The 6 Best New Restaurants in DC
Your favorite spots have new locations
A new year brings new beginnings — and new restaurant openings, too. January didn’t disappoint, with six new spots well worth your time and consideration, including the much-anticipated debut of a French brasserie, a pizza place offering a hefty slice and two beloved staples with new experiences.
Le Mont Royal
After much anticipation, Le Mont Royal finally opened its doors this month. We previewed the spot in October, where chef Bart Hutchins and owner/beverage director Chas Jefferson spoke about their desire to create a “French Disco” with accessible cuisine. The former Southern Hospitality location aims to demystify French haute cuisine with dishes like a Twinkie-like pastry stuffed with foie gras cream and cocktails like a maple syrup Old Fashioned. And it’s certainly finding its audience: The line for the opening night party snaked out considerably from the entrance, and its Instagram stories over the last few weekends suggest that the party is still roaring accordingly.
Colada Shop Dupont
Fun fact: Yours truly used to live within a stone’s throw of the newest Colada Shop location in the Dupont area and would happily spend most of my mornings there if I was still in the area. Located at 1900 N Street NW, Colada Shop Dupont serves delicious coffee, food and cocktails, all with a Cuban influence. A bigger space opens up the menu a bit, too, with a series of large-plate dishes, notably including arroz con jackfruit and a guava barbecue ribs plate. But those who love Colada’s Cuban sandwiches and strong coffee will have plenty to dig into for breakfast, lunch and happy hour, too. We recommend the mojito if you want to channel your inner Colin Farrell (Miami Vice era, not Banshees).
Pizza Serata/Crooked Run
Helmed by Lee Rogan, Jake Endres and Chris Morgan of Yasmine and Bammy’s fame, Pizza Serata and Leeburg’s Crooked Run now bring a local brewery and pizza to the Union Market area. Just down from St. Anselm, the space will stock a bevy of drinks — everything from mixed fermentation beers to traditional brews, cider, natural wines and more. On the pizza side, Morgan worked alongside Anthony Falco from Roberta’s in Brooklyn to develop the dough for the chunky, nine-inch pizzas. Most importantly, it travels quite well; I had a slice of my pepperoni pizza the next day and found it to be just as flavorful as the evening prior. That same bread serves as the base for the extensive sandwich menu, too, featuring plenty of Italian deli options.
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Bronze is January’s splashiest opening, with Maketto’s Keem Hughley helming the Afrofuturism-inspired restaurant alongside chef Toya Henry (Brooklyn’s Oxalis) and executive sous chef Martel Stone (Kith and Kin) in the former Smith Commons space on H Street. The three-floor restaurant is meant to take diners through a fictionized tale about Alonzo Bronze, a traveler who explored the globe, “searching for new cultures to learn from and share with.” Rooted in the African Diaspora, the menu skews towards the fish and spice side of things, with dishes like torched oysters or charred squid alongside braised oxtail with pappardelle, all in a stunning, 5,300-square-foot-space.
Money Muscle BBQ
Right outside of College Park is the newest project from chef Edward Reavis and Jennifer Meltzer of All Set Restaurant & Bar. Located inside the Le Fantome Food Hall, this is the first brick-and-mortar location of the popular Silver Spring food truck, which offers all the smoked treats you could want — it’s a welcome addition to the sparse barbecue offerings in the DMV. Notable standouts include Texas-style brisket and Carolina pulled pork alongside new additions like the jerk-rubbed barbecue salmon skewers and loaded mac and cheese. Don’t forget the skillet cornbread.
Virginia residents will finally get a chance to join in on the kebab craze, thanks to Kirby Club. Rose Previte and Mike Schuster of Compass Rose and Maydan fame opened the new spot in a colorful, 75-seat locale in the Mosaic District of Fairfax, with plenty of dishes you’ll recognize if you’ve spent any time at Maydan, including kebabs, combo plates, breads, spreads and dips. That’s not to say Kirby Club is just another Maydan clone — far from it — but you’ll recognize the spirit of that space here. Another standout is the ability to let KC make you a plate with a few different selections (the “Green Plate” includes grilled oyster mushrooms, pickled eggplant salad and chermoula, for example) to get a wide variety of different options.
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