Young and Hungry

EquityEats Will Open “Pop-Up Megaplex” at 918 F Street NW

MainBuilding-ADJRestaurant crowdfunding platform EquityEats—which allows investors to earn profits, not just perks—has quickly realized that the best way to get people to back food businesses is for them to actually taste the food and meet the chefs. And so they've been searching for a permanent space where restaurants seeking funding can host pop-ups and residencies for potential investors and the public.

Now they've found that plus some: EquityEats has subleased five floors of 918 F St. NW, the building that LivingSocial used for events and classes before moving out a year ago. The new facility, which includes a basement bar, will be able to host up to five pop-ups at a time when it opens this spring.

"We want it to become a culinary destination," says Steve Lucas, EquityEats VP of strategy and communications. "Think of it as a movie theater but for foodies. You'll be able to buy tickets in advance for a concept that you're interested in. You can read about what's coming soon. And there's going to be things that are new all the time." Read more EquityEats Will Open “Pop-Up Megaplex” at 918 F Street NW

Last Night’s Leftovers: Classics Edition

1169745130_cover0126a25 classic bars and restaurants every Washingtonian must try [Eater]

Fire damages future home of Bar Civita in Woodley Park. [PoPville]

The most romantic restaurants in D.C. [Zagat]

Alexandria’s industrial enclave welcomes gourmet goods. [WBJ]

Try barrel-aged margaritas at Clarendon's Fuego Cocina y Tequileria. [Post]

Early look at Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner. [BYT]

Photo of Ben's Chili Bowl by Darrow Montgomery

D.C.’s First Cakepoppery, Baked By Yael, Now Open


Baked by Yael, D.C.’s first “cakepoppery,” opened Jan. 14 directly across from the National Zoo in Woodley Park. The modest storefront, wedged between a liquor store and a frozen yogurt shop, isn’t founder Yael Krigman’s first stab at the bite-sized desserts. She’s been selling the treats online for the past four years. Thanks to a Kickstarter bid that raised almost $75,000, she’s managed to transform a former dry cleaner into an airy, colorful space that could pass for a Pinkberry. The decor was created in part by Krigman’s father, an amateur millworker.

Krigman, who left a job at D.C. law firm White & Case to begin baking full-time, isn’t limiting herself to cakepops at her brick-and-mortar venture. Bagels, raspberry bars, rugelach, and black-and-white cookies all make appearances, though not all will be available every day. Coffee, tea, and bottled juices are also offered.

“The black and whites, they’re the favorite of everything I make,” says Krigman. The bagels, which she described as “not New York, not Montreal, just really good,” haven’t been advertised much by Krigman, who admits she’s not looking for competition.  Read more D.C.’s First Cakepoppery, Baked By Yael, Now Open

Willing to Pay for a Prime Time Dinner Reservation? There’s an App For That


There's now an online equivalent to slipping the maitre d' a $20 bill for a table. San Francisco-based Table8 launches in D.C. today with an app and website that allow users to book reservations at popular restaurants last minute and during peak times—for a price.

Users can create an account for free, and if the restaurant isn't booked up, you can book a reservation for free. If reservations aren't otherwise available, however, you can up pay up to $30 for a guaranteed spot, depending on the demand for tables at the requested time and date. Most fees for D.C. restaurants right now range from $20 for a party of two to $25 for four. The reservation times vary by restaurants, but are generally between 7 and 8 p.m. The restaurants and Table8 share the fee.

Table8 launched in San Francisco last March and in Los Angeles in September. It plans to expand to New York, Miami, Chicago, and London this year. So far, 17 restaurants have signed on D.C. Here's a list of those participating: Read more Willing to Pay for a Prime Time Dinner Reservation? There’s an App For That

Last Night’s Leftovers: Three Stars Edition

3_stars-1_345x345A deep look at Three Stars Brewing Company [BYT]

Restaurant critic Jonathan Gold unmasks himself. [LA Times]

Sugar Shack doughnut shop opens in Alexandria. [Washingtonian]

The $20 Diner takes an international breakfast tour. [Post]

Five things to order at Bryan Voltaggio's Family Meal [Zagat]

What happens when a bar owner goes dry for January [WBJ]

The Passenger's Tom Brown is now bartending at Slipstream. [Eater]

Slim's Diner hoping to open in Petworth in six months. [PoPville]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

The Latest Menu Label for Health-Conscious Diners? “Detox”


It's hard to imagine a menu descriptor that sounds as full of promises yet as unappetizing as "detox." Yet, it's the latest health-conscious jargon to be employed by local restaurants. Both Sweetgreen and recently opened fast-casual eatery Hälsa use the word on their menus.

