H Street's Queen Vic and its former chef Adam Stein parted ways recently. Photograph by Kyle Gustafson
The H Street neighborhood blog Frozen Tropics broke the news over the weekend that chef Adam Stein is out of the kitchen at the Queen Vic. We spoke with the ambitious chef—known for head-to-tail dishes like local beef heart tartar—when the gastropub first opened and called him up when we heard news of his departure to learn about his plans going forward.
"I've got a couple chef consulting jobs lined up until I find a new restaurant or kitchen that's a good fit," says Stein.
One of Stein's main projects is helping brothers Eric and Mark Flannery open their H Street burger joint, the Big Board. Stein says the concept, gourmet burgers and classic cocktails, and some menu items are already in place, but that he's been brought on for "some additions and revamping," as well as hiring kitchen staff. Specific details are being kept under wraps until closer to the opening, which could be this fall if all goes well.
So are there hard feelings towards the Vic? Stein says he "only has the nicest thing to say" about his replacement, Ian Reeves, who he met at the Bull & Last in North London when Vic owners Ryan and Roneeka Gordon took him on a research tour before the gastropub's opening.
Stein noted that the split with the restaurant wasn't personal, but came from differences in approach. The chef is dedicated to local, sustainable sourcing, which he tried to implement in the kitchen. When asked if he was able to accomplish his goals, he had this to say: "On some things yes, some things no. That's part of the reason behind my leaving. Not a lot of people understand the full commitment you have to make."
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