Fresh from the oven
Just in time for holiday shopping at Westfield Montgomery mall, French bakery Patisserie Manuel is about to arrive in the Dining Terrace. Owner Claudia Olea, a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine, will be serving up pastries, macarons and specialty cakes along with croissants, soups, sandwiches, crepes and a few dishes from her native Chile. And to drink? Illy coffee. You’ll find Patisserie Manuel in the former Wicked Waffle space — possibly as early as next week.
Thai cuisine at Wintergreen
Newly open at Rockville’s Wintergreen Plaza: Bangkok Garden Thai Street Eats, a sister to Bangkok Garden in downtown Bethesda. The brightly painted restaurant, in the old Kino Spoon space, serves up a fast-casual menu inspired by the markets of Bangkok and Chiang Mai. What to try first? Owner Nina Laohapant recommends the mussel pancakes, crispy rice with cured pork, grilled squid skewers, mango with sticky rice and pandan buns.
Jambalaya & empanadas
Gumbo Ya Ya, a quick-serve restaurant relocating from Germantown, just opened its doors at Rockville Town Square. The menu reflects the backgrounds of its two chef/owners, featuring New Orleans cuisine alongside traditional Puerto Rican dishes. In other words, you can order jambalaya, po’ boys and Cajun food or go for the empanadas, wings and tostones. Gumbo Ya Ya replaces Lab Cafe at 101C Gibbs Street, across the street from First Watch.
Alpacas are back
Sheepskin Gifts & Alpaca Too is back for the winter at Westfield Montgomery mall. The seasonal shop snagged a prime location this year: the former Invisalign space between Madewell and Apple. (Wondering what happened to the Invisalign store? Click here.)