The opening of the Newseum has been pushed back to the first quarter of 2008, but the finishing touches are being put in place at its adjoining restaurant, The Source by Wolfgang Puck, which is scheduled to open Oct. 8. [IMGCAP(1)]
The new restaurant, located on Sixth Street Northwest just north of Pennsylvania Avenue, will offer two distinct dining concepts, overseen by executive chef Scott Drewno. The 32-year-old chef worked for Puck at Chinois and Spago in Las Vegas for six years before moving to New York City, where he worked at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Vong restaurant and Stephen Hanson’s Ruby Foo’s.
“The menus at The Source rely heavily on the exceptional breadth of resources available in the mid-Atlantic region, from the local and organic produce to native specialties, such as the Chesapeake Bay’s blue crabs, Virginia’s oysters and Maryland’s artisanal cheeses,” Drewno said.
On the restaurant’s ground floor is a bar and lounge, which has a casual menu and seats about 70. A wood-burning oven will turn out Puck’s signature pizzas, including a pie topped with smoked salmon, dill cream and caviar. Smaller dishes will include tamarind ribs and prime beef sliders with smoked onion marmalade and white cheddar. Food will be served continuously, from lunch through late-night dining.
A wide staircase, set in front of a glass wall showcasing wine, leads up to the second floor, which is home to a 140-seat upscale dining room and separate menu featuring modern spins on Asian cuisine. Roasted suckling pig with a plum-fig chutney, steamed black bass “Hong Kong” style with baby bok choy, and lacquered Chinese duckling with wild huckleberries and glass noodles are a few featured dishes.
The upstairs kitchen boasts a traditional Shanghai-style wok range and custom steamer. Just off the upstairs dining room, a small terrace overlooking Sixth Street Northwest will hold about 18 seats.
The Source’s third level, just below ground, houses a 40-seat private dining room.
Meanwhile, the Newseum’s top terrace is shaping up to be a sought-after party destination. The spacious outdoor area offers sweeping views of the Capitol, Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Mall and the Washington Monument. Wolfgang Puck Catering will head up dining options for the space.
Harvest Time. In an effort to support local farms that have a late-summer abundance of produce, Butterfield 9 (600 14th St. NW) has introduced a three-course Harvest Menu for $35. Wine pairings are available for an additional $18.
Chef Michael Harr is buying produce in bulk from the Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market for the new menu, which is available through Oct. 31.
Choices from the menu include sweet corn soup with Asiago cheese; Arctic char with eggplant terrine, red pepper confit and English pea jus; and grilled pork tenderloin with fresh peach compote.
The restaurant also recently welcomed pastry chef Manabu Inoue, who most recently created desserts at the restaurants of Masaharu Morimoto (of “Iron Chef” fame). The new Harvest Menu features his spiced melon soup with a soba tuile, and molten chocolate cake with Champagne-peach sorbet and peach compote.
Prost! Grab a beer stein and head to Barracks Row on Sept. 29, where an Oktoberfest celebration is scheduled to take place throughout the day.
Eighth Street Southeast will be closed to traffic between the 500 and 700 blocks for the event. The Armed Forces Military Cook-off, modeled after the “Iron Chef” competition, will start the day at 8 a.m. From noon to 6 p.m., a beer garden and various performances will be offered. And though their Barracks Row pizza outpost isn’t slated to open until next year, Matchbox will be on hand offering information and a peek inside their new space at 521 Eighth St. SE.
For more information, visit barracksrow.org.
Missed The Palm? After its summer renovation, The Palm (1225 19th St. NW) reopens today. Power diners will find a bigger bar, a new glass-enclosed veranda and, perhaps most importantly, new faces on the famous caricature walls.
Among those joining the existing who’s who of powerful people are former Roll Call editor Ed Henry (now with CNN), D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, George Stephanopoulos and CBS’ Bob Schieffer.