Name Game

After reading about a new restaurant named BarFry in New York and thinking "cool name," I saw this blog post from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, who also loves the name. The obvious play on barfly also points to the new joint's tempura-based menu. (A few commenters claim it also makes fun of an Asian accent.) Bruni goes on to discuss a few more New York names he likes — Aureole, Basta Pasta, Al di La.

So I got to thinking about our own fair city's restaurant names. The most prominent trend recently has been naming new eateries after chefs' children, like Morou Ouattara's Farrah Olivia. But when you have more kids, you have to open more restaurants. Chef Robert Wiedmaier had Marcel's, little brother Brasserie Beck followed; Cathal Armstrong started with Restaurant Eve, and then came Eamonn's.

Arguably unoriginal, addresses seem to be DC restaurateurs other naming obsession. There's 701, 15ria, 14K, 14U (or "one for you"), PS 7's, 2941, Southside 815, 18th and U Duplex Diner and many more. A clever spin on the address theme: TenPenh. Get it?

14th Street likes literary inspiration, with nice results like Cafe Saint-Ex (named for French pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupery), Bar Pilar (Pilar was Ernest Hemingway's boat) and Busboys and Poets (Langston Hughes being the busboy poet).

Names I like? Comet Ping Pong (a nod to the old Comet liquor store in Adams Morgan — its sign now hangs in front of the pizza place), Acadiana, Corduroy, Matchbox, Tryst and Tonic. And home to delicious BLTs, So's Your Mom.

I'm lukewarm on two of the city's top dining rooms' names: Blue Duck Tavern (playful or mismatched to the sleek interior?) and CityZen.

Great names? Unfortunate names? Call 'em out in the comments.