Top Ten: New Places to Dine in DC

Whether it’s a New Year’s Resolution to explore more, or you’re just sick of your standard supper spot.  Maybe you’re trying to impress the in-laws, or looking for just the right restaurant to show that (at least right now) you’re in the know.  We’ve put together a list of ten of DC’s newest notable nosheries where you shouldn’t have reservations about making reservations!

Woodward Table (1430 H Street NW): Get some good wood (and take out next door!) at Jeffrey Buben’s (of Vidalia/Bistro Bis) table… which replaced the formerly popular Potenza’s woodfired ovens.  Well actually… the pizza ovens stayed — and are accompanied by some iconic regional cooking.  For your daily dinner made marvelous, we recommend digging into whatever’s on Blue Plate Special.

Beuchert’s Saloon (623 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE) : The original Beuchert’s opened in Eastern Market 130+ years ago, and now, its namesake returns as a 47 seat restaurant offering a “farm American” menu from Executive Chef Andrew Markert.  According to legend, Beuchert’s was a speakeasy, so its current craft tap soda, cocktail, beer and wine programs place it firmly as an anti-Prohibition promised land.

Pulpo (3407 Connecticut Avenue): This space is serious about turnover, having been both a Tackle Box and a pop-up Bandolero in the very recent past, but Cleveland Park’s new Pulpo is equally serious about tapas.  Ravioli, Red Beat Salad, Roasted Squab… Just remember: It isn’t wrong to eat calamari under the giant octopus wall mural… but it wouldn’t be right to miss enjoying some mezcal with your meal.

Farmers Fishers Bakers (3000 K Street Northwest): As we’ve shared before, this sister spot to the popular Farmers & Fishers in Foggy Bottom boasts a menu with a range of rustic and modern flavors — all locally sourced — as well as a larder filled with pickled produce, preserves, sauces, chutneys and other made-from-scratch stuff.  Post up at FFB’s 8-seat sushi bar and share a tiki punchbowl with friends.

Range (5335 Wisconsin Avenue NW): From rotisserie to raw bar, “Top Chef” alum Bryan Voltaggio is showing his culinary range at his brand new baby… finally closer to DC! Seating almost 300 as it wraps around the 2nd floor of the newly remodeled Chevy Chase Pavilion, Range focuses mainly on meat — though it contains a charcuterie station, raw bar, rotisserie, wood fired hearth, bakery, dessert/candy and coffee bar. It’s like an open kitchen… and with so many choices, this new side of Voltaggio is electrifying.

Jardenea (2430 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest): This new Melrose place — no joke, it sits inside the Melrose Hotel — is set with communal tables and a wine list/menu that (like DC’s it scene) changes with the seasons.  Garden inspired, and with local sourcing as the main concept, Jardenea could actually be ideal for a gossipy gathering (like from that TV phenomenon), AND great for greenies.  Bar Chefs (like bartenders) can eavesdrop for juicy tidbits… or just concoct you something juicy from the jardin.

Matchbox on 14th/H (1901 T Street NW): Not necessarily new, Matchbox is a preferred pizza pie for DC diners.  But its latest location is a reincarnation — not just for the building (formerly a bowling alley, a jazz club, a rehearsal hall…), but as well for its overall offerings.  “Go-to” favorites remain, but if you’re going big (this place is mansion-sized!), go bold!  Taste outside the ‘box,’ ordering a glazed honey miso salmon or pork belly risotto.
Table AND Azur (903 N Street NW/405 8thStreet NW ): We lied.  Don’t make reservations at either of these.  Only because Chef Frederik de Pue won’t take them!  Table and Azur are Pue’s new duo of dining dens. Both slated to open, oh, right about NOW… Table will serve a changing menu of fresh, seasonal dishes, while Azur (formerly the Cafe Atlantico space) is a seafood spot.  

And here’s one that’s coming up! 

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is coming in January 2013. If you thought chicken and waffles were an odd combination, step away from the deep fryer!  This casual spot for American comfort food classics serves — you guessed it! — a rotating variety of doughnuts and fried chicken daily.  Prep your palate for Vanilla Glazed, Brooklyn Blackout, Maple Bacon, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Crème Brulee… perfectly paired with your regular and spicy fried fare.

Merry Mealtime 2013!

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