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The Most Anticipated Restaurants in D.C., Summer 2019

Mid-Atlantic, Spanish, and Persian places are coming soon

Shilling Canning Company will feature Mid-Atlantic cooking from former Dabney sous chef Reid Shilling.
Tierney Plumb/Eater DC

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

Dos Mamis

What: Two of the leaders of Petworth’s hospitality scene have teamed up to bring Upshur Street NW an inclusive cocktail bar with a wine garden out back. Carlie Steiner (Himitsu) and Anna Bran-Leis (Taqueria Del Barrio) have replaced the dark, purple hues of the former Hank’s Cocktail Bar space with brightly colored space full of pink and teal. You’ll catch both of them working the room with custom Miami Heat jerseys (In the Miami Vice color scheme) that Dos Mamis on the back. Charcuterie, cheese, and croquettas will accompany zero-proof, low-proof, and more potent drinks.

Where: 819 Upshur Street NW

When: Opening Friday, June 28

*Previous Dos Mamis coverage

Bento by Tokyo Pearl

What: Stephanos Andreou, who owns Asian-Latin restaurant Sakerum on 14th Street NW, will bring this Japanese gastropub to Dupont Circle. The daytime side of the operation will sling fast-casual bento boxes with an online app to speed up ordering. At night the space will flip into Tokyo Pearl, a lounge offering boozy bubble tea and a menu full of Japanese street foods such as bao buns. The lights and sound system, which will be used in a lively Tokyo-style lounge, come from the team behind nightclub guru Dave Grutman’s LIV and Story clubs in Miami. The //3877-designed space will feature 24 seats inside and 43 outside under an 800-square-foot patio with a retractable awning and hookah.

Where: 1301 Connecticut Avenue NW

When: Bento and patio opening late June, followed by Tokyo Pearl beginning of July

*Previous Tokyo Pearl coverage [WCP]

A first look inside Bento by Tokyo Pearl.
Constandina Andreou/official photo

Sloppy Mama’s

What: After years of selling some of D.C.’s best barbecue out of a food truck, a Union Market food stall, and a pop-up at Solly’s on U Street, Joe Neuman is opening his own standalone place in Arlington. Neuman tells Eater he now has three 500-gallon smokers and a new smaller rig suited for cooking whole hog barbecue. At the new place, he plans to implement a barbecue “church” Sunday: He’ll open with one big cook in the morning and close when he sells out. Neuman says he already has all his permits and is cooking outside the new building. It will open as soon as renovations to the dining room are complete.

Where: 5731 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia

When: Late June/early July


What: Chef Amy Brandwein, a James Beard Award finalist for three years running, is moving the market in her essential CityCenter Italian restaurant into a space across the street equipped with another wood-fired oven. She’ll introduce a fresh bread program there in addition to cooking omelets and scacce (flat Sicilian calzones).

Where: 963 Palmer Alley NW

When: July

*Previous Piccolina coverage

Shilling Canning Company

What: The long-developing project in Navy Yard comes from Reid Shilling, a former sous chef at the Dabney who previously cooked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro outside of Napa, California. The Baltimore-area native will oversee a kitchen with a wood-fired oven, a massive raw bar, and a meat-curing chamber. The menu will feature Shilling’s take on Mid-Atlantic classics, which means there could be stepped-up versions of scrapple and pork roll. The name comes from the canning company that Shilling’s family operated in the ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Shilling’s staff will be canning produce straight from the farm and Chesapeake seafood in large glass jars lining shelves around the restaurant.

Where: 360 Water Street SE

When: July


What: The Fried Rice Collective, the group behind Chiko, is reviving their fire-damaged Mandu space on 18th Street NW with a modern Korean restaurant and pub. Angel Barreto, a protege of chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno, will lead the kitchen with an assist from Lee’s mother, Yesoon Lee, aka “Mama Lee.”

