Slate Wine Bar at 2404 Wisconsin Avenue closed permanently last week on September 22nd after a decade in Glover Park. Wait, read on – this is good news not bad news! Chef and owner Danny Lledo launched the sister restaurant, Xiquet, in 2019 upstairs in the same building and has decided to focus on that fine dining experience by expanding the restaurant to the first floor as well. I don’t know much about the restaurant business, but it does seem less efficient, and likely less profitable, to manage and market two restaurants with separate identities in the same space. Plus, Xiquet is Danny’s passion.
Xiquet offers a multi-course, fixed-price, fine dining experience of Spanish Mediterranean cuisine from Danny’s Valencian heritage. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2021, and Alisa Watts and Nicole Ramee of Xiquet won Michelin’s Sommelier of the Year in 2022. Danny spent a year renovating the upstairs space, adding a wood-fired stove to a new glass-enclosed kitchen and now will use the entire space for a unique mobile dining experience, where guests begin downstairs sampling canapes with wine and cocktails, then head upstairs to the kitchen for the multi-course meal with a fresh seafood and quality vegetable focus, in addition to more wine. Then, they will head to the mezzanine lounge for some treats and a pairing of wine or a digestif.
Maybe start with the percebes (goose barnacles – a highly valued Galician delicacy) in sherry sauce; followed by grilled eggplant (albergina) with peach (bresquilla) and grilled almonds, then savor the Arros del Cacador (smoked duck with summer truffles and cooked with Senia rice in a paella pan). Finish with the almond chocolate cake called El Almendruco. This is only a sample of the full tasting experience you will have at Xiquet (see menu below). Such culinary bliss does come at a price though. The typical 22 course meal will cost $220 per person, with wine/cocktails additional, yet often there is a waiting list for reservations in the small restaurant. Xiquet has been attracting famous figures, including recently, Senator Mark Warner and chef Jose Andres. Some neighbors are disappointed about the loss of the more casual wine bar with tapas which had become a regular hangout, though having a top-tier, award-winning restaurant right here in Glover Park ain’t too shabby, is it?