The Latest DishNovember 30, 2011

**Bryan Voltaggio**, chef/owner of **Volt** in Frederick, Md., is in high gear. In addition to his new **North Market Kitchen** in downtown Frederick as well as his new bistro **Range** (as in ?down on the ? ?) in Chevy Chase, he also plans to open a soup-and-sandwich concept on Frederick?s Carroll Creek Promenade, where **La Dolce Vita** used to be, called **Lunchbox**. The casual 30-seat restaurant is slated to be open before the end of the year. In the first quarter of 2012, Volt will introduce a prix-fixe $80 per person menu that changes each month, to replace the a la carte menu. Lunch service will be offered only on the weekends. Bryan also has an idea for a diner, yet to be named, that he wants to open on East Street in Frederick in what used to be a car dealership. He hopes for an early second quarter 2012 opening. And speaking of Bryan/Brian(s), **Brian McBride** has joined forces with **Robert Wiedmaier** (**Marcel?s**, **Brasserie Beck**, **Brabo** and **Mussel Bar**) to create a model for restaurants he and Wiedmaier hope to open together. He?s currently headquartered at Brasserie Beck, creating protocols and menus. They have just hired a new chef de cuisine, **Will Morris**, formerly of **Bourbon Steak**. It was time for new challenges and new horizons, as Brian had been at **Park Hyatt** for 25 years. **Mike Isabella** is moving at warp speed, it seems. **Graffiato** has been open only a few months and now has plans to open a Mexican restaurant in early 2012 in Georgetown where **Hook** was, until it caught fire ? literally. **Bandolero** will serve modern Mexican small plates. The frequently-changing menu will feature ceviche, tacos, vegetables and ?carbons,? which are Mike?s version of fajitas. **Jonathan Umbel** remains owner of the space. **Pie Sisters** plans to open this month on M Street in Georgetown near Key Bridge. It appears the parent company is **O?B Sweet**, created by the **Blakely** sisters: **Alli**, **Erin** and **Cat**, who announce on their website that ?Homemade pies are and have always been a staple in our family tradition ? ? Falls Church restaurant landmark, 2941, will close the first two weeks of 2012 to undergo renovations ? from the d?cor to the menu. It will become more casual and more appealing to every-week dining, not just special occasions. This more casual concept has worked well for **Michel Richard?s Central** and **Fabio Trabocchi?s Fiola**. **Stephen Starr** is to Philadelphia what **Danny Meyer** is to New York. Now, he?s set his scope in D.C. and plans to open a French bistro at 14th and Q Streets, N.W., before the 2012 fall session of Congress starts. His big hit concepts in Philly include: **Buddakan**, **Continental** (love the martinis), **Morimoto** and **El Vez**. Renowned mixologist (PX/Restaurant Eve) **Todd Thrasher** plans to open a new bar called **TNT**, named for his son **Tristan Noah Thrasher**. It will accompany **Eamonn?s: A Dublin Chipper** on Columbia Pike in Arlington. A March or April opening is planned. He will offer two cocktail menus ? one of old favorites, and one that?s brand new. **Quick Hits:** **Matchbox Management Group** signed a deal to open a **Ted?s Bulletin** at 14th and S Streets, just a block from the next **Matchbox** to open, at 14th and T Streets, NW. **Geoff Tracy** signed a lease to open in Rockville, where **Againn** and **Houston?s** used to be. He has his sights on a second-quarter 2012 opening. **SoHo**, aka Southern Hospitality, serving American food, will open at 1813 Adams Mill Road, N.W., where **Adams Mill Bar and Grill** used to be, by the end of the year. **Teaism** plans to open in Old Town Alexandria in March. Plans to open in the U Street Corridor are on hold for now. **Hawthorne Homemade Organic Juice Bar & Market** plans to open on Macomb St, N.W., where **River House** used to be. **Maddy?s Tap Room** inked a deal to occupy 1100 13th Street, N.W. **Cava Mezze Grill** has leased a 2,100-square-foot space for its next location in the Mosaic District (Merrifield, Va.) now under development. They have locations in Rockville, Bethesda, Capitol Hill, Clarendon and, soon, Tysons Corner. **More Quick Hits:** Look for a new bakery concept from **Mark Furstenberg**, formerly of **Bread Line**. **Maranon Caf?