Grill Room Loses Chefs to New Restaurant
Executive chef Frank Ruta and pastry chef Aggie Chin are leaving the Grill Room at the Rosewood Washington hotel, 1050 31st St. NW, at the end of October for a new upscale French-American restaurant from Hakan Ilhan, who is behind Alba Osteria, L’Hommage Bistro Francis and Ottoman Taverna. Rosewood bought Georgetown’s former Capella Hotel in April of this year.
The 147-seat restaurant, tentatively named Plateau, is slated to open in March at 900 16th St. NW, just two blocks from the White House, where Ruta spent a decade cooking for presidents. Before the Grill Room, Ruta and Chin worked together at Palena, his Italian restaurant in Cleveland Park.
The restaurant will be a little more elevated than L’Hommage Bistro, somewhere between bistro and fine dining with white tablecloths, formal service and a French-American menu that will cater to lawyers in suits and tourists in shorts. Although no menu has been created yet, think steak frites, onion soup and croquet madame with seafood dishes and brunch. Some version of Ruta’s signature roast chicken and hamburger dishes will also probably make the cut. Entrées will be in the $25-$35 range. There is also talk of a tasting menu in addition to the a la carte offerings.
Ruta told Washingtonian magazine he is looking forward to focusing just on the dining room and not room service and other obligations that come with working in a hotel. “All the other parts of the hotel I think are something that made it difficult for us to do what we do best,” he said.
Norris Design Studio, which designed Ilhan’s other restaurants, will design the old school, French look at the new restaurant as well.
Alta Strada offers happy hour stuzzicini menu
Alta Strada, 465 K St. NW in the City Vista development, has a new stuzzicini menu for happy hour. From the Italian word “to pick,” stuzzicini are the Southern Italian equivalent of antipasti.
Alta Strada will offer a selection of small plates with a variety of bruschetta, including broccoli rabe bruschetta with spicy sausage and pecorino and tuna bruschetta with black olives and capers, as well as other antipasti including house-made ricotta with sage and chile flakes and a Tuscan salad with tomatoes, cucumber, basil and red onion. Diners can order one stuzzicini for $6 or three for $15.
In addition, a selection of cocktails will be available at happy hour prices, including aperol spritz ($8), negroni ($8) and Americano ($6), as well as $6 glasses of select wines and $3 Natty Boh’s. Happy hour is available from 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday at the bar and on the patio.
Also, the restaurant has a pizza and drink offer for diners seated at the bar. For $15, guests can order a full-size margherita pizza along with a choice of a Natty Boh, a glass of house red or white wine, or a glass of prosecco or Lambrusco. This special is offered at the bar only and is available during both lunch and dinner daily.
Legal Sea Foods hosts oyster festival
Now through Oct. 12, Legal Sea Foods, 704 Seventh St. NW, 2301 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, and Tysons Galleria in McLean, is holding its eighth annual oyster festival with special fried, baked and raw oyster dishes.
Fried oyster dishes, priced at three for $10, include Buffalo oysters with blue cheese, celery hearts and radish; BBQ oysters with coleslaw and BBQ mayo; Sriracha lime oysters with roasted corn salsa and crispy shallots; and the oyster BLT with bacon, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo. The menu also features baked oysters priced at three for $12 including the lobster spinach oyster with cheese and herbed crumbs; oyster scampi with shrimp garlic butter and white wine; crab and cheese oyster with Jonah crab, horseradish, cheddar and cream cheese; and the roasted oyster with smoked chorizo butter and fresh herbs.
Diners can also order oyster stew with leeks, cream and herbs for $14.95, or au natural on the half shell at market price of the day. Seasonal oysters include Wellfleet and Glidden Point from Wellfleet Harbor, Mass.; Malpeque from Malpeque Bay, PEI; Katama Bay from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; Big Rock from Eat Dennis, Mass.; Little Shemogue, from southeast New Brunswick, Canada; Dodge Cove from Damariscotta River, Maine; Lucky Limes from New London Bay, PEI; Riptide from Westport, Mass.; Fishers Island from Fishers Island, N.Y.; Sandy Neck and Wianno from Barnstable, Mass.; Pemaquid from Hog Island, Maine; and Kumamoto from Totten Inlet, Wash. The selection changes daily based on availability.
For the perfect pairing, diners can opt for the Deadrise, the official drink of this year’s oyster festival, which is made from Square One cucumber vodka, muddled cucumber, lime and grapefruit bitters for $11.
The Bird pops up at The Pig this weekend
EatWell DC’s new poultry-centric restaurant, The Bird, which is scheduled to open at 1337 11th St. NW in Shaw in October, will hold a two-day pop-up this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, at The Pig, 1320 14th St. NW.
The preview will showcase brunch from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. both days, as well as early bird at the bar from 3-7 p.m. Online reservations will not be accepted and must be made by calling 202-290-2821.
Diners can expect a sampling of starters and breakfast meats such as Amish chicken sausage and organic free range turkey bacon. A “birdcuterie board” will feature capon rillettes, duck prosciutto, pheasant galantine, mustards, pickles and toast. While egg dishes, such as duck hash with a sunny duck egg, zucchini, squash, onions and duck jus; and smoked chicken benedict with brined, smoked, pulled Amish organic chicken, poached eggs, yuzu hollandaise and biscuits are also on the menu.
Ottoman Taverna hots Vinkara Vineyard wine dinner
At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, Ottoman Taverna, 425 I St. NW, will host a guided tasting and winemaker’s dinner showcasing wines from Vinkara Vineyard, a 200-acre winery in the Kizilirmak River Basin in Ankara, Turkey.
