Thrilling Follow-Ups From Big-Name Chefs
Peter and Jeanine Prime, the siblings behind Northeast DC’s Cane, are growing beyond their beloved nook of a Caribbean spot with a roomier homage to their native Trinidad. At St. James (2017 14th St., NW), named after an eclectic Trini neighborhood, Peter plans to explore the island’s African, Indian, and Asian culinary influences—think callaloo or pelau rice with coconut and pigeon peas, plus housemade rum shandies. It’s slated to open in early fall.
Matt Baker, chef/owner of the Ivy City tasting room Gravitas, will pay tribute to his New Orleans–bred mother with Michele’s (1201 K St., NW). Look for the French American brasserie—and Baker’s omakase-style tastings at its raw bar—inside downtown DC’s trendy Eaton Hotel in the fall.
In Shaw, chef Jeremiah Langhorne and director of operations Alex Zink of the Mid-Atlantic–obsessed Dabney are living their Francophile fantasies at Petite Cerise (1027 Seventh St., NW), which will open this winter. The all-day bistro will showcase natural wines, homey plates such as omelets with local chanterelles, and what they hope will be the best baguettes and croissants in town.
On Capitol Hill, Rose’s Luxury chef/owner Aaron Silverman is about to open a 4,000-square-foot base for his catering and dinner-party service, Rose’s at Home (721 Eighth St., SE), which shares space with Holley Simmons’s flower and gift shop, She Loves Me. Look for lavish monthly supper-club-style dinners thrown by Silverman. Nearby, chef Andrew Markert is evoking a homespun vibe for his upscale New American restaurant, Newland (327 Seventh St., SE), named after the Baltimore street where he grew up. He’s dreaming up seasonal vegetable plates and housemade pastas in the former Montmartre space by the end of the year. (His pandemic sandwich pop-up, Fight Club, is now a fixture near Barracks Row.)
Three new Mediterranean places are on the horizon. Nicholas Stefanelli, known for the Italian spots Masseria and Officina, will honor his Greek heritage with the long-delayed Philotimo (1100 15th St., NW), a splashy destination exploring lesser-seen aspects of Greek cuisine. It’s set to open in the fall. Meanwhile, the Cava crew will debut another Greek restaurant, Melina (909 Rose Ave., North Bethesda) in October. The full-service spot joins Julii, chef Dimitri Moshovitis’s upscale French restaurant in the Pike & Rose development. Expect takes on Aegean classics including prawn “saganaki” ceviche and pork-belly “gyros” with housemade pita. And David Deshaies, the chef behind Shaw’s Unconventional Diner, is planning to debut L’Ardente at Capitol Crossing (200 Massachusetts Ave., NW) in early October. The wood-fired Italian restaurant will specialize in pizzas, pastas, and family-style plates such as Florentine steak in a space filled with Murano-glass chandeliers and Missoni fabrics.
Then there are the exciting encores. Sibling duo Ken and Aki Ballogdajan will debut their third new-wave Japanese spot, Kema by Kenaki (11325 Seven Locks Rd., Suite 110, Potomac), in Cabin John Village early next year. Smash-hit Navy Yard seafood spot the Salt Line is crossing the river to Ballston (4040 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) come October, with more New England–style fare and another giant patio bar, plus a longer list of pastas and crudos. Making the reverse commute into DC: Han Palace, Chris Zhu’s glitzy Tysons dim sum parlor. By the end of the year, she’ll debut new locations in Woodley Park (2649 Connecticut Ave., NW) and Barracks Row (522 Eighth St., SE), where you can feast on soup dumplings, Peking duck, and lobster sticky rice.
Creative Mexican restaurants have recently proliferated around the area—everything from Oaxacan taquerias like U Street’s stellar Xochi to wood-fired grills like Richard Sandoval’s dLeña—and more are on the way. A team of expats, including former Urbano 116 chef Alam Méndez Florian and lauded barman Arturo Rojas, is behind the new Maiz64 (1324 14th St., NW) in Logan Circle. The two-story restaurant/lounge blends mod-Mex stylings with East Coast ingredients—think roasted duck with mole—and has intimate bars for tasting mezcals or tacos with made-to-order tortillas.
