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Neighborhood Eats: Obama, Bandolero, and The Pig

by Rebecca Cooper

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The inside of Tel’Veh wine bar.

While most restaurants in the city were not graced with a presidential visit this week, there were a lot of openings (and a few closings) to keep Neighborhood Eats full this week.

Open: District Taco, the Mexican food truck turned sit-down taco joint that has until now been relegated to Virginia, finally lived up to its name and opened its downtown DC location on May 11. The shop at 1309 F Street NW is set up mainly as a takeout location, but they do have their tasty selection of tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention the burritos, nachos, and huevos rancheros.

Opening…soon: The drinking and dining options in the Mount Vernon Triangle area continue to expand with the addition of Tel’veh Cafe and Wine Bar at 401 Massachusetts Avenue NW on May 21. The emphasis is on the 60-seat wine bar, according to General Manager Thierry Lesparre, who tells UrbanTurf they will be pouring 45 wines by the glass and have at least 315 bottles to choose from. From the owners of Agora in Dupont Circle, Tel’veh’s food offerings will be of the mezze variety, but lighter: charcuterie, cheeses, and some flatbreads. Crews are putting the finishing touches on the space — which features floor to ceiling windows facing the busy 4th and Massachusetts NW intersection — before Monday’s opening.

The Pig, the next concept from the restaurant group behind The Heights, Commissary, Logan Tavern, et. al., is planning to open to the public this evening in Logan Circle at 1320 14th Street NW. The [shockingly] pork-centric menu is divided into starters — which include “Big Pig” and “Little Pig” platters, a Pig section, a Less Pig section (with some fish and other meats), greens and starches, and supper-sized entrees. The restaurant tells Eater DC that they plan to go through 10 pigs a week; as for drinks, they’ll have American craft beers, as well as two wines on tap.

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Flickr user Justin Grimes

Over in Georgetown, celebrity chef Mike Isabella’s Mexican restaurant Bandolero is expected to open May 24 at 3241 M Street NW. Isabella tested out the concept at a couple of pop-ups over the past few months, the most recent at the old Tackle Box space in Cleveland Park. The menu includes traditional Mexican items such as pozole, chilaquiles, and guacamole, but also fuses other cuisines with empanadas, tuna tartar taquitos, and sweet corn tamale grits. Get there early next weekend if you’re looking for a taste; it’s sure to be mobbed.

Opening…eventually: Iron Gate Inn, the Dupont Circle restaurant that was a neighborhood institution until it closed in 2010, will reopen under the helm of Neighborhood Restaurant Group and chef Anthony Chittum, the Washington Post first reported. Chittum, who’s cooked at Vermillion for the past few years, is going into business with his once-boss Michael Babin to reopen the historic restaurant at 1734 N Street NW. Chittum is planning to maintain much of the romantic character of the interior and courtyard, he tells the Post, as well as the former restaurant’s Mediterranean food influences. It’ll be at least six months until the reopening.

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Bandolero in Georgetown.

Closing: This week brought news that Penn Quarter will be losing Zola Wine & Kitchen, the wine shop and cooking class/demonstration space at 505 9th Street NW, WBJ reports. The store’s parent company, Stir Food Group, will liquidate its wine at discount prices through Friday, May 18, and may be planning to open another concept in the space. Zola, the restaurant, and Potenza, also from that company, will remain open.

Sauca Grill, one of the earliest food-trucks-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurants, closed its doors last week, according to ARLNow. The multi-ethnic cuisine restaurant at 4707 Columbia Pike attempted to translate its menu into a sit-down space, offering wine and beer and outdoor seating at the former Bob & Edith’s diner location. At least one of the owners’ trucks is still in rotation, however; they tweeted Wednesday that the truck known as Magellan was heading to Metro Center.

Events: If you a) haven’t had a chance to check out American Craft Beer Week yet and b) enjoy period costumes, head over to America Eats Tavern for a Speakeasy Happy Hour Friday honoring Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewery. Those in speakeasy costume will get food and drink specials from 5 to 9pm Or, if that’s too much work for you, there’s always the DC Brau party tonight at Smith Commons.

Beer love aside, the biggest food event of the weekend has to be Sound Bites, the food and music festival to benefit DC Central Kitchen. More than 25 restaurants and five bands will host the event Sunday at the 9:30 Club. Tickets are $40 and are available here, and include access to tastes from all the participating restaurants and food trucks — Cork, Matchbox, and BlackSalt among them, as well as a show including all five bands.

See other articles related to: neighborhood eats

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/neighborhood_eats_obama_bandolero_and_the_pig/5550

1 Comment

  1. David said at 12:11 pm on Friday May 18, 2012:

    Speaking of Obama, the First Lady dined at Eatonville on 14th Street Thursday evening. I spotted her walking in with a large Secret Service detail, looking very fit in a dark patterned sundress and designer shades.

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