With Inauguration craziness over, D.C. is ready for a real kind of celebration.
Luckily, Chinese New Year — also known as China’s Spring Festival or Lunar New Year — kicks off Jan. 28, and lots of restaurants are getting in on the action.
For instance, The Bird will embrace the Year of the Rooster with apps, entrees, and desserts centered around all things feathered. Tysons’ new TenPenh will also have a rooster-themed menu (like a "Cock-tail" with Chinese Five-Spice and Baijiu).
Expect to spot such traditional accents around town as lion dances, which conclude with ceremonial lettuce and money feeding. MGM National Harbor’s new holiday setup includes greenery, lanterns, and other details to symbolize good fortune — perfect for gamblers passing by and heading to high-roller tables.
Read on to hear where to ring in the Chinese New Year.
MGM National Harbor
101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md.; website
To honor the Year of the Rooster, a 30-foot-tall fire rooster temporarily lives beneath the new resort’s soaring atrium, as do citrus trees and “Lady Luck,” the Chinese empress. Off the atrium floor, Pan-Asian restaurant Ginger will feature New Year Chinese entrees all holiday long. On Feb. 2, popular Chinese rock group Band of Brothers will perform, and the next day the resort will put on its inaugural lion dance.
2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge, Va.; website
Stop by mall’s Grand Court on Feb. 4 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to check out a lineup of celebratory events: a Chinese dance, lion dance, a fashion show, music from a Chinese instrument, the Guzheng, food samples, and more.
709 D St. NW; website
Red Apron Butchery’s Nate Anda is teaming up with Chinese food master Scott Drewno (The Source) to create a Szechuan duck burger with sesame pickles and hot mustard. The $10 burger will be available at The Partisan from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3.
808 V St. NW; website
Chef Rob Rubba will craft a Sparkling Chinese New Year brunch on Jan. 29 at the hot Shaw staple, featuring a list of sparkling wines to accompany his dim sum specialties ($7 to $14). Some options that pair well with bubbly include pork kimchi steamed buns, kimchi scramble, or curry donuts with winter squash and curry glaze.
7900 Westpark Drive, McLean, Va.; website
The new Tysons Corner power spot will have special rooster-themed offerings on Saturday. Spring rolls are traditionally eaten for luck in the new year, and chef Jeff Tunks will make shrimp and pork spring rolls with spicy rooster sauce. And a “cock-tail”—the Five-Spice Rooster—will be made with Chinese Five Spice and Baijiu, a Chinese grain spirit that has been produced for over 5,000 years. Both are $10 each.
1337 11th St. NW; website
Leave it to a bird-themed spot to celebrate the Year of the Rooster with a five-course tasting menu on Jan. 28. The $33 deal (optional wine and cocktail pairing for $22) will feature options like “Lucky dumplings” with duck, cabbage, radish, and cherry blossom soy, as well as “Longevity Noodles” with a soft egg, ginger, and mushrooms.
1539 7th St. NW; website
New D.C. dumpling shop Laoban Dumplings will host its first pop-up event on Jan. 27 to ring in the Chinese New Year. The Passenger will host the festivities, with dumplings and karaoke going down at 8 p.m. Look out for the Porkhemian Rhapsody, Livin' on the Vedge, and Purple Rain (wild mushrooms in purple dough).