Young and Hungry

Last Night’s Leftovers: Restaurant Week Edition

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Nine new spots to try for Restaurant Week [Zagat]

What nine influential Washingtonians eat for breakfast [Washingtonian]

The Chesapeake Room reopens Friday with a more Southern menu. [Eater]

What to expect from Alfa Piehouse [Post]

14th St Cafe Asian Bistro now open in Logan Circle. [PoPville]

Mike Isabella's Pepita takes advantage of new Virginia law that allows pitchers. [WBJ]

Photo from Fig & Olive by Jessica Sidman

D.C. Food Network Star Contestant Will Open Southeast Asian “Expat Bar” in Petworth

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Former Duke's Grocery chef Alex McCoy was among the final four contestants on Food Network Star before he was cut in Sunday night's episode. But the chef isn't wasting any time moving on to the next big project: He's set to open his own bar and restaurant—whose name he's not yet revealing—at 845 Upshur Street NW in Petworth sometime in October.

McCoy is taking the idea of the expat bars he encountered while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and opening one up at home. (Meta, yes.) These bars frequented by travelers are the kinds of places "where you can get a really phenomenal authentic curry, but then you can also get some of the dishes that the owner has brought with them from their travels, whether it's from home or from living in Bali or traveling to Japan," McCoy explains. Read more D.C. Food Network Star Contestant Will Open Southeast Asian “Expat Bar” in Petworth

Cava Grill Launching Breakfast Bowls and Yogurt Bar… At The Airport Only

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Another glimmer of hope for D.C.'s lackluster breakfast scene? Sort of.

Cava Grill is introducing a Greek yogurt bar and build-your-own breakfast bowls with eggs and potatoes or grains. The catch? The new menu items will only be available at the Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant's Reagan National Airport location, opening in terminal B near the end of August.

Cava Grill CEO Brett Schulman says there are "absolutely no current plans" to introduce breakfast elsewhere. "I don't know that there's quite enough breakfast crowd for some of our other locations," he says. But he adds, "never say never in the future."

The restaurant is venturing into breakfast because the airport requires them to be open during breakfast hours. Still, it will be a big upgrade from Auntie Anne's pretzels. Cava Grill's Greek yogurt bowls will come with toppings like chia seeds, granola, hemp hearts, honey, and seasonal roasted fruit.

The other breakfast bowls are made with "frambled" (fried and scrambled) eggs, a choice of potatoes and grains, plus meats like applewood smoked bacon or spicy lamb meatballs. The toppings will be slightly pared down from the lunch offerings, but will still include things like feta, harissa, Sriracha Greek yogurt, tomato and onion, arugula, pickled onions, and more.

Compass Coffee will supply a morning cup.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Last Night’s Leftovers: District Taco Edition

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District Taco founder hires company that laid him off to build Rosslyn restaurant. [ARLnow]

Do we really need D.C. Beer Week? [Post]

Trusty's celebrates 10 years in Capitol Hill. [Eater]

Six can't miss restaurant openings [Washingtonian]

Purple Patch launches Filipino brunch. [DCist]

Behold the ramen ice cream sandwich [BYT]

Bar Otsukare pop-up returns to Crane & Turtle tonight. [New Columbia Heights]

Photo of District Taco owner Osiris Hoil by Darrow Montgomery

Trump Sues ThinkFoodGroup For $10 Million For Backing Out of Hotel Restaurant Deal

IMG_6104-e1436380670608The Trump organization has made good on its threats to sue ThinkFoodGroup after chef José Andrés announced he was backing out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant in Donald Trump's swanky new Old Post Office hotel. Trump Old Post Office LLC filed a lawsuit in D.C. court today seeking $10 million in lost rent and other damages over breach of contract.

