Coming Soon

First Look: Menu MBK

By Rina Rapuano  |  January 16, 2014
Credit: Greg Powers

Chef Frederik De Pue closed his short-lived, seafood-focused Azur in September with the intention of repurposing the Penn Quarter space, and that project comes to fruition starting next Friday. The market portion of Menu MBK - a multipurpose, multilevel dining, market and lounge concept - opens January 24, with the bistro opening January 30 and a six-seat chef's counter beginning February 20.

The Belgian-born chef, who also owns Table in Shaw and 42° Catering, says he consulted the neighborhood about what should occupy the longtime former Café Atlantico space. 

“Over and over again, we heard that there was no place within walking distance to shop for fresh produce, baked goods and freshly packaged meals," the chef says in a release. "Given the size of our building, a market made perfect sense - and adding a place for quick, casual bites and drinks along with a chef's table where we can show off the market’s wares lets us provide three very different ways for guests to enjoy our distinct food and beverage program.”

The bistro menu features American takes on brasserie classics ranging from $8 to $25. 

The market will be open daily from 9 AM-9 PM. BistroBar will be open daily from 9 AM-close, with the kitchen serving food from 5-10 PM and the bar open from 5 PM-close. Menu Kitchen will be available from 6-8:30 PM Tuesday through Saturday.

405 Eighth St. NW; 202-347-7491

  • Credit: Greg Powers

    The first floor of the massive space will serve as a neighborhood market selling produce from local farms and as well as regionally produced charcuterie, dairy products, honey, maple syrup and snacks. Wines and craft beers will be sold by the bottle, and a coffee bar will turn out espresso drinks and coffees from Mid-Atlantic roasters. In addition, take-out sandwiches, salads, pastas and desserts will be available, and the spot will host cooking demonstrations and culinary events. 

  • Credit: Greg Powers

    Moving up to the second floor, guests will find a six-seat chef's counter that will serve a $65 prix fixe menu created by chef De Pue and chef de cuisine Keith Cabot. Those warming the seats will interact with the chefs, who will put together a range of reimagined comfort foods like casseroles, slow roasts and hearty stews. 

  • Credit: Greg Powers

    The third floor will house the loungey section of BistroBar, decked with oversized armchairs and low tables. This level will serve as a daytime dining area with free WiFi for those who want to munch on coffee and food from the market. In the evening, diners can order from a selection of bar bites and heartier plates, bottled beer, glasses of wine and craft cocktails.

  • Credit: Greg Powers

    The BistroBar's fourth floor will serve the same menu as the lounge in the evening but in a more traditional restaurant setting. 

  • Credit: Greg Powers

    Dishes on the BistroBar menu will be priced by category, according to the website. For instance, the appetizers section lists five options under the $8 heading - such as black lentils, cauliflower panna cotta and Brussels sprouts - and six options under the $14 heading - with choices like lamb sausage, escargot and duck confit. Under mains, the price breakdown is $18 and $25. The website also cautions that the menu will change frequently, however.