Langhorne is planning to open a 45-seat restaurant in Washington D.C. next summer.
“We’re going to be doing food that’s very similar (in terms of) attention to detail, but with a much more relaxed atmosphere,” says Langhorne, who’s been lauded by industry professionals and diners alike for ably steering a restaurant which could have been hamstrung by its executive chef’s frequent absences for promotional appearances.
Sous chef Daniel Heinze is being promoted to the chef de cuisine role on Oct. 1. Heinze, a Florida native, got his start in restaurants as a server before studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. Heinze spent two years cooking under Norman Van Aken before joining the McCrady’s team in 2007.
“I’m really excited to see what he’s going to do, because he’s a pretty inventive guy who knows how to make food delicious,” Langhorne says.
Langhorne is currently negotiating a lease for a restaurant space in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, near Logan Circle. He hasn’t yet settled on a name, although he has a few contenders “in the works.”
According to Langhorne, he’s been contemplating a D.C. move for a few years, but was initially discouraged by colleagues who didn’t see much culinary potential in a city best known for expense account steak dinners. But D.C.’s food scene has lately surged, and Langhorne — who grew up in Virginia – says he’s always been drawn to the city’s architecture and neighborhood vibe.
“I’m from Virginia, so I’m going to spend time looking at the history of the region,” he promises. “I want it to be fun.”
Among the envisioned menu items in the “wouldn’t have flown at McCrady’s” category is a Sunday afternoon family-style crab feed.
“One of my favorite experiences was having crabs with Old Bay on them,” Langhorne recalls.
“It’s fun stuff,” he adds. “You might get dirty.”