Wrapped: Washington’s Week in Food News, December 12

Notable openings, closings, and chefs on the move.

Say farewell to Nick Stefanelli's signature hay-smoked sweetbreads at Bibiana. Photograph by Scott Suchman


Pizza Vinoteca, a 100-seat pie joint, opened in Ballston Thursday with grilled pizzas, 36 wines by the glass, and a few high-tech twists. Also: Merlot-infused crust. [Washingtonian]

Spanish sandwich chain 100 Montaditos unveiled its third Washington location at the Yards. Other branches are located in Arlington and Bethesda.

Woodley Park’s Open City debuted a branch on the National Cathedral grounds. The menu is smaller than at the original, with coffees, panini, and salads. [Eater DC]

&pizza, the local pie chain that’s offering customers free tattoos, launched its first Virginia location in the Springfield Shopping Center. This is the seventh in Washington.


One of Washington’s venerable restaurants, CityZen, closed its doors over the past weekend. Founding chef Eric Ziebold has moved on to open his own ventures in Mount Vernon Triangle, while the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is readying to reveal another dining concept in the space. [Washingtonian, Washington Post]

Chefs on the move

Rumors that former Palena chef/owner Frank Ruta is taking over the swanky Capella hotel’s Grill Room prove true. Tim Carman reports that the veteran chef starts in Georgetown January 1, along with former Palena pastry chef Aggie Chin. [Washington Post]

Longtime Bibiana chef Nick Stefanelli calls it quits at the Penn Quarter eatery to open his own Italian restaurant near Union Market. Taking his place: Jake Addeo, mostly recently of Trattoria Doppio Zero in Hong Kong, and a former cook at New York standouts Felia and Esca. [Washington Post]

Kapnos chef George Pagonis is back on Top Chef season 12. He was eliminated for a quick-fire mishap on the first episode, but cooked his way back into the competition. [Washingtonian]

Sam Kass, one of the most recognizable culinary faces at the White House, is stepping down after six years. The senior policy adviser on nutrition and executive director of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign is headed to New York to be with wife Alex Wagner, based there as an MSNBC host. [Politico]

James Horn, the wine and beverage director for Mike Isabella Concepts and a partner in the business, is also leaving DC for the Big Apple due to family reasons. [Eater DC]

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.