Week in Review – 5/30/2021

Image: Marc Riboud, Karlo Vivary, 1962

There were some disturbances in the Force this week, and the steak house empire has struck back.  Read on for a recap of activity on our site and other dining news from around D.C.

Updates to Recommended Restaurant List:


Mama Ayesha’s – What is now a neighborhood spot used to be a local for the noteworthy.  It is still good.

Panda Gourmet – There was a rumor of this place in foodie circle that developed into a legend.

Other Changes:

We are updating our list to capture some of the changes that are occurring as places open up.  For example, Astoria is discontinuing take-out to focus on in-person.  2 Amys is preparing to open for sit-down again.

Corduroy and Baby Wale are open again for sit down. Go.

Bar à Vin and Chez Billy Sud are essentially one restaurant currently.  Reservations only. Walking into the bar and getting a glass without a reservation will be a joy.

Tosca reopens. It is aiming for a slightly less stuffy atmosphere.  It could be the canary in the power dining scene downtown.

Other News:

Succotash in Penn Quarter has added the word Prime to its name and has a big sign saying that Succotash Prime will be opening for Labor Day.  I hope this means that it will NOT be a steak house, but that appears to be the case (to be fair, it looks like there is a steak house gap between 13th and 7th, I St. and E Street.  It’s parent company, Knead Hospitality, has been busy at the wharf.

Del Mar had a staff walkout, resulting in a shutdown.  Some of the complaints were specific and rectifiable, like about how tips are split.  But it underlines the larger point:  nothing really changed for the restaurants.  Restaurateurs hung on and now are trying to get back to where they were.  What they are finding is that the staff did change, however.  The labor pool shrunk; staff have choices.  One of the servers that quit Del Mar is at Bresca (although she had it lined up before the walkout).  We keep waiting for the rent shoe to drop.

The rule of thumb we’ve had for a year still applies.  If you love a place and want it to be around in a year or two, throw some money at it.  And while you’re at it, throw a few extra bucks on the tip.


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If you are looking for a place to eat in D.C., check out our dining guide. We have 300 recommended restaurants in our guide.  You can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.

Be safe, be kind, tip big.