Former Jack’s Restaurant Owner Herbert Kerschbaumer Now in the Kitchen at Bistrot Le Zinc

The chef says menus for happy hour, brunch, and mussel lovers are coming soon.

The kitchen at Bistrot Le Zinc. Photograph by Emma Patti.

Yesterday we discovered that chef Janis McLean quietly left Bistrot Le Zinc in Upper Northwest for Penn Quarter’s Social Reform Kitchen & Bar. Taking her place at the French neighborhood spot: Swiss-born Herbert Kerschbaumer, former chef-owner of the now-closed Jack’s Restaurant and Bar in Dupont. He’s been at Zinc since June.

17th Street spot was best known for its killer happy hour deals, but
don’t wander up to Le Zinc in search of $3 cocktails—at least not yet.
The chef says there’s a comprehensive happy hour menu being worked out
for the fall, as well as weekend brunch and entire section of the menu
devoted to mussels. For now, the chef and co-owner John Warner say
they’re focused on lowering the price point at Le Zinc and making the
eatery more widely accessible. Though certain staples remain—steak frites,
mussels, onion soup—Kerschbaumer says he’s also pulling the menu in a
more seasonal direction. Currently, that means lighter fare previously
less prominent on the hearty bistro menu, such as gazpacho, lemon-chive
crepes with crab, and roasted salmon in citrus sauce over asparagus

Been there in the past two months? Tell us what you thought in the comments.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.