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Ana, the New Restaurant at Waterfront District Winery, Casts a Wide Net

The cavernous wine complex debuts August 30

Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

District Winery, Navy Yard’s new one-stop spot for wine appreciation, depends on grapes to lure in part of its clientele. But Ana, the 180-seat restaurant planted on the lower level of the massive newcomer to Navy Yard, freely plucks from land, sea, and sky to fill out its wide-reaching menu.

Chef Michael Gordon, an alum of recently shuttered Bouley in New York, and local hospitality vet Benjamin Lambert (701 Restaurant), lead the kitchen here. Their menu caters to carnivorous and vegetarian palates alike, offering up appetizers ($11-$19) ranging from lamb-laced cucumber soup to rutabaga pierogi. Featured entrees ($22-$34) include charred broccoli steak, pan-roasted Atlantic cod, Amish chicken, and pastrami-spiced monkfish. Oysters, cheese plates, and crab beignets are designed for sharing.

The restaurant — named after the Anacostia River, which rolls on by right outside — dominates the ground floor of the 17,000-square-foot venue. Also inside: a wine-making facility — D.C.’s first ever — a dedicated tasting room, open-air patio, and private event spaces. The embedded restaurant can accommodate 56 in the dining area, 80 outside (including fire pits), and 41 at the bar; the latter boasts a weekday happy hour with $5 to $8 wines, beers, and rotating punches.

Immediately upon entering, guests come face-to-face with the main event: a whopping 5,000 wine bottles prominently displayed in a temperature-controlled, glass-enclosed cellar.

A wall of wine at District Winery.

The titular beverage makes its way into some of the mixed drinks served at Ana. “You’ll taste a Negroni but there’s also a hint of zinfandel in the background,” says general manager Sean Alves.

A cocktail at District Winery.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC
Smoked duck with salsa verde, mole, and plantain.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

Gordon, who oversees the group’s New York and D.C. kitchens, assures Eater that he has mastered the art of catering to large groups; sibling Brooklyn Winery hosts a whopping 100 weddings a year, he says. D.C.’s first wedding is set for October. Brides can expect to prep in a plush “green room” outfitted with luxe wallpaper and wine-barrel vistas.

The bar at District Winery.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

The nucleus of the local operation — a production facility with gigantic stainless steel tanks — will create the first D.C.-born product next year, with a rosé slated for release this coming spring. For now, its sister operation in Brooklyn is creating the wines for D.C. diners, which includes some 15 varietals sourced from New York to California.

Tours are scheduled to begin in September.

Status: Tasting bar opens at 1 p.m.; the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. 385 Water Street SE; website.