When Farmers & Fishers closed in April 2011 due to the flooding of the Georgetown waterfront, the owners took it as an opportunity to redesign the restaurant and alter the concept. Though roughly 3,500 square feet smaller than its original form, the Founding Farmers sibling debuts on Friday for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with an ambitious format that includes a full-scale bakery, an extensive bar program, and a sushi menu. Here are seven things to look for in the revamped space.
Personal Cabins and a Seat in the Larder
You may find yourself in a nautical mood or recalling your grandmother’s pantry, depending on where you’re seated in the dining room. The highly detailed interior is broken up into various sections, including a white-shelved larder room lined with large jars of corn salad and apple kimchee, a semi-enclosed eight-person “bakers’ table” surrounded by a wall of rolling pins, and a sea-themed area complete with ship’s-cabin-like booths tucked into alcoves armed with their own dimmer switches so you can lower the lights for warm-night-on-the-water ambience.
Puffy Tacos, Pizzas, and Cioppino
While the sushi menu is fairly concise, the regular offerings are varied and span the continent in terms of influence. You’ll see local (warm Maryland-style crab dip), Creole (a section of jambalayas), San Fran-style cioppino, and Mexican-inspired dishes such as guacamole made tableside and Austin-style puffy tacos. There’s also a whole section devoted to thin-crust pizzas, with toppings that range from simple combinations like tomato and mozzarella to complicated concoctions such as the Deckhand, with garlic cream, pancetta, corn, and clams.
Drafts are just the beginning when it comes to the brews, which include 24 rotating craft beers. Go traditional (a pint), or dress up your suds in any number of ways, including a spiked beer cocktail like the rye-bombed Boilermaker, or one of the recommended combinations of a beer, shot, and house-made savory sip—mixologist Jon Arroyo recommends a Schlafly lager with a tequila shooter and spicy, tomato juice-like sangrita on the side.
Arroyo brings the tiki cocktail trend to Georgetown in all of its umbrellaed glory with a menu divided into categories such as mai tais, daiquiris, swizzles, scorpions, and zombies. If a cauldron of booze sounds like a good start to the evening, you can order many of these in scorpion bowl form to share with friends. Juices are freshly squeezed and syrups are made in house, meaning a fresher, less-saccharine libation that’ll sting (just a little) less in the morning.
If the smell of freshly baked bread or cinnamon buns seems particularly strong at the entrance, that’s because it is. The ventilation system intentionally funnels aromas from the full-service bakery—which churns out everything from breads to pretzels and sweets for the restaurant and Founding Farmers—to an area around the hostess stand. Another scented installation: an old-fashioned wood-burning stove (altered to run on gas), which will prop up pots of spiced liquids and infuse the air.
If watching skaters take ice to the face sounds like a fun time, you’ll want to snag a seat on the heated outdoor patio, complete with a warming fire pit. During the winter, the 80-seat outdoor space will overlook a massive ice rink—which is still in the construction phase—so you can sip your New York egg cream and channel Rock Center. During the summer, it’ll compete with the other waterfront bars, except you won’t have to drink out of a plastic cup.