The Latest Dish

July 22, 2015

Chuy’s plans to expand further into Northern Virginia when they open in Woodbridge in October and Sterling in the end of the Q2 2016. Clarendon and Reston are also targeted. They are also looking at sites in Maryland – Rockville and Columbia.

Openings Update: British Columbia-based Earls Kitchen + Bar is expecting a late 3Q opening at their Tysons Corner location in the new Macerich project, TysonsOne. Please, no “apostrophe,” as it’s named for Earl Sr. and Earl Jr. (two Earls). Tadich Grill now expects to also open in late 3Q at 10th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW in D.C. Succotash is planning to start serving its unique brand of southern hospitality and food from Chef Edward Lee, in National Harbor, Maryland in August.

Southern food with a twist gains in popularity here, as Magnolia’s on King is expected to open this month at 703 King Street in Old Town, Alexandria, brought to you by Steve Fogleman and Mehrnoosh Rajabi. It seats 60 on the first floor dining room with a 30-seat second floor bar and lounge. Annapolis native Brian Rowe is the executive chef. He previously worked at Wolfgang Puck’s Grand Café in Orlando as well as Spago in Beverly Hills. He also did an internship with Chef Jacques Ganeu in Lyon, France. Hans Fogleman will be the pastry chef. Craft mixologist Zachary Faden will be in charge of the bar program, while Olivia Mills will act as service and beverage director.

Lupo Verde will have a sister operation in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood at 4814 MacArthur Blvd. NW. Same owners as the one on 14th Street: Lahlou and Antonio Matarazzo. Actually, Lahlou owns the building and lives in the Palisades. He also owns Tunnicliff’s, Ulah Bistro and Station 4. Not only will it offer Lupo Verde’s signature homemade pastas, it will have an expanded menu of entrees. Their menu is by chef Domenico Apollar. It will seat 100 on two levels, with a lower level that houses a small gourmet market which will carry Lupo Verde’s homemade pastas and sauces. There is also a chef’s table on the lower level. An October opening is planned.

Just Opened: Annapolis-based Blackwall Hitch, a modern interpretation of a classic shore tavern, recently opened in Old Town, Alexandria on the waterfront adjacent to The Torpedo Factory, on Cameron Street. The two-level restaurant opens this month with 315 seats inside and 105 more on the patios.

&pizza opened a 44-seat restaurant with an outdoor patio at Pike & Rose in Rockville. The chain also launched its &wine program at its six D.C. locations. Kona Grill just opened in Rosslyn at 1776 Wilson Blvd across from where 100 Montaditos used to be.

Daring restaurant, bar and club pioneer (into under-developed neighborhoods) Joe Englert is planning to go yet again where no established restaurateur has gone before – Ivy City. He plans to open a coffee shop, beer garden, music venue and bouldering gym at 1240 Mount Olivet Rd. NE, not far from the Hecht’s warehouse. He partner is real estate investor Langdon Hample. The 3,500-square-foot coffee shop will be run by Qualia Coffee Roasters, the Petworth coffee shop. The beer garden and bar portion of the project is still on the drawing board, whether they go big or go smaller and local. Regardless, all that rock climbing (or bouldering) will result in big thirst for beer.

Paul Carlson of Vinoteca & family will be working to open The Royal in 3Q 2015. Named for the Florida Avenue corner liquor store that had occupied the space previously, The Royal will serve Latin-American food, which reflects the family’s Colombian heritage. The plan is to serve food all day long. The comfort food menu will be crafted by Chef Lonnie Zoeller. Expect exotic cocktails made with exotic fruit.

Quick Hits: Stanford Grill plans to open in the Tower Oaks area of Montgomery County in the 3Q 2015. Pinstripes is targeting Tysons Corner for a 4Q 2017 opening, as well as the second phase of Pike & Rose in Rockville.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: or or #LindaRothPR.

Inspired by Whistler: After Peacock Room

March 26, 2015

Walking into After Peacock Room is like opening an elegant coffee table book and spending an afternoon in its glossy pages. The location, a former consignment shop, has metamorphosed into a delightful teahouse and fine-dining café. With its gilded industrial hardware, crystal chandeliers, plush blue benches and peacock-colored walls, it is both cozy and hip.

The aesthetic of After Peacock Room is inspired by James McNeill Whistler’s “Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room,” created in 1877 for wealthy English shipowner Frederick Richards Leyland. Whistler’s work was purchased by Charles Lang Freer and later installed in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery on the Mall, where it remains today.

