Monday, October 31, 2011

Penn Quarter dog walker featured by Voice of America

Thanks to a reader tip, we have discovered this video about a dog walker in Penn Quarter produced by Voice of America.

Dog walker Kate Holmes walks about twelve dogs--all at once.   She wears a special belt and attaches the dogs leashes to it and walks them around Penn Quarter, scooping up their poop on the way.  She charges $14/walk and keeps a log of when she takes each dog on a walk.

For Voice of America it's a story about having a dog in an urban neighborhood.   For us, it just goes to show you really can have it all in Penn Quarter, as many neighborhood dog owners know.

The video also features a cameo by neighborhood notable and dog-walking client Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development.  Check out the video here:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Washingtonian takes a look at Meatballs


Washingtonian Magazine takes an early look at Michel Richard's newest restaurant, Meatballs.  They report it could as early as this week.   They are waiting for a final walk through by Michel Richard and some final inspections.

The restaurant is apparently going to feature a lot of different types of meatballs and will be served chipotle-style, like a lot of new restaurants in our neighborhood (e.g., Roti, Merzi).  You can either get the meatballs in a sandwich or over a salad with dressing.

T-shirts don't just say "balls," they also say things such as "don't touch my balls" and "don't kick my balls."

Should be an interesting addition to the neighborhood!  See the full article from Washingtonian here.

Previous Posts about Meatballs:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Smoke bellowing out of 10th Street at F Street


Smoke is bellowing out of 10th Street between E and F in the heart of Penn Quarter.   DCist has a great picture here.

They suspect it is a broken pipe under the street, but emergency crews are continuing to investigate.   Either way, traffic is going to be a problem in this area for a bit and you may want to avoid it.  Neither pedestrians or automobiles are allowed up the street right now.

We'll keep you updated as we find out more.

Free Roti on Monday!

Roti has pushed their opening date at 1311 F Street just a hair, and now their official opening will be on Tuesday, November 1st.

Want to get in the day before though?  For a free meal?

We thought so.  All you have to do is sign up for a seating time here, and you'll get a free sandwich, salad, or  Mediterranean plate and a fountain drink on Monday, October 31st.

You can see our earlier coverage of the Mediterranean grill here.

Lions, Tigers, and Bears - oh my!

NBC Washington reports there have been several sightings of a Mountain Lion in Northwest D.C.

Sightings of the animal have dated back to February, but the latest was seen last Wednesday.  It has been seen all over Northwest D.C., from the woods of Glover Park to just around the beltway.  Everyone who has seen it agrees that it looks like a mountain lion.

Authorities won't confirm that it is a mountain lion, but say they are taking the sightings seriously.  The Humane Society thinks someone might have been keeping the mountain lion as a pet, but let it loose once they couldn't take care of it anymore. 

For more, see this video from NBC Washington:



Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Hearing For Verizon Center's New Signs

Rachelle Nigro, Commissioner of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2C reached out to let us know that representatives from the Verizon Center will be present at the next meeting to discuss and seek approval for their new electronic signs - specifically this piece of legislation introduced by Councilmember Yvette Alexander.

Once enacted, it will give Mayor Vince Gray ninety days to issue rules for the "intended nine additional displays on the exterior of the Verizon Center... including, but not limited to, banners, digital displays, digital screens, digital video monitors, animated signs for commercial establishments located within the building, static canvas displays, projects for projecting static and moving images onto the Verizon Center, interactive kiosks and images projected onto the fa├žade of the Verizon Center."  

Additionally, each sign would have to be approved by DC's Office of Planning and Department of Transportation to ensure traffic safety and that the signs do not "adversely impact the character and integrity of the Verizon Center."

The meeting will be next Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30pm at the Shaw Library at 7th and Rhode Island Ave., N.W., and the Verizon Center issue is relatively high up on the agenda.  Love the signs?  Show up to support the new growth in the neighborhood.  Hate them?  Be heartened by the fact that it was largely community outrage that led the DC government to shoot very similar plans down just a few years ago.  Be sure your voice is heard - regardless of your opinion - at the ANC2C meeting next week.

At the Market Today


It will probably be raining, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get out to the Farmers Market today.  There are only eight left in the season!
What you'll find today: from Anchor Nursery, stalks of Brussels sprouts; from Mountain View Farm, pastured lamb, rose veal & sunchokes; from Red Apron Butchery, meatballs and ragu Bolognese; from Copper Pot Food Company, braised oxtail tortellini; and from Toigo Orchards, chestnuts.


