Last call for pre-gambling branzino
Fish, José Andrés’s seafood restaurant tucked inside MGM National Harbor, is closing next week. Washingtonian first reported on the impending shutter, scheduled for Wednesday, January 15. A joint statement from Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup and MGM said “evolving business strategies” were behind the move. The Vegas-based casino conglomerate confirmed the news to Eater. “We are evaluating how we will repurpose the space,” a representative says.
Fellow celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s debut D.C. restaurant at MGM National Harbor also pulled out of the opulent project after just a year and change. The atrium-level vacancy was eventually filled by Italian restaurant Osteria Costa.
Soon after opening in tandem with the casino in late 2016, Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema named Fish the No. 8 best new restaurant in town, awarding high marks for tuna tartare and “delightfully crusty” crab cakes.
The soaring, nautical-themed eatery, known for seasonal selections from the Chesapeake Bay, Tuesday specials for jambalaya and gin and tonics, and crab boils hosted on its warm-weather patio, expanded with a second location, in the Bahamas, in 2018.
Andrés’s group lost another restaurant in November when Zaytinya Dallas closed after less than two years.
In other TFG news, there’s big Michelin shoes to fill in D.C. Minibar’s head chef Jorge Hernández just left the helm of the two-starred restaurant to take a job in his hometown of San Antonio, reports Washingtonian.
Sad steak news for Dupont
Ruth’s Chris continues to shrink its D.C. portfolio ahead of its opening at 21st and L Streets NW next week (Monday, January 13). The latest casualty is its long-running Dupont Circle steakhouse at 1801 Connecticut Avenue NW. Popville flagged the closure notice on its website. The chain’s Ninth Street NW location, which closed in late 2018, will soon be filled by anticipated Japanese-Spanish fusion spot Cranes.
Wine cocktails for the U Street set
Eater spotted signage for a new wine bar and restaurant headed just south of the U Street corridor (1939 12th Street NW). The to-be-named venture, sliding into the space that formerly housed fro-yo spot Menchie’s, comes from vino boss Angela Allred. She’s the sales and marketing VP of respected area distributor Imperial Wine and Spirits. She also confirmed the new project on her Facebook account. Per its liquor license application, wines by the glass and the bottle plan to flow freely inside the 40-seat space, along with a “wine-focused cocktail list” and light snacks. Neighborhood favorite Vinoteca closed in November.
Raw fish for Old Town North
Hinata Sushi Bar & Grill is inching closer towards an opening at the foot of a glitzy new apartment building across the Potomac River, reports ARLnow. The Japanese newcomer, helmed by chef Hyun Su Kim, is reportedly shooting for a late March opening at 909 N. Saint Asaph Street. Dishes will set back diners somewhere between $25 to $50.
Cosi struggles in Arlington
The fast-casual friendly neighborhood just lost two more Cosi locations, reports ArlNow. The latest demises sit in Crystal City (2011 Crystal Drive) and Virginia Square (3503 Fairfax Drive). The news comes on the heels of Ballston’s Cosi closure last month. Cosi in Rosslyn remains open. D.C. also lost a Cosi downtown right before Christmas, Popville reports.
Blowfish sashimi back in town
Downtown darling Kaz Sushi Bistro just got in a shipment of fugu (blowfish) to star on a new tasting menu dedicated to the Japanese delicacy that can be deadly if prepared incorrectly. The fish is traditionally served as sashimi or as part of a hot pot meal. Chef Kaz Okochi claims to be the first to serve the dish in D.C. when he debuted Kaz Sushi Bistro 20 years ago. The five-course tasting dinner is $150 per person (two to four people must participate).