Young and Hungry

Maketto Is Really Finally Opening on April 10

toki4After delays upon delays, it looks like Maketto is finally happening. The H Street NE food-meets-fashion market from Toki Underground chef Erik Bruner-Yang and men's clothing brand Durkl will officially open April 10 at 7 a.m.

When plans for the market were first announced in the summer of 2012, the founders initially said they hoped to open by early 2013. As that date got pushed back further, a series of pop-ups have built up anticipation for the project. Bruner-Yang held a Maketto "residency" at what was previously Hanoi House, previewed some of the food at Union Market, and popped up at Baltimore's Shoo-Fly.

In case you can't wait until its official debut, Maketto will host a "house warming party" on April 4 at 7 p.m. The evening will feature performances by Chuck Inglish, Avers, M.I.L.F., Bond St. District, and Gavin Holland. Tickets, $25, are available here.

Stay tuned for more details.

Photo of Erik Bruner-Yang by Darrow Montgomery

French Restaurant Maxime Replaces Rialto in Georgetown

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A year and half after it opened, the owners of Rialto have transformed the Georgetown Italian restaurant into a French place called Maxime. Restaurateurs Ben Kirane, Moe Idrissi, and Joe Idrissi, who are also behind Bodega Spanish Tapas & Lounge and Thunder Burger & Bar, felt Rialto wasn't fitting with their brand of restaurants. It also never took off the way they hoped. The restaurateurs always intended for Maxime to be their next concept, but rather than find a new space, they decided it would be best to replace Rialto. Maxime, located in the same building the Guards occupied for more than 60 years, opened late last week.

Chef Ryan Fichter, who also oversees the menus at Thunder Burger and Bodega (and was chef for Rialto as well), is behind the food at Maxime. One of the main attractions is steak frites. For $19.95, guests receive a prix-fixe menu including a baguette with salted butter, a mixed green salad, and a half-pound top sirloin steak with fries. Diners can sub in a New York steak or filet mignon or add some foie gras for an additional charge. Broiled Scottish salmon or an assembly of vegetables can also be swapped in for the steak.

Hors d'oeuvres are classically French: escargots, beef bourguignon, and quiche Lorraine. Moules frites are available in entree or appetizer size in eight different flavors. There's also a French onion soup. The fairly straightforward array of desserts includes standbys like creme brûlée, profiteroles, and chocolate lava cake.

Aside from some martinis and bubbly drinks, cocktails don't always keep up with the classic French theme. There's a mojito and a Moscow mule. Happy hour will run daily from 4 to 7 p.m. with half-priced draft beers a discounted bar food menu.

The decor, according to a press release, is "inspired by the French Revolution" with a fireplace and black and white photos on the walls. The restaurant has a 75-seat dining room and a 100-seat private event space. As for the name? Maxime was chosen for its Latin translation as "special."

See the menu below. Read more French Restaurant Maxime Replaces Rialto in Georgetown

Last Night’s Leftovers: Food Politics Edition

IMG_6104José Andrés gets political at food conference in D.C. [Post]

Buffalo & Bergen now serves a bloody mary with a lox bagel garnish. [Washingtonian]

D.C.'s 10 hottest restaurant newcomers [Zagat]

Food truck association launches online platform to swap parking spaces. [WBJ]

Jrink and chef Erik Bruner-Yang team up to turn pulp into vinegar and seasoning. [Eater]

Tobacco and coffee shop called Burn & Brew opens in Crystal City. [ARLnow]

Lesbian bar Phase 1 reopens on Capitol Hill. [DCist]

Photo of José Andrés by Jessica Sidman

Sally’s Middle Name Pops Up at Boundary Road on Sunday

SMN_Pop-up_poster_webA new restaurant called Sally's Middle Name is coming to 1320 H St. NE in June. But you can try some of chef Sam Adkins' food for the first time Sunday, March 29, from 10 p.m. to midnight, at Boundary Road.

The limited menu (see below) will include dishes like braised goat with roasted fairytale squash and smoked-pepper raita as well as fingerling potatoes with sauerkraut and pork fat.

Cashion's Eat Place and Pop's SeaBar chef John Manolatos will help out in the kitchen, while former Boundary Road Beverage Director Brenden Mulder-Rosi, who will move over to Sally's Middle Name, is creating drink pairings. Allegra Guinan is doing desserts like carrot and orange ice cream with a maple pizzelle.

Read more about the story behind Sally's Middle Name's name in this previous Young & Hungry postRead more Sally’s Middle Name Pops Up at Boundary Road on Sunday

Cherry Blossom Food and Drink Specials Are The Worst

District Cherry Old Fashioned_ScottSuchmanCherry blossom season is on its way, and with it comes a barrage of terrible tasting cherry cocktails and dishes.

Now through the coming weeks, D.C.-area menus will be filled with cherry margaritas, cherry soda, cherry punch, cherry sangria, cherry-filled doughnuts, cherry waffles, cherry chocolates, cherry macarons, duck with cherries, salmon with cherries, pulled pork with cherry mustard, and gnocchi with pickled sour cherries.

And that's just a small sampling. Most of these menu items have cherries for the sake of cherries, not because they taste better—or even good—with cherries.

