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: Sophie Gilbert

In Tom Sietsema’s chat this week, he broke the news that pizzaiolo Edan MacQuaid (formerly of Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church and recent consultant at Ardeo + Bardeo) has a new place to hang his apron: Local 16. The U Street haunt—famous mostly for its roof deck and its DJ/restaurateur former owner, Eric Hilton—already serves pizzas from its wood-burning oven, which MacQuaid describes as “pretty good.” Presumably he’s choosing his words carefully at this point in the business relationship.

Sietsema also confirmed that Againn Tavern in Rockville is now closed—news you may remember The Washingtonian’s Todd Kliman breaking back on May 17. A statement on the restaurant’s Web site says, “It is with a heavy heart, we have decided to close our doors. . . . We hope to return to the great community of Rockville one day soon.” The spin-off of Whisk Group’s DC location has struggled since it opened a year ago, and mediocre reviews didn’t help it much. Owner Mark Weiss told the Post that he’s working on a replacement concept for the location, which was formerly Houston’s, a steakhouse and local institution.

Earlier this week, Såuçá, the little yellow food trucks with the big international menu (and the deeply complicated logo) opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant location in Arlington. Eater DC has pictures of the no-frills interior and details on the menu, which is basically the same “global street food” the trucks offer: Mexicali fish tacos, wood-fired chicken, noodles, and more.

Barracks Row residents have a wealth of new businesses coming their way this summer, including Hello Cupcake, Spring Mill Bread, and both a tapas restaurant and American bistro from Xavier Cervera (the man behind Lola’s, The Chesapeake Room, and the recently opened Senart’s Oyster & Chop House). We can also confirm that the Sweet Lobby, a “boutique bakery” selling macarons, cupcakes, and other sweet treats, is scheduled to open at the end of next week. The Web site says macarons will be authentically Parisian, with flavors ranging from mango to chai. 

Two old favorites may or may not have new locations in the offing. Best Bites’ Kate Nerenberg revealed this week that Taylor Gourmet, the hoagies-and-subs joint famous for its Philly-inspired sandwiches and Italian sides, is opening a new store in Logan Circle. Locals responded pretty positively to the news on Twitter (who doesn’t love sausage and provolone footlongs a short walk away?).

And Prince of Petworth revealed on Tuesday that Teaism is looking to expand to a fourth location on U Street. The Asian-inspired mini-chain already has outposts in Dupont, Penn Quarter, and Lafayette Park, but seems to think the U Street neighborhood is where it’s all at. Apparently a location hasn’t been confirmed, but there are rumors it’ll be in the Moderno building at 12th and U streets, Northwest.

Does beer really make everything better? The folks at Neighborhood Restaurant Group think so, which is why they joined forces with the Wharf Farmers Market to create what we speculate is the world’s first bar/greenmarket hybrid. The market debuted last night on the southwest waterfront, and combined beer and wine from Rustico and Birch & Barley/ChurchKey with local produce, live music, and desserts by pastry chef supreme Tiffany MacIsaac. Tim Carman has the where and why; the market will run Thursdays from 5 to 8 PM through September.

Two more restaurants now open: Tackle Box in Cleveland Park and Serendipity 3 in Georgetown. The former takes its urban lobster shack formula from Georgetown; and the latter comes to us from New York, where it’s famous mostly for offering the world’s most expensive ice cream sundae. (Yes, it will be on the menu here but you’ll need to order ahead. And take us with you.)

And finally, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods came to DC recently for an embassy tour where the fearless eater explored the links between food and diplomacy, sampling curried pig’s feet, blood pudding, and even fermented fish-in-a-can. No wonder we get such a bad rap with out-of-towners.

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