Back in late November I shared the news that Maple Italian restaurant was coming to 3418 11th St, NW next to Columbia Heights coffee. More info has been revealed from a new crowd sourcing website called Popularise:
We plan to name the restaurant after a beautiful piece of tiger maple that Eric will use to build our 20-foot-long bar. The sustainably harvested wood came from a tree that had fallen in a swamp. The growth rings and “tiger-streaks” give the wood a rich texture, and it will create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
New York’s many panini bars have perfected this concept, but D.C. is missing the yummy trend. We’d offer Italian panini, fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers, mortadella and goat cheese, but also more American, butcher-style sandwiches. Think short ribs and caramelized onion, or smoked chicken and cheddar. Our recent trip to Cochon Butcher in New Orleans convinced us we should expand the offerings beyond the traditional Italian standbys. Got a favorite combination? Tell us your idea.
Earlier this afternoon a bit more info was released via email:
Maple is the creation of architect Eric Gronning and journalist Lori Robertson. Gronning has been the architect for several successful Washington, D.C., restaurants, including Jack Rose, Marvin, Cork, Pizzeria Paradiso and the Palena expansion. He is also a licensed general contractor, specialty metal fabricator and furniture designer. He will be personally fabricating many components of Maple. Robertson, currently an editor with the website FactCheck.org, has been a journalist for 15 years, writing about politics, the media, travel and health issues.