Four months after going mostly offline, Silver Spring’s six-year-old meat mainstay Urban Butcher plans to reopen on Tuesday, June 11 with a new look, menu, and return to service six days a week. Chef Raynold Mendizábal’s new offerings include cured legs of Ossabaw Island hogs (descendants of ancient Iberico), sliced by hand and served tableside, as well as colossal whole prawns and a veggie-friendly cucumber, strawberry, and horseradish starter. Past favorites like empanadas and meatballs are back (but only as “hush dishes” upon request), and its three-course “early supper” deal for $35 will now go live all night. The makeover included converting its full-length wood bar to concrete and installing a four-seat exhibition kitchen. A short walk away, Mendizábal’s new-ish El Sapo Cuban Social Club serves al fresco mojitos, upbeat music, and island-inspired fare.
A permanent beer pairing
After months of searching for a chef to man its kitchen, NoMa’s Red Bear Brewing Company has found a new culinary leader. David Kuan-Celarier, a longtime manager at Rockville’s popular Sam’s Cafe & Market, starts on Wednesday, June 26 with a TBA menu (for now, the sprawling 7,000-square-foot brewery and woodsy tap room plays host to pop-up food vendors). To celebrate its first Capital Pride weekend, the gay-owned brewery will host an inaugural drag show on Saturday, June 8, with DJ Nico DiMarco spinning beats, followed by a Billy Winn concert on Sunday, June 9. Pride programming runs all month, with a talk from D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton on LGBTQ issues on Monday, June 24.
More milk, please
Dolcezza is about to call on its grass-grazed cows in Lancaster, Penn. more than ever. The 15-year-old homegrown gelato brand just inked a huge nationwide deal with Whole Foods to sell its small-batch star product across all 500 stores. Husband-and-wife duo Violeta Edelman and Robb Duncan handcrafts gelato from their factory in Northeast, in addition to operating 9 cafes across the D.C. area. Look for 7 Dolcezza flavors, including stracciatella and milk chocolate, in the freezer aisle.
Meanwhile, D.C.-born &pizza could compete with Lunchables in a grocery store’s refrigerated section soon. A vague Instagram post on Thursday showcased a “Pizzables” prototype, housing all the toppings necessary to make a “meat lovers only” Maverick &pizza at home. The DIY black-and-white boxed pie got over 1,800 likes in one day. “Clearly, people are loving it,” &pizza’s head of branding Vanessa Rodrigez tells Eater. “Who knows... maybe you’ll see these IRL soon!”
“The middle schoolers in us had been kicking this idea around internally, so we figured we’d see what our followers thought,” she adds.
Meridian to Malay
Columbia Heights’ recently vacated beer bar Meridian Pint will transform into Makan, a new destination for Malaysian dishes, this summer. James Wozniuk, former chef de cuisine at Maketto, is teaming up with Kendrick Wu on the 6,000-square-foot project. Makan, which means “to eat” in Malay, plans to integrate Mid-Atlantic ingredients in its dishes, according to DCist. Wozniuk christened his new “forever home” with a bottle of Dom Perignon, per an Instagram post on Thursday: