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Plus: Goodbye, Sugar Magnolia; hello, another speakeasy. By Jessica Voelker
Milkshakes at Reston-bound Ted’s Bulletin. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

Del Ray Patch brings news of a new sushi bar designed exclusively for the 18-and-over set. [Del Ray Patch]

Publishers Marketplace announces Bryan Voltaggio’s new book deal. Home will be the title of the Range toque’s new tome “showcasing Voltaggio’s take on home-cooked comfort food.”

Alex Baldinger of the Washington Post reports that Ripple’s storefront, Sugar Magnolia, will become a 12-seat dining room for the Cleveland Park restaurant. The shop displayed sweets—brownies, ice cream sandwiches—by pastry chef Allison Reed. Reed has no plans to leave Ripple, but you should probably go get her frozen chocolate parfait on the dessert menu soon anyway. Because it’s amazing. [WaPo]

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Posted at 12:20 PM/ET, 04/26/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Sandoval and team are opening a small-plates spot in Serbia. By Jessica Voelker
A tequila smash at El Centro D.F., which opens in Georgetown in June. Photographs by Erik Uecke.

Buck’s Fishing & Camping chef Vickie Reh will leave that kitchen to devote herself to wine consulting. (She’s currently doing the list for a new place, the name of which she would not share with Tom Sietsema). Also, the decade-old restaurant is on the cusp of unveiling a new 45-seat patio. Reh clocks out for good on April 20; a new chef has not yet been named. [WaPo]

The team behind Balkan small-plates newbie Ambar—that includes Richard Sandoval and Serbia-born Ivan Iricanin—is opening a Latin small-plates restaurant, Toro, in Iricanin’s home country. It is similar in concept to Sandoval’s Toro Toro, a branch of which charges onto I Street, Northwest, this year. [Y&H]

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Posted at 04:30 PM/ET, 04/12/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Cafe Assorti is closing and the Mediterranean Spot is opening a second location. By Jessica Voelker
Dolci Gelati plans cafes in Shaw and Takoma Park. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Were you wondering why Columbia Room bartenders were making your drinks at Rappahannock Oyster Company’s Union Market bar? Did the mysterious matter of Katie Nelson’s Richmond sabbatical keep you up at night? Well, the Washington Post broke some news this week that might help you return to a more consistent sleep schedule.

In addition to his new ham and sherry bar Mockingbird Hill on Seventh Street, Northwest, Columbia Room proprietor Derek Brown is teaming up with Rappahannock’s Travis Croxton on a neighboring project called Eat the Rich. (And there is a third thing in the works.) With a seafood-focused menu and craft cocktails served by the pitcherful, the oyster bar is bound to be a scene from the get-go. [WaPo]

Young & Hungry shares word of the Elroy, coming to 1423 H Street, Northeast. Owner Karl Graham—who happens to also be a contractor—partnered with Hogo owner Tom Brown (brother of Derek) on that good-time sand pit known as the New York Avenue Beach Bar, which will not return this summer. At Graham’s new spot, named for the younger Jetsons sibling, look out for “crazy” cocktail glasses. It’s due to debut in May. [Young & Hungry]

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Posted at 03:45 PM/ET, 03/15/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Inside POTUS’s bipartisan feast at the Jefferson Hotel. By Jessica Voelker
See you later, Suna. Johnny Spero’s Capitol Hill spot closes after less than four months in business. Photograph by Dakota Fine.

Tom Sietsema shocked everyone Friday when he shared the news that chef Johnny Spero was calling it quits at Suna. The 27-year-old toque was vague about what prompted the shutter of the new Capitol Hill restaurant, which debuted in November. Acqua Al 2 co-owner Ari Gejdenson was Spero’s partner in the project. [WaPo]

Unfortunate timing: At a Google Hangout Monday, Michelle Obama described how she kept her kids at a healthy weight (by surrounding them with good-for-you foods and exercising with them). And on that same day, she was spotted upstairs at greasy slice spot We, the Pizza. [Politico]

Eater DC broke the not-great news this week that chef Diana Davila-Boldin will be leaving Jackie’s to return to her hometown of Chicago. The chef, whose family hails from Mexico, developed the menu at taco-and-elote restaurant El Chucho in Columbia Heights. Davila-Boldin will be around until mid-April. Meanwhile, know a chef looking of work? Owner Jackie Greenbaum is in the market for a replacement. [Eater DC]

