Murray Street, once considered the ByWard Market’s gastro-alley, has been dealt three big blows. (And one bright spot with the opening of Sur Lie.)
The first bit of bad came when John Taylor’s Domus Café shut its doors in 2014. (Taylor then moved to his second restaurant, the wine bar Taylor’s Genuine in the Glebe, hunkering down there for three more delicious years until he and his wife Sylvia left for British Columbian adventures last month. The Taylor’s space is now occupied by the Italian restaurant Antipazzo. Stay tuned.)
The terrific Murray Street Kitchen, run by chef Steve Mitton and front of house fellow Paddy Whelan, was the next to fall at the bitter end of 2016. (Steve Mitton is now with The Whalesbone family of restaurants.)
And then René Rodriguez closed his Spanish-Mexican restaurant Navarrain March. I remember with enormous pleasure, his lamb shank mole, dark and smoky, sweet, bitter, fiery… unforgettable.
I closed a summer of 2008 review of Murray Street with this note: As I was getting ready to leave Murray Street after a late lunch, René Rodriguez wandered in from Navarra, his new restaurant across the street. He and Steve Mitton had a beer and a pulled pork sandwich together. They chatted about local greens. Had they tried this, and what about that? It was a nice moment, these two young men with already-impressive track records, each with his own new venture, excited about what mark they may make on the culinary landscape of an increasingly tasty city. It’s easy to like Murray Street.
News just announced today (May 8, 2007) is that Rodriguez has joined the team as lead chef at Dish Catering.