D.C. to Get Another Steak House
Cameron Mitchell Restaurants announced plans on Thursday to open its modern American steak and seafood restaurant near Metro Center. The Ohio-based Ocean Prime will open its 13th location in late summer 2016 in the Colorado Building in space that formerly housed Ceiba, 701 14th St. NW. Ceiba, from Passion Food Hospitality, closed in September 2014.
Ocean Prime will serve lunch Monday through Friday and dinner nightly. The menu will pair prime steaks with fresh seafood The high-energy restaurant will “evoke a timeless elegance with warm woods, captivating lighting and a welcoming yet sophisticated atmosphere,” according to the press release. It will be CMR’s first restaurant in the DMV.
“For our first D.C. location, we brought in longtime CMR partner, Chicago-based architect/design firm Knauer, to create Ocean Prime D.C.’s unique look,” said David Miller, executive vice president of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. “Each of our Ocean Prime locations is designed specifically for its location and inspired by the individual space. The historic nature of the Colorado Building will ensure that Ocean Prime D.C. offers a breathtaking backdrop for both business and social occasions.”
The 9,644 square-foot restaurant will seat about 280 guests and feature private dining rooms. The lounge will serve handcrafted cocktails, while a separate sushi bar will showcase the freshest sourced fish.
There are 10 Ocean Prime locations currently, with a Manhattan location set to open this month and a Boston location set to open in November.
Andrés, Zakarian counter sue Trump over Old Post Office Deal
Celebrity chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian have counter sued real estate mogul-turned GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump after he sued them for breach of contract after they both canceled plans to operate restaurants in the new Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
Andrés filed suit late Wednesday in D.C. Superior Court claiming Trump is to blame for the break-up of the deal. Andrés and Zakarian pulled out in July after Trump called Mexican immigrants drug peddlers and rapists in a campaign speech on June 16. Trump slapped both with $10 million breach-of-contract suits.
In the court filing, Andrés and his company, ThinkFoodGroup, argue that Trump’s comments constituted the initial breach of contract. That echoes what Andrés said when he walked out of the deal: Trump’s statements made it impossible to open and run a high-end Spanish restaurant.
“The perception that Mr. Trump’s statements were anti-Hispanic made it very difficult to recruit appropriate staff for a Hispanic restaurant, to attract the requisite number of Hispanic food patrons for a profitable enterprise, and to raise capital for what was now an extraordinarily risky Spanish restaurant,” court documents say.
Andrés is seeking more than $8 million in damages. In a statement, Trump general counsel Alan Garten called Andrés’ filing “legally meritless and clearly intended to divert focus away from his baseless decision to walk away from his obligations under the lease. We are confident that the court will view it the same way and dismiss Mr. Andrés’ claims accordingly.”
Trumps’ lawsuit cites a statement attributed Andrés praising the hotelier’s “business acumen” included in the press release the Trump organization released announcing the deal. But in his filing, Andrés says he wasn’t the one who wrote the praise for Trump.
Zakarian’s countersuit, filed in September, argues that Trump’s campaign comments constitute a “breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” which thus justifies Zakarian’s termination of his lease.
Trump has announced that BLT Prime will open in the space that Andrés was supposed to fill.
Ambar hosts five-course wine dinner
Ambar, 523 8th St. SE, will host a wine dinner with Chat’s Liquors, and Grape & Barley Importers on Sunday, Oct. 11. Seating will be from 5-7 p.m. and from 7:30-9:30 p.m.
The five-course meal will feature modern Balkan food from the restaurant’s new fall menu, while representatives from Chat’s and Grape & Barley will pour wines imported from K Cellars Thracian Valley Wines of Bulgaria.
The first course is a Balkan spread sampler with ajvar, urnebes and kajmak paired with K Cellars Chardonnay 2014. The second course is sarma, stuffed sour cabbage with pork belly, cabbage juice, jasmine rice and yogurt paired with K Cellars Cabernet/Syrah Blend 2011. The third course features Vienna Schnitzel, crispy veal schnitzel with arugula salad and tartar dressing paired with K Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 The main course is streak frites, zlatibor kajmak and homemade fries, paired with K Cellars Merlot 2013. Dessert is a trio of chocolates: milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate with mascarpone served with raspberry sorbet and paired with K Cellars White Blend 2012
The meal is $75 and can be purchased online.
