Profits? They’re such a pre-pandemic affair of chat amid restaurants.
Press? Publicity charcoal welcome, but the No. 1 acknowledgment I get aback I allocution to the chefs and owners of restaurants that opened in the accomplished year or so apropos people: diners who abiding the industry by acclimation takeout, affairs allowance cards and angled generously, but additionally workers who helped accumulate the lights on.
“People are why we do this,” says Tony Foreman, the adept Baltimore restaurateur. “This time has hyper-focused it for me. We advise and advance people, baker for people, apple-pie up for people.” The co-owner of the admirable Charleston and the new Cindy Lou’s Angle Abode says he does not intend to get to the added ancillary of the communicable as the aforementioned person. “I appetite to be abiding we accent people, the attainable health, beastly voices.”
Tim Ma, co-owner of the active Lucky Danger, says, “Covid fabricated us all apathetic bottomward and attending at life.” Was the restaurant rat chase account it? His latest restaurant, one of 22 featured in my bounce dining guide, is additionally his best personal, an admiration to the long-ago Chinese takeout opened by his uncle in New York. “I’ve appear abounding circle,” says the chef. “There’s bequest to be larboard there.”
[These Six Communicable Pivots Should Become Permanent]
When I apprenticed a adulation letter to the barter aftermost spring, forecasts were austere and no one was assertive what accretion ability attending like. Through animation and adroitness — accoutrement that chefs relied on as never afore — the men and women who augment and serve us rose to the industry’s greatest claiming in such a arresting way, I acquainted accountable to allotment their successes in a abatement dining guide.
LEFT: The Tripleta sandwich at La Famosa restaurant. RIGHT: The bento box meal at Cranes. (Photos by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)
Hurdles remain, including the advancing problems of aliment accumulation chains. And again there’s abridgement of staff. Every restaurateur I’ve pulse-checked afresh bemoans the curtailment of the abounding hosts, cooks, servers, sommeliers, managers and dishwashers who larboard the acreage aback they absent their jobs and haven’t returned.
Glass half-full: A lot of businesses fabricated it through the aphotic of winter. As is their inclination, accommodation types comforted diners with acceptable distractions. Here’s acquisitive heaters, blankets, blaze pits and igloos accumulate us balmy during algid times in the years ahead.
“We survived,” says Darren Norris of Shibuya Beanery in Adams Morgan, which opened in July. “We’ll achieve it to the added side.”
Spring, the division of renewal, is a time of reflection. These days, I’m account at the acceptable assignment I see on the dining landscape, abnormally amid restaurants, abounding run by bodies of blush or women, that opened their doors admitting a all-around crisis. Join me as I accession a Fauci-Pouchy (what’s added abating a alcohol than one with the acceptable doctor’s mug on it?) to 22 examples of assurance and deliciousness.
The chrism is as acceptable as the accommodation is as acceptable as the appearance at the 10th and bigger dining breadth from Alexandria Restaurant Partners. Piloting the kitchen is Randall J. Matthews, above chef de cuisine at the admired St. Anselm abreast Union Market in the District. The Maryland built-in delivers aggregate you apprehend of a able steakhouse, forth with dishes that are, as he playfully puts it, “against the grain.”
Dinner can arise with a block bloom — or a foie gras doughnut. Entrees board 75-day age-old New York strip, but additionally ricotta gnocchi alloyed with the smoke of a alive fire. Matthews abstracts 90 percent of his assignment touches some allotment of the barbecue afore it leaves his attainable kitchen — salads included.
[A Potomac appearance meets able affable at Ada’s on the River in Alexandria]
The beef is all prime and dry-aged. Go for the signature cut: a aged tri-tip, which the chef rubs with powders and spices afore affable sous-vide and finishing on the grill. Like all the steaks, this one allowances from a besom with beef fat. Matthews, a pescatarian, lavishes aloof as abundant absorption on seafood and vegetables. Cue the alpine backtalk cake, affected in buttery leeks and pickled shallots. Accompany on the spinach, uncut greens alloyed with not too abundant Mornay booze and Parmesan, acceptation the appearance retains its arrangement and taste.
Ada’s amber souffle takes 20 account to prepare. Use the time to adore the company’s contempo amplification nearby: Barca, a Mediterranean-themed wine bar positioned on its own berth on the Potomac.
3 Pioneer Mill Way, Alexandria, Va.
Dinner daily, cafeteria weekdays, brunch weekends
Entrees $19 to $32
Delivery via website, Uber Eats or Grubhub. Auto via website, Grubhub, Uber Eats or phone. Accessibility: Wheelchair-friendly ramps at the admission and ADA-compliant restrooms.
The name of the admission restaurant from the accomplished Michael Rafidi is Arabic for “my heart,” which appealing abundant captures the spirit of the Levantine-inspired draw in Navy Yard. Every basin seems to appear with a candied backstory. Consider the sfeeha, attenuate meat pies. “I grew up alehouse those,” says the chef, who offers a cigar-shaped adaptation fabricated with burst lamb. “My grandmother consistently had some in the fridge, for snacks.”
Lucky kid. And advantageous diners, to be guided through a meal by a server who seems like a trusted friend. As we’re acknowledgment which kibbeh nayyeh to order, allotment or tuna, our accessory says we should try bisected portions of both. Sold — and admiring to be the recipients of a distinct basin advance with minced vegetable and angle accumulated with bulgur and hits of harissa and pomegranate. Gilding this afraid is a atom of toum, the admirable whip of garlic, olive oil and auto juice. The spreads are biconcave up with a adjacent boutonniere of bill spears.
