Grapevine: Chef Alex McCoy Departs @ Duke’s Grocery

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Chef Alex McCoy, one of Duke’s Grocery’s three founding partners

Alex McCoy, former chef and founding partner at Duke’s Grocery, left the Dupont Circle-area gastropub in December and plans to open a new restaurant focused on southeast Asian food, Tim Carman of The Washington Post reported Monday.

On his Facebook page Monday, McCoy said, “Friends, after a year and a half of working with my awesome partners over at Duke’s Grocery, I am excited to announce that I will be leaving to work on a new project in the DC area. You guys and gals have been legends and I appreciate all of the amazing support you have given myself and the Duke’s family. The team is still working hard in the Duke’s kitchen and the burgers are still flippin’! 2015 is going to be a very tasty year!”

Carman delivered the scoop on McCoy’s new project: “a restaurant that will focus on Southeast Asian cooking, continuing the District’s trend of opening eateries that channel the authentic flavors of Thailand, Laos and other countries.”

McCoy vowed to travel throughout southeast Asia over the next few months to refine his menu, which comes as no surprise to me, as the chef is very fond of traveling to a dish’s country of origin before he perfects it, as he told me a few months ago.

Daniel Kramer, another co-founder at Duke’s, announced Rick Koplau, who has been overseeing the late night food program at Duke’s Grocery, will become head chef. Koplau previously worked at Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Lake Tahoe and Sarasota, along with stints in England, Germany and Poland.

Around Town: 2014 Hilly Awards Gala — 12/6/14

Library of Congress -- View East from the U.S. Capitol Dome (DC) June 2013
The Library of Congress and Capitol Hill neighborhood

The annual Hilly Awards Gala takes place Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at St. Mark’s Church.

Produced by CHAMPS, Capitol Hill’s Chamber of Commerce, each year, Capitol Hill residents vote for the best neighborhood businesses in a range of categories, including best restaurant and best bar/tavern.

Last year Acqua al 2 was Restaurant of the Year and Beuchert’s Saloon was Bar/Tavern Of the Year. See all the winners from 2013.

Here I highlight my predictions for Restaurant and Bar/Tavern for 2014:

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Food Park: Copycat Co. Enters the H Street Fray

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H Street NE continues to bolster its choices of restaurants and bars with an almost endless stream of openings in the last couple months.

A bar crawl is in order, especially if the streetcar ever decides to open.

One intriguing concept comes from Devin Gong, from Barmini, in the form of a cocktail bar slash pot sticker and dumpling restaurant.

Copycat Co opened less than a week ago and it immediately fits into the electic Atlas District/H St NE scene.

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Food Park: Thanksgiving Dinner in DC, 11/27/14

Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving for many involves travel to a relative’s house outside of the DC area for a day of food and reunions.

But for some, including myself on occasion, we remain here in town, holding down the fort. And yet we may seek a festive meal in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday or simply to slake our annual craving for too much turkey and stuffing.

Fortunately, some DC restaurants realize the need to cater to folks like us, and so they offer a Thanksgiving dinner to those who want to get out of the house on Thursday.

Here are a few quick recommendations for you to consider if you’re dining out in DC for Thanksgiving dinner:

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Grapevine: New Thai Restaurant coming to CityCenterDC

Khao Phad (Khao Phad by Jonas)
Since I love Thai food, I need to highlight a report from The K Street Magazine that a new Thai restaurant, Mango Tree, will be opening soon in the new CityCenterDC.
K Street Magazine reported: Prolific restauranteur Richard Sandoval is expanding his DC empire, this time partnering with Founder and CEO Pitaya Phanphensophon of Mango Tree, for some revolutionary Thai. DC’s Mango Tree — the first in the United States — is on track to open this December in CityCenterDC.

Don’t Miss: DC Craft Beer Festival @ Washington Convention Center – 11/22/14

Beer on a sunny and cold winter day

This Saturday, come out to the Washington Convention Center, for a Winter Harvest beer festival.

A cornucopia of seasonal winter beers will be waiting for you in two sessions. There will be 75 breweries serving up 2 oz tastings of 150 beers, ciders or flagons of mead.

Get your tickets now, they have sold out in the past.

 

Tickets are available online

DC Craft Beer Festival: Winter Harvest
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Saturday, November 22
Two times @2-4:30 pm and @7-9:30 pm (add 1 hour for VIP)
$49 ($65 VIP)
21+

Food Park: DC Capriotti’s One-Year Anniversary, 11/21/14

Biden at CapriottisJoe Biden orders a sandwich at Capriott’s in DC

When I was an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, my classmates would rave about the opportunities to eat a sub from Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the first of which was established in Wilmington, DE, in 1976.

Now it seems the shop has swept the country with a surprising fervor.

And DC got its first Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop (1800 M St. NW, DC) on Nov. 21, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden, ardent supporter of all things Delaware, was in line to get a sandwich that day.

DC’s Capriotti’s will celebrate its first anniversary this Friday, Nov. 21. Starting at 11am, the shop will give a free Bobbie sandwich to the first 50 people in line.

The Bobbie, hailed by Capriotti’s as “Thanksgiving on a roll,” comes with house-roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayo.

Bobbie high res

You couldn’t blame Biden if he showed up again!

Free Sub to the First 50
Capriotti’s
1800 M St. NW
Friday, Nov. 21
Doors @11am

Don’t Miss: Bluejacket Pop-up Beer Garden — Nov. 14-16

Union Market

Bluejacket will host its first ever pop-up beer garden, as part of the 5th Street Folly fair hosted by Union Market.

Four different beers will be on offer ($6-8). In addition, Red Apron will serve some of their famous franks.

 

Bluejacket Brewery Pop-up Beer Garden

Penn Ave. NE, a lot between 4th St. and 5th St. NE (outdoors near Union Market)

November 14 – November 16

4-7pm

Free to enter – beers ($6-8)

http://bluejacketdc.com

Food Park: Soft Opening @ El Camino, 11/5/14

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Bloomingdale residents have long been anticipating a splash of new restaurants opening in their rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and El Camino (108 Rhode Island Ave., NW, DC) became the latest to welcome them last night.

The section of Rhode Island Ave. NW in Bloomingdale, labeled by at least one observer as “Hipsters Row,” is cultivately what I consider to be a wonderfully cozy selection of bars and restaurants, and in this aspect El Camino doesn’t disappoint. You walk into the restaurant/bar under a sign that still advertises the space as a uniforms outlet, but once inside, you are greeted with warm browns, reds and blacks adorning a comfortable dining space.

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