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The Most Anticipated Restaurants in D.C., Fall 2018

The hottest restaurants coming to the DMV

A rendering of Scott’s Restaurant and Bar, the new British restaurant and private whiskey club arriving in Penn Quarter this fall.
Scott’s Restaurant and Bar/official rendering
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Several high-profile restaurants are scheduled to join the local dining scene in the coming months, including some biggies held over from the summer. Here’s a roster of the most anticipated hospitality ventures coming down the pike.

St. Anselm

What: Smoked & Stacked founder Marjorie Meek-Bradley is executive chef of the updated St. Anselm James Beard Foundation Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr and Joe Carroll are importing from Brooklyn. The Top Chef alum and Ripple vet will oversee the kitchen at the 5,000-square-foot neighborhood tavern nearing completion across from Union Market. Expect a unique wine program showcasing experimental producers, raw wines, and rare varietals.

Where: 1250 5th Street NE

When: mid-September

*Previous St. Anselm coverage

El Sapo

What: Chef Raynold Mendizabal, owner of downtown Silver Spring’s meat-driven Urban Butcher, will debut a new rum-focused social club nearby. The modern indoor-outdoor respite will showcase the flavors of his native island, with Cuban classics like ropa vieja, Havana street food, cortaditos, and an open-air bar spilling out to a spacious mojito garden.

Where: 8455 Fenton Street, Silver Spring, Md.

When: mid-September

*Previous El Sapo coverage

Magnolia Bakery

What: The cult New York City bakery is making its D.C. debut inside transit hub Union Station. The all-day cafe, set in a vintage setting, will serve banana pudding, red velvet cake, key lime cheesecake, confetti cupcakes, sea salt caramel cookies, and icebox desserts.

Where: 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE

When: September

*Previous Magnolia Bakery coverage

Little Beast

What: The causal neighborhood newcomer, with seating for 74 inside and 44 on its year-round outdoor deck, will feature daytime fare like pastries, Red Velvet cupcakes, quiches and sandwiches on brioche, and coffee from local roaster Vigilante. At night, a wood-burning oven will make specialty pizzas, joined by a dozen sharable dishes, several entrees, and desserts made inside the rustic wood-lined space.

Where: 5600 Connecticut Avenue NW

When: The bistro piece will open in late September, followed by by the café and bakery in mid-October

American Son

What: Eaton DC’s new all-day restaurant, helmed by Kyirisan chef Tim Ma, will offer modern American comfort food with ingredients and techniques influenced by Ma’s immigrant background as a second-generation American.

Where: 1201 K Street NW

When: September

*Previous American Son coverage

Call Your Mother

What: The duo behind Timber Pizza Company, Andrew Dana and Eater Young Gun Daniela Moreira, are opening a “Jew-ish” Park View deli where they’ll bake their own challah and rye bread and also offer twists like a matzoh ball floating in a pho-inspired broth or a pastrami empanada. Themed dinners in the works could highlight Peking duck or traditional brisket.

Where: 3301 Georgia Avenue NW

When: September

*Previous Call Your Mother coverage


What: The multi-functional Italian destination restaurateur Nicholas Stefanelli is erecting at the Wharf is shooting to open its sprawling to-go market and scenic rooftop pieces first, followed by its full-service restaurant in the middle. The owner of Michelin-starred Masseria hired D.C. architecture firm Grupo-7 (behind Atlas District’s colorful Fare Well and Dolcezza City Center) to design the three-story venture, which will feature blue tiling splashed across walls, lots of wood accents, exposed ceilings, soft lighting, and black-and-white flooring.

Where: 1120 Maine Avenue SW

When: mid-September

*Previous Officina coverage

Officina is close to opening its first-floor bakery and market component.
Grupo 7/rendering

Potomac Distilling Company and Tiki TNT

What: Bartender and sommelier Todd Thrasher will debut his huge rum-making mecca producing four styles of Thrasher’s Rum alongside a Polynesian-style three-story neighborhood tavern dubbed Tiki TNT, which will serve rum cocktails and island-inspired small plates. The massive Wharf project features a 74-foot smokestack that reads on one side, “Thrasher’s Rum,” and on the other, “Make Rum Not War.”

Where: 1130 Maine Avenue SW

When: mid-October

*Previous Potomac Distilling Company coverage

I’m Eddie Cano

What: The 2,100-square-foot Italian restaurant from former ThinkFoodGroup chef James Gee will serve medium shared plates ($8 to $20) in a family-friendly atmosphere. Menu highlights include Gee’s mother’s meatballs, chicken parmigiana, pappardelle with wild boar ragu and bucatini with guanciale, chili pepper, tomato, and romano cheese.

Where: 5014 Connecticut Avenue NW

When: Early fall

Pendleton Carry-out Co.

What: The new Alexandria carry-out and delivery spot will offer rotating selections from food truck start-ups to established brands testing out new dishes, debuting with Sliced’s large rectangular pizzas by the ounce.

Where: 807 Pendelton Street, Alexandria, Va.

When: Early fall

The Imperial

What: The owners of Adams Morgan whiskey den Jack Rose are moving the basement bar to their next neighborhood gathering place. Dram & Grain 2.0 will remain a subterranean hideout, occupying the bottom of the new three-floor, 5,500-square-foot establishment that also includes a restaurant and year-round rooftop bar. The menu is expected to include seafood and raw bar options, seasonal vegetable plates, and dry-aged steaks and pastas, alongside one of the biggest vintage spirits collections in the region.