Additionally, if you head down around 3:30pm, you can spot Juliette Tahar of Healthy Living, Inc. doing a market demo centered around mushrooms.  


The FreshFarm Markets auction only has about 10 days left - check out our write up of it here and get bidding here.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Win Dinner for Two at Minibar

We know we've been posting a lot about Halloween activities - but we couldn't let this one slip - far too much at stake.

America Eats Tavern, the restaurant formerly known as Cafe Atlantico, has announced that it will host a costume competition on Monday.  If you are the best-dressed American historical figure (a must, to win the costume contest), you and a guest will be treated to dinner for two at Minibar.  While the prize is listed as valuing $300, those in the know know that it's the reservation itself that's far more valuable!  No more frenetic calls each day at 10am, trying to get a seat at the 6 person table a month in advance.

The party is from 8p-11p  - we look forward to seeing all the Betsy Ross and Abraham Lincoln impersonators about town...

Free rides home this Saturday

One of the greatest things about Penn Quarter is that you can walk home from almost anywhere you would go.  But we know that Halloween parties can be anywhere, and a number of corporate sponsors have come to our rescue.

This Saturday, Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is offering free rides home from 10:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. in a partnership with a number of companies such as AT&T.

If you need a ride home this Saturday, AT&T customers can dial #TAXI on their phones, everyone else can call 1-800-200-TAXI.  Put that in your phone now, because if you really need the ride home, you probably won't remember it.

Have a safe (and fun!) Halloween!

Woodward & Lothrop building gets a paint job


While we have long noticed the cast-iton panels that make the Woodward & Lothrop building unique, we haven't noticed the level of detail in them.

Douglas Development realized that the detail wasn't easy to see, so they have recently painted the panels to accentuate the detail.  Instead of simply painting the panels one color, they have painted the scenes depicted in them, reports the Huffington Post.

The building, first a department store, was built in 1887, but the detailed iron panels did not go up until 1902. 

"At one time, it was all painted one color, and then it just didn't do the fabulous detail justice," Norman Jemal, of Douglas Development, which owns the building, told the Huffington Post.

The difference is extraordinary.  See pictures of the new paint job here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Historical Penn Quarter: A Walking Tour

Regardless of how long you've lived or worked in Penn Quarter, there are probably some things you miss as you shuffle back and forth each day.  Did you know that the oldest synagogue in the Washington, DC area is here?  Or that Emile Berliner filed applications for the first microphone and disk record ever invented in Penn Quarter?  How about where Italian stone carvers used to worship?

Learn all that stuff - and more - on a walking tour that Washington Walks is offering on November 6th at 11am.  They describe the walk as "an irresistible urban scavenger hunt to discover a bygone era - a time when Chinese, German and Italian immigrants lived and worked on and around Seventh Street."  Sign up through Goldstar and get the tour for half off - only $10.

Ghostbusters in Penn Quarter

There's something strange in our neighborhood: head on over to Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 this Thursday at 7p and see it for yourself - a limited engagement of the 1984 classic Ghostbusters.  We can't think of a better way to kick off the Halloween season (though there are quite a few ways to do it!).  Buy your tickets here.

Halloween Festivities in Penn Quarter


Downtown D.C. Kids has compiled a number of activities for Penn Quarter children on the Saturday before Halloween.

First, there is Trick-or-Treating, Halloween stories, and a party at the Martin Luther King Library at 9th and G streets.  That goes from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and there will also be coloring and crafts.

That is followed by a parade between the library and Calvary Baptist Church (755 8th Street N.W.).  This parade of dressed up children should be entertaining, and hopefully will go better than last year's, which happened during the Rally to Restore Sanity.

Then there is a Halloween party at Calvary Baptist Church from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.  There will be a moon bounce, a costume contest, games, crafts, and fun.

For more, see Downtown D.C. Kids, here.

See more Halloween activities at our previous post, here.

