D.C. has an increasing number of celebrity chefs, but most of the time you won’t see them in town or together. Except once a year at D.C. Central Kitchen’s annual Capital Food Fight. Tickets for the TV star-studded Nov. 11 fundraising event at the Ronald Reagan Building are now on sale.
So who exactly will attendees be stalking for selfies? The Chew’s Carla Hall is back to host alongside Parts Unknown star Anthony Bourdain. An Iron Chef-style battle with mystery ingredients will feature chefs Frederik De Pue (Menu and Table), Tim Ma (Maple Ave Restaurant and Water & Wall), Marjorie Meek-Bradley (Ripple and Roofers Union), and Javier Romero (Taberna Del Alabardero). Read more Catch Anthony Bourdain and Carla Hall at Capital Food Fight
Passion Food Hospitality partners Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, and David Wizenberg feel their Latin-inspired restaurant Ceiba has "run its course." The downtown establishment will close Sept. 27 after 11 years in business.
"The time has come," says DiMillo, whose restaurants include District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, Acadiana, and others. "Everything's made to open and then eventually things end. I'm not going to wait for somebody to tell me when it's done. I always like to go out on a high note." Read more Ceiba to Close This Month After 11 Years
Sommelier certification has become a point of contention. [Post]
Seven bar food snacks to try during football season [NoVa Mag]
IChing bringing Asian fusion to Shaw Sept. 26. [PoPville]
Farming is an expensive "habit" for young people. [NPR]
Olive Garden's investors are coming for your free breadsticks. [Vox]
The 13 things you need to eat in D.C. this fall [Thrillist]
David Chang says he's most excited about his D.C. restaurant. [Forbes]
Photo by Darrow Montgomery
The last time Daniel Boulud lived in D.C. was 1982. The famed French chef began his culinary career here, working for the European Commission and for local culinary legend Jean-Louis Palladin. "I was 25 years old, and I had zero money," Boulud recalls. "I mean, I was making something like $27,000 a year."
He's done alright for himself since making his home base New York. He now has double-digit restaurants across the world, from Las Vegas to London to Singapore. But he's finally returning to D.C. to open a second outpost of his DBGB Kitchen and Bar, which debuts to the public on Saturday. It's also the first restaurant to open in the luxe CityCenterDC development.
“As much as I could have chosen to do a restaurant more—not important—but certainly more luxe in a way, that’s not what was going to make me happy," Boulud says. "I have that in New York. It’s fine. Here we are independent, we are not in a hotel. And for that reason I felt I didn’t have to try to match another brand with something that might be different.” Read more Daniel Boulud Brings DBGB Kitchen and Bar to CityCenterDC
In the continuing casualization of D.C. restaurants, Alba Osteria launches a new grab-and-go counter called The Grill today. The first 50 customers at the Italian restaurant beginning at 11:30 a.m. today will get free paninis.
The Grill will operate every Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Chef Amy Brandwein and Roberto Donna's paninis—all $12 normally—include pulled pork shoulder with broccoli raab, provolone, and salsa verde as well as grilled lamb sausage with arugula, taleggio, and mostarda. Vegetarians can opt for a fried eggplant with smoked mozzarella, tomato, and basil option. All paninis come with potato chips and a soft drink. For dessert, grab chocolate-pistachio biscotti for an extra two bucks.
Alba Osteria, 425 I St. NW; (202) 733-4454; albaosteriadc.com
Photo by Jessica Sidman
The W hotel's POV rooftop bar reopens to the public this weekend after a swanky new renovation to its outdoor terrace and indoor lounge. The design, conceived by New York–based architectural firm nemaworkshop, riffs on all things Washington—even red tape. The very first thing visible as guests exit the elevator is a 50-foot sculptural “red tape wall” as a nod to D.C. bureaucracy. Made from laser-cut, powder-coated metal, the red tape wall glows with LED lighting in the evenings.
The rooftop is now divided into separate, D.C.-themed spaces, like the north “White House Corner,” which includes a "Dome Bar" with a circular light fixture. Next to the Dome Bar is a 16-seat communal table and a D.C. history–themed mural designed by street artist AIKO. On the south side of the rooftop resides the “Washington Monument Corner” with a new VIP seating area and VIP bar, which will offer private seating for up to 50 guests.
POV’s indoor lounge now features giant brass pegs hanging over the bar, configured to form the profiles of Benjamin Franklin, John F. Kennedy, and Abraham Lincoln. Each profile in the mural weighs more than 600 pounds. They’ll glow at night, and the chandeliers in the room also mimic the profiles. The indoor lounge’s makeover include glam gold couches and furniture. Read more Renovated POV Lounge Highlights D.C. Bureaucracy With Red Tape Wall
After several weeks of Friday evening-only operations, District Doughnut opened up full-time today at 8 a.m. The shop will celebrate its debut this weekend with music, games, giveaways, a photo booth, and more, until the doughnuts run out.
The Barracks Row spot from owners Greg Menna and Juan Pablo Segura will offer eight to 10 doughnuts each day. Pastry chef Christine Schaefer, who previously ran a gourmet bakery in Buffalo, N.Y., has created both yeast and cake varieties plus one gluten-free doughnut made with buckwheat flour. Dulce de leche and brown butter are menu staples, but opening flavors will also include key lime pie and Nutella bacon. Doughnuts will go for $2 to $3 each. Shaw-based roaster Compass Coffee, soon opening a cafe of its own, will supply the coffee.
District Doughnut, 749 8th St. SE; (202) 350-0799; districtdoughnut.com
Photo by Megan Ekhaml of Memorandum Images
Ray's Hell Burger is back. [Washingtonian]
Comparing the fake pianos at Mr. Smith's and Georgetown Piano Bar. [Express]
A guide to local beer festivals [Post]
Pizza Studio coming to Dupont. [WBJ]
CityEats reservation system is no more. [Eater]
Check out DGS Delicatessen's Rosh Hashanah menu. [PoPville]
Four Instagram-worthy restaurant mascots [Zagat]
Photo by Darrow Montgomery
Capitol City Saison Lillette
Where in Town: Capitol City Brewing Company, 1100 New York Ave. NW
Price: $5.50/12 oz.
Tried and Brew
When it opened in 1992, Capitol City Brewing Company was the first brewpub to operate in the District since Prohibition. For nearly 20 years, it was the only locally owned D.C. establishment with house-made beer. Today, the original downtown location—regularly filled with out-of-towners, office lunchers, and happy hour crowds—and a large brewpub in Shirlington (where beers for both locations are now made) are the last strongholds of a small empire that once reached as far as Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Under the direction of Kristi Mathews Griner, Capitol City continues to produce its signature line of beers—amber, pale ale, porter, and Kölsch, which won a medal at the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup last month. But since she took over last year, I’ve been most excited by her team’s broad range of new year-round and seasonal brews. Read more Brew In Town: Capitol City Saison Lillette