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Fork and Spade Coming to Tenleytown Next to Dancing Crab

by Prince Of Petworth November 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm 39 Comments

4619 41st Street, NW

A restaurant called Fork and Spade is coming to the retail space of the new building at 4619 41st Street, NW next to the Dancing Crab in Tenleytown. A recent liquor license posted says Fork ‘n Spade will be a:

“New Restaurant serving American cuisine with various types of live music, DJ, and dancing. Seating is 150. Total occupancy load is 200. Sidewalk Café with approximately 40 seats.”

Their Website says:

The Fork & Spade will be farm-to-table establishment offering innovative American Cuisine with a twist. Our mission is to provide quality, delicious, local, fresh food to the DC Metro Area. We want to bring the area’s best products, raised and grown at local farms, directly to our customers. We plan on doing this three ways; first with a food truck that can hit the roads and literally deliver our food to the community, next by establishing a temporary pop-up restaurant in our brick and mortar space so that we can serve our neighbors as soon as possible, and finally by opening the completed space at 4619 41st Street, NW that will seat approximately 150 guests and serve both lunch and dinner seven days a week. During the summer months there will be additional seating outside on our patio. The Fork & Spade will be a family friendly restaurant that, as our name suggests, will remind our customers of the synergy between the dinner table and the farm.

Culinary Institute of America graduates and Executive Chefs, Alexander Bous, and his fiancee Renee Straus, and Executive Sous Chef Robert Cain, adopt a humble approach to educating guests through delicious food, wine, beer and spirits in a communal environment. Boasting high quality local food and unique menu design, the Fork & Spade will be an elegant yet approachable New American restaurant with regionally influenced plates and beverages in a family friendly atmosphere. Our bar will offer a generous selection of wines and beers by the glass as well as wine and beer flights, non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails that encourage our guests to experience and explore new flavors and sensations.

Ultimately, we will strive to strengthen the bonds of community between farmers, chefs, and our customers by feeding them deliciously prepared, high quality, local food. We are committed to conducting and promoting sustainable business practices on a local, national, and global level. We hope to make our internal community a positive influence on our external community and we believe that by offering our guests a night out that is highly enjoyable and educational, we will create an experience unlike any other. This experience, along with an attractive offering of unique beverages and creative seasonal menus, we believe, is what ‘dinning out’ should be about.

  • #1 fail. – Frackingly excessive verbiage -“We are committed to conducting and promoting sustainable business practices on a local, national, and global level. We hope to make our internal community a positive influence on our external community and we believe that by offering our guests a night out that is highly enjoyable and educational.”

    #2 fail – Relentlessly more silly words! ” adopt a humble approach to educating guests through delicious food, wine, beer and spirits in a communal environment.” Honestly – you can feed me bacon while rubbing my feet and sending people to clean all my bathrooms and I will still choke on “elegant yet approachable.”

    #3 – “Fork and Spade” is a terrible name – sorry – but it is. In no world does this conjure anything good – at best it sounds like a campy murder mystery.

    #4 -Launching any new business is hard. Restaurants are even harder. Don’t cripple yourself out of the gate by making yourself sound ridiculous.

    • monkeyrotica

      at best it sounds like a campy murder mystery.

      At worst, it sounds like a hatecrime.

  • Can’t wait! Alex is an old friend of mine from back in the day. This is his first restaurant, so I’m hoping for the best. The food truck is rolling now, I haven’t had a chance to try it yet though.

  • Anonymous

    This explanation hits 4 of my pet peeves for when a restaurant is soon-to-be coming and opening…

    1. Give up catch-phrases that do nothing more than lay out glossy jargon: farm-to-table. Ugh! What happened to plain English? Not good enough? It should be if they focused on what really matter: the taste of these locally-sourced or ingredients sourced from half way around the world. Put it together in a tasty dish.

