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Cauliflower croquetas, part of Colada Shop's spring menu. (Image: Maya Oren)
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Restaurant Rumblings: Skybox roof comes to 14th Street and floral cocktails

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.

Openings:

Stellina Pizzeria
(399 Morse St. NE)

Lupo Verde veterans Antonio Matarazzo and Matteo Venini are now serving Italian pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and more just steps from Union Market. Stellina pizzeria features food of the Southern Italian coast, including cones of "fritto misto" seafood and a full roster of Neopolitan-inspired pies in flavors like classic margharita to a take on cacio e pepe. Add a salad or some fried Brussels Sprouts and finish off with a sweet kick of tiramisu or panna cotta. The bar is stocked with a full roster of sparking, red and white wines in addition to Italian-influenced cocktails.

Skybox
(1400 14th St. NW)

Hop the elevator behind the Players Club bar for views of Logan Circle and cocktails made to cut through D.C.'s summer heat. Sip on a spiced mojito with fresh mint or the reposado tequila-spiked Red Hot Chili Pineapple Batida with pineapple, milk and nutmeg. Beer and wine are available as well, along with lots of seating.

New on the menu:

Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern has brightened up its menu with a slate of dishes and cocktails that celebrate the blooms and bounty of April and May. Executive Chef Adam Howard is balancing starters including a fresh salad filled with peas, radishes, and greens and shrimp fritters alongside shareable entrees like his roasted porchetta on a bed of Carolina Gold rice (prepared as "Charleston Ice Cream"). And save room for pastry chef Colleen Murphy's creations too – they range from delicate to indulgent.

In true spring spirit, the latest cocktail tasting menu at Columbia Room is all about flowers. The progressive $85 four-course Floriculture menu incorporates buds, roots, leaves and more. Each drink is paired with a small bite from culinary director Johnny Spero. The experience begins with the Chrysanthemum, made with dry vermouth, apricot eau de vie, lemon, absinthe, sparkling water and flowers. Beeswax, beet water and dandelion root are among the other ingredients used across the menu. Seatings can be booked online.

New eats at the Cuban-inspired Colada Shop (1405 T St. NW and 21430 Epicerie Plaza, Sterling) go heavy on spring's produce haul. Bites include the snackable cauliflower and spring onion croquetta and a vegetable empanada stuffed with caramelized onions, mushrooms and cheese. Pair them with a fruity Guava Berry cocktail, a blend of white rum, guava, passion fruit, lime and Maraschino. Or go for the Canela, a strong sipper with aged rum, cinammon syrup, lime and Angostura bitters.

Recently-installed executive chef Megan Robbins is bringing her touches to the spring menu at the Canopy Central (975 7th St. SW) restaurant along The Wharf. She draws on her Southern roots in dishes like the peach and pecan salad, pimento cheese dip and a house-braised pulled pork sandwich. Evening entrees range from scallops with sweet corn risotto to a peach tea-brined pork chop. There's also has a selection of flatbreads as well as small plates – samples include crab cakes and coconut-battered onion rings – for sharing and socializing.

If you're a chocoholic, but still want a touch of vanilla, Milk Bar's new chocolate birthday cake and chocolate truffles need to be on your radar. This twist on the classic fan-favorite birthday cake starts with decadent chocolate cake and chocolate chips. Then b’day frosting and b’day crumbs are layered in for a chocolate cake to die for!



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