** will open in the old **Tegeste** location on 14th Street, N.W. This new Latino full-service restaurant plans to serve Mexican, Salvadorian, and Dominican food. **BlackFinn American Grille** signed a deal to open in Halstead Square in Merrifield, Va. It plans to open in summer of 2012. **Jason McCarther** plans to open **Box Bar & Grill** in Bethesda, featuring 15 televisions with all sports all the time and burgers and wings. Although **Chidogo?s** at 14th and U Streets, N.W., has closed -- as have several other retail operations there due to building renovation ? Chidogo?s **Robert Hisaoka** continues to move forward, planning to open in College Park before end of year and at National Harbor by Spring 2012. **Steak and Cheese**, the new concept from restaurateur **Michael Landrum**, created of **Ray?s The Steaks** dynasty, stealthly opened in Rosslyn where **Hell-Burger II** (also his place) was. They slice the beef ? not shave it. One of several reasons why they do not claim to be an authentic cheesesteak place, hence the name. **Openings Update:** **Nick?s Riverside Grill** and **Tony & Joe?s** are now slated to re-open in April, in Georgetown Harbour. Nick?s will expand into the former **Cabanas** space and will offer an expanded menu for lunch, dinner and brunch. Ray?s The Steaks in East River (Anacostia) plans to be open in January, with no menu changes planned. New York-based **Boqueria** now plans to be open in January at their downtown D.C. spot at 19th and M Streets, N.W. Cathal and **Meshelle Armstrong?s** ?epicurean emporium,? **Society Fair**, is expected to open by Christmas. It will include a bakery, butchery, wine shop, bar and demo kitchen. Four Fields (Ireland?s 4Ps) in Cleveland Park negotiated with its new owners to stay open until March 2012. **Chef Update:** **Duane Keller** is the new executive chef for the **Hamilton Crown Plaza Hotel** and **14K Restaurant**. Keller was most recently executive chef at the **Mason Inn and Conference Center Hotel** in Fairfax, and before that at **Capital Grill** in Chevy Chase. **Mio** is getting a new chef **Giovanna Huyke**, who is apparently the Julia Child of Puerto Rico. **Zentan** sushi chef **Jason Zheng** will be working for **The Hamilton**, the newest venue from **Clyde?s Restaurant Group**, when it opens this month. **Alexander Zeppos** is the new chef at **Logan Tavern**. Before that, he was the executive chef and director of operations for **Growlers** of Gaithersburg. **Chef Robert Weland** recently of **Poste** at the **Hotel Monaco** is now at **Cork Wine Bar** at Logan Circle. And chef **Ron Tanaka** of Cork Wine Bar is now at New Heights in Woodley Park. **Mari Vanna** is a Russian home-cooking themed restaurant planning to open on Connecticut Ave., N.W., in Dupont Circle next fall. It will be three stories and will have d?cor that is noticeably Russian-grandmother-esque (think tchotchkes). It will have a club-like atmosphere (think **Mansion** on O). It?s owned by **The Ginza Group**, which owns Mari Vanna locations in Moscow, New York and London as well as more than 70 other concepts in Russia. Menu varies from beef stroganoff to blinis topped with caviar. And vodka. Just like Jose Andres? minibar within Caf? Atlantico (now America Eats Tavern), **Amy Brandwein** will offer a seasonal 12-course menu at **Tavola 12**, a 12-seat restaurant within **Casa Nonna** on Connecticut Ave, N.W., near Dupont Circle.

