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Clean, Fresh Food, Stable-Inspired Design at Thally

[Photos: R. Lopez]

Chef and bartender-driven restaurants are a labor of love, and often the result of years of late-night discussions, dreams, and planning. And such is the case for Thally (pronounced tally), which opens on or about Tuesday, August 27 in Shaw.

Co-owners Chef Ron Tanaka (New Heights, Cork, CityZen, Citronelle, Palena) and General Manager Sherman Outhuok (Posto and Maple) partnered with Posto and Tosca owner Pablo Sacco to bring their dream of a destination neighborhood restaurant to life. Chef Tanaka describes the cuisine as "modern American," which he admits is a phrase that is too often used, but best fits his philosophy of clean, fresh dishes.

The opening menu includes light starters like a chilled cucumber soup; a grilled peach salad with prosciutto, spiced cottage cheese and balsamic; and a slightly heavier carnitas sope with pork shoulder, red chile sauce, and radish. Entrees include less-used cuts of meats, such as a mustard-brined, grilled pork t-bone, and a grilled Delmonico with bordelaise and coffee dust. Tanaka's avocado bruschetta with a cult following will remain on Cork Wine Bar's menu, but fans should know the chef is featuring an avocado BLT.

Outhuok's bar menu reflects some of his personal preferences. He explains that he prefers cider over beer, and with the increased interest in new well-made ciders they're a focus of the menu. Along with a selection of ciders in bottles, there will be a high-end and an everyday cider option on draft, served alongside 10 draft beers. All drafts will be available as four-ounce short pours. And there are no Coke or Pepsi products here. Instead teetotalers will be able to enjoy a selection of Outhuok's house-made sodas and colas (five choices to start).

The wine selection is built to complement the menu. Twenty-four wines will be available by the glass, and six of them will be switched out weekly to match the menu. There will also be a large selection of bottles that will be displayed in the wine racks that will eventually grace a semi-private dining area.

The name is a tribute to the nearby Tally-Ho Stables, and the 'h' in the name is a nod to Outhuok's daughter Thalia whose nickname is Thally. And the interiors reflect the stables with blackboards that hang and roll on barn door hardware, exposed brick, and unfinished reclaimed wood. Vinyl wall graphics by D.C. graphic designer Matthew Hlubny reflect the surrounding neighborhood of Blagden Alley and Naylor Court.
—Jamie Liu
· Thally [Official Site]
· All Previous Thally Coverage [-EDC-]