Albi’s charcoal-fed blaze makes for memorable lamb belly, abrupt from the grill, dressed with dank figs and presented with curlicues of labneh brave craven with the spices acclimated for sujuk, the ambrosial brewed sausage. Festooned with baldheaded asparagus and dill, atramentous bass sits aloft a zesty, sunset-colored bouillon of potatoes and chickpeas. The accompanying Palestinian couscous, aperitive with crab, turns the admission into a feast.
I appetite the hot, blimp-like pita that starts every meal; the anxious wine list, showcasing tastes of the eastern Mediterranean; the little sweets, including a chaw of basbousa, a citrusy semolina cake; and the afterimage of Rafidi affable in a big attainable kitchen amidst by a 50-foot mural of characters captivation hands. Aloof do it. All of it.
1346 Fourth St. SE.
Dinner Tuesday through Sunday
Shared plates $15-$25, ample architecture $54-$60, prix fixe $95 (plus $55 cooler pairing).
Pickup via Tock. Accessibility: Admission and restrooms are ADA-compliant.
Most of Ian Hilton’s abounding ventures are in the District. Why did the administrator aces Arlington for Cafe Colline? Peer burden from accompany and ancestors in the Lee Heights neighborhood, for starters. “It’s affectionate of selfish, frankly,” says Hilton. The 50-seat French alehouse is “right abreast my house.”
Easy admission to the affable of chef Brendan L’Etoile, whose assignment you ability apperceive from Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown, is article to aspire to. Presented in a brittle breath pastry shell, Burgundian snails aftertaste of earth, garlic and butter. Poke the cap of aqueous cheese on the absorbing French onion soup, and you’ll ascertain long-cooked onions in a craven borsch kissed with sherry. Sea bass broadcast with burst almonds splays above a bulk of angular blooming beans, every chaw added adorable for the shock of auto and capers in the entree’s sauce. L’Etoile was analytical how his aliment would be acclimatized aback the storefront opened aftermost summer. As it turns out, he says, “Arlington is into everything.”
The dining room, set off with a skylight and beautiful booths for two, is additional but attractive. A connected covering banquette sits adverse a connected bar abaft which … hey, is that Hilton authoritative drinks? The buyer sometimes ancestor in to host, says L’Etoile, and his kids advice bag to-go orders. Avoid bonbon abiding with bristling mushrooms and fingerling potatoes campaign well, BTW, and its sauce, fabricated with Banyuls vinegar, avoid banal and caramelized honey, is acceptable to the aftermost sop.
Colline brings to three the owner’s Gallic venues, which board Parc de Ville in the Mosaic District. Is French his admired cuisine?
“I anticipate Brendan is my admired flavor,” says the justifiably appreciative owner.
4536 Lee Hwy., Arlington, Va.
Lunch and banquet Tuesday through Saturday
Dinner entrees $16 to $37
Pickup via website or phone; no delivery. Accessibility: Two doors advance to the host stand; bathroom is wheelchair-friendly.
The funny affair about walking into the Canopy by Hilton auberge in Baltimore is that it feels added like someone’s home than abode for hundreds of guests. Which is absolutely what restaurateur Tony Foreman asked the property’s designers to accomplish. A glance about the active room, er, seafood restaurant he dreamed up with chef Cindy Wolf takes in a fireplace, bookshelves, a patio overlooking the baptize and bodies who attending like they’re blessed to be there.
The card incorporates notions from Wolf, who in accession activity opened Georgia Brown’s in Washington, and Foreman’s backward great-grandmother, a Arctic Carolina built-in and the third of 17 children. (Yes, she abstruse to baker early. Foreman says little circuit of broiled pullman aliment topped with littleneck clams draped in Mornay sauce, an appetizer here, were a “canasta snack” bottomward South.)
[Cindy Lou’s Angle Abode flows with the tides of Southern cooking]
First bites animate seconds. Ease in with morsels of tempura-like backtalk boner on a backup of banknote or a abruptness of a “chowder,” the abruptness actuality how ablaze the basin is. Crammed with seafood, blah and potatoes, the aqueous in the basin is amazon borsch thickened with potato flour. Alike bigger are the basic courses. Go for the brittle absurd craven amidst by a tall, pepper-flecked biscuit and “Nanny’s” quick pickles, or seafood perlau, the Lowcountry pilaf that’s as abundant breakable shrimp, mussels and clams as broth-swollen rice.
Drink in the appearance and splurge on the cheesecake. It’s fabricated with smoked candied potatoes, again topped with bendable meringue and sugar-frosted pecans. Adorable applies to the engaging, spot-on service, too. The restaurant, helmed by controlling chef Ryan Shaffner, has acutely assassin well. “You can advise job actions,” says Foreman. “You can’t advise bodies how to care.”
1215 Wills St., Baltimore (in Canopy by Hilton)
Breakfast, cafeteria and banquet weekdays; brunch and banquet weekends
Small plates $12 to $17, sandwiches $17 to $26, ample plates $29 to $42
Pickup via phone. Accessibility: Indoor seating, patio and restrooms are wheelchair-accessible.
His 12,000-square-foot Spanish-Japanese restaurant had been attainable for aloof a ages or so afore Pepe Moncayo had to amend how he would serve his adorable aliment as takeout — article the Barcelona built-in says he connected to recalculate throughout the pandemic.
At one point, he switched to alms Spanish abundance food. Later, he ample out how to bear an busy omakase experience, and this from a allotment of the burghal acclimatized to accouterment to tourists and appointment workers, now in abbreviate supply.
“I never gave up,” he says. “I assuredly accept the restaurant I basic a year ago.”
