Small Plates: Central Wins Power Spot Award

Posted June 5, 2009 at 3:31pm

Central Michel Richard (1001 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) was named Power Spot of the Year at Sunday night’s RAMMY Awards dinner. The restaurant, located on Pennsylvania between the White House and the Capitol, beat out BLT Steak (1625 I St. NW), Charlie Palmer Steak (101 Constitution Ave. NW), the Source (555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) and Teatro Goldoni (1909 K St. NW).

Brian Zipin, Central’s general manager and wine director, attributes the restaurant’s win to its location and the careful way that it handles big-name customers.

“We always use discretion in dealing with our guests,— he says. “We’re not going to turn around and call the press and say, So-and-so was here.’ We kind of let them be and let them use the restaurant for what they want it to be.—

While Zipin wouldn’t name names, he says the restaurant has played host to Senators, Representatives and governors since it opened in 2007. With chef Michel Richard at the helm, Central has seen no shortage of attention, something Zipin places a high value on.

“I think that it always helps when there’s little bit of a buzz around a restaurant. It’s a restaurant that people are talking about, that people want to go to,— he says. “That’s where power people want to go.—

W Hotel Readies For July Opening

The ultra-trendy W Hotel is almost ready to open its doors. The new hotel — the first W in the D.C. area — will replace the Hotel Washington at 515 15th St. NW, putting it a stone’s throw away from the White House. The hotel features 317 rooms and suites all equipped with the famous and oh-so-comfortable W bedding and the first Bliss Spa in D.C.

Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten will be making his Washington debut at the W with his J&G Steakhouse. This will be the second outpost of the restaurant, the first of which is located in Arizona.

In addition to dining, the W will offer cocktails created in part by Sasha Petraske of New York’s Milk & Honey. Point of View, the rooftop bar that features great views of the White House and the Washington Monument, seats 66 indoors and 104 on the terrace. The ample outdoor seating is covered and will be available year-round thanks to space heaters and ceiling fans. Cocktail service will also be available in the “living room,— also known as the lobby. The striking entrance room features dramatic ceilings, leather paneling and several ornate chandeliers.

The hotel is slated to open to the public July 8.