The Wrap-Up: The Week in Food

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

On Monday night, Coppi’s Organic co-owner Nori Amaya was found dead in her apartment, according to Police ruled that the 38-year-old, who owned the U Street restaurant with her brother, Carlos, was strangled.

D’Acqua, a seafood-centric restaurant in downtown DC, shut its doors for good on Friday after its landlord proposed a rent increase, reports the Washington Business Journal’s Missy Frederick. Chef Enzo Febbraro’s other two businesses, a mini D’Acqua in the Verizon Center and the recently opened Forno in Ashburn, aren’t affected by the closure. Febbraro is scouting locations to reopen D’Acqua.

Ping Pong Dim Sum, which has 16 storefronts in England, signed a deal in July for an outpost in DC’s Penn Quarter, its first US location. The company said Tuesday the opening is set for December.

Also opening its first US location is Kababji Grill, a Beirut-based company that will start serving its Mediterranean food at the end of November. The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema reports that the restaurant, on the south side of Dupont Circle, will hold 140 seats and feature beef and chicken skewers, vegetable dips, meat pies, and house-made pita.

On Monday, Sietsema brought news that Orlando Hitzig, whose Mark and Orlando’s closed in the spring, took over the kitchen at Crème Café on U Street, Northwest. Hitzig’s last gig was a short one: In September, he opened Columbia Firehouse in Old Town, only to leave a month later.

The Washington Post’s Fritz Hahn reports that brothers Tom and Derek Brown, masters of all things bar-related, will open their joint project, the Passenger, in the next few weeks. The bar/lounge, an expansion of the Warehouse space in DC’s Shaw neighborhood, will have two concepts: A more casual bar, where Tom, formerly of Cork, will serve beers, wine, and made-to-order cocktails, and a “cocktail club and laboratory bar” helmed by Derek, who’ll focus on interacting with customers. Metrocurean adds that there’ll be half-smokes, panini, and beef jerky from the local charcuterie producer Red Apron. Washington City Paper’s Tim Carman has more details on the architecture and the name.

On January 3, Michelle Obama will appear on Iron Chef America in an episode that pits Bobby Flay and White House chef Cristeta Comerford against Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse. The secret ingredient? Anything from the White House garden. Marian Burros writes in the New York Times that Obama’s communications director, Camille Johnston, reached out to the cooking show to teach its viewers about Obama’s initiatives to reduce child obesity.

The food blog Grub Street found a video of Northern Virginia native David Chang, owner of Manhattan’s Momofuku empire, eating and drinking (a lot) at Mad for Chicken in New York’s Koreatown. He then hangs out with chef José Andrés, owner of Washington’s Think Food Group, who Chang calls “the fucking man.” What did Andrés have to say about Chang? “Only a crazy mind would come up with a coffee-mayo bullshit with ham. And it’s unbelievably good!”

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