Michael Schlow continues to build his restaurant empire in D.C. He will open Casolare in the newly renovated Glover ...
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 Linda@LindaRothPR.com.
The Watergate Hotel will feature new restaurant and bar concepts at its reopening, slated for March. The main restaurant is Kingbird, a fine-dining dinner restaurant in the evening, and a casual restaurant during the day, serving breakfast and lunch, as well as a casual-dining component in the evening. The Next Whiskey Bar is the lobby bar with a significant whiskey, bourbon and rye menu. The name is taken from lyrics to a Doors song, for those boomers who thought it sounded familiar. The property will also feature a rooftop lounge called Top of the Gate (or is it ’Gate, get it?) that has a panoramic view of the Potomac River. The executive chef is Michael Santoro, most recently at Andaz 5th Avenue in New York. In D.C., he served as chef de cuisine under Brian McBride at Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt Hotel in the West End. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant is slated to open this month in Ashburn’s Belmont Chase Shopping Center. It offers modern American food, featuring their own proprietary varietals crafted from their Illinois-based winery. The large 10,985-square-foot restaurant will offer indoor and outdoor seating for more than 300 guests, as well as a large private dining and events room. They also offer a wine of the month club. There are currently 20 locations around the country, including a Richmond site. They also expect to open in Reston this year. Jeffrey Patterson is the general manager. Papadopoulos Properties is working with Boston chef Michael Schlow to expand his concepts in the DMV. Schlow’s Italian concept, Alta Strada, is slated to open in Northern Virginia’s Mosaic District where matchbox and Ted’s Bulletin are (also Papadopoulos deals). Alta Strada is also slated to open in the Mount Vernon Triangle section of DC. Schlow has already made his mark in D.C. with TICO and The Riggsby at The Carlyle — Dupont Circle Hotel. C-C-Changes: Wagshal’s opened a full service restaurant behind the deli at its Spring Valley (AU Park) location on Yuma Street NW. The Fuchs family hopes to do the same at his other location at 3201 New Mexico Ave. NW, serving breakfast and dinner … Raku in Dupont Circle has re-branded as Rakuya, Japanese Kitchen & Bar. Chef Update: Jose Adorno is the chef at Mix Bar & Grille in Silver Spring. He was previously chef de cuisine at Graffiato ... Ricarda Planas has been appointed chef at Mpire in the Golden Triangle. Quick Hits: Manuel Iguina, owner of Mio in downtown D.C., does not plan to renew his lease, but does plan to open a similar concept, called Acerola (cherry-esque), in Fairfax over the summer. Chop’t Creative Salad Co. has signed deals to open in Vienna, Rockville and near Nats Park. These three new locations will give them 15 in the D.C. metro area, all part of the Papadopoulos portfolio. Haikan is the name of the new ramen restaurant slated to open this spring in Shaw by the folks who brought you Daikaya. The 2,000-plus square-foot restaurant will offer a varied selection of Sapporo-style ramen. Nobu is slated to open this fall in West End at 2501 M St. NW. Jackie Greenbaum, plans to open Little Coco’s, an Italian eatery in Petworth. Adam Harvey will reign over the kitchen, as he has done at Jackie’s in Silver Spring. Un Je Ne Sais Quoi will open where Hello Cupcake was in Dupont Circle. It will specialize in merveilleux, a pastry with layers of merengue and ganache. The Tilted Kilt plans to open in Silver Spring and in Sterling by end of the second quarter in 2016. Pamplona, a Spanish tapas restaurant from the Social Restaurant Group, will open where SoBe Bar and Bistro was. Super Grill opens in Merrifield’s H Mart shopping center where Mario’s Pizza House was. Arepas Pues is slated to open on Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring, serving hand-made corn arepas, complementing Venezuelan, Colombian and Cuban cuisine. Arepas are cornmeal pockets traditionally served with diverse fillings. Burton’s Bar & Grill is planning to open this March in Alexandria. Dylyn Coolidge, formerly of Commissary and the Beacon Bar, will be the chef, adding vegetarian and gluten-free dishes to the menu. Zannchi Korean Kitchen will open in the Wisconsin Avenue space in Georgetown where Yummi Crawfish was; the owners are Georgetown MBA students. They plan to open in February. From the folks at Eat Well DC who brought you The Pig, Commissary, Grillfish and Logan Tavern, comes The Bird, slated to open in Shaw on 11th Street NW, specializing in — what else? — chicken. Seating capacity will accommodate 99 with plans for an outdoor patio. Just Chicken is also slated to open in the U Street corridor this season. Chuy’s Tex Mex is slated to open in Sterling. They just opened in Woodbridge on Prince William Parkway, in addition to the units open in Fairfax and Springfield. More are planned in the DMV in 2016. Smashburger opens in Rockville at 1800 Rockville Pike before end of the first quarter 2016. This will be the 11th Smashburger to open in the D.C. metro area. Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, Reach her at: Linda@LindaRothPR.com.
