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:
Combat order envy with the new lunch thali platters at Pappe (1317 14th St. NW). The affordable – and filling – platters are arranged with various Indian curries, vegetables, naan and condiments for a complete meal experience. Exact offerings each day depend on how the kitchen is feeling, but there are always lamb, chicken and vegetarian options. Large appetites can tackle the Maharaja Thali ($20), packed with one lamb, chicken and vegetable curry along with savory daal (lentils) and sides. The all-vegetarian thali is a deal at $14, and it can be upgraded to include another curry for just $1 more. The full lunch menu is also available.
The Michelin-starred Plume (1200 16th St. NW) is taking a page from Thomas Jefferson this month with a prix fixe holiday dinner inspired by ingredients and dishes eaten in 1776. The five-course feast introduces diners to a mock turtle soup with veal head cheese, wild boar wellington, oysters and plenty more. (Editor's Note: The leek stew with hushpuppies in a caraway bechamel sauce was one of our favorite dishes of the entire year!) Cap it off with a glass of the restaurant's Madeira collection, which happens to be the largest in the country. The menu runs through December 30 and is $117 or $267 with wine pairings.
Warming winter dishes have come to Q by Peter Chang (4500 East-West Highway) in Bethesda. Keep spirits high during the cold weather with Szechuan Chinese dishes like "Grandma's stir fry" with smoked pork belly and tofu, leeks and green peppers or try one of several winter pots. Options include a hearty Yangtze river beef with enoki mushrooms and vermicelli noodles and a variation with fish cakes.
(3401 Water St. NW)
Gather over brews and sausages at this German-inspired Georgetown beer hall by the owners of Lapis Bistro and Cafe Bonaparte. They've transformed their former Malmaison space with the help of chef Mike O'Brien, who's aided by experience cooking at beer-centric restaurants that include Mikkeller Bar and The Trappist in Northern California, and Birch and Barley here in D.C. The Berliner plans to serve six types of sausages, including bratwurst and chicken sausage options. Other items range from vegetarian falafel pretzels to a kofta meatball. The 24 tap lines flow with local and international beers of all styles.
Bombay Street Food
(1413 Park Rd. NW)
This Columbia Heights spot is inspired by the street food vendors of India's largest city. It's the first D.C. restaurant from Asad Sheikh, who also operates Curry Mantra and London Curry House in Northern Virginia. The menu is full of classic dishes like chicken tikka marsala, biryani rice and saag paneer. Diners can also opt for a something different like Vada Pav – a snackable take on a vegetarian burger – or savory kathi rolls of roasted kabob meat wrapped in flatbread.
Punch Bowl Social
(4238 Wilson Blvd.)
Karaoke, video games, craft drinks and upscale bar food are all part of the draw at Ballston's newest hangout. Hungry gamers can fill up on a wide selection of creative comfort food – think chicken and waffles with chipotle syrup and green chorizo fries. Punch Bowl Social has locations across the U.S. and still managed to give its inaugural Virginia location local flare with plenty of local beer and creative decor. Beverages (naturally) include shareable punches like the "It's a Mer-Man's World," with bourbon, pineapple papaya tea, cardamom syrup, aged rum and fresh lime juice.
(4850 Massachusetts Ave. NW)
Spring Valley can now crack open a fresh beer and enjoy a pie at the fifth outpost of this Washington pizza house. Highlights include unique pizzas like the Di Mare, topped with spicy garlic pesto, mussels, shrimp, spinach, red onions and grana padano cheese. Beer is always a Paradiso signature, and Spring Valley will pour a rotating selection of 12 D.C. beers and two ciders on draft along with an extensive bottle menu.
(1130 Maine Ave. SW)
Cocktail expert Todd Thrasher (PX, Brothers and Sisters) is the brain behind the epic Tiki TNT rum distillery, bar and restaurant now open at The Wharf. The huge space, which will produce four kinds of rum under the Potomac Distilling Company brand, includes a laid back vibe throughout and a rooftop with sprawling views of D.C. and the waterfront. A team of all-star D.C. chefs, including Erik Bruner-Yang and David Guas, helped collaborate on the casual and beachy food menu.