The Dish: D.C. Food News You Can Use


The Dish: D.C. Food News You Can Use Live

The District's dining scene is one that's booming. Catch the latest food, drink and dining updates on WTOP Living's food list.

Make sure you catch the latest on D.C.'s growing restaurant hot spots, cocktail programs and dining deals with WTOP Living.  Here's what's happening this week. 


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  • Cava Grill opens new locations 

    Hold on to your harissa. Cava Grill is opening two new locations this month. The fast-casual's Columbia, Maryland location will open on Aug. 22 (6181 Old Dobbin Lane) and its Vienna, Virginia location will open Aug. 29 (175 Maple Ave W.). Both will host a "community lunch" on their opening days, where complimentary grain bowls, salads and pitas will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
    Cava Grill is opening two new D.C.-area locations in August, as well as its first New York City location in Union Square. (Courtesy Cava Grill Facebook)
  • Get a taste of Rio, even after the games 

    The Olympic games may be over, but your taste buds don't need to depart Rio just yet ... 
    Through Oct. 2, Robeks is serving its limited-time açaí smoothies and bowls in flavor combinations like watermelon, açaí juice, frozen yogurt, pineapple, mango and mint; and pineapple, strawberry, shredded coconut, banana chips, mango, chocolate-covered coconut, bee pollen and raw honey.  
  • DC named Bon Appétit’s restaurant city of the year

    This year, Washington, D.C., is Bon Appétit magazine’srestaurant city of the year.

    The designation comes just after the national food magazine named three D.C. restaurants — Bad Saint, The Dabney and Tail Up Goat — on its list of the 50 finalists for America’s best new restaurants.

    Bad Saint, located in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood, was eventually named No. 2 best new restaurant in the country. 

    D.C.'s Bad Saint was named No. 2 best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit magazine. (Photo Credit Farrah Skeiky)



  • Get a taste of New England August at Sixth Engine 

    This month, Sixth Engine Chef Kyle Bailey is offering diners a taste of New England Thursdays through Sundays with his special "New England Getaway" menu.
    Inspired by a recent research trip for the upcoming The Salt Line (salted for next summer at The Navy Yard), Bailey decided to offer the fresh flavors of New England summers to diners sooner, rather than later.
    The restaurant will post its weekly specials on Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Free ice cream at Union Market 

    Calling all ice cream lovers: Sunday, July 17 is the sixth annual DC Scoop event at Union Market. The event (which includes FREE samples of ice cream, gelato and other frozen treats from 11 different vendors competing for the "Best Ice Cream" title ) will take place between 1 and 4 p.m. at the market's Dock 5 space. 
    There will also be an ice cream-eating contest, raffles and giveaways and food from local favorites Timber Pizza Co. and Buffalo & Bergen. 
  • Bastille Day at Central 

    Thursday, July 14 is Bastille Day, and Michel Richard's Central is throwing a party! The downtown restaurant is offering a special three-course menu for $55. There will also be specialty cocktails, French music and plenty of decorations. 
    Celebrate Bastille Day at Central. (Courtesy Central)
  • Welcome to the dog days of summer

    Now that we're in the dog days of summer, Chef Michelle Poteaux of Bastille in Old Town Alexandria has a treat to cool off the dogs. From July 12-31, pups on the patio can order a Cloud Nine Ice Cream Bowl, made from banana, peanut butter, yogurt and honey. 
    Of course, humans can keep cool too with the chef's homemade ice cream, including Café Liégeois -- espresso ice cream, espresso, chocolate crunch and Crème Chantilly; Dame Blanche -- vanilla bean ice cream, warm chocolate fudge sauce and Crème Chantilly; and Tropic -- passion fruit sorbet, vanilla ice cream, toasted Congolais and passion fruit caramel, crème Chantilly.  
    Dogs and their owners can enjoy ice cream this summer at Bastille in Old Town. (Thinkstock)
  • A Republic Kolache Revival! 

