Most Americans think of hummus as a condiment. But in other parts of the world, it's the centerpiece of a meal. The team behind DGS Delicatessen is looking to change this perception with Little Sesame, a hummus-centered fast-casual spot opening in the restaurant's basement private dining room in early January.
"The goal is that you experience hummus in this new way," says co-owner Nick Wiseman. He's teaming up with Ronen Tenne, an Israeli-born friend who he met cooking for celebrity chef Michael White in New York. Read more DGS Delicatessen Team Will Open Little Sesame Hummus Shop
Mockingbird Hill looks like its staff robbed the entire holiday section of a Hallmark store. Tonight through Dec. 24, the Derek Brown ham and sherry bar will transform into Miracle on Seventh Street, a Christmas and Hanukkah-themed bar overflowing with tinsel, Santa Claus glassware, dreidels, and other festive kitsch. Read more Mockingbird Hill Transforms Into a Christmas/Hanukkah Bar This Month
The brewery restroom was initially going to be transformed into a college dorm room. Right Proper Brewing Company's new Brookland production facility and bar (opening Thursday) has a larger than average loo, and co-founder Thor Cheston didn't want all that space to go unused. So, he planned to decorate the unisex bathroom with cheesy posters and bunk beds, complete with porn hidden under the mattress.
His employees were not so enthused. "They were like, 'Please God don't do that,'" Cheston says. "They were just worried about it being disgusting." (People having sex in bar and restaurant restrooms is enough of a problem without a mattress present.) Read more Why Is There a Piano in Right Proper’s Restroom?
MGM National Harbor casino will feature restaurants by the Voltaggio brothers, José Andrés, and Marcus Samuelsson. [Post]
Robert Wiedmaier's Reservoir is now open at Reagan National Airport. [Eater]
Crisp Kitchen + Bar brings Nashville hot chicken to Bloomingdale. [Washingtonian]
16 must-do activities in December [Thrillist]
Chipotle opens its first Columbia Pike location in Arlington. [ARLnow]
When tipping was considered deeply un-American [NPR]
Rendering courtesy MGM National Harbor
On Saturday, Pleasant Pops co-owner Roger Horowitz was sitting in the back seat of his mother-in-law's car, doing errands, when he got a once-in-a-lifetime text from the on-duty manager at his Adams Morgan cafe: "POTUS here in five."
He thought it might have been a joke.
"We had very little notice," Horowitz says, of President Barack Obama's visit during D.C.'s sixth annual Small Business Saturday. "We've had some famous customers that I've recognized before, like Ben Olsen from D.C. United, but no one like the president."
Read more Pleasant Pops Co-Owner on Obama’s Visit: ‘It Was Awesome’
Bryan Voltaggio's sprawling 5,000 square-foot kitchen at Range already contains a wood-fired grill, raw bar, rotisserie, bakery, charcuterie station, and pasta station. Now, the Chevy Chase Pavilion restaurant is looking to add a brewing equipment as well.
"We're already utilizing a lot of local craft beer in the taps at Range, so why not brew our own?" Voltaggio says.
Jonathan Staples, husband to Voltaggio's business partner Hilda Staples, is building a hops processing facility in Loudoun County, which Range plans to source from. Read more Bryan Voltaggio’s Range Applies For Brewpub Permit
Mike Isabella is fashioning himself even more as a restaurateur with his latest opening. The chef behind Kapnos and Graffiato has partnered with chef Jonah Kim to open Yona, a Japanese-Korean noodle bar and small-plates restaurant that debuts for lunch today and dinner on Dec. 4 in Arlington.
The two are 50-50 partners in the business, though the menu is 100 percent Kim's. "Mike was there as a guide, and he was there sort of as a mediator, but then from there on, it was just like 'OK, it's your thing,'" Kim says. Isabella will have a similar partnership with fellow Top Chef contestant Jen Carroll when they open Requin, a Mediterranean-inspired seafood restaurant coming to The Wharf in 2017. Read more Chefs Mike Isabella and Jonah Kim Team Up on Yona, Open Today
Where to eat hush puppies [Eater]
Know your local holiday beers. [DC Beer]
Five new, revamped brunch menus [Zagat]
Food truck program limps along in Alexandria. [WBJ]
Scandal aside, how does Tadich Grill stack up? [Post]
Florida Avenue Grill looks to serve booze. [Borderstan]
The best booze stores in the D.C. area [DCist]
Photo from Mintwood Place by Darrow Montgomery
Chaia doesn’t use meat in its tacos, but it’s never really branded itself as “vegetarian.” Sure, other people have attached the label to the business, but owners Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern have never actively promoted it on their menu, website, or signage.
“It was just when someone came up and said, ‘Do you have a chicken taco?” we would say, ‘No, we have a kale taco, we have a potato taco, and we have a corn taco,’” Simon says.
“We’ve always been quiet about it,” Bettina adds. “We’re not going to shove an agenda down anybody’s throat. It feels much gentler to just do it.”
Instead, Chaia adopted the phrase “farm to taco,” an ode to its farmers markets roots. Read more Farmers Markets Serve as Launchpads for Prepared-Food Businesses
Everything you need to know about pho [Washingtonian]
Chefs share ideas on what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers. [BYT]
What to do on the night before Thanksgiving [Post]
11 bars that actual adults should probably avoid [Eater]
The democratization of criticism [Mark Furstenberg]
Six restaurants opening in northern Virginia [NoVa Mag]
Site for Sin Bin Sports Bar up for lease on H Street NE. [District Cuisine]
Inside the D.C. speakeasy that got busted for operating without a liquor license. [Barred in DC]
Photo of pho via Shutterstock