Image: Humphrey Bogart in a publicity photo The Maltese Falcon 1941
Schools are back in session and so were we this week. We posted a new review and added to the recommended restaurant list. We even made a trip outside the District, to check out Mama Chang – which was pretty good, even if the picture we posted wasn’t. Here is a recap of the week that was on the site and other news.
Changes to the Recommended Restaurant List:
Added – Shilling Canning Company. We were very impressed by this new spot in Navy Yard. There is talent in the kitchen and talent in the bar. The food is mid-Atlantic, but slightly more approachable than Rake’s or the Dabney. Which means it is a place foodies can enjoy and still bring along their less-adventurous friends.
Succotash – We took advantage of Restaurant Week to revisit the grand space that serves a down-home food with Asian accents. The pretensions it had when it opened are gone. It is now a very good spot that manages to be both interesting and a crowd-pleaser. We think it is worth a walk out of the way.
For those hearty few that follow us each week, you will have noticed that on Wednesdays we have been highlighting neighborhood wine shops around D.C. This week we posted the compilation in our first edition of the Washington, D.C. Neighborhood Wine Shop Guide. There are 20 places listed, plus a couple honorable mentions. Please check it out and give us feedback.
There were two interesting articles on tipping, a topic we focus on. Michelle Singletary in the Business section of the Post did a summary of reader comments on the issue. Her bottom line is, “we have to figure out a better way to compensate people who work in the restaurant industry that doesn’t rely on the whims or judgment calls of customers.” TIME magazine also did a piece on the practice and traced it back to the end of slavery – which puts things in perspective:
“Tipped workers have always been an underclass in America. The concept was popularized in 1865, when some formerly enslaved people found employment as waiters, barbers and porters; still seen as a servant class, they were hired to serve. Many employers refused to pay them, instead suggesting that patrons tip for their service. A 1966 law tried to bring some measure of security to these jobs, requiring employers to pay a small base wage that would bring tipped workers up to the federal minimum wage when combined with their tips. In 1991, the tipped minimum wage was equal to 50% of the value of the overall minimum wage, but it’s stayed at $2.13 since then, as the minimum wage has nearly doubled.”
In local news, Petworth pioneer Himitsu will be changing its name to Pom Pom when current Chef/Co-Owner Keven Tien departs in mid-September. This is probably a good move because the cooking was so tied to Tien’s personal vision. It allows new chef Amanda Moll to chart her own path without the burden of sustaining a legacy. Tien meanwhile will be opening Emilie’s on the Hill soon.
Nevin Martell wrote an illuminating piece on influencers for the Washington City Paper. Apparently we should have been shaking down restaurants for free meals, if not cash, to plug them. 17 Degrees will stick with the more ethical arms-length approach. As for influencers, it is not in spell-check and there is no way to auto-correct this scourge.
If you read this far, we might have influenced you to go out for dinner. If so check out our dining guide in either MAP or LIST format. And be sure to follow on social media, click at the top or bottom of the page.