Early this fall, expect a new pan-Mediterranean restaurant to open in Arlington’s National Landing. It’s inside the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City, but according to The Ritz’s director of food and beverage, Shaun Henesy, “We’re positioning it as a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel as opposed to a hotel restaurant. We’re looking at restaurant industry standards in terms of service and culinary excellence.”
Santé is named for the French toast to good health, but while the Mediterranean menu leans healthy by default, don’t expect spa cuisine. Ritz-Carlton executive chef Phil Skerman and Santé’s chef, Kevin Marshall, are still collaborating on a bill of fare, but Henesy says that mezzes like breads with dips, olives, grilled oysters, and chickpea fries are sure to be among the shareable offerings. Entrees include composed salads with proteins, handhelds like a grilled halloumi sandwich with chorizo and tomato pesto, and a number of seafood dishes, such as whole roasted sea bream. “One of my favorites is lamb osso buco,” he says. It comes with Israeli couscous flavored with okra and garlic, and is dressed in a natural lamb jus that’s shot through with a hint of heat.
Craft cocktails, local beer, and Mediterranean wine will complement the food, Henesy says. “Cocktails will be based on premium ingredients as well as premium spirits,” he adds.
Besides high-quality service and edibles, how does Henesy plan to stand out from the hotel pack? A space that’s geared toward gathering is part of the equation, he says. Created in partnership with designONE studio, Santé’s main dining room will seat 64 people, besides a private dining area with an additional 48 seats. All the better to share a collection of mezzes and a good hang.
1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington
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