Stocking our shelves, getting ready to open our doors! pic.twitter.com/bvv5c2UxTf
— Menu MBK (@MenuMBK) January 21, 2014
Frederik de Pue’s MenuMBK (405 8th St NW) announced its opening schedule for all three components (Market, BistroBar, and Kitchen) in the former Azur restaurant space on 8th Street in Penn Quarter. The opening schedule follows:
- Market [photo], the ground level shop featuring seasonal and local foods along with pre-made selections, wine, beer, and other sundries, opens this Friday, January 24.
- BistroBar [photo], a loungeishly casual area with Wi-Fi, opens Thursday, January 30.
- Kitchen [photo], a six seat fixed price ($65) dining counter, opens one month later on Thursday, February, 20.
Looking at the photos, we have to admit that we are intrigued by the whole concept. It appears to be neighborhood oriented and not as much a destination spot like many of the brand name restaurants within a five block radius. We’re also intrigued by the six seat fixed price counter. We do love Minibar but this sounds like a much more price and neighbor friendly alternative. WaPo also has their own take on it too.
To learn more, read past the break for the full press release. You can also check their website out which is now up to date with all the details. Their Twitter feed and Facebook page also provide extra information.
CHEF FREDERIK DE PUE TO OPEN MENU MBK IN WASHINGTON, D.C. JANUARY 24
The Mixed-Use Concept to Feature a Market, BistroBar and Intimate Six-Seat Chef’s Table
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 16, 2014 – Chef Frederik De Pue, chef/owner of Table and 42° Catering, will open Menu MBK, his Washington D.C. market, bar and restaurant, on Friday, January 24 in the Penn Quarter neighborhood. The first of its kind in D.C., Menu will host a bountiful local market, casual bar and café and an intimate six-seat chef’s counter experience in the space previously occupied by Azur and Jose Andres’s Café Atlantico. Menu Market, the ground-floor portion of the three-tiered project will be the first to open. BistroBar, a 50-seat casual space serving bistro fare, creative cocktails and a thoughtful beer and wine selection, will open January 30. Menu Kitchen, Chef De Pue’s kitchen dining table, will open February 20.
“When I decided to close Azur in September and re-concept the space, I asked myself and our neighbors, what is Penn Quarter missing?” said De Pue. ”Over and over again, we heard that there was no place within walking distance to shop for fresh produce, baked goods and freshly packaged meals. Given the size of our building, a market made perfect sense –and adding a place for quick, casual bites and drinks along with a chef’s table where we can show off the market’s wares lets us provide three very different ways for guests to enjoy our distinct food and beverage program.”
Local farm-fresh ingredients are a hallmark of De Pue’s cooking at Table and 42° Catering, and he has drawn on his relationships with area farms to stock the bountiful produce stands at Menu Market. The market will always reflect what is seasonal and best from local growers like Bounty Hill Farms and Chapel Hills Farm. In addition to local farms the market will stock goods from exceptional regional and national producers, like charcuterie from Cured DC, Meatcrafters and Olympic Provisions and cheese and other dairy products from Chatham Sheepherding Company, Meadow Creek Dairy and Essex Street Cheese Company. Specialty grocery items will include honey, maple syrup, infused oils, Gearheart’s Chocolate and Route 11 chips.
A robust selection of takeout meals will include sandwiches, salads and pastas. The market’s pastry case will showcase pies, cookies, sticky buns and macaroons by pastry chef Jason Gehring. There will also be sauces and other pre-made items to help the home cook.
Menu Market will sell a selection of wine and bottled beer curated by general manager and beverage director Robert Yealu. The retail selection will feature a thoughtful assortment of new and old world wines, as well as bottled beer from the same breweries that can be upstairs at Menu BistroBar. The beverage offerings at Menu Market will also include a full barista-serviced coffee program featuring roasts from Mid-Atlantic roasters.
In addition to its retail offerings, De Pue plans to use the market to stage cooking demonstrations, culinary book events and seasonal events like the Christmas Market hosted at Menu MBK in December.
The third and fourth floors will be home to the BistroBar. This attractive space will feature both low, lounge-style tables with large, comfortable armchairs as well as well as tables with seating for 42. During the day, it will serve as a dining area complete with free Wi-Fi for those wishing to enjoy coffee and food from the market. In the evening, it will truly blossom with a menu of bar bites and casual plates, expansive bottled beer and by-the-glass wine selections, and a concise list of craft cocktails.
The beer offerings will be a major focus of the program, playing on De Pue’s Belgian heritage and new world culinary proclivities by offering side-by-side tastings of traditional imported classics and their American expressions. Drink selections will come with complimentary bites from the kitchen designed to give diners a taste of Menu Market. Plates will range from $8 to $25 and feature American takes on brasserie classics like lamb sausage, black escargot, veal meatballs and steak tartare.
The BistroBar is set to open January 30, the week following Menu Market’s debut.
Menu Kitchen, a six-seat dining counter, is located on the second floor of the building and overlooks the gallery where Chef De Pue and Chef De Cuisine Keith Cabot prepare the food for all three of Menu MBK’s concepts. The menu at Kitchen will feature a showcase of five ingredients available in the market at the time. Chefs De Pue and Cabot will serve a $65 fixed-price menu that highlights how to bring out the best in those ingredients with different cuisines and techniques. Interaction will be a major part of the experience as the chefs present each dish and explain the thoughts and processes behind the cooking. Menu Kitchen will approach simple, traditional cooking with a chef’s eye, and will include refined favorites like comforting casseroles, slow roasts and hearty stews.
Menu Kitchen is slated to begin daily service February 20. Reservations can be made by calling 202-347-7491.
While construction of the market is the biggest design change from Azur, the space’s previous incarnation, the entire interior has been given a facelift. Earth tone walls and light, natural wood interplay to create a warm, welcoming interior accented by reclaimed items like country shutters turned into interior planters and barn doors fronting the third-floor bar. Assembled top-to-bottom by De Pue, the design evokes the feeling of a European country market, and invites shoppers and diners alike to linger, nibble and browse.
About Chef Frederik De Pue
Executive Chef / Owner Frederik de Pue has emerged as a notable culinary talent, with an exceptional eye for detail and honest inspiration behind his food and menus. The Belgian born chef also owns Table in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood. Opened in January 2013, Table has earned praise from the city’s restaurant critics for its thoughtful, European-inspired fare and was selected by Bon Appetite as one of America’s 50 Best New Restaurants in 2013. Since 2006, Frederik has earned a reputation for exceptional cuisine with the growth of his 42º Catering through the greater DC region. De Pue first came to Washington in 2001 as the Executive Chef of the European Commission Delegation Ambassador. The Belgium born and raised chef trained at the Hotel School Ter Duinen and cooked under noted European chefs Alain Chapel, Alain Ducasse and Yves Mattagne.