1. A Rake’s Progress
1780 Columbia Rd., NW
Opening: Early spring.
No longer will you need to travel to Baltimore for Spike Gjerde’s Mid-Atlantic cooking. At his restaurant in Adams Morgan’s forthcoming Line DC hotel, the Woodberry Kitchen chef will prepare local game such as rabbit and duck from a wood-fired hearth and offer salads assembled tableside. A sister cocktail joint and lobby coffee shop will show off house-blended teas and local fruit juices.
900 16th St., NW
Opening: February or March.
Former Palena and Grill Room chef Frank Ruta will be back in action at a new French-American restaurant from Hakan Ilhan (Alba Osteria, Ottoman Taverna). The upscale dining room will eventually be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and will potentially offer a tasting menu. Though dishes are evolving, Ruta isn’t ruling out a version of his famous roast chicken or burger from Palena.
3. Isabella Eatery
For his biggest project yet, Mike Isabel-la is taking over the entire 41,000-square-foot food court in Tysons Galleria. The 600-seat hall will include versions of his existing restaurants—Graffiato, Kapnos, Yona, Requin, and Pepita—plus a classic cocktail bar, a Mediterranean grill, a creamery, a coffee shop, and a spinoff of the forthcoming Spanish eatery Arroz.
751 Wharf St., SW
Restaurant Eve chef Cathal Armstrong is bringing together three of his favorite cuisines—Filipino, Thai, and Korean—for his first DC venture in the Wharf development. Kaliwa will serve turmeric curry, seafood stew, and crispy pork leg, while street snacks will be sold from a sidewalk kiosk. Armstrong and his business partner, barman Todd Thrasher, are also opening a neighboring rum distillery and tiki bar called Potomac Distilling.
5. Del Mar
791 Wharf St., SW
After the success of Fiola Mare in George-town’s Washington Harbour, Fabio and Maria Trabocchi are opening a second waterfront restaurant at the Wharf. This time, the Italian chef will pay homage to his wife’s Spanish roots. Paellas and tapas will draw inspiration from the Basque region, Barcelona, Valencia, and the island of Mallorca, where Maria hails from.
6. The Salt Line
79 Potomac Ave., SE
Opening: March or April.
This Navy Yard waterfront restaurant and raw bar will serve New England classics with a focus on Chesapeake seafood such as rockfish and white perch. Chef Kyle Bailey, formerly of Birch & Barley, is working on lobster rolls, fried clam bellies, and chowder as well as his own seafood charcuterie—think scallop mortadella, shrimp sausage, and swordfish nduja.
3210 Grace St., NW
Since leaving Minibar in early 2015, Johnny Spero has been on the move—from an apprenticeship at the avant-garde Spanish restaurant Mugaritz to a summer stint at Cappy’s Crabs in Petworth. The 30-year-old has finally landed in Georgetown with his first solo venture, Reverie. Expect a modernist menu where you might find ramen-flavored croquetas or lovage ice cream.
8. Unconventional Diner
1211 Ninth St., NW
Opening: May or June.
When Central chef David Deshaies traveled with the late Michel Richard, they always ended the night in a diner with greasy burgers. Now Deshaies is opening a diner of his own—though, true to its name, the approach is atypical. Cafe and pastry shop by day, full-service restaurant by night, Unconventional Diner will serve twists on comfort foods such as fried chicken and meatloaf, as well as less traditional dishes including Peking duck.
1401 Okie St., NE
Matt Baker is joining Ivy City’s wave of chef/developers who are turning the industrial neighborhood into a dining destination. His restaurant in the former Pappas Tomato factory will offer a $75 five-course tasting menu (and a vegetarian one for $65), drawing on his Southern upbringing and world travels. The roof will house a garden to supply the kitchen and a greenhouse bar.
12435 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac
Ever since restaurateur Jeff Black closed Addie’s on Rockville Pike in 2013 with a promise to relocate, fans have wondered when it’s coming back. The restaurant will finally return in Potomac with several original menu items, including its famous mussels. Addie’s 2.0 will also have vegan options (Black’s sons are vegan), a raw bar, a cocktail bar, and plenty of outdoor seating.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of Washingtonian.