Young and Hungry

What You’ll Eat and Drink at Bethesda’s Villain & Saint


Make no mistake: Restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier's new Bethesda establishment, Villain & Saint, is first and foremost a music venue, not a bar and restaurant. The Haight-Ashbury-inspired rock and roll music hall will focus on blues and jazz, indie rock, the '60s, and heavy metal. But the chef behind fine dining restaurant Marcel's, Brasserie Beck, and more casual Mussel Bar certainly isn't looking to leave the crowd sober and hungry.

“Most music venues that you go to, it’s hard to get a drink, the food’s mediocre," says Wiedmaier. "And we didn’t want to do that here." (Wiedmaier has partnered with chef Brian McBride, Frank Shull, and Joe Lively.)

The Americana menu is split into meaty “villain” dishes like smoked pork ribs and a black angus grilled cheeseburger and “saint” vegetarian options, including grilled asparagus and wok-fried Japanese eggplant. Chef Tom Meyer, formerly of Pesce restaurant in Dupont Circle, will also serve up bar food like pimento cheese with bacon jam and grilled or cast-iron calamari with pimentón and chorizo. Prices range from $6 to $21. Read more What You’ll Eat and Drink at Bethesda’s Villain & Saint

Dolcezza Now Open in CityCenterDC With Free Mini Cones on Sunday


Dolcezza opened its seventh gelato and coffee shop at CityCenterDC yesterday. Customers can stop by for a free mini cone on Sunday, April 19, from 2 to 5 p.m.

New to this location is nitro coffee, which infuses nitrogen into the liquid at the point of sale with the same technology used for draft beer. Unlike carbonated beverages that have big, often sharp bubbles, adding nitrogen gives the drink a smooth, creamy feel. The nitro offering will be available for $5.50 a cup. There's also a full coffee bar using Stumptown's single-origin beans.

The shop also includes Dolcezza's usual gelato flavors made with seasonal local ingredients. Gourmet sundaes—or coppettas—with housemade whipped creams and other toppings are also available for $7 to $8.

Owners Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman are quickly expanding their wholesale operations as well. Dolcezza recently launched its product in 44 Whole Foods locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Dolcezza, 904 Palmer Alley NW;

Photo by Jessica Sidman

Last Night’s Leftovers: Thai Food Edition


D.C.'s eight best Thai restaurants [Thrillist]

Will Umami Burger ever come to D.C.? [Eater]

Order the 10,000th khachapuri at Compass Rose, and you’ll get a prize. [Post]

Bar Civita opening in Woodley Park in a week or two. [PoPville]

Chef Nora Pouillon dishes about her new book, My Organic Life. [Express]

New food and drinks specials this week [Washingtonian]

Photo of Mango Tree by Jessica Sidman

The ‘Wiching Hour: Pitmasters Back Alley Barbecue’s Carolina Chopped Pork Shoulder Sandwich

wichinghour_pitmastersThe Sandwich: Carolina Chopped Pork Shoulder Sandwich

Where: Pitmasters Back Alley Barbecue, 4818 Yuma St. NW

Cost: $11.99 with fries

Bread: House-baked potato roll

Stuffings: Chopped pork shoulder, Carolina barbecue sauce, and a choice of apple slaw or “mother-in-law” slaw (a spicy Trinidadian specialty made with pepper and carrot)

Thickness: 3.5 inches

Pros: While most chopped pork possesses the same, slightly stringy texture, the meat from this new Wagshal’s-affiliated carryout spot has slightly crunchy and juicy, fleshier bits. The spicy tang of the mother-in-law slaw cuts through the salty meat and delivers just enough heat to warm your mouth without wiping out every other flavor. Read more The ‘Wiching Hour: Pitmasters Back Alley Barbecue’s Carolina Chopped Pork Shoulder Sandwich

Colony Club Coming to Park View With Coffee, Beer, and Ping Pong


Park View doesn't have much in terms of daytime spots to grab a coffee and a bite to eat. D.C.-area natives Ben Heller and Max Zuckerman are hoping to change that with the opening of their coffee shop, bar, and ping pong hangout, Colony Club, opening at 3118 Georgia Ave. NW sometime next week.

Heller has a coffee background, working for Joe Coffee shops in New York and Philadelphia. Zuckerman comes from real estate and calls himself a coffee enthusiast. Needless to say, there will be a big focus on coffee. Colony Club will use beans from Annapolis-based Ceremony Coffee Roasters and offer three different brewing methods (AeroPress, Kalita, Chemex) plus a full espresso bar. Muffins, biscuits, and scones from BakeHouse off 14th Street NW and sweets from local baked goods artisan Pollystyle will also be available during the day.

In the evenings, Colony Club will turn into more of a bar. There will be four beers on draft, four cans, four bottles, and a cellar list of "more exotic" offerings. The wine list is even more limited with three reds, three whites, a rose, and two sparkling options. There's not a cocktail list, but the bar will have spirits that patrons can order on their own or mix with Q sodas.

