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 metrocurean@gmail.com.


TasteDC said...

Concerning Balducci's...Mark Ordan bought them out with cash from I think Bear Sterns (who he used to work for - before he started Fresh Fields) and then decided to jump ship! He's now with Mills Corp, which is Mega Discount Malls (like Potomac Mills) - totally different biz. So I think Balduccis is probably "transitioning" - in other words, they'll be on the market soon for the highest bidder...that's what I would bet on...you can petition them, get neighborhood support, beg them as much as you want - it's a corporate/money decision from cold Wall Street bankers, efforts should probably be put in getting ANOTHER grocery store there instead...too small for Harris Teeter and the big grocers, but maybe another Trader Joe's (1 is opening up soon in Foggy Bottom) or one of the "healthy" grocers...there's very little parking there, that could be a serious problem...how 'bout a restaurant???

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to mention that Balducci's was going to get 65 parking spaces on the first floor of the parking garage, so maybe someone else, like Trader Joe's, could work out the same deal?

Washington Cube said...

I was surprised to hear of the closing of Half Moon BBQ. From what I had read, over time, was that there was a solid base of regulars to support it's continuance. I'm always sorry to see places close that back the local music scene.

Amanda said...

Sounds like Half Moon's closing was because the owner got a great offer for the lease, not on account of them not doing well. It is too bad for the local music fans though.

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Anonymous said...

Chef Chang had moved to "Tasty china" in Atlanta, GA in 2006.
since then, that restaurant had receive high rate like "In terms of food, Tasty China is unquestionably the most exciting thing to happen to Atlanta this year". while it is a big loss for us here in DC. :(

see the review from critics: