District Winery: Ok, so technically this one was August 30, but we haven't had a chance to tell you about it yet, and it needs to be discussed! This newly opened space in Navy Yard will be the first winery to actually produce wine in D.C., though the grapes are sourced from Virginia, New York and Washington state; expect a dry rose next next spring as the first batch of DW wine produced in the District. A restaurant honoring the Anacostia River setting, Ana, is helmed by of executive chef Michael Gordon, chef de cuisine Benjamin Lambert and general manager Sean Alves where you can partake in dishes including beignets with Maryland crab, roasted corn and Indian romesco, and pastrami-spiced monkfish with sesame seed potatoes, charred cabbage and carrot-mustard jus. Read more here.
Wilson Hardware: There is no shortage of trendy bars heading to Clarendon, but we have to give this one props on its creative concept, as it pays homage to the space's former occupant, Virginia Hardware, which existed in the same space for more than 50 years. The 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge is serving hardware-themed everything from bites such as Hardware fritters to a shareable cocktail served in an actual lightbulb, with an LED light attached to make the drink look like it changes colors. Other drinks include the "Screw Him," "Adjustable Wrench" and even a "Permit Denied."
The Little Beet, Rosslyn: Since our offices are located in Rosslyn, we were pretty psyched for Little Beet to open their first Northern Virginia location right down the street! Little Beet opened on September 25, and launched with something a little extra this time: breakfast service. Monday through Friday, guests can enjoy Little Beet's vegetarian-friendly menu from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. (noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays). Expect salads, grain bowls (dying to try to power sweets), poke bowls and make-your-own bowls.
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams: Ok, confession time: I have been stalking this opening like a hawk! And my patience was rewarded this week as Jeni's officially opened her first east coast shop on September 25 and is now serving up little scoops of heaven from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week! To celebrate, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams will host a grand opening on October 5 and will serve up FREE ice cream to all guests that stop by the shop between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. Expect artisanal flavors like Pistacchio Honey, Churro (a cinnamon-infused ice cream speckled with bits of toffee and pastry), Middle West Whiskey & Pecans, Sweet Potato and Roasted Marshmallow and -- of course -- her famous flavor, Salted Caramel.
Bresca: After Ripple shuttered, fans of Chef Ryan Ratino eagerly awaited to see what the 27-year-old would do next. Lucky for them, the opening of his first solo project was already in the works. Bresca, which opened on September 22, was inspired by Ratino's years of studying European cooking techniques, such as the bistronomy movement. The food will stick to a simple style with bold flavors, as Ratino hopes to "create a concept that builds on [his] culinary past to create new traditions that everyone can enjoy." The menu is an evolving a la carte experience, but guests can expect dishes like Sea Urchin Linguini or a Cured Ocean Trout, a two-stage course where ingredients are served in two preparations: one hot with a dashi broth made from the fish bones, and one cold with seasoned raw or slightly pickled vegetables.
Taco Bamba, Springfield: Chef Victor Albisu opened the third outpost of his Mexican street food destination on September 14, with 100 lucky guests winning a card that gave them access to a free taco every week for a full year. Albisu worked with the same design team behind his Falls Church and Vienna locations, HapstakDemetriou, and has preserved the red and gray color palette in the newest locale. The menu will also feature some fav items (yes, the nachos and grilled guac will be there!) while branching out into new realms as well: think flautas served smothered in sauce and cheese and new variations of tacos like the Vic Fil-A Deluxe (fried chicken with cheddar cheese, pickles, chipotle mayo, bacon) and the Ricky Bobby (beef brisket suadero with serrano chile salsa, poblano ranch, blistered shishitos). Read more here.
Nobu: The iconic Japanese restaurant loved by Hollywood celebs and the entire Kardashian clan has made its way to Washington. Nobu, located on the ground floor of the new 2501 M Street Residences opened its doors to the public for dinner service on September 12, serving a Japanese-Peruvian fusion menu. See our recommended food and drink pairings here.
JINYA, 14th Street: After two years of patiently waiting, D.C. can breathe a sigh of relief as JINYA Ramen officially opened their 14th Street restaurant on September 25, and gave away free bowls of ramen to the first 100 customers. Though the menu is quite expansive, JINYA specializes in authentic Tonkotsu ramen, with a focus on flavorful broth; the food preparation process includes simmering the broth for over 12 hours; we recommend the spicy vegan ramen and the Brussels sprouts tempura. Read more on our opening thoughts here.
Rural Society: After operating for three years inside the Loews Madison Hotel, this Argentinian Steakhouse shuttered on September 25 after the hotel ownership was sold to Hilton. A new restaurant in the lobby called Four Oaks has already replaced it. Chef Jose Garces is apparently working on bringing two other projects to D.C. though there are no concrete updates to be shared -- Village Whiskey is expected in Shaw and a "Latin-themed food hall" is coming to Union market, according to Eater.
Cantina Marina: As the Wharf gets ready to unveil a whole host of new retail, food and entertainment venues in October, Cantina Marina, a local fav, announced its decision to close down for a few years to renovate; the last day of operation is October 28 and they won't reopen until 2020/2021. Please don't let this be goodbye forever Cantina!
Boss Shepherd's: If you listen very closely, you may be able to hear Tom Sietsema's teardrops falling as he mourns the loss of one of his "top 10 favorite dining destinations." The Southern hotspot closed August 31, but not without a bang as they invited guests to join them for their final hurrah with all drinks served at $5 and free food.