5 (New!) Dishes To Try On a Hot Summer Evening

Food that tastes good even when it’s icky-sticky outside.

The grilled avocado at Daikaya Izakaya is a summer-weather-friendly small plate. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

There are entire categories of food nobody wants to look at once Washington’s punishing
heat has set it. These dishes do not fall into any of them. Order them alongside a
chilled glass of red or white, and the meal may just save you on a scorching day.

Duck terrine at Le Diplomate

Of all the food I’ve tried at Stephen Starr’s 14th Street spot—with the exception
of the insanely delicious contents of the French bistro’s bread basket—this duck terrine
stands out for its subtle seasoning and perfect texture. They should sell it to go
because, like a bottle of dry, sparkling rosé, it belongs at every picnic.

Smoked-ricotta crostini with balsamic butter and truffled honey at the Red Hen

Think of this simple, sweet-and-earthy appetizer at the new Bloomingdale restaurant
as a sister starter to the avocado toast at Cork Wine Bar—another
dish that tastes great on a sizzling summer evening. These apps are like edible middle
fingers aimed at all things overwrought and fussy.

Plain tomato pie at Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza

We have this idea that pizza is a junk food, but a slice or two of tomato pie—it’s
sprinkled with Pecorino-Romano but otherwise devoid of cheese—accompanied by a fresh,
citrusy Caesar salad just isn’t
that unhealthy a meal. Live in Silver Spring? Try one from the new location, presided
over by chef
Alisa Rivkin.

Ten-ounce prime hanger steak at Del Campo with house chimichurri

There are more expensive cuts at
Victor Albisu’s South American steakhouse in the former home of PS 7’s, but the grilled hanger—ordered
rare or medium rare—has fantastic flavor and an admirable tenderness considering the
cut. We’re pretty smitten with all the sauces here (make sure the romesco shows up
somewhere in your meal), but the house chimchurri is the one not to miss.

Grilled avocado with ponzu sauce, wasabi, and salt at Daikaya

Tableside guac, meet your match.