The fine dining wing of Pineapple and Pearls, the sister restaurant to Rose's Luxury, is still a couple months away from opening. But this morning, chef Aaron Silverman debuted a takeout cafe in the front portion of the space, serving coffee and a small selection of sandwiches and sweets.
As of 9:30 a.m., there was—get this—no line, although a handful of people had reportedly arrived at the cafe 15 minutes prior to the 8 a.m. opening.
Brooklyn's Parlor Coffee supplies the coffee, which can be combined with alternative milks like pistachio, hazelnut, and macadamia. Sweet rolls come in three flavors: pineapple, spicy Mexican chocolate, and cinnamon. There are also just three sandwiches, including an egg and potato hash option with salsa verde on masa bread (see below). Read more Pineapple and Pearls Now Open For Coffee, Sandwiches, and Sweet Rolls
Does this look like a salad to you?
Episode in two paragraphs: In the finale of a two-part Restaurant Wars, let’s just say that the Top Chef editors did not have a light touch. Isaac Toups, a funny guy who has languished in the mid-to-bottom tier lately, was picked last when teams were formed. So, like every underdog athlete trope you’ve ever witnessed, you KNEW he was going to heroically lead his team to victory and win the challenge. After adding lunch service to the challenge (hence the need for two parts), Isaac ran a tight lunch shift as executive chef of Team Palate and then at dinner produced a really good looking braised lamb shoulder with couscous, pickled fennel, and orange. Cue the music from Rocky or Rudy, and the cajun got his first win.
Meanwhile, Team District was a shitshow. After not even finishing lunch service in the allotted time, dinner was a string of bad dishes and even worse service. Head Judge Tom Colicchio was overserved on wine and underserved on flavor. And, in a bit of foreshadowing (did we mention that the editors are not exactly subtle?) Phillip Frankland Lee was seen pimping his L.A. restaurants to diners while restauranteur Bill Chait actually wonders aloud if he’s doing just that instead of riding herd over the sloppy service. Lee’s cause was not helped by a truly horrible-looking strawberry salad that ate more like a heavy dessert. In the end, DING! DONG! THE MAN BUN IS GONE! The fact that Lee bitched about other chefs in his post-elimination interview and skulked away from judges table without saying goodbye to his competitors shows how little love was lost with his booting.
Read more Top Chef Recap: Death to the Man Bun
Where to dine and drink solo [Post]
New and upcoming raw bar projects [Eater]
10 new bars and restaurants to try now [Washingtonian]
Dish of the week: EatsPlace’s takoyaki hotdog [Express]
The Passenger hints at spring reopening in Shaw. [Borderstan]
Pho 88 Restaurant and Deli now open in Chinatown. [PoPville]
Photo via Shutterstock
February is already turning out to be a busy month for yet more restaurant and bar openings, including some of the year’s most anticipated. In case you blinked and missed one, here’s a shorthand synopsis you won’t need to stare at too long.
Belgian beer – Stella + sour + funky + more bottles than bar stools + beer-braised meats + a deep fried burger + Dutch-style mussels + reindeer chandeliers + hidden alley entrance = The Sovereign (1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW)
Komi and Little Serow alums – a tasting menu + vaguely Mediterranean influence + seaweed sourdough + lamb ribs for two + housemade pastas + eclectic wines = Tail Up Goat (1827 Adam Mills Road NW) Read more A Shorthand Guide to the Latest Restaurant and Bar Openings
Top Chef's California season is just past the halfway mark and in the middle of a two-part Restaurant Wars challenge. As veteran watchers of the Bravo show, it's a good time to set some odds on the current group of cheftestants' chances of making the multi-part finals competition.
Marjorie Meek-Bradley: For those of us with a rooting interest in D.C. chefs, MM-B has been comforting. Even when she’s finished in the bottom (because of her team), judges have singled out her food as being excellent. The Ripple/Roofer's Union chef already brought out her secret weapon–baking—a couple of times, and her ability to work across a couple of styles is handy. Plus, as a friend and former employee of Mike Isabella, she came into this with a good understanding of the game. She can win it. Odds: 3-1 Read more Top Chef Season Odds, Starring Marjorie Meek-Bradley
For at least three months of the year, Doug Povich knows his Red Hook Lobster Pound food trucks are going to lose money. He sends them out anyway.
Povich says he’s lucky to make it halfway to his break-even point from December through mid-March. He’s only able to make it through with reserves from the busy spring and summer season, plus catering gigs and other revenue streams like UberEats. (Yes, mobile vendors sometimes rely on other mobile vendors to deliver food.)
It’s no secret that food truck sales drop along with temperatures, but February can be one of the most brutal months. Some trucks close for the season. Others like Red Hook Lobster Pound suck it up, knowing they’ll lose money. Those with low food or operating costs are able to stay open and make some profit. And nearly everyone is looking for other revenue streams that sometimes have little to do with the truck itself.
“By and large, people are happy to break even,” says Povich, the chairman of the DMV Food Truck Association. Read more Food Trucks Look for Ways to Survive the Winter
Roofers Union review: Top Chef puts the spotlight on Marjorie Meek-Bradley. [Post]
Aphrodisiac-laced dishes to spice up your Valentine’s Day [Express]
Five dining saves for Valentine’s Day procrastinators [Washingtonian]
Behind the scenes of Harper Macaw's chocolate factory [BYT]
Two restaurants experiment with jelly in cocktails. [DCist]
Tynan Coffee & Tea has new ownership in Columbia Heights. [PoPville]
Photo courtesy Roofers Union
Navy Yard Oyster Company may have fallen through, but it looks like Navy Yard will get a seafood spot after all. DGS Delicatessen owners and cousins Nick and David Wiseman will open a raw bar and restaurant called Whaley's in the same Anacostia River-facing building as Osteria Morini, Agua 301, and others. Read more Seafood Restaurant and Raw Bar Whaley’s Coming to Navy Yard
Mike Isabella announced today that he's getting into mall food courts—really fancy ones. The restaurateur behind Graffiato, Kapnos, and countless other restaurants will open Isabella Eatery, a 10-concept, 41,000-square-foot, 600-seat dining complex in Tysons Galleria, the Post first reported.
The food hall, coming in 2017, will include variations of existing Isabella restaurants, including Graffiato, Kapnos, Pepita, Requin, and Yona. There will also be a bunch of new concepts: Arroz (Spanish tapas), Octagon Bar ("prohibition-style" classic cocktails), Non-Fiction Coffee (cafe with sandwiches, soups, salads, and pastries), Retro Creamery (ice cream parlor and soda shop), and Trim (Mediterranean grill). A 300-seat common area will service half of the concepts, while others will be enclosed with dedicated seating.
Read more about the concepts from a press release below. But before you get there, here are some thoughts: Read more Three Observations About Mike Isabella’s Massive Mall Food Hall
Pineapple and Pearls will begin serving coffee on Friday. [Post]
Six Valentine's Day brunches in D.C. [Zagat]
10 great places for Valentine's Day chocolate around D.C. [Washingtonian]
Drink away Valentine's Day at these dive bars [Eater]
D.C.'s best doughnuts [Thrillist]
Madam's Organ bartender appears in Super Bowl ad. [Borderstan]
"Just send me my burrito bitch": D.C. lawyer caught up in Chipotle promotion [DCist]
Photo of chef Aaron Silverman by Darrow Montgomery