Knead Hospitality + Design continues to plump up its Dupont Circle presence with tonight’s opening of Mi Casa, a cactus-filled corner respite serving sizzling fajitas, ceviches, margaritas, and skull-shaped cocktails in a boho-chic setting.
The Tex-Mex newcomer marks the D.C. restaurant group’s smallest project to date (1647 20th Street NW). The 130-seat setup with a weatherproof side patio opens Monday, July 19, for weekday happy hour and daily dinner service to start.
“We’ve always loved that corner,” says Knead co-founder Jason Berry. “This is our first ‘true’ neighborhood restaurant [that’s] not big and flashy. It’s got a little more intimacy.”
Knead’s string of cavernous restaurants all over the city includes Penn Quarter’s soon-to-reopen Succotash, Navy Yard’s Gatsby, and The Wharf’s Mi Vida and The Grill. The team planted its first flag in Dupont last month with a casual new food hall at the foot of Swingers, an adults-only mini-golf course out of London packed with four bars and 500 seats.
For Mi Casa, Mi Vida chef Angel Araya’s menu of Mexican-American border classics draws from traditional cooking in Northern Mexico, Texas, and the American Southwest.
For diners who don’t feel like making decisions, a prix fixe option lets the table sample a cross-section of Mi Casa’s greatest hits at once. The compilation includes guacamole, chips and salsa, queso dip, crudité, fajitas with all the traditional trimmings, Mexican street corn, churros and chocolate, and more ($39 per adult and $19 for kids).
The partners almost leased the same site over six years ago, but the timing didn’t work out amidst other ongoing projects. When an outpost of Manhattan chain Bareburger closed there during the pandemic last year, Knead finally pounced on the serendipitous space.
“There aren’t a lot of new restaurants in Dupont Circle, [so this brings] something fresh and interesting,” says Knead partner Michael Reginbogin.
Unlike the large and glitzy bars Knead’s known for, Mi Casa’s 12-seat setup is well suited for trying different tequilas during date night.
Red and white sangrias filled with ingredients like agave, orange and Mexican brandy are nearly half-off during happy hour ($6 by the glass and $29 for the pitcher). A pair of frozen and fruity cocktails spiked with Sauza Hacienda Silver tequila ($13 or $8 at happy hour) can be served swirled.
The weekday deal (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) also shaves prices on its chorizo deviled eggs, ground beef empanadas, and nachos topped with cheddar, chihuahua and pepper jack cheeses, pinto beans, and pickled chiles ($1.50-$8). Tacos for $4 a pop star brisket, tempura-battered cod, or marinated pastor proteins.
Brunch and lunch will join the mix in the next few weeks. For now, Mi Casa is open daily starting at 4 p.m. and closes at 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; midnight on Friday and Saturday; and 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Knead will soon shift attention to other D.C. neighborhoods with the reopening of Succotash Penn Quarter later this summer and the debut of French-themed Bistro du Jour on the Wharf’s waterfront in October.