Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
A Gambian chef is exploring African roots in the American South at Moi Moi (1627 K Street, NW), opening downtown this Saturday, January 15. Chef and owner, Howsoon “H.O.” Cham, came to the U.S. from Gambia in 1987 with his parents, who were diplomats. After studying at university, cooking in top D.C. restaurants like Vidalia, and also traveling through Europe and Africa, he opened this white tablecloth, 100-seat restaurant to cook and explore West African and American dishes (and cocktails). Moi Moi is open daily from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Saturdays until 11 p.m. [The Washingtonian]
Fare Well, the vegan bistro and bakery from Sticky Fingers owner and Food Network competitor Doron Petersan, has started its transition to Sticky Fingers Diner according to a social media post from Fare Well. Peterson recently took the all-vegan bakery Sticky Fingers national, shifting to an e-commerce model, and closing the Columbia Heights location. The Fare Well sign has already been replaced, but many sweet and savory items from Fare Well will remain on the menu. Plans to open Sticky Fingers Diner emerged back in September. Fare Well opened in 2016.
Brass Rabbit Public House is hopping into Clarendon in mid-February, taking the spot that was previously the Bracket Room (1210 North Garfield Street), which closed in March. Plans include plenty of rabbit decor, draft beer, cocktails, wine, and the pub fare like burgers, wraps, and salads. [ARLnow.com]
A new Ecuadorean bakery, Soleluna, will warm up the old Nicecream ice cream space in Adams Morgan. Nicecream (2831 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington) started serving liquid nitrogen ice cream in Clarendon in 2014. After expanding to four locations, only the original remains open. No information was readily available from Soleluna. [PoPville.com]
Residents of the Ballston’s 326-unit, luxury-living J Sol apartment building (4000 Fairfax Drive) won’t have to go far to get their fix of wine and beer. A new wine shop and bar will open in the base of the high-rise, which replaced the crowd-pleasing CarPool bar. CarPool (900 N. Glebe Road) recently reopened about half a mile away after a four-year absence. [ARLnow.com]
Getting by with a little help from their friends
The love for Vienna’s decades-old, community favorite 29 Diner (10536 Fairfax Boulevard) continues after a fire two days before Thanksgiving destroyed the restaurant’s kitchen. The Vienna Moose Lodge is putting the diner’s staff back to work through a temporary set-up providing food for Lodge events. Since the fire, local teachers also raised over $60,000 and the Salvation Army brought a mobile kitchen the day after the fire. [Tyson’s Reporter]
Chains are unleashing burritos in Chinatown and astrology cupcakes to Georgetown
Chipotle Mexican Grill is now bringing its burritos to Chinatown. The new location of the mega-chain has opened at 710 7th Street, NW. [EaterWire]
Sprinkles (3015 M Street, NW), the Beverly Hills-born cupcake chain with a Georgetown location, is now baking zodiac-themed cupcakes. Aquarius-themed cupcakes start coming out of the oven on January 24 with a focus on an inventive nature and out-of-the-box thinking. Sprinkles’ cupcake translation? Miso caramel cupcake. Stay tuned for cosmic cupcakes representing each zodiac sign throughout the year (Spoiler for February: Pisces means “pink fantasia” cupcakes with pink vanilla cake and pink marshmallow meringue.)
Capitol Hill’s Jenkins Row Harris Teeter (1350 Potomac Avenue, SE) will close on January 15 (the pharmacy will stay open until January 18). The company has referred customers to another Harris Teeter (401 M Street, SE) less than a mile away. Some residents aren’t happy about it. [Capitol Hill Corner]