Downtown Restaurant News

Friday, February 8, 2013

By DowntownDC

More restaurants keep coming! Culinary genius Jose Andres and his ThinkFoodGroup (405 8th Street) will open Barmini at 855 E Street on February 15. If the name sounds familiar, it is. Think minibar, the critically acclaimed Andres restaurant. Soon, it will have an adjoining culinary cocktail lounge or laboratory. That’s what Barmini, with its 100 experimental concoctions, will be. No surprise there. The Spanish-born chef has been experimenting with gastronomy techniques for years. For his efforts, Andres was recently inducted into the 2013 MenuMasters Hall of Fame, produced by Nation’s Restaurant News. The award recognizes outstanding menu development and excellence in foodservice research and development. Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck of The Source (575 Pennsylvania Avenue) won the award in 2009.

But we digress. Keep an eye out, too, for Azur (405 8th Street). Belgian chef Frederik De Pue plans to open the European seafood restaurant and oyster bar soon in 6,000 square feet of space once housing Andres’s minibar as well as his America Eats Tavern and Café Atlantico restaurant.

Speaking again of Andres, his Oyamel Cocina Mexicana (401 7th Street) restaurant is getting a slight makeover. The award-winning restaurant is expanding its presence next door, into space formerly occupied by TicketPlace (407 7th Street), the half-price theatre and cultural ticket outlet. What diners can expect after the dust settles: a bar big enough to accommodate 60 to 80 more people.

Paul Bakery, which opened its first U.S. location at 801 Pennsylvania Avenue less than two years ago, plans to set up shop at Columbia Square (555 13th Street). The old-fashioned Parisian bakery will occupy 2,500 SF, filling space once used by Firehook Bakery & Coffeehouse and a good portion of the space formerly occupied by Trover, the greeting card, gift and novelty shop. The bakery will open in early fall.

Café Mediterranean, serving breakfast, soups, sandwiches and Turkish tea and coffee, opened at 1025 Vermont Avenue last month. Also now open: Chix DC (1121 14th Street), the green restaurant specializing in healthy chicken dishes with a Latin flair; White Apron (445 11th Street), a new specialty sandwich shop; and Dunkin’ Donuts (1101 14th Street).

901 Restaurant and Bar (901 9th Street) is no more. The “global flavors” restaurant with a tapas style menu closed in late January. While the restaurant is gone, owner David von Storch remains. He’s the proprietor of a few local businesses, including Capitol City Brewing Company (1100 New York Avenue) and Vida Fitness (601 F Street and 999 9th Street).