Latest Dish April 23
Where could four D.C. culinary superstars – Carla Hall, Ruth Gresser, Gina Chersevani and Jeff Tunks – all work together? Reagan National Airport, aka DCA, where they will be taking off without leaving the ground. They are among the food professionals involved with the 10 new restaurants coming to Terminal A in 2015. OTG and BMG, the concessionaires tapped by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, plan an expanded lineup of food, beverage and retail options (including a full-service spa!) in the nine-gate terminal. MWAA is also partnering with Cohn’s Kitchen to provide job opportunities for underserved young adults training for foodservice careers.
Chef/owner Dean Gold is opening a rustic Italian restaurant, Dino’s Grotto, on 9th Street, NW, in the Shaw neighborhood. A new incarnation of his first restaurant in Cleveland Park, it will have 120 seats on two floors. One of the main themes is sustainability, with handmade pastas and products from local and organic farms and sustainable fishers and butchers. Expect local craft brews as well as artisan Italian beers and ciders on tap. The plan is to open by the end of April.
Christophe and Michelle Poteaux plan to open a new restaurant in Alexandria’s North Old Town neighborhood, not far from their popular Bastille restaurant in Old Town. They are referring to it as Bastille 2.0. Bastille will be renamed Bistro Royal (since it is on North Royal Street) and revamped. Michelle will be able to show off her pastry skills to a greater extent at the new, 100-seat restaurant, which will serve lunch and dinner. There will be a private dining space, an outdoor patio and a wine bar. Mark Slater will run the wine and beverage program at both restaurants, which should be ready by early 2015.
Lot 31 is the new buzz in Bethesda. Passion Food Hospitality is planning its second PassionFish restaurant there, its first in Maryland, part of a luxury residential and retail development at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues. The original PassionFish is in Reston, Va. This will be the eighth restaurant for Passion Food Hospitality (Jeff Tunks, David Wizenberg, and Gus DiMillo).
More about Lot 31: Bob Giaimo will also open a new upscale version (2.0) of Silver Diner at Lot 31. It’s abbreviated, in that the name is Silver. Farm-to-table – check. It will be slightly smaller and more urban, with more bar business focused on local craft beers and wines. Silver Diner’s signature chrome will be replaced by a warmer wood-and-stone look.
Ch-Ch-Changes: If you cannot recall the last time you went to Italian classic restaurant Da Domenico in Tysons Corner, you won’t recognize the place – from décor to menu to bar – when it completes its transformation. The 22-year-old restaurant was bought by Syed Hussain, who has a few more surprises in store. He and his son plan to reintroduce it to the community by this summer.The 22-year-old restaurant was bought by Syed Hussain, who has a few more surprises in store. He and his son plan to reintroduce it to the community by this summer.
When the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C., opens across from the Washington Convention Center, it will feature two restaurants and three bars. Anthem, a 215-seat restaurant, will serve breakfast and lunch, including a few classic items from Marriott's old Hot Shoppes (including the “Mighty Mo” burger). The other restaurant, to be announced, will be run by a well-known operator from outside the D.C. area. Executive chef at the Marriott Marquis is Matthew Morrison, who most recently hails from The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. On the bar side: The Dignitary (upscale), seating 99, with an outdoor patio; High Velocity, an 184-seat sports bar with 48 beers on tap; and a 139-seat Lobby Bar in the atrium. A May opening is planned. Chef John Paul Damato will head up the kitchen at Compass Rose, slated to open in Logan Circle where Collage used to be. Damato previously worked at ThinkFoodGroup and at Restaurant Nora. Compass Rose is owned by world travelers and husband-and-wife team Rose Previte and NPR’s David Greene, so it follows that globally sourced and inspired foods, wine, beers and cocktails will be on the menu.
What was once Michel Richard’s Michel at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, then Entyse Bistro, will now become America Eats Tavern from José Andrés. The original location was in Penn Quarter. America Eats Tavern will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering an American classics menu with products from local Virginia farms.
Quick Hits: Tony Tomelden of The Pug on H Street in North East D.C. plans to open Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen nearby on 12th Street, NE. Expect comfort food and an early May opening. . .Robert Wiedmaier’s empire continues to grow. His Belgium-themed Brasserie Beck at McPherson Square gets a sister operation in Gaithersburg when it takes over the O’Donnell’s Sea Grill space. . .Everlasting Life Vegan Restaurant in Capitol Heights is opening a second location next to the Takoma Metro station serving lunch and dinner. Also planned is a bakery half a block away. . .California-based Blaze Pizza plans an early summer opening at Westfield Montgomery Mall.
Chef Update: Benjamin Lambert was named executive chef for 701 Restaurant in Penn Quarter, taking over from Tony Conte, who was overseeing both the Oval Room and 701. Lambert formerly worked at D.C.’s Restaurant Nora as well as at Goodstone Inn in Middleburg. . .Med Lahlou and Antonio Matarazzo of the Lalou Group announced that Domenico Apollaro would be chef de cuisine at their 100-seat Italian restaurant Lupo Verde, on 14th and T Streets. A native of Italy, Apollaro was previously executive chef at Eat's Easy in Milan. . .Matt Hill has been named executive chef for Arlington’s The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social. He most recently served as chef de cuisine at Range at Chevy Chase Pavilion in D.C. Prior to Range, Hill worked with the Charlie Palmer Group, first at Aureole, then at D.C.'s Charlie Palmer Steak. Miljohn Dimaano was promoted to chef de cuisine at The Liberty Tavern. . .Daniel Singhofen is chef de cuisine at Blue Duck Tavern at the Park Hyatt in D.C.’s West End. Previously, he was at Eola in Dupont Circle.
Osiris Hoil, owner of District Taco, plans to open his next location at 20th & M Streets in Dupont Circle, where Cosi used to be. Though it started out as a taco cart in Rosslyn, there are now restaurants in Arlington, Metro Center and Capitol Hill. The Dupont store will also offer full coffee service. A May opening is targeted. Osiris is scouting Northern Virginia for his next District Taco location.
Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, a public relations and marketing firm that specializes in the hospitality industry.