clock menu more-arrow no yes
Striped seabass with tomato and Sichuan pepper chutney from Daru, opening soon near the H Street NE corridor
Striped seabass with tomato and Sichuan pepper chutney from Daru, opening soon near the H Street NE corridor
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Filed under:

The 13 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings Around D.C., Summer 2021

The District is getting tantalizing new options for Indian kebabs and cocktails, Caribbean party food, pan-Latin seafood, breakfast sandwiches, and more

Summer is here, D.C. has fully reopened, and more longstanding bars and restaurants around town are on the comeback trail every day. Openings have barely slowed down during the past 16 months, but several long-delayed projects are on the horizon. Considering the anticipated arrival of these 13 eating and drinking venues — which bring on everything from a Northwest food hall full of local favorites to new places for Trinidadian plates and Latin seafood from some of the top culinary talents around town — it’s going to be a busy season for restaurant obsessives.

“Like Walking a Bike”
Melena DeFlorimonte/M. Shonell Photography

The Wells

What: An intimate new gin bar tucked behind a green door completes a three-part culinary complex in Eastern Market from former ThinkFoodGroup executive Hollis Silverman. The juniper spirit plays a starring role in a cocktail program from Ashley Havens and Philip Keath, with an opening list of nine drinks ($14-$18) including a house G&T dubbed “Like Riding a Bike” and a “Vacation” with pineapple tepache, Banane de Bresil and lemon. The handsome space, lined with date night nooks and silk designer scarves displayed behind frames, also offers baller buys like a bottle of Krug Champagne for $400 or caviar and chips for $115. The bar eventually plans to roll out a bigger food menu with snacks that reference executive chef Kat Petonito’s Filipino heritage.

Where: 727 C Street SE

When: Now open Thursdays by reservation only


Daru co-owner Dante Datta and bar manager Tom Martinez
Daru co-owner Dante Datta and bar manager Tom Martinez
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Daru

What: Dante Datta and Suresh Sundas, a respective drink expert and chef who met while working together at Rasika West End, are close to opening an Indian restaurant and cocktail bar just south of H Street NE. Sundas likes to combine Northern and Southern Indian cooking styles with some unorthodox touches; think za’atar naan, burrata dal makhani, or grilled chicken reshmi kebabs with a hint of blue cheese. Datta and bar manager Tom Martinez, both alums of Columbia Room, are collaborating on a drink menu full of inventions like a daiquiri made with clarified kefir, mint, and cilantro that mimics the taste of green chutney.

Where: 1451 Maryland Avenue NE

When: Mid-summer


Crazy Aunt Helen’s owner Shane Mayson and executive chef Mykie Moll.
Crazy Aunt Helen’s owner Shane Mayson and executive chef Mykie Moll.
Abdul Rahman Majeedi/Crazy Aunt Helen’s

Crazy Aunt Helen’s

What: An eclectic all-day comfort foods spot serving shepherd’s pie, corned beef hash, lemon drop shots, and puckery cocktails inspired by grandma’s candy dish will slide into the two-story space on Barracks Row that formerly housed Finn McCool’s. Executive chef Mykie Moll cooked at Carlie Steiner’s now-closed Pom Pom, Southeast Asian hotspot Doi Moi, and Adams Morgan brasserie Mintwood Place.

Where: 713 Eighth Street SE

When: July


First Bite review - A Rake’s Progress
Opie Crooks, a longtime executive chef in Spike Gjerde’s restaurant group, gets to follow his own vision for the first time at No Goodbyes
Deb Lindsey/For the Washington Post

No Goodbyes

What: The Line hotel in Adams Morgan has reconfigured its setup to shrink from three eating venues down to one, an all-day spot on the ground floor. No Goodbyes is a Chesapeake-centric restaurant that sounds awfully similar to A Rake’s Progress, the former second-story spot at the hotel from Baltimore-based chef Spike Gjerde, but promises to be more affordable and less rigid about sourcing only Mid-Atlantic products. Chef Opie Crooks, who led the kitchen for Gjerde’s group at Rake’s, is back at the hotel, but now he’s creating his own menus. Expect dishes to change frequently, with early examples including homemade crab spice potato chips, smoked catfish hushpuppies, ramp spaghetti, and platters of whole fried chicken.

Where: The Line DC, 1770 Euclid Street NW

When: July


A tuna tostada from Maiz 64
A tuna tostada from Maiz 64
Maiz 64 [official]

Maïz 64

What: Mexico City chef Alam Méndez Florián takes a mulligan with new partners after his first D.C. area project, Urbano 116, swapped out contemporary Mexican for Tex-Mex. The two-level space that used to hold B Too will include a taco bar and an emphasis on mezcal. Méndez Florián’s menu will include dishes like Ensenada-style shrimp tacos, a shrimp quesadilla with soft shell crab, and grilled octopus al pastor. Pastry chef Elisa Reyna and mixologist Arturo Rojas are also based in Mexico.

Where: 1324 14th Street NW

When: July


Melina

What: A new “fine casual” Greek restaurant Cava partners Ted Xenohristos, Dimitri Moshovitis, and Ike Grigoropoulos will land inside a shiny new office building at the budding Pike & Rose complex in Maryland. Melina, named after Moshovitis’s daughter, will focus on veggie-forward dishes like salt-baked baby beets with roasted lemon Greek yogurt. There will also be a pork belly “gyro” with homemade pita and a charred octopus dish with red onion marmalade.

