Lets face it: if there is one thing DC loves, it is a new restaurant or bar opening.
At the end of last year we asked some of our our favorite DC food writers to tell us which they really liked, liked a little less, hated etc. While we were at it we ALSO asked them which restaurant openings they were SUPER excited about in 2016. We took those answers, combined them with some of our personal, internal excitement and here it is: a great list of 2016 BAR + RESTAURANT openings to be jazzed for now, and for the next twelve months too.
Pineapple and Pearls (coming: January for the cafe, March for dinner, 715 8th Street SE) – Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Luxury was a small, but definitive revolution in DC dining, a place that is both warm and special, relaxed and extraordinary, and never not delicious. So, naturally, Silverman’s next project is on top of our 2016 list. The new project is a cafe (by day) AND a more formal prix fixe dining room (by night), that the press has been referring to as “fancy, but not formal”. Basically, enough to make us want to move to Barracks Row once and for all. Added bonus: yes, it WILL take reservations.
Tail Up Goat (coming: Early February, 1827 Adams Mill Rd, NW) – 2015 was the year of overhyped out-of-town chefs opening overhyped DC restaurants. 2016 is a year of local talent striking out on their own and Tail Up Goat is leading the way. The team behind it honed their skills at Komi and Little Serow and promises a Mediterannean inspired neighborhood restaurant that Adams Morgan (and DC) has long deserved. We can’t wait. Read our full preview with the Tail Up Goat team here.
Archipelago (coming: early 2016, 1201 U Street NW) – If we were to choose one person to lead the DC Tikki Revolution it would be Owen Thomson, formerly of Bourbon, ThinkFood Group and artisanal ice operation Favourite Ice. Pass the bamboo sticks. Below, some vintage drinks we hope to see 2016 variations of there:
Quarter + Glory (coming: early 2016, 2017 14th street NW) – An oak bar, hardwood floors and a name inspired by a secret NY literary society. Yes, Quarter & Glory is an ode to old American bars, and yes, America has enough old American bars that it maybe doesn’t need new old American bars, but also, we are kind of excited to cozy up here this winter. And next winter.
Anxo Cidery & Pinxtos Bar (coming: early 2016, 300 Florida Ave NW) – Exactly what the title tells you, and if the very popular pop-ups Anxo team has been hosting this past season are any indication, DC is excited for its first cidery. Anxo comes with a strong pedigree (production will be done with the help of renowned cider-maker Kyle Sherrer of Millstone Cellars) and a Basque menu of pinxtos (small bites) and heartier fare. Plus, for those looking to drink beyond housemade goodness: 17 ciders on draft, and 25 additional draft lines dedicated to beer, wine, and cocktails.
Espita Mezcaleria (coming: early 2016, 1250 9th Street NW) – DC is due for its own place specializing in Mexican spirits. I mean, we have Jack Rose and Southern Efficiency for whiskey; we have Wisdom and the Gin Joint at New Heights for gin; you can always find a great rum drink at 2 Birds, 1 Stone or Cuba Libre (we miss you, Hogo!)… That void is soon to be filled, with the upcoming opening of Espita Mezcaleria, a Mexican restaurant opening in Shaw (Of course it’s in Shaw. SO HOT RIGHT NOW.) and specializing in mezcal and Oaxacan cuisine. BYT got a sneak preview in November; if the final result is anything like what we saw then, D.C. is in for a treat. Salud! -Logan Hollers
Slim’s Diner (coming: February 2016, 4201 Georgia Ave NW) – Paul Ruppert continues his single-handed rejuvenation of the Petworth dining scene. After Petworth Citizen and Crane & Turtle, it is time for what the neighborhood probably needs more than anything: an old school diner. Good news for both early and night birds: Slim’s will be open from 7:00 am until midnight on weekdays, and will close later at 2:00 am on the weekends.
