Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Badlands" to Film at the Crime & Punishment Museum

"Badlands" doesn't have a cast or a network yet, but it does have a city.  Councilman Vincent Orange announced today that DC would be home for the new television show, which describes itself as a crime/mob thriller set in a fictional city.

Badlands is partnering with the Crime and Punishment Museum right here in Penn Quarter.  The Museum is fully equipped as a production house from its days producing America's Most Wanted.

Even without a cast (Director A.J. Kparr has revealed he's gunning for Gabrielle Union as the lead, though), Kparr indicated that filming could begin as early as May.

You can see photos of the Badlands press conference here.

Parking Changes - In Effect Tomorrow

If you're a car owner here in the District, tomorrow brings some changes for you.

Red Top MeterFirst - tomorrow begins the enforcement for the red-topped parking meters.  These spaces are reserved for people with disabilities, and without the requisite hangtag or plates, you will be ticketed, even if you've paid the meter.

Also - street sweeping season begins tomorrow (indeed, the unofficial start of Spring).  Though enforcement doesn't begin until March 12th, be aware that the street sweepers are equipped with "Sweepercam," which will alert DPW Parking Enforcement, who will in turn mail you a $30 ticket.  Some of the restrictions have changed from last year - so be sure to check the signs.

Would-be Capitol Bomber Had Other Targets

Two weeks ago, we told you about Amine El Khalifi, the Moroccan man who was arrested by the FBI for allegedly plotting to bomb the Capitol.  According to police reports, the FBI arrested him on the day he was to have detonated those bombs.

Today, we learn via the Washingtonian that the bomber had originally set his sites on two other locations: Bistro Bis and Aria, the restaurant attached to the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center.  Aria is attached to DC's largest office space, which houses high profile institutions like the US Customs and Border Protection headquarters, and is only two blocks from the White House.  Likewise, Bistro Bis' proximity to the Capitol and to Union Station is likely what made it a liability.

According to government informants, El Khalifi's original plan was to arrive at Aria at lunchtime with a bomb in his jacket.
Blue pins reflect El Khalifi's original targets.  
Red pin is the Capitol, what he allegedly ultimately settled on. 

The suspect is still being held in federal prison in Alexandria.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Learning Fiola

Want to cook and make cocktails just like Fiola?  We can help.

The Washington Times has Fiola's famous meatball recipe (Governor Christie ordered 'em just last weekend) here.  (We suggest not paying much attention to the calories you're probably whipping up.  No wonder Chef Trabbochi's wife has designed a low-calorie lunch menu!)  Fiola itself offers three other recipes on its website: veal chop with honey, piadina, and chestnut soup.

More interested in the adult beverages bar manager Jeff Faile mixes up?  You can enroll in Fiola's monthly mixology classes which include a three-course meal meant to complement your cocktails.  Each class is $85, or you can buy all three for $200.
Whiskey Madness - March 14th at 6p
You Say Potato, I Say Juniper (gin) - April 11th at 6p
Amaro, Amaro, I Love Ya, Amaro (an Italian herbal liqueur) - May 9th at 6p

And... for the less culinary-inclined among us: reservations are still available for tonight.

Paul's Giveaway

Another chance for a free treat today: PAUL is giving away a free gourmandise pastry with purchase today.  Just mention "The Artist" (the French bakery is very proud of the film's five Oscars!).

Ping Pong's Pop Up

Stop by Ping Pong's 7th Street location today to give their new pop-up shop a try.  From 11:30a-1:30p, they'll be giving out free vegetable wonton soup to warm you up.

Top Chef Casting Call

Ever dream of owning your own restaurant?  Being a reality TV star?

Michaelisabella.jpgYour dreams could come true tomorrow, if you've got a "passion for food, ingenuity, a thorough knowledge of cooking techniques and trends and oodles of charisma."  Bravo is casting season 10 of Top Chef tomorrow, February 29th from 10a-1p at Graffiato.  Appropriately, Mike Isabella, the owner and chef at Graffiato got his big break on season six of the Bravo show.

Download and fill out the application here, make your video, and head down.  According to Bravo, "no knives necessary for the open calls.  But, if possible, please bring your completed application, photo, resume, video, a sample menu, anda  disc or jump drive with photos of your food.  Think of some inventive dishes that you've created to tell us all about!  Bring your A-Game."

