DC Restaurant Buzz: Centrolina to CityCenter, Capitals Charity Event at City Tap House, iPic Theaters Opens & More

The DC restaurant buzz is back, and after last week’s loaded edition, this week packs a big punch as well. Upcoming events, new restaurant announcements, and assorted other happenings and noteworthy news. Dive in.

Centrolina from Amy Brandwein the Latest CityCenter Restaurant

CityCenter keeps on getting better and better. Joining the ranks of DBGB, Momofuku, the just announced Mango Tree, and more, is Chef Amy Brandwein’s Centrolina, a massive Italian market and restaurant slated to open in spring 2015.

The space will have a dining room, bar area and outdoor patio, along with a specialty Italian market offering house-made items, a barista-serviced coffee program, to-go lunches, and local produce.

Centrolina will feature a concise and frequently-rotating menu of authentic regional Italian with around 15 dishes at any given time. Market availability will be the guiding principal of the menu, and Brandwein plans to maintain a sense of interconnectedness between her kitchen and the Centrolina market, with products reflecting Brandwein’s own experiences with Italian cooking and the products and produce she loves and uses.

Centrolina is Amy Brandwein’s first solo restaurant project. Before setting her sights on her own place, Brandwein served as chef de cuisine at Alba Osteria in Washington, D.C and she launched her own hospitality consulting company, Chef AmyB.

Mio’s New Brunch

Mio has debuted a new weekend brunch,  showcasing the best of Puerto Rican cuisine with influences from Latin metropolises such as Puerto Rico, Lima, Mexico City, Caracas, La Havana, and San Juan crafted by Executive Chef Roberto Hernandez.  Brunch service is available Saturdays from 11 AM to 3 PM.

Expect dishes like mofongo with crisp pork belly, fried green tomatillos with Oaxaca cheese, and weekly egg specials, such as huevos rancheros, along with sweeter breakfast treats like waffles with spice-rum bananas.

Celebrate Godzilla’s Birthday with Daikaya

Godzilla is set to attack the nation’s capital on November 3rd, his official birthday. Find him at Daikaya, where you can watch Godzilla at 6pm, looping through all evening long. Enjoy the “Gozira Karaage”, marinated alligator, deep fried and served with a fiery dipping sauce, or the “Bambi meets Godzilla Tsukune”, grilled elk and pork meatballs dipped in yakitori sauce.

Wash it down with the one of several specialty cocktails, such as the “King of the Monsters”, the “Monster Zero-One”, or the “Alpha Predator”, which showcases Nikka Taketsuru 12 year old whisky, Cruzan black strap rum, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, and chocolate bitters served up with and orange twist.

The Godzilla dishes and drinks will be able through Sunday, November 9th.

Washington Capitals Rock the Red to Benefit Foundation 4 Heroes at City Tap House

Rock the Red Charity PosterCity Tap House will host a fundraiser benefiting Foundation 4 Heroes with the Washington Capitals on Sunday, November 9th from 5 to 7 pm. For $20, you can hang out with John Carlson, Karl Alzner and Troy Brouwer, who will be guest bartending for the evening. Your entrance fee gets you a beverage, and a $10 fee for all autographs has all of its proceeds going to Foundation 4 Heroes.

Additionally, a silent auction with prizes such as hockey paraphernalia and Fender Guitars signed by Alice Cooper, Dierks Bentley, and Steve Lukather will be available to the highest bidder. Get your tickets online here.

New Cheese Specialist at Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt Washington’s Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche is pleased to announce the appointment of Sophie Slesinger as the cheese specialist for Blue Duck Tavern and Blue Duck Lounge.  A native Washingtonian and second generation Sicilian, Slesinger has been nationally recognized for her knowledge and creativity with cheese.

Being the cheese specialist at Blue Duck & Park Hyatt is no small feat, not with the Ferrari of slicers on hand to serve up charcuterie. There will be a nightly cheese presentation display showcasing artisanal cheeses and charcuterie sold by the ounce, and Slesinger will be preparing customized cheese plates paired with house made seasonal chutney and jams.

iPic Theaters Opens at Pike & Rose, James-Beard Recognized Chef At Helm of Food

The new iPic Theaters is officially open at Pike & Rose in Rockville — or North Bethesda, or whatever you want to call it now. It’s offering a luxury movie going experience, with stadium seating, expanded leg room, plush leather recliners, and personal service-call buttons that summon “ninja-like” servers to deliver signature dishes from iPic’s chef driven dining concept called iPic Express.

The Dining in the Dark menu has been crafted by James Beard-recognized chef Sherry Yard, who showcases a gourmet culinary approach to movie watching and features hand-crafted cocktails made with market-fresh, seasonal ingredients.

The iPic features both “Premium” and “Premium Plus” seating, with the latter offering personal pillows and blankets, free popcorn, and an iPad ordering system.

All seats can be reserved ahead of time via iPic’s proprietary reservation system online, or moviegoers may download the iPic App to their iPhones for a hassle-free, one-step transaction process.

Grand opening week festivities run through Nov. 6, beginning with Eyeballs for Charity, a community “watch-a-thon” event starting on Halloween, featuring free face painting, Thriller dance crew, culinary and cocktail demonstrations, photo booths, stilt walkers, DJs and more.

iPic’s membership program offers guests discounted pricing, priority access to purchase tickets to new release movies, exclusive access to special screenings and the ability to earn points on purchases redeemable for movie tickets and more.  Individuals who sign up for an iPic Membership with North Bethesda as their “home” theater before Nov. 5, 2014, will receive a one-year complimentary Sapphire Membership, as well as a complimentary Premium Plus ticket that can be used through Dec. 16, 2014.

