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That was quick. James Alefantis e-mailed today to say that, after a long dry run at Comet Ping Pong, he finally got his liquor license back today. All it took was a small mountain of paperwork and about $2,700 in fees.
Comet will be serving beer, wine, and liquor today at its hip Connecticut Avenue space. Which, of course, suits Alefantis fine. “I just added a bunch of beers before this [happened],” he says during a subsequent phone chat.
Among those beers are New Holland Golden Cap farmhouse ale and Schloss Eggenberg Pilsner. Alefantis has also added a couple of seasonal pies to his rotating menu of pizzas: an asparagus and egg pizza with pecorino Romano cheese and Y&H’s personal favorite, the soft shell crab pie with melted leeks.
As Alefantis described the pies to me, he kept using variations on the phrase, “I created,” which made me wonder what happened to Laura Bonino who took over the Comet kitchen after Carole Greenwood departed last year. Alefantis says that Bonino decided to drop the Comet gig when it become unmanageable to work at both the pizzeria and Griffin Market in Georgetown, that little gem of an Italian grocery and carryout, which she runs with her husband, Riccardo.
“It didn’t work for her to be here at night,” says Alefantis. But Bonino continues to consult with the owner, who has taken over the chef chores at Comet.