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Jared A. Barker, 28, General Manager, The Red Hen. Barker earned a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales and continued cooking even while making the switch to front of the house after his boss at New Heights offered him a serving job.
Wildly creative crostini populate fall menus across town—and make for a trend worth savoring. Crostini, those delightfully crunchy little slices of toasted bread teeming with all kinds of savory goodies, are all the rage in Washington, popping up on some of the most alluring menus.
Changes are afoot at Red Hen, the neighborhood Italian spot in Bloomingdale -- but, fear not, it's nothing too dramatic. Krystal Cripe, who has been the restaurant's sous chef working under chef and co-owner Michael Friedman since it opened in April 2013, is now Red Hen's chef de cuisine.
The Red Hen co-owner and Beverage Director Sebastian Zutant hopes to one day start his own wine label. In the meantime, he's partnered with Virginia Wineworks in Charlottesville to create a rosé for the Bloomingdale restaurant called Dahlia. It will make its debut on Monday.
Since opening in spring 2013, The Red Hen has garnered praise for its rustic menu and focus on being an approachable neighborhood restaurant. But that fame has also created long wait times for tables — sometimes up to three hours during prime hours. Jockeying for space here can get competitive and even sparked a debate recently about bar seating etiquette.
On a scrubby block in a working-class neighborhood east of Rock Creek Park, plopped down among cheap hair salons, a dry cleaner and a sad-looking liquor store, the future of dining in Washington, D.C., has arrived.
Orange wine? Anything co-owner Sebastian Zutant wants us to drink more of, count me in. Intriguing wines at user-friendly prices make this bustling newcomer in Bloomingdale worth crossing town for, but so, too, does the relaxed Italian cooking from Michael Friedman. Like Zutant, the chef is an alumnus of the wine-inclined Proof in Penn Quarter; their partner, Mike O'Malley, makes sure the dining room, accessorized with chicken art, runs smoothly.
If Seth Godin or any other motivational speaker of the tech age were to craft a mission statement for the ambitious indie restaurant, it would probably go something like this: Don't try too hard to impress us. The appearance of effort is a drag on our overburdened souls. Give us the sort of dishes we might cook at home for a simple weeknight dinner.
It is time now—drumroll, trumpets, gongs.—to announce the winners of the 2013 Eater Awards. In over a dozen categories in 27 cities, the winners comprise a diverse group of the finest and most interesting chefs, operators, and characters in the continent that have defined this year in dining. We applaud them. You are hereby instructed to applaud them.
It's called "drinking with our eyes" -- the way many of us choose wine bottles based purely on our reactions to their labels. But the science behind wine marketing reveals a great deal about the collective psychology of consumers. We explore the secrets some marketers employ to appeal to consumers and learn how to judge wine by factors other than their labels.
I use a lot of song titles and lyrics in my drink names. This one in particular comes from a Tom Waits line, and it's based off of a negroni, but made with mezcal. So I guess you could call it a "Mexican negroni." I chose mezcal over tequila because of its characteristic smokiness; tequila is smoother because it's distilled twice, not just once. That can make mezcals a bit strong for some, but it works great here. I've been using Don Amado's Plata, which is their white mezcal.
Michael Friedman, chef of the Red Hen in Washington, D.C., offered this Roman-style gnocchi, which is baked and more straightforward than traditional gnocchi. Harder to mess up. Just as delicious.
With so many new Italian restaurants opening this spring, I've been eating a lot of pasta and pizza lately. But amid all these carbs, there's one dish I keep coming back for: The Red Hen's mezze rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu.
Remember when you would ask which wines a restaurant offered and the waiter would reply, "Red, white and pink"? Nowadays, your options might include an unexpected color.
Orange wines are a small drop in the ocean of wine available to us, but they have become a significant niche, even earning their own subheading on restaurant lists. In the District, the Red Hen, Ripple and Dino offer orange wines as a distinct category.
In April, Michael Friedman (a Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises alum), chef Mike O'Malley, and beverage whiz Sebastian Zutant (the latter two who both decamped from Proof) opened their first restaurant, The Red Hen (1822 1st Street NW), a stylish spot that showcases Italian-inflected American fare. The 60 seat space is youthful and sophisticated, thanks to abundant natural light, tables fashioned from reclaimed Nicaraguan wood, and an imposing orange embossed leather bar.
Red Hen opened last month on an unassuming corner in one of DC's emerging neighborhoods, bringing Italian-influenced American cuisine and the perpetual aroma of campfire to Bloomingdale. The restaurant is headlined by two veterans of the Chinatown mainstay Proof, chef Michael Friedman and beverage director Sebastian Zutant, who focus here on seasonal mid-Atlantic ingredients and flavors from Northern Italy.
For all of us nearing middle age, or slogging through it, yes, there is a benefit in eating a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fish, nuts, vegetables and fruit.
A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that women who followed this pattern of eating in their 50s were about 40 percent more likely to reach the later decades without developing chronic diseases and memory or physical problems, compared to women who didn't eat as well.
Bloomingdale's renaissance–marked by the openings and discoveries of some of our favorite spots to grab a bite–is getting yet another restaurant we know will fast become a must-try for everyone in the city. The best news? The Red Hen opens today with Italian-American cuisine that features, surprisingly, many items incorporating its wood-fired grill. Of course you'll be able to taste the oven-grilled tender smoked meats and vegetables, though you may also detect a smokiness in their gelato, whose vanilla beans are roasted whole.
It's almost that time. Time to get a giant stack of wood, build a searing fire and start roasting all manner of flora and fauna over it.
Or you could just let these people do it for you.
Say hello to The Red Hen, a homey new Italian date spot with a healthy respect for wood and fire, opening in just a couple hours in Bloomingdale.
Restaurant-wise, 2013 was a record year. More than 25 new spots opened on 14th Street alone. To help you decide where to sup in the months to come, here's our list of 21 superlative dining spots.