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As our SPRING/SUMMER FOOD Guide amply exhibited, this is going to be AN INTENSE (and exciting) new spring/summer in terms of restaurant openings. 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.


If the man behind Oval Room, Rasika, Bombay Club, 701, Bibiana, Ardeo and Rasika West End (and famously present at all of his restaurants EVERY NIGHT, to ensure hands-on quality) wants to open a new place, who are we to not just line up and be as excited as humanly possible? The concept is “cutting edge brasserie” and the great news is – nopa Kitchen+Bar looks pretty amazing.


The restaurant occupies the space previously had by ZOLA, and the name is, as you imagine, a nod to the restaurant’s location, just north of Pennsylvania ave. Greg McCarty, who spent time working in some of the best kitchens around (namely Jean Georges and Nobu 57) is the executive chef and the menu at the 160 seat eaterie will be an Americanized version of classic french fare including brasserie standards such as steak frites contry pates and roast chicken, but also items like a smoked bluefish plate, and rockfish with andouille broth.


The space itself is bathed in bright light, with white washed and rich wood walls, sumptuous leather seating and gorgeous artwork-obviously a spot to come to, sit down and make yourself TRULY comfortable.


Of course, the bar which was a big focal point of the location before, remains a strong entity, with a cocktail list of both classics such as the Sazerac or French 75 (no twists, just perfect execution) and seasonal specialty drinks, with all the prices landing at a neat $10. In terms of wine, the menu is about 60% American, 40% French and wines by the glass will range from $8-14, with bottles in the $30-90 area. Beer wise, “we just wanted to be the yes bar-if you ask for it, we want to have it”- so expect everything from DC Brau to yes, Bud Light, recognizing the inevitable Caps after game business the bar will be fielding.


The anticipated kick off night is May 6th so, get those reservation number dialing fingers ready, this is definitely going to be a good one.

Now, enjoy some more of Shauna’s gorgeous shots of the gorgeous space, and start photoshopping yourself in there: