The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

Every week we fill you in on what's been going on in the food and restaurant world.

By: Kate Nerenberg

• The blog ARLnow.com reported last week that Michael Landrum is straying from his red-meat steak (see: Ray's the Steaks, Ray's Hell-Burger) to open a restaurant called the Lobster Pot at 1650 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington. For the last couple years, we've heard him talk about a possible Ray's the Net or Ray's the Catch, but this is the first confirmed report that a space is secured. Landrum is also working on two properties at the CityVista building at Fifth and K streets, Northwest: a coffeeshop called Ryse and, according to the Triangle blog, a second Ray's Hell-Burger, made famous by a certain President.

• Tim Carman made his Washington Post debut with a Web piece about the food truck formerly known as Rebel Heroes. Carman couldn't get in touch with owner Tan Nguyen, who hawked her subs and Vietnamese coffee along Wilson Boulevard, but he knows this much: When Nguyen bid her Twitter followers adieu on October 8, it wasn't just for the season. She ceased operations with the county and sold the truck to Patrick Rathbone, who's rolling it out next week under the name the Big Cheese. Carman has details on Rathbone's menu, which includes six grilled-cheese sandwiches with artisanal products.

• In more mobile-food news, the trucks' tension with brick-and-mortar restaurants has reached a boiling point. Prince of Petworth said Tuesday that city officials are looking to either wipe out food trucks all together, making them pay sales tax, or putting a cap on the number of mobile vendors. What do you think of the situation? Tell us here.

• According to a press release put out by the NoMa Business Improvement District, chef Gillian Clark of the General Store will open Kitchen on K Street in April or May. The restaurant, at Third and K streets, Northeast, is based on her late Colorado Kitchen: "Imagine Betty Crocker gone Cordon Bleu," she said. Three weeks ago, in response to rumors about plans for a NoMa restaurant, she e-mailed us with a statement saying that she was fully focused on her forthcoming Petworth project. The NoMa area is developing quickly; a few months ago, Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox announced plans for a second restaurant in that neighborhood.

• The Brickskeller, a 53-year-old beer-focused restaurant in DC's Dupont Circle, is closing its doors later this month. The dark haunt, which has 1,200 beers on its list (but often just 3/4 of them in stock), is being sold to new owners who won't have the Brickskeller name, a bar manager told WTOP. The last day to get a brew there is December 18 or 19. Lots of beer-centric restaurants and bars have opened in the last few years, giving the Brickskeller tough competition.

• In this week's New York Times dining section, Jennifer Steinhauer wrote about Capitol Hill's growing bounty of bad-for-you dining options. She pointed to the sliders-and-pizza joint Matchbox and its new hot-dog place, DC-3, and its comfort-food diner Ted's Bulletin; Spike Mendelsohn's We, the Pizza; and the New England-themed Liberty Tree on H Street. Steinhauer notes that the highly caloric pizza, burgers, and milkshakes are a counterpoint to Congress's healthy-eating initiatives. The most notable regular at Good Stuff Eatery, Mendelsohn's Capitol Hill burger spot? The First Lady, she of the White House garden and Let's Move! projects.

• In Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema's weekly chat, he announced that chef Rusty Holman—who was hired and fired at Eatonville in a flash—is back. He's working with restaurateur Bo Blair to turn the Rookery, Blair's invitation-only club in DC's Foggy Bottom, into a New Orleans-inspired restaurant. Called Bayou—not to be confused with the new Bayou Bakery in Courthouse—the place will have po' boys, gumbo, and live jazz. 

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