DC will be home to yet another steakhouse chain when Ocean Prime opens near Metro Center. The Ohio-based operation from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has 11 locations across the country, including Philadelphia and Beverly Hills, and announced plans to debut at 1341 G Street, Northwest by summer 2016.
The restaurant will occupy a large space in the Colorado Building—fit for roughly 280 guests—and serve an American menu of seafood and steaks. The house trick here: prime meat broiled at 1200 degrees. DC’s branch will also have a separate sushi counter. Stay tuned for more details.
One of the biggest fall restaurant openings is here: Tadich Grill debuts today in downtown DC, marking the first expansion for the iconic San Francisco eatery in 166 years.
Tadich co-owners Steve and Michael Buich—whose family members have worked at the flagship since 1912—partnered with Icon, a Seattle-based company that specializes in expanding legendary restaurants; the group is also behidn DC's Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab. Though the idea was never to duplicate Tadich—impossible given its history—the team hopes to capture what's made it a special place for over a century.
“You can’t replicate the original,” says managing partner Rick Powers. “But we wanted to move the heart and soul to DC.”
Here’s what to know before you go.
The sourdough bread is flown in from San Francisco.
One of the telling signs of the Tadich’s effort to embody the original starts with the bread. Partially-baked sourdough rolls are shipped by air from San Francisco’s Boudin bakery—founded around the same time as Tadich—and finished for each service in special ovens approved by the head baker. Though complimentary slices begin each meal, Powers says the cost is about one-and-a-half times higher than in SF. Just don’t expect the bread to be served piping hot. Slices are always room temperature at the original Tadich, having been baked fresh each morning, and so it will be in Washington.
Hard-to-find West Coast seafood fills the menu.
Homesick West Coasters will welcome the sight of dungeness crab, bay shrimp, petrale sole, sand dabs, and other fish and shellfish that are uncommon finds around Washington. That’s not to say the kitchen forgoes local catches. Chef Wil Going added East Coast-only dishes to the menu, including pan-fried soft-shell crabs and Chesapeake-style seafood stew. Can’t decide which direction to go? Try the dueling Crabcakes Coast to Coast appetizer, with both a dungeness and blue crab cake.
Don’t overlook the seafood casseroles.
The menu (sample) follows in the grand American restaurant tradition of being large; over 100 dishes grace the pages. It’s tempting to gravitate towards the San Francisco classics—Louie salads, cioppino—or Tadich signatures, such as the hangtown fry (essentially an omelet with crispy oysters and bacon), or seafood and steaks from the mesquite charcoal broiler. Still, Powers says not to overlook the seemingly humbler lineup of seafood "baked en casserole," a lesser-known specialty. Think comfort food of the sea, such as crab and prawns baked with paprika bechamel and mushrooms over rice.
The counter is the place to be.
The mahogany-ensconced dining room offers nearly double the seating as the original, about 170 spots, serviced by a team of white-coated waiters. Some might consider the semi-private booths to be the best seats in the house, though don’t overlook the dining counter. Like in San Francisco, a row of stools extends from the bar for diners, and is poised near the entrance for prime people-watching.
Servers will deliver cioppino to your car.
A separate takeout window will open in the coming weeks, serving boardwalk-style seafood cocktails, Louie salads, crab grilled cheese, and other options for a quick lunch that can be eaten on the patio or taken to-go. Feeling lazy come dinnertime? Call in a a meal order by phone, and a runner will deliver it curb-side to your vehicle.
Bloody Marys are served around-the-clock.
The bar focuses on classic cocktails—martinis, Manhattans—as well as the house signature: the bloody Mary. The drink is a longtime staple of the restaurant, and not just for weekend afternoons. The mix is poured from bottles for consistency--and also for sale to customers--but you can ask the bartenders to kick it up with more horseradish and Tabasco.
The century-old “no reservation”policy has been tweaked.
