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Food & Drink

Menu MBK Takes Diners to New Heights

Frederik de Pue’s multilevel market opens to the letter

menu mbk!

Union Market may be expanding, but it’s no longer the only food hall in town. Frederik de Pue spreads his concept market, Menu MBK, across four stories in Penn Quarter.

Here’s the dish on the opening, letter by letter.

M is for Market
Start your day on the ground floor market. Morning muffins make way for grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, and soups. Baggies of gummy bears share counter space with more sophisticated treats, like Chuao Chocolatier’s milk chocolate-potato chip bar. Pastry whiz Jason Gehring has a station where thick slices of cake, fresh cookies, and exotic temptations like nutty baklava with manchego reach new dimensions of sweet and salty.

Take-home items include roasted organic chickens, house-ground Chapel Hill Farm veal bathed in Romesco sauce, and chef de cuisine Keith Cabot’s take on his mom’s meatballs. (Cabot knows American comforts: His previous perch was Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc.) Peruse local charcuterie (MeatCrafters and Cured DC) and cheese served upstairs and at Table (de Pue’s spot in Shaw). There’s a generous wine and beer selection, plus kitchen goodies such as Le Creuset pots and Method dish soap.

mbk!

B is for BistroBar
Free Wi-Fi and the ground floor smorgasbord make the third and fourth floors elegant hideaways. Mobile workers can stretch out in the midcentury lounge with Oriental and cowhide rugs, shelves packed with Michelin Guides, and cognac-colored couches. Formal tables on the fourth floor make ideal spots for out-of-office powwows.

Once the workday is over, the space transitions to table service. Sidle up to the wooden bar made from chateau doors. Small plates ($8-$25) include starters such as black escargot and cauliflower panna cotta and entrees like confit pork loin and seared skate wing. Desserts — including a Belgian waffle with caramelized white chocolate and passion fruit, not to mention candy (caramel popcorn, peanuts and nougat) — come courtesy of Gehring. Seating is first come, first served. Dinner service begins Thursday.

mbk!

K is for Kitchen
Book it to the six seats directly in front of the second floor’s open kitchen, where de Pue composes a nightly prix fixe menu ($65) from five seasonal items available in the market below. Beverage director Robert Yealu pairs each course with Belgian and Belgian-style craft brews, a nod to the chef’s origins. Seatings start February 20.

We’re floored.

Menu MBK, 405 8th Street Northwest, between D and E Streets, Penn Quarter (202-347-7491 or menumbk.com).

Photos: Greg Powers / Courtesy of Menu MBK

LOCATION
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405 8th St NW
bt D & E Sts
Washington, DC 20004
202-347-7491
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