Ba Bay. Cousins Denise and Khoa Nguyen, a team on the short-lived reality show The Chopping Block, are behind this Capitol Hill 49-seater, scheduled to open in late November, where their native Vietnamese cuisine will be translated by an American chef. Fabio Trabocchi protégé Nick Sharpe is using cooking lessons from the Nguyen family as a starting point for small plates and house-made charcuterie. Two former Bourbon mixologists are consulting on a seasonal cocktail menu.
CapMac. Former Bourbon Steak line cook Brian Arnoff’s new food truck is painted with bright-orange elbow noodles, but he plans to go beyond the usual macaroni. Lunchers can expect chicken-Parmesan meatballs with béchamel, 20-layer lasagna, risotto pudding, and house-made sodas.
Bistro LaZeez. This small, modern, and pretty Mediterranean grill specializes in the owner’s signature grilled chicken, skinless but tender and full of flavor. Rounding out the menu are freshly made kebabs and falafel.
Itsy Bitsy Bakery. Bethesda–Chevy Chase High School alum Maria Forline, 26, is behind this full-service bakery. The cases are filled with jalapeño cornbread, cinnamon buns, cakes in flavors inspired by spumoni and Neapolitan ice cream, and of course cupcakes—a few are vegan or gluten-free.
Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery. It’s all New Orleans all the time at chef/owner David Guas’s ode to his native city. He turns out beignets, pies, puddings, and biscuits and uses bacon as a savory accent in everything from a sandwich with peanut butter and apple sauce to caramel corn with cayenne.
Jacques’ Brasserie at L’Auberge. L’Auberge Chez François, one of Washington’s fine-dining institutions, has added an à la carte dinner menu with tarte flambée, charcuterie, and braised ribs, among other Alsatian dishes. It’s available Tuesday through Friday, with some of the recipes from the late owner François Haeringer’s handwritten notebook.
This article appears in the December 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.
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