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China-Obsessed Bresca Is Opening September 22

Here are the dishes co-founder Ryan Ratino plans to dazzle customers with next week

Part of the over two dozen china patterns Ryan Ratino plans to use at Bresca.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

A rooftop garden is in place. The globe-spanning menu has been fleshed out. And now an opening date has been set — Friday, September 22 — for Ripple alum Ryan Ratino’s self-styled restaurant, Bresca.

The only thing left to decide is which of the nearly three dozen pieces of china the award-winning chef has stockpiled over the years to use as canvases for each order the kitchen sends out.

An aficionado of eye-catching tableware, Ratino says he’s got approximately 29 types of china on hand at the new restaurant he’s expected to unveil at 1906 14th Street NW in the coming weeks. The collection ranges from a white dish he purchased from the now-defunct Cleveland Park restaurant he worked at just a few months ago, to “cool quirky things” he’s picked up during trips to Europe and late-night shopping binges on the Internet.

“Not everything has to be the same in my opinion … as long as all the pieces are nice,” he says of his affinity for mixing-and-matching.

Bresca co-founder Ryan Ratino shows D.C. restaurateur and mentor Kaz Okochi part of his china collection.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

An avid collector, Ratino says he was struck by what he spotted in Spanish chef Dani Garcia’s family of restaurants during visits to the area. “I’ve never seen cooler plates in my life than in Paris and Spain,” he tells Eater. “They have some really stunning pieces over there.”

Gold rims, webbed feet, and glossy interiors add pizazz to the dishes at Bresca.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Closer to home, Ratino says he admires the presentation options at Michelin-starred Masseria

If anything, Ratino says he has to stop himself from snatching up every provocative dish he comes across. “You look at those restaurants, you see pictures, then you are googling like ‘black round plate with a half-inch rim’ or something silly until you find what you’re looking for,” he warns.

His latest acquisition: “some whimsical ceramic vessels for cocktails.”

Specialty timers, shakers, and cups at Bresca.
Photo by Rey Lopez for Eater DC

Get an eyeful of the varied conversation starters when the restaurant opens for dinner on September 22.

The projected hours of operation are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. The bar is expected to open at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

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