by nomabid

Washington, D.C., April 22, 2011 – NoMa’s first fine dining restaurant opens today, along with the neighborhood’s second hotel. Todd Gray’s Watershed and the 204-room Hilton Garden Inn opened with a splash at 1225 First Street, NE, offering a luxurious hospitality experience and seafood from the Eastern seaboard.A grand lobby features a cascading waterfall leading to the second floor, which holds the ballroom, lounge, business center and Watershed. Watershed is the latest venture of restaurateur couple Chef Todd and Ellen Kassoff Gray, known for the highly-acclaimed Equinox restaurant. Guests are first welcomed into an intimate lounge area where they can enjoy specialty cocktails, small plates and a daily raw bar selection featuring a coast-to-coast variety of oysters from Kusshis and Hama Hamas to Chincoteagues and Wellfleets. Crudos of the day, game specials and a seafood selection including Chef Todd’s signature Rappahannock River oyster sandwich, take center stage at the restaurant’s Chef’s Table at the top of the 65-seat main dining room. Floor-to-ceiling windows open onto an outdoor patio seating 45 guests.

“When we envisioned Watershed, we wanted a respite, an oasis in the middle of the city amongst all the new commercial and residential building development. We want to be the go-to spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner for area residents and the daytime business traffic of 40,000 people who work in NoMa each day,” said co-owner Ellen Kassoff Gray, who also plans series of intimate wine tastings, happy hours, music and entertainment-oriented events on the patio. Private dining is available for groups from 10 to 250 and the restaurant offers outside patio dining, valet and conference/social banquet menus and packages.

The Hilton Garden Inn Washington, D.C./U.S. Capitol is operated and managed by OTO Development.

“The property is in close proximity to many major businesses including CNN, NPR and Sirius XM Radio, as well as a number of universities like Catholic University and Gallaudet University,” said Rich Lingenfelter, the hotel’s general manager. Like the rest of NoMa, the hotel sits just blocks from the Capitol and steps from Union Station. “Our convenient location, comfortable guestrooms, superior amenities and friendly hotel team members make our hotel an ideal choice for business or leisure travelers.” More than 5,000 room nights have already been sold.

“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome one of DC’s best known and loved chefs, Todd Gray, to NoMa.  Watershed is the capstone in a whirlwind of retail expansion in NoMa over the last six months,” said Liz Price, President of NoMa Business Improvement District. “Sixteen new shops and restaurants have recently opened, including DC’s largest Harris Teeter. The Hilton Garden Inn’s banquet facilities will expand NoMa’s ability to host larger meetings and events.”

Watershed and the Hilton Garden Inn are located at 1225 First Street NE, just one block from the New York Avenue Metro station on the Red Line. For more information on Watershed, visit http://www.toddgrayswatershed.com or contact Ellen Kassoff Gray at 202-331-8118. To make reservations at the Hilton Garden Inn, visit www.washingtondcuscapitol.hgi.com or call the hotel at 202-408-4870.

About NoMa

NoMa is a vibrant, growing neighborhood north of Union Station and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the last five years, private developers have invested more than $3 billion in the 35-block area covered by the NoMa BID, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space. In 2010, more than 6,000 people moved into NoMa to live or work; and eight new retailers opened for business. NoMa has 15 modes of transportation, including two Red Line Metro stops, and the best biking facilities in DC, with the only East Coast Bikestation, the 8-mile Met Branch Trail, and six Capital Bikeshare stations. For more information about NoMa, visit nomabid.wpengine.com and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID; or Facebook at www.facebook.com/nomabid.

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