Washington Harbor restaurants are slowly recovering. Sequoia, which was situated above the other restaurants and above flood level, is open. Tony & Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill opened their patios only, grilling outdoors when the weather allows. Cabanas and Farmers & Fishers are still closed. Rumor has it that Michel Richard was planning to open a small restaurant at Washington Harbor before the flood happened. By spring 2012, there may be new entertainment aspects of Washington Harbor to appeal to those who love to dine and enjoy the river view. Award-winning chef Jose Andres has developed another partnership, this time on the federal level. He is making a bold new move – changing Café Atlantico in Penn Quarter into American Eats Tavern from June 10 through Jan. 3, 2012 to complement the nearby U.S. National Archives upcoming exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.” The first floor will offer more casual fare like hot dogs and cheesesteak (a signature item) and the second floor will be more formal, offering U.S. regional favorites. But one thing will not change. Jose plans to keep the six-seat mini bar operating during this time. Chef & GM Update: Christopher Jakubiec was promoted to executive chef of Plume Restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel in downtown DC. He has been with the hotel since 2009, and previously worked at Quarter Kitchen in San Diego’s The Ivy Hotel and New York’s Ono restaurant. James Turner is the chef at Blue 44 on upper Connecticut Ave., NW, owned by Chris Nardelli, formerly of Café Ole in NW DC. Turner was formerly sous chef at Persimmon in Bethesda. Eddie Ishaq was named exec chef at Wildfire restaurant in Tysons Corner, owned by Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You . He has worked at other Wildfire restaurants in Illinois. Dave Dilullo is the new general manager at Morton’s, The Steakhouse in Georgetown. He was previously with Ruth’s Chris. Jacques Haeringer followed his dream and has finally opened Jacques’ Brasserie below the more formal and legendary L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls. This more casual 30-seat dining room and lounge is a bit more affordable for friends and neighbors who can stop by more often. Shenandoah American Grill, a southern-influenced bar and restaurant, will open in Restaurant Park in Ashburn, VA, where Otani, a Japanese steakhouse, used to be. It will offer American cuisine with a southern influence, and some recipes come from the kitchens of the partners and their grandmothers. This includes Krispy Kreme bread pudding – good, home-style southern cooking. Co-owners Sean Lakos and Lance Smith worked for Carrabba’s Italian Grill and P.F. Chang’s. The rather large restaurant will include a cigar bar (can you still do that?) complemented by a selection of 30+ scotches. It seats up to 350, including its patio space. Warren Thompson of Thompson Hospitality (TH) is in expediting mode. In addition to his new gourmet burger concept, BRB Burger, he plans to roll out a BRB Burger food truck. He plans to open an American Tap Room in Clarendon this July as the brand’s new flagship store in the space on Wilson Blvd, where Sette Bello used to be. He expanded the name of Austin Grill (now there are six) to Austin Grill & Tequila Bar, introducing a beverage-oriented menu and refined tequila selection. And, this fall, the first free-standing Austin Grill Express fast-casual restaurant will open in College Park. James Sullivan Sr., who started Clover Investment Group with sons James Jr. and Brian, has gotten deeper into the business by buying Café Deluxe and Tortilla Coast. The group bought Cafe Deluxe’s three existing locations, and the Tex-Mex Tortilla Coast on Capitol Hill, from founders Bo Marcus and John Breen. Clover will open a Tortilla Coast this fall on P St. NW, where McCormick Paints used to be. They plan to