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Posted at 1:33 PM ET, 12/16/2010

Last Meal at Rock Creek

By Justin Rude

Judy Hammerschmidt and Tom Williams weren't necessarily planning on closing their Bethesda restaurant, Rock Creek, but they weren't anticipating Dennis Friedman, the former chef and co-owner of Bezu in Potomac, walking through their door and making an offer on their lease, either.

"When that happened," says Hammerschmidt, "my partner and I looked at each other and said 'We should at least consider this.' "

After weighing professional and personal considerations (Hammerschmidt relocated to North Carolina in October), the pair accepted Friedman's offer last week. Friedman plans to rechristen the place as Newton's Table sometime in early March next year.

Rock Creek opened in March 2005; its sister restaurant, Rock Creek at Mazza Gallerie, closed in October 2009. The Bethesda location will host its last dinner on New Year's Eve. The $50, reservation-only farewell will hold true to the restaurant's concept of "mindful" (read: healthful) cuisine. Rock Creek's original chef and mastermind behind the good-for-you concept, Fred Przyborowski, will return to cook on the last night.

What's not part of the sale: the name. (A plan by the new owners of the Brickskeller in Washington to call their bar Rock Creek was recently nixed when they discovered the moniker was already spoken for.) Hammerschmidt and Williams are retaining the title, which they intend to use for future catering purposes. As Hammerschmidt, who plans to remain involved in the operation, put it, "Our name is not floating out there in pick-it-off land."

By Justin Rude  | December 16, 2010; 1:33 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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