10 Local Food Happenings You Should Know About Right Now

Sfoglina’s butternut-squash tortellini (bottom) and Sardinian-style ravioli. Photo by Scott Suchman.

1. Sfoglina

Fabio and Maria Trabocchi built their reputation on ultra-luxe Italian dining. Now the Fiola and Fiola Mare owners are going more casual with a Van Ness pasta place opening in early December. Fabio’s sublime cacio e pepe joins seasonal bowls such as pappardelle with wild-game ragu. 4445 Connecticut Ave., NW.

2. MGM National Harbor

The $1.4-billion resort and casino will debut in December with a cast of culinary stars. Fish by José Andrés will center around seafood (and be tricked out with a moving raw bar). Brothers Bryan and Michael Voltaggio will contribute a steakhouse, while New Yorker Marcus Samuelsson is adding an American eatery. 7100 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill.

3. Miracle on Seventh Street

DC’s most popular pop-up—the Christmas bar—is back, and bigger than ever. This year, the festive watering hole takes over all three of Derek Brown’s Shaw bars (Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich, Southern Efficiency). Join the line of merrymakers for holiday-inspired cocktails and cheer-inducing activities. The party starts November 25 and runs through New Year’s Eve. 1843 Seventh St., NW.

4. Mindful Restaurant Group Projects

DC native Ari Gejdenson marks a major expansion for his Mindful Restaurant Group, which already includes Acqua al 2 and Ghibellina. Three new concepts in the Hecht Warehouse development are slated to open by the end of December. Look for taco-centric La Puerta Verde, Dock FC soccer bar (Gejdenson is a former European pro), and a diner. 1401 New York Ave., NE.

5. Owen’s Ordinary

Pike & Rose is now home to Montgomery County’s largest craft-beer list—50 drafts and 200-plus bottles—thanks to brew guru Greg Engert. Drinkers can dip into fondue and other snacks in the 175-seat space and beer garden. 11820 Trade St., North Bethesda.

6. Community

Medium Rare restaurateur Mark Bucher unveils his long-awaited diner—a modern take with cocktails and fried-chicken pot pie. Still, it’s not too fussy for all-day breakfast. 7770 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda.

7. Old Ebbitt Oyster Riot

Shuckers prepare more than 10,000 oysters for this bash, now in its 22nd year. On November 18 and 19, indulge in unlimited local oysters paired with free-flowing wine, all to live music. Tickets ($150) often sell out; visit ebbittoysterriot.com to book. 675 15th St., NW.

8. Gordy’s Fine Brine

Local pickle makers Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain are behind a game-changing product: canned pickle juice. Though the label states “for cocktails”—hello, bloodys—cooks can use the brew to brine turkeys, too. Available at specialty shops and gordyspicklejar.com.

9. Half Smoke

DC’s signature dish now has a restaurant named for it. Expect sausages alongside grilled-fruit cocktails, boozy shakes, and funnel cake. 651 Florida Ave., NW.

10. Crystal Gravy

Named after a ’90sSNL skit, this Thanksgiving shop from food incubator Mess Hall is no joke. On November 19 and 20, shoppers can pick up pies from Buttercream Bakeshop, try From the Farmer turkeys, and of course, sample gravy.

This article appears in our November 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Anna Spiegel
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.