dc news

After 7 months, we finally learn what Barton Seaver, the guy who made Hook the amazing restaurant it was (and used to work at Cafe Saint-Ex and Bar Pilar), is going.  He’s now the executive chef at Blue Ridge, a new neighborhood restaurant that will be opening on April 1st.

Prices range from $13-20 for entrees and the new restaurant will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner. 

I can’t wait to try the new restaurant!

Well, I’m late to the news, but am bummed to report that after 15 years, Les Halles has closed.  No more steak and frites for me…or anyone else.  Darn. 

They officially shut their DC doors on Friday, November 14th, but you can still try their food in NYC and Miami.  And if you’re going to celebrate Beaujolais Nouveau on November 19th 20th, they’re scheduled to be open for that.

The reason for the shut down?  The lease was set to expire

Any ideas on who is going to take over?

The burrito man is back.  Everything is essentially the same except a minor price increase.  Now if you get a medium burrito with cheese on a flour tortilla, it’s $5.50 (it used to be $5).

Still one of the best things you can buy for $5.50.  His frequent burrito cards aren’t available (yet). 

Burrito Cart Returns!  Burrito Cart Returns! 

And here’s the updated menu:

Burrito Cart Menu

And when we were talking to John, he said he’s going to retire working at the cart.  Yay, this means he’s not leaving for a very long time. 

Thank goodness!  I don’t think I could handle another disappearance…

**UPDATE 9/12 He’s back and for good.  Yay!**

**UPDATE at 9 AM EST — John said he’s got a propane leak so he won’t be able to open today, but he says tomorrow’s going to be the day.**

I received an email this morning from John, the Burrito Man on 15th and K, telling his fans that he’s back and open for business.  From his email:

Pedro & Vinny’s will open on Thursday 9/11/2008 at 15th & K Street’s (NW) Washington DC .

I am glad to be back to 15th & K street in DC. I can’t wait to see all of my friends, past customers and new ones too. So, help me spread the news… Tell a friend or better yet bring a friend or two … or even your whole office :)… I will make them the BEST and FRESHEST burrito they have ever had. Don’t forget the GOOSE sauce! You have to try it………..

Free Chips and the entertainment ( me cooking ) is FREE too….

I can’t wait to grab my burrito today!  I’ve been checking his Web site all week!

OK, so you caught me — I was on vacation.  And for me, that meant 4 blissful days without my Blackberry or computer. 

So I missed the email that said the famous burrito cart, the one I love so much, is returning!  Pedro & Vinny’s is expected to re-open the first or second week of September.

While we don’t know why he’s returning (he says it’s a long story), but that this time, his family is coming with him.  Will that mean Mrs. Pedro & Vinny’s and mini-Pedro & Vinny’s will be in the cart too?  Ha ha…regardless, I’m excited to see him back!

To get more information, check out his new Web site.  I can’t wait to get my burrito…I hope I didn’t throw away my frequent burrito eater cards!

Update 8/26: This morning my neighbor came over to say that Hello Cupcake ruled and Georgetown Cupcake drooled.  Ha ha.  She said that they were so incredibly moist and delicious — couldn’t stop saying enough good stuff.  Her favorite was the you tart!.  She also mentioned that they make their gluten-free and vegan cupcakes in the morning when everything is sterile and clean. 


My office neighbor was really excited to hear that Hello Cupcake! grand opening was today and asked if I wanted to go with (she also offered to bring back a cupcake for me, so kind!).  I decided to venture out in this ridiculous humidity with her and go.

While we were walking there, she was telling me how much she loves Georgetown Cupcake and how she wondered if it’d be as good.

When we went, there was a line almost to the door of the SEIU building next door.  Since I had to get back, I dropped out of line but my neighbor stayed strong and in line.

After returning only 30 minutes after I had, she came back with 4 beautiful cupcakes and a few tidbits.

  • Fox 5 was there to record the opening and interviewing folks (will be airing the interview at 6 PM tonight)
  • There’s a huge pink chandelier in the middle of the cupcake bakery
  • There are 8 tables and chairs inside where you can hang out and enjoy your cupcake(s)
  • The owner’s husband was in the front of the house and was telling folks some interesting factoids about the place including one of the chefs was Tony from Food Network’s Iron Chef (side note – I don’t know who this is and can’t find any mention on their Web site; anyone?)

And for those who were wondering if it’s as good as Georgetown Cupcakes, she said that she can’t give a definitive answer without doing a side-by-side comparison, but did say Hello Cupcake! is definitely strong competition.

Plus, cute packaging!  When she opened the box so I could take a photo, it smelled so yummy!

Hello Cupcake  Hello Cupcake

Row 1 (in the back left) – prima donna; triple coconut
Row 2 (in the front left) – you tart! (gluten free); velvet Elvis

To see the full list, click here.  To make reservations on OpenTable, click here.  Like I did last year,  I’m only posting the menus of the restaurants that are in the three or four dollar range (based on OpenTable). 

The list is bleak because a lot of restaurants haven’t yet posted.  But keep checking back because I’ll be making the updates!  Most restaurants that are going to post their menus have so I’ve tried to compile them here.  If I’ve missed one, let me know. 

Don’t forget — lunch is $20.08 and dinner is $35.08.  It’s happening August 11-17th. 


  • Bobby Van’s Steakhouse — There are two locations, so click here and then on the location you’re interested in to see the menu. 
  • Sam & Harry’s — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • Taberna del Alabardero — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • The Caucus Room — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.
  • The Prime Rib — Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu is here.  Also celebrating until August 29th. 


  • Ardeo— Cleveland Park — Menu can be found here, then click Menu and Restaurant Week.
  • Bastille — Alexandria — Only celebrating Aug 12th-16th.  Lunch is regular menu.  Dinner menu here
  • Bistro Bis— Capitol Hill — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Bombay Club— Downtown — Menus for lunch and dinner can be found here, then click Events and Restaurant Week.
  • Cafe Atlantico — Penn Quarter — Extended to August 18th-24th.  Lunch menu here.  Dinner menu here.
  • Ceiba— Penn Quarter — Lunch and dinner menu can be found here.  Also August 18-24, offering bottles of wine for $20.08 and $35.08. 
  • Charlie Palmer— Capitol Hill — Pre-fixe lunch menu here for $20.08. Also doing dinner, but no available online menu.
  • Chef Geoff— Downtown and Georgetown menus found here, then click on either location.
  • DC Coast— Downtown — Lunch and dinner menu can be found here, then click on Upcoming Events.
  • District ChopHouse — Penn Quarter — Dinner only and menu is here.
  • FarrahOlivia — Alexandria — Extended to September 22nd.  Menu TBA.
  • La Bergia — Alexandria — Extended to August 24th.  Menu TBA.
  • Neyla — Georgetown — Dinner only menu here.
  • Rasika— Penn Quarter — Menus for lunch and dinner can be found here, then click Events. 
  • TenPenh — Penn Quarter — Menu TBA.  Also August 18-24, offering bottles of wine for $20.08 and $35.08. 
  • Vidalia— Golden Triangle — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Willow Restaurant— Arlington — Lunch and dinner menus can be found here.
  • Zengo — Penn Quarter — Menu TBA.  Celebrating until August 24th. 

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