RAISING THE BAR: Preparing for the debut of his glamorous new restaurant in Northern Virginia, 2941 (2941 Fairview Park Drive, Falls Church; 703-270-1500), Jonathan Krinn didn't have far to look for a bread baker. He simply asked his father, Mal Krinn, a retired ophthalmologist whose hobby for the last 25 years has been kneading flavorful loaves from yeast, water and salt.
Good call by the son. Guests to 2941 settle in with at least a half-dozen kinds of fine breads, ranging from Parmesan cheese to cherry-pecan, all baked on the premises in a French-made Bongard oven and designed to complement the 34-year-old chef's French-American menu. Just as wines are paired with food, the younger Krinn likes to remind diners to, say, sop up the kicky sauce of his wild rockfish with his dad's fennel bread.
A serious bread program is just part of the allure of a meal in this 120-seat dining room, whose soaring windows frame a view of a lake and whose sweeping interior mixes a Rodin sculpture with outsized acrylic jellyfish in the foyer. Edible highlights run to wild mushroom soup with Gruyere croutons, sable fish glazed with honey and soy sauce and schnitzel paired with veal tenderloin on a single plate.
A Bethesda native, the chef got his start at L'Academie de Cuisine, where he was taught by Pascal Dionot, one of four co-owners of 2941, before moving on to Cafe Bethesda and Gerard's Place in Washington. Krinn continued his education at such culinary destinations as Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo and Gramercy Tavern and Union Pacific, both in New York, before returning to the area about a year ago.
"I've always wanted to come back to Washington," Krinn told us last week. "But I never dreamed I'd be working with my cooking professor and my father."
Dinner entrees $19-$32.
-- Tom Sietsema