The Latest Dish
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 décor 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.