Chef Robert Wiedmaier has made a name for himself in the Washington, D.C. area as a titan of Franco-Belgian cuisine. His newest restaurant, however, which opened in November, veers wildly from the cuisine of that neck of the woods, and is making waves in the culinary world for more than one reason.
The restaurant, Wildwood Kitchen, is turning heads for what’s on the menu. Or more accurately, what’s not on the menu: butter and cream. Because the restaurant’s menu is focused on cuisine influenced by the 23 countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, those two items, which are near-ubiquitous in most restaurants, are nowhere to be found in the kitchen there. While we’re sure that some restaurants forgo butter and cream in favor of olive oil, we can’t think of any that go out of their way to make a point of it.
Wiedmaier is also breaking new ground by way of the team he’s assembled to have an ownership stake. He’s decided to stand on the sidelines while giving control of the restaurant to a team of his most loyal employees through the years: chefs from two of his other restaurants, a sommelier from another, and a manager and director of private dining at another.