Young and Hungry

Sally’s Middle Name Will Replace Pizza Parts & Service H Street NE

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 2.45.34 PMChef Sam Adkins has an epic middle name: Ulysses. But his sister? She doesn't have one at all.

Growing up, Adkins' sister was a bit jealous of her brother's middle moniker. "When I was a kid—and I knew I wanted to own a restaurant pretty early on—I was like, 'I'll tell you what, I'll just name my first restaurant Sally's Middle Name." Then when people asked her if she has a middle name, she can say, "Yeah, it's a little bistro in Washington, D.C."

Adkins wasn't joking. He and his wife, Aphra Adkins, are set to open Sally's Middle Name at 1320 H St. NE in the former Pizza Parts & Service space. (News of the restaurant was first reported by PoPville.) Read more Sally’s Middle Name Will Replace Pizza Parts & Service H Street NE

Nando’s Peri-Peri Celebrates Pot Legalization With Free Chicken at 4:20 p.m. Today


If you plan to exercise your newfound right to smoke marijuana in D.C., Nando's Peri-Peri has you covered in the munchies department. All four D.C. restaurants—in Chinatown, Dupont, Navy Yard, and Tenleytown—are offering free flame-grilled quarter chickens, chicken sandwiches, pitas, or wraps at 4:20 p.m. The deal is for dine-in only and lasts until 5:20 p.m.

Just remember to follow these rules about where you can and can't light up.

Underserved: Catching Flies at Daikaya Izakaya

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

What: Catching Flies with Bushmills 10-year whiskey, Lindera Farms elderflower vinegar, lemon, and orange blossom honey

Where: Daikaya Izakaya, 705 6th St. NW

Price: $10

What You Should Be Drinking
Remember when your mom said “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?” Well, you can make a charming cocktail if you use both. The idiom is the inspiration for Daikaya’s Catching Flies, which contains elderflower vinegar from Virginia’s Lindera Farms and an orange blossom honey syrup that the Daikaya team makes in house. The buzz-inducing ingredient is Bushmills 10-Year Irish Whiskey. Bar Manager Jameson Huckaba (whose first name makes him the perfect person to talk about Irish whiskey) says Bushmills is partially aged in sherry casks, lending a buttery richness. “It also adds some body, some real substance to this cocktail,” he says. Read more Underserved: Catching Flies at Daikaya Izakaya

Grilled Cheese Throwdown: GCDC vs. Melt Shop

D.C. is now home to two grilled cheese shops—GCDC and just-opened Melt Shop—located only five blocks from each other. GCDC, which opened last April, comes from a local father-son team, while Melt Shop has five other locations in New York. So, where should you spend your hard-earned cheddar? Y&H rated the restaurants’ classic grilled cheeses, Buffalo chicken grilled cheeses (the one signature sandwich they have in common), tater tots, and namesake sauces.


Last Night’s Leftovers: Bagel Sandwich Edition


The best bagel sandwiches in D.C. [DCist]

Peter Chang will join the fast-casual revolution with Arlington restaurant. [Post]

New exec aims to restore J.Paul's, Paolo's to their former glory. [WBJ]

Jack Rose owner purchases De Vinos, Dahlak spaces; sells Bourbon in Adams Morgan. [Express]

Chef Tim Ma steps back from Maple Ave Restaurant as he plans a D.C. opening. [Post]

Where to dine near the Verizon Center without a reservation [Eater]

What are Baltimore's best restaurants? [Zagat]

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Tableside Preparations Are Making a Comeback at D.C. Restaurants

Everyone nearby stares when China Chilcano’s concolón arrives at the table. A server sets up a tray on a stand with a sizzling clay bowl filled with aji amarillo-flavored fried rice, fatty pork belly, sweet Chinese sausage, pickled turnip, shiitake mushroom, soft eggs, and bok choy.

“Let me show you, please,” the server says as he lifts up the bowl with a white towel like a sommelier presenting a bottle of Bordeaux for inspection.

Next, he picks up a small saucepan filled with soy sauce and oyster sauce and pours the hot liquid over the dish. Using two spoons, he folds the rice on top of itself, cutting the tender pieces of pork belly, releasing the ooze of the egg yolks, and scraping the burnt bits of rice from the bottom. As he works, he explains each component like a TV cooking show host. For the finale: a sprinkling of chicharrons on top.

This is the 2015 twist on deboning Dover sole in the dining room or tossing a Caesar salad tableside. While the French guéridon style of service is a throwback to a time when waiters wore white gloves and dress codes demanded a jacket and tie, a new generation of chefs are bringing back the show with a modern flair. Mintwood Place and DBGB Kitchen and Bar have revived the baked Alaska, set afire with a butane torch at the table, while America Eats Tavern assembles beef tartare (locally sourced, of course) in front of diners. Others restaurants are presenting dishes tableside in new ways. Sure, half the Mexican restaurants in town now serve tableside guacamole. But others are carving Spanish ham, grinding and brewing coffee, and mixing cocktails at the diner’s side. Rose’s Luxury chef Aaron Silverman has even said he plans to make tableside preparations a prominent part of his forthcoming fine dining restaurant. Read more Tableside Preparations Are Making a Comeback at D.C. Restaurants

Chef Robert Gadsby to Open Bacaro Wine Bar in Shaw


A wine bar called Bacaro will soon join Dolci Gelati and forthcoming Convivial (from the Mintwood Place team) in Shaw's City Market at O development.

