woodridge neighborhood. The coffee shop roasts mostly organically grown fair trade beans on site. Owner John Kepner has been selling his beans at farmers markets for awhile before opening the shop. His uncle Thomas runs the Baltimore operation and his cousin Chris runs the Pittsburgh one.
Westfield’s Montgomery Mall on Democracy Blvd. is in the midst of major renovations that also include new dining options. Bobby’s Burger Palace just opened. Cheesecake Factory, Wicked Waffle, Kraze Burgers, McDonald’s and Dumpling Dojo are all slated to open in December. That is a preview. Wait until their new Dining Terrace opens.
Openings Update: Ri Ra on M Street, NW in Georgetown is slated to open just before year’s end. Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steaks & Stone Crabs will open by the end of January on 15th Street in D.C. Smashburger on Cordell Avenue in Bethesda will open by mid-December. They have two more locations planned for Vienna (Leesburg Pike & Cornerside Blvd.) later on in December and in Falls Church (S. Washington St) in January. City Tap House, at 901 9th Street, NW is slated to open by mid-December with 40 draft lines, serving craft beer and American comfort food. It’s one of many new places that includes barn wood paneling in its décor description.

A create-your-own fast casual pizza place, Bergami’s, is slated to open at Rhode Island Row this spring. Owner Mark Bergami has been in the pizza world most of his life – from Domino’s to Frank Pepe’s (New England) to, most recently, Haven Pizzeria. You can choose various toppings as well as your crust, such as a cauliflower offering. ?

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: or 703-417-2700.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *