Last night's reception at Union Market wasn't only a chance for developer Edens to show off the newest restaurant and retail vendors to VIPs and media. It also became a source of news when the company announced that New York chef John Mooney has been tapped to open a restaurant at the warehouse-style facility.
A cafe has long been part of the conceptual plans for Union Market, and this one will be located near the 5th Street side of the facility, adjacent to Amanda McClements' Salt & Sundry store. Mooney has a reputation for seasonal ingredients, sustainable cooking and hydroponic gardening, and he plans to bring all three to his upcoming restaurant project, scheduled to open in the spring. Monday night's dinner provided some hints to his cooking style, as the chef prepared such dishes as seared diver scallops with cauliflower and romesco sauce, and braised short rib with dinosaur kale and roasted Yukon gold potatoes.
Mooney has some DC restaurants on his resume, including stints at the former Red Sage and the Asian restaurant Raku. His most recent restaurant is Bell Book & Candle in the West Village. Eater NY has a tour of his rooftop garden there. A press release from Edens this morning describes the new DC restaurant as contemporary American, but doesn't reveal a name for it yet. He will rely on many of the vendors at Union Market to provide ingredients for his restaurant dishes.
Vendors are beginning to open steadily at the market, including Salt & Sundry and Gina Chersevani's Buffalo & Bergen soda shop. Still to come: a chocolate boutique from Co Co. Sala, according to the market's brochure. Edens also announced an educational partnership with nearby school Wheatley Education Campus, which will allow the students to learn more about gardening, healthy eating and entrepreneurship.