    The guys behind Republic Kolache are no longer serving their breakfast treats from American Ice, but that doesn't mean you have to go completely without kolaches while they continue to work on their brick & mortar. Here's where you can catch them around town:
    • On Friday, July 1, Republic Kolache is launching its new weekend popup at Hill Country, where you can snag some kolaches, coffee and fresh juices Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. out of the front bar of 410 7th St. NW. Try the new jalapeno, sausage and cheese kolache, and the return of the brisket kolache. 
    • As of June 29, Republic Kolache will offer a selection of sweet and savory kolaches at the new Pentagon City Whole Foods. Available flavors include the Tex-Mex Saag Paneer, Migas, Cherry & Cream Cheese and Lemon Berry. Meat options will be available soon. 
    • Republic Kolache is also teaming up with Right Proper Brewery for a weekly kolache happy hour Wednesday at the Brookland brewery and tasting room
    • Stay tuned for more information on the forthcoming brick & mortar kolache shop! 
    For Texans, kolaches are as common as doughnuts — a ubiquitous breakfast or snack food found in most bakeries and convenience stores. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)
  • Summer cocktails at Columbia Room 

    Derek Brown's Shaw-based cocktail haven, Columbia Room, released its summer menu, which is inspired by Central and South American flavors. Try the Banana Republican (made with singani, guyana rum, cocchi torino, banane du bresil, xocolatl mole bitters, and banana chip) or the Cuxlbamba (gin, horchata lojana and makrut lime cordial).
    Columbia Room is located at 124 Blagden Alley in Northwest.
  • The city's newest beer garden

    Just in time for summer, D.C.'s Neighborhood Restaurant Group partnered with Golden Triangle Business Improvement District to launch a seasonal craft beer garden, called Canteen, at 2100 M St. in Northwest.
    Greg Engert (WTOP's Beer of the Week guru) curated the beer list, and Red Apron is taking care of the menu. The outdoor beer garden seats 100, and is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and then Saturday from noon to 10 p.m.
    Wines and boozy slushies will also be available, and live music and lawn games will be aplenty. 
    Canteen is D.C.'s newest beer garden. (Courtesy Canteen Facebook)
  • The Inn at Little Washington gets a market 

    The Inn at Little Washington (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
    Starting July 3, The Inn at Little Washington will launch the town's first seasonal farmers market, which is set to run through Oct. 30. The markert will feature products and produce from many of the farmers The Inn works with to build its award-winning menu.
    Expect to see meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, soups, breads, jams and pastries. There will also be crafts, North Carolina-style pulled pork barbecue and live bluegrass music. 
  • Get a taste of the season at these food & drink festivals:

    Summer's best food and drink festivals

    WTOPThink things slow down in the summer? Think again. Nearly every weekend there's something new to taste at these local food and drink festivals.


  • Get schooled on bourbon's history

    Last year, we took you inside D.C.'s newest (at the time) distillery. This year, it's your turn. On Thursday, June 30, Jos. A. Magnus & Co. is hosting an evening of bourbon history and tasting with bourbon legend Fred Minnick and Jack Rose Founder Bill Thomas from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The evening is free, but registration is required
    Jos. A. Magnus & Co. is located at 2052 West Virginia Ave. in Northeast. 
    Jos. A. Magnus is a distillery in D.C. (WTOP/Rachel Nania)
  • And we're back!

    Yes, we've been snoozing. But now, after a short break, we're recharged and ready to keep bringing you the food news of the city. Stay tuned to #TheDish for everything from recipes to restaurant openings. 
    Yes, we took a break. But we're rested and ready to keep the food news coming your way! (Thinkstock)
  • The 5th annual Sunday Supper will take place June 5 at Union Market's Dock 5. Chefs and restauranteurs will prepare a sit-down, family-style meal to benefit the James Beard Foundation and the Executive Education Program for Women in Culinary Leadership. 
    For information on tickets, visit Union Market's website
    Courtesy Sunday Suppers
  • D.C. has plenty of pork-centric restaurants, and now, it's getting one for the birds ... 
    EatWell DC will open The Bird in the fall 2016. Diners can expect "beak-to-toe cuisine, highlighting "four seasons of fowl" and local vegetables. You don't have to wait until fall to catch a taste, though. The Bird will be "popping up" at The Pig Monday, May 23. 
    The pop-up is reservations only, and reservations can be made by calling 202-290-2821. 
  • Now Open: Fan of pizza? Then make sure you check out D.C.'s newest hotspot All Purpose. From the co-owners of The Red Hen and Boundary Stone, the Shaw restaurant serves Italian-American classics with a focus on pizza. 
    All-Purpose is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. 
    Courtesy @AllPurposeDC
  • Shake Shack is getting ready for summer. The burger chain announced its new lineup for the warm-weather season, including the popular Blueberry Pie Oh My concrete and the Bacon CheddarShack Burger. Shake Shack has locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. 

