800 Upshur Street, NW
I know I continue to sound like a broken record when I speak of amazing transformations on Upshur Street but here is another amazing transformation on Upshur Street. You have to remember this is the former, troubled Riyad market:
8th and Upshur St, NW previously
And now it is this:
And that’s just a tiny slice. Ruta Del Vino is the Latin American Wine Bar and Restaurant that we first heard about a year ago. Now they are very very close to opening – I’m told the soft opening should be in about a week or so and the proper opening in about two weeks or so (knock wood, knock wood!) But as you can tell the space is 99% completed and just a jaw dropper dominated by a huge wrap around bar (lots more photos after the jump.) In the meantime, have a sneak peek of the menu “90+% complete”:
Earlier they shared on their Facebook info about the new chef:
“After a long search, we’re pleased to announce we’ve hired an executive chef.
Chef Victor Meneses began his career in his hometown of Albuquerque, NM, helping his father prepare authentic Mexican street food for his camión (food truck). At fourteen, Victor began working as a dishwasher and prep cook for a local New Mexican Restaurant. Soon, he landed a job at the northern Italian restaurant Scalo and trained under award-winning chef Jonathan Perno, working his way through every station in the restaurant, honing his skills and technique and expanding his knowledge of Italian cuisine.
A few years later, Victor moved to the Washington, DC area to attend L’Academie de Cuisine. While in school, he worked for the late culinary legend Michel Richard at Citronelle and learned the importance of building flavors and refining technique. Victor completed his culinary externship at Equinox, known for imaginative, seasonal, regional American cuisine. After that, he worked for Chef Tony Chittum at Notti Bianche. Soon, Victor was promoted to sous chef, then to executive sous chef. Over the next few years, he continued to learn from the best chefs in the area, working with Drew Trautmann of Sonoma on Capitol Hill, Jeff Black of Black’s Bar & Kitchen in Bethesda, and Ethan McKee of Circle Bistro.
Victor relocated to South Florida seven years ago and was intrigued and inspired by the area’s produce and seafood, preferring to use products that are locally sourced. He allows nature to dictate his menu, mixing the subtle with the unexpected, avoiding trends in favor of elegance and timelessness. Freshness, simplicity and depth of flavor are his trademarks, and he strives to execute every dish with care and attention. During his time in Florida, he was executive chef for one of south Florida’s best Mexican restaurants, El Camino, which was voted one of the top 100 restaurants in the country two years in a row by OpenTable.
At Ruta del Vino, Victor will design a menu covering a broad array of Latin American cuisines to pair with wines from across Latin America.
And I’ll be sure to update when the opening date is confirmed. Now check out lots more photos of the space: