Fall Update: Farmers’ Markets In and Around Georgetown

There are six farmers' markets within easy reach, though only three — in Glover Park-Burleith, Dupont and Palisades — are open year-round.

Brunch Picks for the Best Meal of Your Week

Brunch is one of the best meals of any week. It’s typically a group venture, but not exclusively. And it’s usually filled with caffeine and Bloody Marys – bottomless or on demand, depending on your choice. With the end of summer, Sunday brunch on area patios will soon become a thing of the past. As we continue into fall and approach the winter, you can continue your weekly gathering with friends and family inside some of the areas best brunch destinations. Below are our five favorite brunch places in Georgetown to help boost your weekend. What can only be described as the most gluttonous of brunch endeavors, Farmers Fishers Bakers (3000 K St., NW) brunch buffet is almost guaranteed to please all. It features a combination of buffet-served and passed menu items, including a chef-prepared omelet station, grilled thick-cut bacon and harvest French toast with bananas Foster. For those seeking more lunch-like options, go for the honey pot fried chicken with cheesy grits, jambalaya and the purple and black kale salad. Add in the day’s special blended tiki bowl, which serves two to four people, and your entire party is sure to leave satisfied. Tucked away in Cady’s Alley is Leopold’s Kafe (3315 Cady's Alley, NW), an Austrian bistro with some of the best-prepared brunch dishes in Georgetown. While its brunch menu changes weekly to feature seasonal quiches, omelets and hash dishes, you should be sure to check out their staple lemon soufflé pancakes served with raspberry compote, maple syrup and whipped cream. If you’re looking for the quintessential Georgetown brunch experience, look no further than Martin’s Tavern (1264 Wisconsin Ave., NW). While the menu isn’t very exciting, Martin’s is best for enjoying your go-to dish at the venue you feel most comfortable in. After all, the restaurant is nearly a monument in Washington and its charm is also impressive. If you’ve yet to try, go for the Tavern Treat, a split English muffin loaded with crab meat and mushrooms with herb hollandaise sauce, carrots, zucchini and squash. Should you be looking for a seafood-inspired menu, splurge for the Fiola Mare (3050 K St., NW) Signature Brunch, which packages one appetizer, one entrée and a dessert of your choosing with a pastry and breadbasket for $65. From there, go for the lemon mascarpone pancakes, shrimp and grits or short rib hash. But get your stomach prepared for more because that choice only takes care of one of your brunch courses. For a delightful drink, try the Amalfi Coast cocktail, a sweet and refreshing blend of Grey Goose vodka, limoncello and lemon juice. For those looking to up their brunch game or celebrate something monumental, Seasons over at the Four Seasons (2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) offers an $80 brunch buffet serving an array of fine-dining breakfast, lunch and seafood dishes. Its buffet options are grand and expansive, ranging from grilled lamb chops and Jamaican jerk quail, to oysters on the half shell and Maryland crab cakes, to colorful and wide-ranging market salads.

Georgetown’s Dining Scene Could Get More Interesting

For Georgetown, it’s not so much that the town competes with downtown D.C., as demonstrated by the fancy places at the City Center, but that it is competing with the rest of the world. Luckily for Washington, D.C.’s oldest neighborhood, as several surveys indicate, when people visit the nation’s capital, they want to see the White House, the National Mall … and Georgetown. When asked about putting the Sovereign in an alley next to the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group told the Washington Post, “People ask, ‘Why are you opening in Georgetown?’ Why not? It’s a beautiful neighborhood, and I think there’s a great clientele who want to drink great beer there. Frankly, not every new place has to open on 14th Street or in Shaw in 2016.” Business owners face a mountain of challenges getting restaurants open, whether construction work, schedules, finances, neighborhood concerns or government red tape. In Georgetown, there are also the requirements of a historic district and the condition of its old buildings — and necessary approvals by the Old Georgetown Board and the neighbors. By April 9, the 27-year-old moratorium on additional liquor licenses in Georgetown will finally expire — allowing for more new spots. Where to put these new places seems problematic: Is there enough vacant space? [See accompanying chart.] Restaurants still face D.C.’s own bureaucratic hurdles. At-large Councilmember David Grosso introduced a bill to the District Council to support small businesses and lighten the bureaucratic load — and that includes restaurants. He sees the D.C. government as an obstacle to business, making them waste time and money. “This bill will alleviate some government-imposed burdens on our city’s businesses,” Grosso said. “The Local Business Support Amendment Act makes important changes to better align the District of Columbia with neighboring jurisdictions and help our local businesses flourish.” It seems that many stars are aligning to help get more star restaurants in old and new Georgetown — and we can dream, after all. The town is well aware that you have to be hip and of your time — and right on time. Again. [gallery ids="102242,129375,129372" nav="thumbs"]

