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Former Jack’s Restaurant Owner Herbert Kerschbaumer Now in the Kitchen at Bistrot Le Zinc
The chef says menus for happy hour, brunch, and mussel lovers are coming soon. By Anna Spiegel
The kitchen at Bistrot Le Zinc. Photograph by Emma Patti.
Comments () | Published August 8, 2012

Yesterday we discovered that chef Janis McLean quietly left Bistrot Le Zinc in Upper Northwest for Penn Quarter’s Social Reform Kitchen & Bar. Taking her place at the French neighborhood spot: Swiss-born Herbert Kerschbaumer, former chef-owner of the now-closed Jack’s Restaurant and Bar in Dupont. He’s been at Zinc since June.

Kerschbaumer’s 17th Street spot was best known for its killer happy hour deals, but don’t wander up to Le Zinc in search of $3 cocktails—at least not yet. The chef says there’s a comprehensive happy hour menu being worked out for the fall, as well as weekend brunch and entire section of the menu devoted to mussels. For now, the chef and co-owner John Warner say they’re focused on lowering the price point at Le Zinc and making the eatery more widely accessible. Though certain staples remain—steak frites, mussels, onion soup—Kerschbaumer says he’s also pulling the menu in a more seasonal direction. Currently, that means lighter fare previously less prominent on the hearty bistro menu, such as gazpacho, lemon-chive crepes with crab, and roasted salmon in citrus sauce over asparagus risotto.

Been there in the past two months? Tell us what you thought in the comments.

See Also:
A Second Caucus Room and a Latin-Themed Bar Move In at the Westin Georgetown


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  • Sarah_cousins

    Janis was very good, but the beautiful restaurant now has some personality which it desperately needed.

  • WendyS

    We went there tonight based on your story and liked it much better than before the chef change. The menu and specials were more interesting and a bit lighter, as you say, therefore more enticing for summer.We had a terrific traditional bouillabaisse complete with garlic rouille on toast and lots of mussels. Crab crepe was fine but we preferred the sweetbreads with a bordelaise sauce.We inspected the lunch menu, which still needs to lighten up a bit. Service was excellent. We had a nice Rhone wine. They do corkage at $25 and also have a half price wine night on Tuesday.

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