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What to Order at Cane, a Taste of Trinidad on H Street NE

Tiffin boxes full of paratha bread and curries are shareable snacks

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Cane brisket sliders
Hops bread rolls stuffed with smoked brisket.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane

Cane opened this week on H Street NE, bringing D.C. something completely new to the scne: a restaurant modeled after the rum shops of Trinidad from a chef schooled in fine dining.

Last week, chef-owner Peter Prime was saying he’d continue to workshop his menu until the last minute. Prime, who introduced the District to Caribbean-inflected barbecue last year at Spark at Old Engine, pledged to mix and match modern and traditional techniques, using a sous vide bath where he felt necessary while also relying on a pressure cooker just like his mother and sister, the trusted home cooks in his family.

On the opening menu at Cane (403 H Street NE), Prime suggests guests start with doubles, a popular street food that consists of fry bread, curried chickpeas, and hot relish. During happy hour, he’ll pull hot trays of hops bread — crusty rolls that contain no hops — out of the oven and stuff them with smoked brisket, duck, or cheese.

Doubles, fry bread stuffed with curried chickpeas, are a popular street snack in Trinidad.
Gabe Hiatt/Eater D.C.

Tiffin boxes, stackable sets of portable metal lunch boxes, are a nod to the island nation’s Indian influence. At Cane, the compartments make for a fun presentation for a shareable snack or meal. Paratha bread from the bottom chamber can be used to scoop up a variety of curries. An omnivore set ($32) comes with curries featuring potatoes, chickpeas, beef, and chicken. An herbivore set ($28) features a butternut squash curry.

A short list of entrees includes pepperpot, a meat-packed stew that Prime’s family used to eat on Christmas mornings, as well as grilled, marinated oxtails and whole fried snapper with pickled chiles.

Rum, of course, will drive the bar program. Two early standouts on the cocktail list are the Carnival, a blend of light and dark rum, coconut orgeat syrup, pineapple shrub, and angostura bitters served in a metal cup, and the Cane Fever, which mixes Trinidadian rum with pineapple-habanero shrub, lime, and sparkling water. An Irie Old Fashioned integrates house vanilla bitters and cane sugar.

Here’s a look at the opening menu at Cane:

Cane menu by on Scribd

Chutneys and chows from Cane.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane
Cow heel souse pickled with chiles, lime, cucumber, and cilantro.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane
An early version of marinated, smoked jerk chicken drumsticks. Now Cane offers jerk wings and five-spiced drums glazed in ginger and star anise.
Gabe Hiatt/Eater D.C.
Tiffin boxes from Cane
Tiffin boxes come with Trinidadian paratha and a variety of curries.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane
The Carnival cocktail contains a blend of white and dark rum, coconut orgeat syrup, pineapple shrub, and angostura bitters.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane
Cane Island Life cocktail
The Island Life cocktail blends 5-year rum with mango-ginger shrub, lime, and ginger beer.
Abby Greenwalt/For Cane

Cane

403 H Street Northeast, , DC 20002 (202) 675-2011 Visit Website

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