Georgetown’s Turning Tables

Fiola’sTrabocchi Plans Washington Harbour Restaurant Chef Fabio Trabocchi (shown right) plans to open his next restaurant, the 7,500-square-foot Fiola Mare, at Washington Harbour in fall 2013, according to the Washington Post. Trabocchi has signed a letter of intent with MRP Realty, which owns the popular waterfront complex on the Potomac River in Georgetown. Trabocchi already has Fiola in downtown. Architects for the new restaurant’s build-out, HapstakDemetriou, which has offices at Q Street and Wisconsin Avenue, the Post added. The fish-happy eatery will have inside and outside dining along with a raw bar. Meanwhile, at Washington Harbour, Farmers Fishers Bakers will open in November in the old Farmers & Fishers space, next to Sequoia and Tony & Joe’s, in front of the soon-to-open ice skating rink. Maintaining the rustic theme, Farmers Fishers Bakers will include a “farmhouse sushi” bar, whatever that means. Michel Richard’s Citronelle is reportedly reopening in May or June 2013. Central is open. See details on page 13. Tony &Joe’s Seafood Place and Nick’s Riverside Grill have reopened. It’s a big deal; see page 14. Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery will open on M Street at, 3291 M St. N.W., sometime soon, we hope. ShopHouseSoutheast Asian Kitchen As previously reported in Linda Roth Conte’s column The Latest Dish right here in The Georgetowner,ShopHouse is awaiting approval to open in the former home of Furin’s at 2805 M St. N.W. The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show will be at the Washington Convention Center this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4. The Show will feature appearances by celebrity chefs Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri and Jacques Pepin. Cookbook authors, cooking demonstrations, and mixologists will all be part of the expo. Adult admission is $27; children under 12 years old, $15; children under 4 years old have free admission to the event. ?

Alsatian Spring: Six Delicious White Wines for the Season

The seconds are literally counting down to spring as I write this. . .tick, tick, tick. Washington is sitting on the edge of its seat, waiting for the new season to usher in warm breezes and sunny weather. Washingtonians have been dreaming of the day when the weather will break, allowing for the leisurely enjoyment of a delicious glass of white wine. Spring always makes me think of fragrant and luscious white wines. Specifically, Gewürztraminer and Riesling from the Alsace region of France come to mind. Below are my annual Wines for Spring recommendations, featuring the off-dry to dry Alsatian Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Enjoy a glass and toast the end of Washington’s “Winter of Discontent” – whenever that happy day arrives. Cheers! Hugel & Fils Gewürztraminer 2010 $22 This white wine from Alsace, France, will display a slight green tinge in the glass. Only in Alsace will you experience the true heights and expressiveness of this grape varietal. This Gewürztraminer is a fine entry-level example of a spicy, dry and well-balanced wine of the region. Hugel & Fils Gewürztraminer 2010 $25 Look for pale yellow colors with flecks of green once you pour this in your glass. This wine, from older vines than the first Gewürztraminer on the list, is made under stricter standards. Consequently, it shows more elegance and finesse. Upon tasting, you might experience flavors that remind you of orange peel and mango. It is highly aromatic with lots of floral scents emanating from your glass. See if you can catch hints of rose and orange blooms. Though it is a dry wine, its lushness and acidity make it refreshing. Drink this wine young or let it sit for a year or two. Drink it alone, as an aperitif or (if you wish to pair it with food) with lobster tail or tandoori chicken. varietal. This Gewürztraminer is a fine entry-level example of a spicy, dry and well-balanced wine of the region. Domaines Schlumberger Gewürztraminer Kessler Grand Cru 2008 $30 Domaines Schlumberger has been family-owned and family-run since 1810. Biodynamic and sustainable farming practices have been employed in this premier cru. One thing you will definitely notice is this dry wine’s body, meaning its weight in your mouth. It has more substance then most of the wines listed here and could never be called thin. The richness of the fruit balances well with its acidity. Domaines Schlumberger Gewürztraminer Kessler Grand Cru 2008 $28 Minerals and citrus fruit flavors abound in this Riesling. This wine is a beautiful golden color. It is dry, but expresses nice fruit flavors. Drink now and through 2015. Domaine Weinbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée 2011 $45 Thoughts of spice, apricots, banana and candied orange rind come to mind when tasting this off-dry Gewürztraminer. Aromas of lychee and caramel will draw you into your glass. You might experience a slight oily or petrol impression, but these are classic notes in Alsatian wine, adding to its complexity. This wine can be drunk now or held for up to five years in your cellar. Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frederic Emile 2009 $62 No list of Alsatian Riesling recommendations would be complete without a mention of wines from one of the most prestigious houses: the family-owned Trimbach. While known for Rieslings (there are four), the house also produces Gewürztraminer. The Rieslings are classically dry with apricot, pineapple and mineral flavors. I recommend any of the bottlings. Explore, but do try the Cuvée Frederic Emile. It is an elegant, expressive, steely Riesling, a wonderful example of what the house –and region – produces. Shari Sheffield is a wine, food and lifestyle writer as well as a Wine Educator and speaker. She can be reached at shari@sharisheffield.com or via her website: www.sharisheffield.com.