The Latest DishFebruary 21, 2012

**Unum**, a contemporary American restaurant, just opened in Georgetown where **Mendocino Grille** used to be. The chef and owner is Phillip Blane, who was a sous chef at **Equinox** in D.C. His restaurant partner is his wife, Laura Schiller, better known as chief of staff for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Unum is derived from the Latin ?E pluribus unum? (Out of many, one), which Blane says reflects his cooking. Sound familiar? It?s the phrase that appears on the Great Seal of the United States on your dollar bills. The 12-stool bar remains in the front of the restaurant, but has a new addition ? a reading nook filled with some of the couple?s favorite reads. Wonder if you can take one, and replace one, as you can do when you travel. Top Chef contestant, Emily Sprissler, formerly of **Vidalia**, and her husband, have signed a contract to lease the **Town Hall** restaurant location in Glover Park at 2218 Wisconsin Ave., NW. She plans to call the place **Mayfair & Pine** and hopes to open by April. Sometimes, you can come home again. Arlington native, Scot Harlan, plans to open **The Green Pig**, an American/French bistro in the old American Flatbread space on Fillmore Street in Clarendon. He?s aiming for simple and plans to offer ?redneck charcuterie.? He previously worked in New York City at **Daniele, Bouley and Danube**, as well as in Virginia at the **Inn at Little Washington, Inox** and **2941**. His sous chef is Will Sullivan who most recently worked at **Low Country** in NYC. Quick Hits: **Stubs Kitchen and Wine** signed a lease to open in the long-vacant corner at 1401 T St, NW (next to **Policy** restaurant). A casual eatery by the name **SnitchEye Wine Bar** plans to open at 3rd St. and Florida Ave, N.W., by late spring or early summer . . . Cava Grill at Tysons Corner is targeting a March opening . . . A new sandwich and salad place named Carvy Cafe plans to open in the old Spice Indian Bistro space on 19th Street, N.W. ... **District Taco** (known as a food truck) plans to open a brick-and-mortar store at 1309 F Street, N.W., by spring . . . **Southern Hospitality** replaced **Adams Mill Bar and Grill** located at 1813 Adams Mill Rd, N.W., in Adams Morgan. Everything is southern ? from the d?cor to the food to the cocktails to the beers. **Sushi Para** opened in the former Taco Bell/KFC space at 4221 Connecticut Ave, N.W. **Rosa Mexicano** just opened its third area location at 5225 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. in D.C.?s Friendship Heights, seating 165 with patio seating when weather permits. Expect to see some new menu items. **Ashok Bajaj** empire continues to expand, with the opening of **Rasika West End** at corner of 22nd St. and New Hampshire Ave, N.W., in the luxury condo building, 22 West. It follows in the footsteps of the original **Rasika** in Penn Quarter. The restaurant plans to serve upscale American cuisine with some heavy Italian influence. Chef Vikram Sunderam will oversee both kitchens. A March opening is planned. ? Chef & GM Update: Janis McLean is the new executive chef at **Le Zinc** (across from 2Amys) on Macomb St, N.W. Previously, she was the executive chef at **15 ria** at the Doubletree Hotel at Scott Circle. **Tonic** restaurant in Foggy Bottom (where the sign says Quigley?s Pharmacy) has a new executive chef, Michael Degginger, who most recently was at **Jake?s American Grille** in Tenleytown. Corey Randolph will take over as general manager of **The Melting Pot** in Reston in March, and Kristy Martin will take over as GM of The Melting Pot in Arlington?s Ballston district. **901 Restaurant & Bar** executive chef Thomas Hall, previously of **Ten Penh**, is using Asian flavors again to create a new menu and concept for 901 in Penn Quarter.? Expect small plates with big flavors.? Former Clyde?s Restaurant Group corporate chef, John Guattery, is now part of the management team at Matchbox Management, which owns and operates **matchbox** (Penn Quarter, Barracks Row, Rockville and soon Logan Circle), **Ted?s Bulletin** (Barracks Row and soon Logan Circle) and **DC3** (Barracks Row). This local restaurant group is primed for dynamic growth in 2012 . What better local restaurant group experience for dynamic growth than Clyde?s? Openings Update: Mike Isabella?s small plates Mexican restaurant, **Bandolaro**, plans to be open by March in Georgetown where Hook used to be. **Brio Tuscan Grille** in Rockville targeted Feb. 29 as its opening date.

