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Burata – Punjabi style #comingsoon

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The former Elisir Italian Restaurant closed here in January 2014. We learned Punjab Grill was coming here almost exactly a year ago. And now the good word from Food & Wine:

“Over the last year, an American restaurant was built in India. Using methods that were passed down over generations, artisans hand carved a 40-foot, 12,000-pound swath of pink sandstone to adorn one wall. Read More

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3301-3305 12th Street, NE at Kearny via Masala Story

Masala Story tweeted the good news over the weekend:

“First of all we thank everyone for the support/patience and the time you all have waited to see this sign glow. We are excited to announce that we will be open for business Starting tomorrow Dec 31st 2017.”

Ed. Note: This was the once planned for location of a 2nd Indigo location. The early word on the Brookland Listserve is very good!

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Photo by REY LOPEZ

From a press release:

Highly anticipated ‘Fine Fast Casual’ Indian restaurant RASA (1247 First Street, SE) from the dynamic next generation DC-based hospitality duo Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman is scheduled to open on Wednesday, December 6th for lunch and dinner service. RASA will be open daily from 11:00am to 10:00pm.


Photo by REY LOPEZ

Check out the full RASA Final Menu December 2017 (PDF)

Located in the ground floor of the F1RST Residences within the vibrant Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, RASA has been a culinary project in the making since co-founders Rahul and Sahil were attending high school in Montgomery County. The sons of celebrated hospitality veterans and longtime business partners Chef K.N. Vinod and Surfy Rahman of Indique and Bombay Bistro, Rahul and Sahil grew up in their family’s vibrant restaurants, and were quite literally born into the hospitality industry. Growing up in restaurants, they quickly realized that many people had preconceived notions about Indian cuisine, and at a young age began dreaming about ways to make the meals they grew up loving more accessible to a larger audience of diners. Read More

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3309 Connecticut Avenue, NW

From Bindaas:

“Opening Date: August 10, 2016

Hours of Operation: Dining Hours: Sunday, from 11 AM to 9 PM; Monday through Wednesday, from 5 PM to 10 PM, Thursday and Friday, 5 PM to 10:45 PM and Saturday, from 11 AM to 10:45 PM.

Bar Hours: Sunday, from 11 AM to 10 PM; Monday through Wednesday, from 5 PM to 11 PM; Thursday and Friday, from 5 PM to 11:30 PM and Saturday, from 11 AM to 11:30 PM.

Owner: Ashok Bajaj
Group Executive Chef: Vikram Sunderam

Bindaas Menu (PDF)

Menu Description: Guests can anticipate savory snacks, kebabs, with vegetarian options as well as pork, fish, chicken and beef street food dishes that are easy on the wallet. Standout dishes include: Pathar Gosht, a lamb kebab cooked on a stone oven served over a bed of saffron rice with saffron and cashews, Uttapam, a fermented rice pancake with lentils and shrimp pepper; Bhel Puri, a Bombay seaside snack with raw mangoes, lentils, puffed rice which is sweet and savory, and a wrap, the Kati Roll with Goan Pork.

Wine List: Bindaas offers an international wine list with 60 wines by the bottle and 18 wines by the glass. A variety of Indian beers and whiskey selections will also be available, along with four signature cocktails and two mocktails reflecting the spirits and spices of India.

Capacity: 35 seats in the main dining room and nine seats at the bar. One can also book a reception in the upstairs dining room, which can accommodate up to 40 guests seated. A rooftop patio is also available from April to October (weather permitting), and can accommodate 20 guests seated.

Interior Design: James Beard Foundation’s award-nominated restaurant designer Martin Vahtra of Projects Design Associates of New York is the designer of record for Bindaas. The new interior incorporates new flooring, acoustical tiles, new furnishings and a new art installation mural of street food vendors along with graffiti one would find in India.

According to Martin Vahtra, Bindaas was created as a nod toward Indian street food and culture. The open kitchen has been transformed into a test kitchen for the chefs to create and delight customers with Indian everyday “delicacies” often unavailable in the US and cherished in Indian. Street food in particular does not always mean sitting down for a three-course meal but rather ordering many small dishes, a table full of food ideal for sharing. Casual dinners can be memorable especially when transported to a different country and culture. Food markets give one the smells, flavors and foods of a new place. They offer more authentic experiences than the tourist versions of local dishes in many restaurants. This is the intent of the open kitchen at Bindaas.

The first thing guests notice when they enter Bindaas is the “Indian silk teal” color on the exterior. It is designed with a warm and rich wood wall of rustic reclaimed beams, influenced by Indian screens and shutters. As one turns the corner, they are faced with a custom mural on the feature wall in the restaurant. This piece of art represents Indian graffiti and street life. Furthermore, the restaurant’s new fabrics and paint colors add a punch of jewel tone color to the space. To create soft mood lighting, new custom pendants are being added that are created from baskets, as a nod to the food markets of India. New bar top lights have been installed to create intimacy for the diner at the bar. The back bar has been redesigned with new display shelves to present an exciting layout and distinguish the new restaurant from its sister restaurant next door. The overall outcome is a new contemporary interior that evokes elements of Indian culture without being cliché.”

