It's tough, and yet necessary, to think spring with the weather D.C. has been experiencing this week. Spring and fall tend to be the busy seasons for restaurant openings, and there's already plenty of buzz for upcoming restaurants this year. Here are some of the big ones (listed in no particular order), with updates on others as well.
1) Crane & Turtle
Address: 828 Upshur St. NW
Major Players: Paul Ruppert, Nick Pimentel, Makoto Hammamura
The Situation: The restaurant from the Room 11 team will combine the influences of Japanese and French cooking. It's a small space, and the menu will emphasize seafood. The name comes from a Japanese fable that has personal significance for the chef.
Projected Opening: April
2) Dino's Grotto
Address: 1914 9th St. NW.
Major Players: Dean Gold
The Situation: Fans of Cleveland Park Italian restaurant Dino were sad when the restaurant closed its doors in February. But owner Dean Gold won't be away from the scene for long. He's signed for a new space in Shaw that will also serve Italian fare. The restaurant will emphasize sustainable fare and have room for 120 people on two floors.
Projected Opening: Late April.
3) America Eats Tavern
Address: 1700 Tysons Blvd. McLean, Va.
Major Players:ThinkFoodGroup, José Andrés
The Situation: ThinkFoodGroup is planning to bring back a new version of Andrés' American restaurant (which had a brief run as a pop-up within the former Cafe Atlantico building). The new location is in the former Maestro space in the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. There will be some differences than the original, though specifics on the project have been scarce.
Projected Opening: May
4) Bread Furst
Address: 4434 Connecticut Ave. NW
Major Players:Mark Furstenberg
The Situation: Legendary area baker Furstenberg (formerly of Breadline and Marvelous Market) is returning to the food scene with the arrival of Bread Furst. He's working with some apprentices to pull off his new shop, and the team has been blogging its progress. Bread Furst will offer offer breads, pastries, desserts, breakfast items, coffee, ice cream and soda fountain drinks, as well as some take-out products.
Projected Opening:Early April
Address: 1333 14th Street NW.
Major Players:Ryan Fleming, Miranda Mirabella, Madcap Coffee
The Situation: D.C.'s coffee scene has continued to get more serious over the past year or so. Following the arrival of La Colombe in Shaw comes Slipstream, from two California transplants looking to open a combined coffee shop and cocktail option, with an emphasis on service.
Projected Opening: Late May.
6) Jose Garces' steakhouse
Address: 1177 15th St. NW
Major Players: Jose Garces, Loews Madison Hotel
The Situation: An Argentinian steakhouse (the name has not been announced) from Philadelphia chef Jose Garces is expected to replace the former Federalist restaurant within the hotel. This is Garces' first venture into the D.C. area.
Projected Opening: Early May
7) Brookland's Finest
Address: 3128 12th St. NE
Major Players: Tony Tomelden, John "Solly" Solomon, Frank Hankins
The Situation: Many residents of Brookland have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of this neighborhood joint, whose owners have been involved with such popular projects as The Pug and Solly's. The project had some liquor license challenges but is now on track for a spring opening. Expect a family-friendly vibe and American food.
Projected Opening: Early April
Address: 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW
Major Players: The One Group
The Situation: Some are pumped; others are wary. The "female-friendly" steakhouse, with locations in New York, Vegas and elsewhere, has had its sights on D.C. (where no steakhouse goes unopened, apparently) for quite some time now. The restaurants emphasize cocktails, reasonable portions of meat and design.
Projected Opening: April
Address: 613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE
Major Players: Matt Weiss, Garret Fleming
The Situation: A Southern bar with whiskey and beer as the emphasis? Count D.C. in. Fleming (formerly of The Pig and working on the upcoming Gristle) is handling the menu of this place, and there's talk of dishes like fried pork chops and brisket.
Projected Opening: Late March/Early April
10) Toro Toro
Address: 1300 Eye St. NW
Major Players: Richard Sandoval, Ivan Iricanin
The Situation: Sandoval's next project in D.C. is Toro Toro, a Brazilian-inspired steakhouse. The restaurant will also feature a selection of small plates.
Projected Opening: Late March
Editor's Notes: Lance London's Carolina Kitchen, grilled cheese specialists GCDC and Ben's Chili Bowl Arlington should still squeak by with winter openings...The Baltimore Aggio (not to mention Baltimore's Parts & Labor by Spike Gjerde), Ohio transplant Paladar Kitchen + Rum Bar (Tysons), Red Light from Aaron Gordon, the new Fishnet in Shaw, pizza place Bergami's on Rhode Island Ave., City Burger from the Food, Wine & Co. team, Irish pub Fiona's and neighborhood spot Compass Rose should open this spring...No updated projections available for Lunchbox, Mad Fox DC or Tico...expect a longer wait for Nicoletta, Gypsy Soul, District Doughnuts, Maketto, Daniel Boulud's DBGB, Gristle, Kapnos Arlington, China Chilcano and Jeremiah Langhorne's project, among others.