Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Secret Chopsticks Opens in Rosslyn, November 9th

From our friends at Secret Chopsticks...

Secret Chopsticks Brings Authentic Chinese Fare to Washingtonians This November

WSL Hospitality, LLC is pleased to announce the November 9th anticipated opening of Secret Chopsticks, the 120-seat restaurant located in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia at 1850 Fort Myer Drive. The restaurant will specialize in authentic, healthy Chinese fare presented in a contemporary way incorporating fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Each dish will be carefully designed and presented as a balanced plate. Guests can enjoy an a la carte dining experience in the 12-seat Lounge, or opt to dine in the main dining room. Here they can choose from four different nine-course, prix fixe tastings menus, with each highlighting regional Mainland China cuisine. Lika Fu of Dimensional Strategy, LLC is responsible for designing the 4,400-square foot space.

Restaurant partner Robin Li is the executive chef of Secret Chopsticks. A native of Mainland China, Li began his culinary career in 1992 while working at restaurants and hotels throughout Qingdao, Beijing and Nanjing. In 2000, he immigrated to the United States and joined the US Navy, serving as a culinary specialist. Li quickly rose through the ranks and in 2003 he won a cooking competition led by the US Navy, which afforded him the opportunity to attend a training program at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. It was during his stint at the CIA that he decided to pursue his culinary degree and work as a chef full time.

In 2005, after leaving the US Navy, Li returned to study at the CIA. During this time he also became a certified sous chef of the American Culinary Federation. Upon graduation, Li decided to return to China where he opened his first restaurant, a 170-seat steakhouse called Fusion Wine Bar & Grill. A few years later, Li traveled to different culinary regions throughout China, where he had the opportunity to stage under a few renowned master chefs. Then in 2014, he returned to the US with the intention of opening Secret Chopsticks, which plans to offer diners a new style of Chinese restaurant that transforms “authentic Chinese dishes into contemporary American style creations.”

Each dish at Secret Chopsticks will be carefully designed and presented as a balanced plate. Guests can enjoy a la carte dining in the Lounge, or select from one of four different nine-course, prix fixe tastings menus to enjoy in the main dining room. Tasting menus include: Vegetarian ($59), Tofu ($59), Dim Sum ($79), and Protein ($89). A Chef’s Premier 13-course tasting menu $109 is also available highlighting the best of regional Mainland China. The prix fixe tasting menus will change monthly. Guests can anticipate standout dishes such as Sweet & Sour Crispy Tofu; Filet Mignon in oyster sauce; Cuttlefish with black bean sauce; Dongpo Pork Belly; Crystal Shrimp Dumplings; Crab Meat Wonton Soup, as well as Crispy Durian Pastry. A la carte dishes are priced from $6 to $39.

General Manager/Beverage Director/Partner Malia Milstead is spearheading the beverage program at Secret Chopsticks, which offers an eclectic wine list emphasizing the major regions of the world including Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Austria, New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, California, Washington, Oregon and Virginia. 20 wines are available by the glass and half glass. Prices range from $12 to $25 by the glass, and $45 to $1,200 by the bottle; higher end wines are allocated and rare. Two wine pairing options are also available to accommodate the nine-course tasting menus. The first is priced at $50 for five three-ounce pours (one can choose beer, wine and/or cocktails), and the second is priced at $95 for four three-ounce pours of high-end, allocated wines and one beer or cocktail pairing. Patrons are allowed to bring in outside wine as long as the wine is not available on the restaurant’s expansive wine list. The corkage free is priced at $25 per bottle (750 ml) and $35 per bottle (magnum or larger format) and there is a two-bottle maximum. Additionally, five house-made, specialty cocktails are also available showcasing Asian-inspired flavors. SpecialtyCocktails are priced from $12 to $20 each.

Lika Fu of Dimensional Strategy LLC is responsible for the design of the space. Upon entering the open space with high ceilings, guests are greeted by Chinese art and inspired Asian iconic statues with hand-painted umbrellas, bamboo columns and black marble accents. A Wine Vino-temps system is incorporated into Secret Chopsticks, along with wine walls, black leather chairs and black tempered glass custom tables which will be covered with white tablecloths and accented with candles.

The 4,400-square foot space can accommodate 120 guests seated in the main dining room, and another 10-12 seated guests in the Lounge. The Lounge features three flat screen TVs along with an assortment of craft cocktails and small plates. A semi-private dining room complete with AV capabilities is also available, and can accommodate 33 guests. An outdoor patio that is naturally canopied by trees is also available during the spring and summer months and can accommodate up to 60 guests.

Secret Chopsticks is located at 1850 Fort Myer Drive, Arlington, Virginia. The restaurant is situated 200 meters (656 feet) from the Rosslyn Metro Station accessible on the Orange, Blue and Silver Lines. Dinner will be available Sunday through Thursday, from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM; Friday and Saturday, from 5 PM to 12 AM. Lunch and brunch will begin at a later date. For reservations or additional information, please call (703) 812-8888 or visit