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Chef Jeff Tunks‘ Asian-themed eatery TenPenh is closing its doors on June 30, after 11 years on Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Ownership group Passion Food Hospitality announced the closure over the weekend, citing an inability to negotiate a new deal with the restaurant’s landlord.

The full announcement after the jump.

TenPenh Bids a Fond Farewell

TenPenh’s landmark Asian-inspired restaurant closing June 30, 2011
Being unable to finalize a mutually beneficial agreement between the partners of Passion Food Hospitality [Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, David Wizenberg] and the lessor, an amicable resolution has been reached whereby; the jewel-colored silk-upholstered dining room of TenPenh closes its doors at the end of this month. It will leave behind a legacy of sophisticated Asian-inspired cuisine and glittering memories – of delectable lunches, exotic dinner feasts, and festive suckling pig roasts right there on Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from The White House. 

Eleven years ago, following an intensive research trip to Asia, we brought authentic flavors and flair to our Asian inspired establishment.  The interior made its mark with brilliant color, silk lanterns, antique Asian statuary, and servers in raw silk jackets. TenPenh’s menu introduced the Washington area to the joys of whole fish, taking the fear out of that dramatic presentation.  It also gave a home to executive chef Jeff Tunks’ Chinese Style Smoked Lobster, which became its signature dish.  During the tenure of Tunks’ longtime Philippine-born chef de cuisine, Washington learned to embrace upscale Philippine cuisine.

Praised in the press from Bon Appétit to The New York Times [and with a coveted listing in the late great Gourmet Magazine’s Guide to America’s Best Restaurants under its glamorous belt] Not to mention, Esquire Magazine gave it the notable honor of being one of only twenty “Best New Restaurants 2000.” TenPenh’s high style and distinctive cuisine always attracted luminaries.  The kitchen was honored by visiting chefs Cristeta Comerford [of The White House] and America’s master of Asian cooking, Susanna Foo.  Its dining room was graced by the likes of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Dr. Ruth, Barack Obama and John McCain, U2 and John Travolta.

Although much discussion is whirling around about a possible relocation, we would like to simply focus our energy and time on our independent ongoing ventures and the two new independent endeavors poised to open on Washington Circle this August.

Gus, Jeff and David are indebted and thankful to their loyal supporters, distinguished press, friends and family for their continued commitment to TenPenh. And most importantly, they are sincerely grateful to their dedicated staff for all their efforts and hard work over the past 11 years, many of whom will remain  ‘in the family’ of Passion Food Hospitality.

A fond farewell for now! Thank you for the memories.

Photo courtesy of Passion Food Hospitality