Newton's Noodles still has a few months before it opens its doors — mid-June is chef/owner Dennis Friedman's best opening date guess. But get Friedman talking and it sounds like the chef behind Newton's Table has been working on his new concept forever. He's got menu details ready, giveaways already in progress, and he's even starting to speak his own language.
The "chork", for example, will be the restaurant's hybrid between a chopstick and a fork. If you hear Friedman throw around the word ""fuzu," he's referring to one of the restaurant's sauce-drenched noodle dishes, whether it be a salty, soy-based accompaniment or a coconut curry with lemongrass and ginger.
"It's all moving quickly," said Friedman, talking while driving to intercept an equipment delivery during Wednesday's snowquester. "Everyone's been so appreciative and excited; we appreciate the support." Friedman has gotten interest from potential investors as far away as Denver, he said.
It's important for Friedman to be prepared for the summer's opening, as he has plenty of other things to juggle in the process. May 1 had been his initial opening plan for opening day, but there's the fact that his first child is due in mid-May to contend with. He's also in the process of selling his condo and buying a house. "It's a special time," he said.
Customers who frequent Bethesda's Newton's Table have already had a taste of some of the dishes that will be served at the fast casual outpost planned for 1129 20th St. NW, particularly its side dishes (which can also work as entrees) like tuna bites, beef wontons, and chilled soba noodle salad. For the main event, customers will have a choice of rice noodles (which he hopes will be a hit with the gluten free crowd) or soba, plus a choice of sauce, proteins (shrimp, scallops, beef, chicken and tofu are all available) and vegetables. For a dessert option, Friedman's wife Patty's rum cake, nicknamed "Pattycake," will be served, too.
Newton's Noodles has room to seat 70, plus a 40-seat patio. Friedman expects about 60 percent of the business to be grab and go, but wi-fi will entice working customers to linger. The restaurant space also has a private rooftop that they can use for parties, and catering will be done out of the restaurant's kitchen.
Those who swing by the restaurant in progress have a chance to get more than just a peek at construction. There are QR codes on the front windows that are connected to $2,500 in free giveaways, such as a free fuzu or free side, available during the first few weeks of opening.