10.17.2005

Rename Signatures

Now that D.C.'s beloved panda cub is squared away with a new name, we can turn our attention to the renaming of Signatures. With a new set of owners, the restaurant is poised for a makeover, including renovations to the staid dining room, new menu items from chef Morou and a new name.

Restaurant partner Mark Smith said that they'll hold a renaming contest to allow patrons to weigh in with suggestions. He's also hoping to expand the restaurant's customer base beyond the lobbying/Hill crowd. “We don’t feel that enough people knew about the restaurant and all that it had to offer. And I think we need to give people the opportunity to discover just how terrific Morou is and just how wonderful it is to enjoy the [restaurant’s] overall ambience,” Smith said.

More than a few people, myself included, had questioned why the talented Morou was sticking around a restaurant plagued by country club decor and former owner Jack Abramoff's legal troubles. Todd Kliman, in a September City Paper column, asked: "What is chef Morou Ouattara—a freewheeling, playful spirit who can make a dish like peanut-butter-and-jelly shrimp (grilled shrimp in a Thai-style dipping sauce with a tart mango jelly on the side) rise above mere gimmickry—doing in a place like this?"

Let's hope the new owners, with their renewed commitment to Morou, can provide him with a more fitting backdrop for his creative cuisine. And let's hope they have a new name by the time Morou faces off on Iron Chef in January.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

One can only hope. I always thought Signatures (the name, decor etc)signified all the bad that is DC. Anti-Style, conservative, staid, boring and not to mention corrupt!

Here's to a fresh start!
Can't think of a good name right now. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

Name it Morou and give the chef more control. Dump Abramoff along with the lame hotel decor.

Amanda said...

I think that's the overall idea. Abramoff sold his share this summer, I believe, and I'm holding out hope that they do more than paint and put in new carpet.

Amanda said...

This just in ... the owners are rethinking the renaming, probably for the reason stated in the post - the Iron Chef publicity will be hard to deal with if the place doesn't have a name...

adam said...

I think the place is ireabably tainted. Even if Abramoff is gone, the place was still built on the backs of tribes and everyone else Abramoff screwed along the way.