Eric Ripert to Might Open Restaurant in DC

In his weekly chat, Washingtonian dining editor Todd Kliman makes nearly official a rumor that’s been kicking around town: Renowned chef Eric Ripert will open a restaurant called Harvest in the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.

Ripert is best known for his cooking at Le Bernardin in New York, though he oversees several other restaurants, including Periwinkle and Blue in the Ritz Grand Cayman. According to the publicist that Kliman called, nothing has been signed and “discussions are ongoing.”

No word on what this means for Fahrenheit, the restaurant in the Ritz headed by chef Terence Feury. There’s always the possibility that the rumor mill has the two oddly close Ritz hotels confused, and Ripert will set up in the Ritz on 22nd Street, but the word from Kliman is the restaurant will be in the Georgetown Ritz.

UPDATE: Tom Sietsema clarifies the rumor in his chat: "I've signed a letter of intent but not a contract," [Ripert] told me earlier this morning. "There's no funding yet." While he has done a tasting for financier/hotelier Bill Marriott and has an idea of what he'd like to do here -- an organic cafe, "like New York's Balthazar, only American" -- Ripert said any such project is now unlikely before April 2007. He added that one of his five sous chefs in New York is expected to cook at the future restaurant.