The bar comes from chef and restaurateur Robert Gadsby, who owns RG's BBQ Cafe in Laurel, Md. The British-born chef, who's trained under the likes of Tom Colicchio and Thomas Keller, has competed on Iron Chef and appeared on Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods. He previously ran a place called Gadsby's Bar American in Columbia, Md., which closed late last year, briefly ran the kitchen at Robert Wiedmaier's Mussel Bar in Bethesda, and was once corporate chef for Ridgewells Catering. He also operated restaurants in Los Angeles and Houston earlier in his career.

Located on 8th Street NW across from a Giant location, the wine bar will seat nearly 50 and offer a wide selection of wines by the glass and the bottle, including many from "discreet wineries," according to a press release from developer Roadside Development. The menu will consist of 80 percent wine and 20 percent food (which will pair with the wine).

Bacaro gets its name from Venetian bars and restaurants where you can get a quick bite. "It is what we can commonly describe as a working mans pub," Bacaro's website describes. "Our menus reflect the European philosophy and approach to food. Quality ingredients passionately prepared and served with reverence."

It's set to open this summer.

Y&H has contacted Gadsby for additional details, so stay tuned.

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Last Night’s Leftovers: DCity Smokehouse Edition

meaty_palmer-1_345x230DCity Smokehouse will pop-up near Union Market and eventually expand to a larger space. [Post]

A look inside Alexandria gastropub Mason Social [Washingtonian]

The D.C. area's nine hottest coffee shops [Zagat]

BLT Steak has a new beverage director. [Eater]

The top Irish bars in Arlington [ARLnow]

Mayor Muriel Bowser moves to ban private marijuana nightclubs. [Loose Lips]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Sotto Opens Next Week With Live Music, Smoked Meats, and Cocktails


The basement of Ghibellina has lay dormant since the 14th Street NW Italian restaurant took over the former HR-57 space nearly two years ago. Now, owner Ari Gejdenson and his Mindful Restaurant Group are slated to open a subterranean bar called Sotto on March 3. The place will pay homage to its predecessor by eventually hosting nightly live music from solo artists or small groups performing jazz, soul, blues, and go-go.

The name Sotto—meaning "below"—is the only thing Italian about the space. The menu veers American with smoked meats balanced by vegetable sides. Chef Keith Cabot doesn't call the food barbecue, but he'll be preparing beef brisket, ribs, and homemade sausages (lamb merguez, boudin blanc, and cotechino). To counter the meat, the seasonally changing sides and appetizers range from braised kale to fennel gratin to wood-oven roasted winter squash with crispy sage, brown butter, and toasted pepita granola.

Snacks and desserts draw inspiration from state fair fare. "I grew up in Virginia and my mom's from Wisconsin and Minnesota, so we would always go to the state fair in the summertime," Cabot says. Peanuts and popcorn are dressed in caramel,  chili, and lime, while a monkey bread is made with pretzel dough and served with apple mustard. Sweets include a play on a caramel apple: caramel ice cream with poached apples and molasses cake.

A wine cellar shared with Ghibellina lines the back wall, but Sotto's focus is decidedly on cocktails. Dan Barnes, who also oversees the drinks at Ghibellina and Denson Liquor Bar, created a cocktail menu with twists on classics. Duke Ellington gets a nod with a Scotch, Lillet Rose, cranberry, and orange drink called "Ed Ellington" (his given name). Most of the cocktails will be in the $12 range.

A 22-seat bar running the length of the room is made from wood cut from a single tree. Opposite are some high-tops and a huge booth that's partitioned off with a sliding metal gate. Further back, you'll find a communal dining area with several upscaled picnic tables and expansive booths. The windowless space is mostly outfitted with wood, brick, and concrete, although the restroom entrances are padded with tufted pewter-colored fabric. Chicken wire window panes behind the bar come from the Hecht Warehouse, where Gejdenson plans to open more restaurants next year.

See more photos of the space and the drink and food menus below. Read more Sotto Opens Next Week With Live Music, Smoked Meats, and Cocktails

Last Night’s Leftovers: Crème Brûlée Edition


Le Diplomate gets a new pastry chef and dessert menu. [Post]

Rose's Luxury named most outstanding restaurant of 2015 [GQ]

Is delivery coffee worth it? [Eater]

Three new doughnut shops to try [Zagat]

Michael Sternberg moves on from Star Restaurant Group. [WBJ]

The 26 people you see at Whole Foods [Thrillist]

Photo by Jessica Sidman