    2. Bring community together: farmers, chef, customers? Oh, please. How many customers give a hoot about the farmers producing many of the products? Some customers, of course, know about farming practices, etc., but dining at a restaurant does little to nothing to bridge this community relationship other than offering products from the farmers to the patrons. You could say the same for any grocery store. The only relationship that you might cultivate would be chef-customer and that might be questionable, too.

    3. Education? I’m not sure who they are dining with but not many of my dining companions go out to eat in order to become educated. It’s not that I eat with uneducated people, we just don’t want to be educated/lectured/preached to when dining out, an experience that is supposed to be fun, relaxing, enjoyable.

    4. This is not a unique and creative dining experience. It is happening everywhere around DC.

    • Anonymous

      totally agree re: number 3 and its so pretentious how so many new restaurants say they wish to “educate” the consumer. I’m fine being exposed to new things, but for crying out loud, it’s just food.

    • Anonymous

      Totally agree on #4. My exact thoughts when reading this and picking up on the same shop-worn phrases used in every restaurant business plan of the past 10 years.

      I’d love to see someone say, “We’re gonna serve you good food. No lectures, no ‘education’…just good, honest, belly-filling food that might be locally sourced but might not be. Isn’t that what you came to us for?”

      • Anonymous

        Right. Food that’s made with locally sourced ingredients is probably going to be better anyway, so I would leave the buzzwords out of the sales pitch and let the dishes speak for themselves.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you.

  • Agree with the below. They are just laying the ground work so we aren’t suprised when we see their menu and find out that they are charging $17 bucks for a crostini with tomato paste lovingly called Farmers Morning Bisquit, or something equally as ridiculous and spendy.

    I bet they have a $14 dollar toasted cheese sandwich too…its popular with the “farm to table” crowd that has become supposedly popular.

  • I’ve always sought an answer to the age-old question: “what should dinning out be about?” If only I could find a definition for “dinning.”

    • monkeyrotica

      And they’re only serving unique beverages? They’re not even very unique? Sorry, but I only drink beverages that are the most unique.

    • monkeyrotica

      din (dn) n.

      A jumble of loud, usually discordant sounds. See Synonyms at noise.
      v. dinned, din·ning, dins
      1. To stun with deafening noise.
      2. To instill by wearying repetition: dinned the Latin conjugations into the students’ heads.
      To make a loud noise.

      At least they’re up front about the place having lots of “energy” and “buzz.” Looking forward to screaming at my locally-sourced freerange clam sorbet.

    • Michael

      Dear PoPVille,

      Chill. Out.

      This is dude’s first restaurant and entry into the dc dining scene. It doesn’t have the financial backing of a Graffiato or the like. And none of us have seen the menu. I’d say let’s reserve judgement, but this is the internet, after all.

      • Anonymous

        You don’t need financial backing to be somewhat original and not pretentious.

      • Anonymous

        “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This ridiculous marketing is happening in a lot of restaurants – from your friend’s first-time venture to one’s that have serious financial backing. It doesn’t matter. Your friend would be better off putting money towards the restaurant.

      • PoPville is a very supportive community of new restaurants. We use this site because we are invested in our city. We’re making observations about the marketing, which is quite honestly hurtful for the restaurant (see: comments about educating diners).

        • michael

          Quite honestly, I think it’s unfair this supposed supportive community is rushing to judgement based on its marketing without even trying the food, let alone even seeing a menu.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t think anyone dared to judge the quality of the food, since you can’t do that yet.

          • michael

            Right, so why are commentors deciding to burn this restaurant at the stake for some marketing missteps in a press release? To be maybe a little un-PC here, this is not your umpteenth asian or indian restaurant (god bless them on their entrepreneurship, if not top quality food), this is a young upstart CIA-trained chef, who maybe wasn’t paying attention in grade school english classes, and has not focused on the marketing aspect, because they’re focusing on getting the food right. I think its unfair to be so judgemental at this point because, you’re right, NO ONE HAS TRIED THE FOOD!

          • Anonymous

            It sounds like he’s focusing too much on the marketing aspect.