Heewon Ra is the lady behind After Peacock Room. The Korean beauty, who has lived in D.C. since 2001, remembers the first time she saw the Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery more than ten years ago. That moment would spark a sense of wonderment that would flower years later in her first venture into the restaurant business.

Prior to opening, Ra’s love of art and interior design drew her to a curatorial internship at the Hirshhorn Museum and to studies at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. After graduating, she spent time in Paris, where she fell in love with Mariage Frères, the famed teahouse in her Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood.

Upon returning to D.C., she dreamed about creating something similar to Mariage Frères, and Georgetown, with its pretty homes and European feel, seemed like just the place. “My goal was to provide excellent food and service in a nice ambiance,” she said. Inspired by the beautiful Prussian blues, deep greens and gold that come alive in Whistler’s work, After Peacock Room serves as a contemporary interpretation of the classic.

The quaint size of the teahouse is part of its appeal. In 2011, Ra snatched up the building on 27th and P. She began construction in 2013, and by 2014 After Peacock Room was in business. Along with being her first restaurant, the space was also her first interior-design project, and the outcome is a tribute to her talent. The interior walls, which are canvas, are layered in oil paint in hues of sea green and midnight blue that come alive at night.

The dining room in the back, called the Hawthorn Flower Room, is inspired by Leyland’s collection of blue and white porcelain; the walls are painted with gold flowers. Rockville-based woodworker Jed Dinger made the communal dining tables, and the black bistro chairs that accent them were freshened with brushstrokes of gold paint, which Ra added herself.

After Peacock Room was closed from June to November while the kitchen was updated and the wine-and-beer license was pending. During that period, the decision was made to transition from a full teahouse to a daytime tea-and-coffee destination with a fine-dining dinner component. Chef Nick Sharpe, who worked under the acclaimed Michael Mina in San Francisco, now helms the kitchen. The menu features the best of seasonal tastes.

On Sundays, After Peacock Room offers takeout coffee service from 9 to noon, with the proceeds donated to local charities.
Ra looks forward to growing the restaurant’s dinner business and being able to host small private parties. For now, though, she is focused on sustaining a unique teahouse and an elegant dining experience in the neighborhood.

After Peacock Room is located at 2622 P. St. NW.

The Latest Dish

March 25, 2015

Minneapolis-based Granite City Food & Brewery plans to open its first East Coast location (and 33rd in the nation) late in April at National Harbor, on the bottom level of the Esplanade Building. With 300+ seats, this casual restaurant will feature a brewery, an open kitchen, a spacious patio and private dining. The plan is to have more than a dozen 450-gallon tanks on site. The company also owns Cadillac Ranch, which is slated to have a $1-million renovation this fall.

Quick Hits – Shaw edition: The Shay apartment building is expected to welcome a Tim Ma restaurant and a Compass Coffee … A ramen shop from Daikaya’s Daisuke Utagawa, Yama Jewayni and Katsuya Fukushima is slated for Shaw … Expect a Neighborhood Restaurant Group restaurant from their chef Rob Rubba in the old Atlantic Plumbing building.

More Shaw: All Purpose, a pizza-centric Italian American restaurant, is slated to open in the Colonel in Shaw at 1250 9th St. NW. It’s a team effort from the Bloomingdale restaurateurs who brought you The Red Hen – Michael Friedman, Michael O’Malley, and Sebastian Zutant – and Boundary Stone owners Gareth Croke and Colin McDonough. Michael will work with pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac of Buttercream Bakeshop to create a special pizza dough. MacIsaac will consult on All Purpose’s desserts, as well as open a bakeshop in the same building. The beverage menu will be a collaboration between Zutant, Croke and McDonough. The 80-seat restaurant is expected to open in the fourth quarter of this year.

Also opening in the Colonel is a Mexican restaurant, Espita Mezcalería. Shaw resident and owner, Josh Phillips, a Master Mezcalier, plans an innovative bar program that highlights the many varietals of the spirit, paired with the complex flavors of food from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. A Cornell grad, Phillips worked in bars and restaurants in Philadelphia before studying mezcal in Oaxaca. A September opening is planned.

Robert Wiedmaier will open Urban Heights – with chef Cliff Wharton at the helm – at the former location of The Roof in Bethesda. In line with the chef’s Filipino heritage, Philippine and South Asian cuisine will be the heart of the menu. The restaurant will feature small plates on three floors along with a rooftop bar and a tuna bar – offering everything from the unusual ahi poke to the popular tuna tartare. A May opening is planned.

Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong plan to open their first D.C. restaurant in Southwest D.C.’s Wharf development. It will be different from Restaurant Eve, serving food from all over Asia, notably Filipino cuisine. Filipino food is trending hot now, as there is also Purple Patch in Mount Pleasant and Bad Saint in Columbia Heights, as well as the aforementioned Urban Heights in Bethesda. The Filipino connection is Meshelle, who is of Filipino descent.

Chef and Manager Update: Michael Williams was appointed beverage director of Bastille and its sister restaurant Bistrot Royal, both in Old Town, Alexandria. He previously worked at The Oval Room and The Occidental Grill … Bobbie Miller is the new chef and beverage director at the Westin Arlington Gateway and will oversee hotel’s Italian restaurant Pinzimini … Fabrice Bendano is the new pastry chef at Le Diplomate in D.C.’s Logan Circle. He has worked at Adour and Citronelle and, most recently, as a consultant for Alain Ducasse’s miX in Las Vegas. He won the RAMMY award for Best Pastry Chef in 2012.

Quick Hits: The Navy Yard Oyster Co., a wine-centric oyster bar, is slated to open at the Lumber Shed in Southeast … The Woodward Building on 15th Street in downtown D.C. will soon feature an intimate prepared-food shop and bakery from the owners of Pleasant Pops in Adams Morgan … Blackfinn will open a 6,500-square-foot restaurant at the Loudoun Station project in the fourth quarter of 2015. There are currently locations in downtown D.C. and Merrifield … Basil Leaf, a fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant with Persian influence (the chef is Reza Monsefan, who used to run Pars) will also open there this summer.

Openings Update: Momofuku Milk Bar has a summer opening scheduled … Pizza Studio in Dupont Circle is now planning an early second-quarter opening … Tadich Grill is now aiming for the middle of the second quarter … Smokehouse Live, a barbecue restaurant from Jim Foss, most recently of Hill Country BBQ, and Kristopher Diemar, formerly of Carmine’s, are taking this barbecue concept to Leesburg and plan to open mid-spring.

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

The Latest Dish

February 25, 2015

Sette Osteria plans to open this March in the Logan Circle space formerly occupied by M Café Bar at 1634 14th St. NW. Owner Iraklis Karabassis also has a Sette Osteria in Dupont Circle and Café Milano in Georgetown. Chef Nicola Sanna will feature housemade pastas and southern Italian pizzas. The dining room will seat 72, with a 30-seat private dining space. The outdoor patio will seat 45.

C-C-Changes: Could Robert Wiedmaier’s culinary tribute to fine dining, Marcel’s, possibly get better? In design: yes. Local designer Charles W. Craig, who worked with Robert and Polly Wiedmaier on their own home, was tasked with creating a new design that is lighter, brighter and festive. There’s new carpeting, new sheer curtains, framed silk scarves designed and signed by Art Deco master Erté, plush high-back leather chairs, starburst chandeliers and new Rosenthal china bearing the familiar logo of Marcel’s. The popular private table 28 is now completely enclosed by floor-to-ceiling drapery.

Mike Isabella is expanding his Greek concept, Kapnos, into Bethesda. Kapnos Kouzina (kitchen) will open this summer at 4900 Hampden Lane, where Vapiano used to be. The Bethesda outpost will feature more homestyle Greek platters meant for two to four people.

Quick Hits: Seven Hills Pizza is slated to open in D.C.’s Palisades neighborhood near BlackSalt, where Marvelous Market was…Derek Brown’s empire will expand once again with the addition of Scarlet Oak, slated to open in the Navy Yard area at 909 New Jersey Ave. SE…Brixx Pizza is slated to open in Clarendon next to Nam Viet…J ‘n G Tavern, a burger place with lots of beers on tap, will open in Petworth, from the folks who brought you Jackie’s and Bar Charley…Another fast-casual pizza concept, Mod Pizza from Seattle, will open at Silver Spring’s Ellsworth Place…Kin Da Thai and Sushi will open in Takoma Park where Takoma Bistro used to be. The owners also operate Aroi Thai in D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood.

