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Various grain congee is part of brunch at A Rake's Progress. (Image: Courtesy A Rake's Progress)

Restaurant Rumblings: Brookland gets a food hall and a new brunch launches at The Line

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:

Kingbird restaurant at The Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Ave. NW) has launched a new outdoor beer garden for 2018. The space is open Friday to Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and features craft beers poured inside a wood-paneled chalet, addictive fries and dipping sauces, bratwurst sandwiches, pretzels, games and river views.

A Rake’s Progress is now open for Sunday brunch inside The Line Hotel (1770 Euclid St. NW). James Beard-winning chef Spike Gjerde’s menu is divided into sections such as grains, eggs and hearth. Dishes include congee with a hot spring egg, embered vegetables, fish pepper honey and puffed grains; grits with duck bacon and duck confit; and a lamb leg flatbread with a garlic herb rub. There’s a separate brunch cocktail menu as well. Each selection is served exclusively during brunch, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A Saturday expansion is planned.

José Andrés’ Beefsteak chain (multiple locations) has introduced its spring menu items, which include an Avo-Toasty bowl packed with vegetables, avocado, toasted brioche and a poached egg. For a bit of a kick, try the Little Wild Curry, a blend of rice, lentils, green curry sauce, sugar snap peas and other healthy items. The restaurant has also brought back its signature Beefsteak tomato burger for the season.

Chef changes:

Rich Falbo is the next Executive Chef at Firefly (1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW). Falbo was most recently the executive chef at Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro at the Westin Reston Heights. He also spent time in the kitchen at District Commons, was part of the opening team at Passionfish Bethesda, and cooked around Austin, Texas before coming North. He’s introduced some changes to Firefly’s menu, such as seared Atlantic sea scallops with butternut hominy hash and a steak salad with shaved carrots, fresh mint, cilantro and pistachios.

Quill, the swanky bar inside the Jefferson Hotel (1200 16th St. NW) has brought on Shanelle Maura as its new bar manager. Maura previously served as restaurant manager for the opening of Baltimore’s Sagamore Pendry hotel and also worked in management at the Ivy Hotel Baltimore. Expect some new bar specials at Quill to launch later this summer.

Recent openings:

Tastemakers food hall (2800 10th St. NE) is now officially up and running in Brookland. The venue features eight local vendors serving everything from tacos to ice cream cookie sandwiches. Hang out at Alchemist Coffee in the morning, or go for an evening cocktail at Benjamin’s on Franklin. Check the online calendar for events too, such as cooking classes and special dinners.