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Hazel’s New Chef Adds Mediterranean Flair in Shaw

Robert Curtis replaces Rob Rubba as executive chef

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Whole roasted fish with radish and pita-like laffa bread with dips join the new menu at Hazel.
Hazel/official photo
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Six months after Hazel’s critically acclaimed chef Rob Rubba left the kitchen, the Shaw restaurant is swapping its Asian-inspired menu for a veggie-heavy lineup with a Turkish bent.

Robert Curtis, a fine dining alum of Bourbon Steak in Georgetown and Michael Mina’s now-shuttered RN74 in San Francisco, is steering Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Hazel (808 V Street NW) in a new direction.

A representative for Hazel sent Eater D.C. the new menu, which goes live tonight. It features four sections: greens and beans, grains of various names, animal kingdom, and feast. That last category includes two-person orders like charred lamb neck and dry-aged Rohan duck — which was Rubba’s favorite fowl — with spiced carrot and braised lentils. The bird also makes its way onto the starter section as crispy rice duck confit with pickled Jimmy Nardello peppers.

Gnocchi and foie gras mousse also keep their places on the new menu, but Curtis’ preparations include poblano pork ragout and honey butter, respectively. Instead of Rubba’s famed zucchini bread, diners are welcomed with a new Curtis creation, laffa, a puffy Turkish bread designed to scoop up much of the menu. Dips include muhammara and beet-top shug.

Here’s a look at the revamped restaurant’s offerings:

Curtis has big shoes to fill at the 2-year-old restaurant: Hazel was named New Restaurant of the Year by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington in 2017. Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema gave it two-and-a-half stars in his 2016 Fall Dining Guide.

Rubba, also known for his savory doughnut-making skills during his tenure at Hazel, is now working on opening the sustainability-centric Oyster, Oyster, with Estadio’s Max Kuller and Adam Bernbach next year.

Hazel, Ravines and Downtown

1 Peabody Street, , MI 48009 (248) 671-1714 Visit Website