The wait for fall's big debut for D.C.'s luxury fine dining set is just about over. The Shaw Bijou, the tasting menu-centric Shaw restaurant from recent "Top Chef" alumn Kwame Onwuachi, opens its doors tomorrow.
The two-level restaurant consists of a downstairs dining area and upstairs bar that will eventually operate as a private club. Caleb Woodard is the mastermind behind many of the modern pieces throughout the space. The woodworker worked with co-owner Kelly Gorsuch to create the look. Lamps dotting the bar area are made of hand-blown illuminated globes, sitting atop smooth limestone bases. The bar, which seats up to 12, is lined with large dark and furry bar seats made of waterproof Icelandic sheepskin that look straight out of a regal dinner set on "Game of Thrones".
Downstairs in the sleek main dining room, a black swirly wooden chest that holds utensils "steals the room" according to barman Zac Hoffman. "There's no need for art," he said. Woodard's also responsible for the cavernous wood doors in the space. Velvet blue chairs for dining add a punch of color. "We want you to feel like you are coming into our home," said general manager Greg Vakiner during a media event last week.
That means a typical dinner goes as follows: grab a drink at the bar, descend the back staircase and enter the kitchen before settling into the main dining room. After the extensive meal, patrons can go back upstairs for a cocktail, space permitting. The last seating each night is 9:15 p.m.
The Shaw Bijou is catering to the deep-pocketed crowd, with a $185-per-person tasting menu that does not include drink pairings, service, or tax. Dinner for two, depending on beverage choices, could set many couples back close to $800-$1,000 for a meal there. Stay tuned for menu details in tomorrow's opening alert.
—Missy Frederick and Tierney Plumb