The Old Ebbitt brigade consists of 300 employees, over 100 of who work in the kitchen directly under Chef Salvatore Ferro’s guidance. The restaurant serves up to 2,000 guests per day in the main dining rooms and private functions can number 1,000 guests per day. Meet some of the people that have made Old Ebbitt such a success.
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Grosse Point, MI, native & Le Cordon Bleu grad, Ferro grew up in an intensely food-oriented Sicilian family. “Cooking was always part of the family life." He worked with Guy Savoy, who "taught me not to go too overboard. He stressed seasonality, technique and plating. I finally started to get it. This is what cooking is about.” Ferro also gives a nod to his mentor, Dan Giusti, head chef of Copenhagen’s Noma. “He worked with me at Guy Savoy & 1789 Restaurant, and the influence is that I truly try to stick to the seasons, especially the seasons in MD, VA & DC. It’s all about clean flavors, making flavors jump out from the center of the plate." Formerly executive chef of The Hamilton in downtown Washington, DC, Sal took over the reigns at the Ebbitt in July 2014.
Dan fell in love with the restaurant industry while attending Princeton University and working part-time as a server. In 2007, he joined Clyde’s Restaurant Group as Manager of Old Ebbitt Grill, later becoming Assistant General Manager. In 2010, Dan was promoted to the General Manager position of 1789 Restaurant and The Tombs in 2010. Dan took on his current role as General Manager of Old Ebbitt Grill in November 2013. He lives in DC’s West End with his wife Emily.
David Moran brings nearly 30 years of restaurant experience to Old Ebbitt Grill. Watching his father, P.J. Moran, run the stylish midtown Manhattan saloon of the same name from 1968 to 1985, David was bit by the restaurant bug. His father’s hard work, honesty and congeniality proved personally fulfilling as well as profitable. Moran attended Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, where he honed his business acumen. During school, Moran worked full-time as manager of a local seafood restaurant and completed a management internship at the legendary four-star Manhattan restaurant The Quilted Giraffe. There, David got his first glimpse of how intense the restaurant business can be. David remembers, “Each night was like theater—when the curtain was up, everybody was on stage. This must be what it feels like to be on Broadway.”
After graduation, David moved to Washington D.C. and joined Clyde’s Restaurant Group. From 1990 to 1995, David managed the 1789 Restaurant in Georgetown. David and his staff demonstrated the highest service standards in Washington D.C. Under his guidance, the service and wine list received critical acclaim from Washington Post food critic Phyllis Richman.
In 1995, David began running the Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington D.C.’s oldest and busiest restaurant. During David’s tenure, sales have risen steadily. However, David’s talent is not limited to operations. In 1997, he helped launch the “Oyster Riot and International Wines for Oysters Competition.” The Oyster Riot has received national exposure, and David and his staff have been honored with numerous awards. In 2004, David was named Restaurant Manager of the Year by RAMW.
In 2005, David was promoted to Managing Director of the Old Ebbitt Grill and the brand new 600-seat Clyde’s of Gallery Place located in Chinatown adjacent to the Verizon Center. Today David serves as Managing Director for both the Ebbitt and Clyde’s latest venture, The Hamilton, which is part restaurant and part music venue. While David continues to grow along with Clyde’s in this competitive, fast-paced industry, he still imparts the spirit of P.J. Moran, always the smiling, congenial host.
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