When Jason Maddens, the (newly) former executive chef of Central Michel Richard , returns to a professional stove again, it will be to chop and stir at the same location in Sterling where he got his start as a line cook in 1998: the now-dark Lone Star Steakhouse at 46116 Lake Center Plaza.
Its replacement, The Bungalow Lakehouse, promises to be the 31-year-old chef’s biggest assignment yet. Expected to open by Sept. 1, the 18,000-square-foot project embraces 200 seats in two dining rooms, including a window-fronted area called The Porch; a saloon with as many perches; a 100-seat outdoor terrace; and a cigar lounge.
“This is like coming home for me,” says Maddens, who was hired by entrepreneur Keith Early to come up with a menu for the super-sized bungalow. Early co-owns Bungalow Billiards in Chantilly and two Bungalow Ale Houses in Gainesville and Potomac Mills.
Hiring Maddens, says Early, represents “a serious food direction” for his business.
The opening menu at Bungalow Lakehouse will include flatbread pizzas, roast chicken, a pork chop, seared scallops on a sauce of corn chowder and whole grilled trout with arugula and heirloom tomatoes.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” says the chef. Still, he’s aiming for lighter sauces made with vegetable purees and intends to incorporate some of the techniques he learned under his former boss, Michel Richard, known for his fondness for contrasting textures. (Cue some soup ladeled over tiny croutons!)
Early’s business partner is his wife, Cheryl. For years, she has been collecting antique medicine bottles, Puck political cartoons, Remington bronzes and oyster plates, all of which will help dress their new roost — and free up some space in their farm house and log cabin.