In Natural History’s Ocean Hall, a Sustainable Seafood Dinner

The Smithsonian’s Ocean Initiative program hosted “Sustainable Seafood: Ensuring a Healthy Supply,” a sustainable seafood dinner at the National Museum of Natural History. The June 7 event, which addressed the importance of maintaining safe seafood supplies, strategically fell on the eve of World Ocean Day. What does "sustainable" mean to the Smithsonian as well as for fish? “ 'Sustainable' means species can maintain a healthy population and the natural balance is not disrupted by harvesting,” according to the Natural History Museum. While the Ocean Initiative’s sustainability message was prominent throughout the night, the hors d’oeuveres and entrees prepared by some of Washington’s top chefs, including Victor Albisu, Jeff and Barbara Black and Mike Isabella were equally enticing. With a reception in the Sant Ocean Hall, guests were treated to an array of dishes, cocktails and wine while perusing various educational stations run by scientists and chefs who explained the nutritional risks and benefits of seafood. Some of the appetizers included Upper Bay Eastern Shore oysters from Rappahannock River Oysters, Blue Bay Mussel salad from Hank’s Oyster Bar and smoked trout panna cotta with smoked steelhead trout caviar from RIS. Majestic Café provided Maryland striped bass sashimi, Thai chili, sesame seeds, nori and daikon, while Moorenko’s Ice Cream Café brought a selection of ice cream. Finally, BlackSalt arranged bronzini ceviche with squid and small shrimp. In the museum’s rotunda, a four-course dinner followed the reception where guests listened to a keynote address by Steven Phillips, CEO of Phillips Seafood restaurants. The meal included velvet corn soup, jumbo lump Maryland crab, and roasted peppers from The Source by Wolfgang Puck. A grilled fillet of red grouper with diver scallop, yellow potato mousseline, fava beans, silver queen corn reduction and tempura soft shell crab from chef Richard Hetzler of Mitsitam Native Foods Café complimented those dishes. The meal was topped off with a cheese course and an almond and peach tart tatin, caramel ice cream, apricot gastrique and streusel for dessert, which were also provided by The Source. The dinner was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service, Wegman’s Food Markets and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. [gallery ids="100881,127499" nav="thumbs"]

The Latest Dish

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.

DC Restaurant Week: January 9 – 15

Just in time for the post-holiday lull, every Washingtonian’s favorite epicurean festival starts tonight! DC Restaurant Week opens the doors to more than 200 of the District’s finest eateries, as they offer prefix, 3-course lunches for $20 and 3-course dinners for $35 for the week, on top of their usual a la carte menu. For those of us who want to go out more often but don’t want to break the bank over the costs of DC’s fine dining establishments, Restaurant Week offers the opportunity to experience all of the city’s best restaurants at more modest prices. Washington, DC Restaurant Week is produced biannually by Destination DC and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. A biannual affair—every January and August—restaurant week has been a local institution. Don’t miss out on the chance to sample the best that DC’s culinary scene has to offer. Here are some tips for getting the most of the Restaurant Week. Cheers! Make reservations as soon as possible. Restaurant Week is hardly a secret, and if you are itching to try one of the hottest new restaurants, odds are you aren’t the only one. Restaurants consistently book their tables to full capacity during this week of foodie madness, so try and be ahead of the curve. Make your reservations ASAP. Not all restaurants in the area participate in Restaurant Week, so make sure to do a bit of Google research before calling in and reserving your table to make sure your eatery of choice is in the mix. When you call in for your reservation, ask about the restaurant’s promotional dates. Many participating restaurants extend the Restaurant Week deals an extra week or so to give more customers a chance to join in the fun. It also might not be as crowded the second week. Some restaurants extending their Restaurant Week deals include: Ardeo+Bardeo, Bastille, Dino, J & G Steakhouse, Jaleo, Oyamel, Watershed, Zaytinya and 701 Restaurant. For more information visit RestaurantWeekMetroDC.org

The Latest Dish

From those wonderful folks who brought you Ripple and Roofers Union comes Jug & Table. Drawing on the best of both, it expounds on Ripple’s mission of making quality wine approachable while offering Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s new menu. That menu includes lux snacks served in très chic jars, as well as an international array of grilled cheese sandwiches, created upstairs in the beer-centric Roofers Union kitchen. This new addition to Adams Morgan (across the street from my new office) offers 20 wines by the glass as well as sharable jug options. Sommelier Theo Rutherford started as Ripple’s sommelier before going on to helm wine programs at Rogue 24, Fiola and Café Dupont. Now he’s back. Chef Update: Executive chef Brian Sonoskus takes the reins at Tupelo Honey Café, slated to open in the Clarendon/Courthouse section of Arlington as this issue goes to press. Tyler Alford will be chief mixologist at this Southern-food inspired restaurant, which showcases craft sparkling sangria and 23 craft beers. Lisa Odom has been tapped as executive chef at Succotash, slated to open mid-summer at National Harbor. She hails from Miami, where she worked at Oolite Restaurant & Bar and Tongue & Cheek. There is an additional connection to Succotash culinary director Edward Lee, of Louisville, Kentucky: they are both Korean Americans who developed their culinary reputations in the South. Cathal Armstrong will open One Loudoun in early 2016, next to Uncle Julio’s and across from Matchbox in the central artery of the project's downtown section. Concept TBD. Nick Stefanelli, formerly of Bibiana, plans to open Masseria in the Union Market district. The name derives from a farm in Italy’s Puglia region. Slated to open this summer, it will seat 60 in a setting evocative of an Italian country estate. His team includes David Kurka, general manager and advanced sommelier, formerly of Brabo and CityZen; and Julien-Pierre Bourgon, head bartender of cocktail lounge PX. DC-based Matchbox Food Group announced plans to open three more locations in Northern Virginia in the next year — in Pentagon City in Arlington, Potomac Mills in Woodbridge and One Loudoun in Ashburn. The company used a “friends and family” fundraising model to start off, but will soon offer opportunities to accredited investors. Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill, which features Texas-style brisket, St. Louis smoked ribs and Carolina pulled pork, plans to open in Springfield Town Center in Virginia on June 8. This will be the California-based chain's 16th location and the first outside of the Sunshine State. The company plans to eventually open 25 East Coast locations, including several in the D.C. area. The RAMMYs were born one year before David Letterman began “The Late Show.” The 33rd annual RAMMY Awards Gala takes place Sunday, June 7, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Pavilion sponsors include the Embassy of Argentina, with Argentine chef Diego Biondi; Wines of Chile; Foods from Chile; Meat and Livestock Australia; and the Embassy of Peru, which will have a full pisco bar. 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 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*