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January 13, 2012 
 
 
See Ya Later, Frat Boys

We'll be schmoozing in Tysons on January 30. Open bar and music. Join us?

 
More sophisticated dining establishments are quietly infiltrating  Adams Morgan's raucous bar scene. The most highly anticipated is Mintwood Place, the latest venture from Perry's owner Saied Azali and former Citronelle and Central chef Cedric Maupillier.
 
Mintwood Place
Saied pounced when the space below Perry's (previously a Latin market) became available. "I didn't want anybody to go underneath me and destroy my business upstairs." In fact, Saied is keen on improving the entire neighborhood. He's been living in Adams Morgan for more than 30 years. (Mintwood Place is the street he first lived on.) He tells us Adams Morgan used to be one of the city's hottest dining neighborhoods. Top chefs José Andrés, Cathal Armstrong, Roberto Donna, Yannick Cam, and Ann Cashion (who's still there) all worked in the neighborhood. Increased rents and the riots in the early '90s drove many businesses away, and Adams Morgan saw an influx of bars that could turn quick profits. But Saied says new places like Smoke & Barrel, Mellow Mushroom, Jack Rose Saloon, and just-opened Southern Hospitality are raising the bar for Adams Morgan. "I want to make a little impact in this neighborhood to make it a little bit better," he says.
 
Hudson Fall MDINE
Chef Cedric Maupillier and owner Saied Azali
Cedric's culinary career was born out of a desire to buy a moped. At 14, he got a job at a bakery in his hometown of Toulon, France. His first kitchen job was in Monte Carlo, and at 18, he headed to London to learn English and work at Soho House, a private club frequented by celebrities. (He gave Nicole Kidman a kiss when she visited.) Cedric built his true fine dining cred at a three star Michelin restaurant in France and came to the US to work for Fabio Trabocchi, then the chef at Maestro in Tysons Corner. He spent five years working with Michel Richard, then left in early 2010 with the hopes of opening a place of his own. Cedric invested nearly everything in a project last year only to pull out the day before the lease was going to be signed. As he tells it, he woke up that morning and didn't like the lack of sun in the restaurant: "I'm like a flower. I need photosynthesis." After a brief stint helping with the opening of Medium Rare, Cedric was introduced to Saied through a mutual friend.
Mintwood Place
The light is much better in Mintwood Place. Cedric has been given complete freedom with the menu and even designed the kitchen, which is outfitted with a wood-burning oven and stove. The cuisine is American with Cedric's personal French twist. But don't expect a carbon copy of Central. "I'm an independent chef. I work for me now," Cedric says. The eatery won't be fine dining either. Cedric aims to make the menu simple and affordable. Dishes range from the familiar (burgers) to the untraditional (escargot hushpuppies). Though there have been several delays, Saied and Cedric hope to open within the next couple weeks. Just one more reason to skip tequila shots night.

Bisnow
Cold Weather, Hot Drinks
 
Poste chef Dennis Marron
Last month, we reported that Poste Moderne Brasserie was opening a heated outdoor patio with winter cocktail bar. Well, after some delays, mulled wine and spiked hot chocolate are finally within reach. The patio is now open Thursday through Saturday only, weather permitting. Hot libations include "I Can't Believe It's Not Buttered Rum" with butterscotch and gingerbread and "This Little Piggy" with bacon-infused bourbon, spicy cayenne chocolate, milk, and toasted marshmallow. Chef Dennis Marron (seen here in the patio's garden) has created a special menu of soups, bar bites, and fondues for you to enjoy under warm blankets.

Bisnow
Pass the Whiskey
 
Irish Whiskey
There may be such a thing as drinking too much whiskey, but there's no such thing as too many kinds of whiskey. Dupont's newest pub, Irish Whiskey Public House (1207 19th St., NW), has more than 50 varieties of Irish whiskey plus 80 beers on tap. Even the Irish menu incorporates booze. The three-level space was designed by Maggie O'Neill, the artist behind Sax, Lincoln, and the Hank's Oyster Bar expansion. The restaurant is outfitted with plaid couches, belt buckles woven into the walls, and a taxidermy fox. One of the quirkiest quirks is a display case for Redskins player Chris Cooley's pottery. Turns out Chris, a friend of Maggie, has his own art gallery in Leesburg, VA.
 
chef Sean McIntosh
The man in the kitchen (or in this case, on the front patio) is Sean McIntosh. The half-Mexican, half-Irish Jersey chef came to Irish Whiskey from Georgetown's Dean & Deluca. He previously spent four years cooking at the University Club, helped open Clyde's in Gallery Place, and worked at Kinkead's. "My heart and my passion really belongs in a restaurant. I need that controlled chaos. The heat, the smoke, the flames," he tells us. Restaurant love runs in the family: One of his brothers is a chef at Clyde's in Columbia, MD, and his half brother is a general manager at The Hamilton.
 
Got a hot restaurant tip? E-mail Dining Editor Jessica Sidman, dining@bisnow.com. You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter!

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