Welcome to a.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of D.C. food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.
At its fifth area outpost in Adams Morgan, homegrown hitmaker Andy’s Pizza serves its essential New York-style slices alongside a surprise lineup of bottled booze created by a collection of top bartenders. Bottled cocktails ($8-$10), stocked in a fridge behind the ordering counter, are made by Judy Elahi (beverage director at Michelin-starred Gravitas/Michele’s); Chris Francke (owner of The Green Zone); Ian Douse (Astoria); and Maggie Mae Dale (head bartender at Top Chef star Stephanie Izzard’s new Cabra Los Angeles). Color-coded cocktails are filled with ingredients like yuzu, infused mezcal, and homemade grenadine. “We decided to put our cocktail menu in the hands of the people we trust. These are incredibly talented professionals — they eat our pizza and we drink at their bars,” says owner Andy Brown. Jell-O shots and canned beers are also in the mix. A grand opening is scheduled for Friday, April 8. (2465 18th Street NW)
Reality TV wire
The Real Housewives of Potomac personality and developer Michael Darby has his sights set on storied nightlife fixture Clarendon Ballroom, which closed in 2020 after a 19-year run to make way for a temporary pop-up club. Darby applied for a building permit at the address (3185 Wilson Boulevard) to potentially plant a new restaurant inside, reports ArlNow. Darby formerly ran Aussie-themed Oz at a nearby Clarendon corner that will welcome the area’s first Wagamama this summer.
WETA explores the local food scene in a new series called Signature Dish. Producer and host Seth Tillman heads to Rockville’s Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly to taste Filipino roasted pork belly; to H Street’s Cane for a Trinidadian beef roti; to Chez Dior in Hyattsville to taste a Senegalese yassa chicken; and more.
More dim sum for D.C.
Cantonese dim sum parlor Han Palace debuts in Woodley Park on Sunday, April 10, with a menu full of congee, dumplings, noodles, and more, reports Popville. Its second area restaurant, sliding into a former Starbucks (2649 Connecticut Avenue NW), joins the original Han Palace in Tysons Corner.
New wine, chocolate, Malaysian, and Mexican options for Virginia
Middleburg has a new, two-story bar serving cocktails, coffee, and dinner. Tremolo comes from lauded chef and master sommelier Jarad Slipp, who also owns Knead Wine and Pizza in Middleburg. Tremolo is open Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (19 East Washington Street, Middleburg)
The chocolatier behind The Conche in Leesburg expands his bakery business with the opening of The Conche Cake & Chocolate Studio in Sterling on June 1, reports Northern Virginia Magazine. Chef Santosh Tiptur’s new sweets emporium will feature classes, a retail component, and wholesale. (22446 Davis Drive, Sterling)
Internationally celebrated Malaysian chef Rashidin Abdul Rashid will unveil his first restaurant in Northern Virginia later this year, reports Washington Business Journal. The 10,000-square-foot, soaring showpiece, located on the second floor of the old Macy’s at Tysons Galleria, is “going to be a Singaporean-Malaysian, seafood-oriented restaurant,” Rashid tells WBJ. Michelin-starred chef Pepe Moncayo’s Cranes is part of Rashid’s investor group.
More details are emerging about Ashburn’s forthcoming Farm & Fork Kitchen at Goose Creek Village shopping plaza, notes The Burn. Look for fluke crudo and grilled Shenandoah Valley hanger steak by Zaytinya alum Jorge Chicas.
El Sabor Grill just brought Vienna Cedar Park a new option for margaritas, tacos, and fajitas in the former home of Alfredo Solis’s El Sol (262 Cedar Lane, Vienna), reports FFX Now. El Sabor general manager Burcin Can doubles down on the shopping center this month with a new Turkish-Mediterranean restaurant called Lezzet.
It’s festival season for hard seltzer and cannabis
A hard seltzer festival zooms back into D.C. on Saturday, May 21 at Hook Hall (3400 Georgia Avenue NW). Seltzerland, which debuted at Chicago’s Cog Hill Golf Club in August 2020, pops up in 25 other cities in the U.S. White Claw, Mike’s Hard Lemonade Seltzer, Vizzy, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, Playamar, and Sparkling Ice Spiked will all be on offer. Tickets, starting at $29, can be purchased here.
The National Cannabis Festival returns for its sixth year at the RFK Festival Grounds (2400 E. Capitol Street SE) on Saturday, April 23. Munchies swing from truffle mac and cheese by Equinox to Szechuan fried chicken sandwiches by Hot Lola’s chef Kevin Tien, plus eating contests sponsored by DC Slices, Hotdog Hideout, and Ben and Jerry’s. Tickets start at $65.