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A traditional Thali platter at Indique (Image: Courtesy Indique)

Restaurant Rumblings: All-Purpose on the Anacostia, Thali Thursdays and more

The D.C. food scene is constantly evolving, and it can be hard for even the biggest food fan to keep up. Restaurant Rumblings is here to get you up to speed on the latest bar and restaurant news, from hot openings to exciting new menus.

New on the menu:

Spend Thursdays indulging in the new thali menu at Indique (3512 Connecticut Ave. NW) in Cleveland Park. The weekly special will have a vegetarian ($22), non-vegetarian ($24) and seafood ($26) option. Thalis are traditional Indian platters that include a balanced mix of small dishes and sides such as tandoor roasted eggplant, lamb curry with spices and masala grilled fish. The thalis are available during dinner service only.

Spring has brought changes to Taqueria del Barrio (821 Upshur St.), where chef and owner Anna Bran-Leis has unveiled some fresh takes for the new season. Among them are a fried avocado taco and grilled nopales (cactus) with melted Oaxaca cheese and cilantro.

Chef changes:

Commissary DC (1443 P St. NW) has installed Madison Hanto as its new executive chef. It’s the first executive chef gig for Hanto, who’s worked around D.C. for nearly a decade at Central, Del Frisco’s, Acadiana and more. He plans to experiment with vegetable-driven dishes along with a Korean bing soo dessert.

Tracy O’Grady is in as the executive chef at 1789 (1226 36th St. NW) in Georgetown. She spent the past 10 years as the executive chef (and owner) of Willow in Arlington and also held that position at the casual Italian Campono at The Watergate before landing the gig at 1789.

Recent openings:

Another location of All-Purpose (79 Potomac Ave. SE) opened in early April, this one at the Dock 79 building behind Nationals Park. Unique menu items include the Rockaway pizza – topped with clams and smoked bacon – and the Bushwick, with portobello mushrooms, mozzarella, red onion, thyme and Sicilian hot sauce. Other dishes range from eggplant Parmesan to fried cauliflower. Frozen cocktails, Italian wines and desserts including a giant chocolate chip cookie with ice cream round out the choices.

Georgetown residents can now grab a beer and a bar bite at Church Hall (1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW), a new underground game and beer hall from the team behind Franklin Hall and Penn Social. The windowless location has lots of lighting and is outfitted with Jenga, Uno, TVs and lots of seating nooks for groups or more intimate gatherings.

Osteria Morini has expanded closer to the waterfront with its Morini Piccolo boardwalk window. Unwind at this al fresco location with a frozen negroni or glass of wine while snacking on paninis, cured meats and cheeses, and gelato ice cream sandwiches. The space will be open from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays (or until the Washington Nationals game ends). It’ll also be open for all home Nats games.

Chef Victor Albisu’s first D.C. location of Taco Bamba is now open (777 I St. NW) in the former Del Campo space in Chinatown. The permanent space comes after a successful lunch pop-up launched in the fall of 2017. Its casual menu includes tacos, nachos, tostadas, sopes, tortas and more.

Spoken English (1770 Euclid St. NW), Erik Bruner-Yang’s second restaurant inside The Line hotel, is now serving guests in its tiny, standing-room only kitchen. The concept is inspired by the Japanese tachinomiya, where hungry crowds grab a bite and a drink while mingling with fellow diners. The no-reservations space serves up both small and large items, including a shareable duck feast, wagyu short rib and chicken skin dumplings along with sake and cocktail options.