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Wild Forest Mushrooms 2.jpg
Baba's wild forest mushrooms. (Image: Christopher Milinauskas)

Restaurant Rumblings: Cuban in Silver Spring and Thanksgiving croissants

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:

Savor the flavors of fall with new offerings at the Upper West Side Cafe (2233 M St. NW), located inside the city’s Squash On Fire facility. The menu leads with an especially fitting seasonal tart filled with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, portobello mushrooms, pear, ricotta cheese and prosciutto. Lighter fare includes a beet and goat cheese salad, and a red snapper risotto with an almond-hazelnut sauce.

Clarendon’s subterranean cocktail den Baba (2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) has added some more substantial food items to accompany its Balkan-inspired drinks. Start a meal off with a round of beef or salmon tartare or perhaps a couple of chicken skewers marinated in Mediterranean spices. From there, graduate to creamy barley risotto with garden vegetables or a five-hour lamb with mashed potatoes and pomegranate vinaigrette.

The seasonal Thanksgiving croissant has returned to area Milk Bar locations in time to satisfy holiday cravings without the effort of cooking. The savory bite is stuffed with shredded roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Try it at the bakery’s flagship D.C. location at 1525 15th St. NW.

Bloomingdale’s Tyber Creek wine bar (84 T St. NW) is embracing cooler weather with patio heaters and some menu tweaks. Fill up with a bitter and sweet salad of roasted radicchio and golden beats topped with whipped ricotta and a nutty pistachio vinaigrette or go hearty with braised beef brisket with apples, butternut squash and parsnip purée and sautéed greens. Pass the time while sipping on the Caribbean Autumn, a cocktail with white rum, allspice dram, grapefruit juice and lemon.


Notti 824
(824 New Hampshire Ave. NW)

Foggy Bottom’s newest dining room is the modern American Notti 824 inside the boutique Arc the Hotel. Its menu has a bit of everything, drawing from the farm-to-table mold with plates of braised short rib with mushroom and cauliflower or a chicken romesco flatbread. The bar is stocked with local beers as well as craft cocktails like the Sombra Mezcal, a mix of pineapple and lime juices, agave nectar, egg white and bitters.

El Sapo
(8455-1 Fenton St., Silver Spring)

Step into this festive Cuban “social club” for an injection of island vibes in downtown Silver Spring. Get lost in freshly-made mojitos, rum-filled coconuts and other tropical drinks at the bar before digging into to the varied menu. Dishes start with ceviches and street food bites like fried yucca and empanadas. Larger entrees range from pork asado or ropa vieja to a shareable whole branzino.

The Meatball Shop
(1720 14th St. NW)

This New York City offshoot arrived on 14th street last month with a full array of meatballs, carbs and side dishes. Load up on beef, pork, chicken, or even lobster meatballs that can be topped and served in multiple ways. Combinations exist for nearly all tastes, whether its a craving for classic tomato sauce with a bowl of spaghetti or Parmesan cream sauce with a helping of broccolini or kale. The spot is open until 2 a.m. on weekends, making it a prime late-night location for eats (or a drink from its bar) near Logan Circle.