Where: 1805 18th Street NW

When: July

Oak Steakhouse Alexandria

What: The contemporary steakhouse from Indigo Road Hospitality (O-Ku) and executive chef Joseph Conrad will highlight prime beef cuts (think tartare and 20-ounce cowboy ribeye) alongside sustainable seafood and locally-sourced produce. The 110-seat interior features exposed brick, crimson-colored leather banquettes, reclaimed wood accents and a pewter-finish tile lining the open kitchen and bar. Expect over 200 wine bottles on-site. An outdoor patio will add 36 seats.

Where: 901 North Saint Asaph Street, Alexandria, Virginia

When: July

Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks

What: The uncharacteristically high-end steakhouse from Great American Restaurants will complete beloved Northern Virginia group’s three-piece complex in Tysons Corner, joining Best Buns Bakery & Cafe and Patsy’s American. Expect coffered ceilings, green Mohair booths, and servers in black uniforms delivering wagyu steaks, branzino, and wines from an American-heavy list.

Where: 8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Virginia

When: Late July

*Previous Randy’s coverage

The Eastern

What: Developer Stanton-Eastbanc’s mixed-used 700 Penn project in Eastern Market will house a new 1,500-square-foot wine bar from the owners of Barrel that will sell 40 wines by the glass. The 45-seat interior will sport a Mid-century design, joined by 21 al fresco seats outside. Barrel executive chef Walfer Hernandez will offer an assortment of charcuterie options and small plates, including sea bass ceviche, beet salad, and chicken confit ciabatta. General Manager Robert Morin was the wine director at The Partisan and a sommelier at Flight.

Where: 360 7th Street SE

When: Late July

*Previous Eastern coverage

The Eastern’s facade.
Sam Sanchez/The Eastern

Eat Brgz

What: The 700 Penn development will also welcome a new fast-casual brand that bills itself as America’s first “mix-in burger” bar. Eat Brgz lets diners customize their burgers by picking a core protein (100-percent black angus beef from Roseda Farms, chicken, or veggie) and an assortment of ingredients to cook into the patty.

Where: 250 Seventh Street SE

When: Late July

*Previous Eat Brgz coverage

Pennyroyal Station

What: The team that just sold 14th Street NW mainstay Bar Pilar is shifting its attention to an all-day comfort food spot just across the Maryland border. Executive chef Jesse Miller’s menu will be big on crab, along with filling orders like fried chicken biscuits and manicotti. The refurbished 1920s-era property in Mount Ranier, which seats 73 inside, is a combination of two old buildings: One building, which will house the bar, was a former bank. The other will encompass the dining room. There are 60 seats on a patio facing where a trolley station used to be.

Where: 3310 Rhode Island Avenue NW

When: July/August

*Previous Pennyroyal Station coverage


What: Kevin Tien, the chef behind the Japanese-inflected global plates at nationally recognized Himitsu, is opening a much larger restaurant at the Penn Eleven development near Eastern Market. The 100-seat venue will have an a la carte menu focusing on seasonal small plates along with rolling carts offering specials. Rather than any one cuisine, the restaurant will focus on building meals that offer a memorable communal experience.

Where: 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue SE

When: Mid-summer

*Previous Emilie’s coverage

Som Tam

What: Chef Alex McCoy, who sells internationally flavored burgers at Lucky Buns, will convert a former ATM vestibule in NoMa into a street food spinoff of Alfie’s, his longtime pop-up dedicated to Thai food. Think namesake papaya salads and beef and chicken variations of khao soi. McCoy plans to feed the 9-to-5 lunch crowd and stay open late into the night. The idea of the small setup is to mimic the experience of visiting street stalls in Thailand.

