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Look Inside Downtown’s Elegant New Brasserie

Hotel restaurant Opaline is gearing up for full service next month

Opaline is the Sofitel’s take on a modern brasserie.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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The Sofitel hotel’s newly opened French restaurant and bar is now serving foie gras, cocktails, and steak frites in a sleek and regal setting.

Opaline, which translates to different types of glass in French, partially joined downtown’s expense account-friendly dining scene (806 15th Street NW ) this month. The bar is currently offering an all-day menu, but it’s breakfast-only in the main dining room for now. Full dining service is projected to debut on Thursday, May 3. This week, a sea of discerning critics were spotted inside the venue; French President Emmanuel Macron is currently visiting D.C., and his entourage is pretty extensive.

The two-part destination includes an 80-seat bar and 64-seat brasserie, with both spaces boasting a cohesive mix of curved brass lighting fixtures, black-and-white tiled flooring, sexy retro prints, and blue and gold furnishings throughout. Designed by Perkins + Will, Opaline replaces the hotel’s now-defunct Ici Urban Bistro, an Asian-French eatery.

“There’s enough light and energy that’s good for work, enjoying yourself, and meeting others and making connections — which is so typical of a brasserie,” says Sofitel general manager Christian Klaus.

Opaline chef Doug Isleib, an alum of Barcelona Wine Bar, is creating a lineup of approachable French fare such as tuna tartare, a burger with gruyere, and mussels. The eight-page wine list is pretty solid and diverse, ranging from a glass of bubbly for $11 to $990 for a tempranillo-cabernet sauvignon blend from Ribera del Duero, Spain. Both the shortened bar menu and longer brasserie menu are available throughout the restaurant.

View Opaline’s opening menu here:

Come summer, Opaline’s outdoor patio will get a refresh that’ll deliver “Parisian flair” to the busy corner of 15th and H streets NW, says Klaus.

The downtown dining scene has seen a spike in French eateries as of late: Critically acclaimed Mirabelle arrived last spring. And the Willard’s French-themed hotel restaurant Café du Parc just celebrated its 10-year anniversary by reopening with a new art deco look and updated dishes.

Scroll down to view the different sections of Opaline:

One of the dining rooms at Opaline.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Opaline’s larger brasserie section is expected to feature grilled whole branzino to share, as well as ratatouille, escargots, duck à l’orange, charcuterie, and salads.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

A giant banquette runs along one wall at Opaline.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Elaborate tile work is part of the design at Opaline.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Opaline’s bar area is currently open for all-day service. “The design transports you with its airy bar and clean colors,” says Sofitel general manager Christian Klaus.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Opaline bartender Marcus Cook making a seasonal gin and tonic with Hendrick’s Gin, blood orange, rosemary, Muscadet, and Q Spectacular tonic.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The “DC Old Fashioned” at Opaline is made with Gentleman Jack Daniels whiskey, barrel-aged bitters, and citrus.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The Bulles & Baies cocktail at Opaline combines Absolut ELYX vodka, raspberries, cassis, lemon, and sparkling wine in a copper glass.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC


806 15th St NW, Washington, DC , 20005
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