• Richard Blais, a Top Chef season-four finalist, announced that he’s bringing his Flip Burger Boutique to DC’s Penn Quarter next year. The slogan for the restaurant, which Blais would like to make a nationwide chain, is “fine dining between two buns,” and the first location is in Atlanta. The menu there has 20 burgers, which include such ingredients as Japanese Kobe beef, foie gras, kimchee ketchup, and pickled apples. Sides include vodka-battered onion rings with beer honey mustard and veal-sweetbread nuggets. The molecular-gastronomy fanatic also has liquid-nitrogen milkshakes whose flavors include Krispy Kreme, pistachio-and-white-truffle, and foie gras.
• Yaku, a Peruvian restaurant specializing in chifa cuisine, will close in January, reports Tim Carman of the Washington City Paper. Owner Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld, who also owns Chi-Cha Lounge, Gua-Rapo, the Kitchen, and Ceviche, blames it on the Court House location not the concept. The business was sold to another group, who will switch the space at the beginning of next year to a sushi restaurant with rock music.
• Washington hasn’t seen the end of the cupcake craze, according to the Washington Business Journal. Jeff Clabaugh reports that Crumbs Bake Shop, which opened its first store in 2003 in Manhattan, is planning outposts in six Washington neighborhoods for next March. The 25 current locations each bake 50 varieties of cupcakes, which come in three sizes: taste, classic, and signature, a mammomth four-inch-tall treat.
• Alan Richman of GQ magazine has anointed small-plates master José Andrés chef of the year, saying that he’s “the premier Spanish chef working in America.” Richman named his five favorite Andrés dishes, which include plates from Jaleo, Minibar, Zaytinya, and the Bazaar, Andrés’s Los Angeles restaurant.
• The Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema finds out the owners behind Nooshi and Spices are opening DC Diner (a tentative name) in Cleveland Park. Preliminary plans call for diner-like hours (6 AM to 2 AM), a farm-inspired interior, and “Asian sandwiches.” We’re hoping that includes a good banh mi.
Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at twitter.com/bestbitesblog