The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

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

Roberto Donna, Eric Ziebold, José Andrés, and Ris Lacoste, among other big-name toques, headed to Vidalia late Tuesday night to celebrate chef/owner Jeff Buben’s surprise 50th birthday party. The ruse? Someone lured Buben to the restaurant by telling him a customer had cracked the place’s glass wall.

• Tom Sietsema’s 2008 Fall Dining Guide, which comes out this weekend in the Washington Post Magazine, is already online. The big surprises? Citronelle was docked a full star, with Sietsema noting “one of the sorriest service experiences I can recall” and “an unmistakable joylessness” in the dining room. It now has three stars, the same rating garnered by Jaleo, Buck’s Fishing & Camping, and Michel Richard’s lower-priced bistro, Central. Komi, meanwhile, rose to a four-star rating. The economy-minded guide favors Ray’s Hell-Burger over Ray’s the Steaks, and Tackle Box and Bobby’s Crabcakes over Kinkead’s.

• Charcuterie buff Nathan Anda, formerly the chef at Tallula in Arlington, is putting out cured meats and terrines at the new Canteen, which happens on the patio of Del Ray's Planet Wine (2004 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-549-3444) Thursday through Sunday nights. Bottles of wine from the shop have a $10 corkage fee.

Janis McLean, former chef at Red Dog Cafe and most recently at the Morrison-Clark Inn, is resuscitating the kitchen at 15 Ria on DC’s Scott Circle. She’s adding hush puppies and three kinds of sliders to the menu, plus a $24.95 three-course earlybird special.

• At Michael Mina’s forthcoming Bourbon Steak, every table will get a gratis helping of duck-fat fries—which you’ll really need to go with the butter-poached steaks and bacon-fat-poached pork. 

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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.