Diners will explore the complex wines of Turkey, which have been carefully selected by Vinkara Vineyard’s U.S. representative Marianne Castaldo to complement a seven-course dinner. Castaldo will be on hand to lead the dinner and answer questions about the wines. Tickets are $69 per person. The featured wines are Vinkara, Narince, Ankara, Turkey 2014’ Vinkara, Narince Reserve, Ankara, Turkey 2012; Vinkara, Kalecik Karasi, Ankara, Turkey 2013; Vinkara, Kalecik Karasi Reserve, Ankara, Turkey 2012; Vinkara, Bogazkere Reserve, Ankara, Turkey 2011; and Vinkara, Okuzgozu, Ankara, Turkey 2013.
The menu includes chilled raki-infused cucumber with dill yogurt sphere; salmon trio of raki salmon gravlax, dill salmon mousse and chilled sumac salmon; sour green apple sorbet; braised short ribs with liver and herbed rice pilaf, morel mushroom and spicy tamarind caramel; pan seared royal seabass with almond and grape mousseline, confit pear tomatoes and petite greens; butter poached lamb loin with coriander eggplant puree, charred cherry peppers and mustard leaves; and grilled cinnamon quince with lemon leaves and champagne cloud.
Celebrate back-to-school with MIC eateries
School is back in session and four of chef Mike Isabella’s restaurants are celebrating.
From 7:30-10 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20,Graffiato, 707 Sixth St. NW, will offer a Raise the Bar class. Beverage director Taha Ismail and bar manager Mary Kelly will cover liquor cabinet essentials including vodka, gin, bourbon, rye, Cointreau, tequila, vermouth and bitters; must-have bar tools and glassware; and enough classic cocktail recipes to get through holiday entertaining season including cosmo, gin and tonic, martini, margarita, Manhattan, old fashioned and mojito with participants getting to taste several along with hour devours. Tickets are $65.
From 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, Kapnos Taverna, Pepita and Yona will host a back-to-school block party with all-you-can-eat bites, drink specials, karaoke, live music and DJs at 4000 Wilson Blvd., Ballston. Tickets are $35 and include food.
Jack Rose celebrates National Bourbon Heritage Month
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW, will celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month with four days of events next week.
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the bar will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a 5 Years Finished anniversary party from 5-8 p.m. There will be complimentary ½-ounce whiskey tastings of five different “finished” bourbons that have matured in casks such as sherry, cognac and Spanish brand, punches and passed bites. There will also be rare barrel-finished beers and popular cocktails from the past, with $5 draft beers and wines by the glass. The anniversary bash will also serve as the launch party for the bar’s exclusive new single barrel from Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – a cask-strength 10-year Belle Meade bourbon finished in sherry casks. One of the distillery’s only cask-strength releases (and generally, one of the country’s only cask-strength sherried bourbons), the rare bottling will only be available at Jack Rose.
On Thursday, Sept. 22, there will be a bourbon cocktail takeover at Dram & Grain, the downstairs cocktail den from 6 p.m.-midnight. The lounge will serve a special menu of eight bourbon cocktails for $10 including the Bourbon Toronto with Bulleit bourbon, Fernet and simple syrup; and the Seal on My Back with Booker’s bourbon, D&G Tropical Curaçao, grapefruit, Peychauds and Angostura bitters topped with Champagne. There will also be two “sacred slaughter” cocktails: the $300 Manhattan made with 1982 Weller 19-year, Cocchi di Torino and bitters; and the $250 mint julep made with Pappy Van Winkle 23-year, mint and sugar.
One Friday, Sept. 23, there will be a launch party for a Maker’s 46 JRDS single barrel and Belgian Space Reaper 2.0 from D.C. Brau aged in that same barrel from 5-10 p.m. on the rooftop terrace. Back in February, Maker’s Mark representatives and Jack Rose owner Bill Thomas blended a variety of wood staves, ranging from roasted French mocha to baked American oak with Maker’s 46. After aging, it is ready and will be offered for $7/pour. The used barrel was then sent to D.C. Brau to create an exclusive bourbon barrel-aged Belgian Double IPA, dubbed the Belgian Space Reaper 2.0, which will debut this evening. John Vickersmith of Maker’s Mark will be on-site from 5-8 p.m. to hand-dip complimentary Maker’s Mark glasses in its signature red wax for guests while supplies last. Maker’s Mark’s bourbon-infused cigars will also be available.
Finally on Saturday, Sept. 24, there will be a Pappy Hour in the saloon from 5-7:30 p.m. when the full Pappy Van Winkle collection will be available at special prices.
Hay-Adams hosts author Jon Meacham lunch
From noon-2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham will discuss his latest book Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush during a luncheon at the Hay-Adams’ Top of the Hay, 800 16th St. NW. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $85 per person and include a three-course, prix fixe menu with wine pairings.
The book raises the question of whether everything about George H.W. Bush is outdated or whether he is a model the party and its president should return to—a noble kind of restraint in foreign policy based on diplomacy and a prudence in domestic affairs. Kramerbooks will be selling copies, which Meacham can sign and personalize after the luncheon.
Trummer’s on Main hires new chef
Trummer’s on Main, 7134 Main St., Clifton, Va., has hired Jon Cropf, 33, as its new executive chef. Cropf replaces Austin Fausett, who left for Proof in May.
Cropf most recently worked at The Drawing Room in Charleston, S.C. Originally from Fallston, Md., just north of Baltimore, he attended Johnson & Wales culinary school and previously worked in restaurants from Lake Tahoe to Charleston.
At Trummer’s, Cropf plans to continue the highly seasonal menu by working with local farmers. One of his signature dishes is heirloom beets served several ways including raw, roasted, pickled and juiced for a vinaigrette served with smoked goat cheese and licorice “soil.”