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Colorful patterned plates hold seafood dishes from Ilili
New York export Ilili will serve Eastern Mediterranean seafood dishes on the Southwest Waterfront.
Ilili

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20 Anticipated Fall Restaurant Openings to Track Around D.C.

The District is getting noteworthy new options for Indian street food, fancy Lebanese, high-end Mexican, and “glam Italian”

The restaurant industry is notorious for delays, so opening projections should always be taken with a grain of salt. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered shortages in labor, equipment, and food that make starting a new business even more difficult than usual. So several exciting projects that entrepreneurs initially hoped to bring to life over the summer — or last fall, or earlier — are now primed to make their debut during crisp autumn months.

Around D.C., that means Levantine (Eastern Mediterranean) flavors are on the rise with the arrivals of Ilili, at the center of the Wharf development, and Z&Z Manoushe Bakery, in Rockille. Casual-leaning Indian food will land at Kismet, in Old Town Alexandria; London Curry House, on U Street NW; and Bindaas Bowls & Rolls, in Penn Quarter. Award-winning chefs like Peter Prime (Cane), David Deshaies (Unconventional Diner), and Matt Baker (Gravitas) have ambitious new projects in the works, too. Here are 20 anticipated restaurant openings to follow this fall:


Dumplings in dipping sauce at Bar Chinois
Dumplings in dipping sauce at Bar Chinois
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Bar Chinois

What: The owners of Prather’s on the Alley are reinventing the Mt. Vernon Triangle spot (again) as a scene-y bar serving a handful of dim sum-style snacks alongside cocktails that blend French and Chinese ingredients (think Dolin sweet vermouth infused with smoky lapsang souchong tea leaves). Chef Tim Ma put together a straightforward food menu that features fried egg rolls, Laoban dumplings, and chicken shu mai. General manager Margaux Donati and bar manager Jacob Simpson have worked together for more than six years at Japanese hot spots Chaplin’s (ramen) and Zeppelin (sushi) in Shaw.

Where: 455 Eye Street NW

When: Limited openings Thursday, September 23, through Saturday, September 25; Opening with full kitchen Friday, October 1


A group shot of the Dubbaneh family in front of their Z&Z za’atar tent at the farmer’s market in Fairfax
The Dubbaneh family behind Z&Z Manoushe Bakery.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.
A manoushe topped with za’atar and vegetables from Z&Z
A manoushe topped with za’atar and vegetables from Z&Z
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Z&Z Manoushe Bakery

What: Z&Z, the Palestinian-American za’atar and manoushe company that sells goods to trendy restaurants and Whole Foods, is opening a Rockville restaurant for its Arab flatbreads, meze, and knafeh. For the shop, which grew out of a popular farmers’ market stand, the Dubbaneh siblings that founded Z&Z have reclaimed and renovated a pizza shop their grandfather ran from 1982 to 2006.

Where: 1111 Nelson Street, Rockville, Maryland

When: Saturday, October 2


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: October

*This restaurant was previously projected to open over the summer


Petite Soeur owner Ashleigh Pearson holds up a bonbon
Petite Soeur owner Ashleigh Pearson
For Better Days Photography

Petite Soeur

What: Chocolatier Ashleigh Pearson is opening a Georgetown shop for intricately painted bonbons, sablés (French butter cookies), brittles, chocolate bars, and other treats. Pearson, an alum of Marcel’s in D.C. and Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, used a scholarship from Les Dames d’Escoffier to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Where: 1332 Wisconsin Avenue NW

When: October


Suga & Spice founders Jeffeary Miskiri and Shatorya Miskiri
Suga & Spice founders Jeffeary Miskiri and Shatorya Miskiri
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: October

*This restaurant was previously projected to open over the summer


Three Yucatan shrimp tostadas at Anafre are built on blue tortillas with a base of green guacamole on a white plate.
Alfredo Solis, who serves these Yucatan shrimp tostadas at Anafre, will delve into seafood dishes from other Latin cultures at Mariscos 1133
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: October

*This restaurant was previously projected to open over the summer


Unconventional Diner Dining Review
Chef David Deshaies will direct the “glam Italian” operation at L’Ardente
The Washington Post via Getty Images

L’Ardente

What: Chef David Deshaies (Unconventional Diner, Central) and business partner Eric Edens are opening a “glam Italian” restaurant inside the shiny new Capitol Crossing development at Massachusetts Avenue and Second Street NW. Deshaies will do a lot of delegating: Unconventional Diner sous chef Leena Ali will lead the kitchen, and former Watergate and Tino’s Pizzeria chef Logan Griffith will make brick oven pizzas. Andy Clark, an alum of Fiola, Red Hen, San Lorenzo, and Napoli Pasta Bar, will roll fresh dough. An imported grill from Spain’s Costa Brava will fire dishes like hulking Florentine steaks. Lasagna will be a signature item. Love Makoto, a Japanese food hall from restaurateur Makoto Okuwa, is expected to open in the same building by early next year.

Where: 200 Massachusetts Avenue NW

When: October


Chef Matt Baker poses for a portrait with dishes from Michele’s
Chef Matt Baker will nod to his Gulf Coast roots at Michele’s
Michele’s

Michele’s

What: Matt Baker, the chef and restaurateur behind Michelin-starred tasting menu destination Gravitas and comfort food cafe Baker’s Daughter, is opening a French-American restaurant inside the Eaton hotel downtown that incorporates influences from the Gulf Coast. Baker, a Houston native whose late mother was from New Orleans, is testing dishes like a brisket burnt ends tartine, Cajun-spiced oysters gratinée, and an “al pastor” hamachi crudo with guajillo chile vinaigrette, tajin-crusted fish, avocado mousse, dehydrated puffed corn, and compressed pineapple. A raw bar will feature 18-course omakase-style meals full of dishes that can be finished in one or two bites. A location of Baker’s Daughter has already opened in the hotel, and the chef’s company is handling the whimsical menu for its speakeasy, Allegory, as well.

Where: 1201 K Street NW

When: October


Ilili’s opulent dining room is centered around a bubbling fountain.
//3877 [rendering]

Ilili

What: The massive Lebanese restaurant based in NYC’s Flatiron District will slide into the glass-enclosed building on the Southwest Waterfront that 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: October

*This restaurant was previously projected to open over the summer


Kismet executive chef Ajay Kumar
Kismet executive chef Ajay Kumar
Kismet

Kismet

What: The team behind Bib Gourmand-designated Karma Modern Indian in Chinatown plans to open a sibling location in Old Town Alexandria that swings a little more casual. Karma chef Ajay Kumar will bring the waterfront neighborhood a new menu full of branzino, lamb chops and cumin potatoes, lobster masala with beetroot poriyal, and pan-seared scallops with sesame seeds and red pepper sauce. Karma best-sellers like chicken tikka will be available, too. The 4,000-square-foot space will feature an 18-seat bar area, white quartz tables, earthy and cognac tones, and a 30-seat courtyard patio out back.

Where: 111 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, Virginia

When: Mid-October


Peter Prime cracks at coconut at Cane
Cane chef Peter Prime will have a bigger space to explore Trini cuisine 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: October

*This restaurant was previously projected to open over the summer


Era Wine Bar’s 3,000-square-foot home was originally home to a Singer sewing factory dating back to 1936.
Era Wine Bar [rendering]

Era Wine Bar

What: This new wine bar and bottle shop across the D.C. border in Mount Rainier, Maryland, will showcase grapes from underrepresented regions like Mexico and the Middle East. Era comes from first-time restaurateurs Michelle and Ka-ton Grant, who will serve global small plates that nod to their travels. The two-level corner fixture located near comfort food spot Pennyroyal Station will offer 45 wines by the glass that encourage tasting in 3-ounce, 6-ounce, and 9-ounce pours. Michelle, a certified sommelier, is also unveiling a “Cru” and “Grand Cru” membership program with access to temperature-controlled wine lockers, tastings, and special events. Dinnertime dishes include tandoori chicken wings, chimichurri shrimp, Greek-inspired lamb sliders, PEI mussels in saffron broth, and Moroccan tagine. Sunday brunch bites include challah French toast, Middle Eastern themed brunch boards, and Brazilian steak and eggs.

Where: 3300 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, Maryland

When: October


A rendering of Bistro Du Jour
A rendering of Bistro Du Jour at the Wharf.
//3877 rendering

Bistro Du Jour

What: D.C. restaurant group Knead Hospitality + Design adds to its portfolio in the Wharf development with a new Parisian-style cafe. The menu segues from croissants and La Colombe coffee during the day to Champagne and coq au vin by night. The high-profile corner space that used to hold a Dolcezza gelato shop will also offer Francophile favorites like a croque madame, niçoise salad, steak frites, French onion soup, and duck confit. The all-day bistro will also build upon Knead’s growing DMV partnership with powerhouse New York City bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr, which plans to prep quiche for the restaurant. On the water, Knead also runs contemporary Mexican spot Mi Vida and the Grill, a stylish steakhouse and martini bar. The design makeover and renovation of Dolcezza’s 1,770-square-foot space entails a patio expansion that’ll grow the total seat count to 100.

Where: 99 District Square SW

When: October


Chef Mike Ellis
J.Hollinger’s executive chef Mike Ellis formerly worked for Charlie Palmer in D.C. and Healdsburg.
Official

J.Hollinger’s

What: Mike Ellis, the former executive chef at D.C.’s Charlie Palmer Steak, is teaming up with Jerry Hollinger (The Daily Dish) to open a modern American restaurant in downtown Silver Spring. Look for a la carte cuts of meat along with produce sourced from D.C.-area and Pennsylvania farms. The completely renovated space next to the Fillmore is shooting for an “urban rustic” vibe, says Ellis, who helped Palmer win a Michelin star at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California. The Silver Spring building most recently housed neighborhood chophouse the Classics, which closed in 2018, and originally opened in 1998 as Ray’s the Classics under founder Michael Landrum. Sundays will be a busy affair, with a live jazz brunch followed by prime rib night.

