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Spring Indian Newcomer Pappe Is Heating Up 14th Street

Chefs from Falls Church’s Saffron are manning the kitchen at the forthcoming Logan Circle restaurant

Pappe co-founders Vipul Kapila (left) and Sanjay Mandhaiya (right) standing in front of their forthcoming D.C. restaurant.
Savor PR [Official photo]
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Area newcomer Pappe is currently scheduled to bring traditional Northern Indian fare (along with some Southern Indian seafood) to Thomas Circle later this spring.

The new restaurant (1317 14th Street NW), currently taking shape at the south end of the 14th Street corridor, comes from hospitality vets Sanjay Mandhaiya and Shankar Puthran, both chefs at Saffron in Falls Church, Virginia, and first-time restaurateur Vipul Kapila. According to a press release, Kapila, who runs an IT company, has been a frequent customer at Saffron and became a fan of the chefs’ vindaloo there. Pappe, a term of affection that loosely means “brother” in Punjabi, is an ode to the trio’s friendship.

Mandhaiya wants to integrate dishes he mastered during two apprenticeships in India, including butter chicken he made at Moti Mahal (where it was allegedly invented) and a chickpea dish dubbed pindi chana and taar gosht that he cooked at Kwality. Whole spices will be toasted and ground on site. Some Southern Indian seafood dishes will also be in the mix. Additional menu offerings include: chicken tikka masala; junglee laal maas (bone in goat with garlic tomato chutney and red curry); and spicy vindaloo. For drinks, expect fresh lime soda with Himalayan salt, as well as mango lassis.

Designer Melissa Funkey is drawing upon inspiration from trips to New Delhi’s fabric markets to come up with a colorful look. The 85-seat space will also be dressed up with antique accessories.

D.C. has seen an uptick in Indian restaurants this past year, with Karma Modern Indian’s debut this winter in Penn Quarter, and Rasa‘s arrival in Navy Yard last fall.