A “Butcher’s Omakase” and More of the Best New Restaurants in DC
Don't forget the Patrick Swayze-themed speakeasy
D.C.’s best new restaurants have a real grab-bag vibe this month, from a Korean barbecue hotspot to a beachy dining room with a Patrick Swayze-themed speakeasy (no kidding), featuring Johnny’s favorite drink from Dirty Dancing. (That would be a Utica Club.)
Elsewhere, we’ve found a new cocktail-cum-kebab shop in Union Market and luxe, locally-sourced Central and South American fare in the Wharf. Where will you head first?
You’re here because: You’re already a fan of Michelin-starred Maydan, so this new spot from three alums is just up your alley. GM Said Haddad and chefs Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan have teamed up to bring kebabs and cocktails to Union Market. Yasmine unites impeccable attention to detail with a low-key, fast-casual, comfort-food vibe.
You’re dining on: An assortment of grilled meats, thinly shaved shawarma and crisp falafel, all piled on house-made pita and served with sauces, veggies and bright pickles galore. Be sure to order spreads like hummus or eggplant mutabbal to share, and don’t miss the drinks including an arak service with your choice of add-ons, like mixed olives or dates with orange zest and salt.
You’re here because: You’ve been looking for a new luxe go-to at the Wharf, and this sunlight-filled restaurant ticks all the boxes. Flora Flora is one of three dining rooms at the Pendry hotel: Bar Pendry in the lobby offers a cocktail bar vibe and the perfect aperitif tipples, while Moonraker boasts scenic rooftop views. This poolside eatery completes the trifecta.
You’re dining on: A seasonal menu of locally sourced dishes with influences from Mexico and Peru. Plant-based offerings make up half of the bold menu, with crispy avocado tacos, a vegan squash blossom quesadilla and golden beet tostadas. Carnivorous diners have plenty of options as well, like a lomo saltado with beef tenderloin and pickled chiles or chicken tortilla soup. Dinner offerings will be coming soon!
You’re here because: You’re brushing up on your golf swing (or just having a fun day out with friends) and need something to fill your bellies once the fun is done. CitySwing has just launched its full food and beverage program, with classic country club cocktails like Old Fashioneds, Sidecars and Transfusions.
You’re dining on: A short menu of shareables, “Sandies,” salads and more. “Caddies” include a classic burger or grilled salmon slider, while a shareable platter of “S’Wings” come with your choice of sauce or seasoning ranging from classic Buffalo to local Old Bay. “Zerts” include cake pops, mini cheesecakes and “The Tari,” marrying bananas, apples, honey, almond butter, crushed almonds and a hint of salt. Indulge at the bar, in the lounge or in your personal golf suite.
You’re here because: If you can’t go on vacation, you bring the vacation home. (Or you’re just a massive Patrick Swayze fan.) Vagabond is anchored around a beachy main room with a forthcoming rooftop, and there’s a Swayze-themed speakeasy downstairs that notably serves Utica Club, Johnny’s go-to in Dirty Dancing. Learn his moves, and you’ve got date night on lock.
You’re dining on: Dishes hailing from top surf destinations around the globe. Think Portuguese sardines with seafood butter or ahi tuna ceviche with wasabi avocado purée. Mains include sliders on King’s Hawaiian rolls or grilled head-on prawns with charred tomato polenta. Portuguese fish stew is perfect as colder weather sets in. Wash it all down with a Mexican lager or cocktail like Las Dunas featuring house-made pineapple-infused vodka and coconut lime foam.
You’re here because: Someone said “butcher’s omakase,” and you said, “Sign me up.” This Korean barbecue spot from Seoul natives and brothers Sunghoon and Kibum Kim stands out from the fray with its special charcoal-gas-hybrid grills, which lend a smokier flavor to whatever you’re cooking.
You’re dining on: An assortment of top-quality meat selected by the team’s master butcher. Yes, you’ll find standards like pork belly, brisket and boneless kalbi, but you can also dig into wagyu flap, dry-aged ribeye or marinated whole “giant rib” kalbi. Choose your own meats or opt for the $59 omakase. A small selection of banchan as well as a handful of cooked dishes like kimchi stew and bulgogi sushi are also on offer, but really, come here hungry for meat, and you won’t be sorry.
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