Is naming a restaurant like naming a child? No, said Eric Ziebold. It's much harder.
After many months of brainstorming, group discussions and back-and-forth with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the former CityZen chef has a name for his pending luxury dining room: Métier.
For those not totally boned-up on their French (*raises hand*), Ziebold said the simplest way to define "métier" is an area of expertise. It can also refer to one's actual profession.
The name made sense "given that I went to school for this. My wife went to school for this. This is what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years." This being cooking and the restaurant business, of course.
The chef and his wife, Celia Laurent Ziebold, anticipate opening Métier and its more casual sibling, Kinship, by the end of the year, most likely December. The dining rooms will be near Mount Vernon Square at 1015 Seventh St. NW. Kinship, seating 80 diners on the ground level, will offer an a la carte menu; beneath it, Métier, with 30 seats, will serve a give-or-take $150 tasting menu.
Part of the reason the naming process took so long was that the Patent Office rejected Ziebold's first submission. Then he learned that Métier was the name of a wine made by Washington state's DeLille Cellars.
"They were super easy guys to work with," Ziebold said of the winery. In fact, the chef may end up serving some DeLille wines.
Naturally, we had to ask Ziebold about the other big question looming in the minds of his fans after CityZen ended its 10-year run at the Mandarin Oriental last December: Any decision yet on whether you will serve your famous Parker House rolls?
Ziebold laughed. This has come up a lot at the research and development dinners he and his wife have hosted at home.
Along with the names, "the rolls were one of the hottest debated topics," the chef said. "We figure we still have some time on that one."