Erin's Flash-Forward Food
We're only a few days into the new year, but the city is buzzing with restaurant rumors, openings and ideas. Without further ado, things for which I ready my fork:
The crew of Buck's Fishing & Camping will take a swing at a Ping Pong-themed restaurant serving New Haven-style pizza. In the space of the former Thai Room next door, the place will cater to familes with a basic menu of neo-Neapolitan thin-crust pies, salads and ice cream. Originally slated to open in the fall, I hope to be sinking my teeth into some quality pizza by next month.
I cross my fingers that Ray's: The Classics opens sometime soon. In Silver Spring's former Crisfield's space, Michael Landrum's new baby will do seafood and American cuisine in addition to the excellent steaks that keep masses returning to Ray's The Steaks. Michael Hartzer, a chef at Michel Richard Citronelle, will don the chef's hat.
Speaking of Michel Richard, he plans to open Central by Michel Richard sometime this summer. It will be his version of classic American food and a departure from his current whimsical fare, but I bet he'll still have a few tricks up his sleeve.
Geoff Tracy of Chef Geoff's will offer his take on Italian food at Lia's Restaurant in Chevy Chase. The new spot will feature a spacious patio and a pizza oven.
The secretive Lima, next to DC Coast, should open in the very near future. I figured that its opening would mean great Peruvian pisco sours, but this particular Lima refers to the Spanish word for lime. It will feature Latin American food (think ceviche and fish dishes) from Raynold Mendizabal, formerly of Pesce. The space will be split into three levels, including one for the dining room, a bar/lounge and a hipper lounge with its own menu.
The most interesting culinary concept of the year so far comes from Agraria Restaurant, set to open sometime in late spring in Georgetown's already hopping Washington Harbour. Fittingly, the menu will focus on seasonal American fare using products from family farmers. Paul Morello, formerly of Les Halles, will man the kitchen. The restaurant, located behind Tony & Joe's, is owned in part by hundreds of farmers and the North Dakota Famers Union. Its motto: "From our fields to your table." The Georgetown restaurant is the first in the group's long-term plan to educate (or brainwash?) diners about family farms.
Robert Wiedmaier, the chef and owner of Marcel's, has his sights set on Beck's, his upcoming Belgian and French restaurant that is slated to open downtown at the end of 2006. As Tom Sietsema mentioned in his Weekly Dish, Marcel's is named for Wiedmaier's oldest son, while Beck's will be a tribute to his younger boy. The traditional cuisine sounds like it will hit the spot with hearty, mid-winter dishes.
Also on my radar: CakeLove in Silver Spring; wherever Ris Lacoste plans to set up shop; and the new sister of Indique, Chevy Chase's Indique Heights.
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