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Breaking News [Circa 2007] ...


DonRocks
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I can say with greater than 80% confidence that a chef will be coming to a Falls Church restaurant that will have a much more significant impact on our city's culinary legacy than either The Source or WestEnd, two upcoming satellite restaurants that will be technically associated with Wolfgang Puck and Eric Ripert, but both in name only. My prediction is that neither of these two "chefs" will ultimately have anything more to do with these restaurants than Antoine Westermann does with "Cafe 15," or Todd English does with "Olives." I see more name-brand significance in Betty Crocker or Sara Lee opening a new line of pre-packaged pudding cakes in Harris Teeter than I do with either of these hype-driven, let's-give-the-restaurant-critics-an-erection outposts.

But there's a very real chance that the next Fabio Trabocchi will be coming to Falls Church (and Fabio should have opened downtown, dammit, and shame on you, Washington, DC restaurant investors, for not making this happen - you had a golden opportunity, and you blew it).

I'd love to give you more details, but I can't right now.

Cheers,
Rocks.

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I can say with greater than 80% confidence that a chef will be coming to a Falls Church restaurant that will have a much more significant impact on our city's culinary legacy than either The Source or WestEnd, two upcoming satellite restaurants that will be technically associated with Wolfgang Puck and Eric Ripert, but both in name only. My prediction is that neither of these two "chefs" will ultimately have anything more to do with these restaurants than Antoine Westermann does with "Cafe 15," or Todd English does with "Olives." I see more name-brand significance in Betty Crocker or Sara Lee opening a new line of pre-packaged pudding cakes in Harris Teeter than I do with either of these hype-driven, let's-give-the-restaurant-critics-an-erection outposts.

But there's a very real chance that the next Fabio Trabocchi will be coming to Falls Church (and Fabio should have opened downtown, dammit, and shame on you, Washington, DC restaurant investors, for not making this happen - you had a golden opportunity, and you blew it).

I'd love to give you more details, but I can't right now.

Cheers,

Rocks.

When I make a Big Statement like the one above I made seven years ago, I like "digging up the time capsule" years into the future - seeing what I got right, and seeing what I got wrong. This thread made me remember that I wrote this.

The chef, of course, was Bertrand Chemel, and he had been the Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud (his departure was a pretty big story at the time).

While Chemel hasn't made quite the impact I thought he would (why hasn't he? The guy is *good*!), I believe that time has proven me 100% right about West End Bistro, and 50% right about The Source.

Why do I say 50%? Because I made a big mistake in not considering a possible "X-factor" - in the name of Scott Drewno.

Drewno immediately began implanting himself in the deepest cantos of the DC chef underworld, and has continued to do so over the years, becoming a star in the process. From my somewhat distant perspective, he has done things right politically, and has made friends with some important people. As a result, he has become every bit as known in the DC restaurant community as Chemel.

So, seven years later, while I can only rate my Big Statement a B or B-, this is one A-grade prediction I'm happy to have been wrong on. The DC Dining community is a better place because of both Bertrand Chemel and Scott Drewno. Leo Marino could have, and would have, been right up there with them.

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When I make a Big Statement like the one above I made seven years ago, I like "digging up the time capsule" years into the future - seeing what I got right, and seeing what I got wrong. This thread made me remember that I wrote this.

The chef, of course, was Bertrand Chemel, and at the time he was Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud (his departure was a pretty big story at the time).

And I ate there last night and can confirm it is still a very, very good restaurant

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