• This week brought a litany of restaurant closings, starting with Prince of Petworth’s news Monday that Polly’s Cafe on U Street, Northwest, shuttered. Less than 15 minutes later, Nycci Nellis wrote on Twitter that Posh Restaurant & Supper Club in DC’s Penn Quarter was also quiet as of Monday. While both restaurants’ Web sites announce the sad news, neither gives a reason. We’re guessing Snowpocalypse and a banged-up economy had something to do with it.
• Tuesday, a DonRockwell.com reader reported that Tap & Vine, a wine bar from the owners of nearby Restaurant Vero in Arlington, said in a newsletter Tuesday that it’s going out of business.
• Thursday, the Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman confirmed a rumor that Sesto Senso in DC’s Dupont Circle will throw its last dance party this weekend. General manager Tomaso Beggiato tells Carman that there are plans to reopen the 17-year-old restaurant/nightclub with a different concept.
• Michael Landrum, owner of the ever-expanding Ray’s restaurant group (Ray’s the Steaks, Ray’s Hell-Burger, Ray’s the Classics), announced Tuesday that he hired Frank Morales as chef and director of culinary operations for all of the meat-centered eateries. Morales had a short-lived stint at Jackie’s in Silver Spring, and before that he was executive chef at Rustico in Alexandria and Zola in DC’s Penn Quarter. The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema broke the news, saying that Morales will concentrate on Ray’s: The Glass, Landrum’s project with wine director Mark Slater, and Ray’s: The Catch, a seafood-centric restaurant.
• A Prince of Petworth reader noticed a liquor application for a new restaurant at 608 H Street, Northwest. Details on the notice say it’ll serve Asian and Vietnamese cuisine and have 65 seats.
• Starting this weekend, the lines to get into Birch & Barley will start snaking out the door a little earlier than usual: The impossible-to-get-into restaurant will start brunch service on Sunday, and the upstairs beer-centric bar ChurchKey will start lunch service at noon on Saturday and Sunday. The brunch menu, available from 11 to 8, includes a croque madame; chicken and waffles; doughnuts; a crème fraîche biscuit with bacon, egg, and cheese; and sticky buns. For lunch, ChurchKey’s current menu will be available (flatbreads, fried sweetbreads, a brat burger) as well as a few new items.
Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at twitter.com/bestbitesblog