So, so many restaurant openings. Here are just a few that have opened in the past two weeks—and there are plenty more on the way.
Love Acqua Al 2? Then check out this new 14th Street Italian spot from the same owners, specializing in rustic Tuscan dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and a mammoth, meant-for-sharing Florentine steak. Belly up to the drinks-only bar if there’s a wait.
Fomer BLT Steak chef Victor Albisu knows his meat, but his new Penn Quarter South American grill is a far cry from your typical Washington strip house. In addition to asado, grilled and smoked meats, and seafood, you’ll find ceviches, prawns a la plancha, and specialties such as Peruvian chicken and a stacked chivito sandwich.
Expect more than just mussels at chef Bart Vandaele’s 14th Street spot, where a large Belgian brasserie menu and copious amounts of beer are served between two floors. The Belga Café chef/owner also procured DC’s first Josper oven for his second venture, which gives many shareable casseroles a smoky touch.
Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj debuts his first brasserie concept, an airy eatery in the former Zola space. You’ll find steak frites, but the menu generally leans less traditional; look for American and Asian influences in dishes such as hamachi tartare with ginger vinaigrette and crispy soft-shell crab atop avocado-basil purée. VIP types: Ask your servers about private booze lockers at the bar.
Take a break from high-end shopping in Friendship Heights for some low-key margaritas and Tex-Mex fare from this Dallas-based cantina. On a temperate day, you can also post up on the outdoor patio and contemplate your purchases with nachos, tamales, and queso blanco.
Chef Jon Taub goes from Italian hoagies to $200-a-head tasting menus at his Dupont sandwich shop for monthly Sunday supper clubs. The first one open to the public is slated for June 1, with reservation requests open as of this Monday.
Can’t wait for Mike Isabella to open his Italian-style sandwich shop on 14th Street? Get a glimpse at Graffiato through Friday, where you can grab chicken Parm sandwiches, roast suckling pig subs, vegetable side dishes, and more.
UPDATE 5/17/13: According to a hotel employee, the rooftop doesn’t actually open until Memorial Day weekend.
Keep your fingers crossed for warm weather on Thursday, when the Donovan House Hotel debuts its new rooftop pool and patio bar. The newly revamped space isn’t the only change at the hotel: Chef Jennifer Nguyen now helms the kitchen downstairs at Zentan and plans shareable Asian tapas for bar-goers. Former Ripple barkeep Josh Berner creates the cocktails—there’s even an on-tap concoction at the new plein-air perch.