Japanese Grill Momo Yakitori Opens
Momo Yakitori, the city’s first yakitori restaurant, opened Friday at 2214 Rhode Island Ave. NW in the former Nido restaurant space.
The restaurant serves traditional Japanese skewered meats and seasonal vegetables cooked on a special binchō-tan charcoal grill that gives the food a smoky flavor. First time restauranteurs and couple Masako Morishita, a Redskins cheerleader, and Andrew Chiou, formerly of shuttered Shaw restaurant Table, also own M’s Kitchen catering company.
Options include tsukune, a Japanese-style chicken meatball, honetsuki momo, a chicken drumstick, and kabocha, sweet pumpkin as well as Miyazaki Wagyu beef, chicken skin and duck hearts. Most skewers, which come one per order, are $2-$3 each.
In addition to skewers, the menu features appetizers priced around $4 each including sweet potato salad, sesame cucumber salad and green beans with sesame sauce. Finish every meal with a yaki onigiri – a grilled rice ball in a dashi broth.
The restaurant also serves Japanese cocktails made with shochu and sake, beer and wines. The couple plan to open a cocktail lounge downstairs in the future.
Momo Yakitori is open from 5-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday for the first month. Nightly dinner service is expected to begin sometime in March.
Dolcezza Gelato opens in renovated Hirshhorn lobby
Dolcezza gelato and coffee opened a new location inside the renovated Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden lobby, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SE, last Friday.
The Hirshhorn‘s lobby has been re-designed by renowned artist, photographer and designer Hiroshi Sugimoto. It is the first change to the building since 1974. The 20-foot coffee bar uses new ModBar systems to serve espresso beverages, pour-overs, pastries from Bluebird Bakery and more. The bar, menu font and even the condiment station were all designed by Sugimoto.
The facade of the bar is covered with a fireproof steel tile pattern not used in Japan since the 1930s. Across from the bar, two tables made from the roots of 700-year-old nutmeg trees with helix-inspired chairs and long benches will accommodate guests, transforming the space into more of a lounge and less of a lobby.
Dodlcezza in the Hirshhorn will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
After 20 years, Ardeo+Bardeo closes in Cleveland Park
After 20 years in Cleveland Park, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group’s Ardeo+Bardeo, 3311 Connecticut Ave. NW, closed permanently on Sunday.
A note on the restaurant’s website says it “will reopen with a new name, fresh deco and a talented new chef showcasing an innovative menu.”
The new restaurant, which reportedly won’t be American cuisine, is expected to open by the end of March. There is no word on what the new concept from restauranteur Ashok Bajaj, who also owns the Oval Room, Rasika and Bindaas among others, will be. Bindaas, whose original location adjoins Ardeo and serves Indian street food, will remain open during rennovation.
Ardeo was Bajaj’s fourth D.C. restaurant. It opened in 1998 when the neighborhood was a popular dinner destination. Originally, Ardeo was the restaurant in the current space and Bardeo was an adjoining wine bar where Bindaas is currently located. The Clintons and other politicians and celebrities have dined at Ardeo. But in recent years, the neighborhood has seen a string of restaurant closings including Palena and Nam-Viet as diners have sought out new hot spots in Shaw and on 14th Street NW.
Upscale French restaurant Opaline coming to Sofitel
Opaline, an upscale French restaurant, will replace ICI Urban Bistro and Le Bar at the Sofitel hotel, 806 15th St. NW near Layfayette Square.
The new 90-seat bar and 84-seat brasserie, which is expected to open in April, will feature modern brass light fixtures, wood floor and blue and gold tones throughout.
The menu is still under development, but will include bistro favorites such as croque monsieur and steak frites., along with traditional French such as steak tartare, tartines and pate. A chef hasn’t been named yet.
Opaline which translates to different types of glass in French.
N.Y.-based Meatball Shop coming to 14th Street corridor
The Meatball Shop plans to open in June at 1720 14th St. NW in the former Cork restaurant space. It will be the New York City-based chain’s first restaurant outside of the five boroughs.
The neighborhood restaurant, which opened its first restaurant serving build-your-own-meatball-based meals in 2010 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, has five other locations in New York.
The core menu in D.C. is expected to mimic the New York siblings offering the same menu at lunch and dinner. Meatballs include classic, spicy pork, chicken or vegetarian made from lentils. Sauce choices include classic tomato, spicy meat, mushroom gravy, parmesan cream or pesto. There could also be regional specialties such as blue crab or black bean-based meatballs. Naked balls come in a serving of four with parmesan cheese and focaccia bread for $9. They can also come as sliders with one meatball on a bun for $3.50, as a hero with three balls, sauce and cheese on a baguette for $13, as a smash with two balls, sauce and cheese on a brioche bun for $12 or as the Kitchen Sink with 3 balls and sauce over a seasonal salad for $13. Sides include risotto, polenta, mashed potatoes, spaghetti and rigatoni that the meatballs can be served on top of or beside for an additional $6.
The chain added brunch in late 2017. It will also serve local beer, wine and spirts.
