4.08.2009

Can We Trade You For A Spice Market?

As I tweeted on Monday, the much-buzzed about restaurant in the new W Hotel, helmed by mega-star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (pictured), will be a J&G Steakhouse. Which is great, because I was just thinking that this city could really use a steakhouse.

I kid. But don't get me wrong. I'm sure it will be beautiful, the steaks delicious, the creamed spinach top-notch, and I will eat there. But if there's still time, can we trade you for a Spice Market, Jean-Georges?

It just seems that celebrity chefs keep tossing us red meat like we're caged lions, despite the fact that DC shed its steakhouse town reputation long ago. Charlie Palmer brought us Charlie Palmer Steak, Laurent Tourondel gave us BLT Steak, Michael Mina entered the fray in December with Bourbon Steak, and now we're poised to receive Vongerichten's second J&G Steakhouse (the first is in Arizona).

We're not alone. In a blog post titled "Why the steakhouse trend passed by San Francisco," San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer wrote this: "Just about every big-name, chef including Charlie Palmer, Tom Colicchio, Michael Mina and Jean-Georges Vongerichten has gone into the steakhouse business. Steakhouses appeal to a broad range of tastes, and top-flight chefs like to open steakhouses because labor costs are generally lower and it's easier to make a profit."

Fine, it's an economic decision. But give us a more ambitious concept, and I promise we'll come spend our hard-earned money. Pretty please with a porterhouse on top?

12 comments:

Amelia said...

How about an ACTUAL spice market? As in, a store that sells spices, for us home cooks. Are there any in DC? I miss Christina's Spice Shop back in Cambridge, MA...

Demetrius said...

How about Penzeys Spices in Falls Church? http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/penzeysstores.html

bevLimon said...

"Steakhouses appeal to a broad range of tastes"?? Seriously? They appeal to a very narrow range of restaurant patrons. Yuk.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. We had an amazing and out of the ordinary dinner at Spice Market in NYC a few weeks back. Beautiful restaurant, exciting food. Another DC Steak house? blah blah blah.

ron525i said...

Amen, steakhouses are just too easy. Perhaps it would be better if hotel didn't worry about attracting a name and concentrated growing someone local and/or new but that would not fit the safe business model of these corporations.

Amanda said...

Realizing our dining demographic stats must be similar to ... Phoenix/Scottsdale? They have the first J&G, a BLT Steak and a Bourbon Steak. It's like our southwest sister city.

chef4cook said...

Really!!! Another steakhouse? Really!!! That's just great :-(

Erin said...

I like steak but I agree. More creative concepts. Less steak.

Anonymous said...

Rather go The Palm!

Anonymous said...

I saw we boycott these "celebrity chef" places and support our local, homegrown talent. This is really dissapointing. At least Bourbon Steak has good fish.

Carrie said...

Here's another vote for Spice Market! We don't need a steak house at all.

KTMoomau said...

First they decide to glass in the rooftop terrace, now we get a steakhouse that we don't need. Gee W Hotel thanks a lot.