Where: 111 K Street NE

When: Mid-summer

*Previous Som Tam coverage

Future offerings at Som Tam.
Alex McCoy/Som Tam

Vintage 78

What: The Iranian brothers behind decades-old Georgetown darling Peacock Cafe are expanding into Dupont Circle with a place that specializes in Persian cuisine. Vintage78 — named for the year chef Maziar and co-owner Shahab Farivar moved to the U.S. from Iran — will offer updated spins on traditional dishes like dolme (stuffed vegetables), kufteh (meatballs), and Persian-style stews served with rice. Last fall the owners announced plans to take over the former Scion restaurant space. Vintage78 plans to embrace modern times via a full-service wine and bar program. The 3,000-square-foot venue will seat 75 guests in the dining room (including 25 in the private dining room) and about 28 in the bar area. Glass, chrome, and repurposed wood sourced from a house built in the 1900s aim to create a lived-in vibe.

Where: 2100 P Street NW

When: Mid-summer

*Previous Vintage 78 coverage

Assorted Persian offerings at Vintage 78.
Vintage78/official photo

Taïm Falafel

What: Chef Einat Admony is opening the first location outside of New York for the Israeli falafel shop that’s grown to five stores in Manhattan since 20005. The mostly vegan menu features pitas, platters, salads, and smoothies. Serious Eats named Taïm the best falafel sandwich in NYC. There’s also cauliflower shawarma, eggplant sabich, and a range of other meze.

Where: 1065 Wisconsin Avenue NW

When: Early August

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What: Award-winning chef and sommelier Danny Lledó will open a new Spanish restaurant on the floor above his Slate Wine Bar in Glover Park. Built on memories from his hometown of Denía in the eastern coast of Spain, the menu will showcase four to six varieties of paella along with suckling pig, steak, and seafood cooked-to-order over an open flame. The name comes from “Xiquet de Casa” which translates to “local kid” — Lledó’s childhood nickname. The Studio 3877-designed space will feature large skylights, a cocktail lounge, 30 seats, and a glass-enclosed wine cellar.

Where: 2404 Wisconsin Avenue NW

When: August

Slate’s new second-level space, Xiquet.

Oyster Oyster

What: Estadio owner Max Kuller’s newly formed restaurant group, In Living Kuller, brough on former Hazel chef Rob Rubba and 2 Birds, 1 Stone barman Adam Bernbach to open an ode to environmentally-friendly bivalves and mushrooms. Bernbach will offer organic or biodynamic wines and herbal cocktails that integrate kitchen scraps. The small, 35-seat space, lined with neutral tones and slick subway tiles, will play up a veggie theme with dangling plant life, a partial green wall, and mint-colored banquettes. Architect Grizform is also behind the look of its new Estadio coming to Charleston.

Where: 1440 Eighth Street NW

When: Late summer

*Previous Oyster Oyster coverage

Pinball machines and salvaged skateboard decks lining Oyster Oyster’s garage hangout-styled bar next door will serve beer on tap, mushroom “jerky” and tartines.


What: Bresca chef Ryan Ratino is opening an experimental kitchen that will churn out eight- to 11-course tasting dinners on the second floor above his modern bistro on 14th Street NW. The Michelin-starred chef is recently took a research trip to Japan to further his fermentation studies. He expects house vinegars, shoyu, and miso paste to aid a lineup of cured products like dry-aged dairy cow. An attached bar will offer a la carte dishes like a fancy hot dog and beef tendon chicharrones topped with caviar.

Where: 1906 14th Street NW

When: Late Spring

*Previous Jônt coverage

Brasserie Liberté

What: Prolific D.C. restaurateur Hakan Ilhan (Mirabelle, Ottoman Taverna) is bringing a 6,000-square-foot French restaurant to Georgetown. He’ll completely transform Morton’s The Steakhouse as part of a multi-million dollar renovation with Swatchroom. “Decor will be whimsical, approachable and very French brasserie looking,” he tells Eater.

Where: 3251 Prospect Street NW

When: September

*Previous Liberté coverage


What: Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj (Rasika, Bindaas, Olivia) acquired the historic Dupont building that housed Restaurant Nora, a pioneering organic spot, and plans to honor its past life while providing a modern touch.

Where: 2132 Florida Avenue NW

When: September/October

*Previous Annabelle coverage