Colony Club doesn't have a kitchen, but it will serve some snacks, including nuts, olives, pickles, cheeses, cured meats, and an array of tinned seafood. Read more Colony Club Coming to Park View With Coffee, Beer, and Ping Pong

Last Night’s Leftovers: CSA Edition


A guide to Community Supported Agriculture [DCist]

Takoda restaurant and rooftop beer garden coming to Shaw. [Washingtonian]

The original Beau Thai will become BKK Cookshop next month. [Eater]

Back-to-back food truck festivals are happening April 24 and 25. [Post]

New details on the Royal, a bar from Vinoteca’s owner [Express]

Taste of the Nation recap [BYT]

Food truck owner to open Sweetbites Cafe and Bakery in McLean, Va. [NoVa Mag]

Photo via Shutterstock

With the Launch of “Pop-Up Megaplex” Prequel, EquityEats Rethinks Its Business


The dark red stone building at 918 F St. NW has remained fairly quiet since LivingSocial stopped using it as a hub for cheesemaking, bellydancing, vodka tasting, and terrarium-building classes. But last week, the shuttered event space became home to a pop-up once again. Bluebird Bakery, from two of the city’s top pastry chefs, has taken over the first floor atrium with a spread of croissants, fruit tarts, macarons, and other baked goods displayed on wooden boards and turquoise cake stands. A coffee bar serves La Colombe, while an upstairs seating area provides a home for anyone who needs a Wi-Fi connection.  

In the coming weeks, more restaurant pop-ups will open in the five-story venue, which is named Prequel. When it’s up to full speed by early summer, the place will be able to host as many as five rotating restaurants and bars at a time. Kiosks—like those in a movie theater or airport—will eventually allow guests to check in for their meals and pay in advance.

The “pop-up megaplex” comes from EquityEats, an equity crowdfunding platform where investors can potentially earn profits, not just Kickstarter-like perks. The venue was created so that restaurants that use the EquityEats’ crowdfunding platform could have a place to showcase their food and drinks to the public and potential investors. But the building also goes beyond that, offering a soon-to-open house bar called Brick & Mortar (a permanent fixture for a pre- or post-dinner drinks) and serving as a sanctuary for any chefs in need of a pop-up space regardless of their affiliation with EquityEats.

The opening of Prequel is just part of EquityEats’ reinvention since its October launch. After struggling to meet the fundraising goals for its four opening projects, the company has significantly changed its model. For starters, EquityEats will no longer raise money exclusively from accredited investors (individuals with annual incomes of at least $200,000 or net worths of at least $1 million). Instead, EquityEats plans to only support restaurants taking advantage of new regulations that the D.C. government approved late last year, which allow businesses to crowdfund money from District residents of all income levels. Through these new rules, Prequel has already raised more than $200,000 from 325 investors who gave between $100 and $10,000. Read more With the Launch of “Pop-Up Megaplex” Prequel, EquityEats Rethinks Its Business

All Set Brings New England Lobster Rolls and Clam Bakes to Silver Spring


If a visit to Cape Cod isn't in your travel plans this summer, there's a new place in downtown Silver Spring to get your chowder, fried clams, and lobster rolls. All Set Restaurant & Bar opened yesterday with a New England bent.

The owners of All Set don't technically hail from New England. Restaurant vet Jennifer Meltzer, who's worked front-of-house at places like Founding Farmers and BLT Steak, comes from Silver Spring, but her father grew up outside of Boston. She also used to go to summer camp in Maine and worked at a restaurant on Cape Cod.

Chef and co-owner Edward Reavis, a Virginia native who's worked at Tico, the Front Page, and District Commons, was most recently a sous chef at an oyster bar in Nantucket. The two initially met six years ago at the Capital Grille in Chevy Chase, where he was a broiler cook and she was a waitress who won a rib-eye selling competition. "We just partnered up, and we've been working together ever since," Meltzer says.

Their homage to New England includes appetizers like whole belly fried clams with an Old Bay tartar sauce and a smoked fish dip with grilled focaccia. Two types of lobster rolls are available: one served warm with butter and another that's chilled with a light lime aioli. There's also a raw bar and entrees like fish and chips and crab cakes. On Sunday nights, All Set offers prix-fixe fried chicken ($30) and clam bake ($35) menus that include salad and dessert. The restaurant is also open for lunch with the same menu as dinner.  Read more All Set Brings New England Lobster Rolls and Clam Bakes to Silver Spring

Guerilla Vending Is Bringing Custom Snack Machines to Local Bars and Restaurants

IMG_6386Need some headphones or rice crackers or a condom while you're hanging out at the new H Street food and retail emporium Maketto? There's a vending machine for that.

The machine was custom outfitted by Guerilla Vending, started by Toki Underground sous chef Mike Galyen along with Maketto Beverage Director Colin Sulgalski and two engineering friends, Alex Hastings and Mike Auger. It's the first of many specialty vending machines you'll start seeing popping up at local bars and restaurants.

"Just watching movies set in Tokyo and stuff like that, I always thought that was a super cool idea," Galyen says. "And I've always wondered why nobody did it here. You just don't see that kind of culture here."

Next up: a refrigerated banh mi and beef jerky vending machine for the Pug. Galyen will make the food himself upstairs at Toki Underground. He's been experimenting with a Szechuan chicken banh mi as well as a Vietnamese-style pork loaf. The machine will also stock some snacks like wasabi peas. It should be up and running by next Friday. Read more Guerilla Vending Is Bringing Custom Snack Machines to Local Bars and Restaurants

Last Night’s Leftovers: Left Door Edition

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 7.22.55 AM

The Passenger’s Tom Brown is opening a cocktail bar called Left Door off 14th Street NW. [Post]

Neyla Mediterranean Bistro is moving from Georgetown to Reston. [NoVa Mag]

The space station gets a coffee bar. [NPR]

Mount Pleasant resident protests new Subway by projecting a pile of poo on the building. [PoPville]

11 D.C. chefs share their favorite burgers. [Eater]

How to enjoy spring produce like a D.C. chef [DCist]

Spinfire Pizza now open in Rosslyn. [ARLnow]

Photo via Google Maps