Nov 16, 201206:45 AMTable Talk
Sneak Peek: Wildwood Kitchen
If you thought the parking at Wildwood Shopping Center was already tight, just wait until Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s Wildwood Kitchen catches on. On a daily basis, the lot is likely to resemble Montgomery Mall on Christmas Eve.
And word is sure to spread fast, as Wiedmaier’s latest concept—a neighborhood bistro serving fresh and light modern cuisine—is an appealing one. What’s more, the former Jean-Michel restaurant has been transformed into an ultra-lovely space.
Wildwood Kitchen will have a soft opening for dinner, Friday, November 16.
With 3,000-square feet, the restaurant seats 55, plus 15 at the bar, making it the smallest of Wiedmaier’s restaurants (Mussel Bar, Marcel’s, Brasserie Beck, Brabo and Brabo Tasting Room).
The interior is warm, rustic and sophisticated. Booths with hunter green leather seats and sage-colored suede backs rim the sides of the room, and a photographic frieze, picturing butterflies, deer and birds, wraps around the upper portion of the walls. Overhead wooden beams and a lighting fixture that looks like a winter tree branch add further to the theme, the work of Peter Hapstak of HapstakDemetriou, the Georgetown design firm.
The menu is short and relatively simple, with eight or so appetizers, and the same number of entrees. Some appetizer examples: Fresh Semolina Pasta with Little Neck Clams, Crisp Portuguese Sardines, and Puree of Blue Hubbard Squash Soup. Entrees, which are under $30, include Pan Seared Sea Bream, Slow Braised Osso Bucco and Red Snapper en Papillote. A selection of cheeses and charcuterie round out the menu.
While the cuisine leans heavily towards Mediterranean, “we don’t want to be pigeon-holed,” says Paul Stearman, the executive chef at Marcel’s, who will initially be working with the Wildwood Kitchen team. Marcel’s sous chef Anthony Yannuzzi was promoted, and will be heading up the new kitchen.
“We want the menu to be very light and healthy, and have picked wines conducive to that,” Stearman added.
The wine menu features an eclectic selection of 60 bottles under $60, plus about 15 wines by the glass. Craft cocktails include a Ruby Red Tarragon Martini and Pomegranate Kurrant Fizz.
One more thing: there are no television sets at the bar, and no online reservations. Diners making reservations will have to speak to an actual human being.
Wildwood Kitchen, 10223 Old Georgetown Road (in the Wildwood Shopping Center), 301-571-1700.