Between the hurricane, the election, and planning your Thanksgiving feast, you may have missed the flurry of restaurants opening in the past few weeks. Washington is booming with new places to eat and drink, from casual spots to special-occasion destinations and one-of-a-kind concepts. Browse the list below, get hungry (or thirsty) viewing the delicious pictures from our talented photographers, and then get out there and start your weekend.
Never heard of a “philanthropub?” Well neither had we until this U Street spot debuted, with profits from sales on booze and food going to a number of charitable organizations. Now there’s one more way to wake up with a less-guilty conscience on Sunday.
We don’t usually think deli for dinner, but then again, Washington hasn’t seen a Jewish deli offering house-made pastrami and matzo-ball soup alongside creative cocktails. Chef Barry Koslow (formerly of Tallula and Eatbar) and his team whip up all that and more in their days-old Dupont spot; look for brunch in the coming weeks.
Farmers Fishers Bakers
Though the new Georgetown waterfront ice rink doesn’t open until Monday, you can sit and stare at the frozen stuff from the heated patio of this Founding Farmers sibling. Tiki-themed cocktails, tableside growlers, and an array of pizzas are just the start of the extensive menu.
We got early details on this swanky spot in the Melrose Hotel, which brings more seasonal plates to the West End from chef Nate Lindsay.
Leek American Bistro
With the soft-opening phase behind them, this Ballston newcomer is primed for its grand debut on Friday. Expect a celebratory vibe, with menu specials, wine discounts, and a complimentary mimosa or Bloody for locals during Saturday and Sunday brunch.
After a series of delays, José Andrés’s most ambitious Washington mini restaurant returns with a full remodel, more seats, and a higher price tag (up to $225 from $150). You probably can’t get reservations for the weekend, but you can start trying.
Impress a date at this tasting menu-only spot from Komi alum Johnny Spero, tucked into a cozy, brick-walled dining room above Acqua Al 2. Bonus: You won’t have to agonize over ordering decisions, as they’re slim to none in the four- and eight-course menus.
The ramen craze continues with the addition of a second noodle-slurping spot in Adams Morgan (you can read about the first, Sakuramen, and others here. In addition to the steaming bowls, we’ve stopped in for tasty bao buns and fried green tomatoes with uni hollandaise.
Thirsty in Alexandria? Head to this reinvented space attached to the Westin Hotel for classic cocktails from a PX alum, plus hearty pub dishes such as seafood-studded mac and cheese.
After delays due to Hurricane Sandy, your favorite airport wine bar lifts off in Bethesda on Friday afternoon. You’ll find small plates and plenty of wine by the glass and bottle, with the added perk that you can now just chug multiple goblets for fun rather than to soothe your traveling nerves.
Robert Wiedmaier debuts his latest eatery on Friday night, a casual, Mediterranean-influenced spot in Bethesda’s Wildwood shopping center. Those looking for a lighter start to a weekend night can head over for dishes cooked without butter or cream.
and Takeout Food
If a fried chicken biscuit with bacon and honey butter sounds like a dream, then make it a reality at the latest downtown spot from Jeff Buben (Vidalia, Bistro Bis). The sit-down restaurant’s adjoining takeout deli is only open weekdays, but you can head to the dining room or the bar for equally comforting eats like barbecue shrimp and grits.