October 10, 2007

Meet Us at the Source

Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen at the Source. (Sam Kittner)
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Wolfgang Puck in the kitchen at the Source. (Sam Kittner)

Diners relax in the lounge at the Source. (Sam Kittner)
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Diners relax in the lounge at the Source. (Sam Kittner)

The Source by Wolfgang Puck is part of the Newseum complex. (Maria Bryk)
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The Source by Wolfgang Puck is part of the Newseum complex. (Maria Bryk)

Executive Chef Scott Drewno. (Maria Bryk)
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Executive Chef Scott Drewno. (Maria Bryk)

Source cooks hard at work. (Maria Bryk)
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Source cooks hard at work. (Maria Bryk)

WASHINGTON — This week Washington foodies will have a new downtown destination for fine dining: The Source by Wolfgang Puck, located inside the Newseum building complex on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Executive Chef Scott Drewno said the time was right to bring the Puck experience to Washington. “DC is a blossoming restaurant town,” he said recently while guiding a preview tour through newly installed furniture and last-minute cleanup crews. “It’s becoming a world-class restaurant destination.”

Drewno, a veteran of the Puck organization who previously cooked at Spago and Chinois in Las Vegas, said the capital also appeals because of the wealth of local food resources. He said the menu will rely heavily on the Chesapeake Bay and area farms for fresh seafood, meats, cheeses and produce.

“There’s a world of difference between frozen (produce) in the winter and fresh green beans in the summer,” he said. Drewno said he will draw on these artisanal ingredients to create American cuisine with an Asian influence.

The Source (the name is an homage to the journalism roots of the Newseum) features three levels of dining, including the street-level “lounge” in which the main attractions will be cocktails, wood-fired pizzas and shared plates. Upstairs, a larger fine dining room will feature more upscale fare, including the dish Drewno said he’s most excited to cook — crispy suckling pig slow-cooked in duck fat and served with plum sauce.

The restaurant’s décor features modern lines, bright and earthy colors, and natural materials such as glass and rosewood. A two-story illuminated wine vault serves both form and function — an interior design show-stopper, it holds up to 2,200 bottles of wine.

Wolfgang Puck Catering will create dishes for the Newseum, including dining in the food court and at private events. Drewno will have a hand in planning and preparing those menus – that is, he said, when he’s not running between the Source’s two kitchens.

With the Source and Puck catering, Drewno said that, at the Newseum, diners can expect “the whole package” of Puck’s brand of hospitality, service and food. “The facilities here are great, and we hope the food will complement the great space,” he said.

For more information on The Source by Wolfgang Puck, call 202/637-6100 or visit www.wolfgangpuck.com.

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