District of Columbia
Crêpe Amour. The sweet fillings in the signature offering at this Georgetown shop are the standards (Nutella, strawberries), and the 11 savory crepes—from Buffalo chicken with provolone to macaroni and cheese—are more like sandwiches.
Dickson Wine Bar. Eric Hilton, a co-owner of Marvin and the Gibson, is one of four partners in this industrial-chic space. Marvin’s chef, James Claudio, is a consultant here, and he’s created one of the area’s better bánh mì sandwiches as well as other simple bar snacks such as garlicky marinated olives, pickled melon with spicy prosciutto, and grilled flatbreads.
Kushi. This sleek newcomer is part of a new generation of restaurants that combine sushi with izakaya, the Japanese bars that serve grilled skewered meats and robata-style fish.
The Liberty Tree. There are lots of nods to New England—think lobster rolls and littleneck clams—at this low-key spot. Former Matchbox chef Graig Glufling is putting his pizza skills to good use.
We, the Pizza. After entering the local burger wars with Capitol Hill’s Good Stuff Eatery (we think the shakes are the best reason to visit), Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn is moving into pizzas. In a space next to Good Stuff, he’ll sell stone-oven New York–style pies and slices with toppings from modest (pepperoni) to upscale (truffles, béchamel). The menu includes Italian sandwiches, takeout pastas, gelato, and old-fashioned sodas. If his creatively topped burgers are any hint of his fast-food style, we expect better-than-average pizza perked up with unlikely adornments (Sriracha sauce?).
Capital City Cheesecake. Caitlin Murphy, 28, and sister Meaghan, 25, are turning their online pastry business into a three-level cafe serving cheesecakes of all kinds plus a carb lover’s lineup of bagels, croissants, sticky buns, and waffles.
8407 Kitchen & Bar. Pedro Matamoros, former chef/owner of Nicaro, is showing off some of his Tabard Inn–acquired pasta and charcuterie skills on his bistro-like menu that ranges from a Cuban sandwich to Asian-spiced duck.
Goldberg’s New York Bagels. This is the second bagel shop for Dan Keleman, who gets frozen dough from New Jersey and bakes it at his original Rockville store (no relation to the Baltimore bagelry with the same name). Despite their mixed provenance, the bagels are impressively light with a good exterior crust, and the bialys and “flagels”—or flat bagels—are great, too. It’s too early to judge the sandwiches, but our first try—a lox version—didn’t live up to expectations.
BGR the Burger Joint. Expect the same lineup of stellar burgers, seasonal shakes, and skinny sweet-potato fries at Mark Bucher’s fourth BGR location, where he’ll replicate the vintage-music decor, including a Dave Matthews guitar.
Joe’s Amazing Burgers. Owner Al Laroussi took on the business formerly known as Joe’s Burgers, hired a consulting chef—whose résumé includes a stint with Robert Wiedmaier—and started buying meat from the nearby Organic Butcher. The new menu includes white-truffle fries, a Kobe-beef grilled cheese, crab dip, and a bourbon milkshake.
Malik’s Kabob. At this Pakistani restaurant/hookah bar, standouts include chicken karahi, a gingery stew with onion and tomato, and naan.
This article appears in the May, 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.
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