The chic, indoor-outdoor addition to Logan Circle’s dining scene quietly debuted this week with a big name behind a catch-all dinner menu bursting with colorful produce, seafoods, and plump Roseda Farm burgers and steaks (1430 Rhode Island Avenue NW). Dovetail’s executive chef James Gee most recently led the kitchen at Chevy Chase’s American-Italian darling I’m Eddie Cano. At Dovetail, he puts his pasta-making skills to work in a rigatoni flecked with homemade fennel sausage, sweet peas, San Marzano tomatoes, and parsley.
Gee once catered to all kinds of celebrity noodle needs as the longtime head chef of East Hampton’s scene-y Italian staple Cittanuova, where he cooked for the likes of Alec Baldwin and Heather Locklear. José Andrés took notice and plucked him away in 2011 to lead Penn Quarter’s Jaleo and open China Chilcano nearby.
A stream of celebrities in town fittingly broke in Dovetail ahead of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner festivities. Creative Artists Agency threw a kickoff party on Friday, April 29, with Hollywood clients like actress Sophia Bush spotted at the invite-only event.
Gee’s menu celebrates spring with lots of root vegetables, berries, asparagus, and peas pulled from Appalachian farms, with various nods to his Cantonese and Italian heritages sprinkled throughout.
A quinoa and sweet potato salad dressed with white soy sauce and creamy sheep’s milk ricotta is a good way to start, along with fennel-crusted yellowfin tuna crudo artfully plated over a red beet puree. A “chef’s snacks” section kicks off the meal with kimchi-flecked deviled eggs and the option to augment hushpuppies with trout roe for $10.
A cocktail list shows lots of love for D.C.-made spirits like One Eight Distilling and Green Hat Gin. Super stylish blue Curacao makes an appearance in a Truth In Our Thorns, joined by tequila, aloe liqueur, pineapple, honeydew, cactus, lime, and cilantro agave. Local brews from Port City Brewing Company, Aslin, and Solace Brewing Company join wines from Virginia’s revered RdV Vineyards and other near and far labels.
Dovetail is open for dinner on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. 10 p.m., with brunch coming soon.
LA-based Viceroy, which replaced the Kimpton-managed Mason and Rook Hotel in summer 2020, also has a seasonal rooftop bar and pool called Hush and lobby-level coffee bar BPM.
Come summer, Gee may play up the lobster roll side of his resume at Dovetail. Long before he helped open I’m Eddie Cano in 2018, Gee spent years working along the “lobster belt” from Montauk to Maine, helming the Galley Beach in Nantucket from 1998 to 2002.