Acadiana Opens With Hurricane Fundraiser

Posted September 7, 2005 at 4:51pm

By Amanda McClements Special to Roll Call Acadiana, the contemporary Louisiana seafood house from the owners of TenPenh, Ceiba and DC Coast, will open Monday for lunch and Tuesday for dinner. With numerous ties to the ravaged Bayou State, the owners and staff of the new restaurant are planning a fundraiser for Sept. 12 called “Po’ Boy Power, Dress New Orleans Again!”

“At any New Orleans po’ boy joint, you order your oyster or roast beef sandwich ‘dressed’ — with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and hot sauce. Our goal is to raise money, not just to revive the city, but to bring it back as good as it can possibly be — ‘dressed,’” the event press release explained.

An impressive roster of area chefs,

including Acadiana Chef/Owner Jeff Tunks, Marcel’s Chef Robert Wiedmaier, Citronelle Chef Michel Richard, Galileo Chef Roberto Donna and Tosca Chef Cesare Lanfranconi, will make roast beef and oyster po’ boy sandwiches at the event, which will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and sell them for $25.

All of the proceeds will go to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. In addition, Acadiana will donate a portion of its first month’s profits to the foundation.

Tunks had planned to source many ingredients, including oysters and french bread, from Louisiana for the new restaurant, which is named for the Southwestern bayou region of the state. But after the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, he is seeking alternatives.

Diners can look forward to Gulf Coast-inspired cuisine, including classic turtle soup, smoked chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, charbroiled oysters and New Orleans style barbeque shrimp. Other entrées include “grillades and grits” — sautéed veal medallions served with jalapeno cheese grits and wild mushroom pan gravy — grilled Gulf redfish, sweet onion and andouille crusted scamp grouper and Aunt Boo’s fish camp crawfish stew, a tribute to pastry chef David Guas’ aunt.

Guas, a native of New Orleans, has prepared a dessert list that pays homage to his hometown. Chicory coffee pot de crème will accompany beignets, crepes will be filled with bananas foster, and pralines will flavor crème brlée.

Acadiana is located at 901 New York Ave. NW.

Give and Take at Gallery Place. Zengo, the Latin-Asian restaurant from Mexican-born Chef Richard Sandoval, is scheduled to open in early October at 781 Seventh St. NW.

Sandoval has tapped Washington, D.C., native Alan Yu to head the kitchen. Yu brings an impressive résumé to the job. He grew up working in his parents’ restaurant in D.C.’s Chinatown and later served as executive sous chef at Citronelle under Chef Michel Richard. He most recently worked as executive chef for Jean-Georges Vongerichten at 66 restaurant in New York City.

Zengo, which translates to “give and take,” will offer dishes made for sharing like dim sum-inspired dumplings, ceviche and sushi. Won ton tacos will be stuffed with charred ahi tuna, sushi rice, pickled ginger and mango salsa, and achiote grilled mahi mahi will be accompanied by fried mojo yuca, curried slaw and cilantro.

Likewise, mojitos and sangria will share space with sake on the cocktail menu. A mojito Cuzco will mix white rum, mint, cucumber and lime, and the bar will also offer signature “muddled” fresh fruit cocktails.

Adamstein and Demetriou, the award-winning design team behind Bistro Bis, Zaytinya and IndeBleu, are designing the 7,800-square-foot interior. The first floor of the 195-seat restaurant will feature a lounge with a curved concrete bar, while the second floor will feature a ceviche bar, an open kitchen and a spacious dining room adorned with a colorful mural by a local artist. Throughout the space, brightly colored faux iguana and lizard textures and tones of mango and papaya will play off primitive dark woods.

Sandoval owns six other restaurants, including the original Zengo in Denver.

Hot Days Are Numbered. It’s hard to imagine cozying up to a bar and ordering a hot toddy right now, but a local restaurant group is preparing for the arrival of fall with a slate of cold weather-inspired cocktails.

Capital Restaurant Concepts will unveil the new drinks Oct. 1. At Georgia Brown’s (950 15th St. NW), the bar will mix up Wild Turkey Collins, made with the vintage bourbon, sour mix, a splash of soda and garnished with a cherry and orange slice for $8.50. Old Glory (3139 M St. NW) will offer a Maker’s Mark Manhattan, a southern twist on the classic Manhattan, for $9.50, while J. Paul’s (3218 M St. NW) will serve a classic hot buttered rum for $9.50, made with light and dark rum, a splash of crème de cacao mixed with hot water, melted butter and topped with a cinnamon swizzle stick. A pomegranate martini, made with pomegranate juice, Stoli O and triple sec will be available at Neyla (3206 N St. NW) for $10. For an after-dinner drink, Paolo’s Ristorante (1303 Wisconsin Ave. NW) will offer its Paolo’s Café Framboise — coffee, Tia Maria and Chambord topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder — for $7.