Another Renowned Spanish Chef for DC

Frank Ruta will be cooking near his former place of employment when he opens Mirabelle at 16th & I Streets, NW, near the White House. This French-focused restaurant will open for lunch only for the first two weeks, with dinner service following. Pastry chef Aggie Chin, who worked with Frank at Palena and the Grill Room at Capella, will join him at Mirabelle. Owner Hakan Ilhan expands his restaurant empire with Mirabelle. He also owns Al Dente on New Mexico Ave., NW, Ottoman Taverna, and French bistro, L’Hommage in the ‘hood at Mount Vernon Triangle. Jennifer Knowles will be the wine & service director. She previously worked at the Inn at Little Washington and The Jefferson Hotel.
David Fritsche and Silvan Kraemer, Swiss chefs who recently worked together at The Dupont Circle Hotel, will open Stable at 1324 H Street, NE, featuring classic Swiss dishes as well as influences from Northern Italy, France, and Germany. They are targeting this spring to open.
Quick Hits
Haidar Karoum, formerly of Proof, Doi Moi, and Estadio will open Chloe in Capitol Riverfront in Arris Building at 1331 4th Street, SE.  The 104-seat restaurant will focus on seafood & Mediterranean cuisine. A summer opening is planned … Pandora Seafood Restaurant & Bar will open this summer at Rockville Town Square where American Tap Room used to be. Owners are Chris Zhu and George Cheung who also own China Garden restaurant in Rosslyn … Shake Shack opened at Logan Circle, 1400 14th Street, NW, and will also open at 50 M Street, NE in the Capitol Riverfront, along with Cava Grill … Andrew Harris and Dan Koslow plan to open Farmbird at 625 H Street, NE. Think slow-roasted, grilled chicken, think brick. They are incubating at Union Kitchen. The plan is to be open by summer … Lupo Verde will open its second location on MacArthur Blvd near the Exxon station with chef Matteo Venini, formerly of Tosca, at the kitchen helm.
Austin, Texas-based Verts Mediterranean, fast-casual chain, is slated to open at 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW at the corner of Connecticut & K Streets. This fast-casual concept is based on the Chipotle model. Verts has 20 restaurants in Texas and is expanding on the East Coast. The goal is two to five more stores in the DC metro area.
Panache on DeSales Street, NW not only is completing a total renovation, with a new chef, but also a new name: Le DeSales. Belgian chef Raphael Francoiss was previously at London-based Hélène Darroze restaurant which was awarded two Michelin stars. Ownership remains the same …  Mackey’s Public House relocated to the space formerly occupied by Laughing Man Tavern at 1306 G Street, NW near Metro Center
Chef & GM Update
DC gets another renowned Spanish chef, as Javier Cuesta Muñoz has been named executive chef of the newly renovated Decanter restaurant at The St. Regis Washington, DC. Previously, he was executive chef at the Gran Melia Golf Resort in Puerto Rico … Mike O’Brien has been named chef de cuisine at The Salt Line, working with longtime colleague Kyle Bailey who is executive chef. He previously worked in DC as chef de partie at CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Most recently, Mike was executive chef of Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco. It’s slated to open this spring in time for the first pitch … Justin Abad has been named general manager of Food & Beverage Outlets for The Dupont Circle Hotel. Previously, he had been general manager and owner of Cashion’s Eat Place and Pop’s SeaBar in Adams Morgan … Huw Griffiths was named executive pastry chef at Soapstone Market in Van Ness. He was formerly at the Tabard Inn … David Creamer was named executive chef at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. He will oversee the entire culinary operations in the resort including its banquet kitchen and seven dining and beverage outlets. He was executive chef at the Crystal City Gateway, Bethesda North Hotel & Convention Center and, most recently, the Renaissance Arlington Capital View.
The next Dacha Beer Garden will open near Nationals Park on Potomac Avenue, SE in the ever popular Dock 79 mixed-use project. It will join Kyle Bailey and Long Shot Hospitality’s The Salt Line and Mike Friedman’s All Purpose Pizzeria. Lots of space both indoors and outdoors, perfect for a beer garden. Beer and baseball are a natural duo, so there will be another beer garden, Bardo, opening not too far from Dock 79.
Just Opened
Anna Bran Leis recently opened Taqueria del Barrio, serving authentic Mexican in Petworth. It opened on Upshur Street, NW where Domku was… Dusty Lockhart and her chef husband Stefano Frigerio opened Petite Loulou Café & Pasty Shop near where they live in Purcellville …  Michael Schlow Restaurant Group opened its second Alta Strada in Northern Virginia’s Mosaic District … Nick and David Wiseman from DGS Delicatessen opened Hill Prince Bar at 1337 H Street, NE … La Colombe opened 1710 Eye Street, NW at Farragut Square near Taylor Gourmet and sweetgreen … Mission BBQ adds its third location in Chantilly and its fourth location on Rockville Pike.

About the Author

Linda Roth is president of Linda Roth Associates, Inc. specializing in marketing, promotions and publicity in the hospitality industry. Contact Linda at 202-888-3571 or or visit her website at

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