The Latest DishMarch 7, 2012

**Roberto Donna**, one of DC?s most famous (and infamous) chefs will reign over the kitchen at **La Forchetta**, a new full service, 116-seat, family-style Italian restaurant on New Mexico Ave. NW, where **Balducci?s** used to be. Owner **Hakan Ilhan** is best known for his Pizza Autentica chain, as well as three **Caf? Cantinas**, three **Einstein Bros. Bagels** and **Gelato Dolce Vita** in Georgetown. The country-style Italian restaurant is slated to open at the end of this month. First announced a few months ago, husband and wife chefs **Emily Sprissler** and **Jason Cote** are finalizing plans to open a casual seafood res?taurant in Glover Park called **Mayfield & Pine**, where **Town Hall** used to be. Sprissler?s face may be familiar, as she appeared on season two of Top Chef in 2006. Her food may be familiar from her time at **Vidalia**. They both worked at **Wegman?s** in Northern Virginia before landing the Glover Park site, and plan to open by the end of April. Chef/owner **Frederik De Pue** signed a lease to open a restaurant called **Table** in D.C.?s Shaw neighborhood on N St. NW. He plans to be open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant will serve wine and beer, but only tableside, as there are no plans for a bar. The building was formerly a car repair shop and Pue plans to keep its rustic look (re: lots of concrete). There will be outdoor seating on the roof deck. De Pue owns **42? Catering** and for?merly worked at **Smith Commons**. A summer opening is planned. Ch-ch-ch-changes: **The Reef** in Adams Morgan is about to undergo renovations to give a fresh feel to the space. Renovations will main?ly occur on the middle fish tank floor. Owner **Brian Harrison** plans to install new hardwood floors, and reconfigure the booths. Construction will take place on various weekdays so that he can stay open for business. The ground floor will also be renovated at some point next year. **Oded Weizmann** plans to open an ?urban retro deli gastro-pub? called **Carving Room** in NoMa at 300 Massachusetts Ave. NW. The neighborhood bar and restaurant will serve house-cured, hand-carved meat for their sand?wiches. The 55-seat space plus patio will have an open kitchen with meat carvers up front and a bar with ten taps serving regional beers. The plan is for it to be a quick service place during weekday lunch and transform into a full-service restaurant at night and on weekends. Oded used to manage Silver Diner in Rockville as well as BD?s **Mongolian Barbecue** in Bethesda. He also worked for **Bedrock Management**. Carving Room is slated to open by late summer. 14th and S Streets, NW: **Ted?s Bulletin** from the **Matchbox Food Group** plans to open by end of 4th quarter 2012. **Mark Kuller** plans an upscale Southeast Asian restaurant there, close to the end of the year as well. Openings Update: **Del Frisco?s Grille** plans to open at 12th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, (former Les Halles site) in early July. **Alegria, Bazin?s** Mexican restaurant, should be open by beginning of March next door to sister restaurant, Bazin?s on Church. **Yo! Sushi** at Union Station is now looking at a June opening. **Eric** and **Ian Hilton** are planning to be quite busy this year opening new restaurants. The brothers behind **Marvin**, **The Gibson**, **Blackbyrd**, and **American Ice Company**, plan to open an Italian gastro-pub and wine bar in the former **HR-57** jazz club spot at 1610 14th St. NW, featuring live music. The yet-to-be-named restaurant plans to open this fall. They are also planning to open **The Brixton**, a British pub at 901 U St. NW by end of second quarter 2012, as well as a taqueria called El Ray a few doors down at 919 U Street, NW, in early fall. Not to mention a burger joint called **Satellite Kitchen** at 2047 9th St. NW. Did we mention they also plan to open **Chez Billy**, a French-style bistro in Petworth soon? Chef & GM Update: **Brian McPherson** is the new chef at **Jackson 20** and the **Grille at Morrison House** in Old Town. **Rick Dugan** has been named General Manager of **BRIO Tuscan Grille** in Rockville, MD. He was formerly GM at **O?Donnell?s Sea Grill** in Bethesda and in Kentlands for many years, as well as at **Clyde?s** of Chevy Chase. **Chris Kujala** was named executive pastry chef for **Robert Wiedmaier?s** restaurants. **Maura Delaney** is GM at **McCormick & Schmick?s** in Reston. She had previously been GM at **Morton?s Steakhouse** in Tysons Corner before it closed. **Izakaya Seki**, a 40-seat Japanese bar and restaurant, located in the former **Spott?s Barber Shop** space at 1117 V St. NW, is under construc?tion. Owners of the building and restaurant are **Cizuka Seki** and her father, **Hiroshi Seki**, a chef-owner who had his own place outside of St. Louis. Instead of a bar on the first floor, there will be a nine-seat food counter. The main din?ing room will be on the second level. Although there is no bar, there will be beer, sake and a selection of sh?ch?, a Japanese spirit that was a big hit at the **International Food & Wine Show**. As soon as they figure out how to get gas to the building, they will have a better idea of an opening date. Quick Hits: **Mike Isabella** has targeted 14th and W Streets, NW, for a Greek concept restaurant. **Solly?s Tavern** will soon be expand?ing into **Madjet**, the Ethiopian restaurant space next door, and will offer a food menu. Should be up and running by beginning of March. *Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. (LRA), specializing in market?ing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact her at 703-417-2700 or [Linda@LindaRothPR.com](mailto:linda@lindarothpr.com) or visit her web site at [www.LindaRothPR.com](http://www.lindarothpr.com)*

