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Spring D&D

Dining & Drinking

As cherry blossom season approaches DC, the dining scene comes alive with vibrant flavors and refreshing cocktails for the spring.


What’s New 

Check out DC’s newest restaurant and bar openings.


Chef Matt Conroy and Pastry Chef Isabel Coss of Lutèce opened the highly anticipated Pascual in Capitol Hill mid-February. The Mexican restaurant serves up health-focused plates, highlighting seasonal produce. Under development since the pandemic, the culinary duo made their dreams a reality as Bon Appetit listed the spot as one of the “8 Must Visit New Restaurants to Try This Winter.”


Translating to the good cow, La Bonne Vache is a new gem nestled in Georgetown. The brasserie features burgers as the entrée, inspired by classic French dishes such as boeuf bourguignon and steak au poivre. Chef Scheyla Acosta’s hand-crafted menu pairs perfectly with the restaurant’s chic design by Ari & Claire Wilder.


Seasonal Offerings

Restaurants across DC offer immersive experiences for cherry blossom season.


The Ciel Social Club annual cherry blossom pop-up is underway, transforming the rooftop experience. Located on K Street, the lounge offers blossom themed drinks and bites for the season. Kat Flowers Design and Décor designed the space to honor the Japanese Yoshino cherry trees on the outdoor penthouse. The menu is available through June.


Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar has created a “Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom” menu. Through mid-April, the restaurant offers dishes infused with cherry flavor. Some of these highlights include Pato Asado y Cerezas with a sour cherry mojo or a Tarta de Cereza, a sweet cherry mouse dessert.


The Fairmont Washington in Georgetown is hosting Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea in the Loggia. Overlook the blossoming trees in the courtyard while sipping tea and enjoying sweet treats. The menu offers a variety of savory sandwiches. Reservations are required and are available through mid-April.


Japanese-born chef Ben Murray is curating a cherry themed menu at Immigrant Food, available at the location near the White House and Planet Word. Visitors can enjoy tuna poke or sip the “coco blossom mocktail.” Exclusively available at the Planet Word locale, guests can try an ube Manhattan cocktail.


The Pendry Hotel is serving a sweet tea experience at Bar Pendry at the Wharf. The European-style bar is offering a limited-edition Cherry Blossom Boozy Tea menu through mid-April. The menu will feature new cocktails and foods inspired by the season, in addition to Sakura infused tea.


The Duck and the Peach has developed a special drink menu with five cocktails, each representing various Japanese snacks. The Capitol Hill bar is also offering a Japanese inspired picnic basket with cherry blossom mochi, milk punch, matcha dango, savory green tea mochi and an onigiri martini.


Cherry blossom tea is back at Peacock Alley in the Waldorf Astoria. High tea is served Friday through Sunday with reservations. The menu showcases seasonal favorites, such as raspberry French macaroon, cherry orange scones, cherry financier and an assortment of other finger foods. Beverages include a wide tea selection and champagne enhancements are available.


Recent Additions

The popular Moon Rabbit reopened in January in Penn Quarter. RAMW Chef of the Year, Kevin Tien, has evolved his classic French-Vietnamese menu in collaboration with Pastry Chef Susan Bae and spirits expert Thi Nguyen, a Top 100 World Class Bar Director. The revamped menu includes fan favorite spring rolls and a twist on classics like sweet potato and crab dumplings.


Sandwich enthusiasts Paul Taylor and Sherra Kurtz have opened the ultimate sandwich shop with a bar on 9th Street. From the stained-glass Duke’s Mayo container on the ceiling to the comfort of leather bar stools, Your Only Friend is designed to emulate a timeless sub shop.


After the pandemic, Shaw celebrates the return of speakeasy The Dabney Cellar. The menu features regional oysters, charcuterie and small bites. Chef and co-owners Jeremiah Longhorn and Alex Zink are behind the 30-seat wine bar back in the basement of the Dabney. The cozy, dim-lit space provides a romantic and intimate ambiance.


