A month ago, our restaurant critic Todd Kliman told his Twitter followers he had heard a rumor that Monterey Bay Fish Grotto and Inox, both in Tysons Corner, were going to close. Monday, Missy Frederick of the Washington Business Journal confirmed the sad news about Monterey Bay with a call to the restaurant’s Pittsburgh location. No word on Inox.
Chef Laurent Tourondel and business partner Jimmy Haber, the duo behind the BLT group—which includes BLT Steak in downtown DC—split up. According to New York Times reporter Florence Fabricant, Haber will keep control of the steakhouse in DC, where chef de cuisine Victor Albisu will get a bump to executive chef. The group has two forthcoming projects, both near Dupont Circle: BLT Burger, which will open with a different name, and the Italian restaurant Casa Nonna.
Tackle Box in Georgetown, the upscale beach shack from the owners of Hook, plans to open a second location next winter in DC’s Penn Quarter. Metrocurean writes that owner Jonathan Umbel will plant his picnic tables and buoy decor at 522 Tenth Street, Northwest—the former Waffle Shop.
Tuesday night, the kitchen at BlackSalt in DC’s Palisades neighborhood caught fire around 7:30, reports WJLA-TV. There were no injuries, but smoke damage crept to nearby buildings. Equinox in downtown DC suffered a devastating fire in mid-December and is still undergoing repairs.
New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, tells us that José Andrés is scouting locations for an American restaurant in Manhattan. The chef/restaurateur who brought Spanish and Latin American small plates to Washington, is behind ThinkFoodGroup, which owns Jaleo, Zaytinya, Oyamel, Café Atlántico, and Minibar.
Mandu, the Dupont Circle Korean restaurant known for its great happy hour, is in talks to sign a lease for a second location at CityVista, a development at Fifth and K streets, Northwest. The restaurant’s owners hope to have a deal signed by next week, reports Missy Frederick of the Washington Business Journal. “Not official but very close,” read Mandu’s Twitter feed yesterday.
The empty restaurant space at the corner of Wisconsin and M streets in Georgetown, formerly Nathans, will become Serendipity 3, an offshoot of the New York business known for its frozen hot chocolate. Blogger K Street Kate broke the news yesterday.