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High Street Cafe Gives Georgetown a Brasserie With a Hispanic Twist

The new restaurant has opened in the former Paolo’s space

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Roasted half chicken with free range chicken, olives, artichokes, fingerling potatoes, and anchovy butter.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus/High Street Cafe
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

A decade after bringing Latin American cuisine to McPherson Square with Mio, restaurateur Manuel Iguina has opened his next venture, High Street Cafe, in Georgetown.

High Street is an ode to Wisconsin Avenue’s former name. As part of Filomena’s opening team down the street, chef-owner Iguina has longtime ties to the area. High Street Cafe (1303 Wisconsin Avenue NW) slid into the space most recently occupied by Paolo’s Ristorante, which closed for good in August. Many of the dishes are American classics with a Hispanic bent.

“We want it to be a place where everyone knows your name and the food is accessible. It’s not high end. It’s not a dive. It’s right in between,” Iguina says. “Georgetown needs a place like that.”

Iguina took the past year to do some serious research and development, eating his way through the country while finding inspiration from respected restaurants such as AOC Wine Bar and Little Beast, both in Los Angeles. The idea to do pizzas at High Street Cafe struck Iguina during a visit to Southern-style Italian kitchen Hog & Hominy in Memphis, Tennessee.

High Street Cafe first welcomed customers last week with a 5 p.m. dinner service. Iguina plans to open for lunch on Tuesday, November 27, and kick off brunch service the following weekend. The opening kitchen staff includes chef de cuisine Vincent Torres and Jimmy Ortez, whom Iguina describes as his right-hand man.

Iguina plans to appeal to Georgetown students with a $25 prix fixe menu just for them. This week Eater will detail how Iguina refreshed the Paolo’s space and how he plans to welcome guest chefs to High Street Cafe.

Here’s a look at the opening menu:

Lamb meatballs with tzatziki, mint chimichurri, and a pita.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus/High Street Cafe
A five-cheese pizza with manchego cream, fontina, taleggio, mozzarella and parmesan cooked out of the space’s original wood-burning oven.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus/High Street Cafe
An instant hit is the butternut squash burrata with baby greens, spicy pepitas, pomegranate glaze, and chimichurri sauce.
Jessica van Dop DeJesus/High Street Cafe