Where: 2001 18th Street NW

When: Late fall

*Previous Imperial coverage

Chop Shop Taco

What: Located in an old auto body shop inside the Madison Collective development, Chop Shop Taco will serve chopped meats roasted on a spit alongside nostalgic snacks, tacos, and Mexican barbecue offerings. The industrial-style destination will also feature a full bar with agave-based spirits and a take-out window. Co-founder and chef Ed McIntosh, a Matchbox Food Group alum, was most recently working on self-styled Mexican eatery Tortilladora.

Where: 727 North Henry Street, Alexandria, Va.

When: Late fall

*Previous Chop Shop Taco coverage

Urbano 116

What: The team behind the new Augie’s Mussel House in Alexandria is opening a New Mexican restaurant helmed by award-winning chef and Noma alum Alam Mendez Florian of Mexico City. Expect fresh tortillas made daily from whole kernels of Oaxacan corn, as well as traditional moles.

Where: 116 King Street, Alexandria, Va.

When: Late fall

*Previous Urbano 116 coverage

Urbano 116 is opening in Alexandria this fall.
Urbano 116/official photo


What: D.C.’s second location of the Barcelona-inspired tapas bar will serve the brand’s top sellers, like seafood paella packed with monkfish, sepia, squid, shrimp, and clams, as well as patatas bravas and cheese and charcuterie plates from executive chef Marc Vidal. The modern eatery is expected to include extensive outdoor seating and dishes exclusive to the new D.C. location.

Where: 777 9th Street NW

When: Late fall

*Previous Boqueria coverage


What: Cincinnati-based Boca Restaurant Group is bringing its taco and tequila joint to North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose complex. Executive chef Ford Barsi, most recently leading the kitchen at Carmine’s in D.C., will make guacamole, salads, enchiladas, and fajitas, along with the chain’s best-selling tacos like a vegetarian caramelized cauliflower variety. The 160-seat restaurant, featuring an expansive patio and an open kitchen dining area, will sling a $15 lunch special (with a choice of three tacos, one side, and a ricotta doughnut).

Where: 11866 Grand Park Avenue, Bethesda, Md.

When: Late October to early November


What: The debut standalone French-Mediterranean restaurant from the founders of fast-casual chain Cava is landing inside North Bethesda’s budding Pike & Rose complex. Local design firm HapstakDemetriou+ is creating a glamorous day-to-night setting, which will pivot from a coffee shop to a more sophisticated eatery serving French fare and cocktails.

Where: 11915 Grand Park Avenue, North Bethesda, Md.

When: mid-to-late October

*Previous Julii coverage

Scotts Restaurant, Bar & Cask Club

What: Restaurateur Simon Lowe’s new American brasserie is landing downtown later this year, offering an array of gourmet salads, meats, charcuterie, and seafood for lunch and dinner. The 70-seat dining room will be joined by a 40-seat bar. And the companion Cask Club will feature its own private entrance, complete with thumbprint recognition, and additional seating for 35. Seasoned chef Will Artley, who cooked at both the White House and Grist Mill Restaurant, moved back to D.C. after a short stint in Florida to man Scott’s kitchen.

Where: 927 F Street NW

When: Late October

*Previous Scotts Restaurant coverage

Flower Child

What: Prolific restaurateur Sam Fox will bring his colorful salad shop Flower Child to the D.C. area this fall. Flower Child has about a dozen coast-to-coast locations, primarily in Arizona and Texas, and offers vegan marinated beet poke bowls, grass-fed steak wraps, and kombucha on tap. The first of several area locations will feature 126 seats and an outdoor patio.

Where: 10072 Darnestown Road, Rockville, Md.

When: November

*Previous Flower Child coverage

A veggie-filled bowl at Flower Child.
Flower Child/official photo

Taco Bamba

What: Chef Victor Albisu’s fifth area Taco Bamba is coming to University Mall, letting guests customize their own taco, tostada, or torta with featured fillings. Tacos can be ordered “dirty,” which includes cheese and sweet chili sauce, seared together with meat on the plancha, and served in a flour tortilla. The 1,300-square-foot space will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a limited bar selling beer and margaritas.

Where: 10629 Braddock Road, Suite B-8, Fairfax, Va.

When: Fall

*Previous Taco Bamba coverage

Bandoola Bowl

What: The Southeast Asian salad stop will integrate flavors from Burma and surrounding countries at its debut Georgetown eatery. Highlights include fresh shredded ginger salad with cabbage, carrot, fried garlic, and crisped yellow split peas, with toppings like mango, green papaya, steamed shrimp, lightly fried tofu, and roasted pork.

Where: 1069 Wisconsin Avenue NW

When: Fall

*Previous Bandoola Bowl coverage

Calabash Tea & Tonic

What: The 900-square-foot Brookland shop will feature a large outdoor patio curated with medicinal plants and culinary herbs. Like its sister spot in Shaw, there will be over 50 organic tea blends based on founder Dr. Sunyatta Amen’s Cuban-Jamaican great-grandmother’s formulas. Also expect direct trade pour-over coffees, vegetarian vittles, and wellness-focused events.

Where: 2701 12th Street NE

When: Fall

*Previous Calabash coverage

This fall also marks the arrival of a slew of fast-casual locations, including Shake Shack in Potomac, Md. in September (7997 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac, Md); British chain Leon’s first U.S. location in September (1801 L Street NW); Poke Papa in October (1919 Pennsylvania Avenue NW); Fruitive’s second D.C. location in October (1330 Connecticut Avenue NW); and Roti Mediterranean in Chevy Chase in early fall (4661 Willard Avenue, Chevy Chase, Md.).