The San Francisco Tadich is as famous for its no-reservation policy—and long wait times—but the seating policy has been tweaked for DC. Half of the tables will be left open for walk-in dining, while the other half may be reserved by calling the restaurant. Once warm weather arrives in 2016, an outdoor patio will hold another 50 seats.
Tadich Grill DC. 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-638-1849. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 11. Lunch starting soon.
Some argue that Washington’s food scene lacks an identity—and the same can be said for its pizza. New York has it's own pie, as does Chicago, New Haven, and even Maryland. Sadly no one is ordering a slice “DC-style” anytime soon, but there’s no doubt that we live in a city flooded with places to grab a pie.
So which style is the best represented—and more importantly, most delicious—in Washington? Take our poll below.
THEN: Little Tavern (1936 to 1992)
NOW: Sweetgreen (2007 to present)
3333 M St., NW
The Little Tavern chain was known for its cottage-like exteriors and greasy, extra-cheap burgers. Eight years ago, the first location of Sweetgreen arrived in a long-vacant Little Tavern space in Georgetown. In keeping with the times, it serves customizable salads.
Korean cheesesteak at Taylor Gourmet
Multiple area locations
Taylor teamed up with Mandu chef Danny Lee for a limited-time sandwich special: the KimchiSteak. Slices of bulgogi-style rib eye are piled atop a bun with butter-grilled kimchi, aged cheddar, sesame seeds, and scallions. The creation is offered at all locations for $9.99 through October.
Vegetarian tasting menus at 2941
2941 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church
Chef Bertrand Chemel embraces Meatless Mondays, offering an eight-course vegetarian tasting on the first evening of every week. The seasonal menu will change, but look for dishes like a roasted porcini tartlet, burrata raviolo with black truffles, and pain perdu with honey crisp apples. The dinner is $70 per person, $135 with wine pairings, and is offered through December 28th.
More veggies at Cava Grill
Multiple area locations
Cava Grill is experiencing a time of growth—the local chain recently received $45 million to expand—and so is their menu. Chef Dimitri Moshovitis adds more vegetables and grains to the offerings, including black lentils, roasted fall veggies (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, squash), and a cauliflower-quinoa tabbouleh. Replacing gazpacho on the soup board: a vegan Greek minestrone. Look for the new items at all locations.
Extended happy hour at Hank’s Oyster Bar
Locations in Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, and Alexandria
There’s more happy hour action at all three locations of Hank’s, which has lengthened its deals from 3 to 7. Expect rotating drink specials and $1.25 select oysters.
Late-night dumplings at Chaplin’s
1501 Ninth St., NW
Looking for a quick late-night snack? This Shaw bar now offers their chicken-and-shrimp or pork shumai dumplings until last call, every night of the week. The dumplings come in sets of five for $8.
Al fresco wine and seafood at Café du Parc
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Patio season isn’t over yet at the Willard InterContinental’s French restaurant, which offers special prices on Rioja wines and shellfish towers. Guests can sip glasses of the Spanish wine ($10 to $15) and bottles ($38 to $56) to pair with seafood assortments, such as the Potomac Tower with a half-dozen-each raw oysters and steamed prawns, and a half-pound of mussels ($58).
Anyone who craves McDonald’s hash browns past 10:30 is in luck: the mega-chain officially launches all-day breakfast on Tuesday. A limited morning menu will run at locations nationwide.
The move isn’t just a response to consumers demanding McMuffins around the clock, though breakfast is arguably Mickey D’s strong suit. The company has been on a downward slide in the fast food market, and hopes to win the day by extending some of its more popular morning items.
Not all dishes are available past conventional breakfast time, and vary by location; ABC News has a handy rundown of what you can—and mostly can’t—get on the all-day menu. Sadly for McMuffin and biscuit fans, you’ll only have one of the two options when ordering a breakfast sandwich for lunch. Washington seems to be in the McMuffin zone, with locations in Chevy Chase and Columbia Heights serving a full lineup of muffin sandwiches and hash browns. Not all are so lucky.*
*This post has been updated from an earlier version.
