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Two months after Casa Nonna shuttered, chef Amy Brandwein is popping back up on the D.C. dining scene with a dinner at Cork Market & Tasting Room on August 2. The former Galileo chef will play with heirloom tomatoes for the multi-course feast (see menu below). She says Cork owners Diane Gross and Khalid Pitts were customers at Casa Nonna and are friends, and invited her to host the pop-up dinner in their space.
Brandwein tells Y&H her ultimate goal is to open a restaurant of her own. “How long that will take, I have no idea,” Brandwein says. “I’m not at a point where anything’s definite, so I can’t really get into it.”
In the meantime, she’s been doing some charity dinners, cooking classes, and working on her tan. “I’ve been cooking nonstop for over a decade, so it’s been really nice to have some time to enjoy and think and ponder about what I want to do.”
In September, she’s also going to lead a nine-day culinary tour of Puglia, Italy, alongside Puglia native Silvestro Conte, husband of local hospitality publicist Linda Roth Conte. Brandwein says the region is known for its orecchiette, rapini, and burrata. Although she’s never been to Puglia, Brandwein did a whole month of specials devoted to the region at Casa Nonna. (For more info on the trip, you can reach her at email@example.com.)
As for Brandwein’s $50 tomato dinner ($90 with wine pairings), you can reserve a spot by calling (202) 265-2675 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Citrus Cured Salmon and Crème Fraiche Blini with a Spicy Tomato Caviar
Summer Gazpacho, Beet Campari Ice
Provola, Cured Tomato and Anchovy Crostini
Zebra Tomato Tartar, Watermelon, Citrus, Mint and Stracciatella
Burrata and Herb Crespelle, Golden Tomato Crema with Pistou Basil
Salt Baked Rockfish, Roasted Vine Ripened Tomato, Calabrese Relish and Arugula Pesto
Roasted Tomato Strawberry Crostata with a Ginger Gelato
Photo by Darrow Montgomery