Year in Review: Industry Night, January 25, 2024


Hello there. I cannot believe we are wrapping up 2023 here on Industry Night. So for the whole month of December, I have been taping this show at WREN in the Watermark Hotel. Last week we were up in one of the terrific suites and today we are here in the bar of the Japanese izakaya, Wren. Chef Yo Matsuzaki draws upon locally-grown ingredients and serves Japanese street food with modern American elements. Think shucked oysters and expertly-cut sashimi and wagyu steak and you get where I am going. But I don’t need to tell you all about it! Chef is joining me today to fill you in, and, I am very excited because later in the show, two of the DC area’s most trusted food journalists, Washingtonian’s Jessica Sidman and Axios' Anna Spiegel are joining me! We’re going to do a real year in review of the DC dining scene.

Where have I been?!  Where haven’t I?

  • The Grove - a Spanish fusion backed by Alexandria-based Common Plate Hospitality Group and helmed by Jose López-Picazo. Really delish dining in the burbs. Toasted Crystal Bread, Chicken Chilindron, Basque Stye Cheesecake - There, I’ve ordered for you.
  • Vic Albisu has opened up another Taco Bamba, this time in City Ridge — He is back in DC!

2023 was a hell of a year for DC dining. After two years of the pandemic, the beginning of this year was feeling really bright. However, there was something simmering in the hospitality world — just under the surface — and it was on both sides! Diners and Industry professionals. An animosity was growing — a big divide. Remember March of 2020 when we all wanted to do whatever we would to support our restaurants and each other? Well, those days are O-VER.
-Confusion over tipping
-Random Surcharges
-Rude Customers
-Rude Servers
Look, many new restaurants opened in 2023 and sadly, so many closed. What is going on out there? Hopefully today can provide a little perspective — Jessica Sidman, Food Editor, Washingtonian magazine & Anna Spiegel, Axios D.C. reporter and food writer - Where to Begin?

Listen to the full episode here, or watch it all on YouTube, here.