5 New Bars and Restaurants to Try This Weekend

Try Hong Kong-inspired specialties like this bubble waffle matcha ice cream at Tiger Fork. Photograph by Evy Mages

Tiger Fork

922 N St., NW

A taste of Hong Kong has arrived in Shaw’s Blagden Alley from the crew behind the Fainting Goat. The former Rogue 24 space has been transformed into a dynamic bar/restaurant specializing in modern Cantonese fare—though you’ll still find plenty of dumplings, noodles, and barbecue (and watch for specials like chili crab). Cocktails are on a health kick; many are influenced by Chinese medicine. Currently the restaurant is open for dinner, with dim sum brunch on the horizon.

The Cherry Blossom Pub brings springtime to Shaw with Japanese cocktails and food. Photography by Farrah Skeiky

Cherry Blossom Pub

1843 and 1841 Seventh Street, Northwest

It’s always peak bloom at DC’s cherry blossom pop-up bar, which opened Wednesday in Shaw. The ephemeral watering hole is from the same folks behind the Christmas Bar (and the Columbia Room), so expect serious cocktails—even those served in cat-shaped mugs. Also on tap: a Super Mario Brothers theme room, abundant sake, katsu sandos, King Koopa, dumplings, and thirsty crowds. Get there before April 15.

Restaurateur Michael Schlow opens a bright Italian restaurant in Fairfax’s Mosaic District. Photograph via Alta Strada Facebook

Alta Strada Mosaic District

2910 District Ave., Fairfax

Restaurateur Michael Schlow has been building a mini-empire in DC (the Riggsby, Casolare, Consoci etc.), and this Italian restaurant is his first foray into the Washington suburbs. The menu of rustic pastas, pizzas, and meat/seafood entrees is similar to the Mt. Vernon Square location, with a few new items like slow-cooked salmon with pesto vinaigrette. Wash it all down with Italian-influenced cocktails (Negronis on tap!) and bountiful wine.

The Smith’s PQ Burger with cheddar and bacon. Photograph by Evy Mages

The Smith

901 F St., NW

Penn Quarter is home to this new American brasserie—a spinoff of the popular Manhattan original. The bar is outfitted with long communal tables for mingling over Moscow mules mixed with house-made ginger beer. Patrons can settle in the dining room for raw bar fare, steaks, and more modish creations like tuna poke or roasted cod with yuzu-lobster broth.

La Puerta Verde dishes up regional Mexican fare in Ivy City. Photograph by Albert Ting

La Puerta Verde

2001 Fenwick St., NE

Restaurateur Ari Gejdenson (Ghibellina, Acqua Al 2) now has three concepts inside Ivy City’s Hecht Warehouse Building: Ari’s Diner, Dock FC soccer bar, and this latest Mexican cantina. The 85-seat bar/restaurant specializes in regional Mexican fare from chef Carlos Camacho, including coastal dishes such as ceviches and grilled whole fish, snacks like elote, and a variety of tacos. Drinks are also a draw, including $10 margaritas and Palomas, and Mexican draft beers.  

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.