You’ll Want to Move Into the Bright, Quirky Dining Room of This New 14th Street Restaurant

Bresca from chef Ryan Ratino opens September 22.

The dining room at Bresca features a moss wall. Photography by Rey Lopez.

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Remember what the first floor of Policy Restaurant & Lounge on 14th Street looked like? Yeah, neither do we. That’s because Bresca, opening Friday, September 22, has totally transformed the space into something that looks straight off a Pinterest board.

Chef-owner Ryan Ratino, formerly of Ripple, calls the look part Scandinavian (clean lines, earth tones) and part Parisian (brass fixtures, big light bulbs, French artwork).

A preserved moss wall, mounted above velvety blue banquettes, aims to brighten up the room by bringing a little nature inside. Ratino says the upkeep isn’t as bad as it might seem. You don’t even have to water the thing, because “it’s like embalmed moss.” Now, if only patrons will keep their grubby hands off it: “It’s not people proof, that’s for sure,” he says.

Ratino calls his culinary style “bistronomy”—a fusion of the words “bistro” and “gastronomy” that denotes a more casual, fun approach to traditional French cooking. To pay homage to that theme, the restaurant features quirky animal prints from a Parisian artist.

A lot of the decorations don’t necessarily have a purpose. Ratino just thinks they’re fun. Take, for example, the shimmering gold fish hanging on the wall or a rabbit-shaped lamp near the host stand.

The name Bresca means “honeycomb” in Spanish, and so you’ll also find hexagon patterned paneling at the host stand and in the back of the dining room.

“Almost like our food, I play with texture,” Ratino says. “We did it in the dining room space too: different textures, different contours. Things are there because we really love them.”

Bresca. 1906 14th St., NW. 

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.