    The Blueberry Pie Oh My concrete (Courtesy Shake Shack) 

  • Attention, Crystal City-ites ... Taylor Gourmet is now open! They D.C.-based hoagie shop opened its doors at 2200 Crystal Drive at 11 a.m., and is featuring a new spring menu filled with meat and vegetarian subs and salads. 

    Don't forget to order a side of the risotto balls -- they're a fan favorite. 

    Courtesy Taylor Gourmet 

  • Celebrate Cherry Blossom season with Sumo Wrestling

    Courtesy TAAPR 

    A chance to see three world-renowned Sumo wrestlers in North End Shaw this Sunday may appeal to your curious side, but the chance to take on Yama, Byamba and Takeshi yourself will certainly appeal to your adventurous side. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, the three Japanese heavyweights (one of whom is 600 pounds) will challenge each other as well as crowd members, to Sumo fights. In between matches, you can sample Sumo-inspired snacks from Katsuya Fukushima, executive chef and co-owner of Daikaya and the
    Haikan. Find the wrestlers and the Sumo snacks at 945 Florida Ave NW. 
  • Columbia Room to Open Punch Garden & Launch Cherry Blossom-Inspired Spring Menu

    The newly reopened Columbia Room is celebrating spring with a new Tasting Room menu inspired by Japanese flavors. The big unveil is scheduled for March 22, to coincide with the vernal equinox. Here are a couple cocktails that piqued our interest: 

    “I Never Promised You a Zen Garden” -- a mix of Junmai Daigingo sake infused with red shisho leaf, blanc vermouth, umeshu (plum liqueur) and gentian served atop a "zen garden," complete with plum sugar “sand,” Mochi “rocks” and a rake.

    “Cherry Blossom Tea” --- a blend of Sochu, pickled cherry blossom tea, honey and apricot liqueur. 

    The spring menu will be available until June 21 — the start of  the summer solstice.

  • The 2016 RAMMY Awards finalists are in!

    The RAMMYs honor the accomplishments and achievements of the D.C-area restaurant and foodservice community. The winners will be announced at a black-tie gala on June 12, 2016.

    The finalists for the 2016 RAMMY Awards are:

    Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: 

    • 1905
    • ChurchKey
    • Martin's
    • Northside
      Social Coffee & Wine
    • Room 11

    Upscale Casual Brunch: 

    • Blue
      Duck Tavern
    • Fiola
    • Kapnos
      by Mike Isabella
    • Osteria
    • The
      Source by Wolfgang Puck

    Everyday Casual Brunch:

    • DGS
      Delicatessen - DC
    • Duke's
    • Republic
    • Tico
    • Vinoteca

    Favorite Fast Bites: 

    • Bub
      and Pop's
    • Cava
      Grill - Chinatown
    • G
      by Mike Isabella
    • Red
      Apron Butcher - Union Market
    • Taco
      Bamba Taqueria - Falls Church

    Cocktail Program of the Year: 

    • 2
      Birds 1 Stone
    • barmini
      by José Andrés
    • Del
    • Kapnos
      by Mike Isabella
    • Tico

    Beer Program of the Year: 

    • The
      Arsenal at Bluejacket
    • Granville
    • Jack
      Rose Dining Saloon
    • Republic
    • Right
      Proper Brewing Company

    Wine Program of the Year:

    • 2941
    • Bourbon
    • Charlie
      Palmer Steak
    • Le
    • The
      Red Hen

    Employee of the Year: 

    • Jorge
      Martinez, The Source by Wolfgang Puck
    • Jim
      Mayo, PassionFish Reston
    • Aniko
      Olah, Martin's Tavern
    • Yovani
      Peralta, B Too
    • Andrea
      Raiello, Water & Wall

    Manager of the Year: 

    • Carlos
      Fernandez, Best Buns Bread Company
    • Margarita
      Krivchikova, Belga Cafe
    • Sudhir
      Kumar, Indique
    • Jennifer
      Lucy, Estadio
    • Atul
      Narain, Rasika 

    Service Program of the Year: 

    • Bourbon
    • Fiola
    • Iron
    • Rasika
    • The
      Source by Wolfgang Puck

    Pastry Chef of the Year: 

