The Latest Dish

Clyde’s Restaurant Group is expanding outside its familiar borders with a new project on 14th Street (now Borders bookstore) that incorporates live music into their popular food and beverage operations. The working name is Hamilton Square Grill, aptly named after the neighborhood. There is a lot of renovation to make it a music spot, so a late 2011 opening is planned.

New York Invasion (continued): Manhattan landmark P.J. Clarke’s is the latest of the New York restaurants making a move into D.C. They plan to open at 16th & K Streets, where Olives was, by the end of September. Just around the corner is another New York landmark, Kellari.

Speaking of high-profile New Yorkers, Bobby Flay has been checking out the restaurant scene in D.C., so look out for a new casual concept from the popular chef and TV personality.

Pure Hospitality Restaurant Group’s Jonathan Umbel will open a second Tackle Box at the former site of a McDonald’s in Cleveland Park by year’s end. He’s also hiring a consulting chef — to be revealed soon — who will oversee all his restaurants, Hook and Georgetown’s Tackle Box among them.

Pizza Autentica is opening on Third Street S.W., its fifth location in the area. They have other restaurants open in Penn Quarter (Seventh Street), Tenleytown (4200 Wisconsin Ave.), Downtown (15th Street) and Ballston.

Also opening soon: Look for a new steakhouse to open after Labor Day in the 600 Watergate spot, with some familiar faces running it. Keep your eyes peeled for a Buzz Bakery and Rustico restaurant in Clarendon. Vapiano is planning to open a new store in Bethesda before end of summer. That will make five in the area.

Rockville-based Panas Gourmet Empanadas will open in the P Street space vacated by Pizza Paradiso. Federico Garcia Lopez is making empanadas that are not necessarily like his mother used to make. Lopez acknowledges that many of his flavors are “more sophisticated and less traditional,” but he plans to keep Mom’s beef empanada on the menu (or risk her wrath).

Opening soon: Matchbox in Rockville, MD is now slated to open in late fall. Sala Thai just opened its newest location in Petworth — props to that part of the city. Casa Nonna in downtown D.C. is aiming for an August opening date. Georgetown’s Serendipity3 is still renovating, but plans to be open in the fall. Roberto Donna says Galileo III will open in August.

Chef Update: Michel Richard has hired Levi Meznick to run his newest operation, Michel, at The Ritz-Carlton in Tyson’s Corner. He is the former executive chef at The Jockey Club, but his CV also includes stints at New York’s Per Se, Daniel and Café Boulud. Enzo Febbraro, formerly of D’Acqua, is now at Bond 45 at National Harbor.

Chef Ed Witt is no longer at Morso in Georgetown. Chef RJ Cooper is no longer at Dupont’s Vidalia, but plans to open his own place soon.

Manager Update: Dave Crane, formerly of Morton’s in Bethesda, is now running the Lexus President’s Club at National Park for Levy Restaurants. Andres Hayes has been named general manager of B. Smith’s at Union Station.

Linda Roth Conte is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc., 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.

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Sat, 19 Apr 2014 18:22:15 -0400

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