The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

Yesterday, New York Times editor Bill Keller announced that after a five-year run, restaurant critic Frank Bruni will step down. He’s got a book coming out (Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater) and is set to become writer-at-large for the Times Magazine. So who will replace him? Eater is already doing some handicapping, giving odds for 25 potential candidates. Near the head of the pack? Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema. Eater gives him 5-to-1 odds, and he’s currently third place in a user poll. New York magazine’s Adam Platt is the frontrunner.

Say goodbye to Domasoteca, the Italian-themed wine/gourmet shop in the Hotel Palomar Arlington. It’s closing May 30. Until then, you can take advantage of some decent savings—20 percent off bottles of wine, 30 percent off mixed half cases, and 40 percent off mixed full cases.

Former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn is on a roll. Last week, Michelle Obama and a swarm of staffers visited his Hill burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery. Now, he reveals that he’s bought the nearby Zack’s Taverna and plans to turn it into a pizzeria. According to Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman, Mendelsohn wants to produce something crispier than a Neapolitan pie, with San Marzano tomatoes and spare toppings. What kind of oven he’ll use is still up in the air. He’ll also turn out house-made cola, root beer, and cherry soda.

Just over two years since it was ruined by a fire, Eastern Market’s South Hall is scheduled to reopen June 26. In addition to food and flower stalls, it’ll include space for cultural events. “It has so much history, I couldn’t even begin to discuss it,” said DC mayor Adrian Fenty at the announcement.

Tokyo chef Yoshihisa Ota is coming to Washington to man the sushi bar at Kushi, a Japanese restaurant in downtown DC’s sprawling City Vista condo complex. The restaurant, set to open in the fall, will be pretty big, too—4,000 square feet, with Kushiyashi grills and a Robata fire pit.

Cupcakes Actually, a sisters-run cupcake shop (or as they call it, cupcake boutique), recently opened in Fairfax Corner. They’re seeking to separate themselves from the crowded cupcake pack with a line of dipped confections. A vanilla-buttercream-topped cupcake gets dunked in caramel, and a devil’s-food cupcake topped with peanut-butter icing is enrobed in chocolate.

Eatonville, the latest production from Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal, is set to open tonight at 14th and V streets, Northwest. Or so says the color-splashed, mural-painted restaurant’s Twitter feed. Prince of Petworth snapped some early photos.

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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.