The chefs of Philadelphia's much-lauded vegan restaurant, Vedge, are officially coming to Washington.
Husband and wife team Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby are behind the most well-known meatless restaurant in the country and have a half-dozen James Beard Award semifinalist and nominee nods to their names. For years, they've talked about opening up shop in the nation's capital. Now they've signed on to join the Apollo development at 600 H Street NE, which includes a new Whole Foods Market and Wydown coffee shop, and have plans for a late fall opening.
For the new location — their first outside of Philadelphia — Landau and Jacoby plan to replicate their V Street concept, a vegan street food bar. “We celebrate street foods by drawing influence from popular dishes and ingredients around the globe,” Jacoby said in an email. “Nothing is a literal take, just our inspiration.”
V Street's offerings include such dishes as dan dan noodles with roasted mushrooms and a red chile-sesame sauce, Peruvian fries with aji amarillo sauce and flatbreads. Cocktails will also draw on global flavors, such as the Lokum at the Bazaar (Turkish coffee, bourbon and a Middle Eastern syrup known as jallab) and Cruz Control (tepache, horchata and tequila).
Jacoby, the pastry chef, has big plans for dessert. Expect soft serve in such flavors as halvah with sumac sour cherries or cannoli with pistachio, bitter orange and chocolate magic shell. Also: chocolate-stuffed beignets.
Landau and Jacoby were drawn to Washington for personal and professional reasons. Landau has family in the area, and Jacoby attended Georgetown University. Jacoby said she and Landau always saw potential in the city's restaurant scene, especially when it came to opportunities for growth in meat-free concepts. She gives props to such operations as Elizabeth's Gone Raw and Sticky Fingers for helping to grow the vegan restaurant scene. “We know the demand for serious vegan food is getting stronger all the time,” she said.
The couple has already witnessed the demand from D.C. residents. After those for Philadelphia and New York, Washington's 202 area code is the most popular number on the reservation books at Vedge.