If you hit massive traffic delays coming into the District over the Key Bridge this morning, you probably already know there was a fire that caused road closures along 31st, Wisconsin, K and M Streets for much of the morning drive time.

At 5:16 this morning, a fire was reported at Ristorante Piccolo (main site has music) on 31st Street in Georgetown.  According to stories in the Post and on WTOP, it appears that the building has been completely gutted and that Piccolo is “a total loss.”

The largely under-the-radar Italian bistro has been a popular destination for Georgetown residents and a Hoya date spot for more than 20 years, with the outdoor tables on the narrow second-floor balcony much in demand throughout the warmer months.  Just last weekend, Piccolo was awarded Best Entree at Taste of Georgetown – Metrocurean (who was a judge at the event) identifies the winner as a mushroom ravioli in a sage butter sauce.

According to reports, firefighters were able to contain the blaze and limit it to Piccolo and a neighboring structure.  Nearby Paper Moon, Cannon’s Seafood, Moby Dick’s House of Kabob and Alamo Grill do not appear to have suffered any damage.

Anyone care to share some fond memories of Piccolo?

>>>UPDATE:  According to chatters over at DonRockwell, tickets for Saturday the 22nd were sold out online in roughly 15 minutes.  And apparently Friday wasn’t far behind.  I’m sure Old Ebbitt will be putting out some sort of announcement letting us know just how quickly the tickets were actually snapped up, but I hope some of you saw this post, were able to get through in time and snag some tickets!

=====================================================================

At 7:30 this morning, tickets went on sale for the thirteenth annual Old Ebbitt Grill Oyster Riot.  This annual event combines an epic quantity of oysters with award-winning wines to create two unforgettable evenings each year.  And since last year’s event sold out completely in under an hour, you may want to head over to the OEG’s site now if you have any interest at all in attending this year’s Riot.

Oyster Riot is held on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, which means that this year’s event will take place on November 21st and 22nd.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to score tickets today, your best bet is to keep an eye on Craig’s List…there are usually some tickets available (even some offered at face value) as the event approaches.

More after the jump. (more…)

While peering into the papered-over windows of Matchbox’s forthcoming second location on Barracks Row, I noticed large signs in the windows of Jordan’s 8, the upscale steak-and-sushi restaurant located next door at 523 8th Street, SE.  Intrigued, I walked over to check them out and got a shock.

The sign, posted by the Office of Tax and Revenue, indicates that Jordan’s 8 has had its Certificate of Registration suspended, efffective today.  As I write this, one city vehicle and two patrol cars sit outside the restaurant.

Although I don’t know what caused the suspension at this point, a pair of employees who were walking out indicated that they have been told to show up for work at the usual time tomorrow, suggesting that the problem is temporary and likely to be addressed in short order.  If this suspension has anything to do with the suit brought by Jeffrey Cappolla (also owner of the now-closed Tapatinis on Barracks Row) against partner Amber Lynn Koger, however, it could last quite a while longer.

In the suit, Cappolla alleges that Koger’s capital contributions were financed using funds embezzled from condominium and homeowners associations throughout northern Virginia.  For more on the suit, check out this Washington Post write-up.

And keep watching Barracks Row for more developments – I suspect we’re going to hear quite a bit more about this one before it gets resolved.