Washingtonian reports that Rafidi, who announced in April he was resigning from Mike Isabella Concepts to strike out on his own, will collaborate with sommelier Brent Kroll on Albi, a restaurant fueled by a charcoal- and wood-burning hearth. Kroll, who owns Maxwell Park wine bar in Shaw, will also work with Rafidi to open Maxwell’s second location next door to Albi in The Yards development.
Albi means “my heart” in Arabic. Washingtonian reports the menu will feature food influenced by Rafidi’s family in Eastern Mediterranean countries including Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. Building a restaurant around timeless hearth cooking has proven to be a recipe for success for two of Washington’s essential 38 restaurants: Eater national tabbed Maydan as one of America’s 18 best new restaurants this year, and Jeremiah Langhorne claimed a James Beard award at the Dabney in May.
Rafidi told Eater in March that his exit from Isabella Concepts was not related to a sexual harassment suit (now settled) facing the company’s namesake. Rafidi said then he planned to take time off to travel before his next project.
- Rising Stars Chef Michael Rafidi and Sommelier Brent Kroll Will Open a Restaurant and Wine Bar in Navy Yard [Washingtonian]
- Star Chef at Arroz and Requin Resigns From Mike Isabella’s Restaurant Group [EDC]
- Maydan Is One Of Eater’s Best New Restaurants in America [EDC]
- Dabney Founder Jeremiah Langhorne Wins James Beard Award for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic [EDC]