The owners of Woodridge’s Mediterranean restaurant Nido are moving toward Spanish cuisine and its Moorish North African influences for their next restaurant. Co-owners Erin Lingle and Karlos Leopold will open Mola! in Mount Pleasant. The phrase means “It Rocks!” in Spanish.
Lingle says Mola! will have a similar “thesis” to Nido: simple food that’s “not necessarily stuck to tradition.”
The menu will center around seafood and incorporate ingredients that were brought to Spain from the Moors, such as saffron, rice, olives, dried fruits, and vinegar-cured fish.
“Hopefully we’ll have some different things than what people are used to seeing on Spanish tapas menus around the city,” says Lingle, who will oversee the menu with the help of kitchen manager Marlon Ramirez. (They’ve worked together at Nido since chef Aaron Wright left a few months ago.)
Among the dishes they’re playing with: partridge escabeche, fried chermoula-stuffed sardines, eggplant dip with trout roe, couscous, and hummus with ground lamb. Also expect at least two types of paella, which might include one with black rice and squid, and another with pork or rabbit, morcilla sausage, spinach, and chickpeas.
Nido is known for its vermouth bar, and Mola! will continue the trend with vermouth on tap and a vermouth happy hour. The cocktail menu, however, will incorporate more sherry and madeira, while the wine list will be exclusively Spanish.
Located in the former home of Radius Pizza, the restaurant will have a Mediterranean decor with Moroccan-inspired tiles and terra cotta, gold and yellow color scheme.
If all goes as planned, Mola! will open in May.
Mola!, 3155 Mount Pleasant St., NW