Jump to content

Fat Baby, Inc. - Restaurant Group Running Proof, Estadio, Doi Moi, and 2 Birds 1 Stone


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, cheezepowder said:

One thing you didn't read in this story is that my numerous sources, who each insisted on anonymity, have told me the company is in an extreme period of turmoil, with trust and confidence being almost non-existent.

Chef Fausett's wife, Morgan Fausett, is now Director of Operations at Fat Baby, Inc., and Sommelier at Proof. 

I'm not saying any of this is good, or bad; just that there has been a massive turnover, and much of the opening management team is gone: Haidar Karoum, Sebastian Zutant, Michael James, Mike Friedman, Justin Guthrie, and of course Mark Kuller himself, whom we all miss.

My previous review of Chef Fausett's work was from last month, when he was working at Trummer's on Main.

Out of conservatism, I have downgraded Proof and Estadio in the Dining Guide - at one time, Proof was only a small step away from being ranked in Bold, but given the recent turnover, it is imperative that they start from scratch and prove themselves all over again. I hope they do, and I wish them well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On May 18, 2016 at 9:58 AM, DonRocks said:

One thing you didn't read in this story is that my numerous sources, who each insisted on anonymity, have told me the company is in an extreme period of turmoil, with trust and confidence being almost non-existent.

Chef Fausett's wife, Morgan Fausett, is now Director of Operations at Fat Baby, Inc., and Sommelier at Proof. 

I'm not saying any of this is good, or bad; just that there has been a massive turnover, and much of the opening management team is gone: Haidar Karoum, Sebastian Zutant, Michael James, Mike Friedman, Justin Guthrie, and of course Mark Kuller himself, whom we all miss.

My previous review of Chef Fausett's work was from last month, when he was working at Trummer's on Main.

Out of conservatism, I have downgraded Proof and Estadio in the Dining Guide - at one time, Proof was only a small step away from being ranked in Bold, but given the recent turnover, it is imperative that they start from scratch and prove themselves all over again. I hope they do, and I wish them well.

This is sad to hear. Based on your info, I actually avoided going here recently (went to Convivial instead). I hope things get turned around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2016 at 9:58 AM, DonRocks said:

I'm not saying any of this is good, or bad; just that there has been a massive turnover, and much of the opening management team is gone: Haidar Karoum, Sebastian Zutant, Michael James, Mike Friedman, Justin Guthrie, and of course Mark Kuller himself, whom we all miss.

Man, looking at that veritable All-Star team now (and including Adam Bernbach, who joined not long after it opened) brings back such fond memories. Proof was easily my favorite restaurant in this area from late 2006 to 2009.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, stickmoon said:

Same here. I was fortunate to live in DC during those years and loved going to Proof. Also loved that you could go there and have a great night without breaking the bank. Next month we will be visiting DC for a few days and there are plenty of new places to try, but we will in all likelihood still drop by Proof for a glass of wine and a cheese and charcuterie board. 

21 hours ago, DPop said:

Man, looking at that veritable All-Star team now (and including Adam Bernbach, who joined not long after it opened) brings back such fond memories. Proof was easily my favorite restaurant in this area from late 2006 to 2009.

I hear the nostalgia for sure, but it's worth noting that Joe Quinn has been with Proof since Day One and remains the wine director.  Which is to say, I continue to see great value and enjoy a degree of continuity and his friendly and familiar face in my most recent visits to Proof.  I trust Joe completely to pick wines for us and much appreciate his thoughtful and approachable manner, just as I did Sebastian's before him. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2016 at 9:58 AM, DonRocks said:

One thing you didn't read in this story is that my numerous sources, who each insisted on anonymity, have told me the company is in an extreme period of turmoil, with trust and confidence being almost non-existent.

Chef Fausett's wife, Morgan Fausett, is now Director of Operations at Fat Baby, Inc., and Sommelier at Proof. 

I'm not saying any of this is good, or bad; just that there has been a massive turnover, and much of the opening management team is gone: Haidar Karoum, Sebastian Zutant, Michael James, Mike Friedman, Justin Guthrie, and of course Mark Kuller himself, whom we all miss.

My previous review of Chef Fausett's work was from last month, when he was working at Trummer's on Main.

Out of conservatism, I have downgraded Proof and Estadio in the Dining Guide - at one time, Proof was only a small step away from being ranked in Bold, but given the recent turnover, it is imperative that they start from scratch and prove themselves all over again. I hope they do, and I wish them well.

Adding to the departures (this is breaking news, for whatever that's worth):

Brittany Frick's last day as Chef de Cuisine at Doi Moi was Sunday.

Fon Aimseng, Executive Sous Chef of Doi Moi, has also departed.

