Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

RJ Cooper’s Rogue 24 Opens July 27

Photo courtesy of
‘The Proper Way to Use a Knife’
courtesy of ‘Sprezzatura Images’

The long-talked-about and much anticipated Rogue 24 by RJ Cooper is slated to open on July 27. The 52-seat restaurant near the convention center will feature a theatrical open kitchen in the middle of the dining room, and will offer either a 16-course or 24-course menu. And while there’s no bar, per se, for you to wait at when the restaurant is undoubtedly packed when it first opens, there is a 14-seat “salon” where you can order cocktails and tastings a la carte.

“Rogue 24 is both a studio and stage for dedicated culinarians and sommeliers to have an immediate impact on guests with their knowledge and commitment to excellence,” said chef and owner RJ Cooper in a media release. “For guests seeking an intimate dining experience, we’ve turned the traditional restaurant inside out and brought the kitchen to the guests. Each table is a chef’s table, and each course is carefully constructed to build upon the flavors of the previous course, guiding the taste buds on an unexpected journey.”

Not only is the restaurant owned and led by RJ Cooper, former Chef de Cuisine at Vidalia and 2007 James Beard Foundation award recipient for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic, but Cooper is bringing a team of all-stars to the restaurant as well. Derek Brown of the Columbia Room will be in charge of the cocktail and mixology program, and Matthew Carroll, who was previously the wine director at 2941 and the sommelier at the Inn at Little Washington, will serve as the GM and sommelier. Not a shabby lineup at all, eh?

You can start making reservations on July 14, and note that you’ll need to give your credit card to hold a reservation. My advice is to get your dialing fingers ready since I’m betting reservations will be snatched up quickly…

Business and Money, Food and Drink, Life in the Capital, News, The Daily Feed

Get Your Greek/Turkish On

Photo courtesy of
‘Greek Salad’
courtesy of ‘christaki’

Starting April 30th, Dupont Circle will be getting a new Greek and Turkish restaurant. Agora will feature small plates prepared on the wood-fired oven and charcoal fired BBQ grill, and overseen by Turkish born Chef Rasit Gulsen, formerly of Nizam’s Restaurant in Vienna, VA.

The restaurants menu will feature Turkish and Greek fare reflecting owner, Latif Guler’s, heritage growing up in the small town of Foca, Turkey.  The restaurant will highlight wines and beer from the Mediterranean regions of Turkey and Greece, and will serve a nice selection of Ouzo, an anise-flavored spirit widely consumed in Greece.

The two-story, 170-seat restaurant located at 1527 17th Street, NW, (aka the “doomed” spot that was formerly Jack’s, Le Pigalle, Peppersm, etc.) has been transformed to a Mediterranean oasis by Brie Husted Architecture and features a collection photos that capture the everyday life of picturesque Foca. Other features an upstairs expansion complete with 48 seats that can be used for private dining and a sidewalk café that can accommodate 34 guests for both the lunch and dinner service.

Food and Drink, The Features, We Love Food

First Look: Kushi Izakaya & Sushi


There’s something wrong with me (maybe). I can’t get enough sushi! I just crave it – spicy tuna, firecracker, flying fish roe, fatty tuna, I WANT IT ALL. So when I was invited to check out the new Japanese gastropub in Mount Vernon Square, I jumped at the chance.

Sleek, modern and minimalist, the best Kushi experience you can have is at one of their three (!) bars – the sake bar, the sushi bar or what I call the grill bar – what is technically supposed to be called the robata counter. I sat at the robata counter – the bar surrounding Kushi’s kitchen. There is literally no back kitchen at Kushi, everything is prepared out front under the watchful eye of diners. With charcoal and wood burning grills, a sous-vide machine and a few tiny stoves, eating at Kushi is cooking theater. Chefs slice, dice, grill, plate and prep right in front of you. It gives the diner a perfect vantage point for the evening, and also keeps you craving more. Continue reading

Food and Drink, The Features

First Look: Bibiana Osteria & Enoteca

Photo courtesy of
‘Bibiana Outside Vertical’
courtesy of ‘needlessspaces’

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