An already busy chef adds more to his plate
Erik Bruner-Yang, the prolific D.C. restaurateur behind Maketto and the Line hotel’s Brothers and Sisters and Rammy winner Spoken English, was just named executive chef at &pizza. His first menu design for the homegrown brand will be revealed at its new NYC location, scheduled to debut on Wall Street on Wednesday, July 10. Three debut menu categories under his watch include Sure Things (classics with a twist), The Hits (signature pies) and Wild Cards (rotating seasonal items beyond pizzas), with names like The OG, Dirty Bird, and Fresno Blaze.
This summer the James Beard Award finalist will expand to Southeast with the opening a new all-day cafe centered around craft coffee and cocktails inside a luxury apartment building called the Novel South Capitol.
Chop sticks news
China Garden is nearing an opening date, reports Bethesda blogger Robert Dyer. The owners told him their long-delayed new location is expected to arrive at 11333 Woodglen Drive in White Flint on Friday, July 12, for lunch service. Look for a pair of huge lion stone statues welcoming guests out front.
A huge beer pad debuts in Clarendon
The Lot, the anticipated 22,000-square-foot drinking destination for millennials, started pouring in time for the Fourth of July. The sprawling beer garden received its ABC permit this week and opened on Wednesday, July 3, reported ArlNow. Owner Mike Bramson plans to incorporate drinking games, picnic seating, and tacos on the parking lot of a former used car dealership (3217 10th St N, Arlington, Virginia).
Keep the carbs coming this week
An entire festival dedicated to Jollof rice — a one-pot rice dish native to countries across West Africa — will be held on Saturday, July 6, at the University of the District of Columbia Community College. The day-long ode of the many variations of the iconic dish includes a head-to-head battle pitting representatives from each country against each other for the title of “Best Jollof Rice,” with tickets starting at $20.
Eggs every morning in Shaw
Fresh off its Rammy win for Best Upscale Brunch, Unconventional Diner will kick off daily brunch service from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting Monday, July 8. “Why serve brunch only on the weekends? It’s such a popular meal and guest favorite,” says chef/partner David Deshaies, in a statement. Offerings call for pancakes, juices, shakes, and morning cheeseburgers. Penn Quarter’s Dirty Habit and Succotash also rolled out daily brunch service this summer.
Another meal delivery service drops in D.C.
Ohio-based Sprinly started shipping its globally-inspired vegan meals to the D.C. area last month (think veggie tikka masala and zucchini noodle pesto pasta). The 3-year-old brand, founded by Silicon Valley tech executives-turned-world travelers, claims to be the first “organic, plant-based” delivery service in the area. Customers choose from a rotating menu of six options each week delivered via FedEx like peanut soba noodles with marinated tofu and broccoli, inspired by the owners’ time living with locals in Indonesia.