Neighborhood eatery Pappe is inching closer towards bringing traditional Northern Indian fare to the south end of the 14th Street corridor, with a modern-meets-authentic look that mimics a bustling fabric market found on the other side of the globe.
The 85-seat newcomer (1317 14th Street NW), shooting for a June opening, comes from hospitality vets Sanjay Mandhaiya and Shankar Puthran (both chefs at Saffron in Falls Church, Virginia) and first-time restaurateur Vipul Kapila.
They’ve engaged local designer John DeNapoli, who’s behind Columbia Room’s elaborate bar mural, to add artistic touches — including outdoor mosaic signage and other Indian-inspired drawings throughout. And plenty of authentic accents have made the trek from India to augment Pappe, including mirrors, serving trays, and glassware.
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.
Menu offerings in the works include chicken tikka masala, junglee laal maas (bone in goat with garlic tomato chutney and red curry), and spicy vindaloo, with some Southern Indian seafood options sprinkled in. The bar, positioned in the center of the rectangular-shaped restaurant, will push out fresh lime soda with Himalayan salt, mango lassis, cocktails, and several beers on tap.
Designer Melissa Funkey is drawing upon inspiration from trips to New Delhi’s silk markets to add bright, textured, and decorative details “without trying too hard,” she tells Eater.
Scroll on to peek inside Pappe’s progress so far: