The opening sommelier and executive sous chef at Proof in Penn Quarter are teaming up to launch an Italian-influenced American restaurant in Washington’s Bloomingdale neighborhood “early in the new year,” announced wine maven Sebastian Zutant.
He and chef Mike Friedman — along with Mike O’Malley of 9 Group , a casino resort in Las Vegas — will be equal partners in what the trio is calling The Red Hen, a 50-seat dining room at the intersection of First Street and Seaton Place NW.
Conveniently for Zutant, the location is “four doors down” from his townhouse. Advantageous for all involved, the establishment will be co-designed by Zutant’s wife, Lauren Winter of Edit, the architectural firm that found fashionable looks for Chez Billy and Rogue 24 , among other District interiors. The Red Hen is expected to take advantage of its prominent windows, and lean light rather than dark.
None of the principals owns a red hen, by the way. They just liked the “vibe it gives off,” explained Zutant; the name “doesn’t sound too busy or over-the-top.” The team is leaning Italian on the menu because that’s the style they gravitate to on their own. “The food is easy, simple and clean,” said Zutant.