Tuesday, July 5, 2011



August 2000 - June 30, 2011

TenPenh, beloved restaurant child of Chef Jeff Tunks, David Wizenberg, and Gus DiMillo passed peacefully on June 30, 2011 surrounded by family and loved ones. The preliminary cause of TenPenh's untimely death was soaring rent on its large space located on the corner of Tenth and Pennsylvania Avenues NW.

TenPenh made the most of its ten years on Earth, providing countless patrons with an escape to Asia as they dined beneath its glowing lanterns or on its large patio.

Memorable culinary highlights include the Griddled Malaysian Roti Canai and Lamb Potstickers.

Loved ones will remember its grilled salmon with cloud-like wasabi mashed potatoes.

Memories of the Red Thai Curry Shrimp will last forever with its firey curry and tangy pineapple sauce poured lovingly, tableside, over a scoop of fragrant jasmine rice.

For a sweet ending to a sweet life, the Saigon Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Donuts dipped in the dark bittersweet chocolate pudding.

TenPenh is survived by siblings Acadiana, DC Coast, Ceiba, and PassionFish. In lieu of flowers, TenPenh's family requests that mourners visit TenPenh's servers and managers who have found new homes with TenPenh's sibling restaurants.

Second Thoughts from B

Restaurants come and go, and often no one notices. Not in the case of our beloved TenPenh. It didn't fade away as General MacArthur would have liked... it was taken from us. New York gubernatorial candidate, Jimmy McMillian, may have the more apropos saying to capture this situation: The rent was just too damn high!

You always remember your first time. If you're lucky, it will be life changing, as it was for J and me.

Our first time eating out in DC as transplants (what did you think I was talking about?) took place at TenPenh, followed by A Christmas Carol at the nearby Ford's Theatre. We were in the middle of planning a wedding from two different coasts. I was starting a new career in Washington while J was in her 3rd year of law school in California. It was a time of dramatic changes in our lives when we first dined among the red lanterns of TenPenh.

We've come a long way since then, and nowhere can that be better seen than with the expanding of our palates (and thankfully not our waist lines). TenPenh kicked off the transition from students without the time or the money to eat out very often to young professionals with a passion for exploring new cuisines.

As we returned to TenPenh on its final night, memories of the first time came flooding back to us. The flavors, like the atmosphere, were again bright and bold. TenPenh taught us to think about our food and how a talented chef used different tastes and textures to add complexity to each bite. TenPenh was our Mrs. Robinson, the established restaurant that taught us how to dine. Goodbye, old friend. We will miss you.

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