They Come and They Go

I much prefer telling you about all the great chefs who are coming to D.C. and all the promising restaurants slated to open, but there's been a flurry of activity in the dining scene's negative column in the past few days:

The Post's GOG Blog fills us in on the closing of Half Moon BBQ, a loss for the local music scene.

And no sooner had the word of mouth spread about how delicious China Gourmet/Szechuan Boy in Fairfax had become since chef Peter Chang joined the restaurant, than rumors started swirling that he's leaving. It sounds like fans shouldn't panic yet, however. In Todd Kliman's chat/blog hybrid he's now calling a "chog," he investigates and is told Chang isn't going anywhere ... for now. I may keep next week's dinner date there after all.

The Chang rumors come on the heels of news that Matthew Secich, the intense and talented chef recruited by The Oval Room, left his post after only a few months. I was a fan of his Buddha's hand ice cream and foie gras and Coke appetizer.

And though it appeared that plans for a new Balducci's in Penn Quarter were dead in the water, Jo-Ann Neuhaus, the neighborhood association's executive director, has launched an e-mail campaign to try to persuade the developers and Balducci's decision-makers to reconsider. If you want more information about how to join the campaign, send an e-mail to