"Veep" Films Around Penn Quarter

If you're lucky, you may be able to spot two-time Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus around town today.  Her forthcoming show "Veep," HBO's comedy about a female Vice President, is filming in and around Penn Quarter today.  Try and spot her (or avoid the traffic) here:

  • Constitution Ave NW btw 12th and 14th Sts, until 11 PM
  • E St btw New Jersey Ave and North Capitol St, until 11 PM
  • First St NW btw D and E Sts, until 4 PM
  • North Capitol st NW btw E St and Louisiana Ave (time unknown)
The show is set near the White House - so this may not be the last we see of her.  Veep, co-staring Arrested Develpment star Tony Hale, and My Girl's Anna Chlumsky, among others, will premiere in fall 2012.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meatballs Gets Ready to Open

Huffington Post was touring Penn Quarter's newest restaurant, Meatballs, this morning, and learned that we may get a soft opening as early as Saturday (Tuesday latest, Chef Michel Richard warned).  The pictures look ready to us (even cheese & pepper shakers are on the table already)!

It was also revealed that Richard is planning a t-shirt line for the restaurant, emphasizing "BALLS" as he did with the signage. Will you be sporting one around the neighborhood?

Wagamama Update

The folks over at WBJBizBeat have been keeping tabs on the long-awaited restaurant Wagamama for some time now.  Today, they report that the design is being finalized, and Wagamama expects to move "full steam ahead" on construction "soon."  They expect a Spring 2012 opening, but we've heard all sorts of things before...

Celebrating Halloween in Penn Quarter


With Halloween just a week away, it's time to start planning, Penn Quarter.  Take a look at our roundup, and by all means, let us know what we've missed.  

FOR KIDS

PARTIES/BARS
RESTAURANTS
  • Chocolate Sculpting at Coco Sala
    • October 29th, 2:30-3:30p
    • $35
    • Create an edible Halloween sculpture
  • Day of the Dead at Oyamel
    • Now through November 2nd
    • Small plates from the Michoacan region
  • Ghost Roast at Poste
    • October 29th, 5p
    • $50, includes dinner and a glass of cider or beer
    • Wood-roasted baby goat and pig are among the offerings on the menu
    • Costume contest - win happy hour for 12 or dinner for 4
  • Dinner to Die For at Fiola
    • October 31st, starting 5p
    • $70 per person for a spooky three-course dinner and wine pairing 

Friday, October 21, 2011

City Vista Chipotle Opens Tuesday Oct 25th

Despite their intention to open by August 30th, Chipotle announced today that they'd be opening their doors (in the City Vista at 1045 5th St NW) next Tuesday, October 25th.

The good news there is that they're opening just in time for their Halloween promotion:  dress up as a Boorito (one roll of tin foil wrapped around your body usually does the trick) after 6pm on Halloween and get a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for only $2.

Capital Bikeshare Raises Fees on "Casual" Members - Locals Unscathed


Capital Bikeshare is one of the largest bike sharing companies in the country - it has 1,100 bicycles at 116 stations all around the DC area, and it celebrated its one millionth user at its one year birthday back in September.  The system has drawn accolades from government, environmental and city planning officials - but it's not cheap to operate.  As of May 2011, it cost $41,500 to install a station with 6 docks and $49,300 each for larger stations with 14 docks.  Each bicycles costs about $1,000, and the annual operating cost per bike is $1,860.  To cover those costs, Capital Bikeshare announced yesterday that they would be raising their prices for "casual" members - or the tourists among us:
Starting November 3, 2011, the cost of a 24-hour membership will rise from $5 to $7.  Though the first 30 minutes of every ride will remain free for all members, usage fees for casual members (24-hour and 3-day memberships) will increase by 33%.
However, "as a thank-you to the 18,000+ members who have made Capital Bikeshare such a success in such a short amount of time, the cost of annual and monthly memberships will remain unchanged at $75 and $25, respectively.  In addition, usage fees for annual and monthly members will remain the same." Great news for locals.

If you're interested in just a casual membership, check out the new rates below:



Ride Time
Total Casual Member Usage Fee
0-30 min
FREE!
31-60 min
$2.00
61-90 min
$6.00
91-120 min
$14.00
2 - 2.5 hours
$22.00
2.5 - 3 hours
$30.00
3 - 3.5 hours
$38.00
3.5 - 4 hours
$46.00
4 - 4.5 hours
$54.00
4.5 - 5 hours
$62.00
5 - 5.5 hours
$70.00
5.5 - 6 hours
$78.00
6 - 6.5 hours
$86.00
6.5 - 24 hours
$94.00


One final change come November 3rd - the current 5-day pass will be discontinued, and now Capital Bikeshare will offer a 3-day pass for $15, a change that "better aligns with the average stay of visitors to the metro region," according to the outfit.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Meatballs sign is up


The sign is up at Michel Richard's newest establishment, Meatballs on E Street.

