Latest Dish 0510
Ozzie’s Corner Italian Discovers ‘New’ Neighborhood Gelato
by Linda Roth Conte
Cheryl Schneider recently moved Penny Chocolates & Gelato to Fairfax, Va. from its
original location near her home in Olney, Md. But it wasn’t just the retail store that
moved. She loves to make sweets so much she put her law career in international
telecomm on the back burner to make her sweets dream come true. The new storefront is
across from a new Great American Restaurant, which is named for GAR’s VP of
kitchen operations Chris Osborn. Ozzie’s Corner Italian is slated to open this summer.
They did a taste test for their gelato, and Cheryl’s company beat out the others easily.
Cheryl does all the blending and baking herself. FYI – Penny is her long-haired
If you have dined at Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar in Philadelphia (or Atlantic
City or Orlando) you soon won’t have to travel that far to find its traditional and nuevo
Latin flavors. Cuba Libre is slated to open on Ninth Street in Penn Quarter by early June.
Stan Tzenkov plans to open Slaviya, a restaurant and entertainment spot where Cities
and Left Bank used to be on 18th Street in Adams Morgan. The menu will offer Eastern
European flavor, as well as a DJ and live performances. In addition to dinner daily, they
will open for weekend brunch. Stan has a restaurant background, as he ran Café Sophia
and Café Toulouse.
Speaking of savory: Mike Burgess missed eating his hometown (England) pasties (think
empanada) so much he decided to do something about it, and plans to open The Pure
Pasty Co. this summer, in Vienna, Va. where Yas Bakery used to be. He went from
information technology to baking – although he did spend time baking back in Padstown,
UK. There will be traditional and not-so-traditional pasties – rutabaga, curry chicken and
corned beef hash.
George Behesh, the chef/owner of Fino restaurant in Georgetown is planning a serious
renovation of the historic property that has been the site of a restaurant since 1866 –
although he has only run it for the past 25 years. Look for an expanded space with a re-
facing on the front – contingent on approval from the historical society powers-that-be.
Plans are also in the works for a fine dining restaurant across from the Convention Center
on Ninth Street.
It may be fast food, but it’s healthy. Boston-based UFood Grill plans to open its first
Washington area restaurant inside the headquarters of the State Department in June. It
will be operated by Rockville-based foodservice company I.L. Creations, which has
foodservice operations in 18 federal facilities. It says it plans to add UFood Grill or
UBerry smoothie and yogurt bars in several of them. They currently have locations in
Boston, Dallas and Naples, Fla.
Turkish native, Latif Guler, closed his restaurant, Jack’s in Dupont Circle, and plans to
open Agora in that space – offering what he knows best – authentic Turkish food. No
hummus nor baba ghannouj here. Expect seafood and not-your-usual-vegetables such as
mashed fava beans and beet salad. Guler hired Rasit Gulsen, a 12-year veteran of
Nizam's Restaurant in Vienna, to take over the kitchen. Guler’s father, who hails from a
town on the Aegean coast of Turkey, will preside over the menu. Even the olive oil is
from the Guler family farm back in Turkey. Malia Milstead, late of the Source, will
serve as the restaurant's general manager and sommelier. Agora means gathering place or
Play Lounge’s Tony Hudgins and partners Sherif Abdalla, Edwin Villegas of Winmar
Construction and Paul DeFilippes of Summit Commercial Real Estate opened
Public Bar on 18th Street NW. Now known as Public Group, the group plans to open
Sushi Rock where Yaku used to be on Clarendon Blvd. Yes, it’s sushi menu and rock
n’roll décor plus karaoke and DJ. The idea is to bring a bit more of the night life
experience to the restaurants. This philosophy will be what also drives Lupe, a Mexican
restaurant slated to open in the old Sesto Senso space, next to Public Bar. They hope to
open by (surprise!) Cinco de Mayo. After that, Public Group plans to open Public Bar
Tenleytown, in the former Dancing Crab space at 4615 Wisconsin Ave. NW, as
Dancing Crab moved next door.
Burger growth: Z-Burger founder and owner Peter Tabibian says future locations will
be in Southwest DC near the waterfront area; 3225 Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, across
from Mario’s Pizza; and Baltimore’s White Marsh neighborhood. He is also negotiating
DC leases in Columbia Heights and near the Navy Yard.
Mandu, a Korean restaurant near Adams Morgan, has signed a lease in the newest hot
part of town, north of Mass Ave (NoMa), in the CityVista mixed-use development next to
Kushi. Owner Danny Lee plans on a fall opening.
Star & Shamrock Tavern & Deli is that perfect combination of Irish and Jewish food. It
fits perfectly in the yet-to-be-defined Atlas District of NE DC. The pastrami-and-a-pint
concept has an impressive oak bar with some interesting carving work including a
number of six-pointed stars among the Celtic knots. Their list of appetizers and snacks
take traditional Jewish dishes in creative directions. Latke Madness is a double-decker
Reuben that swaps out the rye bread for a trio of potato pancakes. Kosher Kornies
translate to Hebrew National pigs-in-a-blanket. Sadie’s Fried Matzo Balls are not only
for Passover. The beer list has Irish standards, including Guinness on draft, but it also
includes He’Brew “the Chosen Beer!” (which I have imbibed).
Opening sooner than later or BTTYRT … Galileo III should soon be open. Pizzeria
Authentica on 15th Street should be open, and the Ballston location is slated to open by
end of summer. Also, Buddha Bar should be open. Ted’s Bulletin should also be open
Cannot say anything yet but … What well known chef will open a new place at
Washington Harbour? What well-known high profile fine dining restaurateur will open
his or her own place in a DC landmark? Who will open a hot dog concept on Barracks
Row before end of summer?
On The Calendar: Sign up now for Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town event at
National Building Museum on Friday, June 11. They are inviting their subscriber list as
well as select wine lovers from the region. The RAMMY Awards are Sunday, June 6 at
the Marriott Wardman Park. New program this year -- a reception followed by awards
program (theater-style) then the wild and wonderful dinner, then dancing.