WASHINGTON HARBOUR is more than a waterfront; it is a flagship. Now that Tony & Joe's seafood restaurant has opened there, two more seafood restaurants are about to open in Georgetown, one on M Street and one in Canal Square.
It seemed for a brief moment that Washington might also get the first out-of-state branch of Boston's Legal Seafood. Owner Roger Berkowitz says he likes the Washington market with its mix of businesses, residents and tourists, and he has heard promising reports about Tysons Corner in particular. But he has postponed any thought of moving yet, first planning to branch out closer to home.
ITALIAN TAKEOVER --
In case there is any doubt that the accent of our upscale restaurants is changing from French to Italian, look at Tragara, Tiberio's new outpost in Bethesda. Chef Michel Laudier started his Washington career at the now-defunct Rive Gauche, which was once the pinnacle of France-in-Washington. He went on to Baltimore to the Peabody Court Hotel, at the same time supervising kosher catering for Bluefeld, which was under the same ownership. Next he found a beautiful countryside location for his own restaurant but was persuaded to take over the kitchen at Tragara until he can finance his own place.
What's a French chef doing in an Italian kitchen? "It's Italian food, but it's a lot of French cooking involved," said Laudier. "It's a good experienc. I was involved with kosher cooking, now Italian cooking. Pretty soon I'll know everything about cooking."
ON THE ROCKS, WITH A TWIST --
I confess, it was we, the Weekend staff, who were celebrating our section's 10th anniversary in a private dining room at the Tabard Inn. And maybe we seemed restless as we polished off our bread and waited for our lunch, but the room grew stuffy and our water glasses grew warm. So one of us asked the waitress for ice. She returned emptyhanded, looked a little anxious, and said, "I need to find out what did you want it for."
Nothing we couldn't write about in a family newspaper.
TO THE RESCUE --
A note for the good-news box. This one is a letter of gratitude to Cafe Lausanne from a woman whose mother was visiting Washington on a busy workday. The daughter left her mother to wait at the cafe with a cup of coffee while she went to finish some work at the office. The wait turned out to be two hours and eight cups of coffee. But owner Afif-Dada had saved the day, paying the visiting mother attention and then insisting that as a guest at the Cafe, she could not pay for her coffee.