Meanwhile, Mexico City natives and siblings Alfredo and Jessica Solis (Mezcalero, El Sol, Anafre) are bringing another eatery to Shaw in late September: Mariscos 1133 (1133 11th St., NW) nods to pan-Latin coastal cuisine with seafood empanadas, grilled lobster, and a lengthy list of cocktails and Baja wines.
In Adams Morgan, Taqueria Nacional owners John Fulchino and Ann Cashion—talents behind the original Austin Grill in its late-’80s heydey—are opening Los Companeros (1819 Columbia Rd., NW) in their longtime restaurant home, which recently housed Johnny’s Half Shell. Go for street-style tacos, crabcakes Veracruz, and freshly juiced margaritas.
Peruvian cuisine is also having a moment. Vienna’s Inca Social will expand to a massive Rosslyn location (1776 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) this fall with a ceviche-and-sushi bar, Pisco cocktails, and a small market. The Service Bar crew is planning to unveil the restaurant/bar Causa (920 N St., NW) in Shaw by November. It’ll aim to serve one of the largest Pisco selections in the US—while Lima native Carlos Delgado will run a ceviche bar and a menu of charcoal-grilled skewers.
Creative Comfort Food
Rob Sonderman, the chef behind the Adams Morgan barbecue carryout Federalist Pig, is cooking up two new ventures with entrepreneur Steve Salis. Honeymoon Chicken (4201 Georgia Ave., NW) will take over the old Slim’s Diner space in Petworth by late fall, dishing up honey-dipped crispy chicken, boozy slushies, and fun specials such as chicken-fried tomahawk steaks. The duo’s long-delayed Federalist Pig Hyattsville (5504 Baltimore Ave.)—a roomier, full-service version of the original—is now slated to arrive by mid-2022 and will serve eclectic ’cue alongside family-style Korean-accented ribs and whole smoked duck.
Chef Jeffeary Miskiri, who is behind the H Street Cajun restaurant Po’Boy Jim and Creole on 14th, has also expanded to Hyattsville, with Suga & Spice (5557 Baltimore Ave.), a Southern-Caribbean restaurant that plays to Miskiri’s family roots. On the menu: oxtail sandwiches and jerk-spiced shrimp and grits. The team isn’t stopping there. Next year, they’ll unveil both a raw-juice spot, Miss Toya’s Soul Juice, and the full-service Miss Toya’s Southern Cajun Kitchen (3202 Pennsylvania Ave., SE). Also in 2022: a Silver Spring restaurant called Miss Toya’s Creole House (923 Ellsworth Dr.).
In Falls Church, Thomas Harvey—who spent the last four years helming the kitchens at Magnolias at the Mill and Fire Works Pizza—is opening a locally driven restaurant and market in early fall. Harvey’s (513 W. Broad St.) will feature biscuit sandwiches, steak-and-beer-cheese hoagies, and housemade pastas.
Mornings are for comfort food, too. HalfSmoke restaurateur Andre McCain is giving his popular breakfast-focused ghost kitchen, Butter Me Up, its own home in Logan Circle in October (1409 T St., NW). Look for drippy egg sandwiches and all-day brunch indulgences such as shrimp and grits or pancakes. In Cleveland Park, egg sandwich food truck Cracked Eggery just opened a brick-and-mortar shop with decadent sammies—one is stuffed with fried green tomato, egg, bacon, and pimiento cheese—burgers, and bowls (3420 Connecticut Ave., NW). A Shaw location opens this fall with 24-hour service on weekends (1921 Eighth St., NW). Brothers Danny and Johnny Dubbaneh, part of the family behind the spice company Z&Z, just opened a bakery, cafe, and market in Rockville that pays homage to their grandfather’s Palestinian roots. On the menu: manoushe flatbreads, Middle Eastern breakfast platters, meat pies, and za’atar fries, plus a small market (1111 Nelson St., Rockville).
One of the hottest restaurateurs coming to DC’s dining scene is Arjun Waney, who is behind a fleet of chic London restaurants. By the end of the year, he’s bringing two contemporary Japanese places to downtown DC. Shōtō (1100 15th St., NW) will be a sleek izakaya with robata skewers and rare whiskeys. At the same address, Ākēdo will be a fast-casual street-food spot—and it’ll house the Arcade, a reservation-only speakeasy.
