Week in Review – 9/21/19

Image: Frank Sinatra in High Society (1956)

This week we added, we subtracted, we multiplied the people that like orange wine and we divided past from present at a new Italian spot in an old Italian spot spot.

Updates to the Recommended Restaurant List:


Gravitas – This post-industrial, New American Ivy City spot is aiming for something special.  We think it hits the mark.

Modena – The restaurant formerly known as Bibiana is re-incarnated under the hands of Chef John Melfi.  So far, so good.


Dino’s Grotto – we said we removed it last week, but we let it hang out for a few extra days until the final night.


Iron Gate – This Dupont location has a great bar for hanging out, a romantic patio for dining, and a warm dining room for year-round meals.  The food is on par with the setting, and pastas shine.  It is worth paying for the cab to get there.  Or as the young-uns say, “Uber.”


Inspired by the orange wine controversy of last week, we re-visited the argument and posted a picture of the earthenware casks used to make the amber wine in Georgia.  Yesterday while shopping, a woman came into a wine store and asked for orange wine. I felt a wave of victory.


A very tone-deaf owner is behind a year-round, Halloween-themed bar on H Street.  Chelsea Cirruzzo in the DCist reported it with a light touch.  She noted that it is a tourist-trap concept.  Gabe Hiatt unloaded at Eater with the headline, “Guy Who Knows Nothing About D.C. Nightlife Opens a Year-Round Halloween Bar in D.C.”  Barred in DC delivered a coup de grace.

Tom Sietsema came to the rescue of Wolfgang Puck’s new steakhouse.  He hit all the right press release notes: Puck isn’t just “mailing it in,” the chef in charge is “a Puck protege whose 12-year tenure with the master most recently found him at the Cut in New York,” and it is a steakhouse that is not a steakhouse.  Hard to overlook the steakhouse intent with a name like CUT (I guess Side of Spinach didn’t market test well).  Tierney Plumb noticed the alacrity with with Tom managed to squeeze in three trips in just over a month to do a full review and deliver a 2.5 rating.  Thank goodness someone will defend a celebrity chef steakhouse in D.C.

We sadly note that we still don’t qualify as a blog to be cited in the Eater DC roundups.  Maybe one day we can be as cool as BYT.

If you are looking for other dining options, check out our dining guide for D.C. You can sort dining establishments by cuisine, neighborhood, and/or rating. In both MAP or LIST format.