open a Cafe Deluxe in Gaithersburg’s Rio at Washington Center where Hamburger Hamlet used to be. They are also the creators of Tynan Coffee & Tea, with locations in Columbia Heights, Friendship Heights and Constitution Square. They expect to open additional locations in D.C. and Arlington. Quick Hits Mid-Town Café in Georgetown changed its name to Book Hill Café. Same owner; new chef. William Jeffrey’s Tavern is planning to open later this year at Siena Park on Columbia Pike in Arlington. It’s operated by Wilson Witney, Adam Lubar and Chris Lefbom of Rhodeside Tavern, Ragtime and Dogwood Tavern. Willy Koutroumpis, owner of Wild Willy’s Rock House & Sports Saloon in Annapolis, will open Kava in Annapolis. Former Washington Bullet (from its only championship season) Kevin Grevey plans to open a FroZen Yo at 1900 M St., NW with FroZenYo founder and friend. Kevin also owns Grevey’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Falls Church. TruOrleans, named for Louisiana native Tru Redding, is slated to open at 400 H St. NE in Atlas District. The executive chef is Andre Miller, previously at Ruth’s Chris Steak House. The Crystal City Marriott’s $6 million in renovations includes a new restaurant named BELL20 for its Bell and 20th streets location. It is an American tavern with more than 30 beers. It replaces CC Bistro. Bobby Flay signed to open Bobby’s Burger Palace in September at The Varsity, a luxury student housing complex near the University of Maryland, College Park. The Varsity will also house a ChiDogO and an Austin Grill Express in the care of Papadopoulos Properties. Jesse Yan and business partner Vanessa Lim bought a building on 8th St., SE on burgeoning Barrack’s Row, planning to open a Mediterranean restaurant on the first floor and Spices on the second floor. Jesse owns Spices and Nooshi. John Kent Cooke has chosen fine wine over football. The former Redskins’ owner’s son, along with Sean Martin, has opened The Tasting Room at National Harbor, their fourth in the region. The premium red wines are from Boxwood Estate, which he also owns. John got into wine while living in California in the early ‘70s when his father, Jack Kent Cooke, owned the LA Lakers and Kings. When John bought the Boxwood Farm in 2001, he entered the wine business. Boxwood has a customized GPS system to monitor viticultural practices and a computer that can control the temperature of fermentation tanks. The winery produces only 3,000 cases a year and sells its three varieties at The Tasting Rooms in Chevy Chase, Reston, Middleburg, and National Harbor. All wine bars feature the Enoround, which can do a perfect one, three or five ounce pour for tastings, using a card insertion system. Restaurateurs are gearing up for their annual Oscars of the DC restaurant scene: the RAMMY Awards. Some of the awards are voted on by the public, such as Power Spot, Hottest Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gathering Place, and a city-wide balloting campaign for Favorite Restaurant. Those Favorite Restaurant finalists are: matchbox (Penn Quarter), Ted’s Bulletin (Barracks Row DC), Chef Geoff’s (Tysons Corner), Carmine’s (Penn Quarter), and Lima Restaurant (Downtown). Although I am not proficient at “handicapping” this race, since matchbox and Ted’s Bulletin are owned by the same folks, they appear to be frontrunners. Of the restaurants up for Best New Restaurant, Ris is has been open the longest – a year and a half – as it missed the deadline last year by a week, so Ris has had more time to build loyal guests. Todd Gray has been serving fine food in DC longer than any of the Chef of the Year nominees, so Advantage: Todd. Winners will be announced at the gala on June 26 at the Marriott Wardman Park. The awards gala is produced by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. The annual black tie gala has a Carnevale theme, so masks are optional. I’ve already got mine.
