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Chef Tim Ma Revamps a Crystal City Cafe With Lemongrass Pork Spaghetti

Plus, Maydan’s Middle Eastern offshoot Tawle is coming to Arlington, a Capitol Hill pretzel bar expands to Maryland, and more

Two men sitting outside on stools
The Freshman owner Nick Freshman reboots his Crystal City cafe with a new menu from chef Tim Ma.
LeadingDC/The Freshman

Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

The Freshman, the all-day cafe located near the Crystal City Metro station and Amazon HQ, recently rebooted service with a fresh new menu from a prolific D.C. chef. Owner Nick Freshman turned to his friend, chef Tim Ma (Lucky Danger, Laoban Dumplings), to dream up a spring menu that spans from breakfast through dinner. Snacks include Buffalo wings and shrimp skewers, while plates for heartier appetites range from lemon pepper chicken to lemongrass pork spaghetti and steak frites. The Freshman is open Tuesday through Sunday for breakfast from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with an all-day menu running from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (with the exception of 4 p.m. on Sundays).

Tim Ma’s reviving dishes from long-closed Kyirisan for a wine club

In more Ma news, the chef is cooking for West End’s members-only wine club WineLair for its dinner series — and what he’s making will be familiar. The club will open to the public for its “Revival by wineLAIR” dinners, starting Thursday, April 21, with Ma’s tribute to Kyirisan, his acclaimed, French-Chinese fusion spot in Shaw that closed in 2019. Tickets for the dinner are $200 per person (reserve here on Tock). Expect dishes like seared scallops with coconut risotto and Thai basil ice cream.

Luxe lounge seating next to a big window
The stylish interior at WineLair.
Rey Lopez for WineLair

Compass Rose’s Middle Eastern offshoot Tawle will open in Arlington

Michelin-starred Maydan and Compass Rose’s pandemic pivot Tawle will turn into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Fairfax this summer. And co-owners Rose Previte and Mike Schuster, together with co-founder and partner Mayu Horie, just announced a second Tawle will also open in Arlington. Look for the 2023 arrival at The Crossing Clarendon at 2832 Wilson Boulevard (the former home of Iota). The casual restaurant centered around communal Middle Eastern menus is overseen by executive chef Omar Hegazi. Tawle’s menus focus on kebabs served either family-style, prix-fixe, or a la carte, and the Arlington outpost will include what Previte calls “a really stunning rooftop bar.”

Nutella ‘pretzel bombs’ roll into Potomac

A facade of The Pretzel Bakery
The Pretzel Bakery’s new walk-up location in Maryland.
Sean Haney/The Pretzel Bakery

A decade after opening on Capitol Hill, The Pretzel Bakery tacked on a second location in Potomac, Maryland this week. The 800-square-foot bakery, about half the size of its D.C. counterpart, sends out small-batch, hand-rolled soft pretzels, breakfast sliders, and a crowd-pleasing “pretzel bomb” — a sweet pretzel roll filled with Nutella. The new grab-and-go locale in Cabin John Village (7961 Tuckerman Lane) will also serve La Colombe coffee, cold brew, basil lemonade, a “Hotella” (hot chocolate made with Nutella), and Italian ice in the summer. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends starting at 8 a.m. “I’ve been working to open a second location for the last seven years and just haven’t found the right situation, so this is a dream come true for me,” owner Sean Haney tells Eater.

Lady M’s lacy French crepes are now available for delivery

Fancy bakery Lady M has popped up in D.C. in years past, but now Lady M’s mille crepes cakes with 20 alternating layers of cream and French crepes will have a permanent (virtual) home. Lady M will deliver mille crepes cakes in D.C. via Caviar starting this spring.