Openings Update: Ted’s Bulletin opened its Gaithersburg location earlier this month, making it the second Matchbox Food Group restaurant in Montgomery County. There is a Matchbox open on Rockville Pike. This 160-seat Ted’s features a train theme inspired by the original Gaithersburg train station, a historic landmark built in 1884. The restaurant also has a 40-seat outdoor patio…SER (stands for Simple Easy Real), a Spanish-themed restaurant, has opened in Ballston, as the winners of the Ballston Restaurant Challenge…Pizza Studio, the fast-casual, build-your-own pizza concept, plans to open by early March in Baltimore’s Charles Village and in Dupont Circle, its first D.C. location, at 1333 New Hampshire Ave. NW…Orange Anchor at Georgetown’s Washington Harbour, where Cabanas used to be, is now open…The Alex, a lounge and restaurant (named for Alexander Graham Bell) in the Graham hotel in Georgetown, has reopened.

Stanton & Greene will open at 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, where Pour House was, on Capitol Hill. The owners include Sonoma’s Eli Hengst and Jared Rager as well as August Paro of Beuchert’s Saloon. The menu is brought to you by executive chef Josh Hutter and chef de cuisine Damian Brown. The cocktail program was created by Erik Holzherr of Wisdom and Church & State. The 180-seat restaurant is named after Capitol Hill’s Stanton Park and the Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene statue. A first-quarter 2015 opening is planned.

Founding Farmers plans to open its next restaurant in Tysons Corner at 1800 Tysons Blvd. this month. The 262-seat restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, is designed by GrizForm Design Architects. It’s owned by a conglomerate that includes the North Dakota Farmers Union and the National Farmers Union.

Chef & Ops Execs Update: Table’s chef de cuisine, Patrick Robinson, will now run the kitchen in the Shaw neighborhood restaurant, taking over from Frederik de Pue. Table will continue to emphasize seasonal dishes. Pizza Studio has hired regional operations veteran Scott Black to oversee the Washington and Baltimore locations. Black previously worked as vice president of operations for &pizza and regional director of operations for Noodles & Co.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Georgetown’s Bistrot Lepic will offer a special prix-fixe menu for 20 consecutive days, from Monday, March 9, to Sunday, March 29. Guests will also enjoy a complimentary glass of Champagne.

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

The Latest Dish

September 10, 2014

Internationally renowned Inn at Little Washington chef-owner Patrick O’Connell is working on a new book called “Magnificent Obsession.” It’s about décor and design – with a few recipes because, as they say, “we can’t help ourselves.” It’s slated to be published in April 2015, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Chef Peter Chang has legions of fans in Virginia. Now he plans to increase the size of his fan club in the Maryland suburbs. Chang plans to open his latest restaurant at Rockville Town Center in Q1 2015. The former Chinese embassy chef has five successful Peter Chang restaurants in Virginia, with a Fairfax location in the works for 2015.

Just Opened: Brookland Pint opened in the Monroe Street Market project, brought to you by the owners of Meridian Pint (Columbia Heights) and Smoke & Barrel (Adams Morgan). With 24 beers on tap, it serves upscale bar food and seats 118 inside and 48 on the outdoor patio. Chef duties go to Rebecca Hassell, who is well known in the ‘hood.’ TaKorean at The Yards in Capitol Riverfront has just opened, serving Mexican-Korean cuisine. This fast casual restaurant at 1309 Fifth St. SE is its first brick-and-mortar location. Takorean started as a food truck before moving to a stall in Union Market. Alphonse Italian Market & Osteria on U Street, NW is open at 6 a.m. for breakfast, as well as Italian food throughout the day. Brought to you by the folks who operate the Russia House and Biergarten Haus. Shake Shack recently opened its first Virginia location at the new Plaza at Tysons Corner Center. Jersey Mike’s recently opened in Gainesville at 8136 Stonewall Shops Square. It is the fifth location for franchisees Pat and Kathy White, who also own Jersey Mike’s restaurants in Fairfax, Manassas, Culpeper and Chantilly. Penn Commons opened its doors at 6th & H Streets, NW in Penn Quarter, from Passion Food Hospitality group.

Quick Hits: Famed CityZen executive chef, Eric Ziebold, plans to open his own restaurant in Penn Quarter at 1015 7th Street, NW in 2015. NYC chef David Chang says the Momofuku he plans to open at CityCenterDC will be different from his NYC Momofuku restaurant. The Virginia native has something to prove upon his return to his roots. James Ringel and brother Arthur, who worked at Hank’s Oyster Bar, plan to open DC Harvest on H St NE. Mr. Smith’s will still remain a Georgetown institution, as it plans to relocate to Chadwick’s spot on K St. NW under the Whitehurst Freeway, not far from the waterfront. New York-based The Melt Shop plans to open at 1901 L St. NW, serving breakfast, lunch and maybe dinner, for those who crave grilled cheese comfort food at all hours of the day and night. Look for Capriotti at 34th & M in Georgetown where The Cellar Door used to be. Yes there have been other places that opened there since but the most memorable is The Cellar Door. Capriotti’s also recently opened in Rosslyn. Cafe Mayo opened at 3147 Dumbarton St. NW, serving a variety of sandwiches including Cuban and banh mi as well as American favorites. Chipotle’s Southeast Asian concept, ShopHouse, will open next at Union Station, adding to the stores open in Dupont Circle, Chinatown and Georgetown.