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.
Ivy City Tavern, is for now, a 45-seat tavern, serving tavern food above Ivy City Smokehouse and retail fish market at 1356 Okie St. NE in the Ivy City neighborhood. It’s owned by Greg Casten and Ronnie Goodman. Greg is better known for his company just around the corner for the past 25 years, ProFish. It’s an emerging neighborhood, so the plan is for it to become a full-service restaurant at the right time. Its huge rooftop lends itself as an ideal spot to eat steamed crabs and drink beer on warm summer evenings. There is also an indoor private dining room adjoining the patio. It’s a seafood market and a tavern, soon to become a restaurant and a private dining venue with a potential 225-person capacity. PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette’s Southwest waterfront development, The Wharf, will also have a very large Spanish seafood restaurant called Del Mar by Fabio and Maria Trabocchi (Fiola, Fiola Mare and Casa Luca). Maria’s Spanish heritage and influence will take front and center here. The 11,500-square-foot two-level restaurant will include a significant outdoor patio space with waterside cabanas. Included is a private dining room, wine cellar and bar. Opening is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2017. Just Opened: Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez recently opened Kyirisan, serving Asian-French food at 1924 8th St. NW in Shaw. It has catchy menu categories: “in the ground,” “on the ground” and “under the water.” Michael Schlow’s Alta Strada also just opened at City Vista at 465 K St. NW under the culinary supervision of Chef Michael Zentner, who relocated from Boston. Plans call for Conosci, a crudo bar to open later in the season, along with a patio. Andrew Evans of The BBQ Joint, joins Ian and Eric Hilton to open a summer-camp themed bar in the old Maurice Electric Building at 500 Penn St. NE, an area made cool by Union Market. The casual restaurant will serve summer camp staples as well as “better” summer camp staples, such as grilled (better) cheese on bread baked at Lyon Bakery. Chef Update: Angel Franco, formerly of minibar and Maketto, is the new executive chef at Compass Rose. Dennis Fieldman will be the chef at Flavio Italian restaurant, which replaces Paper Moon at 1073 31st St. NW in Georgetown. It will continue with the same ownership. CCChanges: The Majestic will reopen in May under the direction of Chef Gaby Hakman, most recently of Miami. Alexandria Restaurant Partners is renovating and will relaunch as a new concept. Mason & Rook replaces Hotel Helix by Kimpton. Chef Jonathan Dearden, formerly of Ardeo & Bardeo, heads up the kitchen at Mason & Rook’s new restaurant, Radiator. The adjoining bar will feature craft cocktails. An April opening is planned. Kimpton is renovating the rooftop to offer cocktails and light fare, poolside. Quick Hits: Kapnos Kouzina opens in 4900 Hampden Lane in Bethesda Row in partnership with chef George Pagonis. George Kennedy, formerly of Rhino Bar in Georgetown, plans to open The Spirits of 76 in Clarendon where Taste of Morocco used to be on Washington Blvd. His partner is Patrick Doody formerly of O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (next door). Chuy’s plans to open its fourth location in the metro area (they have locations in Fairfax, Springfield and Woodbridge), in Sterling at the beginning of May. Social Restaurant Group plans to open Bonfire this month at the two-level building at 1132 19th St. NW where Famous Luigi’s used to be. Fire appears to be a prevailing theme as their light fixtures are fire hydrants, matchstick art adorns the walls, and with fire hoses for décor. Fire inspires the menu too, with charred hangar steak and s’mores. The chef is R.L. Boyd and the pastry chef is Ellen Diekemper. Kudos: Congratulations to Jacques Haeringer and the Haeringer family on the 40th anniversary of renowned L’Auberge Chez Francois. Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: Linda@LindaRothPR.com or lindarothpr.com or #LindaRothPR.
