The Latest Dish
Columbus, Ohio-based Bravo Brio Restaurant Group plans to open a second Brio Tuscan Grille in the metro area. A February opening is planned for the new Rockville restaurant in the Rockville Pike complex with Whole Foods and Seasons 52, across from White Flint Mall. The Brio Tuscan Grille at Tysons Corner Center has been open since September 2005. The parent company owns 94 restaurants in 30 states. Brio Tuscan Grille is an upscale affordable Italian restaurant serving authentic Northern Italian food in a Tuscan Villa atmosphere.
Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group plans to expand into D.C., opening its newest concept, Del Frisco’s Grille in Penn Quarter, at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, where Les Halles used to be, by early next summer. It will offer big sandwiches, seafood, steaks, salads, flatbreads and will be open for lunch, dinner and brunch. The parent company operates 31 restaurants across the country, including Del Fricso’s Double Eagle Steak Houses and Sullivan’s Steakhouses. This will be the third Del Frisco’s Grille in the country, with the first two in New York and Dallas.
Chef & GM Update: Sebastien Archambault takes over the helm at Blue Duck Tavern at The Park Hyatt Washington in D.C.’s West End. Archambault comes to Washington from Los Angeles’s L’Epicerie Market, a combination restaurant and food shop where he was chef-owner. The Lubbock, Texas-born chef grew up in the restaurant business, then moved to France where he worked for renowned restaurants in Paris as well as in Mexico City. Expect French and Mexican dishes to find their way into his new menu. Chef de cuisine John Melfi will continue as sous chef at Blue Duck Tavern.
Ripple in Cleveland Park has hired Alison Reed as the new pastry chef. She formerly worked at Cafe St. Ex. Sean-Michael Longstreth is the new general manager of Fiorella Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria at National Harbor. He had been assistant general manager for sister restaurant, Bond 45, also at National Harbor. Both are part of Fireman Hospitality Group.
Ch-Ch-Changes: Lima Restaurant in downtown D.C. plans to change its concept, into an Asian-influenced Latin American restaurant called Fujimori by early February. Cuban-born chef Raynold Mendizabal says the menu will reflect the influence of Asian immigration on Latin American cuisine and will offer a raw bar as well as a sushi bar. The downstairs nightclub, Lima Lounge, will not change.
If you are old enough to remember Hot Shoppes, it will put a smile on your face to learn that the new Marriott Marquis currently under construction next to the Washington Convention Center plans to open with a Hot Shoppes restaurant inside. Hot Shoppes was an early part of the Marriott empire and its original name. The first one opened at 14th and Park Road, NW, in 1927. Marriott closed them all in 1999. The property is expected to open in spring 2014.
Barry Koslow, former chef at Tallula in Arlington and Mendocino Grille in Georgetown, plans to open DGS Delicatessen next summer, in Dupont Circle (1317 Connecticut Ave., NW) with partners Nick and David Wiseman of Roadside Food Projects. The DGS stands for District Grocery Stores, a cooperative of Jewish-owned delis from turn-of-the-century D.C. The corned beef and pastrami will be made on the premises. Breads, bagels and bialys will come from Mark Furstenburg, founder of Marvelous Market and Breadline.
William Jeffrey’s Tavern in Arlington, is the newest venture from Vintage II Restaurants, owned by Chris Lefbom, Wilson Whitney and Adam Lubar, who also own and operate Rhodeside Grill, Ragtime and Dogwood Tavern. Virginia artist Thomas Mullany created the 1920s prohibition era theme with three murals depicting the speak-easy culture.
Quick Hits: Yes! Organic Market is moving its Capitol Hill store to a larger site at 801 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, aka Barracks Row. It is expected to open in March. This summer, Boloco, a Massachusetts-based burrito franchise specializing in Mexican-style burritos, will open in the Golden Triangle at 1028 19th St., NW, formerly a spa, and at 4930 Elm St. in Bethesda, where a Baja Fresh used to be. Boloco stands for Boston Local Company. Spike Mendelsohn’s Good Stuff Eatery plans to open a second location this spring at 2110 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
Openings Update: Jamie Stachowski and his son have been in the process of renovating Georgetown’s Griffin Market. Renovations took a bit longer than expected (hey, what else is new?). In addition to cases filled with heirloom pork, local beef, seasonal game, and four or five rotating varieties of freshly made sausage, Jamie plans to offer a sandwich bar with big, piled-high sandwiches and “the best pastrami this city will know.” There will also be a selection of prepared foods available to go, as well as charcuterie. A January opening is scheduled. Boxcar Tavern, located at the former Petite Gourmet space next to Tunnicliffs at 224 7th St, SE, is slated to open very soon. Owner Xavier Cervera, also has Senart’s, Lola’s, and Molly Malone’s on Barracks Row.
Paul Uppole, owner of St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar, located on Jefferson Place south of Dupont, plans to open a second location for the mussels and frites restaurant in Cleveland Park where Sabores was. He plans to open a sit-down restaurant in the upper level space, offering upscale pub food with a Belgian twist, and a pub downstairs, which he plans to call Underground at St. Arnold’s, in a connected downstairs space. As St. Arnold is the patron saint of brewing, expect a dynamic selection of beers. And Uppole knows his beers.
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 website at LindaRothPR.com.