Mason Dixie Biscuit to Rise in Shaw
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. will reopen at 1819 Seventh St. NW next month beside a trendy Solidcore fitness studio after closing its drive-thru location at 2301 Bladensburg Road NE in March after less than a year.
CEO Ayesha Abuelhiga said the new 45-seat restaurant will be in line with what customers want and focus on biscuits and Southern comfort foods like fried chickem and cheddar grits. At the drive thru, customers wanted to be in and out fast, while diners inside wanted other things that weren’t possible at the old location.
The new location, with chef Jason Gehring back in the kitchen, is scheduled to open in the former Drift on 7th space.
Abuelhiga said the main thing the company looked for in a new space was finding the right community. She said the Shaw neighborhood has been welcoming with neighbors like Drink Company’s Pop-Up Bar.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Brunch will be served on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Along with its signature fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, new proteins like brisket, pastrami, Salisbury steak and pulled pork will be added. Also, sandwiches will be offered as platters during breakfast and lunch with Southern sides. There will also be Southern desserts with pies and cakes. Although there won’t be any alcohol, there will be milkshakes and coffee beverages with flavored milk. Espresso drinks may added later.
The Shaw location will also serve as a test kitchen for new biscuit flavors and recipes that will be sold in grocery stores.
Maydān is No. 2 best new restaurant in the U.S.: Bon Appétit
Last week, Bon Appétit magazine named Maydān, 1346 Florida Ave. NW, the No. 2 best new restaurant in the U.S. for 2018.
The magazine publishes its annual Hot Ten list, which is a compilation of “the most delicious, exciting and just plain fun places to eat in America right now.” Maydān came in behind Nonesuch in Oklahoma City, Okla. It beat out Ugly Baby in Brooklyn, Freedman’s in Los Angeles, Nyum Bai in Oakland, Calif., Nimblefish in Portland, Ore., Che Fico in San Francisco, Yume Ga Arkuara in Cambridge, Mass., Drifters Wife in Portland, Maine and Call in Denver.
Earlier in August, the magazine released its annual list of the 50 Best New Restaurants in America, which in addition to Maydān included Ellē, the bakery/cafe/dinner destination in Mount Pleasant, and all of the Line Hotel’s full-service restaurants in Adams Morgan: Spike Gjerde’s hyper-seasonal A Rake’s Progress and Erik Bruner-Yang’s Brothers & Sisters and Spoken English.
In the end, the magazine’s editors were impressed by owner Rose Previte’s restaurant, where meats, bread and other dishes are cooked over a live wood fire in the middle of the restaurant and is influenced by the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses. Maydān has also received similar accolades from Food & Wine, GQ and the James Beard awards.
“[I]t takes only one meal – and a couple hours staring lovingly at the huge hearth and all the charred meats and puffy bread coming off of it – to realize why it was so worth it,” wrote reporter Andy Baraghani.
The last time a D.C. restaurant made Bon Appétit’s Hot Ten was 2016, when modern-Filipino restaurant Bad Saint also finished in second place.
Wubba Lubba Dubba PUB closed over trademark infringement
Drink Company’s Wubba Lubba Dubba PUB, a Rick and Morty-themed pop-up bar, was forced to close after President Derek Brown and CEO Angie Fetherston failed to get approval from Turner Broadcasting and Cartoon Network to use their trademarked characters.
Turner, which owns Cartoon Network, sent a cease-and-desist letter, asking the bar to pay a $100,000 licensing fee and shorten the pop-up’s run by a month. Turner’s requests included putting up disclaimers distinguishing between the parties and an indemnification provision to prevent Turner and Cartoon Network from being sued if someone was injured at the bar. Turner also wanted to make sure Drink Company would not use its other properties in the future. Instead, Drink Company opted to lay off employees and take a financial hit.
“We are so sorry to all the fans but we also have learned a valuable lesson: when it comes to free speech and fair use, Turner Broadcasting/Cartoon Network believes that should only be a joke on the show,” the bar owners wrote in a statement posted on the website.