Celebrity Sighting

Governor Chris Christie was at Fiola on Saturday night, and according to the Washington Post, he started with the Fiola meatballs (which include a sunny side up egg), the Ricotta Cavatelli with pancetta, and finished with the bomboloni (a must-have dessert, if you ask us).  He was in town for Sunday's Governor's Association Dinner at the White House.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Freddie Mac Protest

Freddie Mac's offices on 7th - without protesters
There is a protest going on outside of Freddie Mac headquarters on 7th between Indiana and D Street.

Occupy DC is there to protest the decision to foreclose upon Bertina Jones' house  -- a woman who was foreclosed upon in 2010, due to "inattention" on Bank of America's part, per the protesters.

There are about 50 protesters circling the Penn Quarter office, chanting "stop foreclosures now!"

Check out a picture of the protest here.

Restaurant Revamps

Looking to go to Lima tonight for dinner?  Or perhaps craving a specific 901 dish?  You'll be out of luck, but check out what's in store for your old favorites:

The restaurant at Lima has become Fujimar.  Lima Lounge still exists downstairs, but Fujimar's chef says the restaurant now brings a modern twist to Asian and Latin cuisine (not "fusion," per se, but instead playing up the similarities between sushi and ceviche, for example.)  The website is still under construction, but you can get reservations on OpenTable nonetheless.

Meanwhile, 901's chef Tom Hall (you may remember him from Ten Penh) has entirely revamped 901's menu.  901 had taken some flack for being unfocused (you can check out our review here), and now the menu has honed in on Asian dishes meant for sharing.  The menu points out their selections are "'shareable' plates with two or four portions and small composed dishes that all encourage socializing."

How Daikaya's Chef is Biding His Time

Speaking of Daikaya, Chef Katsuya Fukushima, the man slated to helm the ramen shop, isn't just sitting around twiddling his thumbs waiting for the restaurant to open.

Head on over to Gilt City today to snag a "Rogue Sessions dinner" with Fukushima at Rogue 24, March 6-10.  $185 gets you 24 courses with wine pairings ($135 without wine) and perhaps a chance to ask Fukushima if he knows when Daikaya will open...

Celebrity Sighting

Ivanka Trump is in town today - she let her Twitter followers know she was headed down for the day and then shared this picture with us:
Image taken by Ivanka Trump, titled "The magnificent Old Post Office
Building and future Trump International Hotel D.C."

Ivanka Trump has been heavily involved in the development of the Old Post Office Building, but we're hoping her meetings leave her time for lunch. We think Central and Fiola are good bets for spotting her, but let us know if you see her around town today. 

More Trouble for Daikaya

Daikaya, 6th Street's forthcoming ramen shop, is still a hole in the ground, despite Douglas Development's recent assertion that they'll be open "late Spring/early Summer 2012."  

A PQ Insider commenter noted that Daikaya's owners cited a permitting problem as the hold up in construction - and it seems that was only just the beginning.  We can't be sure what happened, but last week Daikaya was given a "Stop Work Order," which dashes any hopes we had that Daikaya was making any sort of headway here in Penn Quarter.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rasika Plans a Frozen Dinner Line

Getting a table at Rasika can be next to impossible these days - though the restaurant opened in 2006, it continues to get amazing press, and rightfully so.

Today the Washingtonian brings us news that soon, getting a table will mean pulling up a chair to your own dining room table.  That's right: Ashok Bajaj, the restauranteur behind Rasika, Bibiana, 701 and others has plans to launch a frozen dinner line.

This is not the first time Bajaj has experimented with home-cuisine.  For a spell you could have picked up Rasika-branded sauces at Whole Foods, but the frozen meal idea means you'll be able to simply grab from the freezer & be good to go.

Bajaj is still in the testing phase and has to open Rasika West End in March, so we shouldn't expect these meals to pop up at the local Safeway any time soon, but we'll be keeping an eye on it.  In the meantime, we're wondering if their signature palak chaat (crispy spinach) will translate to microwavable.  We certainly hope so.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Be a tourist at the Spy Museum - without other tourists

Brightest Young Things is having a series of events where you can act like a tourist here in our own city -- only without the tourists.

Their first is one of the biggest tourist traps in our neighborhood - the Spy Museum.  Have you ever wondered if it's cool in there?  But you can't go in or you'll be one of THEM.

Relax.   You can go for twenty bucks (tickets here) and get access to the entire museum, but, as Pamela Sorensen puts it, without "annoying kids or sweaty tourists."

