Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema had a bunch of news for us this week:
• Chef Michael Hartzer, once the chef de cuisine at Citronelle and most recently in the kitchen at the late IndeBleu, is working on a new restaurant at 2007 18th Street, Northwest. His partner in the venture, called Jack Rose Dining Saloon, is Bill Thomas, the owner of Bourbon in Adams Morgan and Glover Park. The plans for the bi-level space call for a barbecue pit, a cigar-smokers’ dining room, a chef’s tasting room, and 1,000 kinds of whiskey. The working menu includes fried clams, steak Diane, and wild game.
• The restaurant space at 1110 Vermont Avenue, Northwest, that housed the very high-priced Il Mulino until it closed in September is getting a new tenant. Alan Popovsky, owner of Hudson in DC’s West End, will open a 210-seater called Lincoln this winter. The menu, executed by Hudson’s executive chef, Demetrio Zavala, will have small plates with a comfort-food theme. The proposed opening date? February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
• Sietsema wrote on Twitter Monday that Jon Mathieson, chef/co-owner of the late Inox and before that the chef de cuisine at 2941, is taking over the kitchen at Jaleo in DC’s Penn Quarter. The former head chef there, Rodolfo Guzman, is headed to Las Vegas.
Pioneers in the DC food-truck scene, the costumed Fojol Bros. rolled out a second vehicle last weekend at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. The new truck is called the Fojol Bros. of Benethiopia, and it’s got Ethiopian food, a nod to Washington’s large diaspora from that country. Andrew George got a taste of the injera, beef berbere, lentils, and collard greens.
Tim Carman of the Washington City Paper got a tour of the very bare bones of the forthcoming Watershed, the next restaurant from Todd and Ellen Gray, owners of Equinox in downtown DC. Carman reports on a waterfall at the entrance, 6,500 square feet of dining space, and lots and lots of customers to serve: 270 seats in the restaurant, which is adjacent to the large Flats 130 condo building, and nearby a Hilton Garden Inn with more than 200 rooms.
We’ve been hearing rumors for months about celebrity chef Bobby Flay looking at spaces in DC for his burger concept. The time has come: Missy Frederick reports in the Washington Business Journal that he signed a lease for 3,800 square feet of space at 2121 K Street, Northwest. Flay has five Bobby’s Burger Palace locations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Philadelphia. This comes on the heels of New York restaurateur Danny Meyer’s announcement that he’s opening a Shake Shack near DC’s Dupont Circle. Flay’s joint should open next spring.
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