Where: 8606 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland

When: Late October


FOX’s Hells Kitchen Gallery - Season Nineteen
Declan Horgan
Photo by FOX via Getty Images

Jack’s Ranch

What: Declan Horgan, a finalist on Season 19 of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, will lead the kitchen at a huge Italian restaurant opening inside the Lumen apartment building in Tysons Corner. The Dublin native and former executive chef at Irish kitchens like Kirwan’s on the Wharf and Daniel O’Connell’s, in Old Town, plans to prepare smoked meats, salumi, cheeses, seafood, pasta, and both Neapolitan and Roman pizzas. The restaurant also plans to add a full-service deli called Josephine’s Italian Market and Café, which will sell sandwiches, coffee, and imported Mediterranean ingredients. Jack’s Ranch owner Steve Roberts also runs popular Arlington’s barbecue joint Texas Jack’s.

Where: 1755 Tysons Central Street, Tysons, Virginia

When: Early November


A fried chicken sandwich with gunpowder fries from Bindaas Bowls & Rolls
A fried chicken sandwich with gunpowder fries from Bindaas Bowls & Rolls
Joy Asico
Masala popcorn from Bindaas Bowls & Rolls
Masala popcorn from Bindaas Bowls & Rolls
Joy Asico

Bindaas Bowls & Rolls

What: Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj (Rasika, the Bombay Club) is opening his first fast-casual operation as an outgrowth of Indian street food brand Bindaas. The Bowls & Rolls version, located around the corner from the original Rasika in Penn Quarter, will feature chicken kathi rolls, masala popcorn, and gunpowder fries that James Beard award-winning chef Vikram Sunderam introduced at Bindaas locations in Cleveland Park and Foggy Bottom. Bowls that will be customizable by protein and sauce will feature options like chicken makhani with saffron rice.

Where: 415 Seventh Street NW

When: November


London Curry House

What: Restaurateur Asad Sheikh (Bombay Street Food, Butter Chicken Company) is reviving a restaurant he used to own in Alexandria with a new place on U Street NW that will serve South Asian dishes beloved by the British. Customers can expect to find fish and chips covered in a curry sauce or tikka masala gravy, rice-based pulao, and Pakistani karahi.

Where: 1301 U Street NW

When: November


Nighthawk will be splashed with geometric subway tiles and bright colors.
//3877 [rendering]

Nighthawk Pizza

What: The Wespost development (formerly Pentagon Row) in Arlington will welcome a new, ’90s-themed beer hall that pairs low-ABV Czech pilsners and saisons with thin-crust pizzas, fried chicken, and smash burgers. Nighthawk comes from chef Johnny Spero (Reverie), Arlington bar owner Scott Parker, and Northern Virginia brewery Aslin Beer Company. Patrons will also be able to roam around the shopping center while sipping Aslin’s colorful cans, thanks to a new on-site alcohol licensing permit.

Where: 1101 S. Joyce St, Arlington, Virginia

When: November


Chef Rob Sonderman
Federalist Pig pitmaster Rob Sonderman is the culinary brains behind Honeymoon Chicken.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Honeymoon Chicken

What: Restaurateur Steve Salis bought the historic Petworth building on the corner of Georgia Avenue and Upshur Street NW so Federalist Pig chef Rob Sonderman could build a fried chicken joint. Ensemble, Salis’s virtual food hall in Bethesda, already offers Honeymoon dishes like a crispy chicken breast sandwich dipped in hot honey, wedge fries, and sweet rolls glazed with honey butter.

Where: 4201 Georgia Avenue NW

When: November


A Criollo octopus dish from Causa chef Carlos Delgado
A Criollo octopus dish from Causa chef Carlos Delgado
Rey Lopez

Causa

What: Lima native Carlos Delgado, who led the kitchen the at José Andrés’s China Chilcano before the pandemic, is teaming up with Service Bar partners Chad Spangler and Glendon Hartley to open an ambitious, two-story Peruvian restaurant in Blagden Alley. Coastal and Andean cooking will be points of emphasis for Delgado, who will roast whole fish in a Spanish Josper oven, slice up ceviche, and grill beef heart anticuchos (and other skewers) over a Japanese robatayaki setup. Spangler and Hartley will incorporate mountainous ingredients like huacatay (black mint) into cocktails, and the pair plans to build one of the largest pisco collections in the U.S. Spangler says the group has scrapped previous plans to open multiple projects with separate names inside that space to prevent any confusion.

Where: 920 N Street NW

When: Late fall

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