The Latest DishApril 4, 2012

Shophouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is slated to open in the Georgetown space formerly occupied by Furin's at 2805 M St., NW. It will be the second location (Dupont Circle was first) from Steve Ells, who also brought us **Chipotle.** Always secretive, this store will open sometime in 2012. It?s a two-fer. Mike Isabella plans to open **Kapnos,** a Greek restaurant and **G,** an Italian operation, both in a big space at 2201 14th Street, NW. Kapnos is Greek for ?smoke? (think whole spit-roasted animals) and G is, well, little sister to Graffiato. Both are slated to open sometime next year. Owners Au Dang and brother Di, along with Michael Jones, a former **J Paul?s** manager, plan to open **Chasin? Tails,** a silverware-optional crab shack open in Falls Church where **Bear Rock Caf?** used to be. Cajun seafood and traditional seafood will be offered, along with drinks and entertainment. The plan is to be open by beginning of April. **Nando?s Peri-Peri** loves the DC market and has targeted more locations: Pentagon Row to open in the beginning of June; King Street in Old Town, Alexandria and Waugh Chapel area of Anne Arundel County by end of 2012. They currently have locations in Penn Quarter, Gaithersburg, Bethesda Row, Silver Spring and National Harbor. **Eastern Market** is looking forward to a new restaurant from some familiar DC restaurant talent. Former **Komi** cook and pastry chef **Johnny Spero, Toki Underground** chef **Erik Bruner-Yang** and **Acqua al 2** chef **Ari Gejdenson** are the owners of **Suna.** Johnny takes the lead in the kitchen. Suna?s menu will be based on sustainability, supporting local farms, and what is available regionally and by season. Suna means ?moss? in Lativian, and Johnny Spero is of Latvian descent. The plan is to open by year?s end. Chef Update: At **Rasika West End, Vikram Sunderam** will be in charge of both restaurants, but chef de cuisine **Manish Tyagi** will oversee the day-to-day operations. Christopher Morris has been named Executive Chef at **BRIO Tuscan Grille** in Rockville, Maryland.? Previously, he worked as executive chef of **O?Donnell?s Sea Grill** and **Cin Cin Tratoria. Aaron McCloud** is the new chef at **Cedar** restaurant in Penn Quarter. Previously he was executive chef for Vintage Restaurant Group in Loudoun County, then chef at The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Md. Patrick Forest and Raina Hull, former managers at **8407 Kitchen Bar** in Silver Spring have joined forces to open **Mealey?s Table** in New Market, Md. They hired Nate Waugaman, as chef. The restaurant will seat 80 with additional seating in the lounge. Previously, Nate had been at **Addie?s** in Rockville. Nate plans to produce his own charcuterie in-house with a farm-to-table strategy. His sous chef is Ian Benites, who worked with Nate at Addie?s. It is slated to open this month. In the meantime, Mallory Buford will run the kitchen at Addie?s, as he used to for Black Restaurant Group. A "philanthro-pub" called Cause, is planned for the Shaw neighborhood at 1926 9th St., NW in late April. Yes, it is a philanthropic-themed bar that plans to direct a percentage of profits towards charities. Cause is the brainchild of non-restaurateurs **Raj Ratwani** and **Nick Vilelle.** Their operators are **John Jarecki** and **Dave Pressley,** who run **The Light Horse** in Alexandria. They have restaurant ops chops, as between them they have helped to open 20 restaurants including Neighborhood Restaurant Group?s **Tallula, Rustico,** and **Vermillion.** Former **Queen Vic** chef **Adam Stein** heads the kitchen. The two-story space, which will also host non-profit events, will have a **worldly theme** with globes, maps, and photography from different countries. Renovations: **Shelly?s Back Room** at 1331 F Street, NW has added an additional 1000 square feet (and 50 seats) for an outdoor patio, appropriately called ?Shelly?s Front Porch,? offering the comfort of Adirondack chairs and a limited food menu. This will be referred to as fireplace room and bourbon room?. Alain Roussel has renovated his Chevy Chase French country restaurant, **La Ferme,** to the tune of $150,000. This includes new paneling, carpet, lamp shades, window dressings, upholstery wall hangings, and paint both in the main dining room and the private party room upstairs. **Morton?s The Steakhouse** in downtown DC is slated to undergo renovations, a part of their new ownership upgrade. **Volt** chef Bryan Voltaggio's forthcoming DC restaurant Range, is slated to open late fall in the **Chevy Chase Pavilion** showcasing lesser-used cuts of meat including shoulders, legs, and **offal.** The cocktails will feature house-made bitters, sodas, and mixers. As is all the rage these days, there will be an **open kitchen** as well as a bakery and retail shop. Quick Hits: **Rahama African Restaurant** recently opened in the Shaw neighborhood at 1923 9th St, NW. Ripple in Cleveland Park has a ?sister? next door, **Sugar Magnolia** offering savory and sweets including homemade ice cream sandwiches made by pastry chef **Alison Reed**, who joined Ripple in January after four years at **Cafe Saint Ex.** Chicago-based Matt Matros, owner of **Protein Bar,** has signed a lease to open a Protein Bar in Penn Quarter at Seventh & D Streets, NW. Working with Papadopoulos Properties, this promises to be the first of many in the area. **First Watch** plans to in Chantilly at Greenbriar Town Center. This will make their third (Rockville, Fairfax) in the region. They plan to open by end of 2012. Scott Harlan is chef/owner of Green Pig Bistro, slated to open in Clarendon, Va., by the time you read this. He was previously with **Inox.** **Nick?s Riverside Grille** and **Tony & Joe?s** at Georgetown?s Washington Harbour should be up and running ? inside and outside ? by May. That?s the time it takes to re-open after a flood and everything else that goes with it. Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant group named Brian McPherson as chef at both **Jackson 20** and **The Grille** at Morrison House in Alexandria. He takes the place of Dennis Marron, who was head chef at **Poste** restaurant at Hotel Monaco. McPherson was previously at **New Heights** and **Butterfield 9.** **True Food Kitchen,** a healthy, Mediterranean-themed restaurant, from Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Fox Restaurant Concepts?, is scouting locations in the D.C. region. It will be their first East Coast expansion, which has four locations in Arizona and California. True Food will appeal to D.C.?s sophisticated-leaning palate and generally healthy lifestyle. It?s backed by **P.F. Chang?s.** Thank Tom Papadopoulos for bringing this to you. Shirlington Village?s Curious Grape returns ? as more than a wine shop. Now it?s **The Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop.** Owner Suzanne McGrath says the food will focus on dishes that pair well with or feature wine. In addition to the restaurant, there is a cheese bar, traditional bar and private dining space.