Ben Schramm, Executive Sous Chef of Proof, has resigned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Adding to the departures (this is breaking news, for whatever that's worth):

Brittany Frick's last day as Chef de Cuisine at Doi Moi was Sunday.

Fon Aimseng, Executive Sous Chef of Doi Moi, has also departed.

Ben Schramm, Executive Sous Chef of Proof, has resigned.

Man feel the churn. And so it continues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, youngfood said:

Alas, I seem to have jinxed this -- Proof stopped doing half priced bottles last Sunday.  

3 hours ago, franch said:

was there last night. heartbreaking. 

55 minutes ago, youngfood said:

Same.  Still had a good time last night, but would have been nice to know it had been discontinued before advertising it to our guests who joined us to partake in it.  

For better, or for worse, many changes have occurred at Fat Baby restaurants.

Between Brent Kroll and Max Kuller, they know what they're doing, wine-wise, and goodness knows they have quite a wine collection. Sunday night is an odd night to have half-price wines - I wonder if they decided to lure more diners in on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Sunday night is an odd night to have half-price wines - I wonder if they decided to lure more diners in on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Perhaps, but they certainly weren't the only ones doing half priced wine on Sundays --- DC Harvest & PassionFish have done the same.  I'd love to hear it's been rescheduled. 

Does anyone know if the half priced wine nights at Estadio, Doi Moi, and Two Birds One Stone are impacted? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, youngfood said:

Perhaps, but they certainly weren't the only ones doing half priced wine on Sundays --- DC Harvest & PassionFish have done the same.  I'd love to hear it's been rescheduled. 

Does anyone know if the half priced wine nights at Estadio, Doi Moi, and Two Birds One Stone are impacted? 

I do not, but it wouldn't be uncommon to have half-price wine nights on the chef de cuisine's usual night off, assuming there is such a thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/18/2016 at 9:58 AM, DonRocks said:

One thing you didn't read in this story is that my numerous sources, who each insisted on anonymity, have told me the company is in an extreme period of turmoil, with trust and confidence being almost non-existent.

Chef Fausett's wife, Morgan Fausett, is now Director of Operations at Fat Baby, Inc., and Sommelier at Proof. 

I'm not saying any of this is good, or bad; just that there has been a massive turnover, and much of the opening management team is gone: Haidar Karoum, Sebastian Zutant, Michael James, Mike Friedman, Justin Guthrie, and of course Mark Kuller himself, whom we all miss.

My previous review of Chef Fausett's work was from last month, when he was working at Trummer's on Main.

Out of conservatism, I have downgraded Proof and Estadio in the Dining Guide - at one time, Proof was only a small step away from being ranked in Bold, but given the recent turnover, it is imperative that they start from scratch and prove themselves all over again. I hope they do, and I wish them well.

Joseph Quinn, Wine Director (and former Sommelier) of Proof, departed last Friday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, youngfood said:

Well, that sucks.  Joe was on the opening staff at Proof 9 years ago.  He is a terrific guy and a big reason we remained regulars there all these years.  

At some point, people should start asking questions.

I'm not saying "Drawing conclusions," I'm merely saying, "Asking questions."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adam's out

"On August 27th, I’ll be leaving 2 Birds 1 Stone, Proof & Doi Moi side of Fat Baby restaurants. It’s a bittersweet departure, but I appreciate my time with these wonderful restaurants & anticipate wonderful things for both myself & the group in the future.

It’s been a fantastic relationship that began nearly 10 years ago, talking about dining philosophy over lunch with Mark Kuller. Through that relationship, I’ve learned so much. I’m grateful for all of my experiences with the group. First at Proof & the opportunity to be involved with Estadio with its opening in 2010 & Doi Moi in 2013. Of course, above all the myriad of reasons, both personal & professional, I’m grateful to Mark is the opportunity to open 2 Birds. After Mark passed away in 2014, that relationship continued on with the Kuller family, in general, but specifically, his brother, Jason, & his son, Max. I’m so appreciative to have been able to continue with the group in the subsequent years.

In the 5 years since we opened 2 Birds, it’s exceeded my own optimistic expectations, Mark’s, & those of pretty much everyone who was involved its conception. Of its achievements, I’m proudest of the bonds developed there. Those between colleagues, between guests & bartenders, company & community. I’ve long believed in the beautiful function of a bar to foster relationships & 2 Birds has only solidified that belief for me. Chief amongst those is my bond with 2 Birds’ bar manager, Lucy Dunning. Lucy’s talent & work has been a massive boon for 2 Birds, but the influence of her personality & humor has been so essential that I can’t imagine 2 Birds without her. It’s hard for me to really express how much I appreciate the people that I’ve worked with & all of the people who have supported us over the years.

Fat Baby will be reconceptualizing the 2 Birds space, driven by the brilliant Lukas Smith & I anticipate great things. In the meantime, Lukas has taken over the cocktail duties at Proof & Doi Moi.

