It was 90 degrees and all I wanted was a freezing cold lemonade and an ice bath. Instead, I walked into The Bombay Club for Indian food, not the usual remedy to a hot and humid District day, I know. But spicy food and a well air-conditioned beautiful setting hit the spot. I thought, “Do as the Romans do,”–or in this case the Indians–and eat hot to cool down. Somehow, it worked magic.
I spent many years living in London, where Indian food is a staple. There are epic curry houses and great take-outs, and high-end Indian restaurants galore. When I moved to D.C. that was one of the foods I missed the most, and really had trouble finding those amazing naan’s, tikka’s and chutneys I craved so much. Well, until I heard about this guy… Ashok Bajaj.
Your chances of snagging a reservation at Rasika just went up. Last week marked the opening of the newest restaurant in Ashok Bajaj’s empire: Rasika West End. While Rasika’s acclaimed executive chef Vikram Sunderam will oversee the new location, Manish Tyagi has been named the chef de cuisine. According to a press release, Rasika West End will serve up “modern and authentic Indian fare,” including tandoori and dishes prepared on the tawa or “griddle” and sigri or “open barbecue.”
Click through to see more pictures of the new restaurant and start clicking on OpenTable if you want a prime time reservation in the next few weeks. Continue reading →
Looks like DC’s food scene will keep growing in 2011 with even more pizza, burgers and cupcakes. Going with that third theme: Georgetown’s soon-to-be-open Sprinkles Cupcakes (3015 M St. NW) is putting its mobile truck on the street come Monday and giving away free cupcakes for two weeks. The first week’s schedule is: Franklin Square on Monday, Georgetown on Tuesday, Dupont Circle Wednesday, Gallery Place Thursday, the Capitol on Friday, Friendship Heights on Saturday, and Eastern Market on Sunday. Sprinkles opens Thursday, March 3rd. (h/t Metrocurean)
Want yet another food truck? With paperwork in hand, Sabor’a Street hit the road on Wednesday. Look for the yellow truck for delicious Latin-inspired street food and follow @SaboraStreet.
Talk about an empire. DCMud.com reports that restaurateur Ashok Bajaj, the man behind Bombay Club, 701, Rasika, and Ardeo + Bardeo could soon sign a lease for the retail space at 22 West in West End. Bajaj somewhat hinted at a new project in a chat last month with my fave food critic, Tom Sietsema.
My favorite news of the week comes via The Washington Post: Whole Foods Market and a D.C. real estate firm want to build a new store in Navy Yard, “but the developer says that luring the grocer would require $8 million in tax breaks.” WaPo reports that William C. Smith and Co. is proposing a 39,000-square-foot Whole Foods in the 800 block of New Jersey Ave. SE as part of a building that would also include 375 apartments.
In other Navy Yard news, JDLand writes that a beer garden might soon be on its way to Southeast. The ANC6D (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) voted 6-0 “to support the Bullpen’s plans to open an additional 632-seat beer garden at Half and M, across from the Navy Yard Metro station’s west entrance just north of Nationals Park.”
I took a calculated risk eating at Bibiana Osteria & Enoteca on Labor Day Monday. First off, it’s Monday, the notoriously worst day of the week to eat out. Second off, Bibiana only opened on Friday. Third off, it’s Labor Day. No Chef will be working. But (isn’t there always a but?) I had a friend in need of a totally new, fresh place for dinner, so crossing my fingers and holding my breath, I suggested Bibiana. Plus, I’m currently in the middle of reading former New York Times food critic Mimi Sheraton’s memoir Eating My Words, where she argues, “As for reviewing an establishment too soon, my feeling is that as soon as a restaurant is open and full prices are being charged it is fair game.” Touche, Mimi. So with Mimi on my side, we struck out to discover Ashok Bajaj’s seventh restaurant in the DC area.
Was it able to stand up against all the forces it had going against it? You could have told me it was any Friday or Saturday night months from when it opened, you could have fooled me. Everything from the food to the service was absolutely on point. Continue reading →