Dick Talbot has sold Rumors Bar & Grill, his iconic landmark saloon in downtown D.C. at 19th and M Street. The new owner is Pat Morrough, who has also owned Quarterdeck Restaurant in Rosslyn, Virginia, for the past four years. Does this mean there will be a new place to get steamed crabs in downtown D.C.? Manhattan Proper, a New York-based “elevated sports bar with updated eats,” has leased the 1319 F Street space where Finemondo used to be and plans to open a D.C. version of its popular sports bar and restaurant: Proper 21. Mike and Donna Anderson, along with their business partner Bill Blackburn, have formed Homegrown Restaurant Group. They plan to open Whiskey & Oyster in the Carlyle development in Alexandria, where the U.S Patent and Trademark Office is. The 100-seat seafood restaurant will feature a raw bar and an outdoor patio with 50 seats. They also own and operate Pork Barrel BBQ, Sushi Bar, Holy Cow and Sweet Fire Donna’s. Openings Updates: Buttercream Bakeshop, by Tiffany MacIsaac and her partner Alexandra Mudry-Hill, is expected to be open before the end of May in the ever popular Shaw neighborhood at 1250 9th St. NW … Not Your Average Joe’s is slated to open in Silver Spring’s Ellsworth Place by mid-June … Chuy’s in Sterling just opened … Dave & Buster’s just opened in Capitol Heights, Maryland … Newly opened, Ashlar, is the restaurant that replaced The Grille in the newly renovated Morrison House hotel … Eric Ziebold and Celia Laurent’s restaurant, Metier, was slated to open April 26 at 1015 7th St. NW, below its sister operation, Kinship. The 36-seat restaurant offers a seven-course menu for $200, plus beverages … Hakan Ilhan’s Ottoman Taverna, a nod to his native Turkey, will have Chef Ilhan Erkek, who opened The Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul, at the helm in the kitchen. Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, providing creative connections through media relations, marketing initiatives, community outreach and special events. Reach her at: Linda@LindaRothPR.com or lindarothpr.com or #LindaRothPR.
GM & Chef Update: Native Cuban Angel Roque was named head chef at Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter. Before he worked at Guillermo Pernot’s...
Soup tends to be associated with nourishing the soul, warm and hearty. In the dead of winter, a bowl of potato soup wards off a chill and during the weakest day of an illness, nothing is more comforting than a bowl of homemade chicken soup. While all this might be good for our heat-flattened soul, we are expecting a high of 88 degrees, and it’s just too hot. The heat continues to pummel the cobblestone streets of Georgetown in the familiar haze of humidity DC is famous for. Hungry and hot, locals and tourists alike drag themselves along sweltering sidewalks in search of an oasis, craving something cold, light, and refreshing. “French Onion is everyone’s favorite, but I have to take if off the menu once the thermostat reads 70 degrees” says Ris Lacoste, at her namesake restaurant, RIS, on the corner of 23rd and L. Luckily for her many soup fans however, Ris has a relatively simple solution to compliment her daring and creative menu: cold soups, the summer’s ready cousin to the wintery favorite. Ris attributes her delicious soup creations to the not-so-secret concept of incorporating fresh local ingredients. We are fortunately returning to a locally grown society, appreciating the need for real food. Summer bears the fruits of local labor. By nature, summer’s bounty provides us with the perfect ingredients for cold soups – beets, tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes. “I was just at the Farmer’s Market and the bounty is here: fresh things from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. So now I can plan my summer menu,” Ris says. Ris and her staff have been anticipating the bounty of summer since early spring. They’ve worked diligently to come up with soup ideas and turn them into reality. Ris is using simple logic to invent bold new combinations. “Crops that are grown at the same time and in the same place should be paired with each other.” Ris says. Pair foods that grow together; “If they grow together, they go together.” Though I, like many people, claim to have a passion for food, Ris possesses a palpable intuition about her craft. She describes her love for food, her restaurant, and even the content of this column as being something more than just a simple enthusiasm