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After seven and a half years at Cafe Saint-Ex, chef Billy Klein has a new gig as chef and partner in Cleveland Park’s Pulpo. He’s already got big plans for revamping the modern American-influenced Spanish tapas menu.
Klein will roll out a few new dishes this weekend, with a completely new menu following in two or three weeks. He plans to scale back the offerings from about 40 items to 30, with more of a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Klein wants to improve the meat and cheese offerings with some housemade charcuterie, including a chorizo pâté, and varying pick-and-choose options for cheeses instead of just one plate. Also keep an eye out for more salads and a gazpacho trio that will rotate with the seasons.
Klein says one of the things he’s most excited about is the wood grill, which he plans to use for a lot of the seafood and meats on the menu. There will also be an emphasis on pulpo, meaning octopus, with hot and cold preparations. “It’s going to be extremely important given that that’s the name of the restaurant to make sure that we’re serving some of the best octopus in the city,” he says.
The drink menu—from beers to cocktails to wine—will also get a complete face-lift from local mixologists and brothers Ari and Micah Wilder in the coming weeks. The Wilder brothers are also working with Pulpo owner Dino Tapper on Federal restaurant and lounge, which just opened in Adams Morgan. Former Pulpo chef Perry Scott is now heading the kitchen at Federal.
Photo courtesy Billy Klein