Every week, Washingtonian Food Editor Jessica Sidman rehashes the latest news from Washington’s food and drink scene in a newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.
The poke craze has officially hit DC in full force. Over the past few months, four different restaurants devoted to the Hawaiian raw fish dish have opened in the DC-area, and several more are on the way. Most recently, we learned California chain Honeyfish Poke is debuting outposts in Rockville and downtown DC. But not everyone wants to be grouped into the trend. Abunai Poke owner Akina Harada, a Hawaiian native, has been throwing some shade at “fake” mainland poke. Check out what she has to say.
Meanwhile, a much more serious feud is brewing around Pho 14 in Adams Morgan. The Vietnamese restaurant and its landlord are entangled in a legal battle over chemicals, most likely lingering from a former dry cleaning plant, found on the property. The landlord says it’s a health risk, and they want the restaurant out so they can remove contaminated soil. But the restaurant owners say environmental reports have been exaggerated as a ploy to kick them out and bring in a more profitable tenant. Read more here.
In lighter news, did you hear José Andrés is opening a massive Spanish food hall with brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià of the famed (and defunct) elBulli in Spain? Yes, really! Sadly, it won’t be in DC. It will debut in New York in late 2018. If you are into food halls, though, you should really check out The Block in Annandale. Think Union Market but with poke (see, it’s everywhere!), Filipino tacos, Thai noodle soups, uni fries, and much more.
As for other anticipated local openings, we’ve got our eye on Peter Chang’s new Bethesda restaurant, Q by Peter Chang, which arrives this weekend. The former Chinese Embassy chef will serve some of his Szechuan staples as well as dim sum platters for lunch and Peking duck for dinner.
Looking for something a little more low-key? Reliable Tavern, which opened last week in Petworth, may be just your speed. The bar features “dealer’s choice” cocktails for $10 and two pool tables. Republic Kolache is supplying pastries and “proper Texas queso.”
If you prefer to drink at home, you’re going to want to check out this recipe for a sparkling strawberry-gin-vermouth cocktail from Etto beverage director and Capitoline Vermouth co-founder Kat Hamidi. It’s the perfect summer sipper. Seriously.
Last but not least, still looking for Mother’s Day plans? Here are the places on our 100 Very Best Restaurant list that are taking reservations for brunch.
Questions? Comments? Rumors? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.