Where: 909 Rose Avenue, North Bethesda

When: August


A reclaimed and working water fountain will prominently in the middle of the dining room.
//3877 [rendering]

Ilili

What: The massive Lebanese restaurant based in NYC’s Flatiron District will slide into the glass-enclosed building in Southwest that formerly housed Mike Isabella’s Requin. The 5,000-square-foot space is about the same size as Ilili’s grandiose New York flagship. Chef and principal owner Philippe Massoud has D.C. ties; he helped open bygone Mediterranean hit Neyla in Georgetown. At Ilili, a meze menu plans to showcase a compilation of Lebanese, Levantine, and other Mediterranean cuisines. The show-stopping look, inspired by courtyard gardens of Beirut homes, features custom daisy tile floors, hand-painted wallpaper, and natural elements like reclaimed wood from a Massachusetts tobacco barn.

Where: 100 District Square SW

When: Summer


Alfredo Solis El Sol Mezcalero
Alfredo Solis is opening a pan-Latin seafood spot down the block from El Sol in Shaw
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Mariscos 1133

What: Alfredo Solis, the Mexico-born chef and restaurateur behind local favorites El Sol, Mezcalero, and Anafre, is bringing Shaw a pan-Latin seafood place with a focus on coastal cooking from California to South America. The menu will include Brazilian moqueca (fish stew), ceviches, crab cakes, and other dishes that will likely call back to Solis’s days running Ceiba for Passion Food group.

Where: 1133 11th Street NW

When: Late summer


Peter Prime cracks at coconut at Cane
Chef Peter Prime will have a bigger venue for his Caribbean cooking at St. James
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

St. James

What: Peter Prime — Eater DC’s 2019 Chef of the Year at Cane — and his sister, Jeanine, are working on a restaurant off U Street NW that pays homage to the cuisine and culture of their native Trinidad. The 2,800-square-foot spot, which formerly housed Quarter + Glory, is almost three times larger than the siblings’ popular, H Street NE restaurant, which focuses on Caribbean street foods. St. James is named after the vibrant district within Trinidad’s capital, Port of Spain. Look for callaloo, a stew full of leafy greens that’s popular in Trinidad and elsewhere in the Caribbean, and a charcuterie board with black pudding, a well-known blood sausage in St. James.

Where: 2017 14th Street NW

When: Late summer


Quattro Osteria

What: Shaw’s shuttered Bistro Bohem space gets a new life as an Italian restaurant from Louie Hankins, who owns the clubby Latin bar and burrito shop next-door. Co-owners Giovanni Ippolito and Salvio Ippolito, a pair of brothers from Naples, want to showcase several regional styles of cooking with homemade pastas meaty entrees, and vegetable-forward dishes. The owners say a to-be-named chef with experience working at a Michelin-starred kitchen in Italy is also involved. There will be plenty of Italian wine, and cocktails will come from El Techo’s head bartender, Kevin Banegas.

Where: 600 Florida Avenue NW

When: Late summer


Guatemalan-style shukos from Nim Ali get doused in condiments
Guatemalan-style shukos from Nim Ali will be available at Western Market
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Western Market

What: Foggy Bottom’s incoming 12,300-square-foot food hall will bring more than a dozen vendors to a historic space near GWU and the World Bank. Located in a market built in 1802, Western Market will feature multiple entrances and outdoor patio seating. Tigerella, an offshoot of essential Mount Pleasant cafe Ellē, is one big attraction. Other local favorites include Roaming Rooster (fried chicken sandwiches), Capo Deli (Italian), Captain Cookie & the Milkman, Nim Ali shukos (Guatemalan hot dogs), and RAWish (from Gangster Vegan).

Where: 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

When: Late summer


Chef Jeffeary Miskiri is opening Suga & Spice in Hyattsville later this summer
Chef Jeffeary Miskiri is opening Suga & Spice in Hyattsville later this summer
Miskiri Hospitality Group [official]

Suga & Spice

What: Chef Jeffeary Miskiri, whose hospitality group owns Po Boy Jim and Creole on 14th, is opening a Southern-meets-Caribbean restaurant in Hyattsville that will serve dishes like jerk shrimp with sweet grits cake or jerk chicken and waffles. Sweets like banana pudding, bread pudding, and peach cobbler will also be a focus.

Where: 5557 Baltimore Avenue, Suite 100, Hyattsville, Maryland

When: Late summer


Half-smoke breakfast sandwiches from Cracked Eggery
Half-smoke breakfast sandwiches from Cracked Eggery
Cracked Eggery/Facebook

Cracked Eggery

What: The food truck that specializes in a variety of egg sandwiches — from standard bacon and cheddar to riffs with half-smokes, fried green tomatoes, and Pat LaFrieda beef patties — is opening two standalone stores, including a 24-hour shop near the 9:30 Club in Shaw and a Cleveland Park outpost with more modest hours. Movie references double as sandwiches with names like the Inigio Montoya (chorizo, fried egg, pepper jack, arugula, lemon aioli). Seasoned sides of tots range from savory (Old Bay, poutine, garlic Parm) to sweet (cinnamon and sugar, honey butter).

Where: 1921 Eighth Street NW; 3420 Connecticut Avenue NW

When: Late summer

Inside Bar Chinois, a Scene-y New Spot for Dim Sum and Cocktails Full of French Spirits

Beloved Vegan Bakery Sticky Fingers Goes National With a New Online Store

AM Intel

Call Your Mother Opens Its Latest ‘Jew-ish’ Bagel Shop In North Bethesda

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater DC newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world