• Former Colorado Kitchen chef/owner Gillian Clark is keeping busy, no question. After closing her Brightwood kitchen, she announced plans to open a new restaurant, Avenue Oven, in Takoma Park. Then there’s the General Store and Post Office Tavern in Silver Spring, which has been in the works for more than a year. And this week, she let Prince of Petworth in on her intent to open another restaurant, a “classically Southern” place called the Georgia Avenue Meeting House in Petworth, the neighborhood she’s called home for ten years. On the projected menu: trout, catfish, pheasant, and pigs’ feet.
Clark tells City Paper’s Tim Carman that she hopes to have five restaurants or more by 2011 “in spots where nobody wants to open.”
• Carman also got an early peek at the new Ray’s the Steaks—owner Michael Landrum will move his hit steakhouse to a bigger space a few blocks away, he hopes by January (the old Ray’s will be turned into a seafood place). Landrum says that the new Ray’s will be divided into two areas: a casual, no-reservations room up front and a reservable back dining room that’ll feel closer to his Silver Spring restaurant, Ray’s the Classics.
• Will Columbia Heights get another pizza joint? If so, we’re jealous. It’s already home to the excellent Pete’s Apizza and RedRocks, and now the Washington Business Journal reports that it could get a branch of Pizzeria Paradiso, the artisanal-pizza place that jump-started DC’s pie culture. Nothing’s set in stone yet, but owner Ruth Gresser has been talking to developers and hopes to have a clearer fix on the deal later this month.
• New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof makes the case that President-elect Barack Obama should name a Secretary of Food in lieu of a Secretary of Agriculture. He argues that the current agriculture business supports “factory farming” for corn syrup and soybean oil, not the small farmers that grow real food: “A Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of Americans engaged in farming. But today fewer than 2 percent are farmers. In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat.”
• Restaurant Luigino, the 15-year-old Italian restaurant in downtown DC, will serve its final plate of ravioli on January 5.
• Restaurateurs Fabrizio and Ingrid Aielli, former owners of Teatro Goldoni, have turned up in Naples, Florida. They’re running a new restaurant called Sea Salt, and it even sports a design from DC’s Griz Dwight. Gourmet critic Colman Andrews pays a visit and proclaims that Aielli makes “some of the best ‘home fried’ potatoes around, including a variation lightly moistened with foie gras fat and dusted with cacao nibs and bacon-chive salt.” Sounds like perfect beach food to us.