Food News Review: Jeff Black in Takoma Park, Mari Vanna Bar Opens, John Wabeck Heads to Pittsburgh

Plus: Rumors of an H Street Honey Pig and an Eastern European place in Ballston.

The bar at Mari Vanna opened Thursday. Photograph by the Ginza Group.

The big story this week: Tom Sietsema has it that restaurateur Jeff Black (Black Market Bistro, Black’s Bar and Kitchen, Addie’s, BlackSalt, and Pearl Dive) is opening a modern American place in Takoma Park at 6937-6939 Laurel Avenue.

Black Restaurant Group vet Danny Wells, a native of the area, will serve as executive chef and is a partner in the project. Expect two “spots for drinking,” a patio, a dining room, and—this being a Jeff Black establishment—a raw bar. Sietsema says the new place will be designed by GTM Architects of Bethesda, the same firm that remodeled Black’s home. [WP]

Via Eater DC and Society Fair sommelier and wine manager John Wabeck has been wooed away to the city of bridges. Joining Wabeck is girlfriend Melissa Horst, who worked at Society Fair sister restaurant Virtue Feed & Grain. Reporting from her newish food critic perch in Pittsburgh, former Washingtonian Melissa McCart shares news of the couple’s new jobs. [DonRockwell][Eater DC][PG Plate]

The Post reported Thursday that the downstairs bar at long-awaited Russian import Mari Vanna is now open. Friday, the new spot at 1141 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest, will be offering $5 infused vodka shots from 5 to 7 PM. [WP]

While we await the openings of Barracks Row Serbian spot Ambar and the rest of Mari Vanna, we can get our Eastern European fix in Ballston at Rus Us. ArlNow brings word that the framing store and restaurant is now serving customers at 1000 North Randolph Street. Previously just a catering business, Rus Us specializes in Russian and Uzbeki foods. [ArlNOW]

The City Paper’s Jessica Sidman says Timothy Dean of Top Chef season seven is in the process of bringing his burger-and-pizza concept TD Burger—the original of which is in Largo, Maryland—to the District of Columbia. A lease has not been finalized, but Sidman says Dean has honed in on the NoMa area. [Y&H]

Sidman also brings details on Carrot and Kale, the new organic juice bar inside Mint at 1724 California Street, Northwest, in Adams Morgan. The bar, from the owner of Hawthorne Homemade in Cleveland Park, will offer smoothies, wraps, salads, and soups in addition to fresh juices. It opens Friday. [Y&H]

Also from ArlNOW, the fro-yo gods have once again smiled upon Arlington, with a new Tutti Frutti location on South Fern Street in Pentagon City. [ArlNOW]

Oh, do let this one be true: POPville mongers the rumor that Korean barbeque chain Honey Pig is headed for H Street. [POPville]

Finally, a new supper club and event space is being planned in the Blagden Alley carriage house belonging to Anna and Dan Kahoe, the owners of GoodWood at 1428 U Street, Northwest. [POPville]

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