Restaurateurs Yuan and Carey Tang earned a Michelin star for the affordable tasting menu at their modern American restaurant Rooster & Owl on 14th Street. At the couple’s next spot, Ellie Bird—coming to West Falls Church in late 2022—things will be more casual. Look for brunch, a kids menu, and a la carte offerings built for takeout or dine in.
Ellie Bird gets its name from the Tangs’ youngest daughter, who was born in 2020 during the midst of the pandemic. At the time, the couple had been rethinking their menu in a to-go format as diners sought out more casual comfort foods. That’s the driving force behind their new restaurant, which will feature some variations from the Rooster & Owl carryout days: seafood paella, miso caesar salad, and grilled corn ravioli (among other housemade pastas).
Other planned dishes will likely include grilled bone-in pork chops with local peaches in summer or Vietnamese-French onion soup with oxtails in winter. You can also expect Rooster & Owl’s famous pineapple buns to make an appearance, including at brunch for Spam-and-egg sliders. (Expect main courses to range from $15 to $25 at brunch and $17 to $38 at dinner.)
Meanwhile, the kids menu will pay homage to some of the foods the Tangs’ own children eat at home, including mac and cheese and chicken nuggets (plus fruit and veggie options too).
The restaurant, located in the mixed-use Founder’s Row development, is a homecoming of sorts for the owners. The Tangs both grew up in Falls Church, and each got their start in the restaurant industry there. (Yuan’s first job was at Red Lobster; Carey’s was at Applebee’s.) Their families still live in the area, and they plan to welcome other families to the 70-seat dining room with plenty of booths, patio seating, and “touches of silliness”—think fun wallpapers, neon lights, and bird-themed decor.