The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

The lounge at Oya in Penn Quarter.

When did the lounge at Oya become as raunchy as the Smith Point bathroom? One observant diner talks about getting quite the show this past Wednesday night.

Chef Barton Seaver is leaving his hipster environs (Cafe Saint-Ex, Bar Pilar) and bringing a little culinary excitement to a Georgetown block previously best known for a Chipotle and a Clyde’s. He’ll head up the kitchen at a seafood restaurant called Hook (3241 M St., NW), expected to open in April, and is looking forward to amping up his commitment to sustainable seafood and making his own charcuterie. He’s taking pastry gal Heather Chittum, late of Notti Bianche and Dish, and sous chef Joshua Whigham along with him…  

…How badly does my craving for 2 Amy’s vongole pizza measure up to my dread of getting jostled for an hour by grape-juice-sticky five year-olds? That’s the question I always ask before heading to the always-crowded Cleveland Park pizza shop. According to blogger Layzeesusan (via Metrocurean), 2 Amys has bought some space upstairs and are planning to add 30 more (adults only!) seats…

…More proof chain restaurant fare is bad for you–like a-full-day's-worth-of-calories-in-one-appetizer bad for you…

…Maple syrup is made in Great Falls? Who knew? If you’re looking for something to do this Sunday, you can watch the syrup-making process–which includes boiling down the sap over an open fire–at the Colvin Run Mill (10017 Colvin Mill Rd., Great Falls; 703-759-2771). Free.

Openings: Il Mulino, the extravagantly priced Italian restaurant chain that began in New York’s West Village, brings its theatrical brand of Italian dining (the meal might begin with chunks of parmesan carved from a mammoth wedge and end with oranges steeped in Grand Marnier, then meticulously supremed at the table) to Vermont Avenue…The second incarnation of Oyamel, Jose Andres and co.’s glam Mexican street food restaurant (the first was in Crystal City), just opened in the Old Andale space in Penn Quarter.

Chefs on the Move: Janis McLean, who became known for her rustic roasts and creative pizzas at Silver Spring’s lowkey Red Dog Cafe, is now the executive chef at the Morrison-Clark Inn, the historic downtown restaurant where earlier in her career she’d worked as a cook…After garnering plenty of acclaim at Ray’s the Classics in Silver Spring, chef Michael Hartzer has moved on to Viridian in Logan Circle. Did he bring his famous fried chicken along with him?…Talented pastry chef Susan Kolman, who was previously at Persimmon and Ardeo, has turned up at Albert Ulster Imports, the pastry and chocolate purveyor in Gaithersburg (“Kinda like doing graduate studies in pastry,” she said in an e-mail).

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.