Tex-Mex in Chevy Chase. >>>>

Posted at 03:20 PM/ET, 03/08/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: A new kitchen and Laboratorio concept for Roberto Donna. By Anna Spiegel
The first dishes at the Grill Room emerged this week, including this green apple tumbler with yogurt-lemon mousse and apple sorbet. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

Restaurateur Aaron Gordon is swapping salads for sausages at his Clarendon restaurant. Rabbit Grill officially closes its doors Friday, and will undergo a monthlong transformation into Fat Shorty’s, a beer garden serving local and exotic sausages, mussels, frites, and cold brews. Hell’s Kitchen victor Rock Harper has signed on as co-owner and chef. [Washingtonian]

Chef shuffle alert: Eater DC spied evidence that Bourbon Steak toque Adam Sobel is leaving the kitchen, which was confirmed to Tom Sietsema. Sobel is off to join restaurateur Michael Mina in San Francisco, while John Critchley is moving over from Urbana to fill Sobel’s kitchen clogs. No word yet on who’s taking Critchley’s place at the Kimpton Hotel restaurant. [Washingtonian]

In slightly less fraught news, the City Paper has the straight-up word on Federalist chef Harper McClure’s departure. The chef is headed back to Robert Wiedmaier’s restaurant group with an executive sous chef position at Marcel’s. [Young & Hungry]

Chef Jakob Esko prepared some of the first dishes at the soon-to-open Grill Room and Rye Bar at the Capella this week. The hotel isn’t open until late March, but new menu details include a whole section for steaks and a lunchtime dessert cart (and of course, pretty pictures). [Washingtonian]

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Posted at 04:55 PM/ET, 03/01/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: A former White House toque goes off on guest chefs. By Jessica Voelker
More Fuel Pizza is coming our way. Photograph by Erik Eucke.

In his weekly chat, Tom Sietsema shared the news that Cleveland Park restaurant Ripple has chosen Marjorie Meek-Bradley to replace Seattle-bound Logan Cox. Meek-Bradley’s resume lists two Thomas Keller spots and a stint with Marcus Samuelsson. Her last gig was chef de cuisine at Graffiato. [WaPo]

Having opened his very large restaurant Range and taken care of the menu next door at Civil Cigar Lounge, Bryan Voltaggio will now open a second location of Lunchbox in the Chevy Chase Pavilion—or as we like to call it: “Bryan’s Restaurant Mall.” [Washingtonian]

The James Beard Foundation revealed the restaurants, bars, and chefs that made the semifinals for the 2013 awards. These are not the nominees, mind you, that list won’t be announced until March. [Washingtonian]

A development at Red Meat Row. >>>>

Posted at 03:10 PM/ET, 02/22/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Old Ebbitt Express shutters after nearly two decades in business. By Jessica Voelker
A steak and cheese by Ray’s Hell-Burger owner Michael Landrum. The restaurant’s former home at 1725 Wilson Boulevard is up for rent. Photograph by Erik Uecke.

It finally happened. Daisuke Utagawa debuted his long-awaited Daikaya on Thursday—well, half of it, anyway. The upstairs izakaya is still a work in progress, but you can now slurp Sapporo-style ramen downstairs. Eater DC’s Missy Frederick got a tour of the new space from its architect, Brian Miller of Edit Lab at Streetsense; we’re digging those bright blue-and-yellow tile stripes. [Eater DC]

Inauspicious signs in Arlington: There are “for rent” notices outside Ray’s Hell-Burger and Ray’s Hell-Burger Too, dashing hopes that the dispute between owner Michael Landrum and his landlord might be resolved. The property owner confirms the spaces are available; no word yet from Landrum on Hell-Burger’s future. [Washingtonian]

Friday is the last day of business at Old Ebbitt Express. The fast-casual sibling of one of Washington’s most storied spots has been serving breakfast and lunch to downtown worker types for almost 19 years. An unnamed employee told Popville that Old Ebbitt Express was simply not making enough money. [Popville]

Golden Triangle? How about Sandwich Triangle?

