Restaurateur Mike Isabella’s Spanish-themed project, Arroz, is scheduled to open March 27 for dinner service, kicking things off with a half-dozen entrees including seafood-, duck- and pork-heavy rice dishes.
The 138-seat restaurant carved out at 901 Massachusetts Ave NW is designed to accommodate guests in a central dining room, a 28-seat bar and lounge, and a private dining area. An outdoor patio furnished with overhead canopies and fire pits is expected to come online in the near future.
Isabella has tapped Michael Rafidi to lead the kitchen, entrusting the well-traveled chef — Rafidi has cooked locally at Blue Duck Tavern and Wit & Wisdom in Baltimore, Md., as well as spending time behind the burners at Noma in Copenhagen, and most recently, at Michael Mina’s RN74 in San Francisco — with executing dishes celebrating the intersection of Spanish and Moorish cooking (think: salt cod croquettes with fried quail eggs and spicy buttermilk crema; aged duck tweaked by harissa). Egg-based creations figure prominently, and tapas aficionados will have over a dozen small plates to choose from. Main dishes include a 28-oz bone-in ribeye, and a Mediterranean-style chicken accompanied by green olives, preserved lemon and couscous.
Taha Ismail, beverage director for Mike Isabella Concepts, and Kapnos alum Jason Smith have fashioned a drink list featuring a handful of traditional Spanish sidras, a trio of sangrias, five sherry-fueled concoctions, regionally inspired gin and tonic drinks, and a half-dozen traditional cocktails.
Lunch and brunch service are expected to follow. Arroz is also projected to join the food hall Isabella is developing for Tysons Galleria.