The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

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

• DC’s Shaw neighborhood could be getting its second white-tablecloth restaurant, just up the street from Corduroy, Tom Power’s high-end dining room that relocated there about a year ago. Neighborhood blog Renew Shaw reported on Monday that the space at 1230 Ninth Street, Northwest (at M Street), is undergoing construction again after plans for a restaurant in the same building were put on hold two years ago.

• A steakhouse is coming to Old Town, courtesy of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (the folks behind Rustico, Buzz, Tallula/EatBar, Vermilion, and Evening Star Cafe). It’ll be called Columbia Firehouse and will follow the lead of many restaurants these days and feature two menus—a casual one downstairs and a fancier one upstairs. Meanwhile, the group’s planned Logan Circle pizza-and-beer restaurant Birch & Barley (and its upstairs bar Churchkey) aren't showing many signs of life, although they're hoping for a summer or fall opening.  

• The Black Restaurant Group is playing musical chairs with its chefs, reports the Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman. After Todd Wiss—the former Poste sous chef who briefly ducked into Black’s Bar & Kitchen—left, the job was open. Until three months ago, when chef/owner Jeff Black installed Arra Lawson, who was previously chef de cuisine at Addie’s, another Black operation. Nate Waugaman, the former executive sous chef at Black’s, took Lawson’s job. Got that?

• On Wednesday, former Murky Coffee owner Nick Cho told Don Rockwell readers that his new gig, called Chinatown Coffee Company, will open this June in—you guessed it—Chinatown in DC. He added that “most of the baristas from Murky Coffee Arlington are making the move with us.”

• On Tuesday morning, Matt Ashburn, a resident of DC’s Trinidad neighborhood, e-mailed the Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman that he’d be bringing the Capital City Diner to the neighborhood. Ashburn and business partner Patrick Carl purchased a 1940s dining car on eBay from a tiny town in upstate New York and hauled it down here with plans to set up shop in a former used-car lot. There’ve been a couple of road bumps, though. First, the city wouldn’t let him park the thing in the lot, so it was left on Bladensburg Road for a few hours on Wednesday. Later that day, Ashburn and Carl found out  that, among other things, their concrete foundation wasn’t big enough and they didn’t have the right permits. What does it all mean? The project is on hold, which is no surprise given that we’ve never seen a DC restaurant actually open when it’s supposed to.

• The Logan Circle outpost of Baltimore’s Pitango Gelato (1451 P St., NW) is now open, and we’re looking forward to lining up for such flavors as creme fraiche gelato and Pennsylvania Concord grape sorbet. Another location is slated for Reston Town Center. 

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 Logan Circle.