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Bloomingdale’s Wicked Bloom Drops Local Barbecue for Gourmet Food

It’s the first big menu change since opening in 2015

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Consulting chef Johanna Hellrigl’s Italian heritage is reflected in the fried mozzarella caprese.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Wicked Bloom Social Club, the neighborhood bar that started out as barbecue den Dcity Smokehouse’s boozy sibling, is pivoting from backyard fare to global snacks complemented by classic cocktails.

Bourbon Steak head bartender Torrence Swain and pop-up dining vet Johanna Hellrigl are now consulting on the drinks and food, respectively; their latest contributions are hitting tables right now.

The revamped menu ($8 to $16) trades pulled pork for appetizers, mains, and desserts designed to appeal to a wider audience. There’s za’atar-spiced flatbreads for two as well as lightly fried veal- and mortadella meatballs flanked by marinara sauce (Hellrigl’s secret family recipe). A house burger features black garlic-infused Virginia beef and spicy honey.

Hellrigl has been busy this year hosting temporary dining events around town; find her fare paired with beer-based cocktails at District Space’s pop-up 1 Ounce or 2 through the end of the month. Wicked Bloom is the most permanent home she’s found to date.

Wicked Bloom’s new chef and beverage director, Eric Arill (left) and Grady Meier (right), both moved over from corporate chain Earls Kitchen + Bar in McLean, Virginia.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

New additions behind the bar include classics like daiquiris and sidecars; a clarified chocolate milk punch (rye, rum, coffee, Curacao, chili) is coming online soon.

The Jungle Bird features Brugal Anejo rum, Campari, pineapple, lime, and sugar.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

Meier is purposely keeping cocktail prices at around $10 to draw more of a following in the revitalized NoMa neighborhood — a similar move that NYC’s famed Dead Rabbit employed when first opening in the Financial District, he says.

IMG_1735 by Tierney Plumb on Scribd

IMG_1734 by Tierney Plumb on Scribd

Wicked Bloom DC Social Club

1540 N Capitol St NW, Washington, D.C. (202) 750-6375