Image: Robert Capa, Tour de France (1939).
The heat slowed everything down this week. Including us. But we still have some news to share, so please read on!
Updates to the D.C. Recommended Restaurant List
Lucky Buns – The expanding mini-chain of stacks of meat and cheese remains a treat.
Point of Personal Privilege: The highlight of the week was dinner with two gracious role models in the D.C. dining blogger world. We apparently just missed Tom.
D.C. Dining News
Something is Afoot: The Dabney is doing a remodel and appears to be sticking with the tasting menu format. Oyster Oyster hints at “changes” coming. The Covid economy/culture of supply-chain issues, flaky customers, and further stratification of diner’s income appears to be driving some big changes for restaurants. We would also note that neither Komi or Little Serow have yet to return to dine-in service, and in the case of Komi it remains a casual menu.
D.C. Black Restaurant Week is underway through July 31st.
Tigerella, from the Ellē team, is on the verge of opening to full service in Western Market with a pastry, pasta, pizza focus. According to Washingtonian, former Ellē chef Brad DeBoy remains a partner. Ellē also formally announced Harrison Dickow as permanent executive chef.
Something is Wrong: Union Market’s developer Edens posted an apology related to a promotional email they sent that used offensive language. Erik Bruner-Yang and Kevin Tien, co-founders of Chefs Against AAPI Hate started a petition to hold them to account. In a classic, and often further-infuriating, corporate PR manner Edens claimed they did something unintentionally that created concerns and they are “deeply sorry.” Crucially, it does not specify what they are sorry for. The linguistic convolutions imply that they are sorry it became an issue. They also turned off comments on the post. Sorry indeed.
2Fifty BBQ flags fraudulent practices by those using online ordering. It is important to remember that the law does not always prohibit some actions. What the law really does is decide who must pay and how much for those actions. The law is not allocating the risk appropriately in this case.
Meaty Impact: Tamar Haspel, writing in the Food Section!, notes that while reducing meat consumption will help the planet, reducing beef consumption would make the biggest impact. “Despite the social media meat wars, there’s no getting around the fact that beef is the single biggest dietary contributor to climate change.”
History: The Jewish deli is the subject of a museum exhibit: “This show is making the argument that the Jewish deli is an American construct,” said Cate Thurston, one of the curators. “It’s an American food and it’s born of immigration.”
Puncturing the Pretension: Adam Reiner of Restaurant Manifesto takes on the 50 Best Restaurants list in Bon Appétit. He makes clear that what these lists and awards lack is actual critical rigor. “The problem is that the 50 Best List presents itself as an exhaustive exploration of the world’s great culinary regions, but its methodology is opaque. In reality, the list is often a curated collection of dining opinions amassed by judges who went on some very flashy press trips or were romanced by glitzy tourism boards.” Of note for D.C. is that the new “#1”, Geranium in Copenhagen, costs $437 per person. Guess that puts Pineapple & Pearls new cost of $325 per person in perspective. Too bad we can’t take advantage of the strong dollar at P&P.
An award-winning Houston chef is stepping away from his restaurants to focus on philanthropy. “Shepherd said he and his wife Lindsey Brown, owner of the company Lindsey Brown Public Relations, will work to further build Southern Smoke, which has raised around $10 million in grants to aid those within the food and beverage business, including farmers, winemakers, distillers, and restaurant and bar workers. Moving forward, the nonprofit will work to expand free mental health initiatives to five states within the next month, with the goal of providing aid in all 50 states by 2028, he said, and will host its Southern Smoke Festival, its three-day culinary charity event, this October.”
The Emerging Economy: The job market is taking a hit from the higher interest rates and fears of inflation. Strangely, this is good news as it means it might cool off the inflationary pressures. Of course, so will the post-Labor Day drop in gas prices that magically occur nearly every year.
Uber continues to push its failed business model into the grocery business.
IG continues to undermine its successful business model.
That is it for the week. Remember to hydrate. If you think it is too hot to cook and are looking for a place to eat in D.C., remember we can help with that. Our 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 and we may miss something, so check before you go!) in either LIST or MAP format.
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Be kind. Tip big. Stay cool.