Downtowner D.C. 11/9

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Chef Matteo Venini. Photo courtesy of Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

New Executive Chef at Lupo Verde
14th Street Italian restaurant Lupo Verde has named a new executive chef: Matteo Venini, a native of Lake Como (does he hang out with George and Amal Clooney?). Venini will also oversee the second location, set to open early next month in Palisades. His most recent gig was executive chef at Ristorante Tosca downtown.
‘We Are Washington’ Show on D.C. Network
A new Monday-night show was launched on DCN by the D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment. Hosted by local broadcast personalities Cecily Fernandez and Matt Granato, “We are Washington” explores the culture and events that make living in the District unlike anywhere else. Other new programs: “Simone Butterfly,” showcasing independent fashion artisans in D.C., and “The Street Report,” following radio personality EZ Street as he interviews musicians like Mary J. Blige and Iggy Azalea.
Mayor Signs Walter Reed Agreement
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by other D.C. notables like Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ward 4 Council member Brandon Todd, Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack and Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner for an Oct. 26 ceremony recognizing the transfer of 66 acres of the former Walter Reed Medical Center campus to the D.C. government. The development project, which began in 2009, involved more than 100 community meetings.
Virtual Reality Touches Down at Union Market
Facebook’s multi-city virtual-reality tour stopped by D.C. last week. The tour set up at Union Market, bringing a completely immersive experience to residents who find real reality insufficiently stimulating. Samsung’s Gear VR was developed in collaboration with Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014. Attendees were guided through virtual worlds and left with GIFs of themselves to share on social media.

“Chicken Ramen 101” This Saturday
G Street NW ramen restaurant Bantam King will host its first interactive “Chicken 101” ramen experience this Saturday morning, Nov. 12. With the success of Daikaya’s “Sapporo Ramen 101” lecture, demo and tastings, Bantam King decided to get in on the soupy fun. At the $35 session, executive chefs Katsuya Fukushima and Daisuke Utagawa will educate, engage and feed noodle novices as well as ramenistas. Additional dates will be announced.
&pizza Taking Over
Fast-casual pizza shop &pizza opened its 10th D.C.-area location Oct. 20 in Barracks Row. Like every &pizza location, the first five grand-opening guests who requested an ampersand tattoo received both the tattoo and free pizza for a year. In addition, free pies were given to the first 118 in line and &pizza launched its charity campaign, “Buy One, Give One.”
Bars Boycott Yuengling After Endorsement
More than 15 local bars have boycotted Yuengling beer following owner Dick Yuengling Jr.’s endorsement of presidential candidate Donald Trump, DCist reported. After the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage in the U.S. posted on social media that he won’t be drinking Yuengling, Dito’s Bar manager Dito Sevilla, a Clinton campaign volunteer, began spreading the word. Yuengling Jr.’s support for Trump became known when the candidate’s son Eric toured the Pottsville, Pennsylvania, brewery.

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