Crave by Helen to replace Addie’s in Rockville

(Black Restaurant Group) (Black Restaurant Group)

Helen Wasserman, a veteran Washington caterer, has signed a letter of intent to take over the recently shuttered Addie’s in Rockville. Together with Kevin Bullock, her head waiter at Helen’s Catering on U St. NW, Wasserman says she hopes to roll out Crave by Helen and an “East meets West” menu in mid-April.

Chowhounds of a certain vintage should cheer the news. In the mid-80s, Wasserman ran the well-regarded Helen’s on 18th St. NW. In a review of the restaurant, former Washington Post critic Phyllis C. Richman wrote, “Here’s new American cuisine to the utmost with an Oriental accent and trendy touches from around the world.”

The caterer envisions nights devoted to Asian cooking, dishes from El Salvador and meals prepared for takeout: “A mix of really good, fresh food,” she says.

Wasserman has yet to identify a chef for Crave, but she’s already tapped an architect to extend the front of the 1,800-square-foot restaurant, and she has plans to add a catering kitchen and put a smoker out back.

The introduction of the restaurant will see the closing of her 35-year-old catering business in the District, Wasserman says.

Addie’s, which is owned by cosmetic surgeon Bahman Teimourian and was previously part of the local Black Restaurant Group, closed in November after an 18-year run.

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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Stephanie Merry · January 8, 2014

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