about cuisine. To create her summer soup calendar, Ris engendered variations on classic favorites and modern cold soups and experimentally perfected the flavor combinations. Ris mixed up five savory soups embodying everything from veggies to nuts to fruit to liqueur. She then let Jessica Buchanan, who consults Ris on recipes, work through the restaurant sized recipes to make smaller printable versions, so others can try them at home. There is no wrong way to fashion a cold soup, chunky or smooth, nippy from the start or cooked and chilled. Try experimenting until something tastes precisely right. Skin the vegetables, or leave the skins on. Try adding a splash of your favorite dressings. Think of your favorite salad ingredients and imagine the flavors and textures in a liquid base. Some tips from the chef: Freeze a portion of your soup into ice cubes and add them to the soup just before serving. Your soup will stay icy cold without being watered down. Chill your bowls. Make your cold soup enough time in advance that it will be very cold. A day in advance is great. They often taste better after the ingredients have had time to mingle together. Garnish is the final step. To finish off your summery soup, embellish with crunch and texture, balancing acts to what is already in the soup. “Love garnishing, just go crazy,” she says. Cold Beet Coup Yield: 6 cups Ingredients: 3 C. Red Beets (6 small red beets), roasted & coarsely chopped ½ Onion, sliced 3-4 Cloves Garlic, roasted 1 Small Fennel Bulb, coarsely chopped (Save a few fennel fronds for garnish) ¼ C. Fresh Parsley 2 T. Olive Oil Salt & Pepper ½ tsp. Ground Cumin 2 C. Vegetable Stock or Water ½ C. Orange juice (1 orange) 1 T. Pernod (or anise flavored liquor) 1 T. + 1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar 6-8 Grinds Fresh Group Black pepper 1 tsp. Salt Garnish: ¼ C. Pernod 1 T. Honey ½ C. Sour Cream Fennel Fronds Note: To roast beets & garlic, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim tops & bottoms of beets & cut the top off a bulb of garlic (so some flesh of the garlic is exposed). Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a sheet pan, cover loosely with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Let cool before peeling skin and roughly chop. Squeeze roasted garlic out of skins into a bowl. Set aside until ready to use. In a Dutch oven, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté onion, fennel, roasted garlic, salt and pepper until slightly soft or translucent, about five to eight minutes. Add parsley, roasted beets, cumin and sauté for another three minutes. Add vegetable stock and simmer soup for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add orange juice, Pernod and vinegar. Let cool slightly. Puree soup until smooth, adding more vegetable stock if needed to thin out. Season with ground black pepper and salt. Chill immediately overnight. Meanwhile, bring Pernod and honey to a simmer and reduce until it’s a light syrup, approximately 10 minutes. Cool syrup. Combine with sour cream, thinning out with a little water or milk until able to drizzle. Serve cold beet soup with a drizzle of Pernod Cream and fennel fronds. You can also garnish with a small crumble of goat cheese or feta, or just plain sour cream. Cucumber & Yogurt Soup Yields: 6 Cups Ingredients: 4 English/seedless cucumbers (approximately six cups), peeled, seeded and roughly chopped 1 cup plain yogurt 2 scallions, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon fresh dill 1 tablespoon salt ½ tablespoon black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil Garnish: cucumber radish 4 pieces of white bread Instructions: Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste for salt, if needed. Chill immediately for four hours or overnight. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the crust off the bread and then piece into ¼ inch squares. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for eight to 10 minutes. Slice the cucumber and radish very thin or use a mandolin, and set aside. For serving, garnish soup with a slice of cucumber, radish and a few croutons for crunch. You can also substitute the dill for fresh cilantro and garnish with a Greek raita and toasted pita chips. Or try it with mint or parsley for a different twist on flavor.
GM & Chef Update: Native Cuban Angel Roque was named head chef at Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter. Before he worked at Guillermo Pernot’s...