The most immature among us at Penn Quarter Insider noticed that it just says "BALLS" in huge letters on the window.  The more mature felt empathy for those who may live above the restaurant, as a commenter first pointed out.

We are not sure if it is a residence or a business in those windows above Meatballs.  We were hoping it was offices for the restaurant or something, but a google streetview zoom makes it look like it is a residence.  There are curtains up and plants in the window:


If you know anything about the space now illuminated by the pink sign, please let us know.  In the meantime, we'll investigate.

Market Roundup


It's Thursday, so you know what that means - Farmers Market on 8th Street today.

In addition to all the usual produce, goods and wares available, Hill Country will be on hand today with a Chef's demo from 4-5.  They'll be cooking up some caramel apple crisp.  


Additionally, take a look at FRESHFARM Markets Farmland Feast Auction - proceeds go to all 11 farmers markets in the DC area, education programs and community outreach.  FRESHFARM provides economic opportunities for farmers and producers all around our region.

There are some really great auction items - Saturday at The Source, Fresh Mediterranean at Zaytinya, Hello Jaleo! and Ole for Oyamel are some of the local options you could win.  All auction packages are dinner for 6 with 3 bottles of wine, except for The Source, which is dim sum brunch for 6.





Discount on VIP Horse Show Ticket

As you know, the Washington International Horse Show brings horses to the street of Penn Quarter this year from October 25-30.  You can read our coverage of the event here.

If you're interested in attending, Rue La La brings you discounted VIP tickets for $45 (usually $70).  You can get the discount here.

The tickets are valid for Friday October 28th ($25,000 high-jump competition for the Armed Forces Cup) or Saturday ($100,000 grand prix).  Both days will feature the Equitation Classic Finals, as well as the Caisson Platoon exhibition and the Jack Russell terrier races.

Even if you choose not to attend the event, the Horse Show will be holding Kids' Day on Saturday from 10A-2P on F Street, which you can drop by at no cost:


WIHS Kids’ Day Will Host:

 
  • Free pony rides
  • Grooming Station hosted by MeadowBrook Stables
  • Horse shoe painting with the Army’s Caisson Platoon
  • Book nook & arts/crafts hosted by Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI)
  • See a real pony being painted by a Native American artist!
  • Get your copy of the Paisley Pony Magazine
  • Have a yummy Georgetown Cupcake, free for kids under 12!
  • Meet Klinger the Caisson Horse and Major the WIHS Mascot!
  • Catch the free Reston Limousine shuttle bus to and from NMAI
  • Face painting, bling tattoos, drawings to win prizes and more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

District Architecture Center Opening November 4th

The District Architecture Center, which we wrote up months ago when we first learned it was coming to 7th Street will be officially opening its doors on November 4th for its grand opening celebration from 6p-9p.

You can RSVP to their opening party here.  For a suggested donation of $50 you can enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeurves and of course tour the new facility.

Going forward, you'll be able to visit the center from:

  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thurs
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • 11AM–5PM
  • 8AM–8PM
  • 8AM–8PM
  • 8AM–8PM
  • 8AM–8PM
  • 8AM–5PM
  • 10AM–8PM

AT&T Coverage Gets a Boost in the Verizon Center

It's no secret that the Verizon Center is simply a black hole of cell service.  Trying to get a call in or out has been a crap shoot at best - and accessing the data network was usually a non-starter.  Well, good news, Caps fans:  AT&T completed its installation of a new Distributed Antenna System (DAS), which puts several strategically-placed antennas throughout the arena.  According to AT&T, its customers can now expect improved call reliability and more consistent network access inside the arena.


"We want our customers to have a great network experience whatever they're doing - whether that's making a call, sending a photo, checking e-mail, downloading apps, surfing the Internet or just cheering on the team this hockey season," said Rob Forsyth, vice president and general manager for AT&T in the greater Washington/Baltimore area.  

AT&T taking pains to improve coverage in an arena named for its competitor is a pretty great PR move - but whatever their reason, it seems like Penn Quarter will reap the benefits.  The next home game is Saturday night against the Red Wings - let us know if you see an improvement.

