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After Trial Run, French Chef Bertrand Chemel Will Continue Leading Pizzeria Orso (and 2941)

Posted by / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

Photos Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso

By Stefanie Gans

Before December, Bertrand Chemel never made pizza.

The French chef who quit school at 16 to cook for a living has made terrines, sausages, pasta, and even worked under Daniel Boulud, but the 39-year-old chef of 2941—and now the corporate chef of Pizzeria Orso—never attempted the Italian classic. 

After Orso’s most recent chef, Will Artley, left the Falls Church restaurant in October (he’s now cooking at D.C.’s BLT Steak), Chemel stepped in as 2941 and Orso share ownership. Chemel was supposed to be a placeholder until Orso found a new face, but Chemel wanted the challenge of developing the menu and learning how to toss dough; he will fly to California in March to train for his VPN certification.  

The basis of the menu will not stray from Artley’s touches, making the family-friendly Orso much more than a pizza place with plenty of interesting small plates and entrees. Chemel’s Orso menu debuted yesterday. / Pizzeria Orso, 400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church


Hungry for Linkage: Meat Sweats

Posted by / Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Vienna Inn / Courtesy of Lindsey Jenkins

Vienna Inn / Photo by Lindsey Jenkins

By Stefanie Gans

A round up of classic restaurants of Metropolitan Washington, including NoVA’s L’Auberge Chez François, 29 Diner and Vienna Inn. [Eater]

Hey restaurateurs and wannabes: CNBC is casting for the next season of “Restaurant Startup.” [CNBC]

Where you’ll be enjoying burgers in 2015. [Burger Days]

Try Fuego‘s barrel-aged, no-lime and no-salt margarita. [WaPo]

Better understand your meat: check for an Animal Welfare Approved Certified Grassfed label. [AWA] 

Summer will reopen. [ARLnow]

The phenomenon known as “meat sweats” is real. [Indianapolis Monthly]


Opening Soon: Highline RxR Comes to Crystal City Next Month

Posted by / Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Photo Courtesy of Highline RxR

Photo Courtesy of Evan Foster, Beyond Collective

By Susannah Black

Tony Radwan says the name Highline RxR is in reference to a railroad—”and just like a train, we want to be noticed.” The upcoming craft cocktail and beer lounge is expected to open in Crystal City in February from Geoffrey Dawson and Peter Bayne, owners of Arlington’s Carpool and Continental Pool Lounge.

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Q&A with George Pagonis; Opening New Restaurant Kapnos Taverna Tomorrow

Posted by / Monday, January 26th, 2015

Kapnos Taverna's George Pagonis.

Photo courtesy of George Pagonis.

From summers in the olive fields of Greece to making toast at his dad’s restaurant in Alexandria, George Pagonis was born into a life of food.

Even though his dad tried to talk him out of the family business—his uncle owns Nostos in Vienna, his great uncle started Amphora diners and bakeries and his dad owned Four Seasons—Pagonis knew he belonged in the kitchen. 

After attending culinary school, working in New York and  staring on this season’s “Top Chef,” the 31-year-old is back in Virginia and opening Kapnos Taverna tomorrow with “Top Chef” alum Mike Isabella. A spin-off of D.C.’s Kapnos, the Arlington menu will highlight Greek seafood. —Stefanie Gans

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Hungry for Linkage: Virginia’s First Hops Processing Facility is Coming to Loudoun

Posted by / Monday, January 26th, 2015

Bastille owners Christophe and Michelle Poteaux  / Photo courtesy of Bastille

Bastille owners Christophe and Michelle Poteaux / Photo courtesy of Bastille

By Nicole Bayne

D.C. Meat Week this year includes meet-ups at Pork Barrel BBQ (tomorrow at 7 p.m.) and Sweet Fire Donna’s (Thursday at 7 p.m.). [FB]
Mad Fox Brewing Company hosts a five-course Robbie Burns Beer Dinner tonight at 7 p.m. for $75 per person. [tickets]
Bastille reopens today for dinner, 5-10 p.m., at the new location: 606 N. Fayette St. in Alexandria. [FB]
Virginia’s first hops processing facility is coming to Loudoun this year in time for the fall harvest. [Richmond Times]
Researchers from NIH: “the more coffee people drank, the lower their melanoma risk.” [LA Times
Every recipe needed for Super Bowl 2015. [Bon Appetit]
*This post has been updated, as Bastille will not open for lunch today.


