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Spring brings renewal and vibrancy to Washington, DC’s restaurant scene.

DC continues to up its dining scene with splashy newcomers to the nation’s capital. Downtown DC welcomes the elegant SHŌTŌ and Philotimo at the Midtown Center Development and The Henri a European style bistro off Pennsylvania Ave. Meanwhile, Western Market continues to welcome new stalls and vendors and the second phase of district wharf welcomes Gordon Ramsey.

 

Many area chefs and restaurants have been named James Beard semifinalists, including Ashok Bajaj of Knightsbridge Restaurant Group for Outstanding Restaurateur, Angel Barreto (Anju) for Emerging Chef, Oyster Oyster for Best New Restaurant and spotted within the categories of Outstanding Pastry Chef, Outstanding Wine Program, Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Bar Program and Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic are other beloved DC outposts.

 

Opening Soon

 

DC’s District Wharf heats up with the new addition of Hell’s Kitchen. Famed chef Gordon Ramsey will bring surf and turf to the second phase of the wharf and expects to open in October of 2022. This is the first Hell’s Kitchen unaffiliated with a casino and will of course feature Ramsey’s famed Beef Wellington.

 

Inspired by nightlife in Spain’s Basque Country, Chef Johnny Spero’s eponymous restaurant Bar Spero will join other newcomers at DC’s Capitol Crossing and feature open hearth cooking and seafood like a whole turbo for diners to share. The bar will serve house made cocktails, wine and aged sherries.

 

The popular Dabney team will open Petite Cerise (“little cherry”), an all-day, French-inspired restaurant in Shaw early January. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature a selection of authentic French imports and wine.

 

Han Palace owner, Chris Zhu will debut two new dim sum spots in Woodley Park and Barracks Row in December. Both restaurants will feature made-to-order dim sum, homemade soup dumplings and Cantonese specialties including Peking duck and lobster sticky rice.

 

The popular Dabney team will open Petite Cerise (“little cherry”), an all-day, French-inspired restaurant in Shaw. The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and feature a selection of authentic French imports and wine.

 

From the team behind Duke's Grocery, Gogi Yogi and Duke's Counter, Chesapeake brings the region’s favorite shellfish dishes to the heart of U Street. The bar will only serve beers brewed in DC, Maryland and Virginia, alongside a wide selection of spirits and classic dockside drinks like orange crushes.

 

A new American style restaurant Newland, from the owners of Beuchert’s Saloon and Fight Club is headed to Capitol Hill, targeting a January opening. The spot will feature Mid-Atlantic staples including crab and pit beef, along with specialty cocktails, wine and beer.

 

Tokyo is the inspiration for a Japanese food hall on Massachusetts Avenue from internationally acclaimed chef Makoto Okuwa and Unconventional Diner co-owner Eric Eden. Love Makoto, located at DC’s Capitol Crossing development, will feature a ramen shop, a Japanese bakery, sushi and a robata grill. An early 2022 opening is anticipated.

 

 A taste of sunny Florida arrives in Washington, DC’s Navy Yard neighborhood in the form of Royal Palm Social Club. The bar is ideal for groups and features fish tacos, frozen drinks and two stories of seating and entertainment, including hanging chairs, cabana-style tables and shuffleboard. A spring 2022 opening is anticipated.

 

Luna Hall is Chinatown’s newest resident, opening in spring 2022. Helmed by restaurateur Zong Chen, the food hall will feature everything from soup dumplings to ramen to poke and bubble tea.

 

 

 

Recent Additions

 

Salazar, a tequila focused, drink forward bar and eatery spans three stories with a rooftop. Visitors find a Tex-Mex menu and drinks are the focus. Catch bottomless margaritas during weekend brunch and the basement space is primed for DJs and dance parties.

 

Dupont goes French with Duck Duck Goose, a modern brasserie by Chef Ashish Alfred. With outposts in Bethesda and Baltimore, the DMV favorite features indoor and outdoor seating. Diners find French staples like foie gras, truffles and duck confit.

 

Located in Blagden Alley in the Shaw neighborhood, Causa offers Peruvian fine dining highlighting Peruvian coastal and Andes cuisine as well as one of America’s largest Pisco collections.

 

Sunnyside Restaurant Group announced the reopening and new location of Santa Rosa Taqueria. Located on Capitol Hill at 301 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, blocks away from its original location, the Mexican restaurant will have a new look with menu favorites and additional items curated by Chef Brian Lacayo and Catherine Mendelsohn.

 

A modern Caribbean restaurant and sister to Michelin-starred Cane, St. James is now open in the U Street corridor. The restaurant offers a large indoor space and limited patio with seating. It’s named for St. James in Trinidad’s capital and will be serving island favorites.