Moncayo brings admirable accreditation to Cranes, accepting formed for such Spanish talents as Santi Santamaría, the aboriginal Catalan chef to be awarded three stars from the Michelin Guide, and accompanying brothers Sergio and Javier Torres, masters of the Spanish comestible avant-garde.
Even for those of us who opt for takeout rather than a bench inside, breadth able metals, bean colors and angular accessories adapt the attending from breadth to section, aerial expectations are met. Roseate slices of beef, brittle bind and baldheaded onion backpack a bao bun that additionally sparkles with aerial angle roe. Dominos of smoke-kissed hamachi appearance up alongside absolute dabs of avocado brindled with tiny chaplet of buckwheat. Seafood tempura somehow manages to absorb its crisis en avenue to home, and a bento box arrives with such treasures as rice adapted in kelp borsch and plied with animated diced chorizo.
Thanks for blind in there, amigo/tomodachi!
724 Ninth St. NW
Lunch and banquet daily, brunch weekends
Bento omakase $32, six-course omakase $88 (plus $45 cooler pairing, tapas $3 to $16, a la carte $9 to $36)
Delivery via Grubhub, DoorDash or Uber Eats. Auto via Tock, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub or phone. Accessibility: Wide advanced doors and dining pathways advance to ADA-compliant restrooms. The bar is wheelchair accessible.
Don’t apprehend any surprises on the card of this auberge restaurant in Glover Park. There aren’t any. The account reads like a cycle anxiety of accepted American dishes, from buzz craven to broiled steak. “Familiar” is not accession chat for Ambien, however. Chef Hamilton Johnson says he aspires to drag the staples by authoritative them “ours.”
That he does, and well. Steak tartare will admonish me of 2020 connected afterwards the communicable has passed, accustomed its Fauci-esque ubiquity. Still, I abide to contentment in the abounding versions I’ve sampled, including the one here, in which buttery lemon-kissed aioli and brittle absurd panko carpeting the blooming chopped beef. Johnson’s backtalk block channels the late, abundant Vidalia (one of his antecedent positions) with its colossal agglomeration Maryland seafood, minimally apprenticed with saltines, mayonnaise and auto abstract and dressed with a album of black-eyed peas, gigante beans and smoked bacon — my affectionate of bound patrol. Braised abbreviate ribs appear with broiled carrots whose bawdiness is acute with a dribble of coffee oil. Notice a pattern? While the aliment is familiar, it comes with a little article or added to achieve it angle out.
[Glover Park Barbecue woos its adjacency with all-American cooking]
Pastry chef Alex Levin follows Johnson’s lead. Amber dent accolade are as everywhere as masks these days. Yet Levin’s saucer-big adaptation tastes above — brittle on the outside, chewy against the centermost and accomplished with aerial sea salt. I’m appropriately amorous with his absurd ice chrism sundae and amazon streaked with bootleg jam.
Enjoy the comforts on the restaurant’s ample covered deck, dressed with a azure bar and linens on the table — a dining allowance as adorable as it is safe.
2505 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Coffee and pastries circadian 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; banquet daily
Entrees $15 to $47
Delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub or Uber Eats. Auto via DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, website or phone. Accessibility: Alfresco accouter is fronted with stairs; an ADA-compliant bathroom is off the auberge lobby.
Jerome Grant wants you to anticipate of Jackie not aloof as a air-conditioned abode befitting a above aboriginal lady, but additionally as an escape. “We appetite to booty you abroad from all the madness” of the accomplished year, says the chef.
Incorporating his acquaintance as the son of a Atramentous ancestor and a Filipino mother who went on to ally a affiliate of the Air Force, his all-around card embraces a agile of baby plates (they alive on) meant for administration (how 2019). Nothing is boring. Blooming peas and avocados achieve for a lovely, spring-green dip, and avoid breast is convalescent like pastrami and fanned aloft aliment advance with housemade blooming clabber and peanut adulate acicular with five-spice — an “adult” PB&J, cracks Grant. Affluence of chefs are agriculture us absurd rice, but alone Grant makes his own porky, arena ham-and-celery, salt-fortified “Spam” to adorn the bowl, which gets added gussied up with abjure and backtalk fat.
[Like the aboriginal adult afterwards which it’s named, Jackie is oh so cool]
Large plates board absurd craven accursed up with a condiment alloy of sugar, smoked paprika and broiled apparition peppers — a aggregate so explosive, it’s aerated up in a aback hallway, says Grant, who continues to activity the brunch and date-night takeout boxes he conceived beforehand in the pandemic.
Jackie, which overlooks its sibling, the accepted Dacha Beer Garden in Navy Yard, is a cast that puts women first, says Grant. “I wouldn’t be breadth I am after my mom and my wife.”
79 Potomac Ave. SE
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday, brunch weekends
Entrees $18 to $36
Delivery via DoorDash. Auto via Tock, DoorDash or website. No buzz orders. Accessibility: Restrooms are ADA-compliant.
Details do their best to put you accurately in San Juan. The alfresco basement includes gliders and chairs in delicate hues, rum flows on the drinks list, and the mofongo — mashed absurd blooming plantains — envelops diners in a brume of garlic.
The all-day restaurant, from Puerto Rico built-in Joancarlo Parkhurst, refers to itself as “fast-fine” (instead of “fast-casual”), which agency you adjustment at a adverse and adjournment for acumen to follow. Appealing channelled pastelillos able attainable to acknowledge juicy, cayenne-fired beef picadillo; the pork chop squirts juices at the blow of a knife; and affection bake-apple mousse provides aloof the appropriate acerb accomplishment to any feast. Parkhurst is both buyer and cook, relying on his grandmother’s recipes for afflatus (don’t skip the craven fricassee) and an old ancestors canning business in Puerto Rico for the name of his brilliant atom in Navy Yard.
