Image: Unknown Photographer, Terrace at Amsterdam Central Station.
Dearest Gentle Reader, we took a week off for travel, but are back to cover the last two weeks in dining news from D.C. and elsewhere. We are also late getting this posted today, so let’s get on with it!
Updates to the D.C. Recommended Restaurant List
Mezcalero – The great spot in Columbia Heights gets a sibling spot in La Cosecha – Union Market.
Comings & Goings:
Lucky Buns opened its Wharf location. Barred in DC with some scoop on the bright and shiny spot.
Amsterdam Falafel – The favorite and community anchor on 18th Street is getting the boot from the landlord. They are closing May 27. Arianne Bennett ran it with her husband Scott who passed away a year ago, she told Tim Carman, “It’s the place where people met drunk in line and fell in love, and came back and got engaged. It became a part of their lives in the way that restaurants sometimes do. And I was so proud, and Scott was so very proud of that. He was so proud of that.”
Tigerella – The Western Market spot from the Ellē team came in strong, adjusted along the way, but could not make it work. They have closed.
D.C. Dining News
The Emerging Local Economy:
The D.C. Council is taking steps to mitigate the impact of Initiative 82. “Two different bills introduced by D.C. lawmakers this week aim to ease restaurants’ transition to paying tipped workers a higher minimum wage after voters approved Initiative 82 in November — and as the industry still tries to recover from pandemic losses.” Dealing with delivery fees is also under consideration.
Adams Morgan ANC approves more bars. “The advisory neighborhood commission for Adams Morgan recommended easing the longtime cap on new liquor licenses for taverns this week, meaning 18th Street NW and surrounding areas could get more new bars.” Empty storefronts are one reason.
Around The Blogs: Rick eats pizza and comes away with a Top 10 List. We agree about Martha Dear!
Other Comings & Goings:
This looks like a typical piece of a establishment showing off its new lineup, but there is an interesting flag by Tierney Plumb about how a spot that has traditionally had a robust food program when it was a wine bar has ditched the food as it embraces being a cocktail-centered bar.
Pour one out for Fainting Goat, who did so much for online dating in D.C.
Wine: Jermaine Stone has a podcast that mixes hip-hop and wine. Eric Asimov uses it as a hook to talk about the wine industry’s failings to reach beyond its familiar audience.
Jeremy Parzen flags a Wine Spectator appreciation of Darrell Corti, who turned a Sacramento grocery store into a wine Mecca, opened the U.S. market to Barolo, and invented Pink Zinfandel along the way.
Beer: The rise of Mexican beer in the United States.
Lo/No: “There’s an increasing number of products, but finite space on shelves at bars and stores, so part of Ms. Dillon’s work is to figure out how spirit-free products fit into that wider landscape.”
Health: Slate summarizes the state of research on health and alcohol consumption. Bottom line is it is not a plus, and there is risk with even moderate amounts. The so-called “French Paradox” is dead. The piece goes into depth about the influence of the industry, which essentially defined the terms of the debate by pushing researchers to treat alcoholism as the primary risk and ignore broader public health issues.
The Emerging Economy:
The theory of raising interest rates is that it will suppress employment, which will put downward pressure on inflation. The Fed raised rates another quarter of a point. The labor market told the Fed to pound sand with a robust April jobs report. The Leisure and Hospitality sector added jobs, but remains under pre-pandemic levels. Though it should be noted that the labor market has slowed somewhat.
Jason Furman, who we look to as a representative inflation hawk, noted on Twitter that economists who study firms, have largely been absent from the inflation/growth/labor debate of the last two years ceding the field to macro-economists. Our running theory is that such analysis would be beneficial because inflation seems to move through various sectors. It started with supply-chain, then the oil and gas profit-taking (possibly mistaken for a response to the Russian invasion instead of a convenient coincidence). Now it has moved to services, and the labor market never really cooled off.
Speaking of which, “In earnings reports over the past week, some of the biggest packaged food companies said they raised their prices last quarter and saw their profits go up. But there have been signs that consumers are starting to resist price increases by cutting back or trading down to lower-priced options. Some of the same multinational companies that raised prices on food said the volume they sold went down.”
Food & Culture:
“Ms. Kim, 33, is just one of several chefs born in South Korea who sought out French culinary training but, in the process, have created a distinct genre of pastry. While their paths differ, their work is defining a growing category of pastry art that is confined neither to South Korea nor to France. It is generating long lines, earning Michelin stars and wielding influence across the pastry world.”
“Emily Meggett, a Southern home cook who never measured her ingredients or used recipes but became one of America’s most important Gullah Geechee cooks and last year published a best-selling cookbook on Gullah Geechee cuisine, died on Friday at her home in Edisto Island, S.C. She was 90.”
Dawn Davis is leaving BA after two years, returning to books.
Bread: The Times notes the trend of charging for bread. We agree with this often: Customers would ask, “$21 for a bread basket?” But, Ms. Short said, that’s always followed by, “It was totally worth it.”
Odds & Ends:
“There’s a pile of pasta dumped on the side of the stream.” Those crashed semis of sauce now have something to match.
Britain’s new king has ideas about food.
“An angry post by the olive oil entrepreneur Andrew Benin caused a stir in a small corner of the internet food world, in part because it raised a slippery question: Who owns the squeeze bottle?”
As always, to readers loyal and new thank you for reading this far. If you are in the area, 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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