Week in Review – 11/10/19

Image: Clark Gable and Myrna Loy in Test Pilot (1937)

This week we added a place to our dining guide.  Thankfully, there are no removals from the recommended restaurant list.  Lots of news and stories about race, diversity and the food world that are fascinating.  Here is the week that was on our site.

Changes to Recommended Restaurant List:

Added: Al Volo – there are two locations of this neighborhood pasta joint.  One called the Osteria in Adams Morgan, and one called the Trattoria in Cleveland Park.  They focus on classic red-sauce pasta variations and antipasti to start.  The result is rewarding food in a welcoming atmosphere.


Mikko – This cute shop off 17th in Dupont serves up hearty Nordic fare.  Considering the servings and the quality, it is a great bargain.  Plus it is interesting , yet comforting food.  We think it is worth a walk out of the way.


A new chef will be taking over at Maydan and Compass Rose.  Marcelle Afram comes from Bluejacket.  Outgoing chefs Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison are looking to open their own place in Navy Yard.  This is notable for several reasons, but one of them is that it is further evidence the D.C. scene has a lot of talent.

Popeye’s started selling its chicken sandwich again.  Aaron Ross Coleman in GQ considered the sociological aspects of the story, including why a local story of a fight about cutting the line went national.

Speaking of sociology and dining, Laura Hayes wrote a long, thoughtful piece about the lack of people of color in the ranks of restaurant critics.  We here at the 3rd best dining guide do nothing to solve that problem, but are in favor of more and better voices.  Sometimes looking at the maps of DC restaurants that get reviewed you can almost draw a line for which communities are excluded.  As Hayes notes, there is talent in the pipeline that might be in a position to take over a prime spot that opens in the next few years.

The #MeToo spotlight shifted to the wine world last week with a brutal piece in the NY Times about a prominent somm who has worked in L.A. and N.Y.  He has since left his job.  The sad thing about the story is that it can’t be a surprise.  As much as I love the wine world, it has problems and they are not well-hidden.  This story is not the tip of the iceberg, more like the dusting of snow on top of the tip of the iceberg.  As the Times’ story notes, unlike the restaurant world, “few public complaints have been lodged in the wine business, another male-dominated field where many women say workplaces are dogged by a toxic combination of “bro” culture, free-flowing alcohol and sexual aggression.”

Sadly, the dispute between Hakan Ilhan, owner of Mirabelle, and his former chef Frank Ruta continues.  I am a fan of Ilhan’s places, but this is not his finest moment.

That was a lot of sad news, so let’s end on a couple other notes.  The aforementioned Marcelle Afram won the Capitol Food Fight event that raises money for DC Central Kitchen.  End of the year is coming up, donations to the Kitchen are a good investment for your charitable dollars.

Today is the last day of the DMV Black Restaurant Week, but you can support these businesses year round.

Finally, remember our dining guide has more than 200 recommended restaurants that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and/or rating!  In both MAP or LIST format.

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