CityZen will close Dec. 6 as chef Eric Ziebold leaves to open his own restaurant. [Post]
The D.C. restaurant industry remembers Mark Kuller. [Eater]
Dan's Cafe named among the best dive bars in America. [Thrillist]
A review of the Pug's restrooms [DCist]
Bistro 360 restaurant and market opening in Arlington. [NoVa Mag]
Five spooky cocktails for your Halloween party. [Drink DC]
There's a new culinary exhibit at National Geographic Magazine. [Washingtonian]
Chef and one-time Hell's Kitchen winner Rock Harper is working with Barracks Row Entertainment—the group behind Hawk 'n' Dove, Molly Malone's, and other Capitol Hill restaurants—to open Willie's Brew & Que in Navy Yard tonight. The debut comes after months of drama: Barracks Row Entertainment and its nine restaurant subsidiaries filed for bankruptcy in March and then subsequently sued the restaurants' original owner, Xavier Cervera, for allegedly "sabotaging" the businesses.
Regardless, it's here, and Harper signed on as chef and partner about a month ago. His brother Ed Howard is general manager.
The barbecue will take influences from styles around the county and the world. The menu will include St. Louis-style ribs, ancho-rubbed brisket, pulled pork, jerk chicken, Korean-style wings, and burgers plus mac and cheese, braised kale, slaw, and "all the fixin's." For dessert, expect things like banana pudding, cookies, and ice cream.
"It's our mission to have the best barbecue in D.C.," chef Harper says. Read more Willie’s Brew & Que Opens Tonight in Navy Yard
One of the area's best late-night drunk-food destinations has just hit Clarendon. Amsterdam Falafelshop opened yesterday at 3024 Wilson Blvd.
The Arlington menu will be the same as that of its D.C. counterparts in Adams Morgan an on 14th Street NW: Fried falafel balls come stuffed in a bowl or pita with as many pickled vegetables, sauces, and salads as you can pack in without the whole thing toppling over. This location, however, will not serve beer.
The restaurant will open daily at 11 a.m. It closes at midnight on Sundays and Mondays, 2:30 a.m on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
David Rosenstein, owner of the Clarendon franchise as well as several Popeye's, plans to open more Amsterdam Falafelshops in Georgetown, downtown D.C., Bethesda, and Silver Spring.
Photo courtesy Amsterdam Falafelshop
The best places to eat and drink around D.C. [Express]
Obituary for Proof, Estadio, and Doi Moi owner Mark Kuller [Post]
Todd Kliman questions the lack of suburban restaurants in Tom Sietsema's fall dining guide. [Washingtonian]
Spike Mendelsohn's new TV show, Midnight Feast, airs. [Zagat]
El Chucho owners to open Italian restaurant called Little Coco's. [Post]
City Tap House plans to fill giant pumpkin with pumpkin beer. [Eater]
Check out photos of Chez Billy Sud. [BYT]
Will food allergy hysteria destroy Halloween? [VICE]
Photo by Jessica Sidman
Mark Kuller, the owner of Proof, Estadio, Doi Moi, and 2 Birds 1 Stone, died today at the age of 61. The Post reports that he had been fighting pancreatic cancer. The lawyer-turned-restaurateur was known for a personality as big as his six-foot-six stature and the eagle-eyed attention to detail he put into his businesses, which are some of the best in the city.
Washingtonian critic Todd Kliman wrote a fantastic profile of Kuller more than a year ago, which is worth a reread. In it, he writes about how Kuller grew up in a small town outside the Catskills—the son of a "bookie who worked for the mafia" and "Jewish Mother Teresa." A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles law school, Kuller moved to D.C. in 1982 to work for the Treasury Department and practiced tax law before opening Proof in 2007 and becoming a full-time restaurateur. Read more Restaurateur Mark Kuller Has Died
Bartender: Uros Jojic
Where: Ambar, 523 8th St. SE
Mystery Ingredient: Chia seeds
Bartender Response: Jojic had never even heard of chia seeds. He decided to look to Mexico, the seeds’ place of origin. Mezcal it is!
