Grand Openings for L’Avant-Garde and Yellow Cafe

Georgetowners have been anticipating the debut of these two restaurants for quite some time. They open this week.


L’Avant-Garde, a contemporary brasserie by Fady Saba along with storied Michelin-starred chef Gilles Epié, opened Wednesday, Dec, 7 at 2915 M St. NW. They tell us it’s “from Ezekiel Entertainment, the same team behind its next door neighbor, the beloved cocktail bar L’Annexe. L’Avant-Garde will bring to Georgetown a buzzy, sophisticated French brasserie rooted in classic technique, with Epié’s distinct touch. L’Avant-Garde is an ode to Paris, where a sultry, high-energy atmosphere combines with pitch-perfect cuisine, classic cocktails and an extensive wine list. The menu is best described as exquisite simplicity. It leans towards his background of contemporary French cuisine with global influences. The food is personal, with an emphasis on sourcing and a minimalist sensibility.”

The youngest chef to receive a Michelin star at age 22 (at Le Pavillon des Princes in France), Epié, decades into his star-studded career, is thrilled to bring his style of contemporary French cuisine to Washington, D.C. Most recently, he was the Executive Chef of Turtle Bay Resort, a 5-star luxury hotel in Oahu, Hawaii (and most recently famed for its placemaking role in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”). Prior to Turtle Bay, he led the kitchen at the former Montage Beverly Hills, and for owning Frenchy’s, his Parisian-style brasserie in the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. His ties to D.C. include naming his restaurant Citrus Etoile to honor his friend, and legendary chef, Michel Richard and Michel’s Los Angeles restaurant Citrus. 

Yellow Cafe

Chef Michael Rafidi of Yellow Georgetown. Courtesy Albi.

Yellow, a cafe from chef Michael Rafidi, opens Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1524 Wisconsin Ave., NW. They tell us it  “offers a taste of the Levant with a menu of baked goods, mezze, wood-fired pita sandwiches and specialty drinks. The sweet and savory pastries which blend French technique and Middle Eastern flavors. The coffee program is curated by Coffee Director Ayat Elhag and sourced by Counter Culture. The original location for Yellow opened in May 2020 as a pop-up in the private dining room of Albi, Rafidi’s Michelin-starred Levantine restaurant in the Navy Yard.”

Raised in Maryland, Rafidi spent time at other respected East Coast restaurants, including Blue Duck Tavern in D.C. and Talula’s Garden in Philadelphia. He also staged at chef René Redzepi’s internationally acclaimed Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, an experience that fostered his appreciation for foraging and other culinary techniques from around the world. But before making his mark on D.C.’s restaurant industry, Rafidi spent six years working alongside Michael Mina as executive chef of the lauded French restaurant RN74 in San Francisco, and as the Mina Group’s Corporate Chef. In this role, he supported the culinary management of the group’s multinational properties and was pivotal in opening eight of those concepts. 



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