The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

• The restaurant graveyard is getting more crowded: This week, we reported that Farrah Olivia, Morou Ouattara’s boundary-pushing Old Town restaurant (number 20 on our 100 Best Restaurants list) will close at the end of April. Ouattara hopes to move it into DC and is scouting spaces. He won’t be out of the kitchen for long, either: This summer, he and brother Amadou plan to open Kora, a lowkey Italian place in Crystal City.

• Ouattara is closing Farrah because he couldn’t reach a deal with Balducci’s to stay in the building. The gourmet grocery chain recently sold three area stores—McLean, Alexandria, and Bethesda—to an investment group. The Upper Northwest DC branch—which we’ll always remember as Sutton Place Gourmet—will close.

• DC already has a shortage of reliable neighborhood restaurants, and so we’ll miss the burgers, tomato/lager soup, and array of flavored butters at Mark and Orlando’s that much more after the Dupont Circle dining room/bar shutters. According to, it’s last day will be April 30. That will leave three empty restaurant spaces (Montsouris and Cafe Trope are closed too) on that seemingly cursed stretch of P Street.

• Telegenic celeb chef Todd English (Olives) has backed out of plans to oversee Cha, the long-delayed pan-Asian dining room in slick boutique hotel Donovan House. Stepping in will be restaurant vet Susur Lee, who last headed New York Asian fusion spot Shang, but is best known for his places in Toronto.

•  How this man’s heart is still ticking—and how he maintains his heroin-chic frame—is beyond us. But there Anthony Bourdain is, sitting with Cathal Armstrong at Eamonn’s and scarfing down a French-fry-and-butter (with extra butter) sandwich to the bubbling tune of a bong hit. That’s after a few bites of the fry-battered cod, sausage, and burger. The scene at the Old Town chipper was cut from the DC-centric episode of Bourdain’s Travel Channel show No Reservations, but you can now catch it online.

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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.