We round up the stories, blog posts, tweets and going-out scuttlebutt that have us talking.
The biggest news this week, perhaps, was that the Mario Batali/Joe Bastianich Italian food paradise Eataly — part giant gourmet market, part restaurant row — is looking to expand from New York to Washington. DCist’s contention that thousands of square feet of specialty foods will be a snooze to locals because we already have some good Italian restaurants doesn’t make sense to me, but I can’t help but wonder what this will mean for food tourism at our treasured Eastern Market.
In New York, the 50,000-square-foot Eataly complex that opened late last year includes (so far): A meat-focused restaurant, a vegetable restaurant, birreria, gelateria, two cafes, pizza joint, pastry shop, and more olive oil and pasta that you’ve seen since since “The Godfather.” If you haven’t been, New York Magazine’s interview with Batali offers details on the concept. [DCist]
Twitter is buzzing with the finds at the first Washington incarnation of the Fancy Food Show, a giant mixer for retailers and food producers from gelato makers to purveyors of salty snacks and chocolate. The expo is being held in Washington while its New York digs are renovated, and it continues through Tuesday. TV chef Sara Moulton snuck in early for ABC News and summed up a few emerging food trends, including finger limes, a citrus that bursts open with caviar-like fruit; the arrival of the legendary ghost pepper into real, marketable foods; and that cherry could be emerging as this year’s acai berry. (Please see: Dolcezza’s to-die-for sour cherry sorbet, in the Georgetown shop this week.) For more, you can check out Eater’s gallery of “Unfancy Things” at the Fancy Food Show here and @WaPoFood’s live tweets here. [ABC News]
Let’s take a pause from all the eating to take a look at Dakota Fine’s eerie photos for Brightest Young Things from this weekend’s much-hyped Animal Collective show at Merriweather Post. As has been the case with AC shows for the past few years, the stage was tricked out like a children’s puppet show on acid, what with glowing crystals scattered about the stage. It’s no wonder the crowd looks like it’s watching aliens land instead of a concert. [Brightest Young Things]
Speaking of Merriweather Post, Washington City Paper has the details on this year’s Virgin Fest ; yes, it’s free again, and this year, it’ll include Patti Smith, Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and, of course, many others. The big news is that you’ll have to get your tickets through Facebook this year. They’ll be distributed Friday. [Washington City Paper]
And finally, Washingtonian has details on Oh Fish!, a new fast-food custom sushi place soon to be opened by Kaz Okochi of Kaz Sushi Bistro/El Centro D.F. fame. The menu, which allows you to build your own elaborate rolls, Chipotle-style (you can even choose from nearly a half-dozen kinds of crunchy things to add to your roll), hints at amazing. But then again, should sushi and “Chipotle-style” ever be uttered in the same sentence? [Washingtonian]