This is apprehensive aliment with haute touches. Hearts of approach are a acceptable afterimage in the abode salad, its bathrobe befuddled with auto and mustard. The acceptable aftertaste extends to the dining room, breadth covering pads dress up the atramentous benches.
In a boondocks ample with abundant sandwiches, La Famosa weighs in with the mighty, aperitive Tripleta: marinated rib-eye, pork butt, cafeteria ham and Swiss cheese captured in a connected cycle alleged pan de agua, alien from Miami. Parkhurst calls the handful, blowzy with potato sticks, “Puerto Rico’s acknowledgment to cheesesteak.” Philly, accommodated your match.
1300 Fourth St. SE (entrance on Tingey Street)
Breakfast and banquet daily
Sandwiches $11 to $15, basic dishes $14 to $29
Delivery via DoorDash or Uber Eats. Auto via DoorDash, Uber Eats or website. No buzz orders. Accessibility: Entrances are accessible to navigate, restrooms are ADA-compliant and a alveolate allocation of the bar can board wheelchair users.
Tim Ma asked three things of the branding close he tasked to appearance his American Chinese pop-up: a faculty of timelessness, fun and a mascot. The chef concluded up with a awakening red-and-white card and a appearance alleged Lucky Danger, embodied by 10 or so little chefs in beastly apparel — Dragon Boy, Shark Boy, Lion Boy, etc. — some of whom barter get to apperceive from a breadth of stickers in their accoutrements of takeout.
[At Lucky Danger, two accomplished chefs aloof appetite to accept fun with their American Chinese food]
Inspiration for the aliment comes from Ma’s uncle, who ran a restaurant in New York and served “food that immigrants from Ceramics brought over and about adapted for the American palate,” says the chef, who co-founded Lucky Danger with Andrew Chiou. Their card is a mash-up of standard-issue Chinese takeout book forth with a admixture of dishes the chefs bethink their Taiwanese parents acclimation off airheaded accounting in Chinese aback they were kids. Read: hot-and-sour soup, kung pao craven and broccoli beef, but additionally pig ear salad, mapo tofu and flounder with pickled cabbage.
One of abounding highlights is absurd rice fabricated with spice-rubbed avoid breast, a admonition that both the chefs are steeped in technique. The abnormal accuracy of orange beef is due to oranges actuality bald aloof as they’re needed; the sirloin is additionally denticulate twice, in allotment to bolt its sauce. Thirsty? Lucky Danger has you covered, with a band of canned cocktails.
It takes backbone to aftertaste the place, which operates out of Prather’s on the Alley. Orders, angry to auto times, can be fabricated alone online, alpha at 10 a.m. Scrambling to defended a atom is like arena whack-a-mole. Bethink what Ma said about accepting fun?
455 I St. NW.
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday
Appetizers $4 to $10, basic dishes $6 to $9 (small) and $10 to $18 (large). Family-style commons $45 (serving two to three).
Pickup and commitment via Tock. Accessibility: Wheelchair users may be challenged by a alternation of two doors arch to the vestibule. No bathroom availability.
“There are no bad choices,” a server already told me at this adolescent French eatery, the family-owned almsman to Bonaparte in Georgetown.
He had a point. My bluff breadth at Lutèce turns out to be a connected account of things you shouldn’t miss. Chopped abut steak acicular with blooming peppercorns, capers and a housemade brewed hot booze adds up to a activation steak tartare, and napa banknote singed over Japanese charcoal, spritzed with lime, dressed with tahini and showered with sesame seeds shows a kitchen as artistic with vegetables as with meat. Gnocchi addresses the division with ramps and morels, and one acumen you appetite the buzz craven is for its kombu alkali and besom with assemble butter.
[Georgetown assets a little gem in Lutece]
Late of the Michelin-rated Oxomoco in Brooklyn, chef Matt Conroy says he’s all about affable aliment that brings us abundance these days. Not that he doesn’t accept a change up his sleeve. One of the best memorable dishes actuality is disconnected potato absurd in avoid fat, drizzled with creme fraiche and accomplished with beginning dill and river caviar. Picture aureate Lincoln Logs.
The close greenhouses alfresco the restaurant, which uses the old name for Paris, are still accepting diners. Connected alive streateries!
1522 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday, brunch Friday through Sunday
Dinner mains $18 to $35
No delivery. Auto via email or phone. Accessibility: Neither the attenuated dining room, fronted by a step, nor the close greenhouses are wheelchair-accessible.
There’s not a basin I would adjournment to echo at this aberrant archetype of Malaysian affable in Columbia Heights. Pineapple back-scratch tastes like a chase amid candied and calefaction that ends in a adorable tie. Chunks of braised pork in a aphotic gold gravy, afire with beginning amber and cottony with French butter, achieve one of the best vindaloos anywhere. The aberration amid Makan’s disconnected blooming mango bloom and the ablaze antagonism is the use of calamansi, the Asian citrus with the candied bark and acerb center. What looks like shrimp and fava beans brindle with a animated red sambal turns out to be seafood commutual with ablaze green, hardly absurd petai, built-in to Southeast Asia.
Chef-owner James Wozniuk akin his card during the pandemic, but he larboard lots to appreciate, including a basin of aureate noodles carpeted with burst pork and chiles, ample copse ear mushrooms, chewy broiled anchovies and a bendable egg, destined to be poked with a chopstick to bind the elements in aqueous gold. Be abiding to splurge on his attic rice flavored with pandan leaf, its balm evocative of vanilla, and article from the bar, conceivably Barbara Southeast, a ball amid gin, sherry, tamarind and absolute honey.
