Little Washington going to big Washington
President Donald Trump will award the National Medal of Arts and the National Humanities Medal to several honorees Thursday, including Inn at Little Washington chef-owner Patrick O’Connell. In an email to the Washington Post, the creative mind behind the three Michelin-starred getaway says he looks forward to attending. A press release from the White House calls O’Connell “one of the greatest chefs of our time” and lauds the Inn for taking culinary arts “to new heights of excellence by embracing regional flavors and championing local farmers.” Actor Jon Voight and crime novelist James Patterson are among the group of eight being honored. O’Connell has been out of the country attending the Relais & Châteaux Congress in London. As the Washington Nationals recently learned, every trip to this White House has polarizing potential, but O’Connell must be unfazed. [WaPo]
New Irish pub in Crystal City
McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant (567 23rd Street S.) opened earlier this month inside the former Fiona’s Irish Pub space in Crystal City, ARLnow reports. The festive menu includes potato and leek soup, beef stew, and corned beef and cabbage. Owner Danny McFadden’s Irish street cred in Arlington previously owned Kitty O’Shea’s in Courthouse and Celtic House on Columbia Pike.
Underground pizza coming to Mount Pleasant
Washington City Paper reports that a new Neapolitan-style pizza place is moving into the long-vacant space underneath Mount Desert Island Ice Cream in Mount Pleasant. Newly engaged Tail Up Goat alums Tara L. Smith and chef Demetri Mechelis are calling the 50-seat restaurant Martha Dear. The plan is to open by late 2020 at 3110 Mt. Pleasant Street NW. This tiny space, once home to Pupuseria San Miguel, experienced a string of premature commitments that never panned out. Banker Rick Weiner hoped to debut his casual pizza parlor Rick’s Craft Pizza inside, but that deal fizzled this year. Oyamel alum Christian Irabien planned to plant his Mexican restaurant, Amparo, there, but now it’s putting together a spot in the La Cosecha market by Union Market. [WCP]
Digital tabs at Maketto
Taiwanese-Cambodian cafe Maketto just rolled out a new “house account” payment plan that lets customers buy bundles of meals at once — up to $1,000 at a time. The incentive? Opt for the $250 tier, and get an extra $50; a $500 tab brings a $150 bonus; and $1,000 brings and extra $350 to spend on food, drinks, and merch. The deal also applies to owner Erik Bruner-Yang’s soon-to-open ABC Pony in Navy Yard.
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is way ahead of the ball this year, announcing the date for its local awards gala eight months in advance. The 38th annual black tie event returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Sunday, July 26, 2020. Nominations for 20 awards categories will open in early January, with finalists announced in April.