Graffiato offers pizza making classes
In honor of national pizza month, Graffiato, 707 Sixth St. NW, is offering pizza making classes a 6 p.m. on Oct. 11, 18 and 25.
Chef de cuisine Jose Adorno will demonstrate how to make a pizza and give tips on the finer points of making a great pie. Classes also include a three-course dinner and a pizza kit to take home. Tickets are $55.
Pizza kits, which come in three varieties, are also available for sale. Kits include the American pie with fresh mozzarella and Thai basil for $10.99; the White House with ricotta, tallegiao, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, black pepper and honey for $12.99; and the Goodfellas with provolone, meatballs, chili flakes and parsley for $11.99.
To order a pizza kit, call 202-289-3600 by 10 p.m. the day before pick up. Kits will be ready for pick-up beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Tico introduces Margarita Mondays and More
Tico, 1926 14th St. NW, has a new all-night happy hour at the bar and in the dining room called “Margarita Mondays and More.”
The restaurant’s happy hour menu is available at the bar on Mondays from 4 p.m. to last call. In addition, when guests are seated for dinner in the dining room, they can order pitchers of the restaurant’s three signature draft cocktails: hibiscus margarita with Blanco tequila and Patron Citronage; rosé sangria with dry rosé, citrus, Pisco and passion tea; and Papa Made Bail with Pisco, pineapple, lemon and chili for $30. The $30 pitchers are also available at the bar.
The restaurant will seat guests in the dining room up until 10:30 p.m., however drink specials will be available until last call at 11:30.
The Royal launches monthly Royal Knights guest bartenders
The Royal, 501 Florida Ave. NW in LeDroit Park, is launching a monthly series featuring craft spirits and lesser known liqueurs called Royal Knights from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on the second Monday of every month.
Each Royal Knights will feature a guest bartender and have a theme such as American-made brandies, vermouths from around the world and bitter amaros. The series kicks off this Monday, Oct. 12, feature American brandy from Kentucky’s Copper & Kings distillery, which uses traditional copper alembic pot-stills to make its craft brandy.
Bar manager Horus Alvarez and guest bartender Glendon Hartley of The Menehune Group and Provision No. 14 will to create eight different brandy & absinthe cocktails for only $8, incorporating spirits like aged and unaged apple brandies, aged grape brandy, absinthe blanche and vapor-distilled lavender absinthe. The Royal’s upstairs loft will serve as an absinthe bar, where guests can try the American-made absinthes neat, on ice or in classic cocktails like the Death in the Afternoon.
The night will feature Copper & Kings’ own “sonic aging” playlist. The distillery matures its whiskey using a method called “sonic aging” in which it plays loud rock n’ roll music on sub-woofers throughout the barrel cellar, causing sound waves to vibrate the alcohol in the barrels to increase contact with the wood. In theory, sonic aging enhances maturation and leads to a richer brandy.
On Nov. 9, Royal Knights will have the theme “86” Cancer with 86 Co. While raising money for men’s cancer health awareness during Movember, bar will showcase cocktails made with craft spirits from the 86 Company: Fords Gin, Caña Brava Rum, Aylesbury Duck Vodka and Tequila Cabeza. A rep from the 86 Co. will guest bartend. There will also be a gin and tonic bar.
On Dec. 14, Royal Knights’s theme will be Sparkling Cocktails for New Year’s Eve with all a variety of bubbly cocktails. A toy drive and boozy holiday presents will round out the evening.
Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza offers Oktoberfest specials
Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza, 610 Ninth St. NW, is offering seasonal brew and food pairings from Oct. 13-15 for Oktoberfest.
Tuesday through Thursday, Ella’s will have D.C. Brau Oktoberfest Lager on tap, along with bottles of Starr Hill Boxcar Pumpkin Porter and Wood Chuck Fall Cider for $7 each.
