Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
The Brass Rabbit Public House is bringing lettuce wraps, carrot fries, and bunny-themed cocktails to Clarendon in the former Bracket Room space (1210 N. Garfield Street, Arlington), Arlington Magazine reports. Opening hours are weekdays from 11 a.m. to midnight, and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Happy hour runs weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $8 martinis and lettuce wraps.
A Cat Cafe Settles into Leesburg
Over in Loudon County, a cat cafe serving cookies and coffee opens Friday, April 1, reports Loudon Now. Patrons at Leesburg’s new Catty Corner can go to the cafe downstairs, or head up to the cat lounge (where a ticket comes with at cat time, coffee, and a cookie). Owner Heather Donahue has plans in the works to open the balcony and expand the menu. Reserve time with the cats here. (116 East Market Street, Leesburg)
A 140-year old chocolatier known for a 10-foot high chocolate waterfall — and more new spots — head to Tysons
Tysons continues to attract big-name chefs and restaurants. Joining a Long Shot Hospitality’s new Tex-Mex restaurant, and new restaurants from Stellina and Sisters Thai, at the Capital One Center, Michelin-starred Cranes chef Pepe Moncayo is also headed there to a 7,000-square restaurant, reports Washington Business Journal. No word yet on what kind of restaurant he is planning. (1803 Capital One Drive, Tysons)
The 140-year old Italian chocolate maker Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates is opening in Tysons Corner Center this summer, Tysons Reporter says. The upscale chocolate brand currently has 150 retail outlets in 70 countries. NYC’s Union Square store has a “45-foot long, 10-foot high chocolate waterfall,” which it claims is the largest in North America. Other than gourmet chocolates, the Turin-based chocolate manufacturer will also sell gelato, crepes, and coffee.
Plus, Hei Hei Tiger is rekindling its Cantonese restaurant with roasted meat and noodle soup at Urbanspace in the Tysons Galleria under new chef Andrew Chiou (of Pentagon City’s Lucky Danger), the Tysons Reporter says. Hei Hei Tiger, after opening the octagon-shaped bar, will fully open in June. Urbanspace reopened on March 22.
Working out and eating out in one Courthouse spot
A 7,500-square foot space combining working out and eating out is opening in Arlington this July. FitDistrict gym and cafe, from Arlington resident Catherine Ford, will serve up hot yoga, cycling, and interval training, plus wheatgrass shots and health-centered versions of classics like shepherd’s pie in the former Ray’s the Steaks spot (2300 Wilson Boulevard) in Courthouse, according to ARLnow.com. Ford plans to open FitDistrict this July. Ray’s the Steaks closed in 2019.
The most important meal of the day
Sincerely Breakfast has opened in Dupont Circle next to Kramer’s, reports Popville.com. It’s taking over the former Butter Chicken spot, which lasted less than a year. The menu includes crab biscuits, fried chicken biscuits, avocado toast, and burritos. Opening hours are Wednesday through Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (1506 19th Street, NW)
Jason Miskiri is bringing all-day breakfast to Silver Spring this May when the Breakfast Club debuts in the Fenton Silver Spring apartment complex, according to Source of the Spring. The menu will swing toward flavors from the Caribbean and the American South, with items like omelets, French toast stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries, lamb chops, chicken and waffles, and shrimp and grits.
Late night cookies arrive in Arlington and D.C.
Bakery chain Insomnia Cookies is bringing more late-night cookie options to D.C. this spring with the opening of a location on 8th Street near Howard University. The fast-expanding chain born in a University of Pennsylvania dorm room in 2003 currently has 215 stores across the U.S.
Meanwhile, a DMV-born option for late night cooking cravings is landing in Arlington. Ghost kitchen bakery (located in the Allspice Catering space) MOLTN Cookies opens April 2 with ten kinds of cookies, as well as several kinds of shakes and sundaes. Open hours are Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5 p.m. to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Delivery is available through moltncookies.com, Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Postmates. (6017 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington)
Nina May Owners have a new project in the works
Elena James, a 5,000-square foot cafe and market from the owners of Nina May, will open in Chevy Chase with a menu of casual, seasonal American fare by mid-2023. Offering full-service breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the space will also have a patio in addition to the 150-seat dining room, reports the Washingtonian. (8525 Chevy Chase Lake Terrace)
For pop-ups in need of a home, a space in Shepherd Park
For pop-up operators looking for a location, there’s a vacant spot in Shepherd Park looking for a temporary tenant while the owners search for a permanent tenant. It’s plumbed out, but has no hood or vent. The top floor is reinforced to hold tables and chairs. The owners are willing to offer it below market to food entrepreneurs. (7350 Georgia Avenue NW)
Expansions for Compass Coffee and Foxtrot
Foxtrot gourmet market, which just opened its first Virginia location, is doubling its footprint in the area with four new locations in 2022. These include the first outlet in Bethesda (7262 Woodmont Avenue), the fourth in D.C. in Logan Circle (1341 14th Street NW), a smaller grab-and-go store in Farragut Square (888 17th Street NW), and a second Virginia location in Rosslyn at The Highlands (1771 Pierce Street).
Compass Coffee has been busy opening two new locations this week — one in Navy Yard (1201 Half Street) and one in Fairfax, Virginia (10400 Fairfax Boulevard). Meanwhile, Compass Coffee is converting a former bank’s drive-thru into the first Compass Coffee with a drive-thru. It lands in Arlington this summer in the former Suntrust bank building, Washington Business Journal reports.
Fava Pot’s Dina Daniel is bringing Egypt to New Orleans
Dina Daniel of Fava Pot is heading to New Orleans this week as the guest chef for the a celebration of the Queen Nefertari exhibit at Ralph Brennan’s Cafe Noma in the New Orleans Museum of Art, where she’ll cook a traditional Egyptian dinner.
More European sweets set sights on Georgetown
NYC-based Maman Bakery is bringing French baked goods to Wisconsin Avenue, joining a growing number of sweet shots along the strip — Boulangerie Christophe, L.A. Burdick, and Petite Souer — according to the Georgetown Metropolitan. (1353 Wisconsin Avenue)
*Update (3/21/2022; 7:53 p.m.): Insomnia Cookies has several locations in D.C. The one near Howard University was incorrectly listed as the first.