Meanwhile, local blogs have already begun an onslaught of tedious round-ups featuring these cherry blossom food and drink specials. (That's what happens when you have 5 million press releases in your inbox on the subject.) I have to imagine that this free promotion is the real incentive for nearly every single restaurant to have its own cherry creation, because there's actually no good reason to put anything with cherries on their menus. Read more Cherry Blossom Food and Drink Specials Are The Worst

Last Night’s Leftovers: Piratz Tavern Edition

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Pirate-themed Piratz Tavern will close after April 4. [Post]

Miso Café, Samovar Restaurants head to Rockville Town Center. [Washingtonian]

Where to eat out for Passover and Easter [Zagat]

Where to eat by the National Mall during tourist season [Eater]

Meridian Pint hosts a fly fishing "mappy hour" on Monday. [PoPville]

The best 15 spring beers [Thrillist]

Photo of a random pirate flag via Shutterstock

Nacho Mama’s Nachos: Unconventional Takes on the Classic Snack

Nachos are already the mutt of greasy drunk foods with their American-Mexican roots. So it’s only appropriate that restaurants pile on other forms of fusion. From nachos that taste like an everything bagel with the works to nachos with a Mediterranean kick, here are some unconventional takes on this Tex-Mex classic around the D.C. area.

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DGS Delicatessen

1317 Connecticut Ave. NW

The restaurant makes bagel chips from the rounds it imports from famed Montreal bagelry St-Viateur then loads them up with bits of house-smoked salmon, horseradish-sour cream sauce, mashed avocado, capers, radish, peppers, and cilantro.

Price: $8

rightproper

Right Proper Brewing Company

624 T St. NW

This meat lover’s nacho dish uses pork rinds as its base then piles up with pulled pork, roasted tomato sour cream, jalapeños, scallions, and cheese sauce.

Price: $9 Read more Nacho Mama’s Nachos: Unconventional Takes on the Classic Snack

Underserved: Wisdom’s Don’t Be Bitter, Baby

Don't Be Bitter, Baby Credit Laura Hayes

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

What: Don’t Be Bitter, Baby with Bluecoat Gin, Cynar, and Giffard Apricot Liqueur

Where: Wisdom, 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Price: $11

What You Should Be Drinking

This three-ingredient cocktail, which shares its name with classic breakup language, aims to be a stepping stone of sorts toward more bitter drinks like the negroni. Wisdom proprietor Erik Holzherr thinks the flavor gets a bad rap amongst the younger crowd.  “People who appreciate bitter have a mature palate,” he says. “Maybe I’m stereotyping, but the typical twentysomething will see bitter and avoid it.” It’s hard to blame them. Just look at the word’s synonyms: unpleasant, vicious, harsh, and rancorous. The bitter in Don’t Be Bitter, Baby comes from Cynar, an Italian artichoke liqueur, and there’s nothing rancorous about it. Rather, it provides a necessary backbone to the drink, which also contains Bluecoat Gin and Giffard apricot liqueur from France. “You need bitter to balance a cocktail. Even if you don’t like it, it adds complexity,” Holzherr says. The drink was created by his protégé bartender, Tania Morgan. Read more Underserved: Wisdom’s Don’t Be Bitter, Baby

Last Night’s Leftovers: The Wharf Edition

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​Mike Isabella, Stephen Starr, and others in talks to open restaurants at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront. [WBJ]

Where and when to find half-priced wine in D.C. [Eater]

Where to find the best fried chicken in the D.C. area [DCist]

Take a peek inside D.C.'s first Bonchon. [Washingtonian]

José Andrés is already planning to open a second Beefsteak. [Post]

Craft beer shop coming to Courthouse. [ARLnow]

Rendering courtesy of Madison Marquette

Tour de Forks: Local Restaurants Host Trips Around the World

yhillo_issue13In 2006, Sona Creamery co-owners Genevieve and Conan O’Sullivan got engaged in front of a castle in Ireland once owned by one of his ancestors. 

A year later, they returned to County Cork, Ireland to get married in one of the country’s smallest churches.

And for their eighth anniversary this September, they’ll return again—with 28 strangers.

This time, it’s all about their love of cheese. They’ll lead a five-day tour throughout southern Ireland, visiting creameries, meeting cheesemakers, and hosting cooking classes using cheeses they find along the way. (They’ll also visit the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, of course.) The group will stay in the same hotel the O’Sullivans did when they got engaged and married.

Their personal connection to the country isn’t the only reason the Sona couple chose Ireland for the trip. The Irish were responsible for helping to kickstart the small-batch artisanal cheese movement in the 1970s when the industry was dominated by big brands, Genevieve O’Sullivan explains. Every year, the couple plans to host another artisan cheese tour to different countries around the world, including cheesemaking superpowers like France, Italy, and Spain.

The O’Sullivans are among a handful of D.C.-area restaurateurs and chefs who are looking to not just transport people through food, but literally transport them to the source. Sure, it’s an excuse for restaurant folks to travel, but these tours are just as much about bringing attention to certain types of cuisine and fostering cultural exchange in a way that’s not always easy from the dining room. From Ireland to India to Cuba, there are a number of locally led culinary trips in the pipeline this year. Read more Tour de Forks: Local Restaurants Host Trips Around the World

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