 

New to the 14th street corridor, Dolce Vita features dishes from the Mediterranean coast highlighting four countries: Italy, Morocco, Spain, and Greece. The main menu is divided into three sections with an upscale meze selection, salad and vegetarian options, and large dishes from the brand new wood fired oven. The restaurant offers an expansive wine list, signature cocktail menu and the dining spaces were designed personally by owner Med Lahlou. Guests will find hand-painted murals on the walls, electric blue velvet chairs and an open kitchen with Executive Chef Juan Olivera and Executive Chef Elier Rodriguez at work.

 

Located on the lower level of the new Planet Word Museum, Immigrant Food+ celebrates the American story with global cuisine from award-winning Chef Enrique Limardo and a group of “gastroadvocacy” pioneers. The dual concept restaurant offers a casual immigrant-inspired menu during the day of grab-and-go fusion bowls and sandwiches, and transitions to an upscale dinner experience at night featuring food prepared with ingredients from around the world. The bar serves global cocktails and wines from South Africa and the Balkans.

 

Michelin-starred chef Nicholas Stefanelli pay homage to his Greek roots at Philotimo. The menu at transports diners to the mountainsides of the Greek isles, scented with wild rosemary and lavender and to seaside Peloponesian villages where farmstand producers create world-class olive oil and raw honey. Now open in the new Midtown Center complex, a 14-story mixed-use office, dining and retail space, featuring a park-like environment.

 

Located on the lower level of the new Planet Word Museum, Immigrant Food+ celebrates the American story with global cuisine from award-winning Chef Enrique Limardo and a group of “gastroadvocacy” pioneers. The dual concept restaurant offers a casual immigrant-inspired menu during the day of grab-and-go fusion bowls and sandwiches, and transitions to an upscale dinner experience at night featuring food prepared with ingredients from around the world. The bar serves global cocktails and wines from South Africa and the Balkans.

 

Located atop the new AC Hotel in Mount Vernon Triangle, Ceil Social Club offers 360-degree views of DC’s monuments from its open-air penthouse lounge. Accordion doors seamlessly connect the indoor restaurant dressed up with a striking 12-foot brass chandelier. Diners enjoy a supper club vibe with Mediterranean-inspired tapas like lamb carpaccio and seared tuna along with festive craft cocktails. As the night goes on, Ciel turns into a lounge with a DJ spinning tunes.

 

Glamourous L’Ardente opened in October at DC’s Capitol Crossing development with a traditional Italian menu that tempts with antipasti, brick-oven pizza and homemade pasta—the 40-layer lasagna made with 20 layers of short rib sugo and a truffle-spiked cheese sauce just may be the most Instagrammable dish of 2021.

 

Specializing in traditional Oaxacan cuisine, the stylish two-story Maiz64 restaurant in Logan Circle focuses on authentic Mexican dishes including grilled octopus al pastor, corn tamal and fresh ceviche paired with smoky and fruity cocktails.

 

Comfort food comes to Georgetown with the recent opening of Noosh, a part Persian part Mediterranean restaurant that serves fragrant tagines, stews and curries. Noosh, which translates to “may it nourish your soul,” is sure to dazzle the taste buds too.

 

Pennsylvania Avenue may be a famous address in DC, but it’s also a culinary hub thanks to Western Market. Western Market’s modern marketplace is a one-stop shop including more than a dozen of the region’s favorite food and beverage vendors all in one place, such as Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Roaming Rooster and RAWish. Coming soon: Alikito, a Greek street food eatery, Sushi Onkei and Expat, a sports betting bar and restaurant.

 

Specializing in traditional Lebanese cuisine, Ilili opened in October at The Wharf with a garden-inspired interior featuring floor-to-ceiling glass windows with waterfront views, citrus trees and whimsical birdcage chandeliers. The menu is Lebanese-Mediterranean with a modern contemporary twist, emphasizing flavorful herbs and spices. Meals (dinner only) begin with heaps of Levantine pita bread that is used to scoop hummus, baba ghannouj and other flavorful dips before sharing platters of chicken and lamb. The family style dining experience is capped off with homemade baklava, sorbets, and Turkish coffee.

 

Tailor-made for D.C. by globally renowned restaurateur Arjun Waney (ZUMA, ROKA, COYA, La Petite Maison, The Arts Club) and managing partner Arman Naqi, SHŌTŌ serves a contemporary and sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese izakaya style of informal dining, set within a stunning space by renowned designer Noriyoshi Muramatsu.

 

The Henri provides an innovative dining experience —a welcoming 8,000-square-foot modern bistro featuring both communal and private dining with versatile one-of-a-kind rooms, including access to the building’s rooftop space that overlooks the Mall. The front of the restaurant’s open kitchen features a unique Bonnet rotisserie, including rotating specials such as amish chicken, lamb t-bone, venison sausage and pork shoulder.

 

Moi Moi is a West African restaurant with a Southern accent making a splash in downtown DC. Originally from The Gambia, West Africa, Chef Howsoon Cham realized he could corner the market on American food with a West Africa flare in D.C. and thus, Moi Moi was born. Enjoy dishes like the namesake Moi Moi, jerk chicken, jollaf rice and oxtail.