The Latest DishJune 13, 2012

Two longtime veterans of **The Palm** plan to open their own restaurant, **Epic Smokehouse,** in Arlington near Pentagon City Mall. It will be halfway between a fine-dining steak house and a barbecue joint, according to owner-operators Wayne Halleran and Joon Yang. Halleran was a waiter at the Palm in Tysons Corner and Yang was assistant GM. The design will be more on the masculine side (no surprise to Palm vets) with everyone?s most popular design element (it seems) ? reclaimed barn wood. The plan is to open at 1330 S. Fair Street in early August. Chef & GM Update: David Lynch, a seasoned general manager from NYC and the DMV area joins **Ping Pong Dim Sum** in Chinatown as general manager. ..Randy Hill was named general manager for Ping Pong Dim Sum at Dupont Circle? Sonny Gorushanovich joins **901 Restaurant & Bar** as general manager. Previously, he was food and beverage director at **The Donovan House,** and before that, general manager Oya in Penn Quarter. He led teams and established food and beverage programs at prominent upscale restaurants in Miami, New York City, and San Antonio?Entertainment Cruises hired Scott Reynolds as executive chef for the ***National Elite,*** the new private charter yacht docked at National Harbor. It?s expected here in early summer. Chef Reynolds comes to Entertainment Cruises from the Marriott Annapolis Waterfront Hotel **Pusser?s Caribbean Grille**?Erik Guti?rrez has been named executive chef of **Indigo Landing** in Alexandria. Previously, he worked as sous chef at **Blue on Blue** at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., and the acclaimed **Morrison House** in Alexandria. Sue Drabkin is the new executive pastry chef at **RIS** in D.C.?s West End. She comes from **Harvest** in Cambridge, Mass., another leader in the farm to table movement. Mel Oursinsiri signed a lease to open another **Tom Yum District** at 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn by year?s end. The first one is in Dupont Circle. It?s a Chipotle-like concept, with a Thai twist, where guests choose from five proteins on either a salad, noodles or rice with a variety of sauces such as Penang curry. Mel is a seasoned restaurateur, as he also owns and operates **Bangkok Joe?s** and **T.H.A.I.** Shirlington. Mark White of Whisk Group, which is known for **Againn**, a gastropub, plans to open a new salad, sandwich, pastries, breads and coffee spot called **Bean & Bite,** at 1152 15th St., NW. He also plans to donate a percentage of every item sold to a charity to be named?Bean & Bite will have a retro, recycled look. It?s slated to open mid-summer. Boilermaker Shops is a development that was once the site for manufacturing Navy ship boilers. Expect some recognizable eateries like Thompson Hospitality?s **brb (be right burger)** and **Austin Grill Express,** as well as NRG?s **Buzz Bakery**. Out-of-towners like Louisiana transplant **Huey?s 24/7 Diner** and **Willie?s Brew & Cue,** from Xavier Cervera, the owner of Capitol Hill favorites, such as **Lola?s, Molly Malone?s** and the **Chesapeake Room**. The biggest addition may be **Bluejacket,** a craft brewery from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) which also owns and operates **Evening Star Cafe, Birch & Barley/ChurchKey, Rustico, Tallula** and **Vermilion**. The restaurant will have 150 seats plus a large outdoor seating area. The brewery will provide beer not just on-site and to NRG?s eateries, but to other local restaurants. NRG beer director Greg Engert and Bluejacket head brewer Megan Parisi, previously with **Cambridge Brewing Co.** in Massachusetts, are collaborating on the beer. Birch & Barley chef Kyle Bailey will oversee the menu, though details have not yet been finalized. Bluejacket will open in 2013. In addition to Willie?s Brew & Cue, restaurateur Xavier Cervera plans to open **Park Tavern** at Canal Park. The public space, previously an empty lot, will have water fountains in the summer as well as sculptures. The restaurant aims to be among D.C.?s first LEED Gold-certified restaurants. Canal Park, named for the historic Washington Canal, will provide a water-borne connection between the Anacostia River and the Potomac River via the National Mall. It?s slated to open by late fall 2012. **Osteria Morini,** the first D.C. restaurant from esteemed NY chef/restaurateur Michael White, plans to open in the Lumber Shed development near Nationals Park along the riverfront. White was named ?Best Chef in New York? by the James Beard Foundation. Osteria Morini, a casual Italian concept, already has locations in Soho and Bernardsville, N.J. It will feature pastas, grilled meats and other northern Italian specialties. The restaurant pays homage to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy known for prosciutto, Parmigiano and balsamic vinegar. It?s slated to open next summer. Quick Hits: **Sakuramen**, a ramen house, recently opened in an underground hideaway in Adams Morgan. It has a communal table for 20 for those who seek to avoid sunlight ? and you know who you are. **The Pinch** also recently opened in Columbia Heights, at 3548 14th Street, NW by owners Daniel Maceda, Carlos Eyster and Ashley Brudowsky. The chef is Stephanie Sharkey. Owner operators of **Cava Mezze** and **Cava Grill,** Ike Grigoropoulos and Ted Xenohristos, recently opened **Sugo Ciccetti** at 12505 Park Potomac Drive in Rockville. Allison Cooke of Core Group designed the space. The center of attention is a large pizza oven. There is also a charcuterie case with a slicer for mesmerizing guests...**Carving Station** and **FAI Pizza** will open at Mass Court building at 300 Massachusetts Ave., NW. **Tony & Joe?s** and **Nick?s Riverside Grill** are slated to (finally) open this month. Although the Hilton Brothers have decided not to open a restaurant at the **HR-57** jazz club space at 1610 14th St., NW, their almost-partner, Ari Gejdenson of **Acqua al 2,** has taken over the lease to open an Italian restaurant there. The Hilton Brothers have also sold their lease at 1337 H Street, NE. James McGillivray has signed a lease to open **Volcano Hot Stone Grill** in Gainesville. It?s interactive, as it features food cooked at the table on hot lava rocks. The only similarity to **The Melting Pot** is the cooking-at-the-table part. He signed a lease to open a 3,000-square-foot location at 14706 Lee Highway. The menu will concentrate on seafood, steaks and vegetables. It will seat 100, with room for more on the patio. He plans to open mid- to late- summer. From the owners of **Agoura** in Dupont Circle comes **Tel?veh Caf? and Wine Bar,** a more casual concept at 401 Massachusetts Ave. NW It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Like Agora, the restaurant will have a Mediterranean theme. The cafe will serve more than 300 wines by the bottle and more than 48 wines by the glass. Chef Ghassan Jarrouj will oversee both the new restaurant and Agora. *Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. (LRA), specializing in making creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events for the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 703-417-2700 or linda@lindarothpr.com, or visit her web site at www.lindarothpr.com*