You can now snack while you paddle the Potomac. Nauti Foods, D.C’s first floating food boat, has partnered with local food vendors, such as Dolcezza Gelato, Bullfrog Bagels and Sticky Fingers, to offer light fare to those who are floating on the Potomac River. The Nauti Foods boat is stationed north of Key Bridge on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. The business hours are flexible, as weather and daylight will determine hours.

New York-based Pizza Vinoteca is slated to open its first D.C. area store in Arlington’s Ballston area this month. This pizza parlor at 800 N. Glebe Road, is near Mussel Bar. Pizza Vinoteca features high-tech ordering as guests can order via iPad. For takeout, customers order at a kiosk and then monitor the progress of their order via LED stock ticker. The restaurant will seat 110 with a 26-seat bar.

Restaurateur Reese Gardner’s Georgetown restaurant, Orange Anchor at Washington Harbour, is slated to open next month. Another new restaurant, Union Social, is slated open at 100 Florida Ave. NE in NoMa in Q4 2014 or Q1 2015. Gardner also plans to change his Mighty Pint in Dupont Circle into a restaurant called Second State, an homage to the native of Pennsylvania, with a menu similar to Copperwood Tavern’s, but with more emphasis on Pennsylvania traditions than Virginia’s.

Richmond-based Sugar Shack Donuts (named one of the best doughnut shops in the country by USA Today) plans to open a location at the Belle Pre apartments at 804 N. Henry Street in Alexandria. It will open as a restaurant and “speakeasy,” as well as serve handmade doughnuts and doughnut-inspired food, mixed drinks and gourmet coffee and espresso
products. Sugar Shack will join Lost Dog Cafe in the apartment building.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: or 703-417-2700.

Latest Dish

August 6, 2014

Tysons Corner Center will be the site of a new Indian restaurant this fall, American Tandoori, from a New Delhi, India-based company. The new concept launches in the U.S. in Northern Virginia. They also plan to launch a quick service version of the Indian concept, with a name to be determined.

Chef Troy Williams plans to open two new Spots: The Spot Deli at 701 H St., NE, later this year, and The Spot on H restaurant and bar early next year. Williams currently runs food service at Howard University Hospital, but has previously worked at Georgia Brown’s, J. Paul’s and Old Ebbitt Grill.

French- and Japanese-inspired Crane & Turtle restaurant opens in Petworth, brought to you by the folks who brought you Passenger and Room 11. Chef Makoto Hamamura, a six-year veteran of CityZen, is creating a unique menu to complement the sakes, ciders, and large-format beers.

Chef Update

Restaurateur Manuel Iguina named Roberto Hernandez the new executive chef for Mio Restaurant. Hernandez has been a featured guest chef at Mio. Previously, he was at Blue Door Restaurant at the Delano Hotel in Miami… Clyde’s Restaurant Group named Samuel Kim the new executive chef for the iconic 1789 Restaurant at 1226 36th St., NW. He most recently served as the executive sous chef at Colicchio and Sons… David Lofgren has been named executive sous chef for härth at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. He joins härth’s culinary team after working as a chef at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. Bar Dupont has hired Jonathan Yeronick as beverage program director. Most recently, Yeronick served as dining room manager at Le DiplomateArt & Soul chef de cuisine, Douglas Alexander now becomes executive chef. He replaces Wes Morton, who is returning home to his roots in Louisiana to start his own

Just Opened

Boss Shepherd’s debuted on July 21 in the Warner Theater building at 13th & E Streets, NW, with chef Jeremy Waybright at the kitchen helm, serving locally sourced ingredients. Three words: Pot Pie Fritters … Chaplin Restaurant & Bar, from mixologists Ari and Micah Wilder, is now open at 1501 9th St., NW, previously the location of Mandalay. The 83-seat Chaplin is named for the famous film comedian and designed to evoke the early days of cinema. Chef Jeremy Cooke, formerly assisting at Toki Underground on H Street, NE, oversees its Asian-inspired menu. His previous gigs include chef jobs at Argonaut, Elisir & Siroc. Sauf Haus Bier Hall, a German beer garden at 1216-A 18th St., NW in Dupont Circle opened its doors on July 24.

