Each month in the magazine’s Best Bites section, we bring together news and tidbits you can use
Haute deli. Washington is famous for its lack of good delis, as New Yorkers are only too eager to point out. But some top restaurants are picking up the slack with offerings ranging from Vidalia’s veal-tongue sandwich to Central Michel Richard’s well-spiced corned beef (both available only at lunch) to EatBar’s house-made pastrami. CityZen recently made like the Carnegie Deli and sent out plates of pickled veal. Pining for a real-deal deli? We hear a big-name chef will be opening one in the next couple of years.
Quiet, please. Maybe it wasn’t the second-floor Sheraton dining room that made Corduroy such a boring space all those years. Maybe it was chef Tom Power, who has relocated to a townhouse near the DC convention center. Turns out Power, whose cooking is among the best and most consistent in the area, doesn’t want music in the restaurant because he believes it distracts diners from the food.
Come home, Roberto? More than a year and a half after moving his operations across the river to Virginia, Roberto Donna remains without a home for Galileo. The chef has decided against moving back into the downtown-DC space on 21st Street that once housed Galileo and was being redesigned for him by Adamstein & Demetriou. Why isn’t he coming back to 21st Street? Donna won’t say. But if not there, where? The chef is mum on that. For the time being, he’s in Crystal City.
Afternoon delights. The grill outside the Whole Foods on DC’s P Street is being fired up from 2 to 5 every day, bringing an unexpected bit of backyard barbecue to an increasingly slick city block. We hope we haven’t seen the last of the huge ears of yellow corn, charred from the fire and basted with coconut milk and scallions.
Baja beauties. Wonder why bay scallops—the button-size beauties from Nantucket in season December through March—are still on the menu at such seafood restaurants as BlackSalt (tossed with house-made pappardelle) and Tackle Box (crisply fried)? They’re coming from the Sea of Cortez between Baja California and mainland Mexico. The scallops aren’t as sweet as their cousins from Massachusetts’s Taylor Bay—they take a couple of days to get here—but they’re pretty close, and they’re about a third of the price. At BlackSalt’s fish market, they sell for $12.99 a pound.
Way to go. Ray’s the Classics has dropped prices on its nonsteak items: It now offers a seven-ounce crab royal for $20.95 and a ten-ounce for $26.95—not to mention a three-course bistro special for $23.95 in the lounge Monday through Friday plus Saturday and Sunday “when possible.”
Say cheese. Domenico Cornacchia, a former chef at Georgetown’s Cafe Milano, has opened Assaggi, an Italian restaurant in Bethesda. Cornacchia didn’t want to do a wine bar, but he wanted a bar of some kind. Thus was born the nation’s first mozzarella bar. A bar devoted to a cheese? “We have the finest mozzarella from Italy, California, and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia,” he says.