Birth Announcements: November 2013
Juliet Glass - November 2013
In September, chef Ethan Stowell (How to Cook a Wolf and Anchovies & Olives, among others) opened the diminutive mkt. at 2108 North 55th Street, in the historic Keystone building. An open stainless-steel kitchen is the centerpiece of the 28 seater, while gray walls and polished concrete floors round out the minimalist look. Seth Sexton, manager and wine director for both mkt. and How to Cook a Wolf, offers barrel-aged cocktails. Chef Joe Ritchie (recently of Ray’s Boathouse) turns out sharable dishes—many of them cooked on an applewood-fired grill. Monica Dimas, an Anchovies & Olives recruit, is sous chef. Apps ($5 to $9): pumpernickel bread with cured salmon and dill crème fraîche; zucchini fritters with lemon/thyme pesto. Mains ($11 to $23): grilled lamb’s tongue with baby beets, horseradish, and grilled bread; porcini/ricotta ravioli with mushroom broth and shaved porcini. Desserts ($6 to $8): chocolate malt pudding with cocoa nib crumble; Port-glazed fig tart with pistachio gelato.
WASHINGTON, D. C.
The latest endeavor for Mike Isabella, the two-time Top Chef contestant and chef/owner of Graffiato, consists of two concepts rolled into one space (2201 14th Street NW): the 160 seat Kapnos, a culinary study of northern Greece, and the 46 seat G, a sandwich shop by day and four-course Italian-American spot by night. The Kapnos space takes on a Mediterranean mood with a warm, earthy color scheme and custom lighting fashioned from wine glasses and bottles. For the menu, Isabella draws on his tenure as head chef at Zaytinya and the expertise of his business partners chef de cuisine George Pagonis and general manager Nick Pagonis, who are brothers and sons of Greek immigrants. Kapnos means “smoke” in Greek, and the hickory-fired rotisserie grill unifies the sharing menu. Cold meze ($8 to $11): salad of arugula, chestnuts, goat’s milk cheese, and pears; smoked beets with yogurt, green peppercorns, and citrus. Spit-roasted meze ($16 to $18): spiced baby goat with ancient grain salad; suckling pig with orzo, dill, and orange.
For their third venue, owner Mark Kuller and chef/partner Haidar Karoum (the team behind Proof and Estadio), go the Southeast Asian route with the 135 seat Doi Moi (“new change” in Vietnamese) and its subterranean bar, 2 birds 1 stone, at 1800 14th Street NW. The restaurant spans two buildings—one historic and one new—and feels light and airy, thanks to creamy white walls, a full glass façade looking onto the bustling street, and wide-plank oak floors. Kuller and Karoum recruited Proof and Estadio bar director Adam Bernbach to handle cocktails. Estadio wine director Max Kuller takes on wines at Doi Moi; Justin Guthrie, who was general manager at Estadio, is now filling the same post at Doi Moi. Brittany Frick, who was Estadio pastry chef, is now Doi Moi’s chef de cuisine. Apps ($8 to $13): pan-fried garlic/chive/mushroom dumplings with sweet soy/black vinegar dipping sauce; salad of grilled eggplant, poached shrimp, soft-boiled egg, scallions, lime, and cilantro. Mains ($12 to $17): sablefish with dill, turmeric, vermicelli noodles, peanuts, crispy garlic, nuoc cham, chiles, and fragrant herbs; roasted lemongrass spiced chicken with chile/lime dipping sauce, sticky rice, and scallions. Desserts ($6 to $8): banana/black cardamom soft serve ice cream; sweet coconut tapioca soup with corn.
It’s all about cooking with fire at TBD, which opened in November at 1077 Mission Street (just a few doors down from sister restaurant AQ). Owner Matt Semmelhack outfitted the kitchen with a wood-fired grill and a custom-built hearth—the sole means of cooking for executive chef Mark Liberman (who heads up both restaurants). All 50 seats in the bi-level space enjoy views of the open kitchen. A campground chic feel is achieved with red camping lanterns, retro plaid thermoses (used to serve “cowboy” coffee made over an open flame), and vintage ice chests for chilling wine and beer. Hunting gear and various types of taxidermy round out the design. The sharing menu is broken down into such nontraditional categories as “raw,” “smoked,” “on the hearth,” and “grill & plancha.” Raw ($6 to $12): escarole with grapes, tarragon, and aged goat’s milk cheddar; tableside carne crudo with capers and raw farm egg. Grill & Plancha ($12 to $18): artichokes and Dungeness crab with spiced rhubarb and sea urchin.
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