Malmaison, the latest restaurant from the owners of Napoleon Bistro and Cafe Bonaparte, is scheduled to open its doors on Monday for dinner service (lunch will begin the next day). The man in the kitchen will be particularly familiar to longtime D.C. restaurants. It's Gerard Pangaud, a Michelin-starred chef who ran Gerard's Place, which opened in Georgetown in the early 90s. "He grew up on the street Malmaison in France, so it's very serendipitous for us," said owner Omar Papal, who sees the restaurant as a homecoming in general, since the family's first venture was in Georgetown.
Malmaison is a large space, with a major portion of it devoted to events and rentals (which have already been going on for some time now). The food is cafe style, with the chef including some of the dishes he used to make at Gerard's; it will change seasonally. Expect dishes like duck confit, pea soup and mushroom-encrusted cod. Serge Torres, a veteran of Le Cirque, is handling the desserts. In the events space, the chef will host a monthly dinner with multiple courses and wine pairings.
The restaurant was designed by Grizform Design, with Darryl Carter lending a hand to the interior design. Garage doors mark the entrance and the feel is supposed to evoke New York's meatpacking district, Popal said. "Every space has a soul and we let the soul speak to us," he said. The building used to be an ice factory, and its location under the Whitehurst Freeway means that outdoor events can be held in the rain. Status: Opening Monday. 3401 K St. NW; website.
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