Jose Andres Wants to Makeover Jaleo


Chef Jose Andres announced his plans today to give Jaleo a face-lift in early 2012. The restaurant has been in Penn Quarter almost twenty years, and Andres "want[s] to put Jaleo on the path for the next 20 years," according to an article in today's Washington Post.
The renovation reportedly involves a foosball table, large photographs, and see-through beaded curtains to separate the booths.  The new plans for DC will mesh better with Andres' Jaleo outpost in Las Vegas, designed by Spanish architect Juli Capella.  "We are moving away from the Flamenco dancer and more to a Dali-like, modern provocative look," Andres told The Washington Post.
The menu will get an update, too - new dishes and drinks that stay true to the restaurant's Spanish roots.  If all goes according to plan, Jaleo may close just after January's Restaurant Week and rehab for about two weeks.  We will keep you posted as always.

6PM UPDATE:  Chef Andres provided us with this video of the new design.  What do you think?
While we wait for more info from Chef, take a look at his appearance on Conan O'Brien last night - the two are a hilarious pair as they make cocktails:

Redesigning the National Mall

The National Mall is our nation's most-visited national park.  Each year, it gets over 25 million visitors a year and gracefully hosts over 3,000 permitted events.  (For those keeping track at home, that's 69,000 visitors and 8 events a day.)

As a result, "the National Mall has been loved to death," according to the Trust for the National Mall. In order to meet the "needs of all visitors and users... in an attractive, convenient, high-quality, energy-efficient and sustainable manner," the Trust is sponsoring a design competition to redesign the National Mall.

The competition is already underway and many design teams are hard at work with their design for the three main areas of the mall: Union Square, the Washington Monument grounds at Sylvan Theater and Constitution Gardens.

"The National Mall Design Competition is the first step in the implementation of the National Mall Plan," according to Caroline Cunningham, President of the Trust for the National Mall.  "The National Mall Plan is only one of four in the 220-year history of the park and the Trust is excited to steward this next chapter."


The Design Competition is part of the Campaign to Restore the National Mall, an arm of the Trust for the National Mall, which you may recall was the beneficiary of the Rally to Restore Sanity/March to Keep Fear Alive, which reportedly raised about $200,000 for the Mall.  It's the largest public/private partnership in National Park Service's history and will raise $350 million in private funds over seven years, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by federal funds.


The winner will be announced on May 3rd, 2012.

901 To Offer Lunch - and a Discount

901 has begun to offer lunch service, and to celebrate, you get 25% off your lunch through November 30th.  Check out the new lunch menu here.  The menu runs the typical lunch gamut (a few salads, a few sandwiches, one pasta and one steak), and will run you between $7 and $14 ($5.25-$10.50 before December!)

Check out PQ Insider's early review of 901 here.

Air Rights Tunnel Construction Begins Today

Just as a reminder, the first phase of the Air Rights Tunnel construction project begins today.  As we reported last month, DDOT's intention is to rehab the bridges over 395 to mitigate "traffic impacts on the already-congested roadways in the District."  These efforts are expected to be completed in Spring 2013 - eighteen months of construction going in and out of Penn Quarter.  Once the project begins, DDOT has promised to post weekly progress reports, which will be available here.  


See below for DDOT's outline of the first phase of construction: 



H Street and Massachusetts Avenue Bridges

×          The initial construction work zone for the H Street Bridge and Massachusetts Avenue Bridge will occupy the center travel lanes between 2nd and 4th Streets. 
×          Outside of the concrete jersey barriers, construction work will take place between 9 am and 3 pm Monday through Saturday and may take place on Sunday if necessary. 
×          Behind concrete jersey barriers, construction work will take place between 7 am and 7 pm.
×          At a minimum one eastbound and one westbound travel lane will be kept open during work hours. 

Air Rights Tunnel

×          The initial construction work zone within the Air Rights Tunnel will occupy the northbound and southbound shoulder lanes.
×          Outside of the concrete jersey barriers, construction work will take place between 9 pm and 5 am Monday through Saturday and may also take place on Sunday if necessary. 
×          Behind concrete jersey barriers, construction work will take place between 7 am and 7 pm.
×          At a minimum one northbound and southbound travel lane will be kept open during work hours.

Access to all businesses and residences will be kept open. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Becoming a regular

As people who are in Penn Quarter quite a bit, we have the opportunity to become regulars a lot of places.  But are you a regular everywhere you want to be a regular?