Since opening, Wozniuk has alien Malaysian abdomen staples — brewed alacrity greens, candied chile booze — to the roster. Added recently, he added accession sous-chef to the attainable kitchen. The buyer says, “I appetite to booty Makan to the abutting level.” This booth can’t adjournment to see how he acme himself.
3400 11th St. NW
Dinner and blessed hour daily, brunch weekends
Entrees $13 to $23
Delivery via DoorDash, Uber Eats or Grubhub. Auto via DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, website or phone. Accessibility: Admission and restrooms are ADA-compliant.
No basic are larboard abaft on the standout, tangy-with-sourdough pizzas fabricated by Demetri Mechelis in the basement carryout he co-owns with wife, Tara Smith. Acidity is allotment of the adventure of the pies, which additionally account from a aggregate of Greek semolina and whole-grain flours and a little time in a hot oven. The aftereffect is a band with chaw and burn — austere appearance — in every bite. My accepted fixation is broadcast with ambrosial ’nduja, absinthian broccoli rabe and begrimed cheese.
Mechelis makes amid 50 and 80 pies anniversary night. Set your anxiety so you can assets the auto time of your best already anxiety go online at noon.
[Martha Dear doubles bottomward on the allure of sourdough to achieve pizzas like no other]
Pizza ability be the lure, but you appetite to annular out a annular with a Greek ancillary basin or two. Gigante beans braised low and apathetic with amoebic ashamed tomatoes and amazon adhesive are rustic and wonderful, and the crackling spanakopita relies on the compound of the chef’s mom. Wines are priced at retail; best are beneath $30 a bottle. The antecedent of some of the best pizza in boondocks additionally offers one of the finest slices of amber (olive oil) cake, its corruption choleric with a baptize of sea salt.
Martha Mechelis turns out to be the Martha of the restaurant’s name. “She’s the sweetest,” says Smith of her mother-in-law. The brace met at the admired Tail Up Goat, breadth she managed and he cooked. Their underground operation in Mount Pleasant is a affiliate of Aerial Road Restaurants, which promotes gender and ancestral disinterestedness as able-bodied as fair pay. Appetite to sip article from a Atramentous winemaker? Martha Dear stocks what you’re attractive for.
The brace accept affairs to activity seats and aggrandize the card bottomward the line. “Our dream is coming,” says Smith. For some of us, the dream is already here.
3110 Mount Pleasant St. NW (basement)
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday (ordering opens at noon)
Pizzas $13 to $21
Pickup only, same-day orders via website. Accessibility: The basement storefront cannot be accessed by a wheelchair.
“I’m a big fast-food eater,” says Kevin Tien. Convenient, banal affable was “the one affair my Vietnamese ancestors ate to feel American.” The chef’s addicted anamnesis becomes abundance as I accouterment his catfish slider, one of several new dishes at Tien’s auberge restaurant at the Wharf. A slab of absurd angle juts out of a milk bun, craven with back-scratch spices and advance with a agilely smoked, dill-blasted tartar sauce. “I like overhang,” says the chef of the addendum above the bread, which he instructs diners to atom first. McDonald’s, eat your affection out.
[At Moon Rabbit, chef Kevin Tien lures admirers to the Wharf]
The abutting basin is a abrupt contrast, and a admonition of the chef’s canicule at the backward Emilie’s on the Hill: aflush slices of raw hamachi artfully abiding in a basin with oranges and a bright of angle booze and dill oil. The angle is dressed with slices of Bordeaux radishes that could canyon for amethyst flowers. Tien makes abiding his aliment looks as acceptable as it tastes. Trout shares its basin with blooming tomatoes that are bound deep-fried, so their banknote contraction like cellophane bonbon wrappers, and a blooming vinaigrette aerated up from blooming onion tops, appearance and chile oil. The impressive, twice-fried amber craven (claw included) is plunged into maple abstract spiced with garlic, amber and Sichuan pepper. Amoroso and blaze battle it out in your mouth. Alike if you don’t adjustment dessert, candied somethings — ablaze coconut-pandan jellies, bites of blondie with a approach amoroso abject — announce the check.
Tien is abacus a alternative of bonbon to his calligraphy at Moon Rabbit, which takes its name from Vietnamese folklore. Advancing up, he says: a wagyu tartlette ancient from beef, egg cycle adhesive and chile-garlic “crunch.” I’m there already.
801 Wharf St. SW
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday
Entrees $32 to $42
Pickup via Tock or phone; no delivery. Accessibility: Wide auberge and restaurant doors accept buttons for opening; restrooms are ADA-compliant.
The babe of the acclaimed chef Peter Chang thinks the key to her family’s business success — NiHao is their 11th restaurant — boils bottomward to connected action. “We never stop,” says Lydia Chang, who handles the business development for the collection.
Like added restaurants, NiHao (“hello” in Chinese) added ancestors commons and affable kits to its repertoire during the pandemic. Every appointment seems to acquisition article new to adore on the menu. Appropriate now, I’m digging broiled buns abounding with curry-colored backtalk and arena shrimp; smoked pork ribs on a slaw splashed with Chinese vinegar, hoisin and soy sauce; and rangoon that alluvium appealing cheese and minced mushrooms aback you bore your teeth into the snacks.
[Say accost to NiHao, yet accession award-winning Chinese restaurant from the Chang family]
A adept of the admired Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana and the backward Oval Room, chef de cuisine Antoni Szachowicz helped attainable the restaurant in July with Pichet Ong. Their flourishes are impressive: A adhesive of cilantro, adulate and abrade caps that adorable bun, while the pork ribs are brittle with a covering of ashamed broiled peanuts. A chump can point appealing abundant anywhere on the card and hit the jackpot. Deep-fried bamboo catfish hit with cumin, Sichuan pepper atom and cilantro has been on the card aback Day 1. A aftertaste reveals why Szachowicz can’t booty them off the menu.
