Fried chicken with spiced honey. Hot catfish. Gumbo and grilled cornbread. These are a few of the dishes you’ll find on Mulebone’s menu when the restaurant opens on February 12, taking over the former Eatonville space.
When owner Andy Shallal closed the five year-old restaurant to make way for Mulebone, he had specific vision in mind.
“I want it to be a neighborhood place—that’s one of my strengths,” says Shallal, who’s also behind six Busboys and Poets locations. “14th Street has become so expensive. We want to serve creative Southern food, but also make it accessible.”
Originally The Chew’s Carla Hall was set to consult on the project, but scheduling conflicts prevented her participation. Now the modern-Southern concept—named after a play by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston—will open February 12 with DC native Joseph Paire at the helm. The former Watershed head chef beat out two other competitors for the gig in a private Top Chef-style cooking competition earlier this month, winning over Shallal and a panel of judges with dishes that drew from the South’s diverse culinary influences, including West-African chickpea fritters and Texas shrimp with sweet potato biscuits and tasso ham gravy. You’ll find similar items on the opening menu, designed specially for Valentine’s Day weekend.