Declaring that the “days of caviar and Petrus are over,” the executive chef at 2941 , the sleek but faded French-American dining room in Falls Church, announced that the venue will close for several weeks after dinner Dec. 31 for a renovation that is expected to “bring 2941 back to life.”
Bertrand Chemel says the changes will include every aspect of the operation. Out: $115 tasting menus, French-American dishes and the outsized jellyfish sculpture that has greeted patrons in the foyer since the restaurant opened in 2002. In: Bare table tops, a Mediterranean tilt, a reconfigured bar and a new kitchen. The restaurant’s dramatic lake view, captured in floor-to-ceiling windows, and gratis valet parking will thankfully remain. 2941 is expected to reopen in mid-January.
Why the restructuring? “We need to follow the economy and be about what our guests are looking for,” says Chemel, 36, who has headed the kitchen since 2008. Approaching its 10th anniversary next fall, 2941 has been viewed by some as “very expensive,” even “stuffy,” Chemel says. Following the model set by chef Fabio Trabocchi at Fiola in Washington, Chemel says the forthcoming changes are meant to let diners “feel 2941 as a weekly restaurant,” not just a celebration destination. He also hopes to “bring in a new audience.”
“This is an evolution, not a revolution.”