Fans of the khachapuri at Compass Rose — the restaurant has now served over 38,000 of the bubbling cheese- and runny egg-topped Georgian flatbreads — will likely find something equally enticing to nibble on at forthcoming sibling establishment, Maydan, but should not expect a mirror image of any current offerings.
“It’s a totally different menu. There is no Compass Rose II,” Rose Previte, founder of Compass Rose and the visionary behind the restaurant slated to take up residence in the Manhattan Laundry complex this fall, said of her sophomore project.
Three years after introducing Washingtonians to the street foods she most enjoyed while crisscrossing the globe, Previte is now plotting to bring D.C. diners along on a more focused culinary trek. The restaurant’s name is derived from the term for an open space or gathering area, and informs the layout of the approximately 3,000-square-foot property. A bar and communal dining area is expected to surround the wood-fired oven on the main floor, while additional tables will be spread across an upper mezzanine to accommodate family-style dining.
The hearth (no word on what the main fuel source will be, though Previte said Georgians are big believers in burning grape leaves) is projected to provide sustenance as well as entertainment. “It’s kind of like installation art. They’ll be making the breads and everything in front of everyone,” Previte said of the plan for the fiery focal point.
Co-executive chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan — the former has been in charge at Compass Rose since January, while the latter is expected to come aboard in June after finishing up a current stint with Neighborhood Restaurant Group — have been tasked with pulling together dishes from Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, as well as other spots along storied trade routes. “This whole region gets forgotten in the food world,” Previte said. To that end, the chefs are being dispatched to the region this June and July to glean insights into how that section of the world eats from time-honored tastemakers: matriarchs.
“This is going to be a cooking with grandmas trip,” is how Previte described the research expedition.
Back home, the crew intends to celebrate it’s third anniversary — Compass Rose debuted on April 17, 2014 — by offering something special to those that join them Monday night.
“Anybody that’s having dinner tonight is getting a free khachapuri — if they want it,” Previte said.
When Maydan does open, Previte plans to serve dinner seven days a week, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Maydan: 1346 Florida Avenue NW; website