Nothing feels more pre-Covid than obsessing over which new restaurant to try. Luckily, several restaurateurs and chefs are working hard to make sure there are plenty of fresh, new dining options. Here are 10 new spots to watch out for this fall and winter.
Bistro Du Jour
Opening early October
KNEAD Hospitality + Design remained busy over the summer, opening a Mah-Ze-Dahr bakery outpost at National Landing, launching Mi Casa in Dupont and launching Succotash Prime, a “Southern steakhouse with an Asian twist.” The group is at it again with an all-day Parisian cafe at The Wharf, featuring Mah-Ze-Dahr pastries and espresso drinks in the morning, plus bistro classics like coq au vin, French onion soup, steak frites and foie gras from lunch through dinner. Look out for patio seating, brunch and a bubbly bar. 99 District Sq. SW, DC; bistro-dujour.com // @bistrodujour
Opening fall 2021
When you’re feeling the urge for a road trip, book a table at the soon-to-open, equestrian-themed inn located in Washington, Virginia. You’ll find chef Bin Lu, formerly of Pineapple and Pearls and Bourbon Steak, serving a four-course menu of contemporary American cuisine. Reserve one of the gorgeously renovated guest rooms, indulge in the wine and spirits tasting room, and take in the picturesque 80 acres flanked by Blue Ridge Mountains by daylight. The dining room also features a stone fireplace and sunset views. 12567 Lee Hwy. Washington, VA; bluerockva.com // @bluerockvirginia
Opening fall 2021
Named for the Hebrew word meaning “the place,” this modern kosher spot at the George Washington University Gewirz Hillel Center is fancier than your average fast-casual. Hamakom touts options like mission fig and tahini toast with maple butter and sea salt, or the BBQ brisket smoked in-house and served with cherry barbecue sauce, braised collards and vegan mac and “cheez.” You don’t need to keep kosher to appreciate a Nashville hot chicken sandwich fried in schmaltz and topped with pickles, slaw and a secret sauce — held together by a challah bun, naturally. 2300 H St. NW, DC; hamakomdc.com // @hamakom
Opening early October
Chef/Owner Philippe Massoud brings his blend of modern and traditional Lebanese cuisine from New York’s Flatiron District to D.C. with his new outpost at The Wharf. Massoud spent a few years in D.C. working on the upscale Mediterranean eatery Neyla in Georgetown before moving to New York and opening the original ilili. The menu at ilili, which means “tell me” in colloquial Lebanese, will feature hot and cold mezza, plus entrees like Wagyu kebabs with bone marrow and caviar or pan-seared scallops with sunchoke chips, labneh tahini and pickled rhubarb. 100 District Sq. SW, DC; ililirestaurants.com // @ililirestaurants
Opening late September/early October
Chef David Deshaies and restaurant partner Eric Eden brought us upscale diner food with Unconventional Diner, and now they’re shooting for “glam Italian” with L’Ardente. Set to open any day in the Capitol Crossing development, the French-born chef says he and Eden were inspired by their love of Italian food and travels to Italy. Deshaies is excited for his team, who excels in the categories the menu will cover: grilled meats, veggies, pizza and pasta. Eden predicts, “I think our lasagna — it’s 40+ layers — is going to be a real crowd-pleaser.” 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; lardente.com // @lardentedc
Sibling restaurateurs Jessica Solis and chef Alfredo Solis introduced many Washingtonians to the rich and varied cooking of Mexico with Anafre, El Sol and Mezcalero. They now plan to open a seafood-forward restaurant just a block or so from their original El Sol location that will serve ceviche, lobster and dishes found in coastal and island Latin communities. The menu will also include lechón caribe and oxtail dishes formerly served at the duo’s now-closed Cuban restaurant, Little Havana. 1133 11th St. NW, DC; website TBD
Opening in December
Later this year, the former Montmartre space on Capitol Hill will be reborn as Newland, a new American restaurant from the team behind Beuchert’s Saloon and Fight Club. Chef Andrew Markert named the newcomer after the Baltimore street where he grew up. He’ll showcase local dishes and ingredients from his childhood, like crab and char-grilled steak, and will also pull from his background in Italian and French cuisine. As always, Markert and beverage director Mackenzie Conway will incorporate local and seasonal ingredients, including fresh pastas. 327 7th St.
SE, DC; newlanddc.com // @newlanddc
Opening fall 2021
Chef Nicholas Stefanelli and his team at Creative Food Group are cooking up yet another downtown restaurant, hot on the heels of opening a third Officina. Instead of leaning into the Italian side of his family, as he did with Officina and Michelin-starred restaurant Masseria, Philotimo will play into his Greek side. The menu explores the culinary diversity of Greek food beyond the typical dishes we know (and love). 1100 15th St. NW, DC; philotimodc.com // @philotimodc
At his upcoming restaurant at the corner of 14th and U Street NW, chef Peter Prime will continue to pay homage to the food he grew up eating. He plans to riff on those dishes more than at Cane, the first restaurant he opened with sister and business partner Jeanine Prime. “A lot of stuff will be inspired by the neighborhood in Trinidad we take our name from,” Prime says. “I’m going to give myself more freedom than at Cane.” The seasonal menu will include the iconic Trinidadian callaloo, which comes with a whole crab. “Our callaloo is going to be ridiculous,” he says. “I’m really excited to share it.” 2017 14th St. NW, DC; stjames-dc.com // @stjamesdc
Opening late September
This Foggy Bottom food hall spans a whopping 12,300 square feet and houses more than a dozen eateries. The first phase, which opened in late September, includes familiar names like Roaming Rooster, Capo Italian Deli, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and RAWish. Later this fall, expect exciting spin-off concepts like Tigerella from Ellē in Mount Pleasant and Sushi Onkei from Sushi Keiko in Glover Park, as well as newcomers Alitiko for Greek street foods and Nim Ali for Guatemalan street eats, among others. 2000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; westernmarketdc.com // @westernmarketdc
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