Chef / GM Updates:
Juan Rivera is now executive chef at the Barcelona Wine Bar on 14th Street, NW. He was previously at Barcelona Wine Bar in Reston, Virginia. Rivera replaces NYC chef Alex Ureña. Joel Hatton is now executive chef at Cafe Saint-Ex on 14th Street, NW. He was previously at Shaw’s Tavern and Leopold’s Kafe.
Brandon Anderson is the new wine director at Charlie Palmer Steak on Capitol Hill, replacing Nadine Brown. He was previously at Fiola Mare in Georgetown. George Rodrigues replaces Austin Fausett at executive chef at Proof in Penn Quarter. He was previously executive chef at Schlow Restaurant Group, heading the culinary programs at Tico, The Riggsby, Conosci, and Calle Cinco.
Bryan Moscatello is new executive chef at The Oval Room, replacing John Melfi. Bryan was previously at another Knightsbridge Restaurant, 701, in Penn Quarter.
St Regis, Washington, D.C. reveals a new restaurant later this month, Alhambra, featuring modern Mediterranean with French influence. It’s orchestrated by new chef, Sébastien Giannini.
Poki District will open a restaurant in Georgetown Square (where Not Your Average Joe’s is) in Bethesda. The Bethesda store is slated to open in late spring or early summer, with another one planned for Gaithersburg in Rio Washingtonian Center.
The second location of Falafel Inc. is slated to open at The Wharf in Q3 2018, across from Anthem. Georgetown is home to the first Falafel Inc. It’s a cause-related operation, started by Ahmad Ashkar, that supports refugees. The restaurant donates money to feed a refugee for a day, based on customer receipts. Tysons Corner is a targeted future Falafel Inc. location, where Ashkar plans to fulfill another part of his mission — to hire refugees as employees.
Ashok Bajaj of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group is granting Bibiana a total make-over. This includes a new chef and menu. Loris Navone will take over the chef position. The native Italian previously worked at Casa Tua in Miami.

On the Calendar:
The Capital Area Food Bank’s Blue Jeans Ball returns to the Marriott Marquis on April 8. Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge returns in May during the city’s International Cultural Awareness Month. Embassy chefs from around the world will compete for the coveted golden pineapple. ZooFari is recruiting restaurants for its May 17 Dine for Wildlife event to help support the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. On that date, more than 3,500 guests will enjoy food and drink from area restaurants, vintners, and breweries on zoo grounds.

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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