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tombarnes

Restaurants in the DC Metro Area

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Bring Out the Bistros!

Several superstar chefs have invested in more casual restaurants, bringing casual dining up several notches from where it's been lately. The latest one I've tried is Central Michel Richard on Pennsylvania Avenue. It's not exactly cheap, but tallies in at about half the cost of dinig at his signature restaurant in Georgetown. I look forward to seeing more of this trend. The days of "Angus Alley"- my nickname for a stretch of 19th Street downtown, may be numbered.

The Washington Post

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Investing in Restaurants

Investing in your favorite chef isn't as easy as it might first appear. This article in the Washington Post suggests that such activity is only for the well-heeled investor. I'm trying to get an idea of what Hudson will be like. It's across the street from where I work, but they have put brown paper over the plate glass, so I haven't yet seen much of what is being done inside. As for Michel Richard, he has no trouble finding willing investors for his projects.

The Washington Post

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Childe Harold- R.I.P.

This went completely under my radar. I'd thought they were simply renovating when I walked by recently in search of lunch. Nope. The Childe Harold, in business since 1967, has closed its doors forever. It was a victim of a new lease agreement with the building's owner, the Randall Hagner Corp., and also of changing tastes and times. Sure the place was a bit dirty and rough around the edges, but it had a great deal of charm in its brick-lined basement bar. As with the closing this weekend of the Dupont 5 theater, Dupont Circle has lost a bit more of its neighborhood feeling. The building will most likely be soon filled with law offices and perhaps an expensive boutique on the first floor. Maybe another restaurant will take its place, but I'd guess that extensive renovations would have to be done to the kitchen. At any rate, here's the article from November.

The Washington Post

Note: 1/12/08 Word is out that Sesto Senso, currently several blocks down Connecticut Avenue, will move into the space occupied by the Childe Harold. Something more of a nightclub than a restaurant, this should still be a solid addition to the neighborhood.

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Ray Landrum to Open Restaurant in Ward 7

Michael "Ray" Landrum, owner of the popular Ray's the Steaks and other popular restaurants in Arlington and Bethesda, will open a restaurant in a strip-mall in Ward 7 in a restaurant-starved area of northeast Washington. Currently, the only restaurant serving the area is a Denny's. Clearly, there is an opening for something better. I'm glad to see the idea of good restaurants spreading beyond the obvious choices like Penn Quarter. I hope that there will be more to follow in its wake. revitalization means risk, and it's good to see that someone is going fortha and taking a risk here.

The Washington Post

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Coming from RI, I have been hard pressed to find a decent meal in the suburbs, but I know have a favorite place: Stardust in Alexandria. It is wacky and eclectic and the food leans toward new asian, I guess, and it really needs a coconut cake, but considering the dreck of the NoVA suburbs, it is nice to find a place with a little character.

Now, if only I could find a place for a really good breakfast, and a decent candy store with fresh made fudge.

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Good question. I cannot even think of a good candy store in the District offhand. The bakeries aren't much better. Firehook Bakery is in Dupont Circle and also in Alexandria, but their cakes are rather unspecacular. Everyone raves about Cakelove in the District also, but I can't fathom why they do. The cakes seem to be the same cake with varied icing. The restaurant Palena in Cleveland Park has a sort of bakery on Connecticut Avenue. As for the candy store, I'll have to think about this for a bit.

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I have heard good things about Firehook, but haven't yet been and yes, Cake Love is woefully overrated. I can't believe I have to go all the way back to Cape Cod to get some truly stellar penuche nut fudge!

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