Driss Zahidi Is Back at Evo Bistro; Will Continue at Le Mediterranean Bistro

Posted by / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Chef Driss Zahidi  / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

Chef Driss Zahidi / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

By Stefanie Gans

“It was too fast,” says Driss Zahidi of the sudden deal that led him back to Evo Bistro.

From 2007 to 2011, Zahidi was chef and majority partner in the McLean restaurant, but he left to start Le Mediterranean Bistro in Fairfax in April 2013.

After being approached three weeks ago by the current owners of Evo Bistro, Zahidi agreed to take over the restaurant. His first shift in the kitchen was last night. 

On Monday, Zahidi, a Moroccan native, will release his new menu, which shifts Evo Bistro from its current emphasis on American-Italian food to pan-Mediterranean cuisine pulling from Spain, Italy and Morocco. Dishes will include lobster ravioli — “House-made, of course,” says Zahidi — Mediterranean rockfish with saffron risotto, an appetizer of boquerones and a lobster and foie gras croquette, which debuts as a special tonight for $9.

Zahidi will continue cooking at Le Mediterranean Bistro, but he is already wary of being able to keep both restaurants afloat. “I’m trying to make it work,” says Zahidi. But if he had to sacrifice one, it’d be Le Mediterranean Bistro. Says Zahidi, “Evo Bistro was my little baby.”



Hungry For Linkage: The Beer Joint (formerly Vintage 50) Files for Bankruptcy

Posted by / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Mexican peppers, cinnamon and cocoa nibs for the / Photo Courtesy of Lickinghole Creek

Mexican peppers, cinnamon and cocoa nibs for the Mexican-spiced Imperial Stout / Photo Courtesy of Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery

By Susannah Black

The grand opening of the Sugar Shack in Alexandria is Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Guests who show take a “selfie” at Sugar Shack and post it to their social media page will get a free donut.  [FB]

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery releases Heir Apparent, a Mexican-spiced imperial stout this Saturday. [FB]

Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week runs through this Sunday and Alexandria Restaurant Week starts on today. [RAMW, VisitAlexandria]

After rebranding this summer, The Beer Joint—formerly Vintage 50—files for bankruptcy. [WTOP

Get a preview of Portner Brewhouses‘s brews this weekend. [FB]

Be creative (pottery!) and eat chocolate at the annual Death by Chocolate Ladies’ Night at Art from the Heart in Stafford tonight. [VA]


The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm Starts a CSA … And There Are Only 12 Left

Posted by / Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

Scenes from The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm / Photos by Tarver King

Scenes from The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm / Photos by Tarver King

By Stefanie Gans

“We grow more than the restaurant could ever really use,” says Tarver King, the chef, farmer and forager at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.

After years of customers asking if the restaurant could sell its produce, the team finally decided to try a small run of CSA — community supported agriculture — memberships. 

To be picked up at the restaurant in Lovettsville, the weekly boxes will include flowers, eggs, vegetables, berries, baked goods and preserves. In the first packages in May, expect radishes, shoots, sprouts, salad greens, baby turnips, baby carrots, blueberry bread, which is made with fruit saved from a bumper crop last summer, and whatever edibles King finds on the property.

Foraged items from the property could include paw paws, watercress, chickweed (tastes like spinach) and wine berries, which King describes as “Oh my god they are like nature’s gummy bears.” / CSA at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm; $500 for weekly installment from May through October; email to reserve. 




Hungry for Linkage: Mark Bittman’s State of Food Address

Posted by / Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Feng Yu/

Feng Yu/

By Stefanie Gans

Last night was the State of the Union. Today: the State of Food. [NYT]

Power Supply has been certified as REAL by the by the US Healthful Food Council. [Power Supply]

The case for bare refrigerator shelves. [Zester Daily]

Root, a cafe with sandwiches, soups and other light fare, is coming to Arlington. [ARLnow]

The Virginia state senate kills a bill for a proposed minimum wage increase and a bill was pulled from consideration that would have paid restaurant servers “a cash wage of no less than half the minimum wage.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]


18 New and Almost Open Restaurants, Breweries and Coffee Shops in Northern Virginia

Posted by / Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

New and Almost Open restaurants in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of 360b/

Need a new spot to nosh? Here is a list of new restaurants now open and soon-to open.

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