Week in Review – 12/12/2021

Image: Clark Gable, ca. 1930s

Lots of news and activity this week in the D.C. dining world and around the world.  Our weekly recap includes a new addition to our dining guide, updates on several restaurants and all kinds of news.  Keep reading to stay up to date with the cool kids.

Updates to D.C. Recommended Restaurant List


Caruso’s Grocery – The fun old school Italian spot in a shiny new setting.


Moon Rabbit – The only real critique we had when we first checked out Kevin Tien’s wonderful spot was the wine list.  Reports on DonRockwell.com and a perusal of the list online indicate that issue has been resolved.

Oyster Oyster – The highly-praised, plant-based spot raised the price of its menu from $75 to $85.  It is still a great value.

D.C. Dining News

Duck, Duck Goose, the second spot for the Bethesda French restaurant opens at a location that has a bit of rough history, but let’s hope untapped potential.

Las Gemalas finally figured out that even twins want their own identities.

Hanumanh is doing limited hours and menu in advance of reopening soon.

Gabe Hiatt’s last(?) piece for Eater DC is an impressive dig into the story behind 2fifty BBQ.

Lori at Been There Eaten That goes back to Ellē.

Laura Hayes, who appears to be finishing out the year strong dropped several pieces, but one that stood out was on hunger among D.C.’s senior community.  Congratulations to Washington City Paper for including an important food story like this in the food section.

Michelin announced that they would be adding restaurants to their guide throughout the year rather than holding back until they annual guide is issued.  On one hand this makes sense, why wait to add places now that it is primarily a digital platform.  On the other hand, it makes no sense at all.  In theory, the guide represents a year’s worth of research, but Michelin is tipping its hand that it is not visiting places that many times before issuing verdicts.  Michelin is also not saying if a newly-added restaurant is worth of a Star, Bib Gourmand, or Plate rating. So it turns into a guessing game.  It does seem to be an attempt to drive traffic and step away from the guide timeline.  But to us it marks a lack of confidence in their model.  If you are the voice of god, then you should not tweet about meals you recently had.  It makes you just another influencer.  Four restaurants in D.C. were added on this interim basis:  Bammy’s, Dauphine’s, Moon Rabbit, and Oyster Oyster.  One of which is a bit of a head-scratcher.  Of course, this is an opportunity to point out that Michelin does a terrible job covering D.C.  Luckily there are better dining guides at your disposal. A few weeks back we offered to help the Post editors with the Food section, the same goes for Michelin.

Casey Parks, writing in the Post Metro section, uses a local hook to tell a national story about the decline of the gay bar nationwide and the even more dramatic decline in numbers of lesbian bars.  The local angle is two women attempting to reverse the trend on Barracks Row.  One impact of Covid was the hit on “regulars” at their “local.”  As they come back it is a reminder of the ways that we find community, especially in a transitory and transforming city like D.C.


A man spent eight years working on building a model train.  He didn’t want to tell his girlfriend what he was spending his time on, so he said he was a wine merchant, thinking that would sound cooler.  He was probably right.

Other News

In one of a continuing series of statistics-based articles the Post looks at which sectors had the highest quit rates in October.  Not surprisingly, Hospitality and Food led the way.  Two things stood out though. First, the baseline of monthly quit rates in 2019 was the highest by far in that same sector at five percent.  This was an unstable sector before the pandemic and possibly one with a very unhappy workforce.  Second, the hospitality sector outperformed many other sectors in the sense that they were able to hire at a much rate faster than they lost.  Retail and Health Care were essentially one-for-one.

Beverage Industry Enthusiast has story that is a bit of a recap of previously reported news, but with some specific stories added to highlight that the food industry, especially those working in kitchens, face the greatest danger during the pandemic.

Seattle-based travel writer Geraldine DeRuiter has what reads like a surrealist inspired meal gone wrong at a restaurant in Italy that has one star.  The Today Show, almost doing real, relevant journalism, got a response from the restaurant in which they essentially concede that they are intentionally being provocative with little regard for serving an actual meal.  The explanation somehow involved what it means to paint a man on a horse.  As we said, Michelin seems to be having problems keeping up.

In happier news, one-time D.C. resident Sabrina Medora comes full circle on her podcast talking with Richard Blais.


We hope you are enjoying the holiday season, however you celebrate.  If you are looking for a place to eat, keep in mind that we think of ourselves as the best way to find a great place to eat in D.C.  Our dining guide to D.C. has 300 recommended restaurants in our dining guide that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.

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