Noodle pop-up: Yona comes to G on Monday and Tuesday during dinner service. The upcoming Ballston restaurant from Mike Isabella and Jonah Kim specializes in ramen ($13 to $16), served alongside a selection of raw seafood plates and crispy wings. Call 202-234-5015 for reservations.
Cider and wine dinner: Head to Crane & Turtle on Monday where chefs Brad Walker and Alex Vallcorba prepare a five course meal (seatings at 5:30 or 8:30). The beverage director from the upcoming ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar prepares creative pairings with spirits from De Maison Imports. Purchase tickets online ($100 for 5:30 seating or $120 for 8:30 seating).
Wine dinner: Bourbon Steak teams up with the Country Vintner on Monday at 6:30 for an Oktoberfest dinner. Chef Joe Palma concocts three German dishes like pork schnitzel, cassoulet-confit of duck, and apple doughnuts. Julian Mayor selects wines. Tickets ($85 excluding tax and gratuity) are available by calling 202-944-2026.
Autumn fest: Monday is the start of a weeklong festival at Pizzeria Paradiso celebrating Autumn. Beverage director Josh Fernands will offer samples of 42 different beers, ciders, and ales ($5 to $10). Each location will have different drinks, but serve the same harvest pizza ($14 for a 9-inch; $20 for 12 -nch) with butternut squash, bacon, and pine nuts. Check out their Georgetown bar for half-price beers.
Culinary festival: SER Restaurant teams up with celebrity chef Daniel Garcia Rodriguez, Tuesday through Sunday. Several of the events include a tasting menu on Tuesday ($90), and a paella brunch on Sunday ($90). Special dinner items are offered all week. Tickets are available online.
Spirit of Poe: The Loft at 600 F plays host to the 3rd Annual Craft Spirit of Poe benefiting Les Dames d’Escoffier on Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30. Thirteen area bartenders create cocktails inspired by the famous author, while experts from American University will discuss Edgar Allen Poe. Small bites accompany the beverages. Tickets ($45) are available online.
Benefit event: Misfit Juicery and A Creative DC come together on Wednesday from 7 to 9 at the Capital Area Food Bank’s outdoor garden. Artwork from local artists will be on sale alongside local beer, cocktails, and food. Tickets ($25) can be purchased online.
Celebrity chef in town: Ina Garten, author of eight cookbooks and host of Barefoot Contessa, heads to Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University on Thursday at 7:30. Washington Post food writer Bonnie Benwick moderates the discussion, which will cover a range of topics from Garten’s early career in the Hamptons to recent cookbooks. A question and answer session follows the interview. Tickets ($64.75) are available online.
Truckeroo: The final Truckeroo of the year returns to the Fairgrounds on Friday from 11 to 11. Participating food trucks include DC Slices, Big Cheese, and Swizzler, among many others. Live music takes place throughout the day ,and cold adult beverages are available at the Bullpen bars. Admission is free; prices for food and drink vary.
Oktoberfest, take two: Capitol City Brewing Company had to cancel their Oktoberfest celebration last weekend due to rain, and has reschedule the beer-filled party for Sunday at the Shirlington location. Drop by between noon and 7 for beers from 65-plus breweries, Bavarian eats, and live music. Tickets are $30.
Beer festival: The Black Squirrel hosts its seventh annual pumpkin beer festival on Friday at 5. Gourd-centric brews from across the country will be featured alongside pumpkin-filled dishes, from soup to pie. Admission is free; food and drink prices vary.
Craft bartending: Head to Eat the Rich on Saturday at 3 for another class in their bar basics series. Learn how to make bitters and tinctures as well as shaking, muddling, stocking, and serving. Tickets ($65) can be purchased online.
Taste the city: Over 50 DC restaurants hit Pennsylvania Avenue on Saturday and Sunday for Taste of DC, held each day from noon to 7. In addition to eats from restaurants like Buredo, Kogiya, and Equinox, Ben’s Chili Bowl throws the annual World Chili Eating Championship at 3 on Saturday. Purchase tickets ($10 to $40) for small bites and drinks online.