The Latest Dish November 14, 2012

**Mi Cocina** plans to open in the spring of 2013 in The Collection at Chevy Chase where M Caf? was. It is part of M Crowd Restaurant Group, based in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. Mi Cocina offers classic Tex-Mex food, with hearty margaritas and their signature Mambo Taxi. There are 20 Mi Cocina restaurants currently open in Texas and Oklahoma, with one slated to open in Atlanta by the end of the year. **Teatro** on K Street, NW (formerly Teatro Goldoni) has undergone a metamorphosis and will re-open as **LooK**, featuring small plates from all over the world ? even some Teatro favorites. D?cor is Icelandic-inspired with interactive bar and stair lighting, 20-foot suspended TV that can be viewed from either sides of the restaurant, making it two-way. **AJ Prakash**, who has been in the Mexican restaurant business for 28 years, working with Tex-Mex too, plans to open his own modern, 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 outdoor patio. No name yet. Stay tuned. **The Raven Grill** owner Merid Admassu is teaming up with Kevin Perone and Cafe Saint Ex?s Jessica Kleinmann to open a tavern called Lyman?s at 3720 14th St., NW. Plans call for a 20-seat heated patio with a retractable roof, a latticed privacy fence, and an indoor-outdoor counter. Should be open soon. **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**: **Farmers Fishers Bakers** at Washington Harbor will now open on Nov. 7. They were also victims of the flooding a year and a half ago. 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.

The Latest Dish 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@ lindarothpr.com or visit her web site at www. lindarothpr.com*

The Latest DishJune 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.

