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Interior - Chop Shop Mural.jpg
A look at the interior at Chop Shop. (Image: Courtesy Chop Shop Taco)

Restaurant Rumblings: Chop Shop tacos, Dacha 2.0, an amaro bar 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.


Bar Sirenis
(1907 Fairview Ave. NE)

Local amaro producer Don Ciccio & Figli is bringing its Italian liqueurs to D.C.'s Ivy City neighborhood with a new production facility and cocktail bar. Drinks cover classics like the negroni and the spritz, as well as originals highlighting the brand's many products, a portfolio that touches on prickly pear, fennel, limoncello and more. Tours and tastings are available as well as a la carte drinks.

(79 Potomac Ave. SE)

Modern mid-Atlantic dishes pair with more than two dozen beers, ciders and meads at Dacha's Navy Yard expansion. The indoor dining room and lounge builds on the model of its popular Shaw beer garden, adding the experience of chef Taylor Burlingame, whose resume includes stints at Requin Wharf in D.C. and RN74 in San Francisco. The menu is far more than just beer hall fare, with plates of ricotta gnudi and roasted cauliflower tartine and entrees including lobster ravioli and a shareable bone-in ribeye steak. The dog-friendly outdoor beer garden (with a 700 guest capacity) just opened May 10.

Chop Shop Taco
(1008 Madison St., Alexandria)

A former auto body building has found fresh life as an edgy Alexandria taco shop. Guests order at the counter, and tacos are made daily with fresh masa. Try pork roasted with achiote and banana leaves or roasted mushrooms with Halloumi cheese and dates. Chicken and beef brisket options are available too. There are other inventive snacks too – look for fried rice or a smashed avocado dish – as well as a full bar pouring agave cocktails and a house Mexican-style lager.

Laos in Town
(250 K St. NE)

Two veterans of D.C. Thai and Laotian cooking have teamed up to open Laos in Town, a new venture in NoMa. Restaurateur Nick Ongsangkoon has been co-owner at Soi 38 and chef Ben Tiatasin has worked at Bangkok Golden, Thip Khao and Essan restaurants. At Laos in town, the two embrace the country's bold and fragrant ingredients – expect lots of lemongrass, ginger, lime and fish sauce. Start with pork sausage mixed with herbs and served with green chili for dipping or share some grilled jumbo prawns with spicy lime sauce. Main courses touch on soups, curries, noodles and meats like whole grilled chicken and fish.

12 Stories
(75 District Square SW, 12th Floor)

There's a new rooftop to fall in love with (or on!) at the Wharf. This new penthouse bar, 12 Stories, brings a sexy, modern vibe to the Wharf. 12 Stories is the Gerber Group's first D.C. venture and offers stunning 360-degree views of the Potomac and an interior filled with modern artwork from Paige Smith. The Casamigos Margarita is a must try!

On the menu:

Spring cocktails have landed at the Jack Rose (2007 18th St. NW) dining room and rooftop in Adams Morgan. There are more than 20 new drinks in all, leaning on tropical and herbal notes that are perfect for warm, sunny afternoons. Think coconut, pineapple, strawberry and grapefruit. Bourbon and whiskey is a focus, though gin, rum, vodka and tequila get lots of love as well. Drinks are priced at $13 each.

Cumin-spiced lamb flatbread and edamame falafel are among the items served up at Momofuku CCDC's (1090 I St. NW) new to-go window. The takeaway items are perfect for anyone in a hurry, and are available during lunch.

Valor Brewpub (723 8th St. SE) is now pouring its debut lineup of homemade beers. Swing by the Barracks Row hangout for a pint of fresh-brewed IPA, Vienna lager, hefeweizen, Kolsch or porter.