Stanford Grill to open this summer
Stanford Grill, the massive new restaurant planned for Tower Oaks Boulevard in Rockville, is finally ready to move forward after clearing some permitting hurdles this week. And we’re told that some promising talent will soon be coming aboard: Chef Sean Konishita, a veteran of award-winning restaurants on both coasts, and general manager Patrick Desotelle from D.C.’s Le Diplomate and Zaytinya. Plans call for a sushi bar, in-house bakery, indoor/outdoor seating for more than 300, and a kitchen that cooks everything from scratch. This will be the second restaurant for Stanford Grill, whose Columbia location has earned consistently positive reviews. Doors are expected to open around August.
Oil and vinegar on tap at the mall
Oil and vinegar tasting stores are officially a trend in the D.C. area, with two already open at Bethesda Row and Pike & Rose. But for those who don’t know their arbequinas from their ascolanos, the vast array of bottles can be a bit overwhelming. Enter Cleo’s Oil Bar, opening April 1st at Westfield Montgomery Mall with a winery-inspired layout just outside the Godiva store. Visitors will belly up to an 18-foot-long bar, peruse the menu for some flavors to try, then sip their samples in the nearby seating area. “Our concept is to demystify this whole thing for people who want to try these products,” says Cleo’s co-owner Linda Cameron, who also has a full-sized store in Annapolis. “We want people to see how fun and adventurous it can be to pair a Blackberry Balsamic with an Agrumato Lime Oil on top of your field greens and goat cheese.”
It’s too late to get Lucky at the mall
St. Patrick’s Day was a little less Lucky at Westfield Montgomery Mall this year: Lucky Brand, the California-based clothing and accessories chain, closed its doors last week in preparation for its new location in North Bethesda. Lucky will be back this spring at Pike & Rose off Montrose and Old Georgetown Road; in the meantime, you can shop Lucky at nearby stores in Georgetown and Tysons Corner.
Enter to win a meal for two at Chop’t
This week we’re giving away a pair of gift cards for salads or sandwiches at Chop’t, good at the Wildwood Shopping Center location or anywhere else. Click here to enter via email (subject line: Chop’t) or click here to enter via Facebook. (If you haven’t already liked us on Facebook, be sure to click that button to get breaking news updates between our Thursday issues.) Update: Eileen Seminara won our Chop’t contest. Stay tuned to Store Reporter for more great giveaways.
Ikea to shoppers: No hiding in our stores
If you were hoping to host your next soirée at the Ikea store in College Park, we have some bad news: This week the Swedish retailer announced that it won’t allow massive games of hide-and-seek inside its showrooms. Ikea fans in the Netherlands and elsewhere had been planning such games via Facebook after the company allowed it to happen at one store in Belgium. The event was so successful that others wanted to copy it — in fact, tens of thousands of people signed up to play at their local stores — until the company, almost regretfully, said no. “It’s hard to control,” an Ikea spokesman told Bloomberg News. “We need to make sure people are safe in our stores, and it’s hard to do that if we don’t know where they are.”
Reader Favorite: Pizza CS
Our Reader Favorite section is the perfect place to tell us about that dish you dream about, that dessert you crave, or that go-to gift from your favorite little shop. Click here to share your favorite — and read on to learn about someone else’s.
Nicole Lehtman of Potomac says she’s normally “not a huge pizza fan.” But she makes an exception for Pizza CS, serving Neapolitan-style pies in Rockville’s Twinbrook Shopping Center near Fuddrucker’s. Lehtman loves the margherita with arugula ($12.50), while her husband and kids prefer the sausage ($11.50). Both are made with flour and other ingredients imported from Italy and cooked in an 850-degree brick oven. “Normally I would never be the one to say, ‘Let’s go out for pizza,'” says Lehtman, director of the University of California’s law program in D.C. “But the first time we went to Pizza CS, it was so good that I wanted to go back the next week. It’s the only kind of pizza that I crave.”