    • Jemil
      Gadea, Masseria by Nicholas Stefanelli
    • Eva
      Kronenburg, Convivial
    • Alex
      Levin, Osteria Morini
    • Bridie
      McCulla, Northside Social, The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall
    • Tressa
      Wiles, Bayou Bakery

    Rising Culinary Star of the Year: 

    • Erin
      Clarke, Casa Luca
    • Brad
      Deboy, Blue Duck Tavern
    • Jonah
      Kim, Yona
    • Piter
      and Handry Tjan, Sushiko
    • James
      Wozniuk, Maketto

    Everyday Casual
    Dining Restaurant of the Year:

    • Bar
    • Daikaya
    • The
      Fainting Goat
    • Pearl
      Dive Oyster Palace
    • Pizzeria

    Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: 

    • Le
    • Osteria
    • Sushiko
    • The
      Red Hen
    • Zaytinya

    New Restaurant of the Year: 

    • Centrolina
    • Clarity
    • Convivial
    • Maketto
    • Masseria
      by Nicholas Stefanelli

    Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: 

    • Iron
    • Marcel's
      by Robert Wiedmaier
    • Rasika
    • Restaurant
    • Trummer's
      on Main

    Chef of the Year: 

    • Amy
      Brandwein, Centrolina
    • Erik
      Bruner-Yang, Toki Underground, Maketto
    • Scott
      Drewno, The Source by Wolfgang Puck
    • Tarver
      King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
    • Cedric
      Maupillier, Mintwood Place, Convivial

    Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: 

    • DC
      Brau Brewing Company
    • Port
      City Brewing Company
    • Don
      Ciccio & Figli
    • Green
      Hat/New Columbia Distillers
    • One
      Eight Distilling 

    Restaurateur of the Year: 

    • Cava
      Group (Cava Grill, Cava Mezze, Cava Foods, Sugo)
    • Gruppo
      FT Restaurants (Fiola, Fiola Mare, Casa Luca)
    • JL
      Restaurant Group  (Hank's Oyster Bar, Hank's Pasta Bar, The Twisted
    • Mike
      Isabella Concepts (Graffiato, Kapnos, G, Kapnos Taverna, Pepita, Yona, etc)
    • Paul
      Ruppert, Warehouse Industries (Room 11, Crane & Turtle, Petworth
      Citizen, Slim's Diner)
  • Ethiopian restaurant and coffeehouse coming to Columbia Heights

    Courtesy of LeTena 

    LeTena bills itself as a "fast casual concept Ethiopian restaurant," serving authentic Ethiopian food and coffee. 50 seats in all, the space is split into a 20-seat coffeehouse and a 30-seat dining room. Diners can sample stews, salads and other specialties, including tibs, a meat and vegetable dish that resembles a stir-fry. Dishes will come with injera, the traditional flatbread used to scoop up the food. Dishes will also be available with bread or rice instead, for those who prefer to eat with utensils. Starting this summer, LeTena will showcase a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony on Sundays. LeTena is arriving in Columbia Heights, on the corner of  14th street and Park Road, NW, in Spring 2016.

  • Have you ever been to a 'Spice Dinner'? Now's your chance.

    By Samantha Loss

    Photo courtesy of La Boite 

    If you like things spicy, mark your calendar for Feb. 28, and plan a trip to Falls Church, Virginia.

    2941 Restaurant will be hosting an 8-course “Spice Dinner.”

    Priced at $95 per person, the 8-course tasting menu crafted by Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel and Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart will showcase a selection of rare and custom spice blends from NYC Spice Master Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boite.

    Custom wine pairings will also be available to complement each course for an additional $80
    per person.
      Handcrafted spice-infused cocktails will also be available.

    Highlights from the menu include a yellowfin tuna crudo, clam chowder featuring the Lula spice, grilled rack of lamb featuring Amber and Ayala, and a coconut tres leches featuring Noga.


  • Jose Andres restaurant coming to Bethesda

    By Samantha Loss

    Photo courtesy of Beefsteak 

    Another piece of the Jose Andres empire is headed to Maryland. Andres has announced that his fast-casual vegetarian restaurant Beefsteak will open its first Maryland location in Bethesda. 

    It is scheduled to open at Westfield Montgomery Mall in early
    Summer, 2016. 
    Beefsteak already has two other locations, in Dupont Circle and Foggy Bottom. Beefsteak is also slated to open a location in Tenleytown, and Philadelphia, PA in Spring 2016. 

