In 2009, Andy Shallal hosted a Top Chef-like contest to hire a person to lead the kitchen at Eatonville, a planned Southern-themed restaurant named for the hometown of writer and folklorist Zora Neale Hurston. The contest didn’t pan out as Shallal expected. The winning chef was fired before he ever cooked a single dish at Eatonville. The whole convoluted affair was laid bare in a cover story for Washington City paper back when I worked there. Nonetheless, the restaurant survived, sometimes even thrived, despite the shaky launch.
Fast-forward more than six years: Eatonville, a pioneer on 14th Street NW, has been overshadowed by flashier newcomers to the restaurant row. Shallal hopes to correct that with the help of celebrity chef, author and The Chew co-host Carla Hall, who served as a judge during that original contest in 2009. This time around, Hall and Shallal will conduct tastings with five finalists on January 22 to determine who will be the executive chef of…
Mule Bone, the concept that will replace Eatonville at the corner of 14th and V streets. Eatonville’s last day of service will be Sunday, January 17; Shallal expects to reopen as Mule Bone in mid-February.
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