In some sad Monday news, Passion Food Hospitality announced over the weekend that its longtime Pennsylvania Avenue property, Ten Penh, will shutter at the end of this month. A press release notes that the restaurant group was unable to reach a new deal on a lease with the landlord and so the "amicable resolution" was to close the Asian-inspired restaurant on June 30. Ten Penh's Facebook page indicates there's some possibility of a relocation, but for now the restaurateurs have said that they're focused on their existing properties, which include DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana and PassionFish, as well as two new restaurants opening later this summer.
TenPenh Bids a Fond Farewell
TenPenh’s landmark Asian-inspired restaurant closing June 30, 2011
Being unable to finalize a mutually beneficial agreement between the partners of Passion Food Hospitality [Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg] and the lessor, an amicable resolution has been reached whereby; the jewel-colored silk-upholstered dining room of TenPenh closes its doors at the end of this month. It will leave behind a legacy of sophisticated Asian-inspired cuisine and glittering memories – of delectable lunches, exotic dinner feasts, and festive suckling pig roasts right there on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from The White House.
Eleven years ago, following an intensive research trip to Asia, we brought authentic flavors and flair to our Asian inspired establishment. The interior made its mark with brilliant color, silk lanterns, antique Asian statuary, and servers in raw silk jackets. TenPenh’s menu introduced the Washington area to the joys of whole fish, taking the fear out of that dramatic presentation. It also gave a home to executive chef Jeff Tunks’ Chinese Style Smoked Lobster, which became its signature dish. During the tenure of Tunks’ longtime Philippine-born chef de cuisine, Washington learned to embrace upscale Philippine cuisine.
Praised in the press from Bon Appétit to The New York Times [and with a coveted listing in the late greatGourmet Magazine’s Guide to America’s Best Restaurants under its glamorous belt] Not to mention,Esquire Magazine gave it the notable honor of being one of only twenty “Best New Restaurants 2000.” TenPenh’s high style and distinctive cuisine always attracted luminaries. The kitchen was honored by visiting chefs Cristeta Comerford [of The White House] and America’s master of Asian cooking, Susanna Foo. Its dining room was graced by the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Dr. Ruth, Barack Obama and John McCain, U2 and John Travolta.
Although much discussion is whirling around about a possible relocation, we would like to simply focus our energy and time on our independent ongoing ventures and the two new independent endeavors poised to open on Washington Circle this August.
Gus, Jeff and David are indebted and thankful to their loyal supporters, distinguished press, friends and family for their continued commitment to TenPenh. And most importantly, they are sincerely grateful to their dedicated staff for all their efforts and hard work over the past 11 years, many of whom will remain ‘in the family’ of Passion Food Hospitality.
A fond farewell for now! Thank you for the memories.
· Tenh Penh [Official Site]