What We Got: Whatever ingredient I brought, Jojic was going to make sure the cocktail contained rakia, a fermented fruit liqueur that’s the traditional drink of Serbia and the star of the restaurant’s bar menu. In addition to the mezcal and pear rakia, Jojic added fall flavors like pear, cinnamon, and star anise. The chia seeds were sprinkled into the pear puree liberally and dusted on an orange wedge for a pretty garnish. Sour mix and simple syrup punched up the flavors. Read more Remixology: Make Us A Drink With Chia Seeds
Well, that didn't last long. Kapnos chef George Pagonis—D.C.'s sole contestant on season 12 of Top Chef—was asked to pack his knives and go on the first episode last night. So how did his short run stack up against other locals who've competed on the Bravo show? Here’s a roundup of all of the D.C. (or former D.C.) Top Chefs, what they’re doing now, and the number of episodes they lasted before getting kicked off.
Current position: Executive chef and owner of Volt, Range, Aggio, Lunchbox, and Family Meal
Season: 6, Las Vegas
Episodes until kicked off: Runner-up
Current position: Co-host of The Chew and working to open Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen in New York and eventually D.C.
Season: 5, New York and 8, New York
Episodes until kicked off: Runner-up; 13 Read more How Long Have All D.C. Chefs Lasted On Top Chef? (Spoiler)
Eight restaurants and bars with live piano music [Eater]
Chef Jeremiah Langhorne will open the Dabney in Blagden Alley. [Post]
Where to find global versions of fried chicken [Express]
Stevie Wonder visits Evolve Vegan Restaurant in Takoma. [PoPville]
The best brunch spots in D.C. (part two) [DCist]
Former Kitty O'Shea's owner to open Irish pub on Columbia Pike. [ARLnow]
Five minutes with Eric Hilton [Reliable Source]
Photo of Georgetown Piano Bar by Jessica Sidman
I’m still sipping my $17 hickory-smoked rum cocktail at Dram & Grain when the lights brighten like a movie theater after the credits roll. It’s only a little after 11 p.m. in the basement bar at Jack Rose Dining Saloon—far from last call on a Saturday night. But our two hours are up, and the lights are a not-so-subtle reminder that it’s time to go.
Granted, my drinking companion and I were warned when we made the reservation that seatings only last two hours (and that there’s a two-drink minimum). But had we been anywhere else, we would have stayed for another round and maybe ordered those fried Chesapeake oysters. Instead, we polished off our drinks, signed the check, and headed to another bar.
Your drink comes with a countdown at a handful of D.C.’s most serious cocktail bars (and at least one restaurant that doesn’t want you to get too blitzed on its $15 “bottomless” mimosa and bloody mary deal). Like Dram & Grain, high-end drinking dens Barmini, PX, and Columbia Room allot two hours for their patrons. With limited seats, highly curated menus, and often theatrical service, ever-popular places like these mean “let’s get drinks” is less about idling away the evening and more about staying for the show—complete with curtain call. Read more Occupy Bar Seat: Last Call? No, Just the End of Your Reservation.
If there can be multiple fried chicken and doughnut joints in D.C., why not two biscuit pop-ups?
While plenty of attention has been lavished upon Mason Dixie Biscuit Company, which is currently operating out of Park View "pop-uppery" EatsPlace, Biscuit Lab Baking Co. is just getting started. The newest biscuit biz is set to host its first pop-up at Lyman's Tavern beginning Oct. 26.
Biscuit Lab comes from Flying Fish Coffee and Tea owner Michael Visser and his roommate Phil Coppersmith, a former government contractor. Coppersmith says they didn't know about Mason Dixie Biscuit Company when they first conceptualized their idea. (Such coincidences happen often.) They found out about it when a friend sent Coppersmith a link to Mason Dixie's Kickstarter campaign and asked, "Is this you guys?"
"They are way, way ahead of us, way better organized," Coppersmith says. "They're probably six to eight months ahead of us." Read more D.C. Gets Another Biscuit Pop-Up: Biscuit Lab Baking Co.