Posted at 12:47 PM/ET, 02/15/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
The dining-world developments you missed while obsessing over the Beyoncé lip-syncing fiasco. By Jessica Voelker
Family Meal’s new neighbor? A distillery. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Popville reports that 901 Restaurant & Bar has called it quits. Young & Hungry followed up with owner David von Storch, who says he’s in the process of selling off the building to someone else. The news follows big changes at one of von Storch’s other businesses—Capital City Brewing—which recently lost its top two brewers. [Young & Hungry]

Following the news that CityZen chef Eric Ziebold was breaking up with Sou’Wester—the other restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental—came an announcement that former Miami Mandarin chef Didier Pouzier (yes, he’s French) will be taking it on. He will also run the hotel’s Empress Lounge. [Eater]

Eater DC noticed an item in the Frederick News Post reporting a planned whiskey distillery on the stretch of North East Street shared by Bryan Voltaggio’s Family Meal. But don’t get too excited. Although the chef is a Maryland native and has a well-documented appreciation for the region’s rye-making history, a restaurant rep says he is not affiliated with the project. [Eater]

Popular Korean food truck Seoul Food will go brick-and-mortar in Maryland. [Washingtonian]

Fast-casual explosion! >>>>

Posted at 10:30 AM/ET, 01/25/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Rumors of an H Street Honey Pig and an Eastern European place in Ballston. By Jessica Voelker
The bar at Mari Vanna opened Thursday. Photograph by the Ginza Group.

The big story this week: Tom Sietsema has it that restaurateur Jeff Black (Black Market Bistro, Black’s Bar and Kitchen, Addie’s, BlackSalt, and Pearl Dive) is opening a modern American place in Takoma Park at 6937-6939 Laurel Avenue.

Black Restaurant Group vet Danny Wells, a native of the area, will serve as executive chef and is a partner in the project. Expect two “spots for drinking,” a patio, a dining room, and—this being a Jeff Black establishment—a raw bar. Sietsema says the new place will be designed by GTM Architects of Bethesda, the same firm that remodeled Black’s home. [WP]

Via Eater DC and DonRockwell.com: Society Fair sommelier and wine manager John Wabeck has been wooed away to the city of bridges. Joining Wabeck is girlfriend Melissa Horst, who worked at Society Fair sister restaurant Virtue Feed & Grain. Reporting from her newish food critic perch in Pittsburgh, former Washingtonian Melissa McCart shares news of the couple’s new jobs. [DonRockwell][Eater DC][PG Plate]

The Post reported Thursday that the downstairs bar at long-awaited Russian import Mari Vanna is now open. Friday, the new spot at 1141 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, will be offering $5 infused vodka shots from 5 to 7 PM. [WP]

While we await the openings of Barracks Row Serbian spot Ambar and the rest of Mari Vanna, we can get our Eastern European fix in Ballston at Rus Us. ArlNow brings word that the framing store and restaurant is now serving customers at 1000 North Randolph Street. Previously just a catering business, Rus Us specializes in Russian and Uzbeki foods. [ArlNOW]

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Posted at 02:40 PM/ET, 01/04/2013 | Permalink | Comments ()
Plus: Far East Taco Grille parks it and a new T Street tavern. By Jessica Voelker

A campaign at Starbucks this week involved writing on cups. Photograph courtesy of Starbucks.

Struggling to decide on a name for his Washington-area sports lounge, Bachelor Pad villain/One Direction fan Chris Bukowski put it to a vote, asking fans to call him on December 24 and help decide if the place should be called “Bracket Room” or “Changeup.” Results have not yet been announced. [Twitter]

A new District-based brewery, Atlas Brew Works, is on the way, reports the Washington Post. Debuting with two beers—a pale ale and a California common-style—the brewery will have a tasting room where growlers will be filled. Look for it to open this spring at 2052 West Virginia Avenue, Northeast. [WP]

Also from the Post: Highly anticipated restaurant Ambar has a Serbian chef, sous, and pastry chef. Part-owner Ivan Iricanin (partner in Masa 14/El Centro D.F.) revealed to the Post’s Tim Carman that he has hired Belgrade toque Bojan Bocvarov along with sous chef Danilo Bucan and pastry maven Ivan Zivkovic. Work visas have yet to be secured; the Barracks Row restaurant is planning a January opening. [WP]

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Posted at 11:49 AM/ET, 12/28/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()