The chain looked at several locations for its first D.C. shop including Adams Morgan, Georgetown, Penn Quarter and near Union Market, but chose the 14th Street corridor because of limited lunch options and its vibrant nightlife. The restaurant will provide sit-down lunch service along with happy hour, dinner, late-night and weekend brunch service.
In 2012, there was a meatball shop in Penn Quarter called Meatballs, but it closed after only a few months.
Bibiana adds $12 Seven Bowls weekday bar menu
Bibiana, 1100 New York Ave. NW, has debuted a new $12 prix fixe at its 12-seat bar.
Diners can select one bowl for $12 and can add a soft drink, iced tea or glass of features Italian wine for an additional $5 or coffee, espresso or seasonal sorbet flavor of the day for an additional $3 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
While the bar menu rotates, choices currently include polenta with wild mushrooms, cheese fonduta and rosemary; lentil soup with pork sausage and salsa verde; braised short rib with potato purée and spinach; baby octopus ragu with polenta and crouton; penne pasta with tomato, pepperoncini and parmesan; Tuscan soup with bread and parsley; and veal & pork meatballs with polenta.
Jack Rose adds new cocktails at salon bar, rooftop terrace
Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW, had added more than 20 new winter cocktails at its saloon bar and rooftop terrace.
The seasonal sips feature everything from the comforting, chilly-weather flavors of apple, maple, cinnamon, pear and hazelnut, to house-made ingredients like oatmeal raisin cookie syrup, salted honey bitters, lapsang souchong tincture and malted barley and hop soda.
The saloon bar has added 14 drinks priced at $13 each and organized by spirit:: whiskey, gin, rum, agave and vodka. The new cocktails include the Breakfast Club made with Whistle Pig 10-year rye, Café Amaro, Amaro Abano, coffee-garam masala syrup and cream; Nana’s Cookie Jar with Copper Dog scotch, oatmeal raisin syrup, brown butter and bitters; Sling Me Two Times, Baby with Citadelle gin, sweet vermouth, Constant Comment tea, cherry, lemon and tonic; Nuts on the Side with toasted pecan-infused Plantation rum, Amaro di Angostura and salted honey bitters; Green Hornet with Deleon blanco tequila, green bell pepper, yellow chartreuse, honey and lime; Swedish Czech Mark with Absolut vodka, Becherovka, pear, ginger and lemon; and Fallen Flowers with Ketel One vodka, white wine, Luxardo bitter bianco, chamomile, rosemary and lemon. The bar also has two private barrel cocktails priced at $23 each made with whiskey from its own private, hand-picked barrels: Penicillin with Jack Rose Kilchoman 5-year scotch, ginger syrup, honey and lemon; and the Old Fashioned with Jack Rose Maker’s 6-year bourbon, house barrel-aged bitters blend and sugar.
The heated rooftop has added six new cocktails featuring seasonal flavors of apple, cinnamon, maple, apricot and black walnut, plus two hot cocktails all priced at $10: The cocktails include the Lumberjack’d with Wild Turkey bourbon, Averna amaro, dry curacao, maple syrup and firewater bitters; Ruby Roulette with Bulleit bourbon, port, cinnamon syrup, lemon and bitters; Smokin Manzanas with Illegal mezcal, amaro montenegro, apple cider and chocolate bitters; and the Fresh & Fuzzy with Absolut vodka, sweet vermouth, apricot, lemon and soda. The two hot cocktails include the Spiked Whiskey Cider with Jim Beam bourbon, apple, spices and a cinnamon stick; and the Irish Coffee with Jameson Caskmates and coffee topped with whipped cream.
Bastille hosts Lorire Valley wine dinner on Mar. 1
Bastille, 606 N. Fayette St., Alexandria, will host a prix fixe, five-course Loire Valley dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday for $59 per person.
The dinner begins with gougères, cheesy choux puffs served with Grosbot Barbara, Brut 0 “Methode Champenoise” 2014 (100 percent Gamay); followed by sea scallop carpaccio with grapefruit, lime, ginger and chervil paired with Domaine de Bel Air, Pouilly Fumé, 2016 (100 percent Sauvignon blanc); Icelandic cod baccalau with celery root, brown butter and lemon-grass sauce paired with Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray 2015 (100 percent Chenin blanc); and a main course of rabbit cooked with red wine, prunes and chilies served with quinoa, Tuscan kale and carrots paired with Domaine Bruno Dufeu, Bourgueil “Grand Mont” 2014 (100 percent Cabernet franc). Dessert will be goat cheese cheesecake with honeyed apricots and almond spice macaron paired with Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray “Cuvee Prestige” Late Harvest 2014 (100 percent Chenin blanc).
The Loire Valley wine region includes the along the Loire River from the Muscadet region near the city of Nantes on the Atlantic coast to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé just southeast of the city of Orleans in north-central France. In between are the regions of Anjou, Saumur, Bourgueil, Chinon and Vouvray.
The Loire Valley itself follows the river through the Loire province to the river’s origins in the Cévennes. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are red wines made around the Chinon region from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced. With Crémant production throughout the Loire, it is the second largest sparkling wine producer in France next to Champagne.
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.