New Food, New Beverage: New Terminal ‘A’ Remodel at National

Where could Carla Hall, Ruth Gresser, Gina Chersevani and Jeff Tunks all work together? Reagan National Airport – aka DCA. They will be taking off without leaving the ground. Those are the food professionals that are slated to be part of the 10 new restaurants coming to Terminal A of DCA in 2015. OTG and BMG are the two concessionaires tapped by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). They plan an expanded lineup of food, beverage and retail options (including a full service spa!) in the nine-gate terminal. MWAA is also partnering with Cohn’s Kitchen to provide job opportunities for under-served young adults training for careers in foodservice.

Chef/owner Dean Gold is opening a rustic Italian restaurant, Dino’s Grotto, on 9th St, NW in Shaw neighborhood. It’s the newer incantation of his first restaurant in Cleveland Park. There will be 120 seats on two floors. Sustainable foods is a strong theme, as the pastas are handmade and products are from local and organic farms, as well as sustainable fishers and butchers. Expect local craft brews as well as artisan Italian beers and ciders on tap. The plan is to be open by the end of April.

Lot 31 in Bethesda is the new buzz in Bethesda. Passion Food Hospitality is planning its second PassionFish restaurant there, which will be its first move into Maryland. It will be part of a luxury residential and retail development at the corner of Woodmont and Bethesda Avenues. The original PassionFish opened in Reston, Va. This will be Passion Food Hospitality’s (aka Jeff Tunks, David Wizenberg, Gus DiMillo) eighth restaurant.

More about Lot 31: Bob Giaimo will also open a new upscale version (2.0) of Silver Diner at Lot 31. It’s abbreviated – in that the name is Silver. Farm-to-table – check. It will be slightly smaller, more urban. More bar business focused on local craft beers and wines. Silver Diner’s signature chrome will be replaced by a warmer look – wood and stone.

Ch-Ch-Changes:  If you cannot recall the last time you went to Italian classic restaurant Da Domenica in Tysons Corner, you won’t recognize the place when it completes its transformation – from décor to menu to bar. The 22-year-old restaurant was bought by Syed Hussain (father and son) who plan to re-introduce it this spring to the community with a few more surprises in store.

When the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC opens across from the Washington Convention Center, it will feature two restaurants and three bars. Anthem, is their 215-seat restaurant that will serve breakfast and lunch, including a few classic items from Marriott’s old Hot Shoppes, including the “Mighty Mo” burger. The other restaurant (TBA) will be run by a well known operator outside of the DC area. The Marriott Marquis’ executive chef is Matthew Morrison, who most recently hails from The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. On the bar side: The Dignitary (upscale) seating 99, with an outdoor patio. High Velocity is a 184-seat sports bar with 48 beers on tap. The 139-seat Lobby Bar is located in the atrium. A May opening is planned.

Chef John Paul Damato takes the lead on the kitchen at Compass Rose, slated to open in Logan Circle where Collage used to be. John Paul previously worked at ThinkFoodGroup and at Restaurant Nora. Compass Rose is owned by world travelers and husband-and-wife team: Rose Previte and NPR’s David Greene. So it follows that globally inspired foods, wine beers, and cocktails will be on the menu.

What was once Michel Richard’s Michel at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, then Entyse Bistro will now become America Eats Tavern, from Jose Andres. The original location was in Penn Quarter. It will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and will offer an American classics menu with products from local Virginia farms.

Quick Hits: Tony Tomelden of The Pug on H St in NE DC plans to open Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen nearby on 12th Stin NE DC. Expect comfort food and a March opening … Robert Wiedmaier’s empire continues to grow. His Belgian-themed Brasserie Beck at McPherson Square gets a sister operation in Gaithersburg when it takes over the O’Donnell’s Sea Grill space … Everlasting Life Vegan Restaurant in Capitol Heights is opening a second location next to the Takoma Metro station serving lunch and dinner. Also planned is a bakery a half a block away … California-based Blaze Pizza plans an early summer opening at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Chef Update:  Benjamin Lambert was named executive chef for 701Restaurant in Penn Quarter, taking over from Tony Conte, who was overseeing both the Oval Room and 701. Benjamin formerly worked at DC’s Restaurant Nora as well as Goodstone Inn in Middleburg, Va. … Med Lahlou and Antonio Matarazzo of the Lalou Group announced Domenico Apollaro as chef de cuisine at their 100-seat Italian restaurant Lupo Verde, on 14th and T Streets. A native Italian, Domenico relocated to DC from Italy … Matt Hill has been named executive chef for Arlington’s The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, and Northside Social. He most recently served as chef de cuisine at Range at Chevy Chase Pavilion in Washington … Miljohn Dimaano was promoted to chef de cuisine at The Liberty Tavern. Daniel Singhofen is the chef de cuisine at Blue Duck Tavern in the Park Hyatt in DC’s West End.

Osirus Hoil, owner of District Taco plans to open his next location at 20th & M Streets in Dupont Circle where Cosi used to be. It started out as just a taco cart in Rosslyn. They now have restaurants in Arlington, Metro Center and Capitol Hill. The Dupont store will also offer full coffee service. A May opening is targeted. Osirus is scouting Northern Virginia for his next District Taco location.

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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