  • Charlie Adler

    My understanding is that the other name they played with “Sh*t on a Plate” didn’t fare well with the Dinning Cognoscenti..

  • I’ll be interested to try it. I guess I don’t see how this place is any more pretentious than the new restaurants that PoP normally swoons over.

  • Anonymous

    At the end of the day, all that matters is the food, service and atmosphere. I see nothing wrong with the description. Looking forward to giving them a shot.

    • Anonymous

      Well, yes and no. At the end of the day, you’re right – food, service and ambience are what should really matter for a dining (or *dinning* experience). However, marketing is what gets me through the door of a new or any establishment for that matter. This is true even for well-seasoned restaurateurs but especially true for newcomers to the restaurant business. I have nothing else to go on. With so many places competing for my business (and everyone else’s business), your customer-facing marketing does make a difference. Maybe it shouldn’t (save for another dicsusion), but it does. The quality of the food, service and ambiance will be the test for whether it deserves return visits.

      • Anonymous

        Alright, alright. So there is a typo. That sucks. But let’s get over ourselves. It happens.

        And they used other dc restaurant’s marketing as a guideline. Meh. According to the post above, these kids are new. I don’t think it’s all that bad.

        All I’m saying is that I’m willing to wait and see. I’m not gonna boycott the place before it even opens on things so silly.

        • Anonymous

          It’s not a typo. It’s a description that’s off-putting to a lot of us because it’s pretentious and it implies that the owner thinks he can ply us with over-used buzzwords. It also sends the message that they’re focused on a concept, and maybe not so much on the food.

          • ctk

            I’m pretty sure “dinning” is a typo.

  • Ber

    Sheesh people…everyone calm yourselves. It takes gumption to start your business, let alone a restaurant. A community should support local businesses as opposed to straight attacking them from the gate. I’m interested to try it and let the food, atmosphere and service speak for itself.

  • Anonymous

    Haters gonna hate

  • anon

    People have been pretty harsh here… but I have to say, that marketing text kinda brought it upon itself.

    I think the marketing effort here is counterproductive.

  • Anonymous

    Wow. Commenters are feeling overly judgmental for the holidays. It is standard fluff. People are so angry about it. It’s no different than the fluff every other restaurant puts out. If the food is good, I could care less about the copy on the website.

    • Anonymous

      I think this restaurant is the unfortunate recipient of a tipping point.

    • Anonymous

      Not so sure this is a sign of a tipping point as much as it is a sign that the new restaurant scene has jumped the shark.

      Also, it’s a sign that we diners are tired of yet another restaurant marketing itself in the same way as all the others. If everyone’s unique, no one is.

      Don’t worry, it’ll be patronized, and it’ll probably even be popular for a while. (DC diners have pretty “accommodating” standards (read: low), if Yelp is any indication.)

      • anonymous two

        Anonymous, you are so right. Thanks for sticking to your guns and not giving in to the guilt crowd. The hackneyed verbiage spewed out by this restaurant, before it’s even opened, is nauseating. This place sounds like soooo many (most?) of the restaurants nowadays, more a concept created around a boardroom table of fedora-topped hipsters than a good place to eat. How much longer do we have to endure that phrase “farm-to-table”? And does “regionally influenced plates” refer to the dinnerware?

  • Anon

    I wonder how many people live in the area. Anyway, as a Tenley resident, I look forward to a new option.

    • Anonymous

      I agree! I’m ready for something new in this tierd scene of restaurants that is the tenleytown food scene. As far as I’m concerned, there is not a single place there that I would eat at on a regular basis. So, let’s see what I got fork and spade.

      • Anonymous

        See what you got*

  • RozCat

    I like the name. it’s rhythmic, it scans well, it uses simple words that are unique in their combination and it hints at its concept just enough without hitting you over the head with it (Like “Farm and Fresh” or whatever that new place on the GT Waterfront is called). How many dinners are reading press releases?


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