Ballston welcomes southern comfort to the food scene.
By Natalie Manitius
Out with the short-lived Leek American Bistro and in with Republic Kitchen & Bar. The Ballston restaurant plans a grand opening today with a discounted menu and experimental cocktails, including a from-scratch ginger beer cocktail, the Republic Moscow Mule; a bacon old-fashioned; and the Ballston Yacht Club with fresh-squeezed grapefruit, vodka, lime and cucumber.
NoVA natives and cousins Alan Newton and Anthony Catselides partnered with businessman Thanh Cao-dac to open a place in which they, themselves, would enjoy eating. Says Catselides, “we just got tired of eating mediocre food, so we really wanted to open up a place of our own and offer good food at a reasonable price.” Newton, who learned to cook from his mother, spent his professional-formative years in Charleston, SC at Dragon Palace, a modern, upscale Chinese restaurant. Newton delved into regionally-inspired cuisine and “really began to make dishes of my own,” Newton says. He plans for Southern comfort-style food with an international flair. Catselides comes from restaurant background including Great American Restaurants, Angelo and Maxie’s and McCormick and Schmick’s.
Continued with full menu
Republic will create a customer-crafted beer and cocktail menu. A four-sided chalkboard in the center of the restaurant will post updates on the popularity of a drink based on votes conducted in-house, word of mouth and number purchased. Each month, D.C. native and twelve-year mixologist Les Cherry will offer four new trial drinks and the winner will be added to the core menu. Cherry plans for drinks “on the crafty side,” he says, and will make everything from sours to ginger reductions in-house. / Republic Kitchen & Bar, 801 N. Quincy St., Arlington.