The event is March 1st from 8:00 p.m. until midnight.  It includes multiple bars serving Smirnoff Vodka, DJs, finger foods, a Cold War photo shoot, and a scavenger hunt.   They will have fake moustaches, too - in case you forget yours.

Get your tickets here.

More speculation on the ESPN Zone

The old ESPN Zone space has been sitting vacant for some time now.  They have auctioned off all of their stuff and there has been more than a little speculation of what might take the massive, underground space (Eataly was mentioned by one of our commenters).

The Washington Post ran an article about it yesterday, with more speculation.

There are still no plans for the space, which is now owned by the building.  They are looking either for one large user or for four 25,000 square foot businesses, if they can find four tenants that want underground space.

One idea they have is to make an underground fashion mall.  However, as the Post points out, Filene's Basement and Borders have gone vacant, both with underground space.

It seems perfect for a Dave & Busters, which is basically an ESPN Zone, but the owners say no -- they want something that "changes the market a bit."

Read the full Washington Post article here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

National Museum for African American History and Culture Breaks Ground Today

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

A new Smithsonian museum breaks ground today at 14th and Constitution: the National Museum for African American History and Culture.

Though the ceremony isn't open to the public, you can catch the podcast here until 11:30a.

Construction begins today and will continue through 2015, so don't make your plans to visit just yet.  In fact, today you'll be forced to reroute around the site.  DDOT believes the streets will reopen at about noon today:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Del Frisco's Grille Update

Many thanks are owed to a PQ Insider reader who let us know that work has begun at the forthcoming Del Frisco's Grille in the old Les Halles space at 12th and Pennsylvania.  We reported back in December that they were eyeing a summer opening, so it's heartening that progress is underway.

Buying a Piece of Jaleo

Jaleo's planned renovations will cause the restaurant to close this Sunday for about a month.

If you want a piece of it to take home with you, Rasmus will be auctioning off a lot of the furnishings and decor this week.

If you've got a favorite table, right now the bidding is at 3 cents: 


You can inspect the items on Thursday from 8a-11a, and online bidding closes Friday.  

Mass Court's New Restaurant

Back in October, we reported that the retail space in Mass Court would be occupied by an Italian restaurant named Caldo.  Two months later, we sadly reported that those plans had fallen through.

Now, a new tenant to report:  Carving Room, a cured and house carved sandwich shop will be opening at 4th and Mass.

The license includes plans for a 50 person patio seating area, so we hope it's open in time for the summer months.  We'll keep an eye on it.

The Penn Quarter Streetcar Line

Between 1862 and 1962, Penn Quarter was home to streetcars - like the one pictured here at F and 10th Streets at Woodward & Lothrop in the 1940s.

It's fairly well known that DC DDOT has plans to resurrect the streetcar system -- construction has already begun on the H Street corridor in NE.  What you may not know: DDOT has proposed a line to go up 7th and F Streets in Penn Quarter.

The report notes that "by filling the gaps between the Metro stations at Mount Vernon Square, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Union Station, and New York Avenue, the streetcar system would reduce barriers that now make it hard for pedestrians to reach Metro stations and would add new transit connections."

It goes on to recognize the fairly substantial challenges building in a dense neighborhood such as ours: "the corridor's intense economic activity and traffic volume demand special attention in order to mitigate construction impacts."  It notes that tweaking the routes to potentially follow 9th Street and Constitution Ave NW between F and 7th for the southbound streetcars might make sense.

Penn Quarter's line will be the fourth and final phase of construction, so we shouldn't expect the changes too soon.  (The H Street corridor project has been laying track since 2009 and won't open until Summer 2013.)

PQNAIf you're interested in hearing about the development, the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association meets at E Street Cinema next Tuesday, February 28th to discuss the proposed re-introduction of historic streetcar lines along F and 7th Streets.

Harriet Tregoning, Director of the DC Office of Planning will be at the meeting, which formally begins at 9a but a continential breakfast will be held at 8:30a.  It bears noting that the meetings are not open to the general public -- you must be vetted by Jo-Ann Neuhaus before you may gain entry to the meeting.  She requires that you send an email with your Penn Quarter location, your phone number, and why you are interested in attending the meeting before she will let you attend.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fuel Pizza Update & Hours

Last we heard from Fuel Pizza at 6th and F, they were expecting a "late February opening."  We stopped by today and we're not sure they'll hit February, but things are definitely progressing:

Their antique fuel memorabilia all seems to be on site now.  They've also set hours -- they will be open from 11a to 2a every day of the week (that's what their alcohol license indicates.) -- they may match the K Street location: Monday through Wednesday 10a-11p; Thursday through Saturday 10a-3a; Sunday 10a-10p.

