Eatonville, courtesy of Zagat Buzz (Flickr)

Eatonville, courtesy of Zagat Buzz (Flickr)

There was very few things not to like about Eatonville after I visited it back over the summer. And now, here’s another reason to visit the restaurant: they’re hosting a monthly series called “Food and Folklore,” featuring storytelling, to honor the inspiration of the restaurant, Zora Neale Hurston. They’ll also be serving their Eatonville-inspired food.

The first event will be this Friday at 6:30, featuring Hurston biographer Valerie Boyd. Each Food and Folklore event will feature a special prix fixe menu, and a conversation with the writer. The price will be $45/person. Reservations are required so definitely call to make them if you want to attend. I don’t think I’m going to make it this month, but I hope to check it out soon and let you know what I think.

Eatonville Restaurant, soon to open

Eatonville Restaurant, soon to open

Walking up 14th street the other day, I saw that Eatonville Restaurant to open on 14th and V, by the owners of Busboys and Poets, had/is having a competition to determine who will be the executive chef of the restaurant. The restaurant is an homage to Zora Neale Hurston, the writer who was good friends with Langston Hughes, who of course Busboys and Poets celebrates. Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, FL, the first incorporated African-American town in the country.

Busboys and Poets, and the City Paper’s Young and Hungry blog have been chronicling the chef search. There have been three rounds, chronicled here, here, and here. The finalists were Trent Conry, Rusty Holman, Dennis Clark, Chris Newsome, Jacques Ford, and Jason Tepper. Top Chef finalist Carla Hall (a U street girl favorite), owner Andy Shallal, and Mike Curtin from DC Central Kitchen were the judges. Apparently a winner has been chosen but their name has not been announced yet, and will be announced at a later date in the City Paper. I’ll be sure to update once the chef’s name has been announced.

The restaurant is said to open in either April or May of this year. Should be exciting, another Southern soul-food focused restaurant in the area (will be interesting to see how it contrasts with the food at Next Door, and to a degree, Marvin).