The 5 Best Restaurants That Opened in DC This September
An all-day Italian cafe, photogenic egg sandwiches and a "Kentucky meets Korea" steakhouse
To keep tabs on every D.C. restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Let’s eat.
As autumn soldiers on, we feel like we’re “back”… whatever that means. Back in the office (sometimes). Back in our real clothes (occasionally). Certainly back to getting excited about trying something new … and that’s where these spots come in. From a revamped steakhouse with a Korean flair to a brand-new locavore spot in one of DC’s coolest hotels, we’ve got something for everyone.
You’re here because… you’ve got visiting friends (yay!) staying at the Line Hotel — or you’re just psyched to check out the latest addition to the trendy locale that was once home to A Rake’s Progress. This new, all-day spot focuses on local farmers, fishers and ranchers for its Mid-Atlantic meals, offering something for everyone, hotel guest or not.
You’re dining on… Chef Opie Crooks’ creative approaches to local ingredients and flavors. Think potato chips dusted in crab spice, Chesapeake oysters with heirloom pepper mignonette, or a salad of local heirloom beets, berries and candied walnuts. A board of house-cured charcuterie made from local pork is served with black pepper biscuits; a bacon steak (yeah, you read that right) comes paired with spicy sorghum and peaches. And don’t miss desserts from pastry chef Alicia Wang, like the ginger-spiked s’mores pie or gooey butter cake with black raspberry ice cream.
1770 Euclid St. NW (map)
You’re here because… You were a fan of Succotash in its original form (and are excited to see the revamped menu, about half of which is brand-new), or you’re just keen to discover chef Edward Lee’s luxury Kentucky-meets-Korea steakhouse for the first time, and now that it’s had a major makeover, it’s finally your moment.
You’re dining on… one of six cuts of sustainably raised, house-smoked local beef paired with a range of sauces like furikake-spiked blue cheese or mint chimichurri. Other Southern faves like shrimp and grits or local catfish also feature on the menu, which boasts sides like stalwart Old Bay mac and cheese or kimchi-spiced collards with a fusion flair. A hat tip to a vegetarian option that doesn’t feel like an afterthought: eggplant and roasted beets are combined with brown rice and black eyed peas for a hoppin’ john worthy of the name.
915 F Street NW (map)
You’re here because… you’re a longtime fan of this DC food truck staple’s nearly pornographic egg sammies and are ready to enjoy your runny yolk, not dripping down your forearms, but over a plate at this new brick-and-mortar diner-inspired spot in Cleveland Park.
You’re dining on… any of 15 innovative and creative sandwich options, almost all of which have already been tested and approved on the truck. Choices range from a BLT made with house-cured bacon to BBQ pulled pork to smoked salmon and caper tapenade — all topped with a fried egg, of course. You could also go for a bowl like the Brussels sprouts Caesar, and don’t miss a side of tater tots in flavors ranging from ranch to cinnamon sugar.
3420 Connecticut Ave., NW (map)
You’re here because… you love the high-end sushi and izakaya at Lucas Irwin’s NaRa-Ya, but your wallet has been begging you to find something a little bit cheaper to get your Japanese food fix. The team’s new dressed-down kiosk counterpart more than fits the bill.
You’re dining on… a short-and-sweet (but ever-rotating) selection of rolls, steamed buns, and dumplings. Think a spicy tuna roll with house furikake seasoning or a Japanese fried chicken bun with chili glaze. Veggie selections like a vegetarian dumpling or crispy cauliflower bun with spicy mayo are always on offer too.
890 Wharf St, SW (map)
You’re here because… you’re already a fan of Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian cuisine, but now that you’re back in the office, you need a spot where you can grab a morning espresso or a tasty lunch on the reg. This all-day Italian café is perfect for the downtown office crowd, with fresh-baked pastries for breakfast as well as sandwiches, pastas and homemade gelato, not to mention a full Italian bar for after-work drinks (remember those?).
You’re dining on… salads like heirloom tomatoes with farro and whipped ricotta and sandwiches like an Italian-accented tuna — ideal for a midweek lunch. More copious plates perfect for dinner include Amish chicken Milanese or eggplant parm. And it wouldn’t be Officina without Stefanelli’s famous pastas: tagliatelle is paired with local mussels and chili, while ravioli is filled with ricotta and tossed with a sauce of corn, anchovy and basil. Be sure to snag an Italian cocktail like a kickass negroni or a vodka-spiked Sicilian lemonade.
1615 L St NW (map)
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