Sign of the Week-Mrs. Chen's Home Cooking Style Chinese Food and Authentic English Fish and Chips, on Columbia Pike in Arlington.
Who Ever Thought Liquor Licenses Were the Issue?-There ought to be a law, proposes Teddy Vaughn, against oversaturating Washington with spinach salads and microwave-reheated quiches (now being called microquiches in the business). His idea is that a limited number of licenses would be issued for these dished within any geographical area.
Somebody Has to Uphold the Standards Around Here-It was an artist-professor on his way to give a lecture at the Renwick Gallery who was refused a table at Duke Zeibert's because he did't meet the restaurant's dress code. The lecturer had just come from the Mondales' house, where a tea had been given in his honor. Said Lloyd Herman, director of the Renwick, Joan Modale's dress codes aren't as strict as Duke's. Said Duke Zeibert, questioned about the incident, "Those things happen. I'm sorry," adding that the guest should have been offered a table in the back room, where his dress code is more relaxed.
They Could Have Tried Duke's Back Room-Old Ebbitt manager Bob Daniels sticks to his rules. So when the New York Times bureau called to beg a table for its bureau chief and Jody Powell, he said they'd have to wait in line like everyone else, adding, "If you want someplace that takes reservations, why don't you try the Sans Souci." They should have tried assistant manager Tom Costello, who suggested to a reporter that he would not only offer the best table for his interview with the Brinks robbers, but he'd buy them lunch. Daniels demurred, saying he wouldn't give a reservation to the Brinks robbers either, but, "If they came by, we might find some place to put them at the bar."
Sans Souci sans Paul-It's old news that Paul DeLisle has left his famed maitre d'hotel post at the Sans Souci. But if the new maitre d' at the Sans looks familiar, it is because Pierre Sosnitsky used to be the maitre d' at the Rive Gauche, before he served as a captain at the Company Inkwell.
May I Have the Next Coffee Break?-The non-jogging, anti-handball, unswimmers among us who are looking for ways to shake off some flab can now disco at lunchtime at LA Cafe and Mark IV. An hour of midday dancing ought to combat the Monday morning blahs.
The Whole Truth Catalogue-Some of the most interesting reading comes from the D.C. Environmental Health Administration, which distributes a biweekly list of restaurants found violating truth in menus. From January and February's revelations, here are the more startling ones: The Greenery had four different disparities (rolls not baked on the premises, frozen crab instead of fresh, sauteed "tenderloin" not tenderloin, and domestic instead of imported swiss cheese); Harvey's "English" cider was from Havre de Grace; Larry & Eddie's had hardly opened before it got three citations; the Tandoor's "fresh" chicken was found to be frozen; Marriott had ground sirloin on the menu of its very own Executive Kitchen, when it was actually ground chuck; and even the National Press Club was serving its investigative reporters domestic salami instead of the claimed imported. If you wonder about the white blotches on your menus these days, they are probably hasty compliances with truth in menus, where the offending words have been covered.