As far as what I’ll be up to… Well, I’ll still be working with Estadio, making Gintonics & Slushitos & the like & working towards exciting developments in Estadio’s future! With that, you’ll see me on the floor at Estadio at bit more I’m involved in some great new projects- some as a consultant & some a little more heavily part of- & I look forward to talking more about those in the coming months. I’ve got smaller, more goofball fun drink stuff littered throughout the fall & I’m really really psyched for those.

For the month of August at 2 Birds, we’ve put together a menu of the best & most representative (& sometimes, just our favorite) 2 Birds drinks. We invite guests to write down their own favorite from the menu on their checks or credit card slips in a meddle-free poll, culminating in one 2 Birds’ drink to remain with the space.

We’ll be open for a special evening Monday August 27th, commemorating our 5th anniversary with one last bash. Please feel free to come by & watch me devolve into a maudlin mess."

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, JPW said:

Adam's out

"On August 27th, I’ll be leaving 2 Birds 1 Stone, Proof & Doi Moi side of Fat Baby restaurants. It’s a bittersweet departure, but I appreciate my time with these wonderful restaurants & anticipate wonderful things for both myself & the group in the future.

It’s been a fantastic relationship that began nearly 10 years ago, talking about dining philosophy over lunch with Mark Kuller. Through that relationship, I’ve learned so much. I’m grateful for all of my experiences with the group. First at Proof & the opportunity to be involved with Estadio with its opening in 2010 & Doi Moi in 2013. Of course, above all the myriad of reasons, both personal & professional, I’m grateful to Mark is the opportunity to open 2 Birds. After Mark passed away in 2014, that relationship continued on with the Kuller family, in general, but specifically, his brother, Jason, & his son, Max. I’m so appreciative to have been able to continue with the group in the subsequent years.

In the 5 years since we opened 2 Birds, it’s exceeded my own optimistic expectations, Mark’s, & those of pretty much everyone who was involved its conception. Of its achievements, I’m proudest of the bonds developed there. Those between colleagues, between guests & bartenders, company & community. I’ve long believed in the beautiful function of a bar to foster relationships & 2 Birds has only solidified that belief for me. Chief amongst those is my bond with 2 Birds’ bar manager, Lucy Dunning. Lucy’s talent & work has been a massive boon for 2 Birds, but the influence of her personality & humor has been so essential that I can’t imagine 2 Birds without her. It’s hard for me to really express how much I appreciate the people that I’ve worked with & all of the people who have supported us over the years.

Fat Baby will be reconceptualizing the 2 Birds space, driven by the brilliant Lukas Smith & I anticipate great things. In the meantime, Lukas has taken over the cocktail duties at Proof & Doi Moi.

As far as what I’ll be up to… Well, I’ll still be working with Estadio, making Gintonics & Slushitos & the like & working towards exciting developments in Estadio’s future! With that, you’ll see me on the floor at Estadio at bit more I’m involved in some great new projects- some as a consultant & some a little more heavily part of- & I look forward to talking more about those in the coming months. I’ve got smaller, more goofball fun drink stuff littered throughout the fall & I’m really really psyched for those.

For the month of August at 2 Birds, we’ve put together a menu of the best & most representative (& sometimes, just our favorite) 2 Birds drinks. We invite guests to write down their own favorite from the menu on their checks or credit card slips in a meddle-free poll, culminating in one 2 Birds’ drink to remain with the space.

We’ll be open for a special evening Monday August 27th, commemorating our 5th anniversary with one last bash. Please feel free to come by & watch me devolve into a maudlin mess."

Is there any chance the new bar by Lukas will be a bitters bar? Here's hoping. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, funkyfood said:

Is there any chance the new bar by Lukas will be a bitters bar? Here's hoping. 

This comment seems random - do you have reason to believe Lukas will be running a bitters bar?

One thing about Proof: It still has one of the nicest bars in town (and I mean the physical space, wedged-in column notwithstanding). We should probably start a separate thread for "Bars - What Are Your Favorite Bar Spaces?" or something like that. 2 Birds 1 Stone is great, too, in a completely different way - it was essentially converting basement space into something useful other than storage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

This comment seems random - do you have reason to believe Lukas will be running a bitters bar?

One thing about Proof: It still has one of the nicest bars in town (and I mean the physical space, wedged-in column notwithstanding). We should probably start a separate thread for "Bars - What Are Your Favorite Bar Spaces?" or something like that. 2 Birds 1 Stone is great, too, in a completely different way - it was essentially converting basement space into something useful other than storage.

Yes, sorry. Lukas is an avowed bitters fan and opened a bitters bar pop up below Smoke n Barrel last year but the setting and client base didn't really seem to work

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...