Chef John Shields says his plan to open a restaurant in Georgetown at 1050 Potomac St. NW has fallen through. "We couldn't make the numbers work" said the former chef of the late, acclaimed Town House in Chilhowie, Va.
The couple's first dinner will be held April 18 and repeated the next night. Early meals are expected to cost $150 for more than a dozen courses. Dinners will initially be BYOB, says Shields, who may extend the event to Sunday depending on demand. The event promises to be exclusive: Riverstead, a renovated farmhouse, can accommodate just 14 customers.
A preview of what the couple has in store for guests finds, among other creations, scallop cured in herbs and flowers, slow-roasted chicken with wheat and garlic, and "ember" ice cream. "It tastes like burnt cookies and cream in the best possible way," the chef says of the dessert, which will get a boost from mint, lime and eucalyptus.
The couple met at the late Charlie Trotter's in Chicago; John Shields went on to serve as sous chef at the experimental Alinea, also in the Windy City. In 2008, the two turned down an offer to open a restaurant in Las Vegas to do their own thing in Appalachia.
"We are still fully committed to getting the D.C. restaurant off the ground," Shields said by e-mail, "but at least this will get us back in the mix."
For reservations and additional information, see riverstead.com.