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A wine spot in Bethesda, lots of fro-yo. By sara levine
Frozen yogurt may join wine bars and boutique burger joints as a trend du jour. Two new spots, Mr. Yogato (shown here) and Tangysweet, are packing them in. Photograph by Nikki Kahn.
Comments () | Published August 27, 2008

Chef Bryan Voltaggio, late of Capitol Hill’s swanky Charlie Palmer Steak, has decamped to his hometown of Frederick to open a restaurant that bears part of his name. Volt (228 N. Market St.; 301-696-8658) is set in a brownstone mansion in the city’s historic district. Will Voltaggio’s fans venture to the exurbs for his farm-to-table cuisine?

Also striking out on his own, ex–Restaurant Eve pastry chef Niel Piferoen has opened Locolat (1781 Florida Ave., NW, Suite A; 202-518-2570). The space is sunny and inviting, and the Belgian-born chocolatier’s confections look like works of art.

The folks behind Capitol Hill’s Sonoma and Georgetown’s Mendocino Grille are counting on their new venture, Redwood (7121 Bethesda La., Bethesda; 301-656-5515), to create separation from the crowd of eating spots in Bethesda. Among the enticements: a chef with stints in some of San Francisco’s best restaurants, a fancy Winekeeper system, and a dish of bison bone marrow.

With its candelabras and polished wood floors, Nando’s Peri-Peri (819 Seventh St., NW; 202-898-1225), the Penn Quarter roost of the South African chicken chain, is the best-looking fast-food joint we’ve ever seen. And the flame-grilled birds? Succulent.

The boutiquing of burgers is well under way. Burger Joint (4827 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda; 301-358-6137) opened first, slinging lamb, pork, and lobster burgers. Then Michael Landrum, owner of Ray’s the Steaks in Arlington and Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring, unveiled Ray’s Hell-Burger (1713 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-841-0001). Word has spread, and lines for the ten-ounce prime patties are out the door. Next, Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn debuted Good Stuff Eatery on Capitol Hill (303 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-543-8222). Now there’s talk of four-star chef Michel Richard opening a burger place.

Two new frozen-yogurt spots on either side of Dupont Circle suggest the makings of a trend—or at the least testify to the success of Pinkberry. The starkly urbane TangySweet (2029 P St., NW; 202-822-2066) is to the west; the quirky, colorful Mr. Yogato (1515 17th St., NW; 202-629-3531) is to the east.

Finally, a trend that refuses to plateau: wine bars. Enology (3238 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-362-0362) has opened across the street from 2 Amys, and a not-yet-named wine-and-dessert bar from the general manager of Looking Glass Lounge is slated to open next month at 11th and Lamont streets in DC’s Columbia Heights.

Related:
Read More About New Restaurants and Openings

This article appeared in the September, 2008 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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Posted at 09:44 AM/ET, 08/27/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs