The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

Every Friday, we fill you in on what’s been happening in the local restaurant world

• DC might be shaking its rep as a steakhouse town, but the latest celebrity chef to open a satellite restaurant in DC, San Francisco’s Michael Mina, is playing it safe. Mina’s mostly known for his way with seafood, but his restaurant slated to open in the Georgetown Four Seasons this December will be an outpost of Bourbon Steak, which has locations in Scottsdale, Detroit, and Miami. No chef has been named yet, but CityZen’s Mark Politzer will take over as general manager. David Rockwell—the New York designer who’s also working on Alain Ducasse’s soon-to-open DC branch of Adour—is slicking up the space.

Gillian Clark, chef/owner of the late, lamented Colorado Kitchen, releases a few details about Avenue Oven, her new venture in Takoma Park. In a post on, she says she expects the restaurant to open in November (“But that could easily slide into 2009 if things don’t go exactly as planned”), that the space will hold an expansive 90 seats, and that she’s hoping to offer carryout. As for the food, “I’m stealing from my NY Jew upbringing,” Clark writes. “So it will be American with an Eastern European lean. . . . Look for a great Sunday brunch that is very different than CK.”

• The inspiration for Eric Ripert’s $16 sirloin burger at WestEnd Bistro? Le Big Mac. In a post on, the celeb chef notes the “perfect size” of the Mickey D’s sandwich (“You can grab them in both hands, and they’re never too tall or too wide to hold onto”), the consistency of its flavors, and the logic of placing the pickles, shredded lettuce, mustard, and ketchup on the burger before it’s served.

• The second branch of Taqueria Distrito Federal, the Columbia Heights source for goat tacos and chicken-Milanese tortas, opens today in Petworth (805 Kennedy St., NW). It’ll offer the same menu as the original location but with more seating.

• Metrocurean alerts us to a salsa-making contest this Saturday from 9:30 to noon at the H Street FreshFarm Market (624 H St., NE). The only rules: The salsa has to be homemade, the bulk of its ingredients must come from the market, and “your salsa can’t be so hot that it makes people cry.” So go easy with those habañeros, people.        Meanwhile, at 11 AM this Sunday at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market (1500 block of 20th St., between Massachusetts Ave. and Q St., NW), chefs from Jaleo will demonstrate how to whip up gazpacho.

• The phrase “I’ve gotta tell you about the crazy dream I had the other night” usually has a snooze-inducing followup. But not in this video from The Onion.

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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 Petworth.