Georgetown’s super-seasonal standby 1310 Kitchen & Bar is no stranger to hosting high-profile guests. Conan O’Brien caught up with Jake Tapper over tacos this spring and famed NYT columnist Maureen Dowd is a longtime regular, just to name a few. The latest celebrity sightings include the likes of Rihanna, Cher, and Beyonce — all living in frames on the walls of a recently reenergized restaurant that plans to expand in size soon (1310 Wisconsin Avenue NW).
Chef-proprietor Jenn Crovato just turned things up a notch at her 5-year-old American eatery situated in the historic Georgetown Inn, starting with a cool new rocker-chic interior showcasing black-and-white photographs of influential female musicians from past to present. In February, 1310 will implement an equally edgy look in its next-door lobby with the addition of a new lounge serving bites and drinks.
“The rock-and-roll theme happened organically,” she tells Eater, adding “I watched a documentary on Joan Jett and I was like, ‘I want to feature all women.’”
Crovato opened 1310 in the old Daily Grill space in 2018 and took the time to get its first full-blown makeover right. “We had to live in it to figure out what the needs were and what we wanted to change,” she says.
A newly reconfigured private dining room features glass-paneled partitions shrouded in soft burnt-orange drapes. Other cosmetic changes include the installation of wide-plank wooden floors, grassy-green millwork, and sandy leather banquettes and tables to mirror its bi-coastal menu.
To help amass the artwork, she turned to her friend Chris Murray of Georgetown’s storied Govinda Gallery. Despite holding one of the world’s largest collections of rock-and-roll photography, featured in places like D.C.’s Hamilton Live and NYC’s Morrison Hotel Gallery, he surprisingly doesn’t have many shots of female rockers at his disposal. An unlikely curator — her diehard customer Dowd — lent a hand and pointed her towards a rare Stevie Nicks print.
“I wanted to make sure we represented all genres. I keep my eye out for more,” she says. Portraits of Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, and Time’s Person of the Year Taylor Swift, are en route to line the lounge.
For 1310’s next chapter, the graduate of the Culinary Institute of America also added more meatless options to the mix like a ratatouille lasagna composed of tofu, ricotta, cheese, and spinach.
“I try to be mindful of people who can’t have dairy,” she says, adding “there are so many allergies out there.”
The famous-female vibe will carry over to the attached lobby, which is getting its first real redo in decades (the boutique hotel’s 96 rooms were renovated five years ago). Its doorway will come down to open up the first-level floor to the restaurant, and bathrooms will also get a black-and-white makeover to streamline the theme.
Even its drinks menu honors the showcased muses, with mocktails and cocktails named after songs like Madonna’s “Blonde Ambition” (pomegranate martini) and Mary J. Blige’s “What’s the 411” (spicy margarita).
Greatest hits aren’t going anywhere, she says, such as its Peruvian chicken thighs, seasonal salads (heirloom tomato, roasted beet), and a vegan soup at any given time (spiced butternut and sweet potato).
The former private chef and author of cookbook Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper translates some dine-in dishes into to-go frozen orders, in part, to cut down on food waste. Her popular chicken pot pie was one of them. “When you bake it at home it comes out same,” she says. “During the pandemic I learned people were almost tired of cooking immediately.”
Crovato also continues to hand-paint uplifting notes on her glassy facade along busy Wisconsin Avenue NW. She jots down memorable lines heard on podcasts, songs, or simply in passing, and finds time to scribble them on the windows every two months. One that recently spoke to her? “Comparison is the thief of joy.” — President Theodore Roosevelt