It's been awhile since we caught up with Bart Vandaele, the D.C. chef behind Belga Café who's in the process of opening B Too, which we're chronicling in print and on our website as part of a year-long series called "Out of the Frying Pan."
I chatted with Vandaele by phone for a story slated for next week's paper, but thought there were a couple of things worth mentioning before then.
One, Vandaele doesn't expect to open on his original target date of Dec. 12 (12/12/12, for symmetry buffs). Permit delays, plus the time he had to commit to the new season of Bravo TV's "Top Chef," are the culprits. He still expects to open during the winter but couldn't give me a more exact timeline.
B Too (there's a website now up and running) is under construction at 1324 14th St. NW. Its 4,800 square feet will include a waffle bar, wine room and seating for about 150. Vandaele is working on the $1.7 million project with his uncle, Walter, an economist who used to advise the Federal Trade Commission, and about 10 investors.
Finally, speaking of "Top Chef," Vandaele is the last D.C. chef standing. Seasonal Pantry's Dan O'Brien didn't make the cut in the debut Seattle episode. And in Wednesday night's installment, Jeffrey Jew was told to pack his knives and go. Judge Gail Simmons wrote on her blog that while Jew "was so cute" and contributed to a strong combination of six dishes, his halibut "was pummeled."