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Chef Kevin Tien Is Opening a High-End Vietnamese Restaurant at the Wharf

Plus, the new Baltimore restaurant from the Peter Chang family opens its dining room

A portrait of chef Kevin Tien at Emilie’s
Chef Kevin Tien is taking over the former Kith/Kin space at the InterContinental hotel on the Southwest Waterfront
Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post via Getty Images

High-profile D.C. chef Kevin Tien has found a prominent landing place about four months after leaving Emilie’s, an ambitious venue for Asian-American shared plates that he co-founded in Capitol Hill. Tien is close to opening a new Vietnamese restaurant called Moon Rabbit inside the InterContinental hotel at the waterfront Wharf development in Southwest. The chef, who first received national recognition as a founding partner at former Eater D.C. Restaurant of the Year Himitsu, tells Washingtonian that management for the luxury hotel reached out to him in their search to replace Kith/Kin, the game-changing Afro-Caribbean restaurant that chef Kwame Onwuachi left in July. Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema first shared news about Tien’s new project in a live chat earlier in October. The Vietnamese-American chef will reportedly riff on dishes from Saigon and play with French influences.

In other news ...

  • NiHao, the latest Chinese restaurant from the Peter Chang family, opens for indoor dining tonight (Monday, October 26) in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. Pichet Ong, who most recently served as the pastry chef behind the bevy of domed cakes at Erik Bruner-Yang’s Brothers and Sisters, is the executive chef at NiHao, which has been sending out takeout and delivery since July. A recent Sietsema review called out Grand Marnier prawns, honey-roasted pork with peanuts, and shrimp-and-pork wonton soup as early highlights. Seated service will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. only to start.
  • The operator that opened Brentwood, Maryland, food hall Savor at 3807 has left the project, Hyattsville Wire reports. April Richardson, the business lawyer who led the Black-owned project, has split with Landex Development, the owner of the apartment building that houses Savor. Vendors Little Miner Taco, the Shell Shack Seafood, and Relish Market will all reportedly stay on. Richardson’s D.C. Sweet Potato Cake bakery and stunty soul food brunch spot Uncaged Chefs are reportedly leaving.
  • Executive chef Jon Cropf and executive pastry chef Meagan Tighe have left Trummer’s after four years at the well-regarded American bistro in Fairfax County. Tighe tells Eater the exits were amicable and she has no immediate professional plans.
  • Virtual food hall Ghostline has brought on seasoned D.C. chef Peter Smith as its culinary operations director. Smith, who helped develop the menu at Georgetown beer hall the Sovereign and worked under Jeff Buben at legendary Southern kitchen Vidalia, will help introduce a gourmet market at the new Glover Park destination for everything from pizza and cupcakes to ramen, Indian khichdi, and fried chicken sandwiches.


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