Their location at 16th and K opened smoothly, and we don't expect any extra hubbub for the Penn Quarter location. Still, their alcohol license doesn't get a hearing until March 26th.  Here's hoping they open before then.

Terror suspect arrested near Capitol in FBI sting operation

He was planning on blowing up the Capitol today.  Fortunately, the FBI knew about it.

A 29-year-old Moroccan man was arrested today while planning to detonate explosives at the Capitol.  The FBI had been tracking the man for a about a year.  They said he changed his target location several times, but canvassed the Capitol and eventually decided to plant a bomb there.   Today was the day.

The man had a visitor visa that had expired years ago.  The FBI had around-the-clock surveillance on him for several weeks, and he was not arrested on Capitol grounds.

Jaleo's Renovations & Temporary Closing

Image for Jose Andres invites you to Sangria, and enter to win a Private Party, at the new Jaleo!We reported awhile back on Jose Andres' plans to renovate Jaleo.  Indeed, the Penn Quarter tapas mainstay is closing on Sunday, February 26th for about a month to complete the renovations - so get your fix now!  OpenTable shows that they plan on reopening on Thursday, March 22nd, but we'll keep you posted.

If you head to Jaleo before their renovations, post a picture of yourself near the Flamenco dancer mural to Facebook, tag Jaleo Tapas Bar, and you'll get a free pitcher of sangria when they reopen.  You'll also be eligible to win a private Sunday brunch for 50.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Presidents Day in Penn Quarter

Meet All 44 Presidents at Madame Tussauds D.C. Presidents Gallery
Presidents Day weekend is upon us: why not spend it presidentially?  Here's how to celebrate in the neighborhood:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

FourSquare, Womply and Facebook Specials

We've done a post about loyalty specials here in Penn Quarter, but FourSquare and other technology have come along and made that much easier recently.  Turns out you can save a lot of money with the right tools:

Just by checking in on FourSquare, you get the following deals:

  • Cedar - every third check in gets you a free Cocktail No. 9;
  • California Tortilla - free chips and queso;
  • National Building Museum - 10% off the online store with the code "architecture";
  • Austin Grill - free appetizer with the purchase of an entree (excludes the Bigger than Texas sampler);
  • Au Bon Pain (10th & Penn and 13th & G locations only - NOT 6th and Indiana) - coupon for free sandwich on first check in; $1 off $5 purchase on second check in; free bag of chips with a sandwich on your third check in;
  • Crumbs Cupcake - on Fridays, each check-in gets you a medium hot beverage for $2, and if you're the mayor, one free cupcake;
  • Ultra Bar - $5 off admission, unless you check in with three friends, and then you all get free admission until midnight;
  • Coup de Foudre Lingerie - 10% off if you buy any 4 bras on your first check in;
  • Ford's Theatre - 15% off the gift shop;
  • Aura Spa (at the Renaissance) - complimentary facial consultation on first check in; and
  • VIDA Fitness (Renaissance location ONLY) - members get a 15% discount on 60 and 90 minute massages or a 60 minute facial every Tuesday.
Link your FourSquare account to Womply and get the following deals once you've visited these places three times:
Finally, check in to Redline on Facebook and get 10% off your food bill.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from all of us at PQ Insider!  

We've given you lots of ideas for tonight - but here's a last minute idea we like for couples and singles alike: zpizza is making heart-shaped pizzas all day today.  The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, after all...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Penn Quarter's Charter School

As more and more young professionals choose to have families in Penn Quarter, the question of schooling is always a tricky one.  Do you bus the kids out to 'burbs?  Or keep them in a city school?

The answer may get a bit easier come fall.  BASIS, an Arizona-based charter school, will open its doors to the 319 students currently enrolled in September.  BASIS will be located at 412 8th Street, just across the street from the Lansburgh (an easy enough commute for those kids!).

