8 Exciting New Restaurants and Bars to Try Around DC

Beat the summer heat and check out one of these hotspots.
San Lorenzo in Shaw serves rustic Italian fare like this pappardelle with rabbit ragu. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

La Vie
88 District Sq., SW
This palatial Mediterranean bar and restaurant at the Wharf sits high (for DC) above the water—so plan on sipping a spritz on the lofty terrace when it opens on July 12. The cavernous layout is all about dramatic design, whether you’re dining on classic coastal French fare in rooms planted with Provencal herbs and flowers, or imbibing in a naughty barroom with peepholes into a neighboring condo’s private swimming pool. 

The Spot
255 N Washington St., Rockville
Taiwanese fried chicken, Hawaiian-style poke, Chinese hand-pulled noodles, and Hong Kong bubble waffles come together at Rockville’s new Asian-fusion food hall. As of now, you’ll find five vendors serving sweets and savories. Up next in the coming months: a full bar (there’s no alcohol for now) and a Chinese barbecue joint.

La Vie The Wharf DC
Step into La Vie at the Wharf and feel transported to the Mediterranean, or beyond. Photograph by Jeff Elkins.

San Lorenzo
1316 Ninth St., NW
Chef Massimo Fabbri of Italian fine dining stalwart Tosca dresses down for his cozy Shaw restaurant, which channels the casual osterias of his native Tuscany. Look for homemade pastas like pappardelle with rabbit ragu, roasted whole branzino, rosemary-scented pork ribs, and of course, plenty of Italian wines and spirits.

Gravitas
1401 Okie St., NE
One of the most ambitious and highly anticipated restaurant openings of the summer is chef Matt Baker’s warehouse-chic, tasting menu-only spot in Ivy City. Diners build their own four-to-seven course samplings from a list of 20-odd dishes ($78 to $110), mixing and matching avant-garde plates—including plenty of vegetarian options. A rooftop greenhouse bar will open in the coming months.

Gravitas, Ivy City
Gravitas from chef Matt Baker is located in a former tomato packing factory in Ivy City. Photo by Jessica Sidman.

The Wine Garden at City Winery
1350 Okie St., NE
DC’s new “urban winery” in Ivy City continues to grow into its massive space (formerly Love nightclub). As of July 13, the third-floor Wine Garden will be open—a 300-plus seat venue where patrons can listen to live blues, rock, and folk musicians, sip a global array of wines, and snack from a Mediterranean menu. Check the website for the weekly musical lineup. A massive outdoor roof deck—the final phase—will open later this summer.

Pappe
1317 14th St., NW
It was love at first vindaloo for the owners of this 14th Street Indian restaurant, whose fiery Goan curry reminds them of home. The menu is a mix of traditional curries and flame-grilled kabobs, plus modern dishes and a few unusual finds (bone-in goat stew, whole fish with chilies and herbs). Try a spice-accented cocktail to start things off.

Modern Indian food arrives with Pappe in DC’s Logan Circle neighborhood. Photography by Reema Desai.

The Crown & Crow
1317 14th St., NW
Drink like a Victorian-era Londoner (why not?) at this moody themed bar near Pappe (above). One of the partners is behind Kingfisher, and you’ll find a few similarities beyond birds: moderately-priced cocktails that hover around $10; lots of yummy beers (and Bud Light); and the option for drinkers to order food from outside restaurants. 

The Eleanor
100 Florida Ave., NE
It’s all fun and games at chef Adam Stein’s newest game bar, equipped with duck pin bowling, skeeball, and arcade machines. Like at sister H Street spot Bar Elena, the food and drinks at this colorful Noma spot don’t exactly say Chuck E. Cheese—think steak frites, a full raw bar, lobster rolls, 20-plus draft beers, and a cocktail menu that ranges from serious (gin martinis) to boozy slushees. Note that happy hour runs early (4 to 7 PM) and late (11 to midnight). 

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Anna Spiegel
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.