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Maydan (Image: Kate Warren)

Restaurant Rumblings: Openings, chef swaps and new menus

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

Recent Openings

Lucky Buns
2000 18th St. NW

Chef Alex McCoy (Alfie’s) is taking the humble burger on an international journey at his new Adams Morgan joint. The menu ranges from the Tikka Bun, with grilled tandoori chicken, to the El Jefe, with Creekstone beef, hatch green chili relish, gouda and more. Fans of fried food can dig into the Katsu Bun, and breakfast lovers can crush the Brekkie Bun, with its banger sausage patty and runny egg. For all the adventure, though, there’s nothing wrong with a signature Lucky Bun, topped with gouda, “Lucky Sauce,” pickles, arugula and grilled red onions.

Maydan
1346 Florida Ave. NW

From the Compass Rose team comes Maydan, a tribute to the bustling gathering places of the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. The restaurant’s centerpiece is an open-flame grill, used to cook just about everything on the menu. Food is meant to be shared and sampled, so load up on plates of grilled carrots or eggplant, lamb and beef skewers, and the fantastic selection of condiments. There are also some large-scale meats available, like lamb shoulder and a tender and juicy whole roasted chicken. Cocktails and wine are creative too, drawing inspiration from the different countries and regions represented on the menu.

Primrose
3000 12th St. NE

This locally-owned wine bar is now pouring in D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood . The wine list will have 75 selections by the bottle and 15 by the glass, all focused on small producers from France and Virginia. Primrose was created by husband-and-wife team Sebastian Zutant (previously a partner and beverage director at Red Hen and All Purpose) and Lauren Winter (co-founder of Edit Lab design). Chef Nathan Beauchamp of Tiger Fork and Calico designed the menu, which includes comforting options like coq au vin and steak frites, and is also a partner in the restaurant with Greg Algie, owner of Calico, The Fainting Goat and Tiger Fork.

Seylou Bakery and Mill
926 N St. NW, Suite A

Whole-grain bakery Seylou fired up its ovens this week and opened its doors in Blagden Alley. The bakery mills all its seeds on-site and bakes the 100 percent whole grain breads inside a wood-fired oven. Seylou also offers pastries, coffees, teas and other items. Come for sourdough “pain au levain,” and be ready for Saturday pizza and salad nights starting in January.

Chef Changes

Ryan Hackney has taken his fine-dining resume to The Bird (1337 11th St. NW), where he’ll now be executive chef. Hackney is a native Washingtonian and has worked in many upscale kitchens around the city, including Marcel’s, 701 Restaurant and Bibiana. Expect to see his influences on The Bird’s upcoming winter menu, which will retain some of the restaurant’s classics in addition to new dishes. In particular, Hackney says he plans to experiment with Asian flavors, grow the bar snack menu and give some love to the popular brunch menu.

New On The Menu

Modern French bistro Le DeSeales (1725 DeSales St. NW) recently launched Saturday brunch, and it’s an ideal menu for a leisurely meal away from the bottomless mimosa crowds. Start with a selection of cheese and charcuterie before moving on to heartier fare. Entree highlights include fluffy pancakes with maple syrup; swordfish with tomato, olive, almond, and shallots; and a “Chesapeake Smokehouse” with smoked salmon, egg, pistou and toast. Enjoy it all while sipping on a Kir Royal or one of the bar’s signature cocktails, which you can also get by the one-liter pitcher. It’s served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Downtown newcomer Rare Steak and Seafood (1595 I St. NW) has rolled out a happy hour featuring discounted food and drink, seven days a week. Stop by from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for half-price wine, $5 beers and cocktails, $1 oysters of the day and more. Bigger appetites can quell a craving for meat with $7 steak tartare or choose a “Chef’s Pot” filled with oysters, clams, or mussels and a choice of smoked ham or spicy shellfish curry for $8 to $10. And the $2 garlic Parmesan rolls are sure to be addicting.

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