Tickets are on sale now for this fall’s much-anticipated blockbusters “Interstellar” and “Big Hero 6,” opening at iPic on Nov. 7 with special showings Nov. 6. For a complete show schedule, visit www.ipic.com.

iPic Pike & Rose’s adjacent full-service restaurant, City Perch Kitchen + Bar, is a seasonal American Dining Room by Sherry Yard with Chef Matt Baker at the helm. The restaurant will serve up contemporary comfort food with local sources.

Yard is the recipient of two James Beard Awards, for Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year and Best Baking Book for her cookbook, “The Secrets of Baking.” In 2014, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Slate’s Secret Wine List

The secret is out at Slate, in Glover Park. There’s a special ask-only wine list from owners Elizabeth Banker and Danny Lledo, who have selected premium wines from their personal cellar to offer up to guests who know they need to ask in order to receive.

Another hidden treasure at Slate are the private wine tastings hosted by the sommelier at the guest’s own table, with paired dishes and plenty of opportunity for Q&A time. On Wednesday nights, Slate is also offering 2 for 1 wine bottles

Et Voila! Hosting Wine Dinner

In more wine news, on Tuesday, November 4 at 7 pm, Et Voila! is hosting a wine dinner showcasing wines from Chablis. Priced at $79.95 per person, the menu will consist of four-courses which will be paired with a sampling of France’s finest Chablis.

Standout vintages include Saint Bris Sauvignon, Chablis Sainte Claire, Premier Cru, Cote de Lechet, and the Grand Cru Les Clos.

Michael Andrews Bespoke Expands DC Hours

Michael Andrews Bespoke

If Michael Andrews Bespoke can clean up my act, then they can clean up yours, too. They’re now offering expanded D.C. hours five days per week, Monday-Friday from 11am-8pm. It’s been two years since MAB opened up in Washington, D.C., and with the expanded hours they have appointed Frasier Saunders to head up the D.C. store on a permanent basis.

“We are thrilled with the success we have had in our first two years in Washington, DC,” says Founder and CEO, Michael Andrews.  “Expanding to five days a week under the direction of one of our brightest stars is very exciting for us.  There is so much going on in DC, and we are proud to be a part of the resurgence the city is seeing in men’s fashion.”

Appointments can be made by calling (202) 350-9001 or emailing dc@michaelandrewsbespoke.com.

Union Market’s Fifth Street Folly, Including Emporiyum

The Emporiyum DC

Union Market is hosting Fifth Street Folly, a weekend-long party from Friday, November 14th-Sunday, November 16th. The celebration includes the EmporiYUM festival, as well as several other key events, such as Thread, Bluejacket’s first ever pop-up beer garden, and the ticketed Gilt Sample Sale.

In addition, there will be several exciting additions within the market itself, including a pop-up from Boston based skincare shop, Follain and a clothesline art sale called Hanging On A Line. Curated by Tom Bunell, an adjunct faculty member at American University,  Hanging On A Line presents works on paper by a wide variety of DC artists and students.

Here are a few more details on each event:

  • Thread: A curated retail series & shopping event all weekend at Maurice Electric Warehouse. Free, with a bazaar-like atmosphere.
  • Bluejacket Beer Garden: All weekend long enjoy Bluejacket’s beer garden, with eight of their beers available, and Red Apron serving up some fun bites.
  • Emporiyum: On Saturday and Sunday, visit Emporiyum, also at the Maurice Electric Warehouse, with more than 60 Mid-Atlantic restaurants and food artisans offering a marketplace replete with plenty of samples and selections.
  • Gilt Warehouse: A ticket event showcasing discounts up to 90% off retail prices for Gilt merchandise, home goods, accessories on more. Open on Friday and Saturday at Dock 5.

Ashby Inn Offering Free Brunch to Veterans on Veteran’s Day

The Ashby Inn is offering all veterans a complimentary brunch on Veteran’s Day, Sunday, November 9th. Executive Chef David Dunlap will serve a three-course menu of creatively refined dishes, allowing guests to enjoy the cuisine against the idyllic backdrop of the Inn’s stunning property.

The Inn’s proprietor Charles Leopold is himself a veteran, bringing the celebration closer to the hearts and minds of the Ashby team. The Veteran’s Day three-course prix fixe brunch will be offered from 12-4 pm. Guests of veterans and other patrons are invited to partake for $45. For reservations, visit www.ashbyinn.com or call (540) 592-3900.

Check out the New Jack Rose Menu on November 3

Jack Rose whiskey wallAll “Friends of the Saloon” are invited to check out Jack Rose’s new fall menu on Monday, November 3 from 5-9pm. Executive Chef Russell Jones is offering a four-course meal, with available cocktail and whiskey pairings.

The tasting menu will be available for just $25, and the beverage pairing costs just $20 more, making it a great deal. They’re celebrating not only the new menu, but their 2.5 star review in the Washington Post’s Fall Dining Guide.

Author: Jake Emen

I’m Jake, and I’m your host on this journey. I'm the man doing the eating and the talking around here. I’m a writer based outside of Washington, D.C., and I'm also talking whiskey, local events, travel, and other assorted misadventures. Follow me on the Tweet Machine - @ManTalkFood, or send an email to jake [at] mantalkfood.com.

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