North Bethesda, MD – January 22, 2015 – Chef/Partners Jeff Mahin and Francis Brennan are introducing two of their successful restaurant concepts to the East Coast. Today, Summer House Santa Monica, a California‐inspired restaurant with an existing location in Chicago, opens in the Pike & Rose community in North Bethesda, MD. Following in early February, Stella Barra, an artisanal pizzeria with locations in Chicago, Santa Monica and Hollywood, will open in a connected adjacent space. The chefs have teamed up with RJ, Jerrod and Molly Melman of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises on these two new North Bethesda ventures.
“Our philosophy is centered on offering well‐executed dishes made with quality ingredients and without pretense. The food is very simple and approachable, but executed with a chef’s touch,” Mahin said. “Francis and I are very excited to introduce our philosophy and our food to this great neighborhood.”
Inside Summer House, guests will find a laid‐back, friendly vibe reminiscent of the Golden State, complete with beach house‐inspired décor and retractable glass walls that can be opened to allow sunshine to fill the dining room. The diverse market‐driven menu is a celebration of peak seasonal, local ingredients prepared with care. At the heart of Summer House is its signature wood‐fired grill from which dishes such as Grassfed Prime Skirt Steak with Point Reyes blue cheese, and Wood‐Grilled Salmon with melted fennel, arugula pesto and espelette are prepared. Other offerings from the menu include fresh salads, such as Super Greens with baby kale, mizuna, shaved celery, watercress, parmesan and garlic bread crumbs; Baked‐to‐Order Biscuits with roasted poblano‐honey butter; Spicy Tuna Nigiri atop crispy sushi rice with shoyu and cilantro; Bucatini & Brown Butter Carbonara with braised bacon, farm egg and parmesan; and a Slow‐Roasted Chicken French Dip sandwich with provolone and natural jus. In keeping with Summer House’s California spirit, Wine Director Ryan Arnold has compiled an extensive wine list that focuses mainly on the state’s distinct regional varietals and independent, small vintners.
Stella Barra’s seasonal menu features Chef Mahin’s signature handcrafted artisan pizzas topped with house‐made ingredients and farm‐fresh vegetables, alongside a selection of seasonal small plates, salads and sandwiches. Starters such as Fresh Burrata with wood‐grilled red grapes and fig vincotto, and salads like Heirloom Spinach & Purple Kale with shaved radishes and Medjool dates prime the palate for the rest of the meal to come. Stella Barra’s classic pies, such as House‐made Pork Sausage with mozzarella and fennel pollen, and Butternut Squash with taleggio, candied bacon and chilies, are available along with new pizzas unique to the D.C. market. Creative cocktails and a wine list rich with offerings that span the entirety of Italy complement the menu.
Stella Barra’s rustic dining room features exposed brick with modern industrial touches for a Downtown LA feel. A highlight of the décor is a wall‐mounted Bixby model bicycle gifted to the restaurant by Detroit‐based manufacturer, Shinola, who recently opened a store in D.C. The Bixby is both a nod to Mahin’s lifelong passion for cycling, and his deep admiration for fine craftsmanship.
A bakery counter located between Summer House and Stella Barra offers an assortment of freshly baked breakfast pastries, muffins and Mahin’s famous cookies. Locally roasted artisan coffee is also available. An outdoor patio will offer al fresco seating for both restaurants in the warmer months.
Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra are located at 11825 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, MD, 20852. Summer House Santa Monica is open for dinner daily on Monday through Thursday from 4‐ 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 4‐11pm and Sunday from 4‐10pm with weekend brunch to come soon. In the coming weeks, Stella Barra will open daily at 5pm for dinner. Gluten‐free and kids menus are available at both restaurants. For more information, please call Stella Barra (301) 770‐8609 or Summer House Santa Monica (301) 881‐2381, or visitwww.summerhousesm.com or www.stellabarra.com. Follow on twitter: @Jeff_Mahin, @SummerHouseNB, @StellaBarraNB and Instagram: @jmahin.