• Prince of Petworth had a few tidbits of restaurant news this week. Most exciting is the rumor that Michael Landrum might install a Ray’s Hell-Burger in the City Vista complex at Fifth and K streets, Northwest. It'd be the meat maestro’s second foray into the District; he opened Ray’s the Steaks at East River this spring. In DC’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, Rustik is opening at First and T streets, Northwest. The brick-oven-pizza joint will host an open house during Saturday’s 1st of First art walk (noon to 4). Finally, PoP reports that Dickson Wine Bar applied for a 26-seat summer garden.
• New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street, wrote a lengthy post titled Is D.C. the Next Big Food City? Several commenters took issue with the author’s initial thoughts: Washington is hot because . . . lots of New York restaurants are opening here. Further evidence of the area’s coming out includes our food-truck, burger, and cupcake mania. What are your thoughts?
• The Washington Post tells us that Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne, the sisters behind Georgetown Cupcake, signed on for a second season of D.C. Cupcakes, the TLC reality show about the bakers. The first season, which just ended its six-episode, three-week run, covered everything we could possibly think of when it comes to cupcakes: not making enough of them for Valentine’s Day, making them for charities, and employees crying while making them. We’re waiting with bated breath to see what TLC shows us next.
• Another Friday wrap-up, another food-truck announcement. This time, we’ve got word of TaKorean, a Mexican/Korean hybrid that’s similar to the Kogi barbecue truck in Los Angeles with a rabid following. Also coming soon is Sidewalk SweetSations with (surprise!) cupcakes and mini sweet-potato, apple, and Key-lime pies.
• Carmine’s, an Italian restaurant, opened in Penn Quarter this week. With 700 seats in more than 20,000 square feet, the New York City import claims it’s the biggest restaurant in DC. Almost as big are the nine-inch-high lasagna and softball-size meatballs—which come six to a plate.
• Tim Carman reports that Ren’s Ramen, a small noodle shop in the back of the now-shuttered Daruma Japanese Market, will close August 20. The owners told Carman they’re looking for a new space in Bethesda or DC.
• Hank’s Oyster Bar—chef Jamie Leeds’s sliver of a seafood restaurant at 17th and Q streets, Northwest—is looking to expand into an adjacent space. But Dupont Circle residents are fighting the plans, citing a 2006 liquor-license moratorium for nearby restaurants. Borderstan explains that despite the whining of the cranky neighbors, Hank’s can forge ahead because Dupont’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission eased restrictions on the moratorium last year.
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