Before wine bars became trendy, chef/restaurateur Jeff Heineman was pouring by the taste, glass, and bottle and changing his menu by the season at his Bethesda bistro. An early-spring dinner showed he’s caught up in another fad: recession cooking. The bread tasted like a holdover from the day before, its airy pockets belied by a leathery texture, and the ramps and mushrooms with gnocchi were meager. But a deeply smoky/spicy broth holding rings of sautéed calamari and coins of chorizo offered a glimpse of the seafood skills Heineman mastered at Kinkead’s. And down-economy dishes can have their upsides, too: Heineman’s deep-fried chicken livers are a preparation even the squeamish should like.
This article appears in the May, 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.