Ladies and gentlemen of Borderstan, it’s just about time to pack up your knives and go… to B Too. The highly anticipated Logan Circle Belgian restaurant is back on track to open this spring.
Chef and owner Bart Vandaele originally hoped to open the restaurant at 1324 14th Street in December 2012. However, that schedule was put on hold when Vandaele spent about eight weeks in Seattle, competing in season 10 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
“It was awesome to be on the show,” said Vandaele on his experience on “Top Chef.” “I learned a lot in Seattle, and the show takes very good care of the chefs.”
Vandaele is also the chef and owner of Belga Café, which he opened in 2004 in Eastern Market. When asked why he decided to open another Belgian restaurant in the District, Vandaele said, “Because I am a little bit crazy, and because I am proving to the community that I am the Belgian chef in town.”
Vandaele says B Too will share some similarities with Belga Café, such as its traditional Belgian fare, but it will also differ in many ways.
The 4,800 square foot space will have two floors and three different bars, one of which will be specifically devoted to Belgian waffles and fries. Vandaele says B Too will also have an open kitchen with a kitchen bar for chef’s tastings, and a basement that will be set-up like a lounge, but won’t be “too clubby.”
“I am designing the restaurant the way I would design my house,” said Vandaele, who is hoping to create a “homey” atmosphere with warm colors, wood from the original building and exposed brick walls.
Vandaele also hopes to bring some contemporary elements to the space, with accents like leather and cowhide. He says he is planning something “really funky” for the restrooms.
“It’s a bit provocative, but I think DC can handle it,” said Vandaele.
Vandaele will also bring a Josper to B Too, a traditional Spanish oven that uses charcoal to create a smoky flavor – the first in the District.
However detailed the design aspects of B Too will be, Vandaele emphasizes that food will be the priority.
“The food at B Too will be very focused on the Belgian cuisine,” said Vandaele, who also said that the restaurant will use mostly local ingredients. “We will have nice, classic dishes and maybe reinvent them.”
Stay tuned for more information on specifics of the opening date.