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Posted at 11:19 AM ET, 10/15/2012

Terasol acquires a new chef — and a kitchen

A new kitchen brought a new chef (and new dining possibilities) to the Terasol gallery and bistro in Chevy Chase. (Sabrina Ousmaal)
Longtime Washington chef Hector Guerra had one stipulation before agreeing to work at Terasol south of Chevy Chase Circle: He asked the owner of the petite French bistro and gallery, Alan Moin, for a place to cook.

“He didn’t have a kitchen,” says Guerra, whose idea of a proper workspace includes more than a convection oven, an electric stovetop and a refrigerator. “For me to come” from the Caucus Room downtown, “I couldn’t just do sandwiches. I wanted to do some real cooking.”

In August, Moin added six burners, a fryer and a salamander (to brown cheese-capped French onion soup). In September, Guerra came aboard with his wife and helpmate, Meyling Aguilar. Next month, the bistro celebrates its second anniversary.

“I always knew I wanted to take this to another level,” says Moin, who co-owns the business with his wife, Parisian native Sabrina Ousmaal.

Since taking over the kitchen, Guerra has expanded the dinner menu to include steak frites, rack of lamb, sausage-stuffed quail and roast chicken. While the lunch list remains focused on salads, sandwiches and quiche, specials such as scallops with couscous and red pepper sauce reflect the hand of a professional.

The bonus on Friday and Saturday nights: live music, including classical guitar and jazz.

Terasol represents a reunion for the two men. Both worked at chef Roberto Donna’s original Galileo on P Street NW, with Guerra as a cook and Moin as a server.

By  |  11:19 AM ET, 10/15/2012

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