• DC’s cupcake craze doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. Signs for Hello Cupcake are now up at 1351 Connecticut Avenue, south of Dupont Circle. It’s slated for a midsummer opening, according to the fancy Web site—which, puzzlingly, also announces a special Cherry Blossom cupcake “available every day in April.” Next April, we suppose?
• Chef hopping: A few months back, Amy Brandwein left her job as executive chef at Roberto Donna’s Bebo Trattoria—she’s now running the kitchen at Fyve, a new restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City. Her newly installed replacement at Bebo is Claudio Sandri, a Laboratorio del Galileo vet who also assisted Donna on Iron Chef America—the second time, when Donna staged an impressive comeback and defeated Iron Chef Morimoto.
• Eckington’s neighborhood blog raises an eyebrow at a restaurant slated to open in Bloomingdale. 2020 Martini, housed in a former fire station on North Capitol Street, Northwest, “will be conceived around a theme of fire and water. The first floor will serve brick-oven pizzas, baked in an imported Italian oven sculpted with a fire engine facade. That floor will also include a small pasta bar and a sushi bar. Martinis, too, will be served from a 30-foot bar that will appear as if it’s ablaze and have water running through its center,” according to the Washington Business Journal. Sound like a lot going on under one roof? That’s just the first floor. The second level will offer a “lounge atmosphere” with live music and sushi “delivered by a glass-enclosed conveyer belt resembling a ladder.” The owners are also planning a third-floor espresso bar and a rooftop deck serving tapas. Whew.
• After a nearly three-month hiatus due to flood damage from a neighboring restaurant’s ruptured pipe, Rock Creek in Bethesda has reopened with a fresh coat of paint and a slight design facelift. The health-conscious restaurant now bears more resemblance to its chic Mazza Gallerie sibling, with earth-tone walls and chocolate-brown accents in the bar and lounge.
Flooding has also delayed the opening of the much-anticipated Bethesda branch of Dolcezza Gelato. “We were pretty much ready to go when the flood happened,” says owner Robb Duncan. “The construction company is doing everything they can—we had to order new wood floors—but they’re moving really fast. They’re telling us we’ll be able to finally open our doors in two weeks.”
• On Wednesday morning, the District’s first Harris Teeter store opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Mayor Adrian Fenty and DC Council member Jim Graham showed up to welcome the grocery chain to Adams Morgan. DCist reports that it boasts “a deli, surprisingly large wine and beer sections, an impressive array of fine cheeses, a full-service pharmacy, a hot food and salad bar that will be a real boon to anyone who works within walking distance, a sushi bar, and, for some reason, a melon bar.” Sounds like a big step up from the “Soviet Safeway.”
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