The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

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

• Sarah Palin landed another starring role on YouTube this week when she gave an interview steps away from a turkey slaughtering. She’d just finished Alaska’s traditional turkey pardoning, barely managing not to roll her eyes as she spared the bird. Then, as a guy fed a turkey into a scary-looking killer funnel, the Alaska governor chirped away about how happy she was to be there: “You need a little bit of levity in this job!” Serious Eats has MSNBC’s blurred-out version and the original cut.

• Not even endless reams of Anthony Bourdain-related press could save the DC location of the brasserie chain Les Halles, which closed Monday after 15 years. Owner Philippe Lajaunie blamed “unbearable” new rent conditions. So where can you get your steak-frites fix? Todd Kliman has some ideas.

• Washington Post Going Out Guru Fritz Hahn has the details on the Gibson, the new craft-cocktail-focused bar from the owners of Marvin (the signless spot is right next door). There are 48 seats and a no-standing policy, so reservations are the way to go. Derek Brown, formerly of Hummingbird to Mars, is the mind behind drinks such as a celery-infused pisco sour.

• The DC area may be overstuffed with cupcake shops already, but Aaron Gordon, who owns the Dupont Circle fro-yo joint TangySweet, is about to cash in on the trend. He’ll open Red Velvet Cupcakery, which will share space with a second location of TangySweet, mid-December in DC’s Penn Quarter. Former DC Coast/Acadiana/etc. pastry chef David Guas will turn out the confections in flavors including coconut-frosted lemon and chocolate-chocolate chip with salty peanut-butter icing.

• Meanwhile, it’s not just twentysomething girls going crazy for cupcakes. Barack Obama gave a dozen of them to Joe Biden in honor of his 66th birthday. 

• Washington City Paper’s new Young & Hungry blog reports that restaurateur Ashok Bajaj (Rasika, the Oval Room) is planning to open a seventh restaurant next June and that Andy Shallal (Busboys and Poets) and Michael Babin of Neighborhood Restaurant Group are collaborating on a Zora Neale Hurston-inspired Southern-food place called Eatonville. It’ll open early next year on 14th Street, Northwest, across from the original Busboys and Poets.

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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.