Washington's Cajun craze landed on DC's H Street when TruOrleans, a bi-level 216-seat restaurant, opened July 15.
Co-owner James "Tru" Redding—also a partner in Arlington's Sushi Rock and the Dupont Circle spots Public Bar and Lupe—teamed up with Hans Christensen and Brad Howard, who expanded their Washington recycling business to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The space reflects their time in the French Quarter with an open roof deck surrounded by wrought-iron railings, and bottles of Tabasco and "Slap Ya Mama" Cajun seasoning on every table.
The menu has classic Big Easy options, such as andouille-studded gumbo, plenty of fried seafood, and crawfish etouffee. The beverage list reads like a bar crawl down Bourbon Street: Abita Purple Haze beer on tap, Sazeracs, Midori-laced "green grenades," and, of course, three varieties of a Hurricane cocktail that range from a mild level 1 to gale-force 3, which is topped with 151-proof rum.
Chef Andre Miller (formerly of steakhouses Ruth's Chris and the shuttered Nick & Tony's in Cleveland) will add lunch service next week, with nine po'boys and a fried-catfish "reuben." Brunch and breakfast are also on the way.
TruOrleans. 400 H St., NE; 202-290-1244; truorleans.com. Open Monday through Thursday 4 to 10, Friday and Saturday 4 to 11; late-night appetizer menu available until close.