    Beefsteak’s menu features customizable options that make vegetables the star.  Offerings
    include salads, gazpacho, and the BEETsteak sandwich which features beets,
    pickled red onions, sprouts, and a chipotle Mayo. 

  • (Courtesy Republic Kolache Co.) 

    Republic Kolache lands a sweet spot at Union Market

    Starting this Saturday, Feb. 13, Kolache lovers can get their fix at Republic Kolache's new stall at Union Market. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, fans of the Czech pastry can try sweet and savory offerings like DCity Smokehouse brisket or a new poppyseed flavor that is near and dear to co-owner Chris Svetlik's heart. Texas ex-pats and curious locals may be intrigued by Republic Kolache's beverage menu. It consists of one item: Topo Chico, a cult-favorite mineral water from Texas. Republic Kolache will operate out of Union Market through early March, and possibly longer. 
  • The group behind LINCOLN Restaurant and Teddy & The Bully Bar is opening its new restaurant, Declaration, on Saturday, Feb. 6 in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest, D.C. 

    Expect a 52-seat, "pizza-centric" restaurant that also serves sandwiches and sides, as well as cocktails and beer -- and it's right across the street from the 9:30 Club. 

  • WTOP staffers share favorite #SuperBowl recipes. Yes, they've been tested and tested again

  • Attn burger fanatics: @DukesGrocery is coming to former Zoo Bar Cafe space in Woodley Park

  • Chef Kyle Bailey of Neighborhood Restaurant Group's Birch & Barley will head up culinary development at Long Shot Hospitality in his new role as Corporate Chef. 

    Restaurants under the group include Sixth Engine, Town Hall and The Dubliner. Chef Bailey will assume his new position in mid-February. 
  • Looking for a way to shake up your winter dining routine? 

    Head to Ankara in Dupont Circle for the restaurant's Crossroads Dinner Series, which highlights "the intersection of food, wine and decades old traditions enjoyed throughout the region." 

    March 15: Explore the tastes of Tokat and the North/Central Anatolian regions of Turkey with a four-course meal focusing on foods from Turkey's heartland. 

    April 6: On April 6, guests will be treated to a traditional Meyhane-style dinner featuring meze, salads and fish dishes. Musicians will roam the restaurant for the lively Turkish experience. 

    February's Southwest Georgian dinner is sold out, but Ankara is planning to add a second date in April.  All dinners begin at 6:30 p.m. Reservations can be made online

    Ankara's Crossroads dinner series highlights food, wine and traditions from the many regions of Turkey. (Courtesy Ankara) 

  • It hasn't been closed long, but it's been long missed. Now, the wait is over: Derek Brown's Columbia Room is set to re-open on Feb. 9. 

    Plans for the new space include a five-course tasting menu (cocktails, not food) and a "spirits library." There will also be snacks and cheese and charcuterie plates. 

    The Iron Arm Grog: Scotch, brose (oatmeal, hay, faro), myrtle berry liqueur, honey, cranberry bitters, frozen cranberries, juniper sprig (Courtesy Joy Asico) 

  • On Monday, Feb. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m., Washingtonians can get a taste Mexican tortas at the Cocina Tortas pop-up at Songbyrd Cafe in Adams Morgan. 

    The menu includes small bites -- chips and salsa; guacamole with house chips; roasted chiles with red onion, lime and grapefruit; and Mexican street-style corn. 

    Tortas include grilled citrus chicken with avocado, tomatillo and cilantro slaw; red-chile pork with dried chiles, Tecate simmered pork shoulder, cucumer escabeche and queso fresco; and more. 

    Tequilla punches will also be available. 

    Courtesy Cocina Tortas 

  • Shake Shack is branching out of the burger business. 

    Beginning Jan. 14, all U.S. locations -- including those in D.C. -- will debut the Chick'n Shack, Shake Shack's chicken sandwich. 

    The sandwich is made using cage-free chicken breast and is slow-cooked in a buttermilk marinade before it's dredged through seasoned flour and fried. 

    The fried chicken breast is topped with pickles, shredded lettuce and a buttermilk herb mayo. 

    Way to shake things up, Shake Shack. 

    The Chick'n Shack (Courtesy Shake Shack Facebook) 

  • Tipsy Maple Bacon Corn: The perfect snow-day (or everyday) snack.

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