A collaboration between Coquette, Lucy Boone Ice Cream, and Patron Saint wine is now open at 1245 Thalia Street, taking over the building that formerly held Coquette sister restaurant Thalia. Here Today blends an ice cream shop, wine shop, and restaurant serving Coquette’s fried chicken sandwiches under one roof, open weekly Friday through Sunday.
The pop-up has one weekend under its belt after debuting Friday, March 5. The kitchen, run by Coquette, has so far served boiled shrimp with chili peanut crisp and cilantro sauce and a fried fish sandwich, in addition to fried chicken sandwiches. Lucy Boone Ice Cream, a hugely popular local ice cream maker, sells scoops and pints of 12 different flavors, and Patron Saint, run by Leslie Pariseau and her partner Tony Biancosino, offers 150 wines by the bottle and three by the glass, which can be paired with food on offer. There’s a good amount of outdoor seating, and food is available for takeout (online ordering is coming soon, according to Here Today).
Coquette’s chef/owner Michael Stoltzfus opened Thalia with ex-partner Kristen Essig in August 2019, though Essig led the kitchen alongside Ana Castro, Coquette’s former sous chef. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Thalia shifted to selling takeout family meals, hosting farmers market pop-ups, and serving as a produce box pickup point for local farm vendors. It quietly ceased operations over the summer, with the restaurant’s last Instagram post advertising a family meal on July 24, 2020.
Today, Eater D.C. reported that Essig will be cooking in Washington, joining a D.C. hospitality group that’s tapped another big name from New Orleans for Dauphine’s, its latest project: Neal Bodenheimer of cocktail bar Cure. Essig told Eater D.C. that her and Stoltzfus split professionally and romantically over the summer, and that she left New Orleans soon after. At Coquette, Stoltzfus and Essig were co-chefs and co-owners since 2016, and were named as finalists by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: South for the past three years in a row. While the Beard foundation did not designate winners in 2020, it removed a handful of finalists from its list of nominees, including Stoltzfus and Essig. Essig told Eater D.C. the Beard foundation removed them without conducting an investigation after receiving “unsolicited information about our work culture.”
When reached by Eater D.C., Stoltzfus declined to comment on that characterization of events.
Here Today is open at 1245 Constance Street Friday through Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m.
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