Good news for those who love to dine out at lunch: A number of recently opened restaurants are rolling out service, while a few old standby are making changes. A word to government employees who suddenly find themselves with more free time and a tighter budget: There are some real deals on this list.
705 Sixth St., NW; 202-589-1600
We’re accustomed to slurping noodles at Daikaya’s ramen shop for lunch, but now you can also head upstairs to the izakaya. The menu features rice bowls and lavash wraps, including a riff on Hawaiian “loco moco,” traditionally rice topped with a burger patty, fried eggs, and gravy. Lighter eaters can opt for dishes such as a tuna sashimi bowl over rice or a pork belly wrap.
7945 McArthur Blvd., Cabin John; 301-229-0900
Chef Michael Harr, also of Bethesda’s Food Wine & Co., recently revamped the menu for his Cabin John taqueria. The all-day offerings can be washed down with margaritas and seasonal aguas frescas.
1238 H St., NE; 202-399-2546
You won’t find drastic changes at this six-year-old H Street pub, but regulars will note that the space is slightly larger. A second window-side booth has been added, and the kitchen will soon undergo a facelift. The menu also gets an update, boasting a number of new fall dishes like a smoked trout and kale salad, Manchego-potato croquettes, and fried chicken with pickled slaw. Note: Lunch is served Friday only; brunch happens Saturday and Sunday*.
515 15th St., NW; 202-661-2440
The W Hotel’s swank restaurant just reopened after a renovation, debuting a new look, bar, and menus. You can order à la carte for lunch, going upscale-casual (a grilled tuna burger) or all-out fancy (raw oysters and grilled Akaushi-beef strip steak). There’s also a two-course, $19 express lunch with a choice of either an appetizer and entrée or an entrée and dessert.
2727 Merrilee Dr., Merrifield; 703-573-2161
Looking for a sit-down lunch at counter-order cost? Try this new Italian spot in Merrifield, which recently launched a two-item lunch for $12. The choices, posted online, change weekly. Expect dishes such as a seasonal salad of raw and braised vegetables, steamed mussels with sausage, or a grilled portobello sandwich.
Slate Wine Bar + Bistro
2404 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4304
The Glover Park wine bar recently introduced an afternoon menu. The lineup of classic lunch items includes a grilled romaine Caesar with a variety of add-ons like seared tuna or chicken, a French dip, and a fried chicken sandwich. Attention, liquid lunchers: House wines and cocktails go for $7, while draft beers are only $4.
And coming soon . . .
1129 20th St., NW; 202-827-3907
Chef Dennis Friedman’s fast-casual spinoff of Newton’s Table in Bethesda is facing opening delays, but look for a debut this week. Guests will be able to customize bowls of “fuzu” noodles with one of two sauces (sweet-spicy soy or coconut curry), plus proteins and veggies. Other dishes, such as rare ahi tuna bites, are sized as individual appetizers or to serve four. In a rush? Call orders in ahead of time.
*This post has been updated from a previous version.