Strawberries and Asparagus: A Delicious Opportunity for Health

The Farmers Markets are almost in full swing. The Rose Park Market began on Wednesday, May 9 (every Wednesday, 3 – 7 p.m. through November), with the two most popular items in season: asparagus and strawberries. And of course, The Dupont Circle Fresh Farm Market is now open on Sundays, 8:30a.m. – 1p.m. This is the time of year to revel in the peak ripeness, flavor and nutrition of these springtime delicacies. The recipe for curried chicken salad with strawberries comes from my mother and makes a very nice lunch offering. Like any curry dish, its perfect companions are a spicy or sweet chutney (try CHOP Market’s Nature Isle Chutney) and a cool yogurt. You could also top it on a baguette or stuff it into a tomato or avocado half. Serve with pickles, carrot and celery sticks or radishes. You can use any seasonal fruits such as peaches, grapes, oranges, or anything ripe and in season. Have fun with it. The beauty of spring is the wide array of options, and it’s hard to go wrong. Strawberries are actually members of the Rose family, and there are over 600 different varieties. Choose freshly picked, ripe berries, as they will be the tastiest and will have the most nutrients. “Look for berries fully formed, bright red, without bruising or soft spots and with fresh-looking green caps,” says janie Hibler in her book, The Berry Bible. She continues with a word of caution: “Beware of buying out-of-season strawberries, as sometimes they are picked when they are only 40% ripe. These berries may turn red, but they will never develop sweetness and can be hard as an apple.” Strawberries are considered a “superfood.” They have one of the highest antioxidant and nutrient contents of all foods, they are also low in calories—you can eat them in unlimited quantities. In fact, for your health, the more the better! “A serving of eight strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange,” says David Grotto in 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life. “Strawberries are also rich in folate, potassium, and fiber. They’re especially high in cancer- and heart-disease-fighting phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds) called flavonoids, anthocyanins, ellagic acid, quercetin, catechin, and kaempferol.” Asparagus, meanwhile, is packed with nutrients. Low in calories, it’s an excellent source of folic acid and Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Vitamin B6. Asparagus, like other fruits and vegetables, is sodium-free, and contains no fat or cholesterol. It is an important source of potassium and many nutrients, important for boosting your immune system and preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and even preventing cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, Asparagus is the highest tested food containing Glutathione, one of the body's most potent cancer fighters. Additionally, Asparagus is high in Rutin, which is valuable in strengthening the blood vessels.?This recipe for chilled asparagus spears in a creamy vinaigrette is a bright, balanced dish that I think brings out the best in asparagus. Kjerstin’s Curried Chicken Salad with Strawberries and Roasted Almonds Serves 4 2 cups chicken breast meat, cooked, chopped (about 2 half breasts) 1 pint low sodium, nonfat chicken stock 1/3 cup small mild onion, chopped 1-1/2 cup celery, chopped 1 cup seedless grapes, halved (or other available fruit) ¾ pound strawberries, hulled and quartered 3 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 1 tsp curry powder, or to taste 1 oz almonds or walnuts, toasted and chopped 1/4 cup low fat ranch-style or cucumber dressing Poach the chicken breasts in stock until cooked. Let cool, then chop in bite-size pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and chill. Serve chilled. Per serving: 230 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 grams sat fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 20 grams protein Chilled Asparagus in a Creamy Tarragon, Shallot, and Roasted Walnut Vinaigrette Serves 6 to 8 2 lb asparagus, cleaned, tough ends removed, cut in 1.5 inch pieces 1 Tbsp walnut or canola oil Salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted walnuts, chopped 1 small (4 oz) red bell pepper, finely chopped (roasting optional) 1 bunch (1/4 cup) green onions, finely chopped Vinaigrette: 2 Tbsp tarragon vinegar 4 Tbsp walnut oil 2 Tbsp low fat Greek yogurt 1 shallot, finely chopped 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh parsely, finely chopped 1 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped Salt and pepper to taste If you are using raw walnuts, toast the walnuts: place in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes until light golden brown. Let cool, then chop. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl large enough to fit the asparagus, red pepper and green onions. Place the bowl with the vinaigrette in the refrigerator so that it is cool when the asparagus comes out of the oven. If you wish, peel the stalks of the asparagus for a more tender vegetable. Slice the asparagus stalks diagonally into bite-sized or approximately 1.5 inch pieces. In a large bowl or plastic bag, toss the pieces in the walnut or canola oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, until the asparagus is coated lightly with oil. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes in the middle of the oven. Pour the hot asparagus into the cool vinaigrette to help discontinue the cooking of the asparagus, so that it remains al dente. Do not overcook! Add the red bell pepper, green onions, and nuts. Toss and serve immediately while still warm, or serve chilled. About 1,000 calories for the entire dish.

Inspired by Whistler: After Peacock Room

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.