Bar star Jeff Faile joins the Neighborhood Restaurant Group

November 14, 2013
(Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post) (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

One of the city’s top mixologists has jumped ship.

Jeff Faile is saying ciao to Fiola and Casa Luca and hello to the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the collection of local dining destinations that includes Birch & Barley in Logan Circle, Vermilion in Alexandria and the soon-to-open Iron Gate Inn in Dupont Circle. Fabio Trabocchi, the chef-owner of the aforementioned Italian restaurants, was informed of his beverage director’s decision last night.

Faile, 40, calls his departure after 2 1/2 years “completely amicable. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Fabio. He gave me a platform to strut my wares and I’ll be forever grateful for it.”

Faile, who first developed a following at the bar at Palena in Cleveland Park, said he was attracted to NRG’s solid reputation, talent and vision; in addition to Iron Gate Inn, poised to open Nov. 19, the company is also rolling out Red Apron Butchery in Penn Quarter, a meaty showcase for chef Nathan Anda.

In his new job, Faile will oversee the cocktail programs throughout NRG and likely roll out a watering hole of his own design down the line in Washington.

“Crossing the river is scary,” cracks Faile.

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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Margaret Ely · November 14, 2013