French Concept Bistro du Jour Expands to Capitol Hill
When it opened: Sept. 18
Why you should know about it: This is the second Bistro du Jour restaurant from Knead, a leading hospitality group in the Washington, D.C., area; it follows the first location, which opened on D.C.’s Wharf in 2021.
The neighborhood: Bistro du Jour is on Massachusetts Avenue, not far from D.C.’s landmark Union Station and Lower Senate Park.
The culinary approach: True to its name and like its sibling restaurant on the Wharf, the new Bistro du Jour offers French bistro cuisine prepared by executive chef Senovio Pablo. Dishes include onion soup, coq au vin, gnocchi Parisienne with mushrooms, steak frites and pan-roasted salmon with ratatouille. These join traditional desserts like crème brûlée and soufflé.
What’s on the wine list: Alongside a selection of French-themed cocktails, the wines at Bistro du Jour are primarily from France’s key regions, including Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and the Loire Valley, with wineries such as Jacques Lassaigne and Chinon’s Olga Raffault. There are also still and sparkling wines from regions in Italy, Spain, Germany, the U.S. and farther afield. Altogether, wine director Darlin Kulla, who oversees the wine programs at other Knead restaurants, has assembled about 130 wines backed by an inventory of more than 800 bottles.
Also of note: Looking forward, Bistro du Jour is hoping to work with wineries on wine events for guests. And Knead is planning to open five new restaurants in 2024 and at least two more in 2025.
Chef Farrell Harrison Opens Plates in New Orleans
Who’s behind it: Co-owner and chef Farrell Harrison, originally from Chalmette, La., in the wider New Orleans metropolitan area; Harrison is an alum of several local mainstays, both open and closed, including Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner Josephine Estelle at the Ace Hotel New Orleans. Co-owner Brian Weisnicht is general manager and Allen Weeks is manager.
When it opened: Sept. 7
Why you should know about it: New Orleans is home to one of the country’s most diverse dining scenes, and that is front and center at Harrison’s restaurant, which combines influences from African, Cajun, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Mediterranean and Vietnamese culinary traditions.
The neighborhood: The restaurant is located at 1051 Annunciation Street in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, not far from Wine Spectator Grand Award winner Emeril’s, as well as the National World War II Museum and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (also home to the Museum of the American Cocktail).
The culinary approach: The menu at Plates changes often depending on what ingredients, produce and fish are locally available, and also on seasonality and sustainability. The results are dishes like charred okra with Viet-Cajun butter, patatas bravas, blue crab claws with nuoc cham (a Vietnamese condiment) and shrimp with black garlic soubise (French onion sauce).
What’s on the wine list: Weisnicht oversees the wine list, which features about 100 selections supported by a 1,000-bottle inventory. Spain is a primary region in the program, but there’s plenty more from countries and regions around the Mediterranean, such as Greece, Sicily, Portugal, Corsica, southern France and Lebanon. A few highlight wineries on the list are Cyprus’ Zambartas, Sicily’s COS and Spain’s Olivier Rivière. Plates plans to host monthly wine dinners beginning at a later date.
The name: Plates is intended as a straight-to-the-point, yet still somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to the seeming simplicity of the restaurant’s cuisine and to the small, shareable plates that diners can find across New Orleans restaurants.—C.D.
Eddie V’s Prime Seafood Comes to Boca Raton, Fla.
Who’s behind it: This is the latest restaurant from Eddie V’s, joining 29 Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners. Eddie V’s is part of the wider Darden Restaurants family, which also includes Restaurant Award winners such as the Capital Grille and Seasons 52.
When it opened: Sept. 28
Why you should know about it: Eddie V’s is a proven concept that consistently delivers top-notch seafood and steak alongside stellar wine lists.
The neighborhood: Located at 201 Plaza Real in Mizner Park, the restaurant is squarely in the Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, not far from a Brightline rail station and the Boca Raton Museum of Art.
The culinary approach: Executive chef and restaurant partner Joey Medellin prepares an American-cuisine (and partly Asian-inspired) menu of seafood and beef dishes, including Hong Kong–style Chilean sea bass, crab fried rice, parmesan sole and a wide range of steaks.
What’s on the wine list: Director of beverage strategy Gabriel Valle and managing restaurant partner Michael Adelman oversee the wine list, which, as at other Eddie V’s restaurants, features more than 300 selections, 42 served by the glass. Champagne takes pride of place, as do Californian and Italian wines from the likes of Napa Valley’s Mayacamas and Piedmont’s Gaja.
Also of note: Eddie V’s bottles are stored in a glass wine tower in the dining room. The restaurant also encompasses the V Lounge, where guests can choose from the “Cocktails with Attitude” beverage menu while enjoying live music.—C.D.