Adam Barnett — whose resume includes Liberty Tavern, West End Bistro in the District and The Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va. — will take over as executive chef at the three-year-old Clarendon eatery.
The hiring of Barnett comes during a somewhat turbulent time for Eventide. General Manager Dave Pressley left the restaurant in December and chefs Miles Vaden and Justus Frank departed in February. With the exception of that “series of unrelated events,” however, Eventide co-owner Nick Freshman says not much else has changed.
“People leave restaurants all the time,” he said. “There is no concept change. Eventide is not changing. The things that we love about Eventide — the reasons why we built it and the reasons why so many of our customers appreciate it — are still there, and none of that changes.”
Except, there are some changes in the works. After he starts on Tuesday, Barnett plans to run specials of his own creation to supplement the existing menu. Those specials will eventually become the backbone of a new spring menu that will include expanded food, cocktail and beer options.
“We have a new chef who’s going to bring new ideas and new flavors to the menu,” Freshman said. “It’s going to be great… I’d like to see us do some more exciting things with the menu than we’ve done previously.”
Freshman says the restaurant will be organizing special dining events this year, like wine nights, beer dinners, barbecues and oyster roasts. The events will try to take advantage of locally-produced items — for instance, small local breweries may help run the beer dinners.
Eventide’s rooftop, which may serve as a venue for some of those events, will now feature an expanded standing area for bar patrons as well as a rooftop dinner menu for people who want to enjoy a meal. The rooftop is expected to open during the first week of May, weather permitting.
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