On July 8, Andrés said in a statement that the Presidential candidate's remarks disparaging immigrants made it "impossible" for him to move forward with his planned Spanish fine dining restaurant. "More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests,"Andrés said. "And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.” Read more Trump Sues ThinkFoodGroup For $10 Million For Backing Out of Hotel Restaurant Deal

Restaurants and Bars Offering Cigar Menus

cigars_masseriaChef Nick Stefanelli loves a good cigar, so at his new upscale Italian restaurant, Masseria, smoking will be on par with the eating and drinking. “For me, it’s just another piece of gastronomy, a really nice cigar after a beautiful meal,” he says. “You have tobaccos that are aged for years and years. There’s really a true art form to it.” Looking for other bars and restaurants with cigar menus as serious as their food and drink menus? Here are some of the city’s top places to light up—or if you can’t stand the smoke, to avoid altogether.

Masseria
1340 4th St. NE

The Union Market-area restaurant will offer a rotation of about 10 cigars, which can be enjoyed on the California-esque patio lounge with fire pits and sofas. W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist is curating the menu, which will include some limited releases and other special offerings as well as cigars for beginners. Read more Restaurants and Bars Offering Cigar Menus

Last Night’s Leftovers: Heller’s Replacement Edition

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Paisley Fig bakery coming to former Heller's Bakery spot in Mount Pleasant. [Express]

The 17 best waterfront bars in Maryland [Thrillist]

Who has the best chain lobster roll? [Washingtonian]

Three D.C.-area restaurants that could use a little more seasoning [Post]

Fishnet in Shaw closing temporarily for a revamp. [PoPville]

Union Kitchen helps small businesses access capital. [WBJ]

Photo via Google Maps

Chef Mike Isabella Opens Booze-Centric Mexican Eatery in Ballston Today

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The last time Mike Isabella ventured into Mexican food it didn't go so swell. Bandolero—the Georgetown restaurant from which the chef split two years ago—was plagued by middling reviews and a messy legal dispute between the landlord and the owners. (Not to mention more recent, post-Isabella era allegations of sex crimes by employees.) But just over a week after Bandolero closed, Isabella is opening a new Mexican restaurant called Pepita in Ballston. This time, the operation is all his own. Read more Chef Mike Isabella Opens Booze-Centric Mexican Eatery in Ballston Today

Underserved: Kazbegi Sunrise at Compass Rose

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Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you're not ordering.

What: Kazbegi Sunrise with chacha, Perun pear brandy, St. Germain, peach puree, lemon, and a Pirosmani wine float

Where: Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW

Price: $12

What You Should Be Drinking
Forget tchotchkes—the best souvenir from a trip around the world is inspiration. That’s what the Compass Rose team brought home with them from a June trip to Georgia (the country, not the Peach State). Beverage Director Janelle Whisenant was particularly moved by a visit to a small town in the Caucasus mountains because of the view of Mt. Kazbek. The area is officially called Stepantsminda today, though most still refer to it by its original name, Kazbegi, now the namesake of one of her cocktails. “The drink is pretty much an ode to Georgia,” Whisenant explains. That’s why it contains the country’s chief spirit, chacha, a grape-based pomace brandy that sips like grappa. She combines it with a Serbian pear brandy for a kick, St. Germaine liqueur for sweetness, housemade peach puree, lemon, and a float of Georgian Pirosmani red wine. It looks similar to a Tequila Sunrise—another source of inspiration.

Read more Underserved: Kazbegi Sunrise at Compass Rose

Are You Gonna Eat That? Worm Salt at El Camino

wormsaltThe Dish: Worm salt

Where to Get It: El Camino; 108 Rhode Island Ave. NW; (202) 847-0419; elcaminodc.com

Price: $2 with any mezcal

What It Is: The worm salt—also known as sal de gusano—is served here with orange slices as a traditional Oaxacan accompaniment to mezcal. You dip the orange slices in the salt, take a sip of mezcal, then take a bite of salty orange slice. Beverage Director Paul Challan, who was born in Mexico, uses the Gran Mitla brand of worm salts, one of just a few available in the U.S. For the concoction, agave worms (technically a caterpillar called aegiale hesperiaris) are toasted and ground, then blended with sea salt and costeño chiles, a mild dried pepper that adds more depth than heat. Read more Are You Gonna Eat That? Worm Salt at El Camino

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