There are funny little ways in which you realize you’re growing up sometimes. Maybe it’s when you find yourself in a restaurant’s “wine library” and commit to yourself in your head that you really need to start investing more time (and money) in learning about pinot noir and its intricacies rather than picking a bottle based on the attractiveness of a label and how much cash is in your wallet. Or maybe it’s when you find yourself cleaning a plate of beets–and actually craving more–that you realize you and your palate are maturing in ways you didn’t realize were happening. About five tasting courses into dinner at Food, Wine & Co. I thought, “Maybe growing up isn’t so bad after all.”
If you’re not paying attention driving up Wisconsin Avenue navigating rush hour traffic, you could easily pass by the Bethesda restaurant without knowing you’re missing out on a great restaurant. Food, Wine & Co., which opened in late 2010, has found its groove as the neighborhood bistro its been branding itself as, despite some early growing pains. There’s a lively crowd on a weekday night in the main dining room, and if I were you, I’d take advantage of their small outdoor seating as the weather cools down.
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.”