Get caught up with the food scene in Montgomery County and adjacent Washington, DC, neighborhoods with 1 Meat, 3 Sides. This week, restaurant closures take center plate:
Bethesda's Haandi and Sweet Basil will close in August. They are "the latest casualties of redevelopment on Bethesda’s Fairmont Avenue," reported Bethesda Magazine. (Foong Lin, at the corner of Fairmont and Norfolk avenues, is scheduled to close on July 31, as reported in last week's 1 Meat, 3 Sides column.)
"A new apartment building with underground parking and street level retail space will replace that stretch of the street. Construction is slated to begin in late 2012, according to a representative from JBG, the developer of the project," Bethesda Magazine reported.
The owner of Haandi, which was voted “Best Indian Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2012, hopes to relocate somewhere in Bethesda, although nothing has been finalized, assistant manager Harry Singh told Bethesda Magazine.
Sweet Basil Manager Paul Tonakarn told Bethesda Magazine that "the owner of the restaurant plans to take a break ... before looking for a new location."
One of the best places to break up a relationship in the Washington, DC, area is Food Wine & Co in Bethesda, according to the Washintonian Magazine. The Washingtonian's criteria for a good break-up spot include: a lively atmosphere to drown out shouts and tears and close proximity to the Metro for a quick getaway. Not being a steakhouse with sharp knives helps, too.
The most satisfying thing about the northern Indian street food pani poori is the ritual: The crispy puffs arrive stuffed with spiced potato and chickpeas, but then it's up to diners to fill them with brackish, sour pani—water—moments before crunching into them in a single, explosive bite that's tart, spicy and sweet all at once.
The Iron Gate Inn (1734 N St. NW, Washington, DC), a Dupont Circle fixture for 87 years before it closed in 2010, is opening again—"archways and vine-shaded courtyard" and all—The Washington Post reported. Tony Chittum, of Vermilion in Alexandria, will be the old restaurant's new chef. Chittum plans to focus on Italian and Greek specialities (previously, the restaurant offered Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes). Before opening the restaurant, though, Chittum will take "a research trip to Sardinia and the Greek island of Syros," The Post added.
Read more about the restaurant, which first opened in 1923 as a tearoom for members of the nearby General Federation of Women's Clubs, on The Post's website.