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If you haven’t noticed already, 2013 has been a GREAT year for DC’s food scene. By June, almost 50 new restaurants have opened in the district.  Name-droppable chefs, food trucks moving into permanent locations, and 14th Street booming provide the perfect mid-year nostalgia as we recount this year’s newest restaurants. With August traditionally being slightly slower when it comes to new establishments opening, NOW is the perfect time to catch up on all of these:



Mari Vanna

1141 Connecticut Avenue NW

“The food, it seems, will feature a fair amount of Russian classics (Ruska salata, salmon and herring, lots of sour cream and caviar, pierogis stuffed with egg salad and cabbage and more) but the menu will receive a DC update too (the original Mari Vanna was opened in St. Petersburg, and now has outposts in Moscow, London, New York and later this year, LA and Miami, but each destination is adapted slightly to match the new environments).”  – Svetlana Legetic



525 8th Street SE

“The team behind the restaurant is as authentic as it gets with both executive chef (Bojan Bocvarov) and pastry chef (Danilo Bucan) being from the region and whipping up some truly delicious and sophisticated variations on the comfort dishes Balkan people will know and recognize. Former Yugoslavian food, on account of the country’s geographic location in the EXACT center of Europe, is a mix between Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Mediterranean influences and features a lot of ingredients which thrive in that region: peppers, plums, goat and sheep cheeses, beets… all of which we will stuff of grill, if we can, and AMBAR carries out those revered preparation traditions, while serving them on DC friendly small plates.” – Svetlana Legetic



Beuchert’s Salon

623 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

“Try dishes like the braised lamb with rosemary gnocchi, pommery mustard, spinach and orange zest, or the striped bass with garlic potatoes, squid, mushrooms, rosemary, and lemon cream. In fact, with a menu this appetizing, the comfy bar (kitchen seating included) and back patio garden (opening in spring) make for an appealing place to perch for a bit. Instead of buying new and making things look old, Beuchert’s bought old and made it look young again; it’s got style in spades.” – Stephanie Breijo



Art & Soul (Redesign + Menu)

415 New Jersey Ave NW

“Pulled pork sliders and mini brisket sandwiches on tiny fresh biscuits, and I mean fresh as in I watched those babies pop out of the oven. Slightly spicy pimento cheese sandwiched between house-made crackers. Tender Louisiana shrimp resting on a paste of grits and a slice of toasted bread. Bacon cornbread, let me say it once more, there was bacon cornbread, amen.” – Marie Formica


Daikaya’s Izakaya

705 6th Street NW

“It’s no secret that Daikaya, D.C.’s newest ramen shop, is one of the most popular spots for grabbing a bite this year. What is more secretive–or hidden, at the very least–is the traditional Japanese izakaya that sits atop the restaurant, newly opened. Co-owner Daisuke Utagawa explains that it’s common in Japan for a restaurant to have multiple dining establishments on each floor of one building, with izakayas–taverns designed for drinking, eating and general lounging–occupying at least one level.” – Stephanie Breijo



1337 Connecticut Avenue NW

“It’s aiming for a “pub-meets-posh” vibe with its wooden floors and furniture, animal heads, and engraved plate metal ceiling tiles.” – Shauna Alexander



The Grill Room

1050 31st Street NW

“The Grill Room and The Rye Bar are helmed by Swedish Chef Jakob Esko, specializing in the preparation of hand-cut, bone-in, artisanal meats, bracingly fresh seafood and memorable tableside preparations. From plate to glass and ambiance to service, the experience at The Grill Room and The Rye Bar appeals to all senses.” – Shauna Alexander


Del Campo

777 I Street NW

“Charring and grilling appears throughout a menu marked by mouthwatering dishes like Grilled Octopus Causa (with tuna confit, ramps, potato and charred avocado), a traditional Peruvian combination of fresh seafood and potato salad that’s almost layered like a lasagna. Drawing on his own European cuisine training, Albisu deconstructs to create a colorful, flavorful display.” – Stephanie Breijo


The Red Hen

1822 I Street NW

“Of course you’ll be able to taste the oven-grilled tender smoked meats and vegetables, though you may also detect a smokiness in their gelato, whose vanilla beans are roasted whole. The ricotta is slow-roasted as well, adding a smoky layer to the cheese sprinkled throughout its seasonal menu but don’t worry; if you’re not feeling adventurous (who are you??) there are some fascinating takes on traditional items as well to get your mouth watering. Try the Clams Casino and Gnocchi alla Romana with hazelnut pesto, for instance.” – Stephanie Breijo


Le Diplomat

1601 14th Street NW

“Walking into Le Diplomate is like walking into a movie. The setting is Paris, the year is indistinguishable. All that you know is it’s a romance, be it with a significant other, a stranger or the cuisine you’re about to enjoy. Such is the experience of Stephen Starr’s new French bistro, his first venture into D.C. dining.” – Stephanie Breijo