Miami’s Planta (4910 Elm St.), a new addition to the area’s thriving vegan scene, heads to Bethesda Row in November. The plant-filled 140-seater will serve watermelon sushi rolls and “crab” cakes fashioned out of hearts of palm. Also in Bethesda Row, NYC’s hit Levain Bakery (4844 Bethesda Ave.) recently opened a second Washington location for its massive cookies and fresh breads.
Meanwhile, the New Haven chain Frank Pepe Pizzeria (7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda)—justly famous for its thin, clam-topped “apizza”—will finally open in Westfield Montgomery mall in the winter.
At the Wharf, Ilili (100 District Sq., SW)—a Lebanese restaurant from Manhattan—is taking over the Requin space this fall. Chef/owner Philippe Massoud is no stranger; he cooked and DJ’d for years at Georgetown’s Neyla. Look for modern mezze—duck shawarma, yellowtail with pomegranate ponzu—in the glassy room.
Okuwa, who has a string of splashy restaurants in places ranging from LA to Latin America, will deliver a Japanese food hall in early 2022 with three sit-down places: a tabletop-barbecue spot, an omakase bar, and an izakaya. Also in the mix: a market, bakery, and vendor hall for fried chicken, ramen, mochi, and more. 200 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
Leave it to a team of industry pros to deliver a fun, low-key (and low-ABV) beer hall at Arlington’s Westpost shopping center (née Pentagon Row). Fine-dining talent Spero turns toward comfort food with thin, tavern-style pizzas, while Aslin is working on easy-drinking Pilsners and saisons. It’ll open in January. 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington.
DC Entrepreneur K.J. Hughes + Multiple Hospitality Partners = Manifest
Come late fall, this Adams Morgan “culture concept” will boast a high-end barber shop; a retail area with designers such as Thom Browne; a coffee shop; and a 30-seat speakeasy, Out of Office. A glam rooftop apartment with a retractable ceiling can be booked for events or overnights. It’s all designed by Snarkitecture, the artistic force behind Instagram-famous installations including the National Building Museum’s “The Beach.” 1807 Florida Ave., NW.
Chef Tim Ma + Barman Ben Sislen + Union Kitchen’s Jonas Singer + Sportscaster Bram Weinstein = ExPat
This eclectic team is combining talents for a huge 400-person sports bar that will anchor Foggy Bottom’s new Western Market food hall early next year. It’ll offer Southern-tilting bar food such as house-smoked barbecue and wings alongside mobile sports betting, a new frontier for DC bars in which customers can place wagers from their phones. 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
A few Asian American restaurateurs are channeling their heritages into exciting bar concepts. Bun’d Up chef Andrew Lo, who grew up watching his family play mahjong at their Cantonese restaurant in Kansas City, will continue the games at Sparrow Room (1201 S. Joyce St., Arlington). The hidden-away bar, slated for November, will offer mahjong tables (and classes); baiju and sochu cocktails; and dumplings, taro cakes, and beef noodles. In DC, Tim Ma has transformed the Mount Vernon Triangle space previously dedicated to his white-hot Chinese American spot, Lucky Danger, into a French cocktail bar, Bar Chinois (455 I St., NW) run by cocktail talent Margaux Donati. It’s the kind of place where you can pair large-format Champagne service with duck bao and shrimp toast.
Jane Jane (1705 14th St., NW), a homey Southern-style cocktail bar, arrived in Logan Circle in August. Ex–Rappahannock Oyster barman Jean-Paul Sabatier is shaking up boulevardiers and other classics alongside snacks like pigs in blankets. Also coming to 14th Street: Salazar (1819 14th St., NW), a sprawling bar/taco place from the crew behind Mission in Navy Yard and Dupont that’ll open later this year.
Boardwalk Bar & Arcade (715 Wharf St., SW) a huge, beachy escape at the Wharf, comes from the team behind Takoda. The family-friendly venue, opening by the end of the year, will have arcade games and drinks such as a cotton-candy Collins. Silver Spring’s Zinnia (9201 Colesville Rd.) will also provide plenty of space to spread out. The replacement for the near-century-old Mrs. K’s Tollhouse is launching soon as a beer-and-wine garden. A tavern and fine-dining restaurant are coming later.
Fun Fast Casuals
A version of this article appears in the October 2021 issue of Washingtonian.