The Family Meal – Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Good Election Day morning! Here’s hoping you’re scrolling through this on your phone while in line to VOTE! If you haven’t voted yet, mark this as unread and go get in line. Find your polling place here.

Now, a little restaurant industry news for a momentary distraction from all this democracy hubbub…

But first, a menu flashback to Election Day 1906, when the Flatiron Restaurant in NYC was celebrating the vote with “Roast Jumbo squab” (the veal of the pigeon coup) with “currant jelly au cresson” for a cool ninety cents.

Seoul gets its stars – The South Korean capital joins the American capital in getting its first guide this year. One difference among many: Seoul’s book included two 3-star restaurants, Gaon and La Yeon, which is two more than DC got.

Geoffery Zakarian scouting again in DC – Finally opening up to the Village Voice about the Trump hotel debacle, the star chef says he’s “going to DC to look at two spaces, because my buddy Donald, he fucked up”. He goes on to insist he’s still friends with the Trump children, especially Don Jr., describing their current relationship as “separated like a couple in therapy. I send him articles once in a while; he sends me stuff.” Tonight might be a rough night for article sharing…

April Bloomfield confirmed in LATaking over the old Cat & Fiddle space as rumored. EaterLA adds: “some juicy rumor: the chef to run the upcoming unnamed restaurant could indeed be Chad Colby, the former Chi Spaccalead who stepped out at Gwen just before opening. That would put Colby mere steps from his former employer, right in the thick of booming Hollywood.”

The conversation – In Napa, Francis Ford Coppola has opened his Native American restaurant Werowocomoco as both owner and chef, with a menu he designed himself. Hollywood and the restaurant industry both have long histories pushing the boundaries of who can play what role when it comes to ethnic or cultural representation, but the discussion in the food world has really ramped up lately, so it’s no surprise the reaction here has been mixed. In response, Coppola wrote an op-ed in the Chronicle to explain how he came upon the name (“I originally wanted to call the restaurant after Powhatan (father of Pocahontas), but was told this name couldn’t be registered), how he involved Native Americans (“I formed a council of advisers consisting mainly of Native Americans of different tribes from around the country”), and how he plans to give back (The Virginia Dare Winery, a family-owned company, will donate 5 percent of its pretax profits to America’s Native People.”). We’ll see if all that is enough to overcome skepticism over “frybread tacos” and that native classic: the bison burger.

This Family Meal invites you to Cruise the Caribbean with Celebrity Chefs — Curated by The List Are You On It‘s very own Nycci Nellis, Celebrity Cruises’ first ever D.C. Chefs Cruise includes renowned chefs Mike Isabella, Marjorie Meek-Bradley, and David Guas paired perfectly with bartender Derek Brown. The cruise embarks January 28, 2017 from Miami for a week of culinary collaborations with cooking demos, meal pairings, cocktail receptions, private dining, and serious poolside relaxation. Stops in Cozumel for an exclusive private beach BBQ prepared by the celebrity chefs, the Grand Caymans, Jamaica, and Hispaniola punctuate a never-to-be-forgotten, all-inclusive, top-notch premium cruise that only Celebrity Cruises and Nycci could cook up. All-inclusive pricing starts at around $1700 per person; it only requires a $320 per person deposit to reserve your room. NEW Through October 2, pay one cruise fare, get a second cruise fare half off. Lower cost, all the same perks! Don’t be left standing on the dock! (

No surprise here – Back in September, we wrote this about Kwame Onwuachi’s Shaw Bijou: “As far as the public is concerned, sticker shock is now the defining feature of the Shaw Bijou experience, and the team is going to need to overcome some serious skepticism from reviewers – amateur and pro alike – to make this thing work.” Unfortunately, it seems they couldn’t overcomethe skepticism from WaPo’s Tom Sietsema, who noted that after leaving unsatisfied despite an almost $2,000 tab for four, his whole crew decided they needed pizza. (Note: FM guesses they skipped just down the street to Sietsema’s favorite DC restaurant of the fall, All Purpose).

Finally open: Napa’s new club for aspiring chefs – Seems like this would make more sense in NYC, where apartment space keeps even some of the wealthier city dwellers from putting on the large, elaborate dinner parties of their glossy magazine dreams. But here it is in Napa, a private club where the privilege of cooking in a professional kitchen replaces tee times, and you can serve your food to your friends in one of several lounges. $2,500 to join, and $250 a month gets you in.

Open Table is getting flanked on all sides by competitors, and now parent company Priceline is scaling back aggressive expansion plans for the reservations app. How’d I find out? An Open Table competitor (Tock) tweeted the news.

Last but not least, The Mazel Tov cocktail is real – If you missed a Trump surrogate referring to glass bottle fire bombs as something served at Bar Mitzvah’s, watch the 5 second video here. Then, go enjoy some Mazel Tov cocktails yourself, they’ve been on a few menus for a while now. L’chaim!

That’s it for Election Day! Please VOTE! I’m driving back north from North Carolina, where we knocked on doors all weekend to make sure people exercise their rights. Hoping to stop by Poole’s on our way home. We shall see!

Don’t forget to follow Family Meal on Twitter, and send tips and dream journals to

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