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Restaurant Experts Look Ahead to 2018

Divining what’s coming in the new year

Restaurateur and humanitarian José Andrés chatting with fans after a taping at NPR’s studios in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Warren Rojas / Eater DC

As per tradition, Eater asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Here they take a crack at predicting the hospitality news everyone will be chasing over the next 12 months.

Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian food editor: “Donald Trump continues to only eat at his own steakhouse; D.C. continues to have no restaurants with three Michelin stars; Drink Company opens a Wawa-themed pop-up and people camp in line for a week for hoagie-inspired cocktails; A Korean barbecue restaurant opens in D.C. (ok, wishful thinking).”

Tim Carman, Washington Post food writer: “José Andrés wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts feeding people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.”

Stefanie Gans, Northern Virginia Magazine restaurant critic and dining editor: “Investors exclusively funding women-led kitchens.”

Nevin Martell, DC Modern Luxury dining editor: “Food writers will rightfully shun Sushi Nakazawa in the Trump International Hotel. (Not even Trump will eat there, because theydon't offer well-done steak with a side of ketchup.). Poke will stop having its moment in the sun and no one will be disappointed. José Andrés will continue to be an amazing human. Sexual harassment and abuse in the restaurant industry will be addressed in a more forthright and forceful way. And Matt Baker will finally (!!!) open the much-delayed, eagerly anticipated Gravitas in Ivy City.”

Laura Hayes, Washington City Paper food editor: “We'll see a greater influx of chains or restaurants from moguls from other cities to areas like 14th Street because price-per-square-foot has crept up to as high as $80 to $100 making it harder for small, local, independent operators to compete..”

Lori Gardner, Been There, Eaten That: “The Wharf will continue to draw hordes of diners with openings like Florentijn, Kaliwa, Lupo Marino, Mi Vida and more, putting the squeeze on other D.C. establishments.”

David Hagedorn, Arlington Magazine/Bethesda Magazine dining columnist:Food halls everywhere, poke ennui, more sexual harassment fallout, new Persian and Israeli restaurants.”

Rina Rapuano, Zagat DC/freelance food writer:ChiKo opens a location in Columbia Heights, local food writer passes out from happiness (okay, maybe that’s just wishful thinking); Natural wines start taking over wine lists; the Line hotel will be a fantastic addition to D.C.’s dining landscape; As Shaw and other hot neighborhoods become saturated with great dining options, restaurateurs will open farther east in the city; Nobody will take my advice, and we will continue to be pounded by poke and tiki.”

Don Rockwell, DC Dining: “For the first time ever, the name José Andrés will be at least mentioned in Nobel Peace Prize discussions.”


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