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The opening chefs at H Street NE’s Driftwood Kitchen—executive chef James Duke and chef de cuisine John Leavitt—will oversee the kitchen at Provision No. 14, coming to 14th and V streets NW in late April or early May. The duo, both trained at L’Academie de Cuisine, became friends a decade ago working front-of-house with Great American Restaurants. Duke, who was born and raised in northern Virginia, has held stints at 1789 Restaurant and now-closed Tallula, while Leavitt’s resume includes cooking at 2941 and purchasing for Farmers Restaurant Group.
Duke and Leavitt have just begun compiling their seasonally changing modern American menu, which will include several “communal board” family-style platters served on wood planks that feed two to four people. Among the items to look out for: a Filipino dish called pata, which consists of a a whole pork leg that’s braised, hung to dry for a day, and deep-fried. “It’s got that chicharron crunchy skin on the outside,” Leavitt says. “But when you break in, it’s nice and moist on the inside.” Leavitt says the dish is more of personal homage than a nod to the nascent Filipino food trend in D.C.: “My aunt’s Filipino, my girlfriend’s Filipino, so I eat that food a lot,” he says.
The kitchen team also plans to make all of its own pastas in-house, including a rigatoni alla romana, which was one of Duke’s favorite dishes as a child. Other family-style dishes will include a whole fish and miso-glazed lamb ribs. The menu will also feature soups and salads plus some more bite-sized items like twice-baked fingerling potatoes or possibly deviled quail eggs.
“That’s one thing we like about this project is it’s pretty much a blank canvas for us to express our creativity,” Duke says.
Stay tuned for the full menu when it’s developed.
Photo courtesy Provision No. 14