Young and Hungry

Trump Sues ThinkFoodGroup For $10 Million For Backing Out of Hotel Restaurant Deal

IMG_6104-e1436380670608The Trump organization has made good on its threats to sue ThinkFoodGroup after chef José Andrés announced he was backing out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant in Donald Trump's swanky new Old Post Office hotel. Trump Old Post Office LLC filed a lawsuit in D.C. court today seeking $10 million in lost rent and other damages over breach of contract.

On July 8, Andrés said in a statement that the Presidential candidate's remarks disparaging immigrants made it "impossible" for him to move forward with his planned Spanish fine dining restaurant. "More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests,"Andrés said. "And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status.” Read more Trump Sues ThinkFoodGroup For $10 Million For Backing Out of Hotel Restaurant Deal

Restaurants and Bars Offering Cigar Menus

cigars_masseriaChef Nick Stefanelli loves a good cigar, so at his new upscale Italian restaurant, Masseria, smoking will be on par with the eating and drinking. “For me, it’s just another piece of gastronomy, a really nice cigar after a beautiful meal,” he says. “You have tobaccos that are aged for years and years. There’s really a true art form to it.” Looking for other bars and restaurants with cigar menus as serious as their food and drink menus? Here are some of the city’s top places to light up—or if you can’t stand the smoke, to avoid altogether.

Masseria
1340 4th St. NE

The Union Market-area restaurant will offer a rotation of about 10 cigars, which can be enjoyed on the California-esque patio lounge with fire pits and sofas. W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist is curating the menu, which will include some limited releases and other special offerings as well as cigars for beginners. Read more Restaurants and Bars Offering Cigar Menus

Last Night’s Leftovers: Heller’s Replacement Edition

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Paisley Fig bakery coming to former Heller's Bakery spot in Mount Pleasant. [Express]

The 17 best waterfront bars in Maryland [Thrillist]

Who has the best chain lobster roll? [Washingtonian]

Three D.C.-area restaurants that could use a little more seasoning [Post]

Fishnet in Shaw closing temporarily for a revamp. [PoPville]

Union Kitchen helps small businesses access capital. [WBJ]

Photo via Google Maps

Chef Mike Isabella Opens Booze-Centric Mexican Eatery in Ballston Today

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The last time Mike Isabella ventured into Mexican food it didn't go so swell. Bandolero—the Georgetown restaurant from which the chef split two years ago—was plagued by middling reviews and a messy legal dispute between the landlord and the owners. (Not to mention more recent, post-Isabella era allegations of sex crimes by employees.) But just over a week after Bandolero closed, Isabella is opening a new Mexican restaurant called Pepita in Ballston. This time, the operation is all his own. Read more Chef Mike Isabella Opens Booze-Centric Mexican Eatery in Ballston Today

Underserved: Kazbegi Sunrise at Compass Rose

Kazbegi Sunrise 1

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

What: Kazbegi Sunrise with chacha, Perun pear brandy, St. Germain, peach puree, lemon, and a Pirosmani wine float

Where: Compass Rose, 1346 T St. NW

Price: $12

What You Should Be Drinking
Forget tchotchkes—the best souvenir from a trip around the world is inspiration. That’s what the Compass Rose team brought home with them from a June trip to Georgia (the country, not the Peach State). Beverage Director Janelle Whisenant was particularly moved by a visit to a small town in the Caucasus mountains because of the view of Mt. Kazbek. The area is officially called Stepantsminda today, though most still refer to it by its original name, Kazbegi, now the namesake of one of her cocktails. “The drink is pretty much an ode to Georgia,” Whisenant explains. That’s why it contains the country’s chief spirit, chacha, a grape-based pomace brandy that sips like grappa. She combines it with a Serbian pear brandy for a kick, St. Germaine liqueur for sweetness, housemade peach puree, lemon, and a float of Georgian Pirosmani red wine. It looks similar to a Tequila Sunrise—another source of inspiration.

