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This month the D.C. area said “see ya” to three restaurants imported from out of town. Two are from New York, while the third is from Thailand.
First, STK Washington DC served its last female-friendly steak in its scenester setting off Dupont Circle. The restaurant was perplexing from the start, having thrown an opening shindig complete with tall beautiful models sponging temporary tattoos on guests’ already-bedazzled arms. And who could forget the decor? The statement piece was a wall of hedgehog spikes behind the bar. It was begging for a game of ring-toss.
The District’s STK was a part of The ONE Groupbased in New York City, but there are also STK locations in Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and elsewhee. City Tap House will replace STK at 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW come 2017. It’s also an import (this time from Philadelphia) but the gastropub already has a location in downtown D.C.
Next was Mango Tree, the first CityCenterDC casualty (929 H St. NW). The two-floor Thai restaurant, outfitted richly in red velvet, had a turbulent two years in D.C. after opening in January 2015. There were several chef shuffles, but most notably, Restaurateur Richard Sandoval pulled out of his partnership with Mango Tree CEO Pitaya Phanphensophon not long after opening.
The District’s Mango Tree, in all its glitz and glory, was the first U.S. offshoot of the brand that got its start in Bangkok. Its managing director, Trevor MacKenzie, told Dining Bisnow they scouted New York, Boston, and the West Coast but ultimately settled on launching in D.C. He added that, “If you fail in New York, you can’t open anywhere else.” No announcements have been made on a replacement.
Finally, A.G. Kitchen said goodbye to Silver Spring, Maryland (931 Ellsworth Dr.) this month. The restaurant was a spinoff of Chef Alex Garcia’s New York location by the same name. Garcia is a familiar face on the small screen (maybe you remember him from Food Network’s “Melting Pot”) but his fame couldn’t carry the restaurant, which opened in Summer 2015. The restaurant served tacos, arepas, burgers, and cubanos. It received a lukewarm “First Bite” from the Post. No word yet on what will take its place given it closed over the holidays.