Chefs don't have a lot of free time, but when they do, odds are they're not in the mood to cook. On the odd weekend day off or late night, they're looking for comfort food, or open-all-night Asian restaurants in Annandale or Chinatown. The very lucky can persuade a chef to come back to their house to cook for them.
Victor Albisu, Chef/Owner, Del Campo and Taco Bamba: "I go to Graffiato because of the relaxed environment, high-quality service and awesome food. I usually order the brussels sprouts, Good Fellas pizza and a Grey Goose with lime and a splash of soda."
Eric Brannon, Chef, Ted's Bulletin: "I don't drive so if I can get a ride I'll go to El Pollo Rico for pollo al la brasa with extra green sauce. Bimbimbap and sojutinis at Mandu are a pretty frequent standby. And I like sitting outside at Cantina Marina for tequila sunrises and fish tacos."
Erik Bruner-Yang, Chef/Owner of Toki Underground: "It's all about the Laos menu at Bangkok Golden Seven Corners in VA. Chef Seng is amazing."
Antonio Burrell, Executive Chef, Redwood: "If I'm just hanging out I'll go to the Mighty Pint to meet friends. If I'm hungry it's Honey Pig or New Big Wong."
Tony Conte, Executive Chef, 701 Restaurant: "I like to go to Haven Pizzeria in Bethesda. I get the same thing every time, the pizza margarita and a Foxon Park soda. It brings me back to when I was in high school and would go for pizza on Wooster Street."
Frederik De Pue, Chef, Table and Azur: "After work, I like to grab a drink and a snack at bars in the Park Hyatt and Jefferson Hotels. I find them both to be quiet and relaxing. They know me there, so I sit back with a good scotch and enjoy good conversation. At the Park Hyatt, I typically order fries or a selection of cheeses and a grapefruit cocktail, a scotch or wine."
Scott Drewno, Executive Chef, The Source by Wolfgang Puck: "Ming's for fried pork chops and super spicy boiled beef, or Mandu for fried chicken and kimchibacks. If it's really late and I'm with a big group of people, I like to have Nick Stefanelli [from Bibiana] come to my house and make us pasta."
Joseph Evans, Executive Chef, Lost Society and The Gryphon: "When I'm off the clock, I spend my afternoons having brunch at Kafe Leopold or starting my night off at Toki Underground. When I need a break from D.C., I venture out to Honey Pig in Annandale or to La Placita in Hyattsville, MD."
Katsuya Fukushima, Chef, Daikaya: "I like to go to New Big Wong in Chinatown. It's become a late night habit started by my old boss, Jose Andres. He used to take me after a long night. After awhile, I started to take my chefs there after long shifts. I love ordering the seafood fried rice with crispy scallops on top. It's a delicate white fried rice thats not destroyed by all the soy sauce. I love it. I also enjoy the fried dungeness crab with ginger and scallions, it's delicious."
Nate Garyantes, Executive Chef, Ardeo+Bardeo: "I like to go to Ripple after work since I'm friends with their exec chef, and it's just a few doors down from my restaurant. I enjoy their sunchoke soup with smoked razor clams and watercress and their Duck-Rabbit Black IPA."
Adam Goldman, Chef, Masa 14: Marvin's for shrimp and grits, Ben's Next Door for chicken and waffles, or New Big Wong for salt and pepper shrimp and pan fried noodles.
Adam Gooch, Purple Onion Catering Co.: "Well with the little spare time I have, I like to spend it with my daughter and we love going to Chipotle together. It's fresh, fast, good tasting and all in all pretty good for you too."
John Guattery, Corporate Executive Chef, matchboxfoodgroup: "I have a few favorites depending on my mood. I go to Lighthouse Tofu House for Nak Ji Gook Soo (noodles with baby octopus and red chili paste) and seafood pancake. Thai Square has great crispy pork and Chinese broccoli. For wine I generally end up at the bar at Restaurant Eve for red burgundy and dessert or Proof for charcuterie and Oregon Pinot Noir. Bon Chon has the best damn fried chicken ever. And for breakfast on Sundays you can usually find me at Pho 75 for a #10?or is it #11?"
Ed Hardy, Chef de Cuisine, Bistro Vivant: "I love going to Bibiana. The classy atmosphere helps me relax, and I love their Negroni. Their bar snacks are also fantastic, the small pizzas in particular. For a closer destination that's just as relaxing I'll stop by Assaggi Osteria. Their Chianti and Meatball are delicious!"
Matt Hill, Chef de Cuisine, Range: "Depending on the time, I head over to Sixth Engine for a rye and beer or Boundary Road for their late night food till 1am."
Rob Klink, Chef, Del Frisco's Grille: "When I go out I go to Mandu. I always have the pork belly and seafood pancake with a Tiger beer."
Barry Koslow, Chef, DGS Delicatessen: "Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Skor Bars for my wife. I think she likes the name cause she is part Danish. A glass of Whiskey makes it official. Being married and having a two year old, I don't really do that going out for late night eats much any more."
Vitalii Kovalev, Chef, Mari Vanna: "Because I'm still fairly new to the city, I try to discover new places every time I go out. Washington DC and Arlington have great restaurants to choose from whether you're looking for drinks and light appetizers, or full dinner service. When I'm in D.C., you can find me getting a drink at Edgar or having dinner at Marcel's. Just over the bridge, Ray's The Steaks and Ireland's Four Courts are two of my favorite spots in Arlington."
Ris Lacoste, Chef/Owner, RIS: "Lately I have been going to Maddy's a lot primarily because they have a great play list and beer selection. My old standbys include The Tombs, Lindy's Red Lion and The Guards."
Anthony Lombardo, Chef, 1789 Restaurant: I go to Hogo for food when I get out of work. They basically have rotating pop-up chefs every couple of weeks so the food changes all the time, which is awesome and they serve food till 2am. You can also sit on the lunch counter they have in the back and chat with the chefs. Also the bartenders, Casey and Julia are awesome and when I'm drinking rum, they will just set a bowl of pineapple in front of me so I can munch on it. The drinks I order there are the Queen's Royale, which is a sparkling wine drink and Tom's punch, which is El Dorado white rum, Cruzan Blackstrap rum, Ginger liqueur, Velvet Falernum, and nutmeg."
Wes Morton, Chef, Art & Soul: "I like to go to Big Bear Café for coffee, because they serve high-quality products in an unpretentious setting. I also enjoy visiting Union Market after work on Sundays for Rappahannock Oysters and beers at Cordial. Union Market is nice because there are so many different food options as well as people to meet. I think of it as a place where I can take the family while also connecting with industry folks."
Ron Tanaka, Chef, the forthcoming Thally: "I have been known to enjoy the occasional cheese steak and pork egg foo young from Yum's on 14th & P."
Danny Wells, Chef, Black Restaurant Group: "I like Sidebar in Silver Spring. My favorites are the hot dogs, fried chicken thighs and flavored popcorn (partial to the truffle). Salty food, cold drinks are usually the goal for me after work."