1540 North Capitol St., NW
We’ve often bemoaned the lack of seating—and whiskey—at DCity Smokehouse, so we welcomed the addition of this funky sister bar just steps away. Customers are encouraged to bring their carryout barbecue over, and can also order drink-friendly eats (think mac n’ cheese waffles) from a small separate menu. Barman Ben Matz is behind a curated list of craft cocktails and local beers.
1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
A San Francisco icon lands in DC with the debut of Tadich Grill—the first-ever spinoff of the 166 year-old restaurant. Though it’s impossible to duplicate the historic space, look for many similarities: a large menu filled West Coast seafood–we’re anxious to try a Dungeness crab cocktail and bay shrimp Louie–house bloody Marys, and sourdough regularly imported from SF. Unlike the original, reservations are accepted.
2950 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington
Aussies now have a restaurant to call home with the opening of this 200-seat Clarendon spot. The menu boasts some unusual finds like grilled kangaroo, as well as a number of favorites from Down Under such as a burger topped with “the lot” (pineapple, beetroot, fried egg), and Vegemite toast come brunch. Look for house-made sodas and a Painkiller cocktail at the bar.
12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg
Veteran Oval Room chef Tony Conte debuts his first solo venture today: an ambitious (yet cozily small) pizzeria near his home in Gaithersburg. The wood-burning oven is central to the menu, turning out appetizers such as ember-roasted beets, and a lineup of Neapolitan-style pizzas. For dessert: homemade soft serve ice cream.
717 Sixth St., NW
Penn Quarter’s historic Bulletin Building is now home to a retro, four-story bar/restaurant from Noe Landini (Landini Brothers, Fish Market). Meats and seafood from a hickory smoker are a focus of the menu, along with elevated pub fare like poutine fries with duck gravy and a wood-grilled cheeseburger. Take advantage of the rooftop bar for classic cocktail while the warm weather lasts.
7187 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda
After seven years in Reston, chef Jeff Tunks brings his globally-inspired seafood venture to downtown Bethesda. The menus are similar—don’t miss those fried clams or Thai red curry—though the Maryland branch has a larger selection of sushi from former Nobu chef Jonathan Goh.
1528 Connecticut Ave., NW
José Andrés is all about the vegetables these days, opening a second veggie-centric restaurant in Dupont Circle. The fast-casual, customizable format allows guests to craft bowls with a garden’s-worth of ingredients—plus grains, sauces, and proteins like salt-cured salmon—or go with one of the house combinations (we like the Eden).
7150 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda
The team behind Silver Diner recently opened this upscale spinoff of their popular chain, meaning you can sip a cocktail and order small plates with that Creekstone burger. The menus differ from those at the casual diner, but around-the-clock service hasn’t changed; the kitchen opens for breakfast and all-day brunch at 7, and serves night owls until midnight (2 am on weekends).