Food News Review: Derek Brown Plans to Eat the Rich, Basil Thyme Hits the Brakes, Elroy Headed to H Street

Plus: Cafe Assorti is closing and the Mediterranean Spot is opening a second location.

By: Jessica Voelker

Were you wondering why Columbia Room bartenders were making your drinks at Rappahannock Oyster Company’s Union Market bar? Did the mysterious matter of Katie Nelson’s Richmond sabbatical keep you up at night? Well, the Washington Post broke some news this week that might help you return to a more consistent sleep schedule.

In addition to his new ham and sherry bar Mockingbird Hill on Seventh Street, Northwest, Columbia Room proprietor Derek Brown is teaming up with Rappahannock’s Travis Croxton on a neighboring project called Eat the Rich. (And there is a third thing in the works.) With a seafood-focused menu and craft cocktails served by the pitcherful, the oyster bar is bound to be a scene from the get-go. [WaPo]

Young & Hungry shares word of the Elroy, coming to 1423 H Street, Northeast. Owner Karl Graham—who happens to also be a contractor—partnered with Hogo owner Tom Brown (brother of Derek) on that good-time sand pit known as the New York Avenue Beach Bar, which will not return this summer. At Graham’s new spot, named for the younger Jetsons sibling, look out for “crazy” cocktail glasses. It’s due to debut in May. [Young & Hungry]

Didn’t see this coming: Popular local food truck Basil Thyme is calling it quits. Owner Brian Farrell tells Y&H that the difficulty of the lifestyle, meager financial rewards, and headachy new regulations from the city were all factors in his decision to close. [Young & Hungry]

In other closing news, ARLNow reports that Rosslyn’s Cafe Assorti is shuttering. The Eastern European restaurant earned a spot on our Cheap Eats list for its light, vinegary salads and unimpeachable stuffed cabbage. It will be missed. [ARLNow]

The tapas trend shows no signs of slowing down—and DC-based La Tasca plans to take advantage with new locations in Georgetown and Dupont Circle. After that, the chain could expand into the ’burbs and other cities, owner Javier Candón tells Washington Business Journal. [WBJ]

The new restaurant in the Gaithersburg Marriott will be called—you’re going to love this—the Bench. Because nothing evokes a fun evening out faster than an uncomfortable piece of furniture where people sit while waiting for driver’s license renewals, buses, and bloodwork results. [Eater DC]

More shawarma for everyone: U Street restaurant the Mediterranean Spot is opening a second location in Adams Morgan. [Popville]

From a branding standpoint, it’s too bad Dolci sounds so much like Dolcezza, but what are you going to do? Dolci Gelati owner Gianluigi Dellacci, once a pastry chef at Galileo, is planning cafes in Shaw and Tacoma Park, according to Young & Hungry. The gelato is currently available at Whole Foods, among other places. [Young & Hungry]