Dynamic chef-restaurateur Jonathan Krinn’s spacious, COVID-savvy, Clarity restaurant, located at 442 Maple Ave. East in Vienna, Virginia, serves classically based, modern fare. Choices range from 48-hour sous vide short ribs and caramelized scallops to pasta, salads and burgers. Grateful for the support of his Northern Virginia clientele, Krinn is deeply concerned about sustaining the area’s vibrant international restaurant community
One way to do this, he decided, is to expose his customers — many of whom would normally travel to far-flung food destinations in Asia, Africa and Latin America for dining adventures — to opportunities for these experiences close to home.
Krinn has invited an array of top-flight local chefs to join him in his kitchen on selected nights, when they will prepare three or four of their signature dishes from places like Trinidad, Laos, Burma and Peru. These are available for in-house dining as well as takeout (with advance notice), along with Clarity’s regular menu.
These collaborations are a rewarding experience for both kitchens, says Krinn, who is meeting these chefs for the first time and learning about new ingredients and techniques. In preparation for the first in the series, a visit from Prince Matey of Apploo Bar & Grill, Krinn Googled specialty markets to find some of the spices needed for Matey’s Ghanaian dishes, including a goat soup and a plantain dumpling. Intrigued by the dumpling, Krinn plans to adapt the technique for his own Frenchstyle “dumplings.” Meanwhile, his Spanish sous chef was fascinated by Prime’s rice dish, made with North African spices; it is similar to paella.
“Everybody in the kitchen is having fun, thinking about food,” says Krinn. Guests can make reservations for dining at Clarity on the guest chef evenings starting now. But for those that want carry out, each menu will be posted one week ahead of each chef’s visit on Clarity’s Facebook page and website. Here is the upcoming schedule.
THURSDAY, FEB. 18
Chef Seng Luangrath of Thip Khao in Columbia Heights Laotian cuisine with an exotic twist
TUESDAY, FEB. 23
Chef JoJo Law-Yone of Thamee in the H Street Corridor Pioneering the next generation of Burmese culinary traditions
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3
Chef Carlos Delgado of Service Bar and Chelita in the U Street Corridor Peruvian comfort cuisine
A sneak peek: Peter Prime’s Trinidad and Tobago specialties include cuminglazed pork belly, jerk-smoked chicken wings, Trini-Chinese chicken and grilled marinated oxtails. Krinn tells us that these dinners are selling out fast.