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Weekly Food News Round-Up
February 23, 2012 | 10:45AM

Coming right off of Fat Tuesday, here’s everything you need to know about DC food news, openings/closings, gossip and everything else yummy  this week.

PSA: SPRING IS COMING! So make sure to check out our 2012 Winter Food Guide while you still can.

EAT IT ALL UP

  • It’s James Beard Foundation awards season! Check out the shortlist of local chefs and restaurants that were named finalists. (via Eater DC)
  • We also learned this week that celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson has signed on to design menus and consult for the Supper Club slated to be part of the renovated Howard Theater, opening this April.  Samuelsson is working on dinner and brunch menus, as well as identifying an Executive Chef and training staff. Also in the works: a Sunday gospel brunch. More at Washingtonian.
  • We reviewed The Melting Pot’s new seasonal menu. Turns out there’s more to it than vats of melted cheese.

  • Urbana’s Chef John Critchley is in the running for Eater’s Hottest Chef in America competition. I had no idea he was so good looking. Damn. Vote here so he can beat out the New York hottie (who might be a little more attractive #sorrynotsorry)
  • Our preview of dishes likely to be featured at Mike Isabella’s newest restaurant concept, Bandolero, made us HUNGRY for the restaurant to open, which is rumored to be in April.

  • And in more Mike Isabella-related news: Graffiato recently launched a weekend brunch menu, available from 12 to 3 PM on weekends featuring breakfast cocktails and special items like breakfast pizza, apple calzone and cinnamon knots with nutella. *DIES* They also launched a special lunch menu, where you can make three selections off the regular menu for $20.
  • It seems like it was just yesterday (December 5, to be exact) that The Standard beer garden closed for the winter but apparently it’s almost spring and they plan to reopen soon on March 1!

  • H Street Great Street reports that Kith & Kin Pizza Kitchen, a gourmet dine-in and take-out pizza joint (sorry, no slices) is aiming to open on H Street this spring, next to Taylor Gourmet.
  • Penn Quarter’s 901 revamped their menu with an Asian flare and we stopped by to sample. Check out the full story.

  • Rosa Mexicano debuted an “Eclectic Cuts” menu this week, overseen by NYC Chef Jonathan Waxman and featuring more exotic dishes like veal tongue tacos and braised lamb neck enchiladas. Available at all three DC area locations.
  • Washington Business Journal reports that everyone from Yo!Sushi, to Boloco, to Taco Bell want to get in on the DC dining scene.
  • And Prince of Petworth reported that Capitol Hill Italian Acqua al 2 has applied for an expansion to move into the second floor of their property. If approved, they’ll have more seating and be open later hours on weekends and weekdays.

SAVE ROOM FOR THIS

  • Tickets are on sale for the Fourth Estate Restaurant’s first ever DC Wine and Food Truck Pairing Dinner at the National Press Club THIS FRIDAY Feb 28th, from 6-9PM.  Six of DC’s best food truck vendors will be onsite, each offering a signature dish paired with select wines from the Fourth Estate Restaurant. Local food trucks participating in the event include: The Big Cheese, Go Fish!, Lemongrass Vietnamese Cuisine, DC Empanadas, BBQ Bus, and Curbside Cupcakes. Chocolate City Beer will also provide refreshments for the evening. Admission is $35 for a six-course tasting menu with featured wines. Tickets available in advance here.
  • Food nerds get ready: The Culinary Historians of Washington are proud to present “Terroir in DC? Inventing Food Traditions for the Nation’s Captial” on Sunday, March 11 featuring a presentation by Warren Belasco, scholar and culinary historian.  For more information, contact: Claudia Kousoulas at 301-320-6979 or appetite@kousoulas.com.

LINKS, FOR DESSERT

  • Who would win in scoring a last-minute restaurant reservation at some of NYC’s top spots: Eli Manning or Jeremy Lin? Love you, Deadspin.

Photo: Jackson 20

  • Babyccinos” for sale Brooklyn. Hmmm.
  • For more in consumerist culture:Ben’s Chilli Bowl graphic tees are now available  at Bloomies for $28. Full story on Young & Hungry blog.
  • And I’ll leave you with this: the most expensive Starbucks drink, ever, totaling in at a whopping $23.60 for a trenta-sized Java Chip Frappuccino, containing 16 shots of espresso, a shot of soy milk, caramel flavoring, banana puree, strawberry puree, vanilla beans, Matcha powder, protein powder, and a drizzle of caramel and mocha.

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