Willie T’s Lobster Shack on Connecticut Ave NW, is Dupont Circle’s latest addition, focusing on lobster and other seafood rolls … Bryan Voltaggio has opened his fast casual Frederick-born soups, salads and sandwich place, Lunchbox, in Chevy Chase Pavilion … Water & Wall’s new pop-up Chinese lunch, 3811 N. Fairfax Drive in Arlington is serving reinvented takes on Chinese favorites …. GRK opened its doors on July 18 on 19th Street in the Golden Triangle, serving fast casual Greek yeeros (gyros) … Penn Commons, the newest restaurant from Passion Food Hospitality team opened on Aug. 4 at 6th & H Streets, NW, serving classic American tavern food with 40 beers on tap.

Openings Update

Chef-owner RJ Cooper’s Gypsy Soul has opened his 135-seat restaurant in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. It reflects the chef’s travels through the South and mid-Atlantic. One of two sous chef positions has been filled by Allyson Lara, who comes from L’Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg … Jose Andres’ modern Chinese-Peruvian concept, China Chilanco, is slated to open this fall in the heart of Penn Quarter, featuring Chifa favorites–the cuisine known throughout Peru, melding Chinese style and native ingredients… Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House at CityCenterDC is slated to open in mid-September… Del Frisco’s Grille in Rockville at Pike & Rose is slated to open in mid-September as well… San-Francisco-based Tadich Grill is aiming for a late October opening at 10th Street & Pennylvania Avenue, NW, where Ten Penh used to be.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: or 703-417-2700.

The Latest Dish

July 16, 2014

Chef Update: Luc A. Dendievel will lead the culinary team as executive chef at härth restaurant at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. Dendievel has worked with renowned chefs Michel Richard and Antoine Westermann. He most recently worked as executive chef at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel & Café du Parc. Kenneth Hughes was named executive chef at Poplar Springs Inn and Manor House Restaurant. He previously served as chef de cuisine at the Manor House Restaurant for former owner Executive Chef Howard Foer from 2006-2008. Most recently, Hughes was executive chef at Open Kitchen in Falls Church. Maggie Suge was named Pastry Chef at The Manor House Restaurant, after 13 years as assistant pastry chef at the Inn at Little Washington.

Just Opened: Soupergirl opened a new takeout store at 1829 M St., NW, in the former Yo-Cake location. The shop offers five $6 soups that change daily. They are not your average soup names, as they originate from the owner Sara Polon’s previous career as a stand-up comedian in New York City. The original Takoma Park location is where all the food sold at both locations is prepared. All food at Soupergirl is kosher-certified, Slow Food-certified and REAL (Responsible, Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership) certified.

Reese Gardner, known for Mighty Pint, Copperwood Tavern & Irish Public House, plans to open Orange Anchor in the former Cabanas space in Georgetown’s Washington Harbour. It’s being referred to as a nautical inspired eatery. An August opening is planned.

Quick Hits: Sushi-Keiko opens where Sushi-ko used to be on Wisconsin Avenue in Glover Park…Just down the street, Mad Fox Brewpub is opening Taproom where Mayfair & Pine used to be in Glover Park…A summer opening is planned for Secret Chopsticks, a contemporary Chinese restaurant, opening in Rosslyn’s Turnberry Towers at N. Oak Street and Ft Myer Drive…Spinfire, QSR pizza place will open at 1501 Wilson Blvd (next to Roti) in Rosslyn as well as at One Loudoun in Ashburn…Shawafel, serving QSR Lebanese food, plans to open at 1919 Wilson Blvd in the Courthouse area this fall. The original store opened on H Street, NE with a second one at Nats Park.

Bangkok Joe’s at Georgetown’s Washington Harbour is under renovation and will transform into a French-Southeast Asian restaurant, named Mama Rouge. The new restaurant will open in September, according to chef/owner Aulie Bunyarataphan and Mel Oursinsini. They also own and operate Tom Yum District across Key Bridge in Arlington as well as T.H.A.I. in Shirlington.

Openings Update: Boss Shepherd’s at 13th & E Streets, NW is slated to open July 21… Smashburger plans to open its 8th store in this market, in Gaithersburg on July 9. GRK has targeted the second week of July for its 19th Street opening…. Chuy’s is planning to open in Fairfax in late August and in Springfield in October….Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House is on schedule to open in CityCenterDC in early September….Del Frisco’s Grille is slated to open in Rockville’s Pike & Rose project in mid-September. Ted’s Bulletin is committed to open in Merrifield’s Mosaic District this fall.

