D.C. diners have a lot to be excited about in 2018, because there are already too many openings to count. Here are five that absolutely, positively must be on your to-do list for the new year.
The talent: Celebrated chef Cathal Armstrong, the driving force behind Restaurant Eve, Hummingbird, and Society Fair in Alexandria.
The food: Filipino, Thai and Korean cuisines will be equally highlighted. Expect pinaputok na isda – a whole fish stuffed with herbs and lemongrass – from the Philippines, Thai kaeng daeng pu (red curry with crab), and yuk gae jang (spicy beef soup with vegetables) from Korea.
The vibe: Located on the newly minted Wharf complex, the buzzy and brash spot will have an Asian night market vibe and an open hearth wood grill. An outdoor grill and beer bar will debut when the weather gets warmer.
Estimated opening date: January 15
Find it: 751 Wharf St. SW
The talent: Four-time Chopped! champ Adam Greenberg, formerly of Barcelona
The food: Island-inspired small plates with some shareable large format dishes, complemented by tropical cocktails forged with freshly squeezed juices. “It’s beach food, not street food,” the chef says.
The vibe: The easy, breezy space takes its cues from Greenberg’s recent trip to Hawaii and surf culture. And there just may be a neon pineapple involved.
Estimated opening date: Middle of 2018
Find it: 540 Penn St. NE
The talent: Husband and wife chef-owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, who own the award-winning vegan concepts Vedge and V Street in Philadelphia.
The food: “We’ll be putting vegetables front and center, elevating them in new ways to create an inspiring dining experience,” says Jacoby, who imagines the concept will combine the energy of V Street with the elegance of Vedge. Diners who have been to the other restaurants will recognize some of the dishes, like stuffed avocado with pickled cauliflower and Romesco, Korean tempeh tacos, Peruvian fries, and dan dan noodles.
The vibe: Located in the Apollo development in the Atlas District, it will have an industrial aesthetic, a stylish 12-seat marble-topped bar, and a small chef’s counter in front of the open kitchen. “The real focus for us is always on the food,” says Jacoby, “so we're just trying to create the best stage possible.”
Estimated opening date: March 1
Find it: 600 H St. NE
The talent: James Beard Award winner Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore.
The food: Consider this a sister concept to the chef’s Charm City charmer. Rustic yet refined fare is forged from mid-Atlantic ingredients – and many are cooked over the wood-fired stone hearth.
The vibe: Housed inside a renovated neoclassical church, the stunning space boasts 60-foot vaulted ceilings, millwork and brass detailing, and large copper entry doors. As a part of the Line Hotel in Adams Morgan, the restaurant overlooks the lobby that features a chandelier fashioned from the church’s organ pipes.
Estimated opening date: Late January
Find it: 1770 Euclid St. NW
The talent: RAMMY Award winning chef Tarver King of the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.
The food: King will present the dishes, cooking methods, history and folklore of the Appalachia region, with an emphasis on West Virginia and the local area. Expect to eat deep-fried whole fish catfish fiddlers and pepperoni rolls, while drinking whiskey, West Virginia beer, moonshine and hard cider.
The vibe: Situated in a century-old building, the charming dining room features a hammered tin roof and a mosaic tiled floor. An epic chalkboard covering one wall will show the daily menu, the farms being used and a mountain proverb of the day.
Estimated opening date: End of March
Find it: 100 W. Washington St., Charles Town, WV