Cava team cooks up something new for Pike & Rose
Have you been wondering what’s up with that glass-encased building across from the new L.L.Bean store on Rockville Pike? Now we know: It’s the future home of Julii, a new French Mediterranean restaurant from the founders of Cava. This will be a standalone concept created specifically for Pike & Rose, serving an all-day menu that moves from croissants and coffee in the morning to shakshouka, roast chicken and cocktails in the evening. Co-owner Ted Xenohristos tells us he hopes to open the doors by late spring or early summer.
Game over for Toy Kingdom
Toy Kingdom, one of the last original tenants at Rockville Town Square, will close its doors at the end of this month after more than a decade on Maryland Avenue. Toy stores large and small have been struggling to compete with online commerce these past few years; high-end Marbles closed all its stores last winter (including the one at Westfield Montgomery Mall), while Toys R Us filed Chapter 11 this past fall. In our area, Toy Castle in Potomac and Child’s Play in Rockville are now the only two toy stores left standing.
Trouble for Helen’s
Helen’s, which opened last year in the former Addie’sspace on Rockville Pike, is struggling to stay in business. Owner Helen Wasserman, a longtime D.C. caterer, says it’s been difficult to turn a profit in an aging building that has needed so many repairs. “We’re hoping to stay open if we can work things out with the landlord,” she says. The building’s former tenants, restaurateurs Jeff and Barbara Black, had similar issues that led them to close the original Addie’s in 2013. They recently debuted a new version at Park Potomac — and it’s one of our Store Reporter Favoritesfor 2017. Scroll down to find out who else made the list.
Another restaurant closes at the mall
Westfield Montgomery Mall lost another eatery last week with the closing of Shanghai Bao Kitchen, a two-year-old concept from the owners of Bob’s Shanghai 66. The restaurant had made several attempts to revamp its menu in the past few months, adding sushi burritos, poke bowls and other trendy items, but it suffered from its out-of-the-way location plus competition from the neighboring B/Bop/Q.
Our favorite new restaurants of 2017
This has been a tough year for retailers, but a relatively good one for the local dining scene. From Rockville Pike to Potomac to Westfield Montgomery Mall, some terrific new places have opened over the past 12 months. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.
- Addie’s at Park Potomac: This reincarnation of the beloved Rockville restaurant was one of the most anticipated openings of the year — and many longtime fans say it was worth the wait. Seafood towers are the centerpiece of the high-end menu. Click here for details.
- Buredo at the Wildwood Shops: This is the first Maryland location for the D.C.-based chain, an early pioneer of the sushi burrito craze. We’re partial to the Beatrix, stuffed with yellowfin tuna and salmon sashimi. Click here for details.
- CSNY Pizza on Rockville Pike: From the owners of the much-loved Pizza CS, this is about as close as you can get to authentic New York-style pizza in Rockville. Click here for details.
- Don Pollo at Westlake Crossing: Come for the juicy roasted chicken, stay for the tasty Peruvian dishes. We particularly like the ceviche, yuca and plantains. Click here for more.
- Filicori Zecchini at Park Potomac: Finally, a neighborhood coffee shop that Potomac can call its own. With sleek European furniture, a stunning copper bar and authentic Italian coffee, it’s worlds away from Starbucks. Click here for more.
- Honeyfish Poke at Congressional Plaza: Hawaiian-style poke bowls are all the rage, and this place does it right: generous portions, fresh toppings and flavorful sauces. Click here for details.
- Fresh Baguette on Hungerford Drive: The second location for this popular French bakery is designed to service wholesale clients (think country clubs and ritzy hotels) but is happy to serve you a super-fresh sandwich, a loaf of bread or a single perfect pastry. Click here for more.
- Gusto Farm to Street at Westfield Montgomery Mall: The pizzas and salads are all very good, but it’s the chewy, gluten-free cauliflower crust that really sets this place apart. Click here for more.
- Lucky Strike at Westfield Montgomery Mall: The food is surprisingly good at this snazzy bowling alley, where you can sit front-and-center at the sports bar or huddle in a cozy corner for a quiet board game. Click here for more.
- Mission BBQ at Wintergreen Plaza: This uber-patriotic restaurant has something of a cult following, both for its top-notch barbecue and its dedication to supporting those in uniform. The brisket is a standout. Click here for more.
- Moby Dick in Potomac Village: A welcome addition to this restaurant-starved neighborhood, offering a reliable Middle Eastern menu that’s well-suited for takeout. Click here for more.
- Pinstripes at Pike & Rose: Bocce and bowling aren’t the only reasons to visit: The dishes here are among the tastiest we’ve had this year in North Bethesda. Don’t miss the boneless short rib and the crispy calamari. Click here for more.