The pop-up was supposed to open Aug. 9 and run through Oct. 6. However, after a media preview, the company announced it was delaying the public opening until Aug. 16, claiming it was still “fine tuning” a few things. Apparently, that meant negotiating with Turner.
“Adult Swim was not approached in advance of Drink Company building out and announcing their Rick and Morty themed bar,” Adult Swim, which is part of Cartoon Network, said in a statement. “That bothered us, not only because it wasn’t polite and aimed at profiting off of Rick and Morty fans, but because we couldn’t be sure that the experience was going to be up to our standards for those fans, whom we never want to disappoint. Also, it’s illegal, which we’re pretty sure still counts for something.”
Fetherston previously told Washingtonian magazine that the bar, which has also done Super Mario Bros. and Game of Thrones pop-ups, has behind-the-scenes agreements when intellectual property issues are at play. Apparently, not this time though.
Brown said there were communications “of sorts,” but declined to go into detail about them.
“Lawyer Morty was preoccupied with his pog collection, so Turner Broadcasting System and The Cartoon Network (“Turner”) asked me to reach out to you about your Rick and Morty-themed drinking destination,” wrote Turner Broadcasting attorney Brian Winterfeldt of Winterfeldt IP Group in his cease-and-desist letter. “We discovered the Wubba Lubba Dub Pub on interdimensional cable and from recent press attention, where folks seem genuinely confused about your association with Turner and their sponsorship of your activities. Unfortunately, while we love your enthusiasm for the show, none of this activity was cleared by the Council of Ricks. In fact, we’ve checked all versions of the legal code across the multiverse and what you’re doing isn’t legit in any of them. Here in particular, you’re in danger of violating Turner’s rights on a number of levels, including copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and unfair competition.”
The bar invited Turner representatives to visit to see the tribute for themselves, hoping to change their minds, but they declined. Drink Company hired lawyer John Mason, who specializes in trademarks and copyrights, to try and work out a deal.
“[My clients] just don’t feel that consumers are going to be confused or that it’s somehow going to damage Turner Broadcasting or Cartoon Network or the producers of the show by them having a short-term, temporary, fan-centric, fan-tribute pop-up,” said Mason, who is also an adjunct law professor at the University of the District of Columbia.
Mason called initial discussions with Turner’s lawyers amicable and said they came to an agreement on Aug. 8, which involved delaying the debut by a week but no mention of licensing fees. Later that night, a Turner lawyer called to say there was no settlement. On Aug. 13, Turner sent a letter demanding a $100,000 licensing fee. Drink Company counteroffered with a smaller, undisclosed amount. A potential settlement still seemed to be possible when the bar opened on Thursday, Aug. 16. But representatives from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton arrived on Friday to shut it down.
Turner is also insisting that the décor be destroyed, instead of auctioned off for charity as initially planned.
Mini food hall may be headed to Benning Road
Neighborhood Development Co. hopes to build a 11,200-square-foot Benning Market food hall similar to Union Market in the River Terrace neighborhood of Northeast D.C.
The one-story building at 3451 Benning Road NE would have a 4,400-square-foot mezzanine and 6,800-square feet on the ground floor for restaurants and retail. NDC, which is already building affordable housing on the block at 3450 Eads St. NE and has plans for a mixed-use building with retail and offices at 3443 Benning Road NE, bought the 0.3-acre parcel of land for $1.6 million in February.
Benning Market would include outdoor seating and possibly murals on the exterior, with shared seating and some shared kitchen facilities inside. NDC is now trying to find tenants including a possible brewery or cidery along with nontraditional office space on the mezzanine level.
“The main goal is to focus on food entrepreneurs, the guy that’s got the best food truck on the block but is not ready for the big expensive fit-out restaurant, but wants to have a permanent location and experiment with different things around that,” developer Adrian Washington told the Washington Business Journal.
“We think it’s an up-and-coming neighborhood, with a great base of middle-class homeowners,” Washington said. “And there’s really no retail options for them. It’s a food desert.”
NDC hopes to break ground in December or January and open in the fall of next year. However, the company is using crowdfunding website Small Change to raise $600,000. The project, which is expect to cost $5.2 million, has raised $199,000 from 32 investors at a minimum $1,000 each. The fundraising campaign has 11 days remaining. If Benning Market doesn’t reach its goal, NDC would have to take out a loan and invest more of its own capital to proceed.
