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Let’s have some real talk about The Shaw Bijou. This morning, with another Kwame Onwuachi cell-phone-holding–crotch shot, the Washington Post announced the Nov. 1 opening date for the anticipated Shaw restaurant. The article also dropped the bomb that the price tag for the multi-course tasting menu from the 26-year-old chef is $185 before tax, tip, and drinks. Catch that? Before tax, tip, and drinks.
Onwuachi’s appearance on the past season of Top Chef painted his personality as humble as pie, but the pricing for his new restaurant is anything but, especially because the minimum price for wine pairings is $50. That puts The Shaw Bijou in the ranks of Pineapple & Pearls, Metier, and Komi, headed by proven chefs: Aaron Silverman, Eric Ziebold, and Johnny Monis, respectively. This is Onwuachi’s first gig as an executive chef. Why not take a page out of Monis’ book and start with an a la carte menu and ease into tasting menu fanfare? That’s how Komi got its start.
The press release announcing the opening suggests someone less pretentious than what we’ve seen from Onwuachi so far. “Diners can expect to find globally inspired dishes that capture Onwuachi’s life story from helping his mom run a catering company from their Bronx apartment, to living with his grandfather in a remote village of Nigeria and opening his first catering company funded through candy sales on the subway,” it reads.
I’ll drop my piggy bank from a balcony and sit down for dinner open-minded come fall, but for now something doesn’t feel quite right.
If you’re down for whatever, note that The Shaw Bijou will begin accepting reservations Monday via Tock. It’ll follow a ticket system similar to other fine dining behemoths.
The Shaw Bijou,1544 9th St. NW; (202) 800-0640; theshawbijou.com