Ris Lacoste plans to open a stall at Union Market

August 16, 2013

Add Ris Lacoste to the list of area retailers interested in expanding their brands and supporting the evolving urban village at Union Market. Earlier this week, the veteran Washington chef signed a lease for a stall where she plans to open Ris at Union Market in mid-November.

The initial plan, says the chef, is to “sell things we make” at Ris restaurant in the West End: stocks, vinegars, prepared crab cakes, meatloaf and seasonal pies. “We’ll see what the kitchen can put out, and what sells.”

(Kevin Allen/For The Washington Post)
Ris Lacoste's Ris at Union Market is set for a mid-November opening at Union Market.(Kevin Allen/For The Washington Post)

Hot, cold, even kid-friendly “Ris bowls” will be a regular feature; think clam chowder, Vietnamese rice noodles and maybe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, says Lacoste.

Ris at Union Market, to be situated near the new Co Co. Sala boutique chocolate booth at 1309 Fifth St NE, will include a grill and other cooking equipment. Lacoste hopes to make “guest appearances” and even offer cooking classes down the line.

The chef’s announcement comes on the heels of news that Border Springs Farm said it was pulling out of Union Market. “My brand is better served at a farmers market than just being a lamb shop inside a food court or a watering hole sort of place, no matter how popular,” owner Craig Rogers told my colleague Tim Carman.

Sensitive to competition from the myriad new restaurants on the landscape, Lacoste says her participation “is a way to market Ris the restaurant, and for my staff to have fun. It’s not about adding more dining room seats in D.C.”

Weaned on a beige buffet a la “Fargo” in Minnesota, Tom Sietsema is the food critic for The Washington Post. This is his second tour of duty at the Post. Sietsema got his first taste in the ‘80s, when he was hired by his predecessor to answer phones, write some, and test the bulk of the Food section’s recipes. That’s how he learned to clean squid, bake colonial cakes and distinguish between nutmeg and mace.
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