Food

10 New Bars and Restaurants to Try Now

Georgetown gets a Belgian beer hall and restaurant with the opening of the Sovereign. Photograph by Jeff Elkins
Alfie’s runs as a longterm Thai pop-up in Park View until September, or maybe longer. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Alfie’s

3301 Georgia Ave., NW

Chef Alex McCoy’s eclectic Thai restaurant takes cues from his travels across Southeast Asia, evidenced on the menu—comforting khao soi curry noodles and sour sausage-fried rice share space with egg-topped Aussie burgers and Singapore sling cocktails. Reservations are taken at the funky, 39-seat space in Park View, but get there quick—McCoy may move the concept to a permanent Petworth home in September.

The Spirits Library in the new Columbia Room is the place to hang and order a-la-carte cocktails. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

The Columbia Room

124 Blagden Alley, NW

One of the city’s best cocktail bars makes its return, having moved from a nook inside the Passenger (now closed) to an atmospheric space in Blagden Alley about the Dabney. Head bartender J.P. Fetherston leads three and five-cocktail journeys paired with snacks in the stately Tasting Room, while a-la-carte sips and spirits can be sampled in the Library. Look for an outdoor Punch Garden in the spring.

Declaration nods to the founding fathers with pizzas themed after the original 13 colonies. Photograph by Daniel Swartz

Declaration

804 V St., NW

The newest theme restaurant from presidentially-obsessed restaurateur Alan Popovsky (Lincoln, Teddy & the Bully Bar) just debuted in Shaw. Thin-crust pizzas with toppings that pay homage to the original 13 colonies are at the center of the menu, rounded out by a few iconic American dishes (wings, cheesesteak) and riffs on classic cocktails. Fun fact: the restaurant is 1776 square feet.

The Hank’s Oyster Bar crew trades oyster rolls for linguine with clams at their new Italian venture. Photograph by Andrew Propp

Hank’s Pasta Bar

600 Montgomery Ave., Alexandria

The team behind Hank’s Oyster Bar gets into the pasta game with a rustic Italian restaurant in Old Town. Over 15 varieties of homemade noodles and stuffed pastas such as linguine with clams or duck ravioli can be ordered by the bowl, or as part of a carb-tastic three-to-five-course tasting. A cozy lounge is the place to sip vino and snack on crostini or charcuterie boards.

American bistro fare, including eclectic mussel pots, can be found at Hawthorne. Photograph courtesy of Hawthorne

Hawthorne

1336 U St., NW

Eclectic pots of mussels, crab cakes, burgers, and more American bistro fare are the focus of this four-story tavern from the Mission and Mason Inn owners. Dinner is currently served in a first-floor dining room, though you’ll want to check out the covered year-round rooftop for drinks, as well as brunch come spring.

Quarter + Glory, named after a New York literary society, mixes a retro vibe with modern cocktails. Photograph courtesy of Quarter + Glory

Quarter + Glory

2017 14th St., NW

New York based-nightlife entrepreneurs are behind this retro-inspired bar in the former Jin Lounge space, as well as two cocktail bars in Manhattan (the Rum House, Ward III). Try the house special, the Q+G, mixed with Brugal Añejo rum, Cutty Sark Prohibition Scotch, small-batch vermouth, and Pok Pok tamarind vinegar. A food menu will begin later this year.

Sushi Capitol chef Minoru Ogawa opens a new restaurant, Sushi Ogawa, in Kalorama. Photograph by Scott Suchman

Sushi Ogawa

2100 Connecticut Ave., NW

Sushi Capitol chef Minoru Ogawa expands to Kalorama with a Japanese restaurant in the former Pines of Florence space, which just started accepting reservations for dinner on February 1. If the traditional sushi and Japanese fare is anything like the Capitol Hill sister restaurant, you’re in for a great meal.

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Tail Up Goat, a Mediterranean restaurant from three Komi and Little Serow alums, opens in Adams Morgan. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Tail Up Goat

1827 Adams Mill Rd., NW

Three Komi and Little Serow alums are behind this warm Mediterranean eatery in Adams Morgan, housed in the new Adamo development. Chef Jon Sybert, a Komi sous-chef for nearly nine years, focuses on house-made breads and pastas, and rustic dishes such as spiced lamb ribs with yoghurt, sumac onions, and herbs. Island themes continue to the 16-seat bar, where you’ll find unsual sips such as Tepache, a fermented pineapple drink.

The Twisted Horn takes the place of an old church in Petworth, serving vermouth cocktails and fun snacks like Japanese rice balls. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

The Twisted Horn

819 Upshur St., NW

Hank’s Oyster Bar restaurateur Jamie Leeds is behind Petworth’s newest neighborhood bar, housed in a former church. The lineup leans more towards the sinners than saints, with creative libations like a mezcal negroni and jalapeno-infused Singapore sling, though a fun menu of stomach-padding snacks (onigiri rice balls, soft pretzels) may curb the debauchery. Look for two rounds of happy hour, early and late.

The Sovereign combines a Belgian dining room (pictured) and beer hall above. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

The Sovereign

1206 Wisconsin Ave., NW

The team behind Birch&Barley, Churchkey, and Bluejacket Brewery launches another beer-centric bar/restaurant, this time built around Belgian drinking culture. You won’t find ubiquitous bottles of Chimay and Delirium Tremens on the list of 50 drafts and 300-plus bottles, which instead hones in on small Belgian producers, as well as Old World wines and European spirits. Drinkers can linger upstairs in a Bavarian-style barroom, while former PS7’s chef Peter Smith dishes up Belgian, Danish, and French fare in a cozy first-floor dining room.

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Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.

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