Shop Talk: What’s Cooking

The foodie scene is heating up this fall with exciting restaurant openings in Downtown Crown and Kentlands! Here’s what’s new on the menu right now.

Venti Tre Offers Fast Casual

Venti Tre Modern Italian, with a choice of piada flatbread wrap, pasta or salad and an array of add-ons that include proteins, toppings and sauces or dressings to choose from in a Chipotle-like set-up, opened Sept. 9 at Downtown Crown, 128 Ellington Blvd.

The debut Venti Tre Modern Italian opened on Boston Street in Baltimore’s Canton district earlier this year. Downtown Crown is only the second location for this latest entry in the quickly growing fast-casual Italian segment.

Casual Seafood House Opens

Coastal Flats, a seafood house that is 1950s coastal Florida inspired, opened Sept. 9 at Downtown Crown, 135 Crown Park Ave. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, and features a menu with some unexpected twists. You’ll find dishes like Blue Crab & Rock Shrimp Fritters, Miso Glazed Sea Bass, Jambalaya Pasta, Low Country Beef Back Ribs and drinks like Mojitos. Vibrant murals were created by Maine artist Jack Gable.

Paladar Latin Kitchen Opens With Manna Benefit

On Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m., Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar partnered with Manna Food Center for its opening in Downtown Crown, 203 Crown Park Ave. One hundred percent of proceeds from the ribbon-cutting, pre-fixe dinner went to Manna Food Center, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating hunger in Montgomery County.

Paladar Latin Kitchen is known for its cuisine inspired by Central and South America, Cuba and the Caribbean. The Downtown Crown location showcases the culinary creativity of Executive Chef Gregory Webb, a Lakelands resident. The restaurant’s grand opening is Sept. 19. To make reservations, call 301.816.1100.

Zoës Kitchen Comes to Kentlands

Sept. 18 was the much-anticipated opening date for Zoës Kitchen, a Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant at 177 Kentlands Blvd. To celebrate the Kentlands opening, Zoës Kitchen gave away 500 meals. The Kentlands location is the 126th Zoës in the nation.

“We are thrilled to become a part of the Gaithersburg community and expand our presence in Maryland,” said Sam Hernandez, regional operator of Zoës Kitchen. “At Zoës, our mission is to deliver goodness from the inside out. We provide nutritious, high quality, made-from-scratch meals to our guests and deliver it with genuine, Southern hospitality and attentive service, whether our customers choose to dine-in, take-out or host a catered event. We look forward to delivering Zoës goodness to the Gaithersburg community.”

The restaurant also offers vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.