Little Beast Café & Bistro To Open Monday in Chevy Chase, D.C.

Owners envision a neighborhood eatery

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Glynis Kazanjian

Washington, D.C., restaurateurs Robert and Aaron Gordon have an ambitious vision for Little Beast, their new café and bistro that’s expected to open Monday on Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, D.C.

The father-and-son team want Little Beast to be known as a family-style neighborhood restaurant that serves the local community and as the best coffee shop, bakery and wood-fired kitchen around.

“The area just does not have enough gathering spots,” Aaron Gordon said Thursday while working at the restaurant. “Little Beast will be a wonderful place for a couple to have a glass of wine or a family to scoot tables together and sit down to have a nice family dinner.”

Aaron Gordan and his father, who lives only a few blocks from the restaurant in Gordon’s childhood home, also own four other D.C.-based restaurants—Bakers & Baristas, Drafting Table, Red Light and Red Velvet Cupcakery.

“I’ve used favorite elements of every place to create Little Beast,” Gordon said.

Even the restaurant’s name comes from a personal connection, according to Gordon, who said he named Little Beast after his daughters, ages 1 and 3.

“That’s what they are,” he said with a smile.

Executive chef Nicholas Martino said the restaurant will offer trendy, family-style menus with “elevated” cuisine options that have been designed for people to share.

“I want everyone to share, just like you would do at your own home,” Martino said.

The menu will include as many as 15 “sharable” dishes ranging in size from side dishes—including Brussels sprouts and Caesar salad—to entrées such as spicy lamb ragu and build-your-own pizzas.

A children’s menu will also offer dishes including kids ’-sized pizzas, buttered noodles and wood-fired roasted vegetables.

The eatery at 5600 Connecticut Ave. seats 74 people inside and 44 people outside on a low-raised deck. A bar that is accessible to patrons from inside and outside of the eatery will serve a variety of craft beers on tap and two house-made cocktails, plus a variety of wines and other canned and bottled beers.

Gordon said the café will serve Vigilante coffee, produced by a Hyattsville-based company that roasts its own coffee beans, and house-baked pastries made by Naomi Gallego, a pastry chef formerly with Blue Duck Tavern in the District.

On Monday the bistro portion of Little Beast will open with hours of operation from 4 to 10 or 11 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. on the weekends, Gordon said.

In two weeks, the cafe will open, and the coffee shop which will offer pastries and sandwiches from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The restaurant plans to hold story readings for children at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays and “Sunday Socials,” which may include poetry and story readings, as well as art exhibitions. The official start date for those activities has not been determined, spokesperson Bunny Polmer said.

“If I can make everyone in the neighborhood happy and people come from Bethesda and other areas, we will have achieved our goal,” Martino said.

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