The Latest Dish

Congratulations to the hometown James Beard Foundation winners! Kwame Onwuachi of Kith/Kin for Rising Star Chef, Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic, Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington for Lifetime Achievement and Paul Katinas, whose Annie’s Paramount Steakhouse received a JBF American Classics award.

And speaking of D.C. winners at national competitions, MISCellaneous Distillery, based in Mount Airy, Maryland, won four medals for its small-batch gin and barrel- aged rum at the 19th annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The distillery won gold medals for its Gregarious Gin and Popi’s Finest Rum. Owners Daniel and Meg McNeill also took home a silver and a bronze for their Risky Rum and Gertrude’s Rye Whiskey, respectively.

Vintage 78, serving Persian cuisine, will open in late May where Scion used to be in Dupont Circle at 2100 P St. NW. Seating 75 in the dining area and 28 at the bar, with additional outdoor patio seating, the restaurant comes from the folks behind Peacock Café in Georgetown: chef Maziar Farivar and his brother, Shahab Farivar.

Taylor Gourmet will reopen several locations under new ownership and management. Source Cuisine, headed by Steve Kalifa, will partner with LA-based Margie Stufano and local chef Nishan Amenu. The plan is to reopen at least five locations after successful landlord negotiations. Kalifa, a KFC, Popeyes and Pizza Hut franchisee, has been involved in the restaurant business as an investor.

The Lot, a 22,000-square-foot beer garden, will open in Clarendon, Virginia, at 3217 N. 10th St., the former site of a used- car dealership parking lot. Owner Mike Bramson previously worked on projects with Social Restaurant Group’s Pamplona and Bar Bao. There will be two main bars, lawn games and picnic tables and couches. Food will be provided by food trucks like Rebel Taco, also owned by Bramson.

Steve Salis plans to open a second Federalist Pig, in Hyattsville, Maryland, at 5504 Baltimore Ave. in the fourth quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. The bigger location — double the size of the one in Adams Morgan — will allow pitmaster Rob Sonderman to install two upgraded wood- fired smokers. The restaurant will also have a bar and a large outdoor patio. Steve also owns Kramerbooks & Afterwards Café and Ted’s Bulletin.

Chef & GM Update: Frank Ruta, formerly of Mirabelle at 16th & K Streets, is now with Ashok Bajaj’s Knightsbridge Restaurant Group as executive chef. Restaurant TBD … Chas Jefferson was named wine director at Jug & Table in Adams Morgan, below Roofers Union at 2446 18th St. NW. Most recently, he served as head distiller at Cotton & Reed.

Quick Hits: The Crane, a Spanish restaurant, is opening on 9th Street NW where Ruth’s Chris was … Little Beet will open more locations, in Chevy Chase and at Union Station.

Just Opened: Grazie Grazie from Casey Patten, formerly of Taylor Gourmet, opened at the Wharf … Carving Roomopened its second D.C. location in NoMa (Mount Vernon Triangle), with seating for 70 … True Food Kitchen opened its third area location, in Ballston Quarter on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia … Bar Bullfrog opened in what used to be Star & Shamrock next to Bullfrog Bagels at 1341 H St. NW… Duet (half Italian/half Indian) opened where Toscana Café used to be at 601 2nd St. NE near Union Station … Gerber Group, known for trendy bars and lounges in iconic buildings and hotels, opened 12 Stories, a rooftop bar atop the InterContinental hotel at the Wharf.

Now that Aramark has the food-service contract at the Washington Convention Center, the company is rolling out a food and beverage program titled D.C. Eats. A new rooftop terrace, accessible from an exterior entrance, will include a lounge and a bar. There are also plans for a pop- up restaurant featuring local chefs and a market offering local products.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry. Reach her at


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