But Washington said the main reason for the fundraising campaign was to broaden community ownership and allow small investors who believe in the project to participate.
Lupo Verde Osteria’s Italian market opens Monday
Lupo Verde Osteria, 4814 MacArthur Blvd. NW, opens its first-floor Italian market today, Aug. 20. The market menu will be available from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
At breakfast, guests can choose from a selection of house-made pastries such as chocolate croissant, apple and nuts, cranberry and lemon cream along with an assortment of coffee such as espresso, cappuccino, latte, coffee and tea. At lunch, guests can opt for an assortment of antipasti, paninis and pastas, including marinated olives; tonno crudo with sea beans and bay leaf; beets with stracciatella and hazelnut vinaigrette; radicchio salad with orange, panelle and speck; and eggplant grantinato with scamorza, tomato and basil.
Paninis and pastas will rotate weekly with current offerings to include Verdura with ciabatta bread, pesto Genovese, grilled vegetables and herb goat cheese; Italian hoagie with Genoa salami, ham, hot capicola, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion; Genova with tuna, artichokes, arugula and olive pesto; Parma with prosciutto di parma, roasted peppers, smoked mozzarella and arugula; Gemelli with ragú; Cacio e Pepe with tonarelli, black pepper and pecorino; and the Tagliatelle alle Vongole with mussels, Calabrian chili and breadcrumbs. Dishes are priced from $3.50-$15.
At the lower level Italian market, customers can also purchase house-made items and imported Italian products to-go. Fresh and dried house-made pastas will be available for purchase by the kilo in the market, along with jams, olive oils, pastries, sauces and other imported Italian products. A “Lazy Box” is also available and includes a nightly selection of house-made pasta and sauce for two-10 guests, priced starting at $25.
Royal to host ‘Absinthe Minded’ pop-up Monday
The Royal, 501 Florida Ave. NW, hosts a one-night absinthe-fueled cocktail pop-up with guest bartender Will Patton of Bresca from 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. In addition to absinthe-infused cocktails, the monthly spirits and cocktail exploration series will feature traditional absinthe drip service, green fairy Jello shots, absinthe boilermakers and more.
The open-to-the-public industry night will feature six cocktails, all priced at $8, that incorporate absinthe – smoked, in foams, paired with seasonal fruits and even in tropical Tiki tipples.
Patton, who is bar manager at Bresca, the 14th Street restaurant helmed by chef Ryan Ratino, incorporates the anise-flavored spirit with seasonal flavors of melon, strawberry and cucumber in The Douro Connection made with absinthe, cucumber, white port and honeydew; the Dauphine St. with rye, Amontillado sherry and Peychaud’s; and the Vincent & the Doctor with absinthe, St. Germain, rum and strawberry shrub. Other featured cocktails include The Dream Weaver with absinthe, brandy, coconut and horned melon; the Faux Mo with smoked absinthe, plum wine and sparkling mineral water; and Taking Off in Geneva with gin, lemon, creme de violette and absinthe foam.
Traditional absinthe drip service will also be available from an absinthe fountain, which will dispense Mansinthe, a Swiss-distilled absinthe made by Marilyn Manson, ($10/ounce pour), along with Green Fairy Jello Shots ($3) and $6 absinthe boilermakers.
Other specials include $3 canned brews from Atlas Brew Works and $10 handmade roasted chicken and vegetarian tamales.
Pizzeria Paradiso celebrates D.C. Beer Week
Pizzeria Paradiso has two special events planned for D.C. Beer Week.
On Thursday, Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont, 2003 P St. NW, will be serving a variety of freshly tapped beers for “Fresh to Death,” a tap takeover featuring brews exclusively from the DMV area kegged within seven days. The celebration of newly kegged brews will take place from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and feature many local breweries, including drafts from Solace, Crooked Run, Vasen, Old Ox, Manor Hill, Diamondback, Aslin, Reason, Denizens, RaR, Ocelot, Flying Dog, Mad Fox and Union.
