June 1, 2006


Though it opened with much fanfare back in the late 1980's, the Willard Hotel has not really contributed much to the idea that DC is a vibrant, exciting place. OK maybe elderly romantics from Virginia think the decor and menu is grand, but hardly anyone else does.

To add excitement, the Willard encouragingly will add a "Parisian bistro that's expected to open this fall on Pennsylvania Avenue," says WashBiz. Hopefully that will add some life to 14th St. near Pa. Ave., which for all intents and purposes really could be part of the 14th Street bridge for all the street life it generates.

To lead the effort, the Willard has named Boston hotel pro Daniel Kenney, who also will be executive chef to oversee the Willard Room restaurant. Hailing from the Langham Hotel in Boston, Kenny chefed at the hotels Julien and Cafe Fleuri restaurants. He is known for meals "heavy on the seasonal, artisanal delicacies, prepared with old-school (read: French) precision yet finished off with a contemporary flourish," says Gayot.

Sure wish the staffs from the Oriental and the Willard could do an exchange for a decade or so.

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