Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DC Preps for a New Chef @ Birch & Barley and ChurchKey

Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) creates unique establishments that are tailored to the neighborhoods in which they reside. In addition to Birch & Barley and ChurchKey, the company operates Buzz, Evening Star Café, EatBar, Planet Wine, Rustico, Columbia Firehouse, Star Catering, Tallula and Vermilion, all located in Northern Virginia.

They are pleased to announce the appointment of Kyle Bailey as Executive Chef of Birch & Barley and ChurchKey, the group’s first restaurant and beer bar in the District of Columbia opening this fall. Catch more on him at the Washington City Paper HERE.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bailey has made his way to the nation’s capital after working in several notable New York restaurants. He most recently served as the executive chef of Allen & Delancey, a Michelin-star restaurant in New York City. The restaurant provided Bailey his first opportunity to head a kitchen, and his work was praised in numerous publications, including New York Magazine, Debonair and Gothamist. At Allen & Delancey, Kyle also helped develop an outstanding cocktail-and-food pairing program.

Prior to that, Bailey worked under renowned chef Dan Barber at his critically acclaimed restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown, NY. His time spent at Blue Hill reinforced his dedication to seek out and use the finest local ingredients, and helped define his culinary style. It was also here that Bailey--an avid home brewer--first began to explore the world of food and craft beer pairings, thanks to the bar program’s focus on this subject.

Before heading north to Blue Hill, Bailey spent three years at Cru, the wine focused restaurant in New York City, where he perfected both classic and modern cooking techniques under the watchful eye of Chef Shea Gallante. At Cru, Bailey also developed a keen interest and understanding of the art of food and beverage pairings.
Bailey’s impressive resume also includes his early work at world-class luxury resorts in the Caribbean and Florida, including the Biltmore Hotel’s La Palme D’Or and Old Bahama Bay’s Aqua Restaurant.

Bailey’s inventive cuisine and appreciation for local produce is evident in the menu he has conceived for Birch & Barley, located in the ground floor of a two-story building located at 1337 14th Street NW. His modern American menu will include appetizers such as Charred Octopus with warm fingerling potatoes, pickled eggplant and fried capers and Char tartar with yuzu, ginger, basil and sesame chips. The menu will include a pasta section with rotating selections all made fresh in-house, such as Tagliatelle with braised rabbit, carrots, chives and housemade ricotta. The format of Bailey’s menu will allow guests the ability to enjoy his pasta selections as a first course, a mid-course or an entrée.
Entrées will include dishes such as a Crispy wild striped bass served with baby fennel & artichoke ragu and olive salt, creative comfort foods such as Braised beef cheeks with cheddar grits, parsnip and shallots, and an elegant take on the traditional roast chicken with the Wood roasted chicken for two with spaetzle stuffing, carrots and sage.

Upstairs from Birch & Barley is ChurchKey, NRG’s 3,250 square-foot beer bar. For this space, Bailey has conceived an imaginative menu split into four sections: Fresh, Pressed, Roasted and Fried. Artichoke hearts with sheep’s milk ricotta and chestnut honey are a welcome ‘fresh’ snack, while ‘fried’ and spicy Hush Puppies are destined to be a crowd pleaser. For ‘pressed’ or ‘roasted’ options, guests can try the Truffled grilled cheese with tomato soup dip and the wood-fired Flatbreads with toppings such as Port-glazed Black Mission figs and Gorgonzola crema focata.

Birch & Barley and ChurchKey are located at 1337 14th St, NW, near the Dupont Circle metro stop on the Red line. For more information, please call 202-518-7549 or visit the websites at and

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