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Indian Newcomer Pappe Is Awash in Charming Details

Logan Circle’s newest restaurant is close to opening

The colorful dining room at D.C. newcomer, Pappe.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The fledgling hospitality team behind neighborhood eatery Pappe is putting the finishing touches on its alluring Indian restaurant.

An opening date for the 85-seat establishment (1317 14th Street NW) remains in flux. But the space is beautifully laid out and looks ready to entice diners looking for something new along the 14th Street corridor.

The forthcoming restaurant, which draws inspiration from New Delhi’s bustling and colorful fabric markets, is the brainchild of chefs Sanjay Mandhaiya and Shankar Puthran from Saffron restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia, and first-time restaurateur Vipul Kapila.

Having committed the look and feel of India’s open air markets to memory while traveling abroad, designer Melissa Funkey aimed to add brightness and texture throughout the space “without trying too hard,” she told Eater last month. Flowing fabrics are draped throughout. Meticulous tile work catches the eye here and there. Some cultural touchstones — like ornate mirrors, trays, and glassware — made the long trip over from India, while worn-in wooden cabinets (one is housed behind the bar) came from Baltimore thrift stores.

While the opening menu is still being finalized, likely offerings include: chicken tikka masala; bone-in goat with garlic tomato chutney and red curry; spicy vindaloo; and some Southern Indian seafood dishes.

Scroll down to see pictures of the nearly ready restaurant:

Cozy leather banquettes line the back wall of Pappe.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Pappe’s bar, positioned in the center of the rectangular-shaped restaurant, will serve fresh lime soda with Himalayan salt, mango lassis, cocktails, and draft beers.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The original brick walls are retained across the space, with fabric dyed baskets acting as lighting fixtures. Draped silk fabrics double as decor.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Local designer John DeNapoli, who’s behind Columbia Room’s elaborate bar mural, created this Indian-inspired drawing and added other artistic touches at Pappe.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The tile-heavy bathroom at Pappe is adorned with quirky photographs and D.C.-inspired prints.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

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