Last Friday night, the White House press pool sent an alert that the First Couple was on a date at Komi, our top pick on our list of the 100 Very Best Restaurants. (Tell us here what you think of their choice.) It's the pair's latest in a string of date nights and visits to restaurants that have strong roots in the local dining scene (Ray's Hell-Burger, Equinox, Citronelle). NBC has a video of the hoopla outside Komi as Barack and Michelle left.
Our food and wine editor Todd Kliman wrote on Twitter this morning that Dan Mesches, the CEO of Stir Food Group, is leaving the organization that oversees Zola, Zola Wine & Kitchen, and Potenza. Mesches will pick up where he left off with Star Restaurant Group, his original company.
Less than nine months after bringing in new front- and back-of-house management, the Jockey Club is losing manager William Washington and chef Levi Mezick. The well-groomed toque (who had worked at such highly regarded Manhattan restaurants as Daniel and Per Se) hinted to Tom Sietsema that he was unhappy with other restaurant staff. If our experience is any indication, he might be referring to the servers.
In Tom Sietsema's chat Wednesday, the Washington Post restaurant critic announced that chef Frank Morales has left the new Ray's the Steaks at East River. Morales had a steady thing going at Rustico for more than two years, but his next gig—at Jackie's in Silver Spring—lasted just three months, and his current tenure with Ray's owner Michael Landrum was announced only ten weeks ago.
While it's stale news that the next season of Top Chef is in DC, yesterday brought fresh meat to chew on: On its Web site, Bravo posted the bios for its 17 contestants. Local faces to cheer for: Tamesha Warren, a Barbados native and the 24-year-old sous chef of the Oval Room, and the DC-bred Timothy Dean, who trained under Jean-Louis Palladin and now owns a steakhouse in Baltimore. New York Magazine has some early predictions.
For more than a year, we've been hearing that the UK-based Wagamama was going to join the large class of international restaurant chains that have come to Washington recently (think Ping Pong Dim Sum, Buddha Bar, Kebabji Grill, and Maoz Vegetarian). Missy Frederick of the Washington Business Journal reports that the noodle house might never open its doors to the storefront in Penn Quarter where the business is currently paying rent.
Biergarten Haus, a German-style beer garden from the owners of Russia House won't open this weekend as originally planned. The reason? "To ensure that we provide the best top notch service and quality environment," says a note on the restaurant's Web site. How explicit.
Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter at twitter.com/bestbitesblog