Originating in New York in 1999, Pastis has opened near Union Market. The bistro has friendly charm with a handwritten specials board that rotate daily. This location serves DC exclusives like poached beef tongue with crispy veal and potatoes, but still pays homage to French classics like the croque monsieur and escargot. The 250-seat restaurant opened in mid-January.


The Maryland based 2Fifty Texas BBQ opened a new location in Mount Vernon Triangle in late January. The smokehouse is known for cooking their meat “low and slow” to produce the highest quality flavors. Axios listed it as one of the best BBQ joints in DC. Some menu highlights include the traditional prime rib and wagyu brisket.


The Arcade is a recent addition to the DC nightlife scene, debuting in late January. With drink names like Sonic and Pikachu, the menu and décor pay an ode to Nintendo and Sega. The throwback bar has hints of Japanese culture throughout in a lavish atmosphere. The luxurious space is designed by Tokyo-based Noriyoshi Muramatsu.


Taco Bamba opened a new location in City Ridge. The taqueria offers a full bar with happy hour featuring micheladas, draft beers, and margaritas. The restaurant has eight exclusive tacos only available at this location and a 1,500 square foot patio, ready to welcome guests for the spring weather.


U Street’s newest cocktail lounge, Enigma, adds a mysterious element to DC nightlife. Chef Marcel Chehaieb has given dishes short and sweet names. The Crispy is duck fat fries with ketchup, and Harmonious is roasted tri-color carrots with honey bourbon gastrique and walnuts. The 3,700+ square foot space invites diners to explore new flavor palettes.


Opening Soon

After suffering an unexpected fire in August 2022, Reverie is on track to reopen stronger than before. Head Chef Johnny Spero is meticulously crafting recipes to incorporate elements of the old menu into new dishes. The Georgetown establishment anticipates opening its doors March 26, 2024 with an emphasis on sustainability.


DC restaurateur Hakan Ilhan (from Brasserie Liberté, Il Piatto and Ottoman Taverna) is getting ready to open Alara, a Mediterranean restaurant in Georgetown in early 2024. The atmosphere will be cozy and European, and its seasonal menus will be inspired in the Turkish, Greek, Lebanese and Israeli cuisines.


The owners of Mt. Vernon Triangle’s French-Chinese restaurant Bar Chinois are expanding to 14th Street with a new fusion concept. Bar Japonais, a French-Japanese Izakaya, will replace the Spanish restaurant Estadio in Logan Circle in early 2024. It will be set in a sleek and sophisticated ambiance with plenty of sharable plate offerings, sushi, crudos, French wine, Sake and cocktails.


A New York City art-nouveau-styled brasserie, La Grande Boucherie is opening an outpost in the historic Federal-American National Bank building near the White House. The New York City location was featured on the Sex and the City reboot and exhibits authentic French dishes with an emphasis on seafood. Restauranteur Emil Stefkov, of The Group NYC, will also open a Japanese restaurant called Washoku Room and an indoor/outdoor Italian trattoria called Olio é Piu at the same location.


Clydes is planning to open a new restaurant in Union Market next summer. Cordelia Fishbar will serve dishes made over a charcoal flame grill. The restaurant is expected to seat 250 guests and will have a private event space.


From the team behind Enigma comes bar10. With an innovative vision, the bar aims to offer top-tier nightlife without breaking the bank. The European flair bar is to open this summer on 14th Street.


Oliver Pastan, the son of beloved 2Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria, owner, opens his own business. Bar del Monte opens in Mount Pleasant early this year. The Italian trattoria features a daily selection of various pizzas along with other Italian classics.


Union Market will have the highly anticipated F1 Arcade open this summer. Spanning 17,500 square feet, the entertainment facility will feature 83 full motion F1 simulators designed in partnership with F1’s motorsport design teams. The drink list will include a selection of sparkling wine, local beer, F1 themed cocktails, and premium spirits. Mocktails are available.