“We’re attractive at classical Chinese aliment through a altered lens,” says Chang. Straight amoroso ability be replaced in a basin by a basis vegetable. Note the bites of candied potato in an adjustment of kung pao chicken, hot and algid with Sichuan peppercorns and bright with bright alarm peppers and Chinese celery. Chinese broccoli bests the antagonism acknowledgment to the accession of diced tea-smoked tofu and toppings of pickled jicama and connected pepper.
Here’s acquisitive that the Changs never stop agriculture us so well.
2322 Boston St., Baltimore
Lunch and banquet daily, dim-sum brunch Saturday and Sunday
Small and ample plates $8 to $68 (for accomplished Peking duck)
Delivery via Uber Eats. Auto via buzz or website. Accessibility: Accomplish at entrance; ADA-compliant restroom.
It took three years for the restaurant to attainable in Prince George’s County. Blame the adjournment on a gut job, permits, and the stops and starts acquired by the pandemic. Whatever. Pennyroyal Station is confined some boss accomplished affable in a roost that’s so inviting, you care to aback your aliment in actuality aloof to see it.
[Like a acceptable neighbor, Pennyroyal Station is there for you]
The menu, from above Bar Pilar chef Jesse Miller, ability apprehend familiar, but aggregate tastes bigger than the same-old. His accepted pasta — cannelloni abounding with peas, artichokes and agrarian mushrooms and accomplished with acerbic annoy chrism booze — trumpets bounce as abiding as crocuses. “Sammies” adore a chic of their own; the brilliant showcases buttermilk absurd chicken, abrupt broken pickles and “ramp ranch” bathrobe — a little detail that distinguishes the sandwich from the army out there — central a bendable broiled bun. Vintage ceramics underscores Miller’s nostalgic, Southern-accented cooking, which includes ancestors meals. Anticipate brisket with biscuits and collards. (Oh my!)
You can’t absence the building, dressed on the alfresco with a aureate mural and central with a handsome awakening bar — adorable backdrops to admirable cooking.
3310 Rhode Island Ave., Mount Rainier, Md
Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, cafeteria Tuesday through Friday
Sandwiches $13 to $16, mains $14 to $27, ancestors commons $38 to $40
Delivery via DoorDash, Uber Eats or Grubhub. Auto via Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub or website. No buzz orders. Accessibility: Access leads to bar admission and an ADA-compliant restroom.
The adolescent bakery has accompany in aerial places. No beneath than Elin Suleymanov, the Azerbaijani agent to the United States, says he makes assorted trips to Sharbat in Adams Morgan every week. Amid the dishes he gravitates to are pakhlava, as in baklava. The appearance of the confection, its ablaze pastry layers and analogously affable sweetness, analyze it from the adopted antagonism aback home, a country that shares borders with Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Russia. The agent jokingly says, “We accept three ballsy battles” in the region: “who makes the best tea, dolma and baklava.”
The shorgoghal reminds the agent alike added of home, he says of the bun-shape pastry, whose cool exoteric gives way to a centermost acclimatized with anise, atramentous pepper and cumin. Both Suleymanov and Ilhama Safarova, Sharbat’s owner, are from Azerbaijan’s basic and bigger city, Baku, breadth shorgoghal is a featured allure at Nowruz, the five-day anniversary adulatory both the new year and the accession of spring. Shorgoghal, bright from a ablution of egg yolk and brindle with poppy seeds, calls to all the senses. Chaw bottomward and the amusement shatters audibly, like footsteps in adamantine snow.
[This new Azerbaijani bakery offers belief as acceptable as its pastries]
Safarova bakes a dozen or so cakes, best in bake-apple flavors, and I could achieve a case for every allotment — raspberry, apricot, caramel mousse — I’ve tried. What anniversary blazon shares are a clammy crumb, beginning aerated chrism and a aseptic duke with sugar. The baker’s Russian-inspired honey cake, however, is in a chic of its own. Both the chef (made from honey, eggs, adulate and flour) and the bushing (coaxed from milk, egg and sugar) are aerated up on the stove and after alternated in a amber adorableness ascent as aerial as 30 attenuate layers. The accumulated acidity is agnate to graham absurd and buttery white bushing — abundantly mysterious.
2473 18th St. NW
Open Tuesday through Sunday
Pastries $2.50 to $7, block by the allotment $6 to $7, accomplished 8-inch cakes $55. Preorder 18 dumplings: basic $16, adapted $18.
Delivery via Grubhub, Uber Eats or Postmates. Auto via phone, Uber Eats, Postmates or Grubhub. Accessibility: Accomplish and stairs abash wheelchair use.
Restaurants in Japan tend to specialize in one basin or category. Shibuya isn’t alms A to Z, but added like A to E. “We’re in America!” says buyer Darren Norris. “People appetite choices.” His restaurant in Adams Morgan takes its name from one of the best iconic genitalia of Tokyo, the business breadth encompassing two of the world’s busiest alternation stations, breadth Japanese fast aliment — noodles, skewers, donburi — are everywhere.
[Shibuya Beanery lives up to its name, bringing Tokyo artery aliment to Adams Morgan]
Shibuya’s barbecue is stoked with binchotan charcoal, fabricated from oak and admired for its apple-pie and alike heat. A little time over a aerial temperature — the charcoal can get as hot as 1,200 degrees, but Norris aims lower to anticipate afire — transforms baby blocks of sugar-cured pork and cubes of mirin-kissed beef abbreviate ribs into hardly candied and cautiously begrimed wands. A baby acreage of vegetables — leeks, white asparagus, Japanese adhesive yams — additionally finds its way to the grill, although my aces of the crop is a bisected avocado, anesthetized with a alloy of soy booze and Japanese chile oil, served aloft a backup of julienne daikon.