Takoda (coming: Winter 2016, 715 Florida Ave NW) – Considering how packed Shaw bars are getting, the neighborhood needs more of them. And a year-round rooftop beer garden with 24 American Drafts, 51+ American Whiskeys and a vaguely Asian name may just be what the doctor ordered.
Kyirisian (coming: February, 1924 8th Street NW) – Tim Ma (of Water & Wall and Maple) finally makes his inroads to DC (and Shaw, where all the DC inroads seem to be leading to these days). The cuisine: French-Chinese. The menu: changing often. The hopes: those creme fraiche chicken wings now available just a few blocks walking from the BYT offices.
Kinship & Metier (coming: February, 1015 7th Street NW ) – Eric Ziebold is the man. He’s from the Midwest; he worked at Spago; he worked at the French Laundry and at Per Se. And he helmed the kitchen of one of D.C.’s best fine dining spots, CityZen, until it closed down in late 2014. Now, he’s ready with a new fine dining concept, set to open right beside the old Passenger location in Mt. Vernon/Shaw (Of course it’s in Shaw. SO HOT RIGHT NOW.). Kinship is the upstairs spot, an a la carte menu “celebrating the rich diversity of influences that have come to shape American cuisine”; Metier, the fine dining seven-course tasting menu influenced by seasons, travel, culture and history. Fast casual is great, but if D.C. wants to ascend to the culinary heights to which it aspires, it needs more luxe fine dining (Komi, Marcel’s, and Rasika are all wonderful, but this will be on another level). A day after I moved to DC, I celebrated by doing the tasting menu at CityZen; if this is anything close (spoiler alert: it will be), I’m 100% on board. -Logan Hollers
All Purpose (coming: March) – The team behind Red Hen moves a little west to Shaw and partners with the Boundary Stone guys on a place inspired by Mike Friedman’s memories of “New Jersey pizza joints” (cooked in deck, not Neapolitan ovens) and plenty of meats for those in the mood for meats (panzanella-stuffed quail and suckling pig porchetta, anyone?). Plus, a beverage menu as fun as you’d expect from Sebastian Zutant.
Buttercream Bakeshop (coming: March, 1250 N Street NW) – There has been a dessert hole in our hearts ever since Tiffany MacIsaac left the Neighborhood Restaurant Group pastry chef position to work on a project of her own. AND NOW IT IS FINALLY HERE. And located in the same building as All Purpose (see above) – for which MacIsaac will be providing all pizza dough for. As for her own place: from chewy, salty-sweet chocolate chip cookies and airy French macaroons to gorgeous wedding cakes, Buttercream Bakery should meet all your dessert needs, including the ones you didn’t even know you had.
Hazel (coming: March, 808 V Street NW) – It was only a matter of time before Neighborhood Restaurant Group got a spot in Shaw, right, and this time around it is time for another Virginia NRG alum to shine: Rob Rubba promises a “globally influenced” American Menu, and the NRG beverage dream team of Kroll / Faile / Engert will be on hand to work their magic on that side of things.
Bantam King (coming: Early Spring, 700 5th Street NW) + Haikan (coming: Spring, 805 V Street NW) – Chicken ramen, Fried Chicken, more chicken. Bantam King is all about chicken and comes to us from the Daikaya team (and therefore – bound to be very delicious) who also have another project in the works (due right after Bantam King opens). Expect a similar scenario to Daikaya: Sapporo-style ramen, small plates, Japanese whiskeys and other deliciousness.
The Sovereign (coming: second half of 2016) – It is only fitting that Greg Engert’s new bistro and bar in Georgetown that will pay tribute to Belgian cuisine and brewing. Belgian beer nerds unite: The Sovereign will offer 50 drafts and 200+ bottles from the very best Belgian brewers. But, don’t forge the food too: Peter Smith, formerly of of PS7 and Vidalia, has developed a menu featuring rustic ingredient-driven dishes of Belgian cuisine, which draws from French, German and Dutch cooking traditions. Come hungry AND thirsty.
And that is that.
Holler if we missed something you felt was unmissable. And, happy eating.