Read more Underserved: Kazbegi Sunrise at Compass Rose

Are You Gonna Eat That? Worm Salt at El Camino

wormsaltThe Dish: Worm salt

Where to Get It: El Camino; 108 Rhode Island Ave. NW; (202) 847-0419; elcaminodc.com

Price: $2 with any mezcal

What It Is: The worm salt—also known as sal de gusano—is served here with orange slices as a traditional Oaxacan accompaniment to mezcal. You dip the orange slices in the salt, take a sip of mezcal, then take a bite of salty orange slice. Beverage Director Paul Challan, who was born in Mexico, uses the Gran Mitla brand of worm salts, one of just a few available in the U.S. For the concoction, agave worms (technically a caterpillar called aegiale hesperiaris) are toasted and ground, then blended with sea salt and costeño chiles, a mild dried pepper that adds more depth than heat. Read more Are You Gonna Eat That? Worm Salt at El Camino

Last Night’s Leftovers: Taco Edition

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The best tacos in the D.C. area [DCist]

Can you really taste local? [Washingtonian]

Washington's best rickey will be crowned on Sunday. [Post]

Former White House chef Sam Kass heading to NBC News. [Eater]

A Southern-inspired—and pork-free—menu at hookah bar Nomad Grill. [NoVa Mag]

Las Placitas to relocate to lower 8th Street SE. [Capitol Hill Corner]

Westray’s Finest Ice Cream food truck to debut Friday. [Express]

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Now-Closed Bandolero Sued Over Alleged Sex Crimes

Troubled Georgetown mod-Mex spot Bandolero closed last week, leaving behind a messy legal history and a tattoo on one-time chef Mike Isabella. Also still around: two lawsuits against the restaurant that allege criminal behavior by Bandolero staff, from electronic voyeurism to sexual assault.

The first lawsuit dates back to when two women went to the restaurant's bathroom on April 30, 2014. When one of the women used a toilet, she noticed a Samsung Galaxy phone, wrapped in tape, fall onto the bathroom floor.

That's when a Bandolero employee allegedly rushed into the room and tried to grab the phone. According to the complaint, the phone had pictures of several women using the toilet. The women called the police and gave them the phone as evidence.

The Bandolero employee named in the complaint was never charged in the District for the crime, but the restaurant settled the case for $10,000, according to court records.

Read more Now-Closed Bandolero Sued Over Alleged Sex Crimes

What It’s Like Dining Out With Extreme Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

sandrabeasley_one“Just so you know, I have an allergy to milk,” Sandra Beasley tells the Thip Khao server when she arrives to take our order.

“OK.”

“I have an allergy to chicken egg,” Beasley adds.

“Chicken egg,” the server recites back.

“Beef, shrimp…”

At this point the smiley young woman taking our order realizes this is no ordinary list and pulls out a little notepad to write everything down. She re-recites the ingredients. “That’s it?” she asks.

“Cucumber and mango,” Beasley says.

Beasley, a 35-year-old author and poet, has already scoped out the menu online in advance, as she always does. (Thip Khao was her suggestion for our dinner.) She sees it as a good sign that the Columbia Heights Laotian restaurant makes a point to say “vegetarian” means no fish sauce or shrimp paste. It signifies someone is paying attention to the ingredients.

Read more What It’s Like Dining Out With Extreme Allergies and Dietary Restrictions

Costa Brava Will Host Memorial This Weekend for Co-Owner Who Drowned

11822543_10206859286898716_2449866846893591928_nCosta Brava co-owner Doug Brown drowned over the weekend during an outing to the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland. His brother Daniel Brown also drowned.

In Doug Brown's honor, the Bloomingdale restaurant will host a memorial for him at the restaurant's upstairs bar—his home away from home—on Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. All food and drink proceeds will go to the Brown family.

According to the Washington Post, the Brown brothers were playing around in the water with Daniel's son when the currents picked up and they were swept under. Read the heartbreaking story here.

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