Sweetgreen introduced a seasonal "detox salad" on its new winter menu. The dish includes shredded kale, organic arugula, watercress, spicy broccoli, red onion, pears, avocado, and "umami" walnuts (flavored with extra virgin olive oil, salt, a secret blend of spices, and nutritional yeast flakes). It's topped with a "housemade seasonal detox dressing" made of lemon, ginger, garlic, and chili powder.

Sweetgreen culinary director Michael Stebner says the detox salad is the first salad he's made where the name came before the ingredients. "Something that is detoxing has a cleanse quality, helps to clean your blood, helps to clean your liver, your kidneys, your [gastrointestinal tract]," he says. What he discovered: That pretty much means everything that's healthy. "So it was very, very easy to come up with the salad," he says.

Kale, for example, has a lot of fiber that helps clean out your gastrointestinal tract. Garlic has nutritional compounds that help to clean your blood and aids your liver. And then there's watercress, which, Stebner says, "is kind of the new kale... We're constantly looking for the next kale." Read more The Latest Menu Label for Health-Conscious Diners? “Detox”

Hank’s Oyster Bar Owner to Open Twisted Horn Cocktail Bar in Petworth

Jamie Leeds 2015 A

Hank's Oyster Bar chef and owner Jamie Leeds has built up the bar areas at her seafood-focused restaurants over the last few years. Next, she's opening a cocktail bar called Twisted Horn, coming to 819 Upshur St. NW this spring.

"I've always wanted to do a bar for a long time, and this opportunity came to me as far as real estate," says Leeds, who lives in Petworth. "I really believe in Petworth as an up-and-coming area. A lot of people are moving in there, and there's very few options of places to go."

The bar will seat about 40 inside and up to an additional 40 on the outside patio, where there will be a fire pit. Megan Coyle, who runs the beverage program at Hank's Dupont location, will oversee the drinks and be the general manager. (Bartender Gina Chersevani, a partner in Hank's Oyster Bar on the Hill, is not involved in the project.)

Among the cocktails: the "Ghostwood Development" with gin, port wine, Sapins aperitif, Salmiakki Dala (Scandinavian fernet), egg, fresh nutmeg, and pepper as well as the "Louisiana Purchase" with cognac, dry and red vermouth, Bénédictine liqueur, and muddled cucumber. In addition to cocktails, there will be an extensive wine list. Read more Hank’s Oyster Bar Owner to Open Twisted Horn Cocktail Bar in Petworth

Three Little Pigs Will Change Its Name to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen


New York charcuterie shop Les Trois Petits Cochons filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against D.C.'s Three Little Pigs Charcuterie & Salumi last October. Now, the Brightwood Park shop will be changing its name to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen as of Jan. 31. If you haven't figured it out, the new name alludes to the building materials that the three little pigs used to construct their houses in the fable.

Co-owner Carolina Story says she can't discuss they specifics of the arrangement with Les Trois Petits Cochons because of a non-disclosure agreement. But ultimately, she's not too concerned about moving on from the moniker:

"People really like our shop for the customer service and for the products that we offer, so we didn't need to stick with the name,"she says. Read more Three Little Pigs Will Change Its Name to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen

Last Night’s Leftovers: Noodles Edition


The eight best Asian noodles in the D.C. area [DCist]

Bone broth is coming to Red Apron Butcher in Penn Quarter. [Post]

Kapnos chef George Pagonis gets kicked off Top Chef ... again. [Washingtonian]

Summer House Santa Monica comes to North Bethesda. [Zagat]

Where to find chia seeds [Eater]

Georgetown Park looks to bring in restaurants. [WBJ]

Photo from Baan Thai by Jessica Sidman

New Cocktail Collaboration Will Recreate Bars From Other Places and Times

GuerillaDrinksWhy try to recreate a favorite drink from a bar, when you can recreate the entire bar?

That's the thinking behind Guerilla Drinks, a new collaboration from bartenders Jason Strich of Hank's Oyster Bar and Owen Thomson of Bar PilarCafe Saint-Ex, and Rose's Luxury. Every couple months for one night, the duo will recreate a different bar from another place and/or time. They're kicking things off on Feb. 15 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. by replicating Chicago tiki bar Three Dots and a Dash in the basement of Cafe Saint-Ex.

Thomson says the idea was inspired in part by Next in Chicago, a restaurant that changes everything from its menu to decor every few months to reflect a new theme, whether it's 1906 Paris or a Chicago steakhouse. His travels to bars across the country have also made him realize that while lots of places make great drinks, it's the experience—the music, the decor—that makes the great places way more fun.

"I could just set up at the bar at Bar Pilar and make tiki drinks—and all kinds of places do a Tiki Tuesday," Thomson says. "But that's not the same." Read more New Cocktail Collaboration Will Recreate Bars From Other Places and Times