Week in Review – 4/9/2023

Image: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face (1957).

Dear Gentle Reader, best wishes for those that are celebrating any and all of the confluence of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. We added a casual spot to our dining guide this week. Some hopeful notes for local restaurants and for the jobs market. So shall we proceed with the recap of dining news from D.C. and elsewhere? Let’s…

Updates to D.C. Recommended Restaurant List


Lunas de Buenos Aires – The welcoming Argentinian street food spot in Union Market does really good empanadas.

Comings and Goings:

Tsehay is coming to Adams Morgan. It closed its prior location in anticipation of the move.

Andy’s Pizza’s move to the Hazel space happened very fast.

London Curry House has shut down, but a cryptic sign in the window when we walked by may signal that it is shifting to a format that is more focused on take-out.

Nino’s Bakery going on a hiatus. The rumor is a bun in the oven. (Couldn’t resist).

D.C. Dining News

Hole in Coverage: We do our best to highlight pieces that shed light on the intersection of food and culture, pieces that provide new perspectives and insights. Politico does a piece on D.C. having good bagels with a focus on places that have been open for 5 and 8 years respectively and the obligatory NYC-centered story about D.C. food. We are looking forward to next month’s piece on how D.C. is no longer just a steakhouse town.

Sweet Story: Deb Freeman on the enslaved master of sweets to the Lee family and the man keeping his story alive. “Caesar was born in 1732, and helmed Stratford Hall’s kitchen starting in the middle of the 1700s. He managed one of the most extravagant kitchens in the colonial South, catering to the needs of the Lee family at all hours of the day. At banquets, he would ply up to 100 guests with multiple courses of fanciful delicacies. Caesar’s ability at chocolate-brewing was exceptional, but he also mastered everything from fancy cakes to oyster stew to roasted pheasant. His kitchen operated at the cutting edge of Southern culinary fashion.”

Watching the Detectives: Tom highlights another under-the-radar spot. Well done.


Health: Drinking alcohol is not good for you. “Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol every day does not — as once thought — protect against death from heart disease, nor does it contribute to a longer life, according to a sweeping new analysis of alcohol research.” But being richer than average and otherwise taking care of yourself probably is. “Earlier research did not adjust for numerous factors that could influence the outcome, for example, age, sex, economic status and lifestyle behaviors such as exercise, smoking and diet.”


La Tâche in the basement.

A wine series based on a manga book is coming to Apple+. The original books, 20 years ago, caused a sensation. “Someone who more than 500,000 Japanese and nearly an equal number of Koreans followed religiously. If he recommended a wine, sometimes it would literally disappear from wine stores throughout Asia, snapped up by devotees eager to experience the qualities he so evocatively described wafting from the bottle and glass. His name is Shizuku Kanzaki, and he’s a cartoon.”

Other News

The Emerging Economy: March jobs numbers came in strong. Wages trailed. It is almost as if the employment market was not driving inflation and driving down employment will not solve inflation. Hospitality continues to make gains. But fell of the rates of the prior months. “Leisure and hospitality led sectors with growth of 72,000 jobs, below the 95,000 pace of the past six months.”

Notable Lives: Mimi Sheraton who wrote about food and restaurants for the Times for decades passed away.

Planet in Boiling Pot: The salmon fishing season in California was canceled in an effort to let the species recover.

Food and Culture:

Yasmin Kira on the centrality of rice in Vietnamese culture. “But relocating to Vietnam with my parents just under a year ago, to live within a bifold rice culture – in an rice-eating Indian household, and in a rice-growing Vietnamese society – has prompted deeper thinking about its importance. During meals in Saigon, rice occupies a different place on the table, literally, and metaphorically.”

Even as they built a new life in a new land, many held tight to the habits and customs of the old country. Thus a tradition was born in cities and towns across Australia: “passata day,” an often-raucous annual gathering when families would labor to make an entire year’s supply of tomato passata, a rich, bright-red purée that is a staple in Italian cuisine. Today, the tradition is dying among the 1.1 million Australians with Italian ancestry. Most in the second and third generations deem making passata to be too hard, too messy and too expensive.”

In the Post Travel section, the cafe culture of Tangiers.

Compensation: The Times looks at uneven tipping for food delivery. “When customers place an order through DoorDash or Uber Eats, they pay through the app and decide in advance of the delivery how much to tip. Drivers often cannot see the full tip until after they have dropped off the food, so they must cross their fingers and hope for at least a 10 percent tip. (Uber and DoorDash themselves pay drivers only a few dollars per trip, so most workers’ income comes from tips.)” We are sure this publicity stunt by the Uber CEO will make him immediately address the issue.

Industry: The most recent intellectual property dust-up is over chipotle. “A battle of bowls between fast-casual chain Chipotle and rival Sweetgreen over the latter’s new chipotle chicken burrito bowl could be cooling off. In a trademark-infringement lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in California, Chipotle took issue with the product.” So now there is greater protection for faux-Mexican dishes than there is for Gruyère from Gruyère. Neither Chipotle nor Sweetgreen are in our D.C. dining guide.

Odds & Ends:

Train travel in Europe is bringing the goods on dining. “I sipped my Prosecco, ate a bite of buttery smoked trout, and counted my blessings as the train rose into snowy peaks of the Alps on our two-hour journey to St. Moritz.”

If you are thinking of moving to Chinon to run an inn.

On the count of three, flip! 15,000 eggs for an Easter omelette

Speaking of D.C.-related cliches: politicians eating food.


Enjoy the coming weather! And if you are going to take advantage of it by eating out, then be sure to consult our D.C. dining guide. It has 300+ recommended restaurants sortable by cuisine or neighborhood in either LIST or MAP format.

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