Image: Saul Leiter, Untitled, Market Place (1960’s).
Activity on our site picked up with three new additions to our dining guide. In national news, there were several step-back pieces looking at the state of the industry. All that and a couple items of local news. So keep reading!
Updates to the Recommended Restaurant List
Shibuya Eatery – So many options packed into a tiny space.
Swahili Village – D.C. location of a successful Maryland restaurant focused on East African cuisine.
Mangialardo’s – The multi-generational Hill favorite for subs.
Lucky Danger -> Bar Chinois – Tim Ma’s insanely good take on American style Chinese food moved to Arlington. The old Prather’s space they were using has now been converted into Bar Chinois, with Dim Sum French Bar from Ma and GM Margaux Donati. We have yet to try it, but don’t doubt it will be good so we leave it on the list pending closer examination.
Coming Back from Summer Breaks:
Fiola – Fabio had intended to give Fiola an overhaul, but the pandemic may have limited his ability to do anything dramatic. They do place more focus on the sourcing, emphasizing the farm they partner with in Virginia. Poking around the site, the other partnership that popped up is with Cornell, which has a renowned hospitality program and with whom they are working on professional development. Take-out is no longer available.
Queen’s English – They took a short pause. Take-out remains temporarily paused, but the website says it will return soon.
Let’s start with some good news the intrepid Eat DC reports: Lydia Restaurant & Lounge is opening at 1427 H St NE. According to the liquor license application, it will “serve American food and feature jazz music” with seating for 164 inside and 60 outside. We lost Bohemian Caverns awhile ago, and Twins last year. Glad to see someone thinks there are enough of us to support a new place.
Anela Malik of Feed the Malik reports: “I’m no longer updating the DMV Black-Owned Directory as frankly I don’t have the time/resources. I waited to make this change until the folks at eatokra launched their update so that users can browse their amazing work online without an app or a smartphone. I have many community members without smartphones who can only access web-based tools rather than apps (I know because I’ve emailed with them over the last year). I’m excited to see more widely accessible tools available to them!” She has been moving to a patreon supported model for her work – so show her some support.
Moving to more national stories, in Eater, Elazar Sontag looks at the three converging shortage issues: building supplies, food, and labor.
There was an interesting story about how some in the food industry are resisting doing background checks on new employees and embracing the idea of hiring those who were previously incarcerated. No one can dispute that those who have served the time and are looking to restart their lives deserve a chance to make a living, and the food world has often been a place that will take anyone willing to do the work. Something romanticized on occasion. On the flip side was this searing story in the Post from a few years ago about a local chef with a criminal background of assaulting women. We throw it out there to consider, but don’t claim any easy answers.
How do delivery guys make it through life? New York magazine looked at that city’s workforce. “Workers get paid when they accept and complete a delivery, and a gamelike system of rewards and penalties keeps them moving: high scores for being on time, low scores and fewer orders for tardiness, and so on. Chavez and others call it the patrón fantasma, the phantom boss — always watching and quick to punish you for being late but nowhere to be found when you need $10 to fix your bike or when you get doored and have to go to the hospital.” This is a way grittier take than the local podcast Dish City did on the delivery world.
Finally, our weekly art post was interesting and deserved more attention.
If you are in Washington, D.C. or thinking about coming, be sure to check out our dining guide. With 300 plus recommended restaurants that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.
Stay cool, stay safe. Get the jab, bring proof and a mask. Tip big and don’t be a jerk to the staff.