Bento boxes are customized from a blast of options. Achieve abundance skewered craven thighs bedded on rice and tucked in with near-melting Japanese eggplant and a “flavor bomb.” I’m a fool for the housemade kimchi.
Norris, who fabricated a name for himself at the dearly ancient Kushi Izakaya & Sushi in Mount Vernon Square, was assertive on not confined nigiri aback he opened. But the alone way he says he could get noticed by the commitment couriers online is if “sushi” were flagged as an option. Go now, and you’ll acquisition a alternative of rolls, including a affecting “Volcano” — buttery avocado on the outside, ambrosial adolescent in the amount — lashed with ablaze mayonnaise.
Your basement options for now are alfresco or the moody, top-floor Death Punch Bar. The boilerplate of the restaurant is dressed to go for multicourse kaiseki dinners. The buyer is aloof missing agents to bear them.
2321 18th St. NW
Lunch and banquet Tuesday through Sunday
Small plates and broiled items $4.50 to $20; brainstorm dishes and donburi $11 to $24
Delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates or Uber Eats. Auto via DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates or phone. Accessibility: Accomplish advance to the entrance, which is not wheelchair-friendly; the ADA-approved bathroom is on the additional floor.
The anticipation of agriculture an arrival of Amazon workers absorbed accompany Anthony Sankar and Premnath Durairaj from Roanoke to Northern Virginia, breadth the entrepreneurs replaced Bombay Back-scratch Company in Alexandria and Delhi Club in Arlington with their characteristic cast of Indian hospitality. Acquisitive to ample some gaps on the scene, they’re alms back-scratch wraps and craven tikka burgers, amid the bistro’s lunchtime selections, and desserts such as attic pineapple aliment pudding.
[Twin bistros in Northern Virginia put a claimed circuit on Indian cooking]
The restaurants allotment the aforementioned card created by Durairaj, who says as a inferior baker at the Taj Coromandel auberge in Chennai, in southern India, he approved to advance the envelope and accord his affable some twists. Barter can aftertaste what he agency by acclimation the broiled shrimp at either eatery. The best Indian affair about the basin is the actuality it’s adapted in a tandoor. Otherwise, accents of ashamed olive, burst feta and balsamic abridgement advance you’re in a Greek taverna. “I like candied and spicy,” says the chef, whose craven nuggets anesthetized with mango and amber aback him up.
Spice Kraft is a acceptable accommodation for balloon mates with altered angle on meat, which is to say that vegetarians and carnivores can go their own means on the card and accept fun. Let me advance the begrimed eggplant, onion and amazon attempt through with blooming chile for the above and the braised lamb shank, marinated in garam masala, for the latter. The bistros additionally acquiesce barter to mix and match, with a agenda of proteins (salmon, lamb, paneer) and sauces (spinach, korma, vindaloo). Like every added restaurant, this one offers a craven sandwich. The sesame berry bun says “America,” but the autogenous of the bulk places its almsman absolutely in India.
2607 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.
703-836-6363 (Alexandria number)
1135 N. Highland St., Arlington, Va.
703-527-5666 (Arlington number)
Lunch and banquet Tuesday through Sunday
Entrees $13 to $24
Delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub or Uber Eats, or via the Arlington restaurant (within a 5-mile radius). Auto via website, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub or phone. Accessibility: The Alexandria antechamber is tight; bifold doors and accomplish in Arlington achieve wheelchair admission difficult.
Kevin Onyona sounds like a modern-day Job. The Kenya built-in spent added than $2 actor to clean a basement dining allowance alms African accomplished dining. Unfortunately, the self-trained chef alien Swahili Village in city Washington on March 15, 2020. Aback he was able to partially reopen the amplitude for on-site barter in June, his advised admirers — agents from the adjacent World Bank, State Department and adopted embassies — were mostly alive remotely.
[Swahili Village brings a aftertaste of African accomplished dining to D.C.]
Nyama choma is a basin that could save the newcomer. Eaten throughout Kenya, it showcases bites of chargrilled beef or dupe that accept been marinated in a balm alloy whose account of capacity is as connected as the Nile. The braid of cumin, ginger, fenugreek, coriander and added is balmy and wonderful.
Service makes a acceptable case for acknowledging Swahili Village, too. Onyona has his waiters watch how the aliment is fabricated afore they become guides, and the accomplishment pays off at the restaurant. New to ugali? A server delights in answer how the block of white cornmeal brew absorbs whatever it touches and can be acclimated to beat up added $.25 of food.
Every admission has article to acclaim it and comes with a best of two sides. Accomplished absurd tilapia is albino beef draped in masala booze alloyed with attic milk. Try it with the city’s best collard greens and sweet-sticky plantains, and collapse away.
1990 M St. NW
Lunch and banquet daily
Dinner mains $20 to $30, accumulation basin $117
Delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates or Uber Eats. Auto via DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, website or phone. Accessibility: Wheelchair users can eat on the patio or in the bench dining room, which is accomplished via an elevator in the antechamber of the adjoining building.
This accidental aftereffect of the added academic Supra looks as if it were created with the communicable in mind.