Then on Saturday, Aug. 25, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown 3283 M St. NW, will partner with local ice cream parlor Ruby Scoops to create custom beer floats featuring local breweries. Float flavors will include Right Proper’s “White Bicycles” Witbier with roasted plum sorbet, Atlas Brew Works’ “Silent Neighbor:” Pumpernickel Stout with plantain bourbon swirl, D.C. Brau’s “Space Reaper” Double IPA with guava pastelito and 3 Stars Brewing’s “Trouble in Paradise” Sour Ale with tamarind mango sorbet. Each float is $8 or guests can try all four in a flight of minis for $20. The event will runs from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. or while supplies last.
Slate Wine Bar hosts Sommelier Nights with magnums
Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, 2404 Wisconsin Ave. NW, will host Sommelier Night: with magnums from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 23. Guests will explore wines selected by chef/sommelier Danny Lledó.
Magnums, 50.8 ounces of wine in a bottle which pour approximately 10 glasses, will be offered. There will be four tastes for $24, with a bonus pour for $10. Wines being poured include NV Laurent Perrier Brut La Cuvée Champagne, France; NV Besserat de Bellefon Brut Rosé Champagne, France; 2014 Isole e Olena, Chardonnay, Tuscany, Italy; 2017 Figuiere Le St. André IGP Rosé, Provence, France; 2016 Pavillon de Chavannes, Cuvée de Ambassades, Gamay, Beaujolais, France; 2010 El Belisario, Agricola Labastida, Tempranillo, Rioja Alavesa, Spain; 2012 Vajra Barolo, Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy; 2014 Honig Cabernet Sauvignon, Estate Growth, Napa, Calif.; and the bonus pour the 2009 Château Rauzan-Ségla, 2ème Grand Cru Classé, Cab/Mer/C.F. Margaux Bordeaux, France.
In keeping with the theme, guests are encouraged to dress like the dashing Thomas Magnum P.I. played by Tom Selleck. One can revive their favorite Hawaiian shirt, baseball cap and a mustache (real or not) to enjoy this tasting.
Suburbia hosts Brewers on the Block
For the fifth consecutive year, Suburbia at Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE, will host D.C. Beer Week’s Brewers on the Block from m6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25. The event will feature live music with two dozen DMV breweries, meaderies and cideries. Guests get unlimited regional tastes in a souvenir tasting glass for $55.
Participants include 3 Stars Brewing Co., Denizens Brewing Co., D.C. Brau, Charm City Meadworks, Anxo Cidery. Staff from the breweries will be on hand to pour, answer questions or just chat about their favorites, providing a unique opportunity to get to know the Washington brewing scene first-hand.
New this year, VIP tickets are available for $75 and include an additional hour of hops along with mini gulf shrimp burgers topped with celery root slaw and smoked cayenne pepper remoulade from chef David Gaus of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery.
Sarah Rosner tapped to lead Bourbon Steak’s bar
Sarah Rosner is the new head bartender at Bourbon Steak in the Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. She will launch a complete new bar menu this fall, marking the first time a woman has led the restaurant’s cocktail program.
For more than 17 years, Rosner, who was born and raised in Hawaii, has work in D.C. bars including Marvin, Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Eat the Rich and most recelnty at Radiator in Kimpton’s Mason & Rook hotel. Rosner was crowned cocktail queen in the first D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild competition in 2015.
“I’m very much influenced by the islands,” she says, in that her bar is always stocked with fresh juices and the clean, natural goodness of local, organic ingredients. Rosner’s formative years in the tropics have ensured that she craves fresh greenery wherever she is, whatever the season. For years, she has had command of the large green-space behind her Dupont Circle building, where she has created a cocktail-focused herb and flower garden. Rosner is particular about ice, fastidious about her bar, and mad about Chartreuse – there will always be a glowing green cocktail on her menu.
Rosner will work closely with executive chef Drew Adams to incorporate the fresh, local ingredients from the kitchen into the bar program. Adams’ passion for foraging and sense of current produce brings a new element to the dining and bar experience. A more organic bar practice has emerged at Bourbon Steak, edging out in the cocktail culture that is under Rosner’s watch.