In this city, you can barely blink without missing a hot new restaurant opening, and this month has seen the realization of some of 2018’s most-anticipated spots. This handful of newbies might run the gamut from Jewish to Italian to American, but they all have one thing in common—established local chefs branching out and taking their cooking to the next level. Here are five new places to try when someone says, “Where should we go for dinner?”
The city’s newest hotel, Eaton DC, aims to give ultra-hip Adams Morgan hotel The Line a run for its money by opening its own slew of locally inspired restaurants, bars and coffee shops on the premises. Kyrisan chef Tim Ma helms the flagship restaurant, American Son, which is now open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night bites, offering Asian-influenced American comfort classics like a charred romaine Caesar salad (See? We told you it was making a comeback!), Chinese five-spice fried chicken and shrimp-and-grits cakes.
1201 K St. NW
The award-winning team behind Timber Pizza has branched out with the recent opening of this “Jew-ish deli,” which serves wood-fired breads, pastries and bagels that are said to embody what would happen if a New York bagel and a Montreal bagel fell in love and had bagel babies. Expect Jewish-deli favorites like corned beef on rye, matzoh ball soup and housemade pickles, along with a few items that definitely put the “ish” in Jewish, like latke fries and a sesame bagel topped with honey, bacon and peanut butter.
3301 Georgia Ave. NW
If you haven’t made it down to The Wharf yet, you now have a brand-new excuse with the opening of Michelin-starred chef Nick Stefanelli’s three-story emporium that includes a market (expected to open later this week), trattoria, cafe, year-round rooftop and “amaro library,” which we’re pretty sure is a fancy term for a bar. The space offers views of the booming waterfront neighborhood and features Italian pasta classics like bucatini all'Amatriciana and carbonara, as well as meatballs over polenta and a mixed grill with prawns, calamari and octopus. The chef also runs Masseria near Union Market.
1120 Maine Ave. SW
New Nordic meets modern American in both cuisine and space at chef Johnny Spero’s new spot hidden down a Georgetown alleyway (across the street from Chaia). The chef, who cooked at José Andrés’ Minibar, staged at Noma in Copenhagen and ran the experimental cocktail-pairing kitchen at Columbia Room, offers such beautiful dishes as scallop crudo swimming a buttermilk-dill sauce and a tasty ribeye accented with with lovage and potato. If the a la carte offerings seem too rich for your blood, vie for one or both of the “pay what you can” seats available each night.
3201 Cherry Hill Lane NW
Beloved local chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley, who made it to the finals on Top Chef while cooking at the now-closed Ripple, was smartly tapped to run the kitchen at this offshoot of the Brooklyn steakhouse from restaurateurs Stephen Starr and Joe Carroll. Expertly seasoned grilled dishes, such as an outstanding salmon collar and grilled oysters, are not to be missed. The same can be said for the pimento cheese served with fluffy biscuits. The cozy Union Market dining room also features classic cocktails, a hefty wine list and a large selection of madeiras.
1250 Fifth St. NE