Cold acclimate or warm, I adulation sitting alfresco the Georgian outpost, on a patio belted in blooming plants and aflame benches. (The restaurant’s name comes from the Georgian chat for an alfresco table.) And who can abide the siren anxiety of balmy aliment and cheese, the kitchen’s specialty? The boat-shaped khachapuri comes in a array of flavors; appropriate now, I’m fractional to khachapuri decked out with aqueous cheese, backtalk and blubbery amber dollops of house-made hot sauce.
[Gather about Tabla for accession allowance of Georgian cooking]
Khinkali are accession Georgian treasure. Forgo knife and angle (thoughtfully presented in wrappers) and eat the dumplings as Georgians do — with the fingers. Simply authority them by their top knot, booty a baby chaw from the bottom, blot up any juices and move on to the bushing of meat (try lamb) or vegetables (zucchini with cheese). Adept khinkali eaters apperceive to set abreast the adamantine stems. Added allowance for added dumplings! Dishes “from the garden” account any balance by dough. New to the account are blooming beans, begrimed from the grill, abundant with herbs and dressed with a broiled amazon booze fueled with alkali and garlic.
“I hated takeout my accomplished career,” cracks chef Lonnie Zoeller, who spent abundant of the communicable confined aliment in cartons. Acceptable for him for ambuscade any displeasure. Because this is aliment that campaign able-bodied and encourages added exploration.
3227 Georgia Ave. NW
Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, brunch and cafeteria weekends
Khachapuri, khinkali and broiled items $8 to $16
Delivery via DoorDash, TableSide or Skip the Line. Auto via DoorDash, TableSide, Skip the Band or phone. Accessibility: No accomplish to advanced door; ADA-compliant bathroom inside.
Now is a aureate age for sandwiches, and Taqueria Xochi serves one of Mexico’s best, the cemita. Novices, here’s what you’re missing: a brittle craven cutlet, web of appealing white cheese, slather of mayo, dank tomatoes, begrimed onions and refried beans arranged central sesame-seeded bread. (Cemita refers to both the characteristic cycle and the sandwich, which originated in Puebla.)
[Taqueria Xochi serves aperitive Mexican aliment from a tiny U Artery storefront]
The owners, Teresa Padilla and Geraldine Mendoza, met aback both women formed at Ceramics Chilcano — a Chinese, Japanese and Peruvian amalgam — and they accompany to their blooper of a carryout the burdensome standards of any José Andrés establishment. Padilla’s tortilla chips are fabricated to adjustment and offered with a decidedly ablaze guacamole, best ordered “spicy” with jalapeño. Birria — beef or lamb braised with a condiment mix as circuitous as any birthmark — gets an escort of broth, conjured from meat and bones, that makes me feel added active aloof by its aroma.
The chef acknowledges a array of appetites with her taco fillings, which run from adaptable cubes of beef argot to mushrooms accursed up with guajillo sauce. For the abounding street-food effect, ablution aback a meal with one of the taqueria’s auspicious aguas frescas, maybe sweet-tangy tamarind. Padilla served as pastry chef at her above job. That’s your cue to bore your beanery into her “chocoflan,” clammy amber block topped with carnal custard — atramentous and ivory in absolute harmony.
924 U St. NW
Tacos $8 to $15 (three per order), cemitas $15, birria and tlayudas $12 to $25, ancestors taco basin $52
Delivery via DoorDash, Grubhub or Uber Eats. Auto via DoorDash, Grubhub or website. No buzz orders. Accessibility: The window to adjustment can be acclimated by wheelchair users. No restrooms.
When the communicable emptied restaurants in March 2020, Bryan Voltaggio ample it was time to say goodbye to his fine-dining Volt, which had enjoyed a run of about 13 years in Frederick. “We knew alike in the short-term, we had to achieve changes,” says the “Top Chef” runner-up. No one was in the affection for hours-long tasting menus.
Volt’s replacement, Thacher & Rye, is ill-fitted for the times. Aggregate about the acquaintance is beneath formal. In a dining allowance chargeless of table linens — copse surfaces actuality easier to acquit — servers clad in jeans and aprons bear lasagna and craven and dumplings to diners who no best feel the charge to dress for dinner. The analysis boilerplate at Volt was arctic of $100, says Voltaggio. These days, it’s amid $65 and $85 at the restaurant’s successor, which combines the name of his son with Maryland’s history of authoritative spirits.
[Thacher & Rye, Bryan Voltaggio’s new restaurant, is advised with the communicable in mind]
The affable continues to be account the drive from Washington. Banquet in March commenced with a balmy loaf of spent-grain rye bread, belted with smoked trout and able butter, and connected with a address to the division — fusilli decked out in morels and abrupt peas — and rockfish displayed in a basin of borsch coaxed from angle stock, amber and ham. Asian accents achieve adorable appearances in the beef carpaccio, bolstered with nuoc cham and peanuts, and the breakable scallops, set on jasmine rice and crisped with absurd garlic and chile. Homey-sounding craven and dumplings ride to the table with whatever vegetables are in division and admirable gnudi shaped from ricotta, a fine-dining carryover.
Voltaggio has invested heavily in alfresco dining, acceleration the admeasurement of his alfresco courtyard and installing a 13-foot blaze pit. And there’s no stinting on safety. Arrivals still get their temperatures taken and are asked to flow their easily with sanitizer at the host angle afore actuality led to a table amidst by pools of space. Voltaggio is cerebration above the pandemic: “Less colds and flu!”
228 N. Market St., Frederick, Md.
Dinner Wednesday through Sunday, cafeteria Saturday, brunch Sunday
Dinner entrees $19 to $58; steakhouse meal kit $65 per person
Pickup and commitment via website. No buzz orders. Accessibility: Wheelchair users can admission the central from a access in the rear of the restaurant, which has ADA-compliant restrooms, and the patio from a walkway.
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