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


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

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. 
  • Alexandria's Winter Restaurant Week returns Jan. 29 through Feb. 7. This year, more than 60 Alexandria restaurants will offer a $35 three-course dinner or a $35 dinner for two. 

  • Bars and restaurants are promising to stay open during the storm, and many are offering specials @WTOP @WTOPLiving

  • 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) 

  • 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 

  • 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) 

  • 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) 

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

  • (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. 
  • 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. 

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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)
  • 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.

  • 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 

  • 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 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. 
  • 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)
  • 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.  
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