Image: Inge Morath, Le Marais Paris (1957).
This week there is a ton of news and interesting stories for your consideration, and we added two new places, both on Upshur in Petworth, to our dining guide. We were slow getting this post out today, but it is worth the wait. Especially because Arsenal held on.
Updates to D.C. Recommended Restaurant List
Magpie and the Tiger – In a spot that has always produced compelling dishes, this spot is doing variations on Korean to great acclaim.
Honeymoon Chicken – From the team behind Federalist Pig comes a spot that places fried chicken center stage and launches a thousand delivery drivers.
D.C. Dining News
Dish City was among those nominated for James Beard awards in the media categories. We are big fans. They are working on their third season and could probably uses a little love should you be inclined to donate.
Farmbird closed up its multiple locations. It may be difficult to tell the normal churn of pre-pandemic times versus the blows of the post-2020 era, but it is clear restaurants are not out of the woods yet.
José Andrés is profiled by GQ. “Life is about knowing how to eat,” he says, seriously. “Everybody thinks it’s about knowing how to cook, but it’s much more important to know how to eat.” We had the chance to hear him talk after a screening of the new documentary on World Central Kitchen on Friday night. He was punchy, having just come out of a war-zone in Ukraine, but waxed eloquently about doing more, caring more, and not being a jerk at a restaurant. One other topic he raised was ominous, which is the threat of global food shortages due to the bottling up of the Ukrainian exports. Something the Post wrote an editorial about and others have noted.
Michelin announced the four Bib Gourmand spots: Daru, Honeymoon Chicken, Menya Hosaki and Dauphine’s. We agree that all are excellent, but can’t really consider Dauphine’s a bargain spot. They will likely announce the new starred restaurants on May 4. Though we can help you by saying it will be Philotimo with one star. Maybe Oyster Oyster but not sure Michelin can see that clearly.
One other observation about Michelin. The recent write-ups seem to be less “voice of authority” and more publicist/breathless influencer in tone. “Is that blue cheese on your tandoor-grilled chicken kebabs? Yes indeed.” “Carry on carb loading at dessert.” We also sympathize with its writers’ reliance on certain words. Honeymoon Chicken: “The menu, not unlike the concept, is focused.” Menya Hosaki: “They are as focused as the menu.” Michelin is referring to the “chefs” when they say “they” for Menya Hosaki. Despite calling out the chefs behind the other three Bibs by name, they do not mention Eric Yoo, who may be the most closely-identified single person with any of the four restaurants. Seriously Michelin, we would not charge that much to make you respectable – at least when it comes to your D.C. entries.
Nevin Martell, who may be the hardest working freelancer in town on the food beat, has a piece in the Post about edibles. No, not those kind, the fruit and veggie kind you can grown. He also put together the New Kitchens on the Block gathering!
What Kind of Hell is This? A tick that makes bite-victims allergic to red meat is spreading northward to include D.C.
Rebecca Holland stepping into the wine beat this week for the Post writes about Eastern European wines and the impact of the war.
Not in the Post Food section is a big story about how American beef consumption feeds destruction of the Amazon. “The supply chain, the examination found, was infected with dozens of ranches where land had been deforested illegally. Satellite imagery showed that several of the operations had cattle on land where grazing was prohibited at the time — in what environmental regulators called a violation of Brazilian law.” Meanwhile, Congress is questioning those big beef suppliers about possible price fixing.
The Emerging Economy: CNN covers ground that loyal readers will recognize with a story about how Covid helped Olive Garden and other chains gain market share over the small and independent restaurants.
Our Recent Hobbyhorse: The National Restaurant Association held its annual public affairs conference. They produced a touching video about the struggle of small restaurants but did not mention that their primary policy goals for the year are primarily on behalf of the Bigs. There is no evidence that the conference had an impact on reviving restaurant relief funds. Despite that, the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the group was recognized by Washingtonian as one of Washington’s most influential people. Meanwhile, the Independent Restaurant Coalition piggybacked off the NRA conference and was focused on one thing, replenishing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The Post Business section had two more stories relevant to the food world. First, columnist Karla Miller checks in with those who quit their jobs during the Covid chaos and finds few regrets. One person, Christopher Thomas of New York City went from chef to substance abuse counselor, said “I may make half as much but I feel like twice the person.” The second piece is a long one on the shrinking support network for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, using the closing of a food pantry in Nashville as the narrative hook.
Algorithm Anomalies: An interesting exchange on Twitter, that includes Barred in DC of course, about new restaurants/breweries not having a Twitter account, relying on IG. Yet, as on poster noted, IG’s inconsistency means you may not be able to rely on it getting to your followers. Something we saw the last couple weeks.
We generally check out Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo for its take on politics. On the site this week they posted a piece by a Furman sociologist about the value of subsidizing food stores in “food deserts.”
Gabe Sherman in Vanity Fair has a long piece about a once-celebrated New York chef who was secretly a member of the Gambino crime family.
BBC food photography contest has some amazing shots. We might have gone with one of the fish ones.
Eater talks to Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy who started putting the name of the member of her staff that created the dish. There is little intellectual property on a recipe, but it is difficult for a cook to take a dish once the restaurant has claimed it.
Well that is it for the week. If you want more of this labor of love content, be sure to give us a follow. We are on FB, Insta, and Twitter. Click on the icons at the top or bottom of this page to stay up to date.
And if you are in D.C. or thinking about coming, remember our primary purpose is to be a dining guide for the District. Our D.C. dining guide has 300+ recommended restaurants. You can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc. – though things are in flux currently so check before you go!) in either LIST or MAP format.