Washington, DC’s New Food Scene
At Kapnos, set to open this spring, Mike Isabella of Graffiato, Bandolero and Top Chef fame will make Greek food starting with brunch: Dishes will include baked orzo with spinach and feta (left). For dinner, he’ll spit-roast whole animals. Next door, he is also opening G, an Italian sandwich shop by day and tasting-menu restaurant by night. 2201 14th St. NW; kapnosdc.com.
Husband-and-wife team Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac run the beer-focused restaurant Birch & Barley; when space became available nearby, they decided to open a spot focused on frying. At GBD—short for “golden brown and delicious”—Bailey prepares buttermilk fried chicken and MacIsaac makes salt-and-pepper crème fraîche biscuits, plus brioche doughnuts in flavors like grapefruit-Campari. When the company’s Bluejacket brewery, bar and restaurant opens near the Nationals stadium, they will address a question they say they often ask themselves: “Why not pair great beer with great food, instead of mozzarella sticks?” Bluejacket, 300 Tingey St. SE; bluejacketdc.com. GBD, 1323 Connecticut Ave. NW; gbdchickendoughnuts.com.
DC’s answer to San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace: In the middle of the city’s wholesale-food warehouses, development company Edens has renovated this industrial-chic structure and enlisted chef Richie Brandenburg, fresh from a stint working for José Andrés, to collect the most talented local vendors. Under soaring ceilings, shoppers will find perfect afternoon snacks: smoky oyster chowder with bacon at Rappahannock Oyster Bar, or spiced chocolate egg creams from mixologist Gina Chersevani at Buffalo & Bergen. Shoppers can also pick up artisanal pickles and aged cheeses. “I went after vendors I used as a chef,” says Brandenburg. “Why shouldn’t regular folks be able to buy the best-quality ingredients?” 1309 Fifth St. NE; unionmarketdc.com.
At Johnny Spero’s tasting-menu-only restaurant, diners can expect precise cooking with local—sometimes foraged—ingredients. Dishes include dashi custard with scallops and sea beans, and roast squab breast with porridge (left). 214 Seventh St. SE; sunadc.com.
Come summer, Maketto will be the best place to go for a late-night snack. The brainchild of Erik Bruner-Yang (who opened ramen hot spot Toki Underground in 2011), Maketto was inspired by Asian night markets and will stay open until 2 a.m. on weekends. The restaurant will serve dishes from Taiwan (dan dan noodles) and Southeast Asia (papaya salad), and vendors will sell street foods, clothes and housewares. Street-wear designer Will Sharp of Durkl is collaborating on the project. Unlike the unmarked, 25-seat Toki Underground, Maketto will be a multilevel business. “This is my go-big-or-go-home moment,” says Bruner-Yang. 1351 H St. NE.
Salt & Sundry
At this shop in the new Union Market, F&W contributor Amanda McClements sells handmade ceramics and linens, plus farm tables built by her father. 1309 Fifth St. NE; shopsaltandsundry.com.
More New Openings
Minibar José Andrés remains the face of avant-garde Spanish cuisine in America. When he moved (and redesigned) his Minibar in the fall, he made it slightly less mini, yet still intimate. In a sleek white room, 12 diners sample his whimsical, modern dishes, more than half of them new, including “pine snow with honey” and “parmesan leaves.” 855 E St. NW; minibarbyjoseandres.com.
DGS Delicatessen Chef Barry Koslow has rebooted the Jewish deli. He makes pickles, cures meats and adds fried chicken skin to chopped liver, which diners can pair with a sparkling Austrian rosé. 1317 Connecticut Ave. NW; dgsdelicatessen.com.
Daikaya At this two-in-one restaurant, ramen (and only ramen) is served downstairs. Upstairs, the menu loosens up to focus on izakaya-style food. 705 Sixth St. NW; daikaya.com.
Woodward Table Jeffrey Buben, chef-owner of Vidalia, pays homage to regional dishes like crab cakes at his new spot. His flavors skew southern, like a Coca-Cola glaze on chicken wings. 1426 H St. NW; woodwardtable.com.