Food specials include bratwurst and sauerkraut fritters with mustard sauce for $7; German style beer cheese spread served with soft pretzels for $7; and grilled potatoes tossed with stone-ground mustard and chives for $6.
Macon Bistro & Larder introduces fall drinks
Macon Bistro & Larder, 5520 Connecticut Ave. NW, has launched a new fall beverage program.
The new seasonal off-menu beer list highlights the flavors and spices of autumn. Guests can enjoy full bodied complex beer such as New Holland Brewing’s Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout with a roasted, malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones in an oak bath; Les Brasseurs De Gayant Belsebuth Bière Blonde with complex, smooth flavor, starting candy-like with peppery alcohol flavors finishing; Evolution Craft Brewing Co.’s Jacques Au Lantern pumpkin beer; Great Lakes Oktoberfest märzen-style lager; New Holland’s Ichabod pumpkin ale is made with real pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg; and Founders Brewing Co.’s 2015 Re-Dankulous imperial red IPA The seasonal beers are priced from $7-$16.
New autumn cocktails include the Delgres with Damoiseau French rum, Emilio Lustau sherry, Velvet Falernum and cardamom bitters, garnished with an orange twist and a mix of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne; the Blue Sky with Sobieski vodka, lemon, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and sparkling wine layered with crème de violette and garnished with a lemon twist; the Sang et Fumee (Blood & Smoke) with mezcal, Bittermens Amère Nouvelle, Alsatian style bitter orange liqueur, Campari, lime juice, agave and Elemakule tiki bitters with a smoked espelette rim; the Juarez Fights Back with Partida Reposado tequila, grapefruit, Cointreau, agave nectar and rhubarb bitters topped with ginger beer and garnished with a lime wheel; and the Members Only with Laphroaig 10 year scotch, Lillet Blanc aromatized wine, Blandy’s madeira aged five years in Bual and orange bitters stirred and served neat. They are priced from $12-$16 each.
Fall French wines include Pierre Gerbais “Prestige”, Brut NV Chardonnay, Celles-sur-Ource, Champagne; Domaine Des Lises Syrah, Crozes-Hermitage 2013; Chateau Maison Noble “Cuvee Prestige” Merlot/Cabernet Savingnon, Bourdeaux 2004; and Comaine Jean-Clause Marsanne Syrah, Saint-Joseph 2012. They are $18 by the glass and between $55-$80 by the bottle.
Lupo Verde debuts fall aperitivo menu
Lupo Verde, 1401 T St. NW, has introduced a new aperitivo menu available from 5-6:30 p.m. exclusively at the 15-seat bar Monday through Friday
Guests can enjoy an assortment of snacks and small plates priced from $5-$8 each and specialty crafted cocktails, beer and wine priced from $6 to $8.
Dishes on the apertivo menu include the millefoglie di bruschetta with prosciutto, bresaola, pomodoro, mozzarella, ricotta and Grana Padano served with a micro-green salad; polenta e baccalà, grilled polenta with whipped baccalà, barilotto di bufala and herbs; coupitillo, crispy sardines, shrimp and zucchini with edible flowers and Meyer lemon aioli; zeppola salata, shrimp with salsa rossa, micro-green salad and toasted sesame seeds; pasta cghina, baked ziti with spicy salame, Neapolitan ragù and pecorino crotonese; crocchette, smashed potato and mozzarella croquettes with parmigiano and herbs; patatona, rustic fried potatoes with house made spicy ketchup; polpette, cod fritters with red bell pepper, cheese and Meyer lemon aioli, and arancini, saffron infused acquerello rice balls stuffed with Neapolitan ragù and riso venere rice balls stuffed with squid ragù.
For the perfect pairing, guests can enjoy Peroni on draft for $5, wine on draft for $6 and an assortment of signature cocktails for $8. New additions to the cocktail menu include Lupo Alberto, rye, fennel liqueur with fennel bitters and strong tonic; the Peppino, gin with limoncello, lemon juice and Prosecco; and the Toto, vodka with mandarin, Cocchi Americano, lemon and bail.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.