Congratulations to Ty Neal, Mark Neal and Drew Kim of matchboxfoodgroup on winning Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in the Food & Beverage category for the DC metro area. They are now on goal to win the national contest.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: or 703-417-2700.

The Latest DishJune 18, 2014

June 18, 2014

Loudoun County is the next?Loudoun County. One Loudoun, a development in Ashburn, will host metro-area restaurant groups ready to expand west. Robert Wiedmaier plans to open a new Italian-concept restaurant. Matchbox Food Group plans to open a **Matchbox** next summer. Bryan Voltaggio is already northwest of D.C., so he?ll travel south to open his second **Family Meal** (the first one is in Frederick) at One Loudoun in late summer or early fall. More outside-of-D.C. concepts slated to open there include **Uncle Julio?s Mexican** restaurant (from the folks who brought you **Rio Grande**) and **Redskins Grille**, from a company that opens NFL-themed restaurants.

**Texas de Brazil** plans to open where **Buddha Bar** used to be in NoMa (aka Mount Vernon Triangle) on Massachusetts Avenue, NW. The churrascaria-style Brazilian steakhouse with Texas-style hospitality is known for its all-you-can-eat service right at the table. There is currently a location in Fairfax?s Fair Oaks Mall and in Richmond. A fourth-quarter 2014 or first-quarter 2015 opening is targeted.

Robert Irvine of ?Restaurant Impossible? and ?Dinner Impossible? cut a deal to open **Robert Irvine Fresh Kitchen** at the Pentagon. It?s a restaurant in Arlington you may not be able to visit unless you an employee or a contractor. Irvine has the military creds, as he began his career in the British Royal Navy and was a guest chef at the White House mess (run by our navy). It will offer full-service, as well as fast-casual and fast food, for breakfast and lunch. A February 2015 launch date is expected.

A new Italian restaurant, **Noelia**, opened where **Finemondo** was at 1319 F St., NW, near Metro Center. Owner Kaiser Gill hired Carmen Piazza, formerly of **Sette Osteria** and **Caf? Milano**, as executive chef. The businessman comes from a restaurant family that owns and operates **Aabshaar**, a Pakistani restaurant in Springfield, and **Shineys** in Annandale. Noelia, named for his niece, will serve modern Italian comfort food.

The Latest Dish

December 5, 2013

Chef update: Alison Reed, Ripple’s pastry chef renowned for her ice cream sandwiches among her other delicious pastries, has decided to return to her roots – in Kansas City, that is. She plans to open her own pastry business there. She leaves the pastry duties in the very capable hands of Ripple executive chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, who created pastries while at Graffiato. … Ris Lacoste’s eponymous restaurant Ris has hired Beverly Bates, who won pastry chef of the year at the 2013 RAMMY Awards. She joins Ris in D.C.’s West End after three years at Vidalia…Bo Palker has been named regional executive chef at Pinzimini at the Westin Arlington Gateway. He was executive chef at Vinifera at the Westin Reston… Matchbox Food Group chef shuffle: Tony Piscioneri has been appointed the new executive chef at matchbox on 14th Street. Danny Choung has moved up to executive chef at matchbox in Rockville. Kelsey Pitta was promoted to pastry chef at Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street. Monique Proctor was promoted to executive chef of matchbox on Capitol Hill… Anne Alfano is new chef at Little Red Fox, previously she cooked at Momofuku in NYC and Cochon in New Orleans. Lauren Parlato has been named pastry chef at Little Red Fox. Jose Luis Flores was appointed the new corporate pastry chef of Richard Sandoval Restaurants. Flores will oversee the dessert menus for Sandoval’s Washington restaurants including Zengo, Masa 14 and both El Centro D.F. locations, plus the upcoming Toro Toro.

Quick Hits: Ron Robbins has been named general manager at Café Deluxe in Tenleytown on Wisconsin Avenue. Previously, he was general manager for Tower Oaks Lodge. Bakery 360 is slated to open this month at 1926 17th St., NW. Owner Jimmy Hopper plans to offer gluten-free and vegan options as well as a full coffee bar and outdoor seating… Philadelphia-based City Tap House replaces 901 Restaurant, at 901 9th St., NW. It will feature high-end pub fare and 60 beers.
John and Karen Urie Shields plan to open a restaurant at 1050 Potomac St., NW, in Georgetown. Chef Shields was previously at Town House in Chilhowie, Va. He was one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs in 2010. His wife Karen will be pastry chef. There will be a fixed price tasting menu with a la carte options on the patio and in the carriage house, on property. It’s slated to open in Q3 or Q4 2014.