The Washington Post's food critic, Tom Sietsema, picked his favorite restaurants where he would like to be a local.  Three Penn Quarter restaurants (and one that is close) made the list: Rasika, Jaleo, Graffiato, and Bibiana.

I guess he had to spread the love around, but come on - four?  And the most predictable ones?  And Bibiana and Rasika are owned by the same guy.  There are plenty of other restaurants we'd like to be regulars at.

You can check out Sietsema's other picks here, by cuisine, location, star rating, or price.

Roti to Open on October 28th

PQ Insider has exclusively learned that the highly anticipated mediterranean restaurant at 13th and F, Roti, will be opening to the public on Friday, October 28th. Check out our coverage on Roti's delicious looking menu.  It looks like a great replacement of Organic-To-Go, which used to be in that space.

They emailed: "Folks who sign up with us before opening will get a free order of falafel (emailed certificate about a week after opening) and have a chance to win Free Roti Every Day for a Year."  You can get your free falafel here.



Living Social's Expansion Makes Penn Quarter "Silicon Hill"

Neighbor (and frequent singers at Hill Country's Rock n' Twang Karaoke night) Living Social has been profiled in this month's Inc. magazine's "World's Coolest Offices" column.  It's not the first time the space has gotten national attention - we reported back in July when The Atlantic did a feature on it also.  And the press is with good reason.  The offices have skeeball, games, places for bikes and informal meeting areas in the 26,000 square foot, seven story building.  Architecture and history aficionados will be pleased to know that despite all the bells and whistles, the historical aspects of the building were kept - antique doors, exposed columns and exposed brick.

These nifty new offices at 918 F Street are flanked by Facebook, Groupon, and Google - prompting DC blogger UrbanTurf to rename Penn Quarter "Silicon Hill."  We like the sound of it.

 
View Silicon Hill in a larger map

Meatballs Gets a Sign

Check out the signage we spotted outside of Meatballs this morning:

We suspect that by later today that sign will make its way on to its new home:


Welcome to the neighborhood!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Gertrude Stein Exhibit Gets a Special Menu at Proof

Gertrude Stein
Though we ultimately thought that America Eats was poorly executed, we were intrigued by the concept of a restaurant building a menu around a museum exhibition.

With Proof's new menu geared entirely around the National Portrait Gallery's fall exhibit "Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories," we get another chance to try it out.

Executive Chef Haidar Karoum created a menu inspired by Stein's partner Alice B. Toklas and her literary memoir, The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.  For $59, you'll get bouillabaisse, salad aphrodite, duck with endives, celery root & Bordelaise sauce, and crepes Normande with poached apples, Calvados caramel & creme fraiche ice cream.  Wine pairing is an additional $36.
If you find yourself just too stuffed to head over to the National Portrait Gallery, you might be interested to know that the Gallery's collection is on a continuous loop on the restaurant's flat-screen TVs. 

The menu is only available through November 3rd, but the Gertrude Stein exhibit will be at the Gallery through January 22nd.

Elisir Sets Opening in Early November - But is it Ready?

A story in today's Washington Post reports that Elisir, Enzo Fargione's 11th Street restaurant, is planning on a "short, multi-day soft opening in early November." This is great news, but we're skeptical.

Elisir's progress has been slow: they were slated for a June opening and construction seemed to move at a snail's pace.  We took a peek just a couple of days ago and this is what we found:  




We are certainly pulling for Fargione and company - but it looks like there is still a LOT of work to be done.    In the meantime, be heartened that management has decided to lower their tasting menu prices to seven courses for $75 and ten courses for $95.  (Previous plans had been to charge upwards of $145.) Their lunch will take far less of a toll on your wallet at just $19 for a fast, two-course meal.  

The Hamilton to Open in December

We have been looking forward to more news from The Hamilton, the live music venue/restaurant/bar/24-hour-a-day hangout due at 14th and F (in the old Borders space).

Rendering of the live music space
Today, Hamilton confirmed that they would be opening in December "for sure."

According to the website, Hamilton will have sushi, charcuterie, and seasonal & regional American fare, along with cocktails, wine from limited-harvest boutique vineyards and craft beer.  The space is two levels with four bars and four dining rooms, and can seat 800, which includes their 96-seat patio.  Per their Facebook page, construction has come a long way since we last took a peek inside.  We'll keep an eye on it as December approaches!