The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

The James Beard Awards! The Rammys! Three new restaurants! It's been a busy, busy week.

By: Kate Nerenberg

• On Tuesday, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington held a party to announce the nominees for its annual awards, the Rammys. We’re leaving the tough decisions to RAMW—the awards are on June 7—but we have some highlights from the party itself, plus the list of nominees.

• Speaking of awards, we also found out this week which Washington chefs are in the national spotlight. On Monday, the James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its very prestigious awards. Five local chefs earned nominations, and the Washington Post got a few nods too.
 

• What recession? If the restaurant industry is any indication of Washington’s economic force field, we’re not doing so poorly here. Three restaurants opened this week, all in the District. The Logan Circle neighborhood is now home to Policy, a dimly lit spot with red patent-leather seating and a graffiti-splattered second-floor lounge/bar, and Cafe Salsa, a Latin restaurant that’s a spinoff of its Old Town sibling. Downtown DC’s Potenza, a sprawling Italian trattoria/bakery from the team behind Zola, threw open its doors on Tuesday.

Sushi Taro, the previously unassuming Dupont Circle restaurant, opened this week after an extensive facelift. The 2.0 version offers a sophisticated dining room and a more expensive, upscale menu. In addition to an abbreviated à la carte selection, there’s three kaiseki—or tasting menu—options.

• On Wednesday, the Post’s Tom Sietsema reported that Troy Bock, the new owner of Georgetown’s Mendocino Grille & Wine Bar, lured chef Drew Trautman away from Sonoma to oversee the kitchen. Bock and Trautman worked together at both restaurants a few years ago.

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