The Latest Dish: Maialino Mare, Mucheez, Morton’s Steakhouse, and More!

Union Square Hospitality Group restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Maialino Mare will open in the first quarter of next year in the 225-room Thompson Hotel, under construction in Navy Yard. Executive chef at the seafood-focused restaurant, styled as an all-day Roman trattoria, is Rose Noel, who previously cheffed at Maialino, Union Square’s legendary New York pasta restaurant at the Gramercy Park Hotel.

David Nammour will open another Muncheez, this time in Dupont Circle at 1317 Connecticut Ave. NW, where DGS Delicatessen used to be. His father, Bechara, owned the now-closed Paolo’s and J. Paul’s in Georgetown. Georgia Brown’s is still alive & kickin’.

Restaurateur Hakan Ilhan is extensively renovating the former Morton’s Steakhouse space at 3251 Prospect St. NW in Georgetown to open Brasserie Liberté. There will be a second non-streetside patio in addition to the one along Prospect Street. The 250-seat French brasserie, with a 1,000-bottle wine cellar, is slated to open in the last quarter of this year.

Eric and Ian Hilton will open Cafe Colline, featuring French fare, in the Lee Heights Shops in Arlington, Virginia, at 4536 Lee Highway, where Cassatt’s Kiwi Cafe used to be. Chef Brendan L’Etoile will develop the menu for the 50-seat restaurant, as he has done for their Chez Billy Sud bistro in Georgetown. A last-quarter-of-2019 opening is targeted.

Chef John Waldy of the Graham.

Chef & GM Update: John Waldy was named executive chef at the Graham Georgetown. With nearly 20 years of experience working for the Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance brands, he will oversee in-room dining and the daily menu at The Alex Speakeasy. Waldy just introduced a new, full-service Rooftop EATS menu on the hotel’s rooftop … Amanda Moll, former executive sous chef of Doi Moi, will succeed Kevin Tien as Himitsu’s executive chef, as Tien moves on to focus on his new restaurant, Emilie’s, on Capitol Hill … Erik Bruner-Yang of Brothers and Sisters and Spoken English fame was named executive chef and Andy Hooper was named president and COO of &pizza. Hooper was chief people officer at Cafe Rio Mexican Grill.

New York-based Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery owner Umber Ahmad is joining forces with Knead Hospitality + Design to open in the D.C. metro area. Their first restaurant/bakery will open at 1221 Half St. SE near Nationals Park. Jason Berry and Michael Reginbogen of Knead also brought Edward Lee’s Succotash and Roberto Santibañez’s Mi Vida to the area. The bakery concept may join their existing restaurants. They will also open a restaurant called The Grill at the Wharf.

Just Opened: Present Company Public House opened at 438 Massachusetts Ave. NW in Mount Vernon Triangle, where Sixth Engine used to be. The co-owners are Matt Murphy, Brittany Ryan, Nick Bernel and Jeremy Gifford, formerly of The Pub & The People in Bloomingdale and, before that, Rhino Bar in Georgetown. The menu was designed by Lincoln Fuge, a Nashville native, former executive chef at 701 Restaurant. There is seating for 60 on the first floor and for 50 on the second floor, which includes a new bar, plus about 50 seats on the patio.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group will open Shelter, with 50 draft lines, at the Roost, a 12,000-square-foot food hall at 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE on Capitol Hill. NRG beer director Greg Engert plans to offer 1,000 beers per year. Shelter will also serve wine and cocktails, but best to order them at Show of Hands, the Roost’s craft cocktail bar, orchestrated by NRG spirits director Nick Farrell.

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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