Chopped brisket bowls and “orange-ish” chicken are coming to Dupont Circle next week as Chiko opens its next DC location on February 14. Chefs/co-owners Scott Drewno (formerly of The Source) and Mandu’s Danny Lee bring their respective Chinese and Korean cooking experiences to the modern menu, which will differ in a few ways from the Capitol Hill flagship.
Service in the 28-seat space is still “fine-casual”—so yes, you’ll order at a counter and most of the seating is communal, but the food and booze go beyond your average quick eats (hence the James Beard nod). The biggest change will be the addition of lunch for Dupont only, which is expected to start soon after the opening. Lee says the team is creating a menu designed for office workers on a short lunch break; think quick items like rice bowls and a bulgogi hoagie. (The latter is already on the menu at Chiko’s new Capital One Arena concession.)
In the opening weeks, the dinner menu will look much like Chiko’s early days on Barracks Row with a curated lineup of classics like potstickers and spicy cumin lamb noodles joining new dishes such as chicken-and-egg fried rice. The four-seat tasting counter where guests are invited to “eat the menu” will also start in the weeks following the opening along with takeout and delivery via Caviar.
Meanwhile Drewno and Lee—along with co-owner Drew Kim—have just freshened up the menu on Capitol Hill to vary from the new sibling’s. A la carte, you’ll find items like chilled peanut noodles or a “year of the pig” plate with spiced pulled pork, pork dumplings, pickles, and rice cakes. At the reservation-only kitchen counter there’s a new “Royal Menu” with items inspired by the imperial cuisines of China and Korea. From the latter, Lee created a “box of nine treasures,” a traditional octagonal tray whose center is filled with spongy rice crepes that are surrounded by a kaleidoscope of fillings. Guests are encouraged to mix-and-match their own little wraps of seasonal vegetables, meats, and seafood. From China, Drewno is hearkening back to his days at The Source and making crunchy-skinned Peking ducks served with homemade pancakes and sauces.
Both restaurants are open on Valentine’s Day with a special prix-fixe that’s only available via tickets purchase online ($65 per person including food and a glass of bubbles). Though true to Chiko, space is limited and going fast.
Chiko Dupont. 2029 P Street, NW. Open Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday 5 PM to midnight; Sunday 5 to 10 PM. Lunch starting soon.