The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

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

• Will DC finally get a really good butcher shop? According to the Washington Business Journal, Jonathan Umbel, owner of Hook and Tackle Box, is striving to make it happen. He’s in talks to secure a space on the same stretch of Georgetown’s M Street as his seafood restaurants. His plan for the store, which he’ll call the Mad Butcher, includes locally sourced meat, an aging room, and a big-name chef overseeing everything. Don’t get too excited just yet: The place will take at least two years to open.

• Meanwhile, former Hook chef Barton Seaver tells City Paper that he’s “really not interested” in getting back into the kitchen. Instead, the camera-ready St. Albans grad has hopes for two TV shows, one focused on cooking, the other on sustainable farming.

Ristorante Piccolo, a quaintly romantic Italian spot in Georgetown, suffered $1 million in damage when a two-alarm kitchen fire broke out early Monday morning. The 22-year-old restaurant hopes to reopen in January.

Sushi Taro, the 17th Street dining room frequented by Japanese dignitaries, will shutter for renovations in mid-December. Owner Nobu Yamazaki tells the Washington Post that he plans to reduce seating capacity from 120 to 70 and raise ambitions for the restaurant, transforming it from a quick-bite sushi spot to a more luxurious kaisaki destination.

PassionFish, the latest restaurant from Passion Food (Acadiana, DC Coast, Ceiba, TenPenh), opens in Reston tomorrow. Former Acadiana chef Chris Clime, along with chef/owner Jeff Tunks, will offer a seafood menu featuring lobster-roll sliders and oyster shooters.

• A disconnected phone number . . . a shut-down Web site . . . Bethesda restaurant David Craig appears to have suddenly—and sadly—closed.

• We hear that Edgar Steele, sous-chef at Minibar, came thisclose to helming the kitchen at Circle Bistro. Instead, he’ll take a position as a salesman with a small-batch chocolate-and-confections purveyor.More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder

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.