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Lots more photos after the jump. Read More

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Indique Dining Room
Dining Room at 3512-14 Connecticut Ave NW courtesy Indique

From a press release:

“Available beginning on Saturday July 30th, celebrated modern Indian restaurant Indique – known for its creative and contemporary Indian cuisine blending classic Indian flavors and ingredients with a contemporary twist – is launching their new weekend brunch service.

Available every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00AM to 3:00PM, devout brunch-goers in Washington DC will have the opportunity to enjoy Executive Chef K.N. Vinod’s new spice-infused weekend brunch at Indique in Cleveland Park. The notable modern Indian restaurant will offer a bottomless brunch option priced at $20 per person for brunch guests looking solely to indulge in unlimited savory dishes without all of the beverages. And brunch lovers looking to enjoy an endless stream of brunch beverages will have the option of indulging in either bottomless mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice for an additional $10 per person ($30 total), or bottomless cocktails for an additional $15 per person ($35 total).

Creative brunch fare features Indian-inspired classics with creative twists including a Breakfast Kathi Roll, Chicken Kabab Eggs Benedict, Appam Waffle Sundae, Shreekandh Parfait, and Masala Omelette, just to highlight a few. And for brunch beverages, guests can choose from a variety of boozy sips including a Mimosa with Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice, Tamarind Margarita, Indique Mary, or a Rum Lassi, amongst others.

In addition, to add an exciting visual and interactive culinary brunch component, the team at Indique will also be offering a street food-inspired dosa station where guests enjoying brunch will be able to watch live as a selection of dosas including a Cookie Butter Dosa, Vegetable Mini Dosa, Lamb Dosa, and Egg Dosa, are prepared fresh right in front of them. #DosasandMimosas is ready to make its debut in Washington DC’s bustling brunch scene! Read More

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633 D Street, NW

From a press release:

“Ashok Bajaj’s landmark Rasika is closing briefly on July 5th, for four days, to undergo a total makeover. It will reopen in time for dinner service on July 9th. Located at 633 D Street, N.W., (between 6th & 7th Streets), the four-star restaurant will soon be celebrating its 10th anniversary as it opened in December 2005. Rasika was quickly recognized as one of the America’s “Best New Restaurants” by Esquire, as well as one of Food & Wine’s “Hottest Restaurants in The World” during its first year. This crowd pleaser is known for exceptional Indian fare, created by Rasika’s Group Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam, who captured the “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” James Beard Award in 2014.

Guests will find an eye-catching transformation of the 140-seat oasis. The new décor is being spearheaded by Harry Gregory, the director of ara Design of London, England. Gregory designed the opening interior for Rasika and has worked with Bajaj on several of his award-winning restaurants over the years.

“The make-over is necessary to maintain Rasika’s good looks and cutting edge appeal,” states Harry Gregory. “Without transforming the restaurant’s appearance too much, it was decided to freshen up the interior by changing the colour palette and by providing new lighting, fabrics and furniture. However the first step is to install a new acoustic ceiling to lower the noise level which will make the restaurant an even more pleasant space to dine.”

In the main dining room, silk effect wall covering will be employed in a soft range of mustard colors that harmonize the whole space and work alongside the new chair upholsteries, which will be in shades of olive green and brown. While in the private dining room, a whole new feel is being created incorporating a specially made wall covering from Europe’s Timorous Beasties. This company is known for being bold when it comes to use of both pattern and color. In fact the new private room will be quite a special and striking place to entertain up to 16 guests.

New lighting is being imported from United Kingdom-based Chelsom Lighting. The “artichoke” lights are finished in a soft brushed gold tone to bring a sense of glamour to the interior. These will enhance Rasika’s signature red and clear glass crystal curtain which will remain in place. The new lighting will enrich the middle section of the restaurant while accentuating the Indian atmosphere.

Patterned fabrics from Rubelli in Venice, Italy will also add a quality touch to the new interior and again invoke the feel of India. The contemporary feel of the restaurant is enhanced by new armchairs from Potocco, a company also based in Italy and specially sourced for this important make-over. Finally a new feature wall with shelves and lighting exhibits original artifacts brought from India by Ashok Bajaj. One will see antique pots and vases which add the atmosphere of the new and fresh Rasika restaurant.”

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You can see their menu here.

Lots more photos after the jump. Read More

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641 Indiana Ave, NW

Thanks to a reader for the heads up about Grand Trunk now hiring. I was optimistic last month and even more so when I spotted the new signage above and the reader saw the posting for jobs:

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Lots of details from craigslist:

JOIN OUR FAMILY

Hospitality has always been a core value for South Asian civilizations and our corporate culture is rooted in centuries of tradition. At Grand Trunk, our staff works together as a family unit, and we treat every guest as an extension of this family. Providing impeccable, world class service and raising the bar at every level is required of all our employees as we are committed to setting new standards in the industry. We seek charismatic, always positive individuals to join our team. Please understand that our application process is rigorous, and that we are only able to accept a small percentage of applicants. Extensive past experience is not always required, as we offer training in order to maintain the best team in the city for our respective positions. If you believe you have what it takes to be a part of the GT family then we encourage you to apply today!

As a company with significant expansion plans, Grand Trunk accepts applications for all employee positions year round.

Grand Trunk is an Equal Opportunity Employer and celebrating diversity is at the core of our corporate culture. Read More

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