BASIS founders Olga and Michael Block developed a European-style curriculum in order to keep American students competitive in a global economy.  Students will be required to take six AP exams before graduation, and receive instruction in physics, chemistry and biology for nine hours a week.  Eighth graders are required to pass a University of Cambridge international benchmarking exam.

Concerned your kids would be behind if enrolled?  An article in today's Washington Post reports that the curriculum will be tweaked next school year in order to "meet kids where they've been" and allow them to catch up to the BASIS standards -- standards that earned each of the Arizona BASIS schools national ranking with Newsweek, the Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.

Some critics have said that BASIS was able to be so successful because of Arizona's far less diverse student population.  BASIS answered by announcing their dual track in foreign languages: one for native/bilingual speakers in grammar, writing and literature, and one for those who are new to the language, whether it be French, Spanish or Mandarin.

If nothing else, the school promises an influx of students to our neighborhood come fall - which will bring bus and parent traffic, among other things.  One for the pro column, certainly: we have to think that the demand for the larger Penn Quarter condos will rise as parents begin to consider our neighborhood family-friendly.

APRIL 24 UPDATE:  At the Downtown DC BID's State of Downtown, it was announced that the school is now oversubscribed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

TJ Maxx Sets an Opening Date

Last November, we let you know that a TJ Maxx was moving into the space across the street from the old Filene's Basement space.  Our intrepid readers have been wondering when it would open, and thanks to reader DC PR Girl, we now know that the discount store will open on April 22, 2012.

Just a few short weeks until the bargain hunting begins!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sixth Engine: Open Tonight

We just heard from Sixth Engine that they are opening to the public tonight:
"Unfortunately we won't be accepting reservations the next few weeks but I'd encourage you to walk in.  We open tonight at 5 as well as tomorrow.  We will be closed on Sunday and Monday and then will be open for both lunch and dinner Tuesday for the foreseeable future.
Looking to make a reservation?   Sixth Engine makes its debut on OpenTable on Wednesday, February 22nd.

Local Vine Cellar Update

We heard from the nice folks over at Local Vine Cellar and they now report they're targeting an April 2012 opening.
"Things are moving well so far.  Let's keep our fingers crossed."
We are!  They also let us know that there will be some tasting events prior to their opening at 11th and E - we'll let you know as those are scheduled.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zumba Riot

Already lost sight of that New Year's resolution?  Get back in the game this weekend at the Zumba Riot.  Head down to Riot Act at 2pm this Saturday (February 11th) for two hours of the Latin dance inspired fitness program, led by VIDA Fitness trainers.  And, since it takes place at a comedy club, it's only fitting that comedians Zach Toczynski and Chris Doucette, (from Riot Act's monthly Gaylarious show) will be making an appearance.

Aside from a fun afternoon and a workout, you'll get chances to win lots of raffles (Wizards tickets, Riot Act shows, and personal training at VIDA are at stake).

Tickets are $25 if bought in advance here - they'll be $28 at the door.

Even MORE to do on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day Events at the Smithsonian. A 29-cent Love stamp was issued in Loveland, Colorado, on February 6, 1992, in time for use on Valentine's Day cards and letters. The stamp features a large red heart emerging from an open envelope. This was the twelfth stamp in the Love SeriesYes, we've been reporting a lot on Valentine's Day activities here in Penn Quarter, but more and more keeps popping up.  And we know how these things can sneak up on you, so if you're still plan-less (or date-less), we can help.

First, our reservation availability suggestions have since been snatched up, but OpenTable is showing some pretty great reservations still - Cuba LibreHamilton and Poste have very doable times for a party of 2.

If you're looking for something other than dinner and our first round of Valentine's suggestions didn't do it for you, try these:

    Chocolate & Champagne Class
  • "The Art of Love" at the National Portrait Gallery.  A free event from 5-7pm, this event offers it all: speed dating for singles (RSVP here), a love-themed scavenger hunt and lots of other events for couples.  You can even write a love letter (or morale booster) to deployed troops.  
  • Head to Co Co Sala a few days early on February 12th (because they've been booked on Valentine's Day for ages now!) for their chocolate & champagne class.  You get to try five different types of couverture (chocolate with extra cocoa butter) and a flight of champagne and sparkling wine to try with each.  Tickets are $50 and must be bought in advance here.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Wine Store

While we're talking about photo-shop-spaces, we have good news about the old Ritz Camera space: it's to become a wine and liquor store, and it's opening soon.

The Local Vine Cellar will be opening on 11th between E and Pennsylvania within the next few weeks (we've reached out for an official opening date and will update you as we get the information.)

PQ's Penn Camera to Become a Calumet Photo

Good news, photogs.  Jay Westcott, photographer for POLITICO is reporting that the E Street location of Penn Camera has been bought by Calumet Photographic.

Calumet Photo has nine locations in the US, but no presence in DC whatsoever.

Along with E Street, it seems the Rockville and Tyson's Corner locations will be salvaged.  According to Westcott, current employees of Penn Camera were invited to apply to what will be the new Calumet Photo.

No word on whether or not there will be a long transition period, or if the Penn Camera location will close at all while the new owners reformat.  We'll keep an eye on it.

4:15PM UPDATE:  The store will continue to operate under the name Penn Camera.

Dangerously Delicious Pies Bumps Up Its Opening Date

Last week we reported that Dangerously Delicious Pies was opening at 7th and I come June.  Douglas Development now tells us that the pie shop will be ready for action by April, which excited us - but this news came in the same press release that insists this vacant lot will become a ramen shop inside of four months...

The Pie news is a bit more believable, however, and we're thrilled for it's arrival.  It's one more bit of our piecemeal grocery store we're slowly building in the neighborhood!

Report of Smoke at 701 Penn

Did you hear the sirens this morning?  Firefighters were on the scene at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue due to reports of smoke on the 10th floor.  Additional units were requested, which found a burnt elevator motor.  The units took steps to control the hazard, and had things taken care of within the hour.

701 Penn is a mixed-use building - but is condos from floor 10 and above (check out this beautiful condo for sale on the 11th floor!)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Apron Butchery Coming to Penn Quarter

You may recognize the name Red Apron Butchery as a participant in the Penn Quarter Farmer's Market on 8th Street.  If you've been missing their delicious meats since the Farmer's Market closed for the season, we have great news for you: the butchery is moving into 709 D St., NW in the fall.

The space is 3,600 square feet, and they will sell all the products you've been buying at the Market and many more.  In addition, there will be small breakfast, lunch and dinner menus using the cured meats, sausages and hot dogs the Butchery is famous for - so if you're not great on the grill, this may still be your place.

This is great news for Penn Quarter.  Between this, Cowgirl Creamery, Central Liquors, Co Co Sala, and CVS, we are well on our way to a piecemeal grocery store...

Old Post Office to be Developed by Trump Organization

The Old Post Office Pavilion has been in limbo for quite some time, and we expected news at the scheduled hearing this Thursday.  Ahead of the hearing, Jonathan O'Connell at the Washington Post is reporting that the GSA has selected the Trump Organization as the preferred team to develop the space.

The Trump Hotel Collection proposed transforming the space into a luxury hotel, conference space, spa and museum showcasing the building's history.  The plan would retain the exterior facade as well as many of the original interior features.

"The Old Post Office building is an iconic building in Washington, D.C. and a spectacular opportunity for redevelopment, Ivanka Trump said.  "Preserving the architectural integrity of this great asset should be fundamental to all plans presented to the GSA."

7th Street Restaurant Robbed

Sad neighborhood news: while most of us were chowing down on wings and watching the Superbowl, a restaurant on 7th between D and E was robbed Sunday at around 8 pm.  The police have not yet confirmed, but a source tell us the target restaurant was Merzi.
The robber (wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, dark shoes and a black ski mask, according to police) made off with several hundred dollars.

This comes as the latest in a recent spate of crimes here in Penn Quarter. 

We'll be popping into Merzi this week to show some neighborhood solidarity and support (and because it's delicious!).

Daikaya Targets Spring/Summer

Less than a week ago, we noted that the Daikaya space was still an empty lot.

Today, Douglas Development answered by saying that Daikaya will "tentatively open in late Spring/early Summer 2012."

Assuming that means June, Daikaya has only four months to build a building,  get it zoned correctly (which is apparently the current hold up), and do the kitchen build out.  Frankly, we're skeptical.

Sixth Engine Update

DC's Finest visited Sixth Engine yesterday

Sixth Engine is inching ever closer to opening, and the folks over at MVTriangleBlog have a great write-up (and even better pictures) of what's sure to be a hot spot in Penn Quarter-adjacent.

We've written about their menu already, but now you can check out the real thing here.

We'll let you know when the doors swing open (or better, when the OpenTable reservations are available...)