The partners behind Seven Reasons, D.C.’s pricey Latin standout full of artfully plated dishes that Esquire rated as the No. 1 new restaurant in the country in 2019, will add a casual offshoot up in Chevy Chase in October.
Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo and co-owner Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger are calling the Maryland edition Joy by Seven Reasons. The 150-seat restaurant will sit in snazzy outdoor shopping center The Collection (5471 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, Md.).
“It’s going to be more family oriented — more of everyday dining with some Seven Reasons touches,” Vázquez-Ger tells Eater.
The team just picked up a Michelin star for its luxe, Mediterranean-leaning Imperfecto — specifically, its “Chef’s Table” — where Limardo prepares elaborate tasting menus in the West End. Its scene-y D.C. predecessor Seven Reasons debuted on 14th Street NW in 2019 and recently welcomed the likes of U2 frontman Bono.
Joy by Seven Reasons is an “a la carte spinoff but more affordable and more family style with some of the more traditional dishes from South America,” says Limardo, adding the idea for the playful offshoot was born during the pandemic.
The D.C. location offers an a la carte menu in addition to a chef’s tasting menu for $135 per person with courses like cauliflower tempura and halibut filet with green papaya-mango salad, banana green curry, and citrus Thai dressing.
Two or three hit dishes from Seven Reasons that phased out in D.C. will make a comeback up in Chevy Chase, says Limardo.
Like the original, look for a big focus on cocktails that loop in spirits from all over the world (think sake, pisco, and rum). The bar will be splashed in bright red tiles, joined the same live wall elements that welcome diners at the leafy D.C. hotspot.
Maryland isn’t new territory for Limardo. When he helmed Alma Cocina Latina in Baltimore, his cooking there caught the eye of Washington Post critic Tom Sietsema and led to a business partnership with then-regular Vázquez-Ger.
The fast-growing group will also expand to Virginia next year with the opening of Surreal, a new indoor-outdoor bistro with ice cream, tacos, burgers, and pizza in a private Arlington park that allows drinking. Two more to-be-announced restaurants from the team are slated to pop in 2022 and 2023.