Frederik De Pue plans to open Menu where Azur was on 8th Street, NW. Menu will be a market & bistro concept business. The ground floor will be a market where shoppers can buy produce and locally raised and grown fare. Charcuterie, sandwiches, soups and desserts made on-site will be sold at this market, and can be enjoyed at the second-floor bar. The plan is that this will turn into a lounge at night. The mezzanine level is open kitchen space. Menu’s third and top floor will be a 40-seat restaurant. The Belgium native plans to offer a large selection of beers (naturally). De Pue tapped his sous chef at his other restaurant, Table, to be the chef de cuisine at Menu. A January opening is anticipated.

Lance London of the Carolina Kitchen plans to open his first restaurant inside the District of Columbia border in January. The 6,000 sq-ft Carolina Kitchen will serve authentic Southern comfort fare in the new Northeast community of Rhode Island Row. The 152-seat restaurant will feature a wall lined with vintage whiskey bottles up the stairs to the second floor mezzanine, which will accommodate up to 40 guests in their private dining space. Lance is collaborating with Tom Mulhern of 2 Scales Interiors to design the contemporary country themed space. The new restaurant will combine traditional country-style wood paneling with swirling iron accents to create a modern-rustic interior. This is Lance’s third restaurant in the metro area, as he also owns Carolina Kitchen in Largo, Md., and Carolina Kitchen Bar & Grill in Hyattsville, Md. The Carolina Kitchen will serve lunch and dinner, in addition to offering carryout.

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations & marketing firm. Reach her at: or 703-417-2700.

The Latest Dish November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012

**Pinstripes Bocce Bowling & Bistro** plans to open a 100-seat Italian-themed restaurant that also offers bowling and bocce, on the lower level of The Shops at Georgetown Park. They may have 30,000 square feet at their disposal to eat and play in, as well as able to accommodate up to 600 people for pri- vate events. They will need a special exemption for bowling, but the owners expect only 5% of their patrons to come to Pinstripes to bowl. They may not be taking into account Georgetown University?s Beer & Bowling course. Just joking…

**AJ Prakash**, who has been in the Mexican restaurant business for 28 years, working with Tex-Mex too, plans to open his own mod- ern, slightly upscale Mexican restaurant with a Mayan inspired menu. The 280-seat restaurant will be located in the Tysons area. There will also be seating for approximately 60 on the out- door patio. No name yet. Stay tuned.

Quick Hits: **Fabio Trabocchi** plans to open a second restaurant, Fiola Mare, with an emphasis on seafood, at Washington Harbour in 2013. The space is next door to Nick’s Riverside Grille. It?s about 10,000 square feet with a great patio overlooking the park and Kennedy Center. The Firelake Grill is slated to open at 4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW, where Ruby Tuesday?s was. Casey’s Coffee will open at 355 E St, SW this month. **Lime Fresh Mexican Grill** will open on 7th Street, NW in Penn Quarter where Potbelly Sandwich Works used to be. A mid-2013 date is targeted. **Taylor Gourmet** will open its fifth locations when it opens at 6th & E Streets, NW in Penn Quarter where Meatballs used to be. Pho 14 will replace Pizza Hut on Columbia Road, NW in Adams Morgan. They plan to open in early November.

Opening Updates: Latest intel straight from **Soupergirl**: her expanded Silver Spring operation should be open late November/early December. matchbox 14th Street by end of November (fingers crossed). Ted?s Bulletin 14th Street and **matchbox** Merrifield by end of 1Q 2013. Smash Burger?s second store, in Dupont Circle, by February 2013. **YO! Sushi**?s second store, in Chinatown, by the Presidential Inauguration. Whew.

**Chef Frederik de Pue**, owner of 42? Catering, plans to open **Table** (tah-bluh) early this month at 903 N Street, NW in Logan Circle ?hood near Blagden Alley, where Rogue 24 is. Formerly an auto repair space, the 75-seat res- taurant will have a contemporary urban design. Chef sees this as a return to Old World dining experience. Belgium influence will be strong, as will his European cooking experiences. Dinner only will be offered in the first stage, followed by lunch, brunch and breakfast when the kitchen and staff are ready.

*Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc (LRA) specializing in mak- ing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at (703) 417-2700 or linda@ or visit her web site at www.*