West End Heats Up

Posted October 3, 2007 at 4:54pm

This fall, the West End neighborhood will welcome two new spots to the dining scene.

Creating significant buzz around town is celebrity chef Eric Ripert’s forthcoming restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton at 1190 22nd St. NW. Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert is slated to open Nov. 1. [IMGCAP(1)]

Though his distinguished reputation is firmly attached to his critically acclaimed restaurant Le Bernardin in Manhattan, Ripert actually got his stateside start right here in Washington. In 1989, the native of Antibes, France, came to D.C. to work at Jean-Louis in the Watergate Hotel under the famed Jean-Louis Palladin.

Ripert’s new restaurant, with Leonardo Marino from Le Bernardin as chef de cuisine, will offer dishes reminiscent of American comfort food and Ripert’s French heritage, such as roasted chicken for two with country bread stuffing, a fish burger with fennel, roasted tomato and saffron aioli, and tuna carpaccio with extra virgin olive oil, chives, shallot and lemon. Entrée prices will range from $21 to $34.

Westend will pour about 25 wines by the glass, and the list will focus on California’s Napa Valley region.

The firm Adamstein and Demetriou, which has designed a number of D.C. restaurants including Bistro Bis and Poste, is creating the look for the 96-seat casual spot, and the restaurant plans to add lunch and Sunday brunch in December.

Meanwhile, just down the block at 2030 M St. NW, the former David Greggory restaurant is being transformed into Hudson. The restaurant and lounge, which will serve breakfast (on weekdays), lunch and dinner, is expected to open in mid-October.

Smoothies, pastries and coffee will be offered in the morning. Lunch will bring dishes ranging from $5 to $15, such as diver scallops with wild mushroom ragout, applewood bacon and pistou, a traditional baked potato loaded with broccoli, cheddar and applewood bacon, wood-oven-baked pizzas and burgers.

On the dinner menu, look for entrees ($12 to $25) such as a New York strip with green lentils and linguine Bolognese.

Hudson also will offer several rooms for private parties.

Food Fight Confidential. In one of the city’s premier food fundraisers, celebrity chef, author and traveling TV star Anthony Bourdain will join chef José Andrés on Nov. 6 to co-host DC Central Kitchen’s Capital Food Fight.

The party will unfold from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building (1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW). Six of the city’s top chefs will participate in an Iron Chef-style food fight on stage. Contestants are Roberto Donna (Bebo) and Anthony Chittum (Vermilion), who will be defending their title from last year, as well as Bryan Voltaggio (Charlie Palmer Steak), RJ Cooper (Vidalia), Barton Seaver (Hook) and Cathal Armstrong (Restaurant Eve, Eamonn’s and The Majestic).

For the hungry crowd, nearly 50 restaurants will be on hand with signature dishes.

Tickets cost $175 per person, and all proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen, a national model program that makes meals for area social service organizations and trains chronically unemployed men and women in the kitchen and life skills they need to get and keep jobs in the food service industry.

Visit capitalfoodfight.org to purchase tickets.

Toothpick Tastes. Speaking of chef José Andrés, all three of his Jaleo restaurants are kicking off a unique festival next week. The Pintxo Festival will run Oct. 9-23, celebrating the pintxo (pronounced peen-cho), a small bite of food often served on a toothpick in San Sebastian, Spain.

Complimentary pintxos will be available at a kickoff party from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 9 at Jaleo in Crystal City, and a happy hour deal, offering $1 pintxos, will run at each Jaleo from 5 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 10-11 and 15-18. A daily assortment of 10 pintxos will be on the regular menu, priced from $1.50 to $3.