The Latest Dish
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 Café 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.