405 8th Street NW

“Chef Frederik de Pue is a busy man. While he no longer consults on the Smith Commons menu, you can find him splitting time between Table, his recently-opened French-inspired restaurant in Shaw, his company–42˚ Catering–and his newest venture, the European seafood concept Azur. If you’re not familiar with de Pue (and you certainly should be), you’ll most likely recognize Azur’s location–José Andrés’s former Café Atlántico space in Penn Quarter.” – Stephanie Breijo



800 F Street NW

“Still, in a sea of hot young chefs, out-of-town high-profile restaurateurs, and high concept eateries Ashok Bajaj’s track record for quality and service in DC stands out.” – Svetlana Legetic


Black Whiskey

1410 14th Street NW

“The focal point of the restaurant is the carving station, and you can expect daily specials of fine roast beef, pork, and more, in combination with orders of assorted seasonal vegetables. A “meat and two veg” kind of deal, perfect for lining your belly in between whiskey sips. ” – Svetlana Legetic


Trummer’s on Main

7134 Main St., Clifton, VA

“Welcome to your new Date Night, Impress The Parents, Special Occasion, Treat Yourself, Seal The Deal, or just Need to Get Out of The City location. Welcome to Trummer’s on Main. Trummer’s, located in Clifton, VA, is one of those rare places that is amazingly elegant without being pretentious or stuffy” – Dana Bleiberg


Carriage House

2333 18th Street NW

“While the original Carriage House was one of the first restaurants on the block (and originally a true carriage house), they stress that the renovation and revamp is something new to Adams Morgan. The team does everything themselves, whether it’s butchering their own meat, making their own dressings and sauces,  or filleting their own fish. For Bloody Mary bar, they make their own mixes. In fact, the mint for the mojitos comes from Jonathan’s own backyard garden..” – Stephanie Breijo



1541 14th Street NW

“Everything inside is perfectly curated and smacks of the kind of love of food and drink you want from your Italian go-to restaurant. ETTO has 2 cocktails on the menu ($11 each) but they are both great: one a play on the DC classic, the gin rickey and the other a Lambrusco based summer wine concoction which packs a little more punch that your go-to sangria. House made red vermouth included.” – Svetlana Legetic


Mi Cocina

5471 Wisconsin Ave., Suite F-1 , Chevy Chase, Maryland

“Tamales with spicy arranchera steak was the hit of the evening. I’m not an expert on Tex-Mex or any traditional Mesoamerican food, but I do know good food. Tamales are the one area where I do have a smidgen of experience: two summers in high school, I worked at a place where, each day at dawn, a woman pushed fresh, foil wrapped tamales piled in a stroller while her young daughter walked beside her.  This is my gold standard on tamales.” – Marie Formica



1212 H Street NE

“As a fan of all things generally strange and off-kilter–and an H Street resident–it personally struck a chord seeing The Red Palace shut its doors for good at the end of 2012. From BYT’s perspective, we were all fairly broken up about it, posting not just a touching retrospective but also a guide to D.C.’s burlesque community sans the quirky, one-of-a-kind venue, in an effort to keep the weirdness alive.” – Stephanie Breijo



2208 14th Street NW

“Just when you think 14th Street dining can’t get any better, a new restaurant serving over 50 varieties of pizza opens shop. Piola, the international chain serving up Italian food (and unlimited bowls of gnocchi) opened the gathering place last night providing a wood-fired oven, a comfortable two floors and a mezzanine (with a patio on the way) for prime pizza enjoyment.” – Stephanie Breijo



946 North Jackson Street, Arlington VA

“arna is worth the drive, and worth setting my pride aside. Only one month old, the building’s exterior betrays the gorgeous atmosphere inside, boasting high ceilings, and spices on display. The upper level of Darna is a hookah bar, but you’d never be able to guess that while sitting in the dining room.” – Farrah Skeiky



1610 14th Street NW

“If you’ve been waiting for an Italian option along 14th Street, your wait is over. Ghibellina, Logan Circle’s new Italian Gastro Pub, is proving to be every bit as intimate, authentic and mouthwatering as you’d ever expect from the Owners of Acqua al 2, Ari Gejdenson and Ralph Lee. Take a step into the warmly-lit trattoria and smell the rossi–along with the tantalizing scents that accompany a menu rife with stewed, baked, wood-fired and roasted pizzas, tender meats and pastas.” – Stephanie Breijo


Teddy & The Bully Bar


1200 19th Street NW

“Teddy Roosevelt, our 26th (and arguably most badass) president serves as the inspiration for Teddy & the Bully Bar. Helmed by executive chef Michael Hartzer, the experience is exactly how Teddy would have wanted a meal – traditional, strong cocktails; outdoorsmen-ready meats like wild game on the menu; a classic interior design.” – Brandon Weight


Mockingbird Hill

1843 7th Street NW 

“On the menu: a whole lot of sherry and ham. Tseng, who left her Tabard Inn outpost for this, has curated a list of 54 sherrys, ranging from the dry “fino”s to sweeter variations. Several are priced at $6 or less. Just like in Madrid, the menu focuses on snacks vs. heavy meals, when it comes to sherry pairings. Each drink comes with free snacks, curated to pair with whichever sherry you order (expect: manzanilla olives, peanuts or walnuts or bitter chocolate) and the menu features four types of cured ham (which glow in the back of the main room like the lights at the end of the long-day-at-work-tunnel).” – Svetlana Legetic


600 14th Street NW

“For MXDC though, English offers simple dishes with high-quality and high-flavor ingredients. Their tacos range from a grilled soy-ginger skirt steak, to pork belly, to huitlacoche (or, mushrooms that grow on corn). Even their side dishes are accompanied by unique flavors, like their guacamole with serrano chile and shaved crab meat.” – Brandon Weight



3401 Water Street NW

“The menu is overseen by Chef Gerard Pangaud, the youngest ever two-star Michelin honoree, who, as luck would have it, grew up on Malmaison street in Paris. The menu is classic french bistro with a twist: beet and seafood appetizers are followed by entrees like poached lobster and duck confit, and all of it can be finished off with a dessert selection by Pastry chef Serge Torres.” – Svetlana Legetic



Casa Luca


1099 New York Avenue NW

“While the menu is as mouthwatering and traditional as we’ve come to know and love from its older sibling, Casa Luca’s experience is wholly separate with family-friendly, shareable dishes all perfected with simplicity.” – Stephanie Breijo


Taco Bamba

2190 Pimmit Drive, Falls Church, VA

“The menu also boasts a variety of non-taco items, from sides to traditional desserts. If you’re feeling adventurous, decadent, or simply really, really hungry, take on the Torta Bamba: stuffed with ham, hot dogs, enchilada, carne asada, chorizo, cheese, chicken milanesa, beef milanesa, pineapple and mayo. This monster of a meal could easily feed a family of four and still yield leftovers.” – Farrah Skeiky


Maketto Pop-Up

2005 14th St NW

“Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s temporary pop-up, and future H Street restaurant/cafe/Durkl retailer, has a comforting goal. ‘I want people to have dinner at my mom’s house,’ according to the chef. Since foodies can’t flock to Bruner-Young’s mom’s house, he’s serving family style dinner and dim sum on 14th St NW for the next three months.” – Brandon Wetherbee




315 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

“The prix fixe portion of the menu begins with the first course, with options ranging from a house salad, to their french onion soup, to a seasonal soup of the day. The second course is all meat and potatoes, with your steak option determining the price – $28 for the steak maison flank steak, $38 for the ribeye, and $42 for the lean filet mignon. To dress the bœuf, they offer five options: the namesake béarnaise, a spicy béarnaise, au poivre, bordelaise, and a Maître D’Hôtel butter. Each order also comes avec frites, with as many of the herb-tossed shoestring fries as you’d like during the meal.” – Brandon Weight



2201 14th Street NW

“168 seats of delicious greek food, alcoholic lemonades on tap and a whole lot of whole animals await inside. Mike, all smiles-and-opening-week-beards is visibly proud. After all, this is the restaurant he’s been hoping to open for a while. After TOP CHEF and Zaytinya, he says, everyone was expecting him to open a Greek place. But, he wanted to do the Greek place right. So, first came Graffiato, with the food he grew up eating, food he feels most comfortable about. Now, two years in, after learning all the lessons and getting the team in fighting shape, they were READY to do Greek right.” – Svetlana Legetic


G Sandwich

2201 14th Street NW

“Sandwiches are relatively low on price, but big on flavor. Inspired by Chef Isabella’s upbringings in Jersey, the sandwiches are a mix of what he loved to eat, and what he now loves to make. The traditional Italian hero and chicken parm open up the menu, but additions like the  roast suckling pig sub prove that Chef Isabella is a master of the rotisserie spit. At the moment, sandwiches are served from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, but the shop plans to add an evening carryout service soon.” – Brandon Weight


Flat Iron Steak and Saloon

808 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

“The latest establishment to join the fray (less the seafaring obsession) is Flat Iron Steak and Saloon, a Midwest-style bar and grill on King Street. The bar upstairs is wallpapered in both a fake book pattern and flat screen TVs, should you feel the need to catch up on any slumping local baseball teams or pretend to read. The cocktail list looks like the usual upscale fare; the Manhattan I tried was particularly good, but I’m partial to